Once again the simple fact that Spurs are greatly diminished when Harry Kane isn't playing centre forward was all too clearly demonstrated. Kane did come on for the last half hour but he was asked to play behind Soldado and it is much harder for him to change games from that deeper position.
Kane is about as likeable as footballers get. He works his socks off, looks as humble as they come and has one bright future ahead of him. But here's the biggest thing. It's just so refreshing (and rare, nowadays) to see a player who has progressed through his club's youth ranks to excel at the very top.
For Tottenham to make a game of it all that's required is more of the relentless intensity and flair that did for Arsenal. In Sturridge, Sterling and the in-form Coutinho, Liverpool have dangerous attackers but they look less than impregnable at the back.
Spurs haven't progressed over the last year. They're actually three points behind where they were at this stage last year, but their improved performances have kept fans relatively happy so far. There's a time when 'rebuilding' stops working as an excuse though and this - after Pochettino's second transfer window - is it.
The moment when a player leaves a club isn't usually the time that his efforts get the fairest assessment. If he is going at the peak of his powers the fans are disinclined to appreciate the good times because they feel jilted. If he goes when his best days are behind him, fans are slow to remember him in his pomp.
In getting Spurs to the Capital One Cup final and keeping them in contention for the Europa League and a top four Premiership finish, Pochettino is having a remarkably good first season. To the more delusional Spurs fan this level of achievement might be considered par but given what he's had to contend with, it is much better than that.
Tempting though it is, Pochettino needs to resist the urge to play Kane in a deeper role when either Adebayor or Soldado play up front. Instead he needs to be rested, either on the bench, in case of emergencies, or at home with his feet up.
What is it about Emmanuel Adebayor? He came on after an hour of Saturday's game with Sunderland and was greeted by boos from the home fans. Not all of them, but enough for the sound to be audible to everyone present.
Attention shifts to the Saturday's match with Sunderland, a game Spurs must win to get the league campaign back on track. The Black Cats look just the sort of side that Spurs should sweep aside especially as they have found it very hard to get goals this season... Defoe tends to score on his debuts. If he does so on Saturday, we can expect the most muted of celebrations.
Looking at Townsend's performance on Saturday it's very hard to understand how he has leapfrogged Aaron Lennon in the wingers' queue. In fact, apart from an emphatically converted penalty at a crucial point in the Chelsea game, it's difficult to think of anything good Townsend has done for some time now.
Where did it all go right? How does a team that was pitiful in losing at home to Stoke City on 9 November became one capable of sticking five goals past leaders Chelsea on New Year's Day? Perhaps a glance at the Tottenham line ups for those two games provides a clue.
Happily there is no talk of losing Harry Kane, the lifelong Tottenham fan who hails from nearby Chingford and has risen from the ranks. Dare the faithful hope that his journey from likeable trier to deadly operator might be similar to the one the team is on?
An away win at high flying Swansea, an emphatic cup quarter final victory over Newcastle and, finally, the defeat of a lowly premier league team at home after the debacles against Stoke, West Brom and Palace have meant that Christmas has arrived slightly ahead of schedule for Tottenham fans.
Harry Kane scored and was once again Tottenham's stand out performer in the 4-0 victory over Newcastle... A trip to a Wembley final for the first time in six years beckons and only a failure to wrestle three points from Burnley on Saturday can spoil Christmas now.
Somehow, despite all the moaning, the turgid play, the ordinary players, Franco Baldini, Poch's accent and the small pitch, Spurs are just four points off the top four, two points behind Arsenal, three clear of Liverpool and still in all the cups. But without Eriksen, the picture would be a good deal less rosy.
The post Double side of the early 60s was, in Jimmy's judgement, the best team in the world at the time and not many who watched them would argue. They were never mollycoddled and they enjoyed every minute that they played together. Could this have been at least a part of their secret?