Adebayor slept through the season before last and looks increasingly like he may do the same this term. Illustration by Richard Swarbrick.
Every team loses at least a two or three games a season so whatever the Lillywhite doom mongers say, an away defeat to the Champions is no disaster. And while losing four to one might be regarded as a hiding, everybody watching Saturday's game at the Etihad saw that the incompetence of the referee made as big a contribution to Manchester City's win as the awesome Sergio Aguero, scorer of all four of their goals. It's also worth remembering that just before City's third went in, Spurs would have been level at two-all if only the hapless Soldado had converted his penalty.
The defence looked ragged at times, but the foaming-mouthed critics on twitter should ask themselves whether there is a back line in the world that wouldn't struggle to contain Aguero, Silva, Navas and co on this form.
Better to look at the positives. Spurs looked as potent offensively as they have done all season with the three behind the centre forward - Chadli, Lamela and especially Eriksen - proving slippery throughout and they were ably assisted by the deeper lying Ryan Mason who continues to justify his selection over more experienced members of the squad.
Soldado also contributed, but how long can you accommodate a goalscorer who doesn't score goals? Granted it was his first league start of the season but the truth is he's looked largely impotent in the cup games too . The regular centre forward, Adebayor, was dropped to the bench on Saturday; hardly surprising when you consider he's only managed one goal all season and his increasingly lacklustre form has been redolent of the season before last which he pretty much slept through. Of the forwards, only Harry Kane can feel satisfied with his work this season, but is he ready to be the first choice lone striker week in week out? No. Not in a team with genuine Champions League ambitions.The truth is Spurs need to bring in a new, top quality front man in January if they are to extract the full potential from what is a reasonably promising season.
In the meantime, they need to build on the encouraging foundations laid in the last three league games to get through the period before the window opens. Between now and the end of November, Tottenham have nine games which, even with the current strike force, range from winnable to piss-easy. If they perform as they should, by the time they go to Chelsea on the third of December they should be in the top four in the Premier League and the last eight of the League Cup with qualification from their Europa League group looking nailed on. Just as importantly, they'll be in possession of momentum and confidence, precious commodities to take with them to Stamford Bridge.
Whether a striker of the required calibre becomes available in January - let alone whether Chairman Levy will be inclined to make the necessary investment - remains to be seen. But if they do find someone capable of finishing the chances the creative department are increasingly serving up, this could yet turn out to be a very good season for Tottenham.Suggest a correction