Gareth Bale’s goals and general involvement have led to some opinions that Tottenham are a one-man team and the Welshman is almost single-handedly carrying the club towards a spot in the Champions League.
It is true that Bale’s impact is vitally important and the club looked devoid of ideas when he had a rare off-day in the home defeat with Fulham.
However, the impact out wide of Aaron Lennon may have been underestimated by many in Tottenham’s chase for a top-four finish and his absence has certainly been felt in recent weeks.
Lennon has not started seven games for Tottenham this season and their only two victories without him have been in cup ties with lower-league opposition Carlisle and Coventry.
Meanwhile, hamstring issues mean he has not started any of Spurs’ last three fixtures, all of which they have lost.
Loaning Andros Townsend does seem a mistake by Andre Villas-Boas as Tottenham are clearly short on out-and-out wingers and players are forced into roles out of position if Bale or Lennon are absent.
While Townsend has been having a positive impact on loan at QPR, Mousa Dembele has been shuffled into the right midfield role.
Alongside not having the pace and directness of Lennon to get to the by-line, his defensive game is of a lesser standard in terms of supporting full-back Kyle Walker, despite the fact Dembele has regularly started from deep in the centre of the midfield this season,
Lennon’s defensive impact has been as key as his forward foraging and Walker has certainly been more isolated in recent games.
Furthermore, Lennon may not be a frequent scorer of goals, but he has struck winners against both Sunderland and Arsenal this season, while he has scored in 28 different games for Spurs and they have not lost any of these.
Tottenham remain odds-on at 10/11 to finish in the top four this season despite their defeat to Fulham, but they will need Lennon back sooner rather than later if they are to avoid a late-season collapse.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.