When you look back through the history of Tottenham Hotspur (or most clubs for that matter), you can find a correlation between periods of stability and the presence of certain figures within the squad, namely captains and leaders of a certain character and quality.
Such stability and success is not completely down to them, but they are undoubtedly pivotal in its creation.
Ron Burgess, captain of Arthur Rowe's "push and run" side of the 1950s, was a pivotal figure in driving Spurs to the second and then first Division titles in consecutive seasons.
Danny Blanchflower was the on-field personification of all that Bill Nicholson worked to instill in the club, and he was followed by Dave Mackay and Alan Mullery who grafted tirelessly to maintain these values.
There was Steve Perryman and Paul Miller, through to Gary Mabbutt and Sol Campbell and Steffen Freund, and up until this past summer, Ledley King.
All of these figures' places in the club's history and legacy are well known by Spurs supporters, but are listed here to demonstrate the type of player missing so desperately from Andre Villas-Boas's current side.
Though they have not been awful in their opening three Premier League games, Spurs have looked suspect to the slightest change of momentum against them, a fallibility that has been exacerbated by the absence of players who can resist this, those who deal in commitment and organization—essential qualities of leadership.
With Scott Parker injured, Michael Dawson is the last outfield player of any experience and stature left at the club who possesses the aforementioned qualities, making it all the more baffling as to why Villas-Boas has excluded him from the squad entirely.
Achieving stability, let alone success, will be difficult to achieve if he does not soon begin to appreciate the value of a player like Dawson.