Tottenham vs. Fulham: 5 Things to Take Away from Spurs' 3-0 Victory
Needless to say, it's been a good week in the Tottenham camp.
After a poor run of form saw Spurs' league standing drop, whispers started about the future of Andre Villas-Boas and a feeling of discontent seemed brewing.
Well, as the saying goes, winning cures all woes.
Three wins in as many Premier League matches, capped off by their 3-0 away win against London rivals Fulham, has bumped Tottenham up to fourth in the table, level on points with third-place Chelsea and five points clear of their bitter North London rivals Arsenal.
Suddenly, the rough patch seems like ancient history.
So what can Spurs take away from Saturday's win at Craven Cottage and the week as a whole?
Here are five aspects of the match that could have further implications as the season moves forward.
Spurs Will Have a Tough Go of It over the Next Few Weeks
After three consecutive league victories, you would expect to be feeling confident heading into the next few fixtures.
However, Spurs supporters should prepare themselves for a few tough matches over the next few weeks.
For one thing, the injury situation is looking rather bleak.
With Gareth Bale reportedly set to miss the next one or two matches with a hamstring issue, the depth of Spurs' creative force is sure to be tested. Further, Michael Dawson limping off at Craven Cottage reduces the depth Spurs have newly found in defense, where they are still missing Younes Kaboul.
The injury situation is a bit worrying, though, because of the level of competition awaiting Tottenham over the next two matches.
A trip to Goodison Park hasn't looked as tough over the past few years as it does this season, as Everton have really jumped off to a flying start. Just ask Manchester United, whom the Toffees defeated on opening night of the season.
After that, a home fixture against a surging Swansea City awaits Spurs. The Swans have earned 10 points in their past four matches, earning famous victories over the likes of West Brom and away to Arsenal.
If Spurs miss Bale for both of these matches, it could be tough sledding.
Let's just hope that other players take up for the injured Welshman.
Clint Dempsey Is Starting to Come Good
After a rough start to the season, it was fair to wonder whether US international Clint Dempsey would ever make it at White Hart Lane.
I mean, his contribution was virtually nonexistent and he seemed almost invisible on the pitch. This drew the ire of most supporters, who called for his benching and/or his sale in January.
However, even his most fervent detractor must admit that Dempsey has turned it around over the past few matches.
Ever since Emmanuel Adebayor's red card in the North London derby, Dempsey has put in some good shifts for Spurs, getting involved and even setting up a few goals.
Has he been flawless? Absolutely not.
There is still lots of room for improvement for Dempsey.
If the trend of his play continues as it has over the past few matches, though, Clint could be a huge asset to Tottenham for the next few years.
...Gylfi Sigurdsson Too
Like Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson was a summer signing that just wasn't cutting it at White Hart Lane.
While he was much more active than Dempsey during his playing time, Sigurdsson constantly lacked that final ball and seemed to always take the wrong option.
Against Fulham, though, the Icelander looked far more capable in his short time on the pitch. Late in the match, he pulled off a beautiful move, eluding his defender and slotting a near-perfect ball to Jermain Defoe for the third and final goal.
Does this negate all of Sigurdsson's poor moments and prove that he is ready to come in every match? Of course not.
However, if you know the youngster's potential, you should be very excited by this good performance.
Hugo Lloris Is Not Giving Up the Keeper Position
Obviously, Tottenham had a bit of a dilemma at the keeper position at the start of the season.
The incumbent, American international Brad Friedel, had done nothing but defied logic with his stellar performances at the age of 41. However, with obvious concern that Friedel couldn't keep up his form forever, the club made the August purchase of 25-year-old France captain Hugo Lloris.
As Friedel had done nothing to lose his job and Lloris had never even played in a Premier League match, it didn't make much sense to immediately give the position to the youngster.
However, pressure mounted on manager Andre Villas-Boas from the France national team, who did not like that their captain's form was being jeopardized.
Realizing the issue, AVB started trading starts between his two keepers.
As always, Friedel didn't do too much wrong, but Lloris started to get the bulk of the matches.
Now, Lloris has made four consecutive league starts, getting stronger and stronger throughout.
With his fine performance against Fulham on Saturday, the Frenchman made a clear statement that the position is now his.
Expect Hugo to be the starter for years to come.
Jermain Defoe's Hot Form Just Won't End
At the beginning of the season, Jermain Defoe's good goal-scoring form was a huge plus for a side that seemed to be lacking depth at the striker position.
However, one always got the feeling that his form would dip at some point and Spurs would have to turn to Emmanuel Adebayor up top.
While Adebayor did get his chance against Manchester City and Arsenal, though, Defoe's form never completely faded.
With Ade out suspended for this past week, Defoe netted four goals in three matches, including two at Craven Cottage.
Yes, Spurs would still be well-advised to shop for a striker in January, but the Englishman they have now isn't half bad.
So there are my thoughts.
Was there anything else I neglected to mention that you'd like to add? Any thoughts?
Let me know in the comments section below.
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