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Tom Carroll (top) celebrating Spurs' winner.
Tottenham looked a little tired in places as the game went on. Understandably so, as West Ham pushed them hard for much of the game. Watching a few of his players, Villas-Boas might be wondering whether he was a little hasty to send so many of his squad's youngsters out on loan.
One of them still at the club is Tom Carroll. The 20-year-old came on against West Ham with 15 minutes remaining in normal time. A zippy performer by nature, his fresh legs and sensible movement of the ball kept Spurs ticking along as they searched for a way back into the game.
Having advanced forwards, he was the one who teed up Bale prior to his winner.
Carroll's contribution was not specifically game changing, but it was a welcome one nonetheless. It was an example of the role talented young players such as himself can play late on in such games, and in the season itself as his teammates tire.
The decision to send someone like Andros Townsend out on loan was done so in order to get him more experience. However, he would have been a useful player to have around the squad right now.
Aaron Lennon has played so much football this season and over the last month has not been as effective as he had been previously. Having a solid young understudy like Townsend around would have allowed Villas-Boas to rest Lennon for a match, or at least offer a similar alternative.
There is enough remaining within the Spurs squad to keep them going. But they may have benefited from having the extra numbers around in the months to come. Without the likes of Townsend, Harry Kane and Jonathan Obika, they are relying a lot on avoiding injuries before the season is out.