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Lennon's missing the Fulham game through injury and the experimentation with Gareth Bale in a central position have combined to reiterate the value of Tottenham having pace out wide. Bale has made some remarkable contributions in his newer role, but without either him or Lennon (and perhaps without both there) on the flanks, Spurs do not look as threatening.
Villas-Boas may be without Lennon again, in which case will he move Bale back to left-wing? And how will this effect the make-up of the rest of the midfield? It is hard to get a reading on the Portuguese's intentions given how he has often changed things up in his team. The lineup he selects on Saturday is just not about Swansea either. Ideally, it will be one geared up for the tough games that follow, too.
The deployment of Mousa Dembele on the right in absence of Lennon has just gone to show how badly-missed the Belgian is in his usual position of central midfield. It is true he was contributing from an attacking sense out wide, but it meant Spurs lost the vital energy he brings to the defensive side of things.
Jake Livermore and Scott Parker do not have it in them to impose their will on an opposition looking to take them on—at least without a dynamic presence likes Dembele or the injured Sandro beside them. With tests of their resolve in the form of various midfield talents like Leon Britton to David Silva to Frank Lampard coming up, Spurs can not afford to let others have their way.
Around Dembele is where it gets interesting. Calls from many quarters for the impressive young Tom Carroll to get his shot may go unheeded by Villas-Boas with more experienced names to call upon. The thing is, there is a lot of sense to going with the newly-capped England Under-21 international.
He is a bright and energetic midfielder who can pass and, commendably for a young player, is not afraid to get on the ball and instigate attacks when he can. You can make the arguments as to why Gylfi Sigurdsson, Clint Dempsey or Lewis Holtby should be in front of him. Sometimes, though, it is about giving a player their shot.
Given Spurs' general lack of imagination in the final third in recent weeks, the 20-year-old could be utilized in that position just off of the sole striker without much of a risk to the team. Dembele and Parker would be behind doing the heavy lifting in midfield, and Bale and one of the other mentioned midfielders are rehearsed enough in duties on the wings.
Carroll's nippiness and instinct at getting into open spaces means his teammates would rarely be short of an option as they progress into the final third. He has impressed in his outings in the first team so far. A Premier League start might just be the show of faith he needs to take it up a level.