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Mousa Dembele and teammate congratulate Gareth Bale against Inter.
How the battle for places in defense and midfield unfolds heading into the new campaign will be a fascinating watch during Tottenham's preseason.
Players are more versed in the tactical and stylistic preferences of Villas-Boas now. Similarly, he has a better understanding of their qualities and where they suit what he wants from his team.
Beyond matters concerning individuals, the Portuguese will have position-wide matters he wants to address too.
Engendering greater unity at the back (and with it improving concentration) will be high on the to-do list, as will be finding a suitable balance in the midfield area—one that especially enhances the team's creativity.
Bale will be an interested observer, deciding over the course of 2013-14 whether Spurs is the club for him long-term. Naturally, results will be the tangible measure of this process in his, and everyone's, mind in deeming whether the team has progressed.
The make-up and performances of the midfield will be of particular interest to Bale, given his greater involvement with them on the pitch.
Mousa Dembele had a fine first year in North London. However, such was the heavy and tiring burden he took on late in the season that he will be delighted to see Sandro's from injury.
The Brazilian provides the solid platform that allows his Belgian teammate to explore further forward and more often.
Dempsey benefited enormously from his fellow ex-Cottager linking up with him in attacking midfield in the season's opening months. It makes sense that Bale too might thrive even more there with the dynamic Dembele a more frequent presence.
That is saying something considering how Bale generally got by fine without him when he moved centrally.
Just how the rest of the midfield looks will depend on what formation Villas-Boas deploys. The possible signing of Paulinho (Spurs' interest was confirmed by the player himself in a BBC Sport article) has led to speculation 4-3-3 might be the way he goes.
Even if one or two were to be sold, the abundance of midfield options Spurs have makes a three-man midfield a a distinct possibility.
Could Villas-Boas' intention be for his side to dominate midfield in a way that allows Bale and his fellow attackers to take advantage of teams battered into submission?
As we wait to get our first real clues of what Tottenham might look like, preseason cannot get here soon enough.