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Spurs recently drew 1-1 with Chelsea.
Both a by-product of, and a factor as to why the previous reasons matter, is the fact that Tottenham have already closed the gap on those clubs who have frequently been competing for Champions League places.
In six of the last eight seasons Spurs have finished in the top five. While only two of those seasons have seen Spurs make it to the Champions League places (of course in 2011-12 they were denied qualification by Chelsea winning the tournament), they have notably helped to break up the old order.
For example, Liverpool—a former fixture here—have not finished fourth or higher since 2008-09.
Spurs' fellow unwelcome interloper Manchester City were temporarily kept out by the North London club a year later and but for their heroics in Munich in 2012, Chelsea too would have missed out on UEFA's cash-cow because of their cross-city foe.
Spurs have more than proven they are a genuine contender in the upper echelon of the Premier League. Their attempts to maintain that status will be affected by the different circumstances they are in.
The substantial alterations made to Villas-Boas' squad have engendered a little uncertainty to just how good the overall group will be.
So long as they go some way to being as good as they are on paper (that means both the existing players who contributed to the aforementioned achievements, plus the new arrivals who have been highly rated elsewhere), it is difficult to see them dropping off.
Currently sitting in sixth place having recorded four wins from seven games, the start to the season has been encouraging enough.
The inability to kill off Chelsea and the capitulation to West Ham did provide reasonable cause for concern. However, the teething problems that marked these outcomes were always likely to be a feature of refashioning a semi-successful team.
Moving beyond this process is the immediate challenge for Tottenham. Should they do that swiftly and positively enough, they have it within them to be competing for a Champions League place again.
The long-term challenge will be just how strongly that claim compares to their rivals, among whom a stronger Arsenal and a resurgent Liverpool will make things as difficult as ever.