Having kept things simple against Aston Villa, some of Sandro's sloppier tendencies were on show against Hull. Getting ahead of himself on a few occasions, he frustratingly gave away possession unchallenged, though he was not alone here as Townsend was also rather wasteful early on.
More positively Sandro was also typically alert in keeping Hull pegged back in the first half. A couple of headers and a further two interceptions (numbers via Squawka.com) stifled their search for an outlet, as did a satisfyingly crunching tackle on George Boyd.
A booking played its part in his half-time withdrawal. Considering this was the first time the Brazilian had started three straight games since the turn of the year, a rest was probably necessary too.
Sandro's selection ahead of Mousa Dembele in central midfield did serve to raise a question about manager Andre Villas-Boas' approach in the position.
Between those two, Paulinho, Lewis Holtby and the soon-to-be-returning Etienne Capoue he certainly has options. Holtby played about as deep as he has all season at times as part of a setup that was more in tune with a midfield three than when the more naturally advanced Christian Eriksen plays.
Perhaps though, this performance made clear the need for a horses-for-courses approach.
Where Sandro proved suitable against Villa (and would likely have against West Ham United's combative midfielders prior to that), Dembele's better use of the ball may have served Spurs better from the off on Sunday.
A rotation policy is not always good for a team, but in Spurs and Villas-Boas' case, it could suit the players at hand.
Deploying someone to sit, obstruct and destruct might be the wise choice in upcoming games at Everton and Manchester City—two teams with midfield counterparts like Ross Barkley and Yaya Toure who cannot be allowed to surge forward unchecked.
But against Hull this Wednesday night and Newcastle United in November, a slightly more attacking midfield built around taking the game to the opponent will be more suitable in negating the threat of Tom Huddlestone or Yohan Cabaye in unlocking Spurs.
The two methods are not mutually exclusive, but an emphasis on one is sometimes the appropriate course of action.