The last few weeks have not been kind to Tottenham Hotspur's fastidious manager Andre Villas Boas, but with a vital point earned on Sunday there could be a reason for optimism
The 36-year-old is currently dealing with the teething problems that are heavily associated with major overhauls in the spine of a squad. Disrupted harmony or difficulty adjusting to a new culture can prove hazardous in the early stages of a season.
Argentine Erik Lamela in particular is struggling with the physicality of the English Premier League and at stages the young attacker appears to be overwhelmed and discombobulated.
Consecutive losses to Newcastle and Manchester City exploited the mental fragility of Spurs's new sculpted team, the latter inflicting a devastating and humiliating 6-0 defeat. The aura that surrounded the club in the aftermath was one of shock and dismay.
With the task of welcoming the league champions Manchester United the following week, AVB's side were suddenly in a season-threatening tie that could have proven fatal to their title aspirations.
In spite of the severe criticism in the media a high spirited Tottenham refused to lay down and ferociously fought against the odds, emerging unfortunate not to have claimed all three points at White Hart Lane.
A point that arguably could not of been lost, Spurs will be forced to prove their credentials in an unforgiving league that will see opportunistic clubs feast on failure and a continuing assault on Europe will be put to the test.
A timely fixture against fellow London side Fulham who are experiencing a horrific start to the season will be welcomed. Whether they will be amongst the contenders for the crown, form will dictate and decide.
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