Tottenham Hotspur coach Tim Sherwood is getting little wrong in his early days in charge.
Sherwood halted his trend of playing forwards Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado together for the team's away match versus Swansea City, opting instead to start the Togo international up top alone in a formation that resembled one routinely used by former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas. It took the visitors about a half-hour to acclimate to the change, but they enjoyed fluid football once that moment came, and Tottenham ultimately cruised to a 3-1 victory.
Swansea 1-3 Tottenham: Men of the match
It would be silly to discuss the contest without immediately mentioning the play of Adebayor. The in-form forward hit Swans with a brace, and he would have netted a hat-trick had Mousa Dembele selflessly rolled the ball over to Adebayor rather than hitting an attempt at goal when both were free and clear inside the penalty area in the second half.
Complaints about Adebayor being over-emotional or somebody who only plays when he is catered to on and off the pitch are valid. That said, there's no overstating what he has meant to Spurs during this current run. Sherwood needs to continue doing whatever it is that's putting a smile on Ade's face, because it's keeping Spurs in the fight for a top four finish.
Just as important as was the lengthy striker was midfielder Christian Eriksen. Eriksen continues to be a revelation under his new boss, having a hand in two goals on Sunday and also producing a few moments of magic while on the ball.
Eriksen's cross into the box that was nodded home by Adebayor ten minutes before halftime was spot on, a perfect ball that could not possibly be cleared away from danger by a defender or goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel. The Denmark international also played a part in Adebayor's second goal of the contest.
Fans and critics alike have hit out at chairman Daniel Levy for several of the team's summer signings looking like flops halfway through the campaign. Nobody can say anything negative about Spurs acquiring Eriksen. He's the real deal, the first actual replacement the club has found for Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart.
He won't earn headlines for his performance, but Vlad Chiriches was again solid in central defense. His interceptions in the final third prevented Swansea from testing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris on numerous occasions, and he did well in switching off and providing cover down the wing. Chiriches, along with the rest of the Tottenham back line, fell asleep a bit during the sequence that ended with Wilfried Bony scoring a consolation goal, but the result had already been determined by that point.
Swansea 1-3 Tottenham: Not impressive
Nacer Chadli was in the news last week and for all the wrong reasons, as reports linked him with a potential move to Italy due to his not receiving adequate playing time at Spurs. Chadli squashed those reports via an Instagram post, and he was apparently rewarded with a spot in the starting XI.
He did not make good use of the opportunity.
Chadli was largely a non-factor in the game, and his most noteworthy contribution came when he skied a glorious scoring chance while unmarked inside the middle of the box. Sherwood left plenty of quality, including Lewis Holtby, on the bench on Sunday. Chadli did nothing to show that he belongs on the pitch ahead of those other options.
Swansea 1-3 Tottenham: The numbers
Spurs have picked up 16 of 18 points since Sherwood replaced AVB. Only Arsenal have as many away wins as do Tottenham this season. Spurs are level on points with fourth place Liverpool, and Tottenham again possess a spot in European football.
All of this while Sherwood has been without his top defensive pairing, Paulinho, Sandro and Erik Lamela.
Keeping pace with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and the Gunners may prove to be too difficult a task for Spurs. They are rising above mid-table mediocrity under their new coach, who right now has a Midas touch on Premier League match days. Tottenham will have ten days to prep for a home showdown with City.
A lot has changed for Spurs since that 6-0 defeat at the Etihad back on November 24.