There is a hope among the White Hart Lane faithful that Tottenham Hotspur’s commanding 5-0 win over Swansea City on Saturday can be the catalyst for a string of victories that will get the North London club into Premier League title contention.

It has been a strange season to date for Mauricio Pochettino’s team, mostly due to the fact that expectations have been raised after the team’s exploits last term.

After 14 games there is positivity that Spurs have only been beaten once, but the fact that the Lilywhites have only won half of their matches shows that there is room for improvement.

One positive feature of Pochettino’s side that has continued from last season has been its miserly defence, with Tottenham conceding the fewest goals in 2016-17 of the 20 Premier League teams.

The fact that this has been achieved without talisman Toby Alderweireld over the last two months is a credit to Spurs’ most-improved player of the campaign – Jan Vertonghen.

The Belgium international has always been a class act; capable with the ball at his feet, physically confronting and an excellent reader of the game.

However, without Alderweireld at his side of late, Vertonghen has become a real leader for Tottenham and impressed with his commitment, energy and defiance.

Last season it was largely the former Southampton loanee that gained the plaudits for Spurs’ defensive toughness, with his compatriot not getting the credit he deserved.

With Alderweireld injured, Vertonghen has showcased just how important he is to Tottenham and that he is one of the Premier League’s best.

The former Ajax man signed a new long-term deal with Spurs recently in a major boost for the club, which is also just rewards for the defender’s excellent performances of late.

Vertonghen has gone to the next level in Alderweireld’s absence and deserves the credit and applause that was perhaps not always there last season.

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