They say the table doesn't lie but, in the case of Spurs, it may not be telling the whole truth. Fifth place behind Chelsea, Arsenal, and the two Manchester clubs is pretty good on the face of it, until a closer look is taken at the results to date and how they were achieved: two points dropped at home against Man City; a narrow win at Stoke, with the home team having what looked like a good goal disallowed; a disastrous home defeat to Wigan; a draw at West Brom; and, on Saturday, a flattering 3-1 scoreline against another one of the perennial relegation candidates.
The win against Wolves came courtesy of two fortuitous goals, with the ball falling kindly to Pavlyuchenko for Spurs' second and then deflecting off Hutton and over the keeper for number three. Wolves felt hard done by at the final whistle and even Harry Redknapp was moved to admit that "there was a part of the game when I thought we might not win. I'd be lying if I said otherwise."
Make no mistake about it, Wolves are a poor side who play to their limited strengths. Thirteen yellow and one red card accrued in the two games prior to their visit to White Hart Lane are testament to their qualities. This is not a team Spurs should be toiling to beat.
The game was transformed by an enforced substitution, with the lively Alan Hutton replacing Kaboul. The Scot troubled the Wolves defence with his direct running, and almost curled a shot inside Hahnemann’s post, before winning the penalty from which Spurs equalized. He capped a fine performance with an admittedly lucky goal and surely must have forced himself into the manager's plans. Hutton was signed from Rangers for a fee reportedly in the region of £9 million - a lot of money for a full-back - yet he became something of a forgotten man under Redknapp, culminating in a loan period at Sunderland last season. With Spurs lacking in ideas, he made the difference on Saturday and it would be good to see him now get an extended run in the team.
Spurs face another struggling outfit next weekend in the shape of a visit to Upton Park. The Premier League fixture list then begins to look a bit more difficult, not to mention the challenge of the Champions League. On the plus side, van der Vaart appears completely at home in the midfield and it's a relief that Spurs now seem to possess a composed penalty taker. Bale's good form continues and even the not always popular Jenas had a good game against Wolves. Yet the team as a whole needs to step things up a bit, at least where the league performances are concerned. The Carling Cup tie against Arsenal should give some squad players a chance to stake a claim for a place in a Spurs side that is still not really firing on all cylinders.