The Europa League just got interesting. Spurs' main aim this season may be securing a return to Europe's premier competition, but a last-16 tie against Internazionale is enough to tickle the taste buds. If only Maicon hadn't already taken that taxi to Manchester City.
Andre Villas-Boas' side deserved their late equaliser in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Lyon, but they endured a frustrating night until Mousa Dembele's 90th-minute thriker.
That Dembele's strike ended a run of four matches - or 481 minutes - in which Gareth Bale was Spurs' only scorer points to a lack of firepower that could continue to haunt Villas-Boas until Jermain Defoe's return from injury. But the real problem emphasised on Thursday night was an imbalance and laboured tempo in central midfield.
It's clear that this concern is inextricably linked to Spurs' current lack of attacking fluency and they have now managed only nine goals in their last eight matches; an average that offers little encouragement as they pursue a top-four finish and a place in the Europa League final.
In the ten games prior to Sandro's season-ending injury against QPR on January 12, Spurs hit 22 goals as they continued to gel with the Brazilian and Dembele at the heart of midfield. But in Sandro's absence, Villas-Boas' side have slowly started to embody the hardworking but frustratingly slow Scott Parker, leaving the manager with a difficult decision to make over his future selections.
Although Parker doesn't do a great deal wrong, his 17-point turns and ponderous use of possession are limiting Spurs' attacking impetus, with Dembele afforded less freedom to roam and join the forward line as he did in the final stages of Thursday's draw following Parker's substitution for Jake Livermore.
As I wrote after Spurs' victory over Sunderland in January, the central midfield partnership of Dembele and Sandro is arguably the strongest in the Premier League, as Manchester United found out to their cost in a 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford in September. However, with Parker replacing Sandro the dynamic has been destroyed and the detrimental impact on the team has seen Spurs rely on Bale more than ever to secure results.
There are options available to Villas-Boas if he decides to change his first XI. Livermore impressed in his breakthrough season at White Hart Lane last year and he certainly offers more mobility than Parker. But the 23-year-old has only played a bit-part role in the current campaign and with fixtures against West Ham, Liverpool and Arsenal on the horizon it may not be the best time to throw him into the first team.
Another possibility is that Lewis Holtby could drop back to partner Dembele, with the Belgian switching to the holding role previously occupied by Sandro. While the terrier-like Holtby would offer more energy in the engine room, as well as the ability to play an incisive pass, it would be no problem for the combative and disciplined Dembele to adopt more defensive responsibilities.
Whatever Villas-Boas chooses to do, it's imperative that the manager acts to freshen up a first XI that is beginning to look stale. With 12 fatiguing Premier League games remaining and a forthcoming double-header against Inter, it will be almost impossible for Spurs to continue grinding out results in the same manner. Change is needed before it's too late.
Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.