Spurs were on a 10-match unbeaten run to start the 2023-24 season when they faced Chelsea on Nov. 6. Disaster stuck almost simultaneously for Spurs' two most influential signings of the transfer period, both going down with injuries as halftime approached. Maddison injured his ankle and van de Ven his hamstring. Both were forced to miss over two months of action.
After Cristian Romero was sent off and Maddison and van de Ven were withdrawn, the bottom fell out against Chelsea. The 4-1 defeat was Spurs' first of the campaign, setting in motion a wobbly month for Ange and Co.
Tottenham lost the following two matches and won just four of nine contests without Maddison and van de Ven. The Dutchman returned for the 2-2 draw against United at Old Trafford, while Madders followed suit in the next match, a 3-2 home triumph over Thomas Frank's Bees.
With van de Ven in the starting team, Tottenham has taken 31 of 39 points (9 wins, 4 draws), while Madders' presence has seen the team take 30 from 36 (9 wins, 3 draws). It will take some time for the influential duo to get up to speed, having only recently returned to action. United and Everton are fortunate they played a significantly depleted Tottenham side.
Once their sea legs return, which, from the looks of things, won't take long, Tottenham's ascent should be steep. van de Ven, Maddison, and Rodrigo Bentancur will reach peak form, coinciding with Yves Bissouma and Sonny's return. Bissouma is another story entirely. The 27-year-old midfielder has been battling malaria throughout the AFCON tournament.
Add those factors, and Tottenham should feel good about being two points out of fourth place with 15 matches remaining.