Richarlison, who missed nearly a month of football earlier this campaign, and Rodrigo Bentancur, who has only made it on for six games this season, were both on the scoresheet over the weekend as Tottenham drew to Manchester United 2-2.
Injuries have rattled the club all season, and there's plenty to mention on behalf of the ways in which the absences have affected the team in terms of performance, player mentality, momentum, the support of fans, and belief in the new manager. However, little has been mentioned about how the team have used their adversity to work harder than ever before, doubling down on their dedication to the project of Ange-ball underway in North London.
After losing their all-time leading goal-scorer this summer, Tottenham's recruitment team worked diligently to bring in new talent, signing James Maddison and Micky van de Ven as core components of a squad whose playing style would soon be completely revitalized by the attacking play-style of Australian manager Ange Postecoglou.
Both players hit the ground running, helping the team overcome the previous season's woes by lifting the club to the top of the table after going undefeated across the first ten games. Then, tragedy struck as both players picked up major knocks on November 6th's clash with Chelsea. Combined, the two starters have missed roughly 1890 minutes of football since.
In the five matches to follow, Tottenham would only pick up one win. However, since that fateful string of poor performance, the club have regained their footing and are looking destined to cause trouble for other top teams in the league. Richarlison and Rodrigo's returns are a testament to that.
After the draw with United, Ange had plenty to say on the pride he's felt for his players throughout this process of injury and recovery:
"That's the thing about this group... they're putting aside their own personal well-being in many respects, they just make themselves available [to play] because they want to help this team. They can see we've been going through a tough time for a long time and they... want to play."
As the manager confirmed in the post-match press conference, the formerly, and perhaps currently, injured Cristian Romero moved his return to action forward by two weeks in order to give the squad the support they've needed. That type of commitment, while seemingly irresponsible, is the kind of mentality that has implanted itself in the minds of those who are truly believing in the potential of the club under their new manager:
"These guys are not going to make excuses. If they didn't play well or hadn't won today they wouldn't want me to come here and make excuses. The reality of it is that you consider there are guys who haven't played in a while... it's just an enormous effort from the lads and it's a credit to them."
Things will be looking up for Spurs over the next month as James Maddison looks destined to play in the coming weeks. Upon the return of Son Heung-min, Yves Bissouma, and Pape Sarr from international duty in a few weeks, the club will be further reinforcing its ranks. Coupling these factors with the arrival of Timo Werner, Radu Dragusin, and a potential third signing before the end of this month, it's fair to say that Tottenham will have the pieces they need to continue competing at the highest level against any squad they face.