While Tottenham Hotspur have been excelling over the past month, they have done it without the man who made it all possible a year ago.
Football. Time. Evolution. New manager- New Ideas. New players?
It has been a strange 12 months for Tottenham Hotspur, full of highs - last season's winning streak, recent win at Olt Trafford, and depressing lows, blowing third place, and Chelsea's Champions League win.
Manager Harry Redknapp was dismissed, and replaced with Andre Villas-Boas, a scenario which would have been considered laughable as recently as early February.
But here we are, and much of Tottenham's squad is still intact, but the midfield has undergone a real overhaul, piece by piece.
Let's rewind to just over a year ago, Tottenham started the 2011/12 season poorly, only the late signings of Scott Parker and Emmanuel Adebayor set them steady, and more than that, facilitated their winning run.
Adebayor displaced Defoe up front, and Parker confined Sandro to the role of a bit-part player in midfield.
A year on and the scenario is turned on it's head.
Aided by injuries of course, Parker has not featured for the club yet this season, while Adebayor has been confined to just an appearance as a substitute but he is back, and ready to go.
The same can't be said of Parker, who with each passing win for Andre Villas-Boas side, becomes even more of a forgotten man, as unlikely as it previously seemed.
His midfield partner of last season Luka Modric has moved on, to Real Madrid, while Moussa Dembele, a £15 million signing from Fulham is appearing to be worth every penny.
Perhaps the biggest significance, is the role of Sandro, who has been outstanding as of late for the club, instrumental in recent wins over Manchester United and Aston Villa.
The Brazilian was under-used last season, with Harry Redknapp unwilling to rotate his side in the Premier League, but he is getting his chance now.
Scott Parker currently has no return date from injury, but when he does, will he even get into the team?
There were murmuring that he wasn't a player AVB 'fancied' in August, and he would be prepared to off-load him, but given the way the press have been knife-twisting and waiting for the manager to fail at every turn, it is thus far too early to take such reports seriously.
In fact we suspect AVB will use Parker a lot more than Redknapp did Sandro, as he looks to compete on all fronts and rotate his squad to good effect. It will therefore then be up to the England midfielder to play his way in, and show he deserves regular game time.
Having loaned out Jenas, and lukewarm on Huddlestone, you would imagine AVB is keen for Parker to return, and when he does, fully rested up, he will add a whole new option to the side, and hopefully from supporters' point of view, help them maintain their start.
For failing to rest his stars was a reason Redknapp suffered ultimately last season, with Parker racked with various injuries at the end of last season and through Euro 2012. It is even why he is still out injured as he pushed his body to the limit.
Sandro played through the summer at the Olympics, hurtling straight back into Premier League action, and despite his excellent form, will at some stage inevitably need to rest up. That's where the beauty of an effectively managed large squad comes in, and with the Europa League to juggle too, why fans should hope Parker comes back sooner rather than later.
What does the future hold for Scott Parker at Tottenham?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald