Squad depth and defensive strength has Spurs coach beaming

Tottenham Hotspur assistant Steffen Freund has marveled at the club's solidarity at the back and strength in numbers.

'What a performance!' Freund proclaimed on the club's official website after helping oversee a thumping 4-0 victory over Aston Villa in Birmingham, Tuesday evening. 'We changed eight players from the last game and it’s great to see we have so many quality players.'

Tottenham's unforgiving mauling of Villa, earned through a brace of Jermain Defoe strikes, a second half Paulinho goal and a Nacer Chadli effort, saw Spurs progress into the fourth round of the League Cup, a home tie against Hull City.

With 139 goals returned in 347 appearances in all competitions, Defoe has moved to fifth in Tottenham's all-time goal-scoring charts. The Englishman is now 20 strikes behind Cliff Jones while Martin Chivers, Bobby Smith and Jimmy Greaves remain out of sight. Defoe, though, has 20 goals in Europe, bettered only by Chivers' return of 22.

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'I’m really happy for Jermain Defoe, he’s now the number five in the all-time goalscoring list for Tottenham Hotspur,' Freund said. 'Nacer is back and scored, Paulinho scored again, Lewis Holtby is king of the assists – what a performance from the whole team.'

While summer signings Chadli and Paulinho both got on the scoresheet, Freund also noted the contribution of Vlad Chiriches: 'It’s great to see him, a great performance from the first minute. It’s always difficult to play well straight away and I think they created one chance after a mistake, that shows how strong Vlad played.'

Since the start of the season, Tottenham have conceded only once, to hated neighbours Arsenal in what remains their only loss to date. During that run, the club have shut out Crystal Palace, Dinamo Tbilisi (twice), Swansea City, Norwich City, Tromso, Cardiff City and, most recently, Villa: 'That’s eight clean sheets out of nine.'

That defensive strength could come in particularly handy on Saturday lunch-time, when Spurs entertain Chelsea at White Hart Lane. While Tottenham have won both of their home ties in the league so far this season, they have also kept their sheets clean. Chelsea, in contrast, have suffered travel sickness, are yet to record a victory on the road and have failed to find the goal.

image: © p_a_h

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