If there's one thing that Tottenham Hotspur need to improve under Tim Sherwood, it's the defense. That important aspect of the team should be shored up by the return of several injured players, namely Sandro and Jan Vertonghen. Both, along with Paulinho and Younes Kaboul, returned from injuries to play in a reserves friendly against West Ham. Paulinho scored in the match and youngster Harry Kane added a brace to give Tottenham the win.
Sandro played the 1st half while Jan, Paulinho and Younes played 60 minutes. Paulinho was on target as we won 3-0 in the private friendly.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 23, 2014
Team work: @YounsKabs4, @paulinhop8 and @sandroraniere in our 3-0 friendly win v West Ham today #COYS pic.twitter.com/dyydHgAKaD— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 23, 2014
Sixty minutes for Vertonghen, Paulinho, and Kaboul is a great sign, particularly since Tottenham won't play a match until Wednesday of next week. 60 minutes of match time, and an additional week of training could mean that all of those three are ready to go a full 90 minutes if needed. A half of play for Sandro could indicate the same, but with the emergence of Nabil Bentaleb and the continued existence of Etienne Capoue, if Sandro does play for Spurs against City, I would imagine he only plays about 60 minutes.
The return of Vertonghen, who will finally get to play in central defense, and Sandro who is one of the best defensive midfielders in the league if not Europe, will be huge for Sherwood's defense. Thus far the rookie manager has managed to get Spurs' goal-scoring back on track, but the team has still looked rather frail at the back. Vertonghen and Sandro alone would almost certainly be enough to limit most of Tottenham's problems.