The Europa League is here and chances are, Maurico Pochettino is going to do a little bit more rotating than Andre Villas-Boas did. Our group is also a bit tougher this year, so second place or an early exit wouldn't be terribly shocking. If that happens, we're not going to get too broken up about it.
Here's what we're looking for, even more than a win.
A chance for Fazio and Vertonghen to strike up a partnership
When neither Federico Fazio or Jan Vertonghen were included in the lineup over the weekend, we assumed it was because Pochettino wants to get them time together outside of the Premier League before introducing them in the big show. This match against Partizan Belgrade is the perfect opportunity for them to do so. Give them some time together in a couple Europa League and cup matches, and if things go according to plan, shift them into the first choice role by the end of the month.
Michel Vorm's debut
We love you, Brad Friedel, but your time has come. Michel Vorm wouldn't have been purchased if Poche thought Friedel was still at the top of his game, and since he had a pretty good gig at Swansea, he'll probably be less than thrilled if he's not even the Europa League and cup keeper.
Minutes for Harry Kane
Emmanuel Adebayor is first choice up top and Nacer Chadli is going to keep his spot as long as he's scoring goals, but the Europa League needs to be a place for Harry Kane to get starts. He's looked excellent as both a striker and wide forward in preseason and early appearances, and he has a chance to become a first choice star for Spurs going forward if he gets enough time to develop his game. Playing him in The Jay Rodriguez Role or at center forward is fine, just play him.
A rest for those we can't afford to lose
At the moment, that's Hugo Lloris, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela. This might vary from month to month, but at the moment, these are our three best and most important players. They should be fresh for league matches. Park them on the bench. Heck, leave them at home. This is a deep squad. They don't even need to go to Belgrade.
A team that tries things
Under multiple managers, we've experienced a phenomenon in which our first choice team looks good, but B-plus team or total B-team struggles to create anything dangerous. In Europa League, with a lot of backups playing, I'd rather see a 4-3 game than a 1-0 game. Poche should make sure that the likes of Kane, Nabil Bentaleb, Andros Townsend, Aaron Lennon and Paulinho aren't afraid to try things. Play one-twos, backheels, Hollywood balls, etc. Just be fun.