Teams can often breathe a sigh of relief when the 40 point mark is reached during a campaign. Over years gone by, clubs have based the figure on the likelihood of staving off the threat of relegation and while Tottenham Hotspur's 0-0 draw with Queen's Park Rangers was hardly the most enthralling of encounters, it's comforting that the visitors have now mustered the total thus far.
It could be argued that Spurs did enough to warrant the victory at Loftus Road, having mustered seven shots on target and enjoying 58% of possession. The best opportunity of the 90 minutes came early on after Julio Cesar tipped Jermain Defoe's long range effort onto the post, before the Brazilian recovered well to deny teammate Emmanuel Adebayor.
The Togo star started the game at the expense of Clint Dempsey prior to his final participation with the club before jetting off to the African Cup of Nations next weekend, after initially declaring his retirement last year and again flip-flopping on his decision. However, Adebayor was hauled off in the 68th minute in the place of the American after yet another ineffective performance.
The 28-year-old yet again churned out another lackadaisical display for Spurs in west London on Saturday afternoon, despite starting the encounter off brightly. It's since become the standard of the striker having arrived permanently from Manchester City six months ago.
He spent the year on loan at White Hart Lane last season and with a point to prove, excelled under Harry Redknapp. However, he has, to an extent, taken a step backwards under Andre Villas-Boas, with supporters unfortunately expecting his performances to drop upon his signing.
Now set to miss the remainder of the month for Spurs, potential reinforcements have been mooted. The likes of Leandro Damiao and Klaas Jan Huntelaar, prior to extending his contract with FC Schalke 04, have been linked with a move to the club this month, only for Villas-Boas to deny that any potential deal for a front-man is in the pipeline.
On top of that, the 35-year-old moved to deny reports that Spurs could look to bring in Lewis Holtby this month. The club secured the signing of the 22-year-old a week after the transfer window opened that will see the midfielder arrive on a free over the summer.
Yet, Schalke managing director Horst Heldt hinted that the club could sign him before the end of the month for as little as £1.6m. Nevertheless, Villas-Boas has insisted that he won't arrive until his contract expires in June.
However, it could be wiser for Spurs to bring Holtby in before the end of the month. It has to be said the club are in need of a number 10 to fill the void behind the striker. While Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dempsey have begun to show signs of improvement, the latter in particular, the young Schalke ace has proven in the Bundesliga this season that he can provide the link between the midfield and the front-line on a consistent basis.
His creative influence could've bolstered Spurs' attacking threat against QPR, with the team lacking a player that could pick out a pass in the blink of an eye and unlock the opposition defence against sides that look to halt Villas-Boas' side playing their natural attacking game.
It's exactly what QPR set out to do on Saturday and, as it proved by the 0-0 draw, it worked to great effect. Spurs struggled pushing forward as a result of the R's putting more men behind the ball.
As a result, regardless of the early Defoe and Adebayor chance, Spurs were restricted largely to pop shots against Cesar, despite the 18 efforts fired at the QPR goal. The club are evidently crying out for a player that bolster provide the threat amongst the midfield that, at times, Mousa Dembele can't.
The Belgian may offer the creativity from deep that the team needed to replace upon the departure of Luka Modric over the summer, but Sigurdsson and Dempsey lack the “x-factor” that Rafael van der Vaart offered during his two year stint with the club.
While Villas-Boas insists that Holtby won't be brought to White Hart Lane during January, today's performance could well have altered his choice to not reinvest in the transfer market. A number 10 is essential if Spurs are to secure their place in the top four come May, with teams lower in the Premiership now expected to set up to counteract their creativity and halt them playing their natural attacking game, much like QPR successfully did in the 0-0 draw.