After the result, and the classy back-heeled goal that incited a degree of ecstasy only a stoppage-time winner can, it is the wealth of chances Tottenham created against Cardiff that must be lauded.

Spurs may have beaten both Crystal Palace and Swansea in their opening Premier League fixtures but they did so through a solitary penalty in each, and a troubling proposition immediately arose; how long will it take for all their new talent to click?

It didn't happen against Arsenal, and they may as well have dug their own Maginot Line around the Arsenal penalty area. They dared not venture into winning territory, despite enjoying an amount of possession only Barcelona and Bayern Munich have surpassed in recent seasons at the Emirates, and it only added to the feeling that this new Tottenham team would need some time.

How much time, you say? About another two league games.

Andre Villas-Boas' side were excellent against Norwich but this victory over Cardiff had a far more catalytic feel to it and it was not the class nor the timing of the goal, grabbed by the new Brazilian dynamo Paulinho in the dying seconds, that gets the socks sweaty.

It was the Tottenham blitzkrieg; their attacking dominance and the bombardment of Ben Marshall, the Cardiff City keeper, that brought a repeated look of horror not only to the faces of City's defenders but undoubtedly Spurs' top-four rivals watching at home too. In a 3-2 defeat, Manchester City had real problems with Cardiff not even a month ago. Tottenham heard only the faint whispers of their screams on Sunday.

The statistics alone show how Spurs are improving rapidly. Against Cardiff, they had 29 attempts on goal with 12 on target. Before that against Norwich they had 23 attempts with seven on target, against Arsenal it was 14 and four, Swansea it was 19 and five, and at Crystal Palace it was 17 and just two. With Spurs finding their way to goal with increasing ease and fluidity, clarity of thought and practice is leading to better accuracy.

The new Spanish striker, Roberto Solado, typified the teething problems Villas-Boas' team were having and his impact in all four prior league games had been nominal. But he led the shooting onslaught against Cardiff despite not scoring, with four of the team's 12 efforts on target, and he appears on the cusp of opening a goalscoring floodgate.

This is ominous for Spurs' upcoming opponents, the most mouthwatering of them being Chelsea on Saturday, but just as foreboding was the performance of the goalscorer Paulinho. He, like Soldado, was yet to set anyone's pants on fire but he had two efforts from inside the area on target before his third found the back of the net, and he is beginning to time his runs into the penalty area to the millisecond, and doing it far more often.

With Christian Eriksen needing no time at all to be a dangerous dinner-service for Spurs' wealth of attacking players, the newest being the Argentinian winger Erik Lamela (who looks like a gazelle with two shotguns strapped to his hooves), Tottenham look to have reached full-swing much sooner than expected and the true test of that will come when Jose Mourinho's Chelsea visit White Hart Lane this weekend.

But it is no coincidence Spurs are joint-top of the Premier League and, although mentioning his name has become even more tired than the format of Match of the Day, Gareth Bale may raise his eyebrows at his old club's current league position.