The International break is over and it’s back to business this weekend with a must-win game against Swansea. The Swans’ home form has been impressive throughout their Premiership tenure so any victory will have to be earned.

At such a crucial stage of the season now, more than ever, is the time for leaders to make their mark both on the pitch and in the dressing room.

A lack of leadership has been an issue this season at times and in the absence of the mercurial Ledley King, who will show themselves to be the man for the job over the next few weeks? the man “who would be King” if you like? let’s take a look at the candidates:

Hugo Lloris:

The French captain has been nothing short of a revelation this season. He waited patiently for his chance and grabbed it with both gloves when he came along. Cool, calm and a great organiser his leadership at the back is going to be crucial.

Michael Dawson:

It’s been a tough season for Daws, his tribulations at the start of the season with the proposed move to QPR have been well documented but as the season has gone on he has got his chance to shine and has seldom disappointed, even reclaiming the captain’s armband. The changes in partnership at the centre of defence haven’t helped matters but always a good talker, Dawson’s experience will be vital between now and the end of the season.

Jan Vertonghen:

“Super Jan” has had an excellent first season in the premier league, confident on the ball and comfortable in the middle or on the left side of the back four, the Spurs faithful have taken him to our hearts this year. Vertonghen has good experience with the captain’s armband at former club Ajax, this year might be a bit soon for him to become a leader in the dressing room but he’s unmistakably a future captain in-waiting.

Scott Parker:

Hasn’t quite scaled the heights of his impressive form last season, as I mentioned last week, his long-term lay-off at the start of the season meant he was always playing catch-up Parker seems to miss the guile and craft of Modric but his partnership with Dembele has loads of potential and the coming weeks will hopefully highlight that.

Gareth Bale:

The Welsh wizard would appear to be one of the quieter characters in the dressing room but he does his talking where it counts….when he crosses the white line on a Saturday. His form this season has been breathtaking, with each game his value to the team grows and grows, we can only hope he carries it through till the end of the campaign.

Jermain Defoe:

It’s been a difficult few months for the front man, injuries, a loss in form and the recent tabloid revelations about his recent paternity test are all bound to have weighed heavy on Defoe’s shoulders. His firepower is needed now more than ever especially with Adebayor being in one of the biggest slumps of his career, he will need to lead from the front over the remainder of the season.

The rest of the squad will all have to play their part over the course of the next few weeks, the younger lads will be looking to the experience of the players above and old heads like William Gallas will also have to play their part.

We all know the pain and heartache the players and fans went through last year and to go through the same catastrophe again would be unthinkable, someone has to take the initiative and take charge.

A popular quote states that leaders are born, not made…..let’s just hope that between now and early May a leader among men appears among the Lilywhite ranks and leads us back to the promised land of Champions League football.

COYS