It took only 15 minutes and one misdirected header for Mauricio Pochettino to have second thoughts.
If Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard showed here three weeks ago how a ‘false nine’ can be used to devastating effect, Lucas Moura demonstrated in the first quarter of an hour on Saturday what happens when the role is taken to the extreme.
Namely, so false as to be virtually invisible.
Lucas Moura struggled playing as false nine for Tottenham against Newcastle on Saturday
After 15 minutes, Mauricio Pochettino shuffled his pack and moved Moura out to the left
Fernando Llorente replaced Moura on the hour mark and provided more of a focal point
But then the Brazilian re-appeared, unmarked and under no discernible pressure.
Six yards from goal, he rose to meet Erik Lamela’s clipped cross. The Wembley crowd rose in expectancy, almost certainty.
But Lucas sent the ball wide of the near post and Pochettino had seen enough - moving Son Heung-min inside and pushing Lucas out to the left for the rest of the half.
This was Spurs’ fifth game without Harry Kane, and the manager’s fifth different attacking unit in that time.
Back three, back four, midfield diamond, two up top - each week Pochettino has tweaked his team and his system in search of a winning formula while Kane recovers from an ankle injury which could keep him out until March.
Since that defeat by United they have been dumped out of two domestic cups, while two late winners have saved his side from further setbacks in the league.
By the final whistle, that had become three. Another system, the same nail-biting result.
On Saturday, they started in 4-3-3, with Lucas flanked by Son on the left and Erik Lamela.
Pochettino has not settled on an alternate Tottenham attack in Harry Kane's absence
Llorente was left moaning at the sun after getting a header all wrong when a chance fell to him
But following Lucas's missed header, Son moved