Inside Lane: It’s time for Pochettino to pick a stable back four at Spurs
PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 November 2014
Tottenham blogger Mike Williams says Mauricio Pochettino needs to make his mind up and choose a regular rearguard after just one clean sheet in the last 10 Premier League games.
It’s another season but our defensive uncertainties have continued, and we fielded another much-changed back four at Hull on Sunday – three changes, with Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen and Ben Davies all coming into the side.
Of course, two of those were enforced after Kyle Naughton’s red card against Stoke and Danny Rose’s rib injury, but the fact remains that there is simply no certainty about what our rearguard will look like in any given game.
It is no coincidence that we have only kept one clean sheet in our last 10 Premier League games – despite the fact that we have one of the best goalkeepers in the world. It cannot be much fun for Hugo Lloris, who must find it impossible to get any sort of routine or understanding with the players in front of him.
The constant shuffling at the back cannot be helpful and it seems to suggest that Pochettino is still unsure what his best defence is – although consistency is difficult when we have already had four sending-offs at the back, two apiece for Fazio and Kyle Naughton.
The absence of Kyle Walker at right-back has been a huge blow and his return will be welcomed as he will certainly be a mainstay in the defence. But the remaining three positions still appear to be up for grabs.
Davies had to wait until Sunday for his first league start, despite being a £10million signing, and his battle with Rose rumbles on. We also bought Fazio, but he appears to be more of a gap filler rather than a thought-out transfer – particularly as his arrival followed our failure to land Mateo Musacchio from Villarreal.
The increasing confusion about our best back four makes the decision to make Younes Kaboul club captain even odder, as he is not even certain of his own place.
Once Walker returns, I would like to see a back four of Walker, Dier, Vertonghen and Davies.
For me, Dier deserves a chance in his preferred position at centre-back and would make a good partner for Vertonghen. Whilst the pairing may not be the most reassuring – or one which is certain to work – I feel it offers more comfort than a partnership of Fazio and Kaboul, who are prone to costly mistakes.
Whatever back four Pochettino decides on, I believe it is time for him to make his mind up and give a quartet a continuous run to try and bring some level of stability to the rest of the side.
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