Tottenham Fullbacks Davies and Aurier Must Start over Rose and Trippier
Spurs have some choice in their fullback position, with different players offering differing qualities. Nevertheless, they should continue to utilise Ben Davies and Serge Aurier, who are having the better spells currently. Mauricio Pochettino must be wary of favouring the right player for the right situation, though, and keep an eye on these players’ form.
Left-Back: Davies Purple Patch
On top form, Danny Rose is a better player than Ben Davies. He has had a remarkable past few seasons playing at an incredibly consistent level. However, since his injury, Davies has replaced him with growing confidence. He has put in some pleasing performances this season. For example, his tackling is usually strong full-bodied and leads his team-mates to match his determination. Defensively in general, he is competent at keeping out even the highest of threats. When attacking, he hasn’t been as effective as Rose in his top form, but nevertheless is beginning to reap success.
Pochettino is perhaps a little hesitant to field Rose for two reasons. Firstly, due to his recent injury, he wishes to ease the player back in. Davies is coping well, and thus, there is no need to rush a player back into the fray. However, a more sinister reason could be related to Rose’s attitude. He has openly expressed his discontent at his wage settlement with the club. And, until the club addresses the vast gap between Levy’s wage structure versus rival clubs’ structures, this will continue to affect the squad and club. However, most players have shown utter commitment despite this. It would be difficult to argue that there is much substance to a potential attitude problem of Rose, though. In truth, his long-term knee injury is one that requires careful maintenance.
Right Back: Aurier Must Start
Aurier is far more physical and exciting to watch than Kieran Trippier. He may be more prone to rashness and has already received his first red card for Spurs, but he is still the better choice. Another interesting part of his game is his partnership with Moussa Sissoko. When the two players were fielded against Real Madrid, they had good cohesion and brought the best out of each other. This actually helps to bolster two positions, just with one player, in Aurier.
Nevertheless, when recently called upon, Trippier has played well. He doubled last seasons take-ons in the Premier League, with two take-ons against Manchester United. His cross for Phil Jones’ own goal was pinpoint. So there are signs that Trippier is starting to cement his role with such stellar performances. However, his diminutive stature means that he suffers physically when bullied by attackers. Furthermore, his biggest flaw is that he often passes the ball sideways or backwards. In comparison, Aurier is much more keen to surge forward on the offensive. In this way, he very much embodies Kyle Walker.
Another option is to field Kyle Walker-Peters. He has been involved in seven matches so far this season. Particularly at the start of the campaign, he was favoured by Pochettino. However, since then, his appearances have been limited to cameo roles. There is much to merit this young player’s game, with pace, good possession of the ball and an eye for attacking along the wing. However, he has been pushed out by players of superior experience who will be relied on instead of him. He is contracted with the club till 2020 and is likely to be waiting on the sidelines should his number be called on.
There was a time where Spurs had to play right-footed Kyle Naughton at left-back. Now the club can call upon seven fullbacks. Currently, Pochettino should favour the on-form Davies to Rose, who is recovering from injury. On the right flank, Aurier deserves to start over Trippier, who provides more physical power and attacking intent. But, injury and poor form are likely to strike throughout the latter part of this season, and thus Trippier, Rose and even Walker-Peters could well see some extensive game-time soon.