Many were left stunned at Stamford Bridge when Kieran Trippier made an awful mistake, scoring a comical own-goal to seal Chelsea’s win in the London Derby on Wednesday night.
However, this isn’t the first time Spurs’ full-backs have left them down this season.
While the mistakes aren’t as glaring as the England man’s comical gaffe, Spurs have a persisting issue when it comes to defending through the wings. There’s a reason why teams look to work down the sides to hurt them.
Trippier himself has made errors leading to goals multiple times, famously against the Manchester clubs this season when he gave the ball away leading to Marcus Rashford’s goal for United and being beaten too easily by Raheem Sterling for Riyad Mahrez’s goal.
Not only Trippier, but second-in-command Serge Aurier’s also infamous for his error-prone nature. A temperamental full-back often too aggressive for his own good, Aurier’s often made glaring mistakes in allowing attackers past him and costing goals for Spurs.
Danny Rose is quite similar, being questionable defensively and often being the target for opponents to run through, having dipped since the 2015/16 campaign that made him England’s first-choice left-back.
Ben Davies is probably one of Spurs’ more consistent outlets, but even he was outsmarted with Pedro’s movement on Wednesday night. While Spurs’ full-backs are big assets going forward because of their drive and crossing ability, they’ve created this hole of vulnerability on the defensive end.
After watching his side lose back-to-back games, Mauricio Pochettino needs to face reality. The most glaring problem is with his full-back’s frailties, as he needs to work them to be stronger and wiser defensively to weather the storm ahead.
Time to spend, Daniel Levy.