Andre Villas-Boas has ruled out using Gareth Bale in his original position of defence after a home win against QPR on Sunday took an uphill battle following the lack of pace and skill going forward – due to the Gareth Bale not being able to press.
AVB told reporters:
‘We decided to play with Gareth at left-back because we thought he would give us more width,’ said the 34 year old.
‘But we were much more steady in the second half when we made changes.’
But the Mourinho protege is spoiled for choice in defence if his team stays fit with Kaboul, Gallas, Vertonghen and Caulker all being key members in central defence. However, as displayed on Sunday, when Vertonghen is forced to the left back position, the centre of defence is very strained considering the long term absence of Younes Kaboul.
With Naughton, Assou Ekotto and Kaboul all being injured, it has allowed Steven Caulker to get game time in a Spurs shirt and consequently impress the onlookers who have hailed him as a long term replacement for John Terry in the England squad.
AVB has currently got a mild injury crisis at Tottenham currently however, with 4 key members of the team being out injured. This includes Assou-Ekotto, Parker, Kaboul and Adebayor who were all part of Redknapp’s team last year as they finished fourth in the League.
Jan Vertonghen has already established himself as a fan favourite at Spurs, with his flexibility regarding his defensive manner being the main reason for Bale’s up-field antics on Sunday.
Michael Dawson is currently looking beyond a surplus for Villas-Boas, with Caulker and Gallas both being more favoured by the manager. This is due to the injury prone nature of Dawson not allowing AVB to create a consistent back four. As well as this, his pace is out of favour with the new manager, who emphasises his need for a high line making the acceleration of defence even more important.
Finally, with a vast defence of Assou-Ekotto, Walker, Naughton, Vertonghen, Gallas, Kaboul and Caulker, it allows the team to have some rotation and secondary options but if another injury crisis occurs, there might be a defensive problem for AVB.
But if the defence does stay fit, once the team sort out the final glitches of the defensive approach, the team should be solid enough to reduce the number of goals they concede by quite a dramatic number.