Benny's back! But will he start?
Benoit Assou-Akotto will return to training this week, after rest not surgery (hopefully) solved his knee injury that has seen him miss the last six weeks of football.
In his and Kyle Naughton's absence, Jan Vertonghen has stepped into the left back role and Steven Caulker has also played very well in the centre of defence, to perhaps give AVB another nice headache, one of several he would be pleased to have on a par with that of Friedel/Lloris, Defoe/Adebayor and several others, which has to be seen as a major positive for the future.
BAE has looked pretty good this season, though as we all know, he is prone to the occasional lapse and will always raise our blood pressure up a point or two with his 'entertaining' risk taking, but isn't that why we all love him? Question is, whether Vertonghen and Caulker have done enough to keep him out of the starting line up for the short term at least?
For me, it seems sensible to ease BAE back into the side, in preference to rushing him straight back. Vertonghen, Caulker and the defensive unit as a whole look solid and are also functioning well in support of the attacking part of our game. Based on that and perhaps giving Benny a little longer to regain his fitness, would we be better to perhaps look at easing him back in the Cups rather than against Chelsea and with games against Maribor in the Europa and Norwich in the Capital One, we have two games a week to test both him and hopefully Kyle Naughton and at the same time consider resting Vertonghen and Walker to keep things fresh and also everyone happy...