Date:Friday March 1 2013
I have taken part in an interesting debate over the qualities and failings of Younes Kaboul and whether he is the defensive missing link or will be a spare part?
Playing only once this season at a time when it is fair to say that none of the defenders had truly embraced the tactical demands of the new manager and for me, only William Gallas seemed to have any idea what the hell was happening in pre-season games, makes if impossible to judge on anything but gut feeing and instinct, as to whether Younes Kaboul has the footballing quality and brain to take our defence to the next level.
The reality is that defensively, we have been very impressive and appear to be getting better and more confident as a unit, though understandably individual mistakes will always happen, as we saw with Jan Vertonghen trying to play Joe Cole off-side as opposed to tracking his run, but even the best tactical mind is only as good as the individuals he coaches, and so far, our defenders and team as a whole seem to be embracing the tactical demands and improving as a result.
Though Younes Kaboul was probably our best defender last season, he does have that reputation for losing concentration and relying on his pace and strength over positional anticipation, something that may be his failing under the new regime, however, it could easily be just what he needs to take him on to the next level of his development.
In the last week or so, we have read that Kaboul was interesting Russian Zillionaires, Anzhi, either on loan or in a permanent deal, and of course that sparks a debate over whether he is a player that has a future with Spurs or not, under AVB. Do we believe that Spurs had put a price on his head or the other story, that Villas-Boas dismissed any thoughts of letting the player leave?
So many considerations are potentially involved in whether he could or should stay or go, that are beyond the consideration of his football ability. Firstly how strong and long term is his knee recovery? Do Spurs feel he will be back to his best or worry that this is the start of the finish for a player that will be plagued with knee problems and therefore its better to sell now.
I also believe that he is in the last 18 months of his contract (Don't quote me on that..) and of that is the case, you assume that talks have at least started. How are they going and are both parties happy with talks to date? Do his wage demands fit into Tottenham's budget? is the length of the deal agreeable? Especially if there are concerns over his injury. At 27, do either party see this as a good time to part whilst the player is entering his peak and money making years and Spurs can also recoup more now than in 18 months time, when either he is out of contract or too close to thirty? All speculation, however all points for consideration.
As a player you imagine that Kaboul would be a great partner for Jan Vertonghen. He ticks all the boxes of outstanding pace, size and strength, with a very respectable technical ability. On all of those, he compares very well against Dawson, Gallas and Caulker, but does he have that football brain and ability to anticipate trouble and also play to the greater tactical demands, as opposed to being reactive and relying on his physical qualities that he seems to have done so far during his career?
I have to say, that a Kabs / Vert pairing at the back excites me greatly, however I also have that worry that he will struggle to adapt to greater tactical demands and also that he will struggle with injury and over time will have to adjust his game to a more considered approach, something that he may or may not be able to do. In some cases, taking a break from the game, adds hunger and also knowledge and that could be the case with Kaboul. Having the physical and technical qualities are not something that a manager can teach at 27, but you hope that Kaboul does have the awareness and growing maturity to embrace change and greater responsibility and in the longer term adding those qualities will actually fulfil his potential as opposed to finding him wanting...
Date:Friday March 1 2013
In Levy We Trust* (Thursday May 23 2013)
Bale to Stay; But where does he Play? (Thursday May 23 2013)
The Cantona of North London! (Wednesday May 22 2013)
End of Term Report (Wednesday May 22 2013)
2013/2014 - The year of change (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Damned if we do (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Silly season is here!! (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Gutted (Monday May 20 2013)
In summary. (Monday May 20 2013)
VIDEO: Spurs Confident Of Keeping Bale (Monday May 20 2013)
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