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The Adaptable Player

There seems to be a pattern developing with Jan Vertonghen playing at left back.

When he goes there for more than a couple of games a story appears in the press where he explains that he isn't a left back and is determined to play as a centre half. This has happened a few times now. Its as if he's just reminding AVB that while he's prepared to play there in an emergency he's not happy about it.

While you can talk about the team coming first etc there is an obvious responsibility on the management here, how is it we don't have adequate cover at left back? There is also the counter intuitive point that players can actually be penalised for their adaptability. Jan is the best centre back we have, yet he is the one who has to play out of position. Its like in some companies, rather than the most capable workers being rewarded for their competence they are given the worst jobs because their less capable colleagues couldn't handle them.

In football this goes back a long way, The Don Revie Leeds team included Paul Madely, who seems to have been able to play anywhere in defence or midfield. All that meant was he could never make any position his own. Some players don't worry about this, Gary Mabbut was another who seemed to be able to play anywhere and changing positions never seemed to bother him. But these days many are well aware that flexibility can count against them.

My worry is that at some point Jan's patience will run out. If he reaches the conclusion he's not going to be playing regularly in his preferred position with us then there are plenty of clubs that would be happy to employ him there. So AVB, please, you messed up with the left back position, so one way or another sort it out in January.

Written by jod

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The journalist

Writer: jod Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 8 2013

Time: 5:07PM

Your Comments

Leighton Baines....f6(k man Utd
Clearly we have a proper LB in Rose, Fryers ot he way up but both are injured. Jan argueably a better LB then both of them let alone CB. I find it odd that a player would consistently moan about playing regular football.Defoe is whinging because he's got getting enough game time and Verts is complaining even though he plays nearly every game? Is he really making these comments or is it lazy journos dredging up the same tired old qoutes? Thanks for the new thread Jod.
Slurms McKenzie
Thank god for a new thread, Yes the LB position is a problem, Im sure it will get sorted in Jan, but not sure who, can't see Coentrao, as he's geeting game time in Madrid, nor Baines as he's United bound, and altho United not having the best tme, I dont think we can complete with them for players.
Topho, Im pretty sure if Barca want him, then there's nothing we can do to stop himfrom going there.
He is making the comments Slurms but, of course, he isn't seeking out people to complain, he's made statements that it is frustrating playing out of position. I feel for him personally, he is so talented it shouldn't be a question. Let's hope that Coentrao can be signed on loan so we can have him and Vlad/Kaboul starting... Daws to be the one that drops out
Dan Mac
Baines ain't worth the money United are going to have to lay down to secure his services. But why not make an offer, united pi$$ed off everton by forking around with their pittance of an offer for him and Bouffant Betty
Slurms McKenzie
dan I read it more of him again reminding spurs that they need to invest in a LB, I'm sure he would be equally frustrated if we were playing siggy as our stand in LB and he was being roasted in every game?
Slurms McKenzie
Rose will be back after the break, no doubt, as will Fryers. Naughton is nowhere near as bad as some on here make out. OK, predominantly right-footed, but he did deliver a quality left-footed cross yesterday and seemed to link up really well with Lamela. In 9 his appearances, we are 7-1-1 having 6 clean sheets. He has made one awful back pass (which I still suspect was meant for Vertonghen and not Lloris) but other than that has played it fairly tight offering up 2 assists. Nothing legendary, but like Sigurdsson, is being asked to play out of position and is contributing. That's one more assist than Walker and Townsend combined in about 1/5th the time on the pitch.

BAE was not fit and is out of contract at year's end. He is very unlikely to be the future so that is not where we should be looking. Coentrao loan in January seems a wise idea. COYS
Any time a player can ink a salary that is double or triple what we could pay, they will be at risk to leave. Unfortunately, that's the way it goes. Having CL will have an effect, but nowhere near the end effect of money. Bale was going whether we were in the CL or not, whether we invested heavily in new players or not. COYS
Vertonghen's problem is that he has been moved about for Belgium too. Just because he can play there, does not mean that he wants to.
I think we'll address the LB issue in January. Yes Verts is an exceptional CB, a very able LB also. Whilst it is great to be afforded your preferred position, at times you've got to play for the team. If that means out of position then so be it. If verts then gets p/$$ed off and wants to leave as a result, then do i really want a player who thinks only of himself as opposed to the team playing for my club. I'd slightly understand if as of yet he had no chance of showcasing his talents, however he has and we all know how well he performs in the CB role. It's good to want to concentrate on one role of your game in one position, Is there ulterior motives though?, really excel at CB and see who comes calling. Is this the real issue?.
Cider spurs
Cos I cant be bothered to write a new thread Coopsie, Im content to let other write and I join in the discussion about Spurs!!
Amazing! we have a perfectly adequate LB playing down the road for QPR - the solution is obvious get him back at WHL he is our player. In my humble opinion he is far better than Rose or Fryers anyway! Sign Coentrao in the next window if possible, he would be great for us.
coops...REF: Writing articles. I wish more would take up the gauntlet. I think many have a witty sense of humour and could constuct some very good articles indeed.
Cider spurs
Now thats funny Coopsie!!!!
Considering Chiriches can play LCB and RCB. Would it be a step too far and suggest he could also play LB. Article out there yesterday displaying how adept he is at switching play from Right to Left and vice versa. In fact, was it not you coops that put a link up?.
Cider spurs
again it's media ***** stirring and Jod makes a Story out of it on here as if it's creditablewhat a tosser, is JV going to boycott the belgian national team as well? because he's currently their left back too! get a life and read a grown ups newspaper not the sun.
vertonghen is a great pro and will play where asked, however what he doesn't want is to either no longer be first choice CB because someone else settles there wheel he is playing LB or to generally be saddled with LB long term just because he is very good there too. I have no problem with him reminding AVB that CB is his position and I hope that he remains first choice there when rose is back or others brought in. He remains one of my favourite players
As a long-term LB option I would stump the 7M GBP and get Umititi who can play as LB or as CB. Just means more cover. BAE is gone at the end of the year (as is Gomes) so I don't see the point in having him back. Last season Naughton was often preferred to BAE, which does not bode well for BAE. He, by his own admission, was not fit in the summer. He was only fit mid-September. 30, out of contract and does not get up and down the flank as AVB expects. Capoue on loan in January or get Umtiti. Both would assist us better going forward than any of Rose, Fryers or Naughton, although Rose does have the tools. COYS
If we want to solve our goal scoring problems with Soldado, we should go all out for Baines. He will supply at least 2 or 3 goal scoring crosses each game. He is the best left foot crosser of the ball in the prem league. Oh, and he can also defend. The way that he plays would be the icing on the cake in our team. I truly think he would make us title contenders, not because he is the best player or defender in the prem, but his game is exactly what we need. Crossing just as good as Bale, will score from free kicks and get his fair share of goals. I would be delighted if we spent 15m on him.
Coopsie, no I meant Coentrao. Big oops. Would not send Capoue anywhere but in to our MF. He and Sandro are beasts. I love how they both play. COYS
vicspur, the issue is, he will cost a lot, has already lost half a step and will be getting his last big contract. Fabulous dead ball striker thogh and yes he can still defend. Not getting any younger hough and he is Everton'smost influential player. COYS
Utility player....Holtby!...i wonder if he can play LB? i suspect he could. Naughton's not bad, he just doesn't suit the system on the left (I must have missed his one excellent delivery!)....Rose imo has potential but he's the same age as Walker and not nearly as good...yet Walker gets slaughtered on here. Fryers isn't up to standard yes LB IS a problem, Coentrao would be ideal...but you feel if the deal were to happen it should have already been done....there were murmurings of Ben davies from Swans who could compete with rose for 1st choice....
Peter, I agree, he is not the right age, but nor is Soldado, but like Soldado, he is right for now. Yes, he will probably be stupid money, and the chances of us getting him are next to zero, but he would be the ideal player to have at left back and hopefully allow Friers to develop into something special.
There is talk of real madrid hoping to sign Napoli LB Zuniga paving the way for us to try and sign the £12 million rated player (£25 million on some sites LMFAO). Zuniga only made 6 starts this season, question being, why don't we just sign him?, after all RM are rarely linked with duds.
Cider spurs
shedboy2, Naughton has had many excellent deliveries as the stats bear out. The fact is there was a very useful cross yesterday, left-footed, which seems to show he does have that in him. 2 assists in 9 appearances for a FB is not bad, even bettr when out of position is factored in. COYS
Coops you ask why people don't write articles then you praise jabba who called Jod - the author - a 'tosser',,, could understand if he called him a banker, at least that would have kept in with the calculator puns.
*£12 million rated player Coentrao*
Cider spurs
I'm glad Vertonghen doesn't like playing left back, he is amense at CB. Also he is not quite quick enough to play on the wing when we have inverted wingers in front of him. Left back is really an area we have to improve on and Danny Rose has until January to get fit and become a a top 4 player or be replaced.
****Itv 4 +1 has highlights of Europa league, spurs not been on yet (19:37)
Peter- not sure why you are trying to gloss over the problem at LB...was the one excellent left footed cross the one that hit the defender and went for a corner? i said on another would have to be watching on radio not to see the problem and Naughton playing within himself and just not using the width, it's so obvious it's painful that it's even for stats didn't AVB say something along the lines of 'you could talk stats all day and still not agree'....
vicspur, I think Rose has performed well. Baines would be ideal now, but it would be a matter of diminishing returns and at a huge cost initially. Everton chose to cash in on Fellaini and hold on to Baines. Unless they believe they have no chance at top 6 for the next 3-5 years, I cannot see them cashing in. Umtiti for me. Wages will be less than BAE's and 7M is a fair price for a very talented and fit 19 year old. COYS
It could be that Man U are interested in both Baines and Coentrao.... I also think Baines would be perfect for Spurs and, surely he has at least 3 or more good years left in him. However Coentrao is only 25, also very good on the wing and probably a lot cheaper. United can have Leighton and we get Coentrao. I'd be happy with that......
shedboy2, he is a player playing out of position. I am not blind. I would rather he play at RB to get Walker back down to earth. 2 assists is not a joke stat in 9 appearances. He does make a high percentage of passes and is, contrary to what some suggest, doing his bit in keeping clean sheets. I would rather have Coentrao, Rose, Umtiti there. Fryers is not ready. Thus the best for now is Naughton or Vertonghen, who, we will all agree, is a better CB. I am not glossing it over. I am much more concerned about the lack of useful crosses from our wingers and the lack of service to a strker who needs service. A Lloris injury also stacks up way higher on my list of worries than Naughton at LB. COYS
I'm hopeing we continue with Lamela on the right vs Newcastle. (I would put Lennon on the bench). Townsend on the left...either Left back or Offensive left side. Vertonghen...Kaboul...Dawson...Walker....I feel Vertonghen would love playing behind Townsend.
topho..At no point would i want Vlad there as a first or second choice option. I just wondered whether we thought it was seen as an option as opposed to ...let's say Naughton. Both are going to narrow the pitch being Right footed, just wondered if vlad could also offer some form of cover in this position.
Cider spurs
82spursdebut, I would go the other way on that one. Lamela on the left with Lennon on the right. Vertionghen needs to be at CB and will probably play beside Dawson. Chiriches is possible at LB although I thought Naughton did well yesterday and would have no problem playing him. I would not play Kaboul twice in 7 days for some time. He is far too important a player. COYS
peter- so we are pretty much in agreement that we need a LB....your concerns about width, crosses and service to the striker will all be addressed by a new one!....our system relies on the FB's making the width and supplying crosses the 'wingers' (more inside forwards) drive in on goal and provide a direct threat.....yes we need a new GK but we do have 3 more specialised GK's on the to be us...;)
It's ******ing stupid we've spent £100m and don't have anyone who wants or can any on the left, back or winger. Need to sort this out in January.

One thing I noticed last night is how a lot of our players are playing with no confidence. You could tell this from their change, Lemala with his goal and Eriksen with his second half shot, after that they both really wanted the ball and looked 5 times as quick as before. I'm really looking forward to when one of them become good, we will have an exciting team.
Gonna sound controversial....but If Lennon wants a crack at getting back into the England squad.....then he may be best suited to trying pastures new ...( in Jan'). He may help acquire the monies needed for another Top striker.
Can't help it if both rose and fryers is injured, don't think fryers would have played even if fit. Would rather have vertonghen there than naughton.
82 put Lennon on the right and he'll be our best winger again, no point playing him on the left.
t.H.F....I'm looking forward to when BOTH of them become good. ;-)
Cider spurs
T.H.F.Chris, there was no way we were going to jump in and grab just any left back. Inquiries were made about Coetrao, it did not come about. Rose and Fryers, both LB's were being brought in to the squad with Naughton and Vertonghen as emergency cover. I cannot say that Rose has done poorly (in minutes played, has supplied as many crosses as Walker and, IMO, makes far fewer mistakes deensively. Fryers does not appear ready, though some of his play has been very good. Naughton has done well for a RB forced in to playing LB, as has Vertonghen, a CB forced in to playing LB. BAE was not fit and has not been renewed. He also does not get up and down the flank as AVB desires.

Many of the left-sided issues come down to new faces and injuries. Rose, Fryers, Chadli have all been out. Lamela did not settle straight away andLennon was out. We have coped admirably well. Players should all be back after the break and we can see what AVB truly has in mind. Healthy Rose would have meant Naughton and Fryers might have gotten the odd cup start. How would other teams cope with two LB's injured and their LW out having had to sell one of the best LW in the world of football? We have done very well indeed, IMO. COYS
He hasn't been our best winger for ages...and he never will be again. I do not say that easily.....he was once my Fav' spurs player.
82spursdebut- I have a lot of time for lennon...has been unplayable on the right before but like 442 is dead to AVB I can't help feeling so are wingers in the traditional sense...I wouldn't be surprised to see lennon go in the'll be lennon or Townsend as we now have 3 for the right forward berth...
There appears to be only one reason not to play Verts at LB....because he doesn't like it and we don't want to upset him. A sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with. However, Spurs are in the same dilemma as the Belgium national team. Both are currently blessed with outstanding CBs but no decent LB. Only Verts can play both. To be honest with Chiriches looking good, and Kaboul at last overcoming injury, Verts at LB makes for an outstanding back 4, even if Rose was fit.
82spursdebut, he is our best winger. He is a long way from being our best inverted winger. His decision-making is the opposite of Townsend's. Can spot a pass, beat a man with pace or change of pace, but ask him to shoot, fuggedaboudit. If we could splice Townsend/Lennon, we'd have one of the best RW in the world. Townsend has the tools to get there. I can't see Lennon doing it, but he can certainly get back to the level of play he showed from August 2009 until December 2009 where he was scintillating. Injury and then Harry throwing him under the bus greatly deflated him over te subsequent year. He has it in him. Will never be a great goal scorer but can certainly provide Soldado with some crosses and through balls and cut backs to work with. It is though, just a matter of time before several of Lamela, Townsend, Chadli start clicking and scoring which will render him surplus. That day is not here yet though. COYS
I thought we were poor in the first 45 mins vs Sheriff...... I feel we missed Townsend. We wouldn't miss Lennon.
Domenico Criscito, Alex Sandro, Andrés Guardado (who supplied Soldado) and Emiliano Insua have all been mentioned at one time or another....I'm pretty sure we know LB is a problem and just hope we have the funds to remedy it...wonder who we'll sell to fund it?....and if we get a 1st choice LB Rose can provide cover at LW....if, of course, his crossing is up to it...
82spursdebut- I didn't think we were poor 1st half...we just had no penetration down the left and relied on the right....Lamela played where Townsend was and imo played it just as well if not better than townsend (1 goal, 1 assist for the pen)...
Lennon surplus to could also quite easily play Walker more forward, with Naughton at rightback.
shedboy2, there were 50M GBP available in the summer and we have not spent a farthing. There is money. The questions will be, is it the player AVB wants, does the player make us better and can they be gotten for a fair price? The effect that more additions will have on the squad also needs to be considered. At keeper, striker and LB, this is not a huge concern as all three will need change by July so it is coming, sooner or later. COYS
I should also add that with the wages of Gomes and BAE gone and probably those of one or both of Adebayor and Defoe, there will be lots of salary space to improve without changing our salary commitments. COYS
Lennon's defensive work is grossly underrated. COYS
first half.....I thought we were poor....barely a decent shot. Agreed that Lamela was bright........ to excellent in the 2nd half.
peterballb- it's been the 'company line' that we've had money to spend ever since we stopped spending money!
82 he created the most goals last season, best defensive duties and comes alive in big games - scored winners against arsenal, Liverpool and made the equaliser against Utd.
I'd say Townsends defensive work is also under rated. I'd love to keep Lennon...but just feel he needs a new challenge and THFC need to Challenge le Arse...and others for the extra money for a Top striker. making waves....soon they will be waves goodbye. Adebayor....personally I do not feel he is good enough anymore.
Yes, Lennon did well at the beginning of last season....but time in football is short when playing and long when not. He has been overtaken....surprised to see that happen, but that's your body for you.
shedboy2, the only window where I recall hearing that there was an intention of a net spend was this past one. Modric funds were re-invested, but I do not recall any suggestion of a net spend. After Harry threw all of that money at Keane, Defoe, Crouch, the spending stopped and even then, it was not really spending as we either turn a small profit or a small loss. This year would not have been very different as a 50M spend was suposedly ok'd, but when the 30 plus M of the new TV money and the wage savings of sold/released players was taken in to account, the real amount was about 10M or so. Not a huge spend. Spurs continue to be run in a financially responsible fashion and, as things stand, we'd probably turn a large profit which makes me believe there is money available if the right player/deal comes along. COYS
I have seen improvement in how Townsend tracks back, but he is a long way from being the quality that any of Lennon, Chadli, Lamela are. As I stated, he has all the tools to be a great one for Spurs and for England. It's up to him. He is not there yet. COYS
Talking about adaptable players, our 'keeper is adaptable as he plays sweeper as well. Here is a nice little analysis of Hugo Lloris. It also praises AVB's attitude towards his style. ..............
vicspur I think if we are to solve our Soldado problem we have to stop our wingers cutting in and shooting on sight, mostly ineffectually or losing the ball. WHat they need to do is to supply the crosses that a true winger does, that way Soldado gets the supply he needs, we have width and we score goals and win.
Why the obsession with LBs, when our pressing problems are at the other end of the pitch. We are keeping clean sheets for fun, but have only scored 6 goals from open play in 10 games, hence our problems would appear to be at AMF or winger, to supply the front man, or perhaps we have the wrong front man for the way we wish to play. The way to win games is out score the opposition, a clean sheet only ensures you avoid defeat.
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt
I think that quote says it all.
don't think it will happen, but I think we can play all three of Lamela, Lennon and Townsend. Lamela can play the number 10 role behind Soldado
Frank....But in current set up, are the LB/RB not supposed to be providing the width and crosses from overlapping runs. Would you not consider us to look short at doing this on the Left at times ?. Rose injury highlights this, and the only time i can really recall the LB looking like playing what we require was Verts in 1st half against Everton. To be effective we need a LB who plays in the style of Baines, Rose get's up and down, but the back up options...?.
Cider spurs
"There's no use being satisfied when things are done wrongly. I want perfection." ..Bill Nicholson.
Cider spurs
Frank if we have two inverted wingers who are given licence to shoot on sight then yes Soldado is the wrong man to play up front. Cider quite rightly mentions the backs overlapping which would certainly aid Soldado, but you will need a striker who can create chances for himself with the current setup we have. You could argue Ade can do this, Ade on his day is as effective as RVP or Ibrahimovic but he's not played for us for quite sometime and we don't even know if he's in AVB's plans. So what we need is for Townsend to mix his game or replace him with Lamela or Lennon on the right because a) Lamela mixes his game and looks more of a threat in terms of assists and goals and b) Lennon will guarantee Soldado service into the box. COYS!
cider- spot on. Peter- I guess had we spent the 30m Arry referred to going back to Rossi, forlan etc then we would have had to sell to the tune of 30m! you stick to the company line...I'll use my eyes. I'm yet to hear where the 70m debt on our books came from? Funny we were turning a small profit/loss and then bang suddenly 70m debt...but of course none of our money that could be used on transfers is being used on the,no,no....a dead Southampton owner with less net worth than Lewis spends more on his team...'sucks to be us'....;) Perhaps if they don't want to spend any new money on players they shouldn't ask for any new money from fans and should have frozen ticket/food/drink prices?...I realise the extortion on travel is down to another lot....
Talking of money:
just in time for when we make an appearance!
Sending Benny and the Jets to QPR is the reason for the left back problem, but as Frank says, we don't appear to be having a defensive crisis! It's at the other end that massively needs improving. The supply to Soldado and Defoe has been appalling! But at least Townsend has given hundreds of football fans all over the country the opportunity to catch a real Premier League football... If only they gave them away like in Baseball!
pelebro- mate keep up...we've changed from 442, our wingers are not the main wide supply to our striker...the fullbacks are...that's why Walker is often so far up the pitch and that's why we have no supply from the left...we need a player who can run all day firing in crosses at one end and running back to cover the other...
I can't even begin to dissect the article as I may offend u a little jod, but complete media horse poo for me. As for Verts he is miles ahead of any player in our squad and for me should be our captain. AVB has obviously requested he play LB and to be perfectly honest he can compete there against any player in the world nearly. As for this being a weakness I have to point out that's just plain ignorance and bias opinion. We have seen Jan skip pass players, play precision passes up the wing, cross the ball and even get into the box... I don't really think the fact that Danny is quicker the Verts has anything to do with the game plan and I will categorically state that Verts is a better LB than Rose any day of the week. Another day, another article criticizing AVB and of course the familiar few left clutching at straws...
tophobunty3 I'll get a medium friend of mine to ask him. LOL
yes Verts can play LB...he doesn't like it....and we then remove the 'player who is miles ahead' from his best position...and if we don't resolve the problem and Verts is asked to play there in the second half of the season...will that have shown him ambition or loyalty from the board?...he'll want out. Ignorance
Cider spurs Totally agree with Bill Nich. Nice one.
I know an excellent carpenter who can lay a very good brick and fix your plumbing while he's at it.... ;-)
Topho. I thought you were making a reference to the Roosevelt quote, and seeing as he's dead the only way we could ask him is through a medium. LOL Sorry if I got it wrong.
...Can't play football to save his life!
Agree with Mix. In my opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of the back 4 players, Verts at LB provides the best line up at present (incl a fit Rose). Basically I believe Kaboul and Chiriches are better players at CB than Rose is at LB. Unfortunately that means playing Verts at LB. I am sure he will get over it, he does when he captains Belgium from that position. With the squad we have all the players have to be adaptable.
Of course, another option is just play 3 at the back....
shed players have been moved from their own 'favorite' positions in every team around the world. There is no malice in it whatsoever nor is it a BIG problem, it is a massive benefit to have such a versatile player and one we have to utilize. That's what being a team is called mate. It so happens that or 2 LB are injured and would u kindly point out another club with a 3rd fantastic LB at their disposal??? Or am I being ignorant?
I should add that once all players are fit there are other options such as a back 4 of Kaboul/Chiriches/Verts/Rose. Etc...but i don't think we should play a weakened overall side to accommodate one players wishes.
I usually get Naughton in to pick up the pieces and clean up any mess that's left....
shedboy2, tophobunty3, if you read my post I said sending Benny away has created the left back problem. We had that overlapping left back last season, but someone sent him away? As for the 4-4-2 you speak of we stopped playing that system ages ago. Harry's played 4-5-1 in his last season at the club with VDV playing behind Ade in the hole, so that's old news. AVB has set up his team to be more defensively minded and does not encourage his full backs to overlap and attack as much as Harry did. This would not be a problem if we still had Gareth Bale, or Lamela was in the team playing and creating the chances that we know he can! Townsend has been the weak link up until this point this season in that he has not created the chances or scored the goals so far. Imagine how many goals we would have scored this season if Bale had enjoyed the same possession that Townsend has had this season. We would have doubled our goal tally if he was still around! But Bale was sold to finance AVB's new team. It's that old catch 22 again...
That's a fair point topho, such margins are important, and it'll be down to AVB. I suppose it's the principal I am talking about more than anything.
Verts may not like it but it is not his choice to be perfectly honest. Don't come with nonsense that this will force him to leave either, if Barca come calling he will leave regardless if Spurs win 4 trophies this season...
I am not sure Vertonghen is moaning, media rubbish AGAIN. If he is asked about playing LB he is just being honest, he doesn't want to play LB and it's frustrating. Is he actually GOING to the press and moaning, I think not but if he is asked a question about being to LB he is being honest that is not 'moaning' it is called being 'honest'. He is not going to be employed as a LB and he knows that and I am sure AVB and team will sort it out. Ideally we could do with a LB that can genuinely play there if Rose is injured if Rose is going to be our number 1 LB this season. However, AVB has shown reluctant to play Frayers and Naughton at LB at times whihc indicates he is not convinced either of them are good enough or ready to make that their position is Rose is out. So I would say Naughton is Walker's back up and Fryers goes out on loan and we bring in a 'ready' made player at LB who can play immediately against any opposition. Now if that player becomes first choice over Rose then so be it or if that player is back up to Rose then fine as long as they can be trusted and ready to be back up in any game. Then we have two players for each position who can be relied upon. At the moment AVB is not fully convinced he can rely upon Fryers and naughton for LB cover and so he needs to sort it out and besides Fryers needs games.
WorldPeace..It's the same as all the fuss made about Defoe and his talk of regretting leaving West Ham. He was asked a question about it and gave an honest reply. He was just admitting to his mistake and bad timing when handing in a transfer request. That's all.
Good post Wp
pelebro Keeping Benny would have KEPT a LB problem in as much as that he was a total liability. I think that even though we do have problems there at the moment, we are still stronger without him than with him. We are shipping less goals and keeping clean sheets. YES I know a lot of that is down to Lloris as well but we are stronger in defence without the "Lets go walkabout halfway through the game" Benny.
lol topho whilst WP pointed out Verts has on several occasions during an interview said he prefers to play at CB, he in no way is MOANING! Something urself and few others here do all too well lol
What was ur point re pointing out that verts has said it publicly on 3 occasions. What doesn't really need a third time? U clearly saying Verts is moaning about not playing Lb WHEN he was responding to an interview question by being honest. God forbid we have 3 separate journos asking our player the same question on 3 separate occasions and now it's as if the player is on strike? Go back and read those interviews where his position is made very clear and to second that here is AVB's comments "I have had lots of conversations with Jan regarding this situation," Villas-Boas said. "Unfortunately he has to sacrifice his position as centre-back for the team. "His position at centre-back is not in question. "He is one of the greatest central defenders I have worked with. "He knows that and he knows that position is waiting for him whenever we have options at left-back. "He has my word. "He hasn't fallen in love (with playing at left-back). "I know he doesn't like it, but it's no big deal. "It's a decision I have to make for the best of the team."
Vertonghen probably understands the situation and is unlikely to make waves....short term. BAE..yes, loved him ..very goo fullback....but he wasn't so great in the new AVB wingback system, last season. Could also ay that he doesn't have as much stamina to get up and down the wing as Rose. We occasionally saw that Benni' was slightly lazy in not getting back into defensive positions. Like Lennon....I just don't think Benni' and Lennon suit what AVB is seeking. I really hope....Vertonghen is left back, with Townsend in front of him and Lamela is continued on the right offensively.....versus Newcastle.
chrishove123, I agree with you on Benny. On the attacking front the team were stronger with him. But the defense is stronger now without him! So I do understand why AVB made the decision. Which brings it back to Townsend who has not been able (even though he does work his socks off) to rise to the levels of the great Gareth Bale who would have probably scored about 10 goals already this season with the opportunities Townsend has had on the edge of the box. A ridged back four is fine if the creative midfielders are doing the business at the other end! This is what has been sadly lacking so far... But maybe Towsend will come good and maybe, just maybe Lamela will be the one to replace Gareth? From what I saw on Thursday the potential is most definitely there!
I'd rather have Naughton than BAE, BAE together with Friedel scared the crap out of me. If he is that good,whats he doing in the championship,. at 29 and supposedly at his peak. As for Verts he is an excellent CB but needs to be paired with a strong defender like Kaboul or Dawson to cope with the physicality of the PL. Note how the much maligned Dawson had Lukaku in his pocket.
matt hoten
I liked Benny, but he had his lapses of concentration/decision making. Five minutes ago we saw a typical example for Readings first goal v QPR. IMO.
No more inverted wingers.
Good managers play tactics and systems that get the best out of their players, apart from gareth bale its been a long time since our players played at their best
Mix a 3rd fantastic LB?...I would suggest we don't even have 1 fantastic LB! Verts is not a LB! sure he'll cover the odd game and he's better than Rose and fryers isn't even in the same class...but that just proves the point that LB IS a problem...

Chelsea, Manu, city, liverpool, Arsenal all have better 1st and 2nd choice LB's...
and manu want a new LB!
Then there are teams like Everton and Southampton who's 1st choice LB's are streets ahead of Rose... As for Verts, he won't make an issue of long as it's sorted but if you make a player unhappy and show no ambition or commitment to them they'll leave that much easier...and for less.
tophobunty3 Just because the majority say it is good doesn't mean it IS good. I never really rated benny as even when he was playing well over those two seasons he still went walkabout which led to a slack defence and lost us games. Also he wasn't fast enough getting back from when he decided to go up top. OK I admit he did have really good spells for us, but my main concern was that a player of his supposed standing and supposed quality just was not consistent enough and didn't have the footballing brain needed for a team that is going to challenge for Cl and the Prem no. 1 spot. Prime example was Stoke when all he had to do was kick the ball out of play to waste a bit of time and let the rest of the team get back to defend and crowd the Stoke players out, but no what does he do? He just hoofs it upfield without thinking about the consequences, and we all know what happened next don't we. They went and scored. Moments like that cost us points and therefore can/will cost us dear in the race for CL and or the Prem top spot. I do like the guy as a person and I respect him for being one of the first out on the streets after the riots and all, but IMHO he just doesn't quite cut the mustard for us as a top four team.
If our system is in need of a LWB and we haven't got one, then obviously we are ill equipped to play this system. It maybe be AVB's preferred system and philosophy, but if we can't at the moment play it successfully then is it not possible to change the system. Liverpool and City seem quite successful playing with 2 up front and score goals, God forbid we actually change.
tophobunty3 Where on earth did I say I don't like him as a person. Please read my posts properly mate, I quote verbatim from my post just above yours.......................................................................... I do like the guy as a person and I respect him for being one of the first out on the streets after the riots and all, but IMHO he just doesn't quite cut the mustard for us as a top four team............................... I don't suppose many people who like him have met him either, but I am going on what I have read about him and seen him do outside the field of sport. Maybe in your opinion I am wrong, but I'm not saying he was rubbish or (rap I'm just saying he's not good enough for us NOW as a team that wants the top spot in the Prem and wants to win the CL in the near future, and yes he DID have some storming games for us and he saved our bacon a few times, just that he seemed to get lazy because he KNEW he was in the team regardless, and couldn't seem to get out of that mindset. Maybe it has a lot to do with how 'Arry was with him I don't know, but he went downhill rapidly for someone of his supposed quality, but I still say he was too inconsistent even over those two seasons. Plus two seasons a great player does not make. As for the job, no I did get it, but I actually turned it down because I got a better offer, My wife wanted to go out to work again and she is an accountant, so I now do the house husband thing while she goes out to work. She is earning more than I would have so that's OK. LOL Gives me time to work on my music and filmmaking now without the pressure of social on my back every other week. Nice to have a good conversation with you mate.
Topho, there are others on here who actually agree with me about Benny too.
topho....Vlad's usual starting position for Steaua was actually Left CB. He can operate on the Right of the pairing, soething he does for the National team.
Cider spurs

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