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