Writer: Bernio Villas-Spuras
Date:Tuesday December 10 2013
I'd like to start this post by commending Michael Dawson. He's a very vocal player, seems like a genuinely nice guy off the pitch and has given us 8 years of committed service since his transfer from Nottingham Forest in 2005.
With a revolving door in full flow at White Hart Lane, it was very difficult to know who to give the captain's armband to, especially as we had a new manager, but the series of events which led to Dawson's appointment were fairly bizarre, seeing himself transfer listed only weeks before.
I can't stress enough how much characters can help a dressing room and how vocal leadership can help players on the pitch, but I feel with Michael Dawson, the cliches which make up his career, such as 'he gives 110%', 'he wears his heart on his sleeve' and 'he puts his body on the line' pave over the cracks somewhat.
For me, if it was on ability alone, Dawson would be dropped. In fact, if it was on ability alone, clocks would be turned back and Caulker would have been kept in place of him and Dawson would be playing for QPR. The reason why there is any debate in my eyes is the fact that football isn't just about ability, but it is about fight and desire.
Daws, as I've mentioned, is extremely vocal on the pitch. He directs but in my opinion, can't act. He's the footballing equivalent of Quentin Tarantino having a cameo appearance in one of the many great films he's brought us. For example, I feel that Etienne Capoue, although we were told he could play centre back, made his first appearance in that role for us in a tricky tie in the North East on Saturday. I felt he had a much better game than Dawson and looked more composed on the ball and was more positionally sound than our captain.
I feel that Vertonghen looks the better part of the pairing whenever they line up and I feel the same about Chiriches and Caulker (when we had him). The only time, for me, where Dawson has looked in any way comfortable at centre back is when he lined up with the King. It was almost like Ledley's aura spilled and created a sense of calm for his partner. Is Dawson, perhaps in a more eccentric fashion than King, having the same effect on his defensive partner?
Would Capoue have had as good a game against Sunderland had Dawson not been there? I think it's very easy to say that we could see a pairing of Capoue and Vertonghen against Liverpool and perhaps would do better, but I guess that depends on your view on whether character is overrated or essential on a football pitch. Thoughts, as always are welcome.
Written by Bernio Villas-Spuras
Date:Tuesday December 10 2013
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