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The Danny Rose or Ben Davies conundrum

The Danny Rose or Ben Davies conundrum

The left back position has been pretty much undisputed for most of this season because of the ongoing injury issues of Danny Rose; however, with our No.3 now looking to be back to full fitness, is there a case to be made for him to replace Ben Davies as the club`s first choice for the last few months of the season?

It`s not a simple 'yes` or 'no` answer in my opinion.

We all have our own thoughts on the England International`s not-so subtle attempts of getting a pay rise from Levy, and the rumours that he could leave the club at the end of the season. But let`s leave that aside for the moment and look purely from a footballing perspective.

Rosey offers a far greater threat going forward, largely down to his explosive pace and his dribbling abilities that enables him to go inside and out of the opposing midfield and defences.

In his absence, Davies has certainly been a solid presence at full back and has delivered a fair few assists - no more so than the tantalising cross for Harry in the north London derby - but as we hit the business end of the season would we not benefit from this injection of pace from the wide areas; especially as we are facing a lot of struggling sides in the run-in that are likely to sit back against us.

I don`t think it is any coincidence that we started to make great inroads in the 2nd half against Rochdale when Danny started to get up and down the left wing, creating ample space for Dele and Son to exploit centrally.

It is a tough call for Poch to make to restore him, but one that is necessary if we are going to ensure we finish in the top four.

Poll now live - Who should be Tottenham`s 1st choice left back?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:White Hart
Date:Wednesday February 21 2018
Time: 10:00AM



How can you run past defenders that are sitting back? You have to run through them!

Danny doesn't just need to be back to full fitness, he also needs to be back to full form.

Personally, I think Davies is on top of his game right now. And so, how does Rose get to take over from him?

Well he doesn't need to do that, as rotation between the two looks to me to be the better option... I'll not give an opinion on who should play in what match, against whatever kind of opposition, because I honestly haven't a clue.

What I will say is that Ben seems very underrated to me. And is just as effective as an attacker as he is a defender. When I now compare him to Danny, I see both are as equally capable IMO, albeit in differing ways. (No two players being the same)

In other words, given that Rose still looks rusty to me and Ben has done a very good job in his absence, I think that Danny still needs to be eased back in. And if and when he starts to look the superior player, then perhaps he gets the nod over Ben, more often than not... If!

To have two such talented left backs to choose from and rotate, as and when Pochettino feels it fit and necessary, doesn't look or feel like much of a dilemma to me, thankfully

For Spurs to keep up the challenge for a top 4 spot and to continue in both the FA cup and CL, it will be a major boost and benefit to have both players fit and firing on all cylinders, right up until the end of the season.

If Spurs can continue (and hopefully) improve on their current form with a fit Danny Rose available, it won't be merely down to him returning. It will be because of having both him and Ben to now fully utilise and, not just because of one or the other.

Hot Tottingham
21/02/2018 08:16:00
Ben Davies has been performing great of late, but lets not hide from the fact that we are a far more dangerous team with Rose at left back. @Hot Tottingham - To your point about teams sitting back, it is vital that you have pace on the wing as it opens up the opposition and draws their out defensive line, something that you don't get with Davies and Trippier in the team. Both players are great deliverers of a football, but that doesn't help break a strong defensive unit that sits back. That is why we have struggled against Swansea, Burnley, and WBA at home this season as we couldn't break them down and just played a series of sideway passes - as we run out of ideas to break their defensive resolve through the centre. The pace of Rose and Aurier bring a different dynamic to our attack and that is why Danny will prove key to us in the season run-in.
Martin Crawford
21/02/2018 12:17:00
I agree that in the past we have often been more dangerous with Danny on the left, than with Ben. I just don't think this will necessarily be the case for the rest of the season. I of course don't know this for certain but going on how Davies has been performing of late, I wouldn't bank on Danny being markedly better. I also disagree with you Martin that speed of foot neccessarily gains an advantage against a packed (parked bus) defence. Speed of play maybe but, that is not the same thing as running fast, IMO.... You didn't mention all the other teams that have parked the bus and the matches played when we have defeated this negative tactic.
Hot Tottingham
21/02/2018 12:28:00
Davies and Trippier are not particularly slow just by being slower to run... Our full/wing backs (whoever they are) do not spend whole games running up and down the wing from defence to attack and back again, anyhow. Their starting position is basically the halfway line, whether moving backward or forward from it. Given this, I think it's a fallacy to generalise that sheer pace will always win the day as it's not always needed or necessary. Especially when it is not always possible, and dependent on how the opposition are set up to play... Earlier in the season, (around the time we were beaten by City), my preference on the right was for Aurier but it had nothing to do with his (perceived) speed. It was because I thought that Kieran was showing some really poor form. This has changed and at the moment I believe he is showing better than Serge. But this can all change with a kick of the ball. Which is why I cannot say for certain who will be the better choice, going ahead. Hence my thought that it's having them all fit and firing that will be of the greater benefit than any one individual. Especially if we can remain in the cups for a few games longer... We will just have to wait and see.
Hot Tottingham
21/02/2018 12:44:00
Rose used to be my favourite Spurs player, but he hasn't come back to his best yet. So I think Davies should carry on, for now at least. But, Martin Crawford, I disagree about Aurier's 'pace'. His lack of it brought a penalty against us in the Juventus match, and its been apparent before. I don't know how fast Trippier is but I've not seen him caught out in that way.
21/02/2018 12:52:00
After reading the article I was about to comment .... and then saw that HT had said it all. Rose is still a long way from full fitness and in nowhere near the kind of form he displayed earlier. He needs some time, and after that .... time will tell.
21/02/2018 13:44:00
At their respective bests, Rose is a superior player overall, for me. This being said, Davies is currently playing as well as he can, at a reasonably high level, whereas Rose is below his best standard. It's a difficult question to answer simply because Rose isn't back at his best yet. The catch 22 is that in order to get him back to his best, he probably needs more minutes in meaningful matches. I would lean towards playing Rose and Davies in rotation for now, and hope that Rose can rediscover his best form. If he returns to his performance levels of last year though, there is no question that he should be starting our most important games, for me. If he can't, it's Davies' job to lose right now.
21/02/2018 13:46:00
Speed on the park in all relative. You can make up what you lack in speed by the way you read the game and the positioning you take up.
21/02/2018 13:47:00
Danny definitely still isn’t in the condition he was last season when he was excellent, looks a bit heavy. Maybe it’s the new hairdo. He’s better in the final third but Davies is a more solid defender, although he does get skinned by some of the extra pacey wingers out there. I expect rotation most of the rest of the season. Davies is certainly underrated, one of our best left backs in years.
Dier by name
21/02/2018 13:58:00
Also I think if we can get a deal done for Sessegnon, Rose will be sold this summer. I have always been a big fan of Danny but he messed up last year. It’s a shame but Sessegnon could become a far better player
Dier by name
21/02/2018 14:04:00
I'm always cautious when we talk about players who "could be" (Sessegnon) to replace players who "already are". You're banking on potential which may or may not be fully realised. I'd be more excited about signing someone like a Ryan Bertrand, who is already proven at PL level, should Rose leave. Or see if Mourinho would let Shaw go.
21/02/2018 14:27:00
I'm not sure Sessegnon is a natural replacement for Rose any more. He's been starting in a front 3 position for Fulham recently and scoring goals. He'll probably end up like Bale: starts out as a pacy full back but proves to be much more valuable as an attacking player.
Gary Onedaysoon
21/02/2018 14:42:00
Speed is definitely relative. I think Aurier has decent speed, but Douglas Costa made Aurier look like he was running in cement boots. As for Rose, I agree with BelgianSpur, in that his best is superior to Davies, but his fitness issues are a concern. How often has he been injured in recent years? Well the answer is, he's missed 69 games through injury in the last 4 seasons!
21/02/2018 14:46:00
It's a difficult choice. With all our full-backs-Davies & Trippier are the best crossers of the ball,Rose & Aurier are faster. If Toby is playing I would play our speed merchants as he can ping the ball 30 yards to each wing ,thereby we get behind the opponents back-line at lightening pace. I also like the idea of Aurier linking up with Moura on the right as they did at PSG. There is no substitute for pace on the wings ,so Rose always gets the nod for me.
21/02/2018 14:52:00
A "big club" needs two outstanding players at every position. At the moment with these two we have two very decent players at the LFB position. They both need to improve to meet the standard of two outstanding players at the position. Poch should chose which one starts by the current state of fitness, both physical fitness and ability to fit into the game plan and the expected play of the opponent. I know the article asked for us to write only concerning playing ability, but I can't resist saying that Danny's comportment over the past months has left me with far less enthusiasm for this lad than I used to have. What was he thinking of complaining like this when he wasn't in shape to contribute anything on the pitch. If we keep him are we keeping a petulant headache and arouser of dressing room unhappiness? I'd entertain the idea of selling Rose and using the monies to buy another LFB to compete with Davies. But the principal answer is that we need two outstanding players at all 11 positions on the pitch. Love the squad we have, but it's still too thin at many positions.
David O'Brien
21/02/2018 14:57:00
David .... Your point is taken but if we are too thin in some areas, we compensate by having players who can perform well in two or three positions. It's not quite the same, I know, but it's not too shabby either. If we can remain free of injuries and everyone performs to the best of their ability I believe we now have a well balanced squad and a real chance of silverware this season.
21/02/2018 15:15:00
Geofspurs, what you are saying is not really different from what I was saying. As I said, I love the squad we have. And yes, we don't need one-for-one replacements at all positions. With a change back and forth between 4231 and 353 or something of that sort, the positions change. But, when we replace a player we don't want a significant drop off in ability. In this sense, a big club needs two outstanding players at each position. A change of players should not be a drop in ability. of course I'm describing an ideal description. The abilities on one player are not those of the other player, etc. One might have more pace, but poorer passing, etc. Anyway, I'm satisfied generally both with Davies and Rose, although neither is ideal. I worry more about Rose because he's got symptoms of being a malcontent. If the club sells him to buy another at the same position of equal talent level, I will understand. For now, play the one who better fits the needs of the moment. RFB worries me more. I see flashes of excellence in Aurier, but he seems clueless at times and rash. Hope Poch will be the miracle teacher he seems at times.
David O'Brien
21/02/2018 15:25:00
The only thing which is a bit baffling, is that in an ideal world, you play a certain system and you buy players who can fit in that system. Davies and Rose have very different profiles/qualities, which would imply changing the system to play to their strengths - which is something we never do. The same can be said about Aurier and Trippier for that matter, Kane and Llorente, etc. While I can see the added value of having "something different" going forward, I don't really see the need for it in our defensive tactics. It isn't necessarily that any one of those players is a bad payer per se, but sometimes just a poor fit for our preferred system. And given our reluctance (or inability?) to change it, we'd just be better off buying players who fit in MP's philosophy. We sometimes see significant drop offs in performance, not necessarily because the player brought on is a bad player, but because we're just not playing to his strengths nd we're asking him to do something he isn't comfortable with. I definitely believe that to be the case, to a certain degree, with Llorente (although there's no excuse for the missed sitters), and I think we have a track record of buying square pegs for round holes in the recent past (NJie, NKoudou, Gylfi to name a few). If we expect our full backs to provide width, pace, and an attacking contribution, targeting "traditional" full backs is strange. That's not to say those players can't excel in the right environment, but will we provide it?
21/02/2018 15:42:00
Horses for courses...Rose on our Wembley pitch is probably more potent than Rose at Selhurst where I think Davies would be the better pick. Rose v Rochdale defo - Rose vs Juve not sure! especially if Aurier is suspended we need some speed down one flank as Moura may play against Palace and Rochdale as may Rose! So Davies may play v Juve as he has more international games than Rose and more experience for the big games! Rose v Huddersfield makes sense! Davies v Bournemouth away, a more likely scenario. Rose v Newcastle at Wembley with Aurier and Moura on the pitch - lot of pace in that attack! Chavs vs Spurs I'll leave that one up in the air ! Just as I will Spurs vs City, but Kyle will be looking to prove a point so who will Poch want on the pitch to get the better of Kyle?...and so it goes, on whose the best LB for the game in front of them?
OyVeh Maria
21/02/2018 15:52:00
I want Rose to come back, hopefully he'll get games to regain his form, Davies has done well, but Rose is the better footballer, Our fullbacks in my opinion is where we at our weakest.
21/02/2018 16:32:00
If Dybala & Cuadrado are fit to face Spurs we must play Rose. Davies will struggle against their pace.The advantage of speedy wing-backs [as we proved last season with Rose & Walker] is that the opposition are less likely to push their attackers up the the flanks as we can counter-attack at pace.Once again Toby's ability to turn defence into attack by by-passing the midfield with his long passes to our attackers will also make Juve more cautious in committing men forward. Juve have used Bonnucci as their long passer to great effect in the past. Toby is our Bonnucci.
21/02/2018 16:33:00
Whilst I can see Poch rotating both Rose and Davies, I'm actually more intrigued to know what happens with Toby. The 2 things are surely interconnected. Poch's team at the start of the season had Sanchez between Toby (right) and Jan (left) in a back 3 with true wing-backs. Moving forward do we see rotation between Sanchez, Toby and Jan or do we see Poch adopt his back 3 again? That would surely suit Rose more than Davies, albeit they can both play in either system. I'm also wondering whether Poch will be that motivated to select Toby or Rose that often if they are making no right noises about staying at the club. We all know what happened to Walker.
21/02/2018 16:46:00
Selling your best players is never a good idea.I thought we had left that nonsense behind.
21/02/2018 17:18:00
Geoff.. like Leadley King.. he was the best defender we had who can read the opposition players attacking moves and position himself to stop the threat. Sadly Rose will be sold in summer, he has had Levy angry about the media article and publicity and cannot survive our chairman's determination to repair the damage he caused to the reputation of THFC.
Block D Spurs
21/02/2018 17:19:00
To me Rose has not got the pace he had before his injury back. He still looks slow compared to how he was playing before his injury. Hopefully he will get his full fitness back but at the moment I'd back a fully fit Davies over a less than fully fit Rose.
22/02/2018 09:42:00
Out of principle, I have no qualms about Levy wanting to draw a line in the sand. If he feels Rose was out of order and he wants to prove a point that no player is bigger than the club, fair enough. But then I also expect the club to replace Rose adequately. And that is when the wheels usually fall off. We have tried and failed with Walker. We tried and failed with Bale. We tried and failed with Modric. If it's again to sell a good player and then go backwards at that position for 1,2, 3 years, no thanks.
22/02/2018 09:51:00
...Back to the question of 'pace'... Surely it's the teams that definitely do not tend to park sizeable vehicles in their own half, that are more vulnerable to speed. Teams such as Liverpool, City, Arsenal. A team that plays a lot like Spurs do? Pace is useful on the counter and against high lines where there is more space to exploit, beyond the last defender. And when the opposition are on the back-foot.
Hot Tottingham
22/02/2018 10:28:00
I think pace is more useful on the counter where there is more open space to exploit, but it is still useful in 1 vs 1 situations against packed defences and can help create space.
22/02/2018 11:12:00
Yes, Guyver, that is true. It can work both ways...
Hot Tottingham
22/02/2018 12:30:00
At present I would still pick Davies over rose for big matches because rose is not back to his best and Davies is playing his best he deserves the nod at the moment. I think rose plays fa cup replay to try and get fitter and improve his performance and if he gets back to his best then he is probably slightly ahead of Davies, not much in it, but can't be compared different attributes, both needed but whether rose stays or not I'm not sure summer will tell us more, January was probably not going to tell us, not just because of injury but we couldn't allow him to go without proper replacement and thats not easy in Jan TW not concerned if he stays or goes, as long as we get good replacement if he does go, that's my concern and on past history we really get good replacement that hit the ground running. We didn't 're walker, Aurier still hasn't given us anything near what we lost in walker, will he in time, don't know but MP Is the best person to develop him, but that's the problem losing a established decent player and bringing in some one who needs a season or two sets us back. Aurier for hss improved as season gone on hut ge is prone to costly errors and isng as dynamic as walker, thouhht he was going to be with reports bit disappointed, still time. If we get sessonog I will be happy even if unproven. I love Sanchez, rose staying would help but I didn't like what he did
22/02/2018 14:58:00
On current form neither Rose nor Aurier have any great pace and both are exhibiting poor decision making and positional play. Until Rose regains his pace Davies is first choice for me and even then Rose has a way to go to improve his decision making.
22/02/2018 15:55:00
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