Date: 21st February 2018 at 7:19am
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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?


31 Replies to “The Danny Rose or Ben Davies conundrum”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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 …. 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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.

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