Despite all 24 BBC pundits predicting that Spurs would not make the top four, they’re currently second in the Premier League. This is largely down to investment and finally addressing some key weak spots on the flanks.
Matt Doherty and Sergio Reguilon Have Boosted Tottenham’s Title Chances
New Boys Settle Quickly
Matt Doherty and Sergio Reguilon are two new exciting full-backs for Spurs. They both joined in the summer and have settled quickly.
Doherty has already proven his ability in the Premier League with Wolves, but even Reguilon was quick to adapt from La Liga.
Both of these players are similar in that they are brilliant at bombing forward as well as fulfilling their defensive responsibilities.
The Old Days: Walker and Rose
The last time Spurs were really challenging for the top four and even the title in the 2015/6 season, they had two in-form fullbacks in the shape of Kyle Walker and Danny Rose.
Under Pochettino, Walker and Rose were pivotal in providing an outlet out wide. When Walker departed, his replacement Kieran Trippier was not quite as effective as beating his man but was still a competent full-back. Eventually, Serge Aurier joined the club. His performances over 60 league appearances have been mixed; Aurier has scored goals and has played some good matches but he has also got sent off and made excruciating unforced errors.
Meanwhile, on the left-flank, Danny Rose has gradually been edged out of the club. In his stead came Ben Davies. He initially competed with Rose well, helping both players to raise their game. But in the last few years, Rose has declined and will inevitably leave Spurs.
Davies is a solid player who can operate as a left centre-back in a three-man defence, as well as playing at his native left-back position. Some of his critics will say that he is not as effective as going forward as he is defending. When Davies plays, the manager usually will play him in a more limited role, with Aurier given more licence as a wing-back.
Davies and Aurier’s Revival
Since the arrival of Reguilon, Davies has again picked up his performances including when marauding forward. It is always helpful to have the extra depth so that players compete with each other.
To that end, Aurier still has an important role to play in the squad. To name Aurier and Doherty on one side, and Reguilon and Davies on the other, it means Spurs finally have good depth on their flanks. Each player brings something different to the role and they can compete for their respective berths.
If Spurs want to challenge for silverware, then they have taken a big step forward by finally investing in their squad and addressing their key areas of weakness. Full-backs and wing-backs are perhaps a little more attractive in today’s modern game than their old school predecessors of the likes of Stuart Pearce, but nevertheless, it is still a position that is underestimated. Tottenham have definitely made an upgrade with Doherty and Reguilon, but Davies and Aurier can still up their games to contribute to the team.