Teamwork makes the dream work

Ange cannot ignore Spurs star any longer after 9/10 show for his nation


Mid-season worldwide breaks really feel protracted at the perfect of instances, with the rigours and weight of the membership season pausing to make manner for interminable and less-important matches. England’s latest matches typified this.

Tottenham Hotspur may need welcomed a pause following such a dismal show final outing within the Premier League, shedding 3-0 towards Fulham at Craven Cottage, however Ange Postecoglou‘s facet can take solace in the truth that they’re constructing one thing and stay simply three factors behind Aston Villa within the prime 4, holding a sport in hand.

A lot to play for down the N17, and with the worldwide break now dusted, there is no doubt that the warmth goes to begin rising inside English soccer.

Tottenham know that consistency – extra particularly, how constant they’re over the approaching weeks – will decide their destiny and soccer heading into the 2024/25 marketing campaign.

The beating at Fulham arrived one week after Villa had been dismantled in their very own yard, highlighting this lack of stability in garish color, although with Micky van de Ven sidelined as he was through the membership’s stained spell all through November and December, there is a clear sample.

Tottenham’s rehearsed fluency and spark below Postecoglou is knocked off-kilter with the Dutch defender’s dynamism left on the sidelines. Radu Dragusin, signed from Genoa for £27m in January, earned his maiden begin in his peer’s absence. He did not do effectively.

Why Micky van de Ven is so vital for Spurs

Dragusin, aged 21, is a gifted centre-back and earned reward for his “full” and “dominant” shows in Italy by expertise scout Jacek Kulig, with Spurs beating off competitors from Bayern Munich for his signature.

However he was uncovered towards an unrelenting and well-oiled Cottagers vanguard that spoke of the necessity for adjustment after arriving on English shores, with one analyst noting that he appeared “very awkward in possession.”

Radu Dragusin in action for Tottenham

He isn’t fairly diametrically against Van de Ven so far as defensive types go, however Dragusin doesn’t boast the uncooked energy and elite athleticism that his peer does – few do, if any, to the identical diploma.

Certainly, Van de Ven has been famous for his “lightning fast” tempo by The Occasions’ Henry Winter and blends this with crisp and clever distributions that improve the squad cohesion and enhance the fluidity that Postecoglou’s system relies on for survival.

As per FBref, the 22-year-old ranks among the many prime 3% of centre-backs throughout Europe’s prime 5 leagues over the previous 12 months for cross completion, the highest 1% for profitable take-ons and the highest 14% for progressive carries per 90, showcasing this spectacular assortment of qualities.

However Van de Ven will not play each sport – hasn’t performed each sport – and Spurs can not afford to crumble like a tower of playing cards when one such on the foot is taken away. Dragusin wants time to acclimatise, however Tottenham even have a participant who has been reliable inside Postecoglou’s system who should now be handed a beginning berth as soon as once more after impressing for his nation this week.

Ben Davies’ season in numbers

The person in query is Ben Davies, who signed for Tottenham from Swansea Metropolis again in 2014. The Wales worldwide has accomplished 329 appearances for the membership, a couple of months shy of a decade later, although has solely discovered a beginning spot in Postecoglou’s staff when choices have been restricted.

Certainly, Davies, a pure left-back, began 9 successive Premier League matches in central defence all through the maudlin interval of November and December, with Postecoglou’s threadbare squad lacking its starring defensive axis.

Tottenham defender Ben Davies

The 30-year-old ranks among the many prime 16% of positional friends throughout Europe’s prime 5 leagues over the previous 12 months for shot-creating actions, the highest 15% for progressive passes, the highest 11% for progressive carries, the highest 18% for tackles and the highest 17% for aerial battles received per 90.

Within the Premier League, as per Sofascore, Davies has accomplished 92% of his passes and are available out on prime in 71% of his floor duels. Not dangerous.

Apart from Cristian Romero, who begins anyway, Davies might be the closest emulation to Van de Ven and if the Netherlands worldwide is to overlook the forthcoming top-flight conflict towards Luton City – that is unsure proper now – Davies should begin.

Why Ben Davies deserves extra alternatives

Wales had been on the cusp of the 2024 European Championships, Robert Web page’s facet had restricted Poland to half-chances, zero photographs heading in the right direction, through the all-or-nothing conflict for qualification on Tuesday evening.

Poland received on penalties, because it had been, and the Dragons have been grounded forward of the summer season’s furore, however Davies can actually maintain his head excessive after a stellar efficiency towards Robert Lewandowski and Co, incomes a 9/10 match score by Wales On-line’s Glen Williams.

Of the left-sided defender, the journalist mentioned: ‘Gained greater than his fair proportion of duels and beat Lewandowski within the air a couple of instances. Was unfortunate to see a headed aim of his dominated out for offside. Was simply in all places. Netted his penalty, too.’

Ben Davies: Stats vs Poland



Minutes performed




Correct passes

41/59 (69%)

Lengthy balls


Duels received








Stats through Sofascore

Such a show makes it exhausting for Postecoglou to disregard the Spurs stalwart, certainly, and although there was a contemporary face in Dragusin becoming a member of the fold in 2024, he flattered to deceive final evening and Davies could effectively deserve one other shot.

The £80k-per-week ace has a pleasant unfold of qualities, along with his exact ball-playing abilities, pure confidence in development – each with and with out the ball – stemming from a profession of marauding down the left flank, and although he isn’t the identical as Van de Ven, he replicates a number of the stylistic strengths and this might be key heading into the enterprise finish.