Hard work and commitment paying off for Davies

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Ben Davies may have missed our draw at Real Madrid but he has played a key role in Spurs’ strong start, says Wales coach Peter Smith,writing for Sky Sports, and that the talented wing-back’s hard work and commitment is now paying off.

It was Mauricio Pochettino who insisted on talking about his left back to journalists after Tottenham’s 4-0 rout of Huddersfield at the end of September. “If we talk about one player other than Harry Kane, it’s Ben Davies,” said the Spurs manager. Smith believes Davies has quietly become a key cog in the “sleek, stylish Spurs machine”.

The article continues saying Davies’ absence in the win over Bournemouth was clearly felt and, although Spurs produced an impressive performance in Madrid on Wednesday, Smith reckons Poch will be eager to involve the fit-again 24-year-old against Liverpool on Sunday despite Danny Rose’s return.

He thinks Davies has utilised Danny Rose’s absence well, stepping out of the shadows of his back-up role and shown himself to be a reliable member of one of the Premier League’s best defences.

“For me, he is one of the best full-backs in the Premier League,” Pochettino said after watching Davies register his second goal and second assist of the season in the win at Huddersfield.

Smith goes on to say that in six Premier League appearances this term, the young welshman has already matched his best goal contribution tally for an entire season and enthuses how he has helped his team to the second best clean sheets and goals conceded record in the Premier League this calendar year, and that his contributions are coming at both ends of the pitch.

The article quotes Mauricio as saying its all down to his dedication and hard work off the field: “He was working so hard to make his moment, and always being professional. That is why his team-mates, the club, everyone is so proud of him.”

The article refers to Dr Ryland Morgans, Wales’ head of performance, who has monitored Davies progress closely saying: “He’s coming to the fore now under Pochettino at Tottenham and I’m not surprised to see him produce the performances he does,He’s a top professional in terms of what he does and how he does it. He’s dedicated to his profession, dedicated to doing things as well as he possibly can and dedicated to getting better and better.

“I first worked with him at Swansea, when he was quite a young, developing player. But, although he was young and quiet, he was very reliable. He’d always ‘turn up’. Now you see him and he’s still got that calm, collected but determined attitude. He’s got a great mentality for playing at the top of the game.”

The article then goes on to talk about Davies’ athleticism and his adaptability which have been important aspects of his rise to the top. Smith said: “He has the ability to play in a range of positions – from forming a two or three-man centre-back partnership, acting as a defensive full-back or attacking wing-back”.

Morgans says it reflects his varied skill-set and impressive physical traits:”He can deal with all those positions and that’s testament to him in terms of his physical profile, because physically, technically and tactically they’re very different

Morgans continued: “From a physical perspective, he’s a very good athlete, but he also reads the game well. For example, he can time his jumps very well and is clever in the way he defends, often preventing an attack before it has occurred.

Smith believes that Davies’ goal and assist against Huddersfield signaled the start of him taking on that marauding left wing-back role as his own.

Smith enthused: “He’s such a strong runner, an excellent athlete, so he can get forward and get into the box to shoot or cross, or, if the move breaks down, he can recover and get himself back in. It’s a demanding position but he has the physical capacity to cope with those demands.

“Week by week he’s becoming more attack-minded. You can see he tactically understands his role at Tottenham and he has the technical and physical attributes to deliver.”

Smith concludes by saying that Davies is certainly delivering for Tottenham right now, and even with missing our past two games with illness, only Christian Eriksen has created more chances and made more accurate crosses. That Davies’ is no longer the back up, no longer in the periphery and his time has come.

An interesting piece on the young Welshman. It has not all been plain sailing for him but he has hardly put a foot wrong recently and a fit again Danny Rose will certainly find it hard to retain first choice status.

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