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Ex-West Ham coach suggests Spurs make defensive change to be more attack-minded

Former West Ham United coach Stuart Pearce believes that selecting Ben Davies at left central defender ahead of Clement Lenglet gives Tottenham more attack-minded set-up.

Davies was absent prior to the international break having suffered a knee injury during the 2-0 defeat at Sporting which saw him miss Wales’ UEFA Nations League double header along with Spurs’ Premier League fixtures against Leicester City and Arsenal (The Athletic).

Antonio Conte decided to select Lenglet once again for Tottenham’s Champions League encounter against Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday night with the Frenchman somewhat fortunate to have escaped a second yellow card late in the second half after he put his arm across Lindstrom to keep the forward from breaking late on, bringing him down.

The Italian wasted little time in bringing Davies off the bench to replace the loanee following the incident.

Pearce has claimed that Lenglet is more of a traditional central defender who likes to stay within the back line, while Davies, offers more going forward with his tendency to look to provide support in the final third of the pitch.

Pearce told talkSPORT: “Their forté is going forward, rather than the defensive side of the game, which is the case for a lot of fullbacks,”

“Where I think Tottenham suffer a little bit is, he either plays Lenglet or Davies at left centre-half. If you play Davies, he gets forward, he overlaps, he underlaps and he gets into the opposition’s final third.

“More so than Lenglet. He played Lenglet against Frankfurt. He’s more of an old fashioned central-defender, who won’t get forward.

“I think what makes it more of an attacking system, even playing five at the back, is if Davies plays on the left side because he ends up in the opposition’s half. Davies does it extremely well.”

SpursWeb Opinion

Davies does use his previous experience as a left-back to look to get forward when possible which will hopefully allow Ryan Sessegnon or Ivan Perisic to push further up the field against Brighton.

Lenglet was a concern against Frankfurt with his decision to stop the run of Lindstrom having already been shown a yellow card earlier in the match.  Long-term, he is not the solution to Spurs’ left-side.

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