‘I worry’ – Rio Ferdinand admits concern over Spurs defender

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Rio Ferdinand has questioned whether Joe Rodon is doing enough fundamental defensive work in training after the centre-back’s mistake against Liverpool on Thursday evening.

All three of Liverpool’s goals came from individual errors at the back, with Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris displaying a basic lack of communication for the first goal, and the goalkeeper parrying a fairly straight-forward shot straight into Trent Alexander-Arnold’s path for the away side’s second.

Rodon, who had a very good game until that point was to blame for the third when the young defender miscontrolled a cross-field ball, allowing Sadio Mane to swoop in and fire the ball into the top corner.

Jose Mourinho refused to criticise Rodon for the mistake and admitted that he was impressed with the 23-year-old’s performance barring that one lapse of concentration.

However, Ferdinand believes that Welsh international’s decision to control the ball instead of clearing it first-time comes down to a lack of repetition in training.

The former Manchester United centre-back said during BT Sport Ultimate”s post-match coverage (29/1): “Rodon has to just clear that with his left foot. This comes down to repetition.

“I worry with young defenders now, are they doing enough defending of these types of situation in training?

“That is concentration, sort your feet out and clear it back where it came from.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Rodon does appear to suffer from occasional lapses in concentration as we also saw him make a couple of poor mistakes during his debut against Chelsea. However, the errors might be down to nerves on the youngster’s part given his lack of experience at this level. We cannot judge him too harshly before he has a run of games under his belt.

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  1. There is certainly no doubt that Joe Rodon was at fault for the third goal, but if we are pointing fingers here then surely Dier was equally culpable in that respect in allowing another goal to be scored without challenging for the ball. Personally speaking I fail to understand why Mourinho didn’t start with Toby Alderweireld -arguably still Tottenham’s best and most reliable centre back – but it only serves to highlight the lack of genuine quality and experience in these positions. As much as I like Eric Dier as a player not least for his maturity I am not convinced his strength lies in the centre of defense and still see him better as midfield protector. But there is also the need to question the overall tactics of a team which allows the opposition the incentives and motivation to attack and I honestly believe this is truly counter productive to facilitating a winning mentality in our own team. I think Spurs as a team are genuinely confused as to how they should set up and this majorly defensive style is becoming a massive problem now.


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