Opinion: How have Spurs managed to neglect the right-back position so greatly?

Image: SpursWeb

Just a few minutes into the North London Derby on Sunday, I found myself saying ‘I wish Serge Aurier was playing’.

That got me thinking, ‘How on earth has the club got themselves into a position where I am crying out for a player who I don’t think is good enough for this club?’.

I have been Serge Aurier’s biggest critic since he arrived at the club. We were expecting a pacey full-back who bombed down the wing with every chance he got.

Instead, the player that arrived in London had no breathtaking levels of speed, didn’t have a good final pass, and frequently made major mistakes at the back. And these have been recurring attributes over his time at the club. 

I might let this slide if he were our out-and-out second-choice right-back, assigned to the Europa League and the FA Cup fixtures.

But such is the lack of any quality that Matt Doherty has shown since his move from Wolves, many fans are crying out for Aurier to play every game. So if Aurier is the answer, how bad is Doherty?!

But it’s the bigger picture that is more concerning. After one very disappointing season, the club made the decision to sell Kieran Trippier to Atletico Madrid in the Summer of 2019.

It was ruthless, and I, among many others, was glad that the club was able to spot a weakness within the team and look to address this. But the same cut-throat levels were never shown with Serge Aurier.

He has made many more key mistakes than Trippier ever did but has never found himself out of the team for long.

Let’s fast-forward to Summer 2020. Tottenham made the decision to sign two full-backs, in order to bolster our squad. This, in itself, is a good thing.

The recruitment team scouted Sergio Reguilon and he has been nothing short of brilliant this season. The twenty-four-year-old has pace, an excellent cross, and is devilish in the tackle. His relatively young age also gives him excellent scope to improve further.

As a result of his quality, it is unanimously accepted that Ben Davies has been relegated to the second choice left-back.

On the other hand, Matt Doherty is 29, so, unlike Reguilon, will probably not improve with age. It is also widely known that the Irishman has predominantly played in a Wolves team as part of a back-five, which Spurs rarely play.

He is also not known for his pace, and so naturally, opposition teams target our right-hand side. Therefore, with all of this evidence, it is of little surprise that he has looked like such a poor buy. 

And this has left Serge Aurier as the man to pick up the pieces. A player who has the ability to give a penalty away in every game is being tipped as a sure starter in this current team.

To me, it’s just baffling how Spurs are left with these two as our right-back options. I don’t trust the pair of them.

Bring on the next transfer window… and hopefully not another poor right-back purchase.

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