Opinion: How Reguilon and Aurier are vital to the football we all want to see

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Undoubtedly, our squad is full of some world-class talent in all areas of the pitch. One area that I believe can go unnoticed sometimes is our full-backs.

Tottenham fans have a love for Sergio Reguilón that is unmatched, however, I feel as though a lack of recognition comes from pundits and rival fans.

Without question, our best full-back pairing is Aurier and Reguilón, however, this season the squad has been plagued with injuries with both of them succumbing to the treatment table at one point or another.

One area that I wanted to focus on is the attacking freedom that the pairing allows other forward players to work with.

Firstly, Reguilón gives Mourinho an attacking dynamic that Davies cannot provide the team with. The pace and, most importantly, technical ability to effect attacking phases with any real conviction is utterly lacking in Davies’ game.

Reguilón regularly bombs up the left-wing, overlapping Son and drawing away the opposition right-hand defenders, giving the South Korean the freedom to cut inside to either drive towards the box or find balls into Kane.

This ability to create space for forward players is key to the success we saw recently against Burnley.

Without Reguilón, we saw on multiple occasions that Son became isolated out on the far left, having to pick the ball up deeper and wider due to the opposition right-back not having to worry about any other threats coming down his flank.

With Reguilón, there is now the threat of the full-back being doubled up on. This does not even consider the addition of someone like Ndombele who can carry the ball into space. freeing up both left-sided players to make off the ball runs in behind.

Most importantly, it leaves Son able to make more direct runs in behind that we saw to great effect against Southampton and Manchester City earlier in the season.

On the other side, we are seeing a similar situation developing. The addition of Doherty was meant to not only provide adequate cover but, in addition, an attacking-minded full-back.

At Wolves, Doherty registered 19 goal contributions in two seasons between the 18/19 and 19/20 campaigns (TransferMarkt). These contributions came predominantly from a wing-back roll in a 3-at-the-back formation.

Unfortunately, this form has not been replicated as of yet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which could potentially be down to a change system for the Irishman.

He seems to become lost in games with the main fault coming from his inability to provide dangerous movement in the final third.

With Doherty firing blanks in games, it is imperative that Aurier stays fit to provide the energy to get up and down the flank.

If there is one thing that Aurier does exceedingly well, it is to provide an outlet to more central players when play becomes congested around the edge of the box.

In recent games with the return of Aurier, it has seen Sissoko drop out of the XI picture. With Aurier managing to improve the disciplinary side of his game, I believe Mourinho has placed his faith to keep the right side locked down.

With Sissoko’s main role being coverage in the full-back positions, helping to stop potential double up’s in wide areas, the backing of Aurier means a position can be opened up further forward.

Ndombele slots into the deeper role acting as a Moussa Dembele type player, starting attacks from deep with his press resistance play and aggressive drives into the oppositions half.

This then opens up the number 10 role for players like Dele, Lo Celso, Lucas or Lamela to slot into. This addition makes the front three into a front four and bridges the divide between the midfield and attack, allowing our instinctive forwards to penetrate the box and get better and more frequent goalscoring opportunities.

All Spurs fans have been calling out for more free-flowing attacking football under Mourinho and I do believe that he has some criticism to take.

To me, the loss of his two main full-backs at the same time would have had a major effect on how he was looking to tactically set up.

Hopefully, now they both seem to be fit and back to their best, we can see this free-flowing, aggressive counter-attacking football we have all longed for in recent weeks.

To finish, Aurier and Reguilon coming back from injuries are as good as two new signings this season.

It gives the team the ability to express themselves with more freedom knowing that there are options overlapping, while also giving peace of mind to the central defenders due to recovery speed (whoever they may be in that game).

I hope to see both of them only improve as the season progresses and feel they will be a key element in both the latter stages of the Europa League and also a push for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

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