Ryan Mason reserved special praise for Serge Aurier after Tottenham’s 4-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday, revealing that the right-back was fasting ahead of the match as he was observing Ramadan.
Aurier has been plagued by inconsistency over the last few months after a solid start to the season.
The Ivorian is one of several players in the Spurs dressing room who seemed to have a touchy relationship with Jose Mourinho, with reports indicating that the defender even walked out of the stadium during the half-time interval of Tottenham’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool back in January after a falling out with the Portuguese coach.
It was rumoured that the former Spurs boss wanted Aurier to be sold in the summer as he regarded him as “uncoachable”.
Even with Mourinho now gone, it remains to be seen whether Tottenham will retain the former Paris Saint-Germain star, who has just 12 months left on his contract in North London.
However, Aurier seems to be rated highly by Mason, who has started him in all three games that he has been in charge of so far.
The right-back showed his attacking quality on Sunday, setting up two of Gareth Bale’s three goals against the Blades.
When asked why Aurier had not been able to contribute as much in the final third for the majority of the campaign so far, Mason told Football.London: “I think the most important thing when you’re a defender is to defend and he did that tonight with the rest of the defence.
“I think that’s 11 clean sheets in the Premier League this season now. That’s good. That’s positive.
“Serge is fasting as well so I think it makes that performance even more impressive because he hasn’t been able to eat all day so put in a 90 minutes like that is outstanding.”
Spurs Web Opinion
There is no question that our defence needs some improvement. However, eleven clean sheets this season suggests that the likes of Eric Dier and Serge Aurier are nowhere near as bad defensively as some Spurs fans have made him out to be.
They are very good front-foot defenders who enjoy being aggressive and pinching the ball from the opposition forwards. However, their flaws are much likely to be exposed when they are asked to defend deep in a low-block and deal with crosses into the box all game.
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