Tottenham Hotspur’s current squad is one of the most talented that the club has had in quite a long time. However, ask Spurs fans about who the weakest link in the squad/team is, and the most common answer is likely to be Ben Davies.
Despite being in his fifth season at the club and having played almost 150 games, a section of Spurs fans still don’t consider the Welshman good enough for the club. It seems like, to those fans, it doesn’t matter how many good performances he puts in, as they will always view Davies for what he is lacking in, rather than for the qualities he possesses.
Make no mistake, the Welshman does have weaknesses. He will never be the quickest or have the ability to take on and beat his man as consistently as someone like Rose does. At times he also takes clumsy touches which forces him to make lunging challenges to win the ball.
However, the 25-year-old has quite a lot of strengths which are often overlooked. Defensively, he is one of the most competent full-backs in the league.
His ability to come out on top time and again while defending one on one situations despite his lack of pace, demonstrates how intelligent and turned on Davies is. The former Swansea man is also a great tackler and never shies away from going for a challenge when a ball is there to be won.
The commitment and desire he shows on a consistent basis is the perfect epitome of what Pochettino’s philosophy is all about. He rarely ever gives the opposition players any time on the ball and is quick to close them down. One of Pochettino’s favorite words in football is ‘intensity’ and Davies certainly displays that in abundance, which is probably why the Argentine trusts him so much.
Off the field, Davies is a model professional. He never complains at being left out of the team, and always says the right things during interviews. While he certainly doesn’t shy away from letting his teammates know if they have made a mistake on the pitch, off the pitch he seems to be a quiet character who just gets on with things.
This week, owing to the injury crisis we faced in the squad with the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez, Juan Foyth and Eric Dier all out, Davies was asked to step into the position. Typically, he went ahead with the job without any fuss and put in two terrific performances. Davies looked far from out of place at center half, winning a lot of headers and also displaying his ability to read the game well.
Speaking to Standard Sport about playing in the heart of defence, the Welshman said, “[Burnley] was the first competitive game I’ve started at proper center-half [in a four-man defence] in my career, so it was an adjustment but I enjoyed it. He added, “It’s down to the manager if I do it regularly, but he had full confidence in me playing there and that does a lot for your mindset going into games.”
Some Spurs fans finally seem to be waking up to Davies’ defensive prowess after the game against Arsenal, as he hardly gave Aubameyang a kick throughout the ninety minutes. Here’s how some fans reacted on Twitter to Davies’ performance against Arsenal:
Ben Davies was unreal tonight
— Vince (@VinceMN17) December 19, 2018
The one thing that is guaranteed with Davies is that even if he is having an off-day, the commitment is never lacking.
So, it really is time for Spurs fans start showing Ben a little more love. At the least, the Welshman deserves a new song from the fans.
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