‘Oh f##k’ was reaction to the news that Michael Dawson was to be ruled out for the next two months with an achilles problem.
After the failure to capture Gary Cahill in the transfer window, this was the worst news that fans could have hoped for.
Granted, Ledley King made his long awaited return to first team action on Saturday but it’s the worst kept secret in football that the Club Captain can play no more than one game a week due to injury problems.
To say it leaves Spurs short at the back is an understatement, with William Gallas and Vedran Corluka both sidelined for the foreseeable future, it leaves only Younes Kaboul and Sebastien Bassong as the only two fit recognised centre-backs.
Some feel that with the two of them at the back, Spurs should be fine defensively. I beg to differ, Bassong look at all-sorts during the 0-0 draw with Hearts at White Hart Lane last month and if strikers from the SPL side can give him the run-around, who knows what the likes of Suarez, Van Persie and Drogba will do to the Cameroon international.
A lot of faith has been put into Kaboul as well and yes, the French international has come on leaps and bounds since returning to White Hart Lane but the former Portsmouth and Auxerre defender is still prone to the odd lapse in concentration from time-to-time.
Fortunately, King is fit at the moment but for how long? One dodgy turn on that knee of his and that is the last we hear of him for months.
Fingers crossed Gallas returns sooner rather than later and hopefully to partner Kaboul at the back as it’s no coincidence that when the former Arsenal captain was playing alongside his compatriot, the performance of the latter improved ten-fold.
As for Corluka, the Croatian is too immobile to play the centre of the back four and his lack of pace will be capitalised upon by even Chelsea’s ‘old’ and ‘slow’ squad, if Fernando Torres is to be listened to. Heck, the Spaniard would probably put three past Spurs if Corluka was playing centre-back.
Then again, there is Tom Huddlestone who was originally a centre-back before being converted into a deep lying playmaker. However, like Corluka, pace seems to be the problem for big Tom and his lack of it would be easily and quickly, no pun intended, exposed by the leagues faster forwards.
Nonetheless, having seeing Huddlestone play the role before (a 0-0 draw away to Everton back when Jonathan Woodgate made his debut) he looked assured and confident at the back.
Then again, alongside Kaboul, the frailties of a partnership that has never played together before would be pounced upon by the Premierships finest.
Until Dawson or Gallas return to full-fitness, Spurs are going to have to make do with Kaboul, King and Bassong at the back however, I wouldn’t hold out much hope of King lasting on the pitch before his lack of training catches up on him once again.
Fans may have to get used to seeing Kaboul and Bassong as the two starters for sometime which, although considered a worrying prospect, it could well provide Spurs with the opportunity to for a defensive partnership to be formed which, in recent years, has proven to be a rarity down at Whit Hart Lane.
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