The Belgian’s return to the starting XI was certainly a welcome sight for Spurs fans. It was an even more welcome sight for his partner, Toby Alderweireld.
Vertonghen definitely showed some rust, but his presence allowed Alderweireld to play his style of football again. In particular, he made an absolute meal of a high ball that gave Fulham one of their few opportunities to score. That will improve as his match fitness improves. Welcome back Super Jan!
It’s easy to underestimate Vertonghen’s impact on his Belgian teammate. When he’s on the pitch next to Alderweireld, it really allows Toby to expand his game. We saw the full range of his skills against Fulham.
His long diagonal passes may be my favourite thing about his game. When Fulham tried to press Spurs early in the match, he quickly backed them off with several long balls. He’s a world-class defender and today was just another day at the office for him.
It was a very encouraging performance for Tottenham’s second choice right back. I’ve been critical of Trippier before, but he’s shown some solid improvement this season. As such, he’s got a chance to stay with Spurs next season if he’s satisfied with his current role.
His limited athleticism is never going to let him be a standout defender, but his positioning has definitely improved. He kept the Fulham attack quiet all afternoon.
On offense, he’s a serious threat with his ability to cross the ball into the box. He may only be a one trick pony, but it’s a good trick. When Spurs enjoy copious amounts of possession, he provides the attack real width.
I mentioned in the opening that I would be highly critical of one player. Well, here it is. Davies continues to show that he just isn’t good enough to play for this club.
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I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but he’s just too limited athletically to play for Pochettino. He’s useful as a central defender in a back three, but lacks the pace to thrive out wide.
The only comfort Fulham enjoyed all afternoon was attacking Davies down the right wing. It’s a consistent theme for Spurs in the absence of Danny Rose. Opposing clubs continue to target Davies, there’s a reason for that. He’s the club’s weak link.
I might feel differently if he were terrific going forward, but he just isn’t. He can put in a decent cross upon occasion, but it’s just not something he does consistently. Tottenham need to purchase an upgrade this summer.