The new rock at the heart of Tottenham’s defence

by Matthew Harris on September 24, 2012

Of all the new arrivals at White Hart Lane this summer, Jan Vertonghen has made the most impressive start and the Belgian turned in another calmly assured performance in defence yesterday.

You voted Jan as our man of the match against Reading last weekend and the club’s own poll on Facebook came up with the same result yesterday. As for the player himself, Vertonghen is loving life at the Lane.

“I love it here, the atmosphere is amazing, some of the best players in the world and an amazing team.

“But it is a shame we have to struggle every game until the last minute. I think at the end of the year I’ll need a good vacation!”

Jan admitted that Spurs should have dominated yesterday’s match but failed to do so in the opening 45 minutes,

“We want to dominate and play our own game at home and we struggled at that,” he added.

“I’m very happy with the second half. I think we did very well, a good tactical decision from the manager.

“It’s frustrating when you cannot play your own game so I can understand the supporters. We want to dominate at home and even in away games so things are expected of us.”

It seems as if Jan may cover at left back for the next few weeks but wherever he slots in, Spurs supporters will be relieved that his protracted transfer from Ajax was ultimately successful. Could we even have a new King at the Lane?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

robbie September 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Vertonghen is class…. signing of the summer!! Think Caulker should partner him instead of Gallas… and can you imagine when Kaboul is back that will be one strong defense and with THE BEAST sitting infront of them!

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Irishspur83 September 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Hes an incredible player. Wer very lucky to have him in our side. He should be captain.

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Razspur September 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm

His timing of the tackle is superb, he reads the play well and likes to get forward, especially for set pieces. Perfect in any defensive position but will be our replacement for the King once Kaboul is fit. Agreed the signing of the season for us, would like to see Vert take more set pieces against Man U.

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Alan Spurs Supporters Spain September 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm

A Captain in Waiting,Jans the Man!! Ledley was a Spurs legend!!, Jan + Steve alongside him,Younes central
mid-field,Great Ariel power from 3 players,been missing
for years! Still required a really top C/f,Llorente ?

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Spursfan September 24, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Yeah, Vertonghen and Caulker are class act – no doubt. But can they save Spur from humiliation by our neighbours with AVB at the helm minus two world-class players? Thanks to Levy & Co. – I’m doubtful. I’m not a pessimist but only a realist from the sufferings of the last 35 years I’ve been Spurs lover.

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Ramos28 September 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Caulker is without a doubt a good prospect and can look forward to a bright future at Spurs, however there is much work to be done before he becomes a mainstay in the Tottenham backline. Comfortable on the ball, a powerful in the air, the young centre-back has shown in for team GB and his fledging Spurs career that he is prone to a lack of awareness, occasionally forgetting to track runners and ‘go/stay with his man’ ( in open play). MUST improve in this area if he is to fulfil his huge potential. Might seem strange to say but his best performance for me, in a Spurs shirt, was the League Cup defeat to Arsenal, a couple of years back.

To be fair, I think game-time is essential to his development (obviously) but as things stand, I can’t see him forcing his way in ahead of Gallas just yet, as the Frenchman has been a rock at the heart of the Spurs defence this season. The fact that Gallas is captain at the moment in the absence of Parker and Kaboul, means that its going to be even harder for young Caulker to dislodge him from his position.

Vertonghen on the other hand DOES look like a ready made replacement for our fallen King. The Belgian international has shown improvement with every game and now looks like he is fully accustomed to the rigours and physical demands of the EPL. The fact that he can play at left-back as well as he plays at centre-back, if yesterdays display is anything to go by, will prove a huge bonus as the season develops.
I thought that he, alongside Sandro and Lennon were the stand out performers yesterday as Spurs clawed their way back into the match against QPR. Driving the team forward with their ability, commitment and desire to win.

Kyle Walker was far less impressive at right-back and really struggled, as he has done all season, so far. Clumsy, poor positionally and low on confidence would be a few of the words I would choose to sum up Walkers performances so far this term. At fault for the first goal against Newcastle (and the consolation goal scored by Reading last week), lucky in not giving away a penalty against the Royals and struggling positionally on the defensive front, Kyles form has dropped dramatically this term. Even going forward he has been looking less than convincing, with his passing and composure coming under the spotlight in recent weeks. He seems at the moment to be unable to judge the flight of the ball and has been caught wrong side of his man, defensively, more times than I wish to recall. I think Naughton, once he returns, should be given his chance at right-back (providing we have adequate cover on the left), in an attempt to give Walker the kick up the backside he so desperately needs. In real danger of becoming a liability in this form.

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Bcee September 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Our right side just seemed a bit stupid yesterday. Lennon tracked back casually at best, and the potential link up between him and Walker was useless as Lennon never made any runs, ever. He makes SO MUCH SPACE when he gets moving, such a waste and put the right flank under loads of pressure yesterday.

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Steve Jones September 24, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Watched Vertonghen as soon as he name was associated with the club , I agree with one of the other comments for him to play alongside Caulker it would would bring Caulks on leaps and bounds Vertoghen is world class !!!

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Steve Jones September 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Watched Vertonghen as soon as he name was associated with the club , I agree with one of the other comments for him to play alongside Caulker it would would bring Caulks on leaps and bounds Vertonghen is world class !!!

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Razspur September 24, 2012 at 11:02 pm

When Benny and the Bull return our back four will read,
Walker-Kaboul-Vertonghen-BAE but Benny and Walker will have to sharpen up their acts, Benny has the incisive pass and Walker the explosive Right flank speed but they both need to adjust to the high line game, Walker is caught too far forward and Benny’s clearances need to improve. Channel more through Dembele in build up and use wing speed on breakaways. Billy, Caulker and Naughton are useful Subs and squad players at present.

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JOHN DUCKETT September 25, 2012 at 7:20 am

TOTAL CLASS THE GUY FEARS OR PANICS OVER NOTHING HE REMINDS ME OF BOBBY MOORE IN HIS COOLNESS CARRIES THE BALL WELL , GREAT THINGS CAN BE LEARNT BY OUR YOUNG DEFENCE OF CAULKER KABOUL WALKER ETC AGREE WITH A COMMENT THAT CAULKER MUST REPLACE GALLAS IN THE DEFENCE ANOTHER COOL LAD FOR HIS AGE AND THE NOW FUTURE .

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