It was déjà vu all over again when Danny Rose faced a long spell on the sidelines and Spurs suddenly found themselves with no recognised cover at left back. 12 months ago, roles were reversed as Benoit Assou-Ekotto was on the physio’s bench and Danny was on loan at Sunderland but if you fast forward back to the present day, BAE is no use to the team while away at Loftus Road.
After Kyle Naughton failed to impress, Jan Vertonghen was pressed into service and looks as comfortable here as he does in his preferred centre half slot. There’s also something familiar about the Belgian’s comments in reaction to the switch.
“I can play at left-back and I can help the team at times. But everyone knows I am not a left-back,” Jan said on Belgian TV.
“Once there are injuries, I’m the first to fill in the gap. Sometimes it’s better if you can play in only one position.”
“You see that with other players. These guys specialise in one position and they can completely concentrate.”
A year ago Vertonghen said something very similar,
“At Tottenham I play left-back because of injuries. Marc Wilmots (Belgium’s manager) likes that perhaps, but I’ve got other ambitions.”
With Vlad Chiriches impressing at the start of his Tottenham career and Younes Kaboul just about returning to full fitness, the centre back positions are suddenly becoming very crowded. Jan must surely be first choice when everyone is fit but switching the Belgian to left back right now seems to solve more than just one problem.