An unlikely beneficiary following Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s injury has been Steven Caulker. After BAE’s problems forced him onto the sidelines, AVB first used Kyle Naughton and then Gareth Bale at left back before Jan Vertonghen slotted in and looked as if he’d been playing there for his entire career.

Villas-Boas could have chosen to bring in Michael Dawson to cover the space left by Jan but decided to slot in 20 year old Caulker instead and it looks now as if the England under 21 international is going to be hard to dislodge.

The player himself seems happier under the new regime and grateful that AVB has given him the chance.

“You want to know that if you are playing well and you are training well you will be in the team,” Caulker said.

“It’s not nice when there are favourites, I think AVB has brought that into the team and I am happy.

“The manager has come in, he’s brought a few youngsters in, myself included, and he has pushed a few of us forward. When I came back he said I was in his plans, so I have to trust that and be patient and so far it has worked well.”

There has already been talk of Jan  Vertonghen staying on the left, even when BAE returns to full fitness. That could leave Steven with a run in the team – at least until Younes Kaboul makes his own comeback – but with William Gallas edging closer towards retirement, there does seem to be a logical space in the side for Caulker to make his own on a long term basis.



  1. Billy G has been top notch in his last 2 games and Caulker has flourished alongside him, with Vert playing superbly on the Left the only below par performances are coming from Walker in the Right back position. Kyle was so consistent this time last year, he really looked like a star find, what has gone wrong ? His position is not under threat, does he not understand the system, his responsibilities ? My fear is that Chelsea could exploit any errors in that area.

  2. Well said Raz.but R.B would not be my concern against Chelsea.Torres is playing beter every week.Jan must be moved back to central defence,if only for this game.Spurs must match Torres height and strength,that for me would be jans job.Maybe Caulker and Jan in the middle?One thing is for sure,we are going to have to be at our best.This is one game i really hope we win.

  3. We have suffered for some time with a lack of cover at full back.

    Back four stays the same against Chelsea, not sure if Naughton is fit but regardless we don’t have many options.

    Looking forward to getting Kaboom back, image Jan and Kaboul at CB!!!!

    Kyle Walker needs to pull his finger out. The coaching staff must see this, his pace gets him out of so many problems but against the really good teams, he will get caught. He could do with some good competition at RB and maybe a veteran RB to learn from. Walker is the future.

  4. Back four must remain intact, Sandro & Dembele also, only change could be Ade for Defoe, he brings so many others into play. Improved shifts from Bale, Walker, Lennon and Dempsey or Siggy would see us Triumphant.
    Lloris or Freidel, no matter, both are top top keepers.
    Who doubts AVB now ?

  5. caulker is ahead of dawson and kaboul.dawson i think will go in january.kaboul reaction time is better and he would be good in either lb or rb.walker has temporary lost it.our belgium super hero must be in the center of the defense.also the parker return.where do you play him?sandro offers more variation.what a problem .our only problem is the strike cover if ade or defoe get injured.dempsey needs time to settle in.

  6. Because of my schedule here in America, I have been unable to watch Caulker and Vert play but I am a big fan of both from what I have read from comments, the media, and results (both scoring goals, Vert getting up in attack against Man U). I hope there is a spot for Kaboul in there somewhere. BAE I’m unsure about now and I know next to nothing about Naughton. I don’t know the future of this club, but I desperately hope we can get some stars in the back line that play for years to come that can be main stays for many prem league title runs.

  7. Been impressed by Caulker thus far and with Vert on the outside has improved the attack. Gotta keep Dembele and Sandro in the middle. Walker needs to get things together or Chelsea will be sure to exploit his inconsistency.

  8. We can all pick a top team for any given fixture but the real test for AVB is rotation of this excellent squad and keeping the players involved. When a fully fit Squad take to Bulls Cross in a few weeks time the real tactician and man manager will come to the fore. I for one can’t wait. COYS.

  9. Vertongen staying left fits for me, Gallas has been strong Caulker or a returning Kaboul in middle – but what about BAE replacing Walker on the right? Walker’s been rough and BAE when in form is a tremendous passer on the flank


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.