This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Tottenham Hotspur should switch to a back three as they look to alleviate their problems at full-back.
Roy Keane issued a damning verdict on both Danny Rose and Serge Aurier at the weekend following their performances against Liverpool, labelling them “dumb and dumber”.
And one has to think he might be right.
The stats show that both players are remarkably reckless. Aurier has a red card to his name already this season, while also conceding a penalty versus Jurgen Klopp’s men, and he has conceded 1.4 fouls per game while making only two successful tackles on average, per WhoScored.
Rose, who is suspended from the clash with Everton this weekend after collecting five yellow cards in just nine games, concedes 1.6 fouls per game comped to 1.8 succesful tackles. Aurier is dribbled past once per game, while Rose’s number is 0.9.
While there are alternatives – Ben Davies and Kyle Walker-Peters spring to mind – defensive solidity would be offered by moving to a back three and starting Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
Statistically, both are better than Sanchez defensively but bringing the Colombia international in adds an extra layer of protection that can cover for the Belgium duo’s lack of pace.
The pair are obviously ageing – they have a combined age of 62 – but Sanchez is just 23 and improving while holding the ability to operate as something of a sweeper.
It would also allow Spurs to field a more attacking line-up in a 3-4-3 formation.
Of course, the wings would need covering, but it makes sense to utilise Moussa Sissoko on the right side of midfield, behind the actual right-winger, while Ryan Sessegnon would be able to play behind Son Heung-Min on the left.
That would both fortify the defence and add an extra layer in the attack, with midfielders able to overlap instead of defenders who could be caught out of position.
Here’s how they could line up with a three-at-the-back formation.
The game against Everton this Sunday, with Rose suspended and Aurier having a question mark hanging over him following his execrable display against Liverpool, could be the perfect opportunity to experiment.