The Chalkboard: Danny Rose has to be Tottenham’s first-choice left-back

Despite Thursday night’s penalty shootout loss to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final, as per the BBC, one positive came out of the game for Tottenham and for Mauricio Pochettino – Danny Rose is looking back to his best, and needs to be considered as the first-choice option ahead of Ben Davies.

What’s the word, then?

Spurs boss Pochettino has given both Rose and Davies almost an even split of Premier League starts this season, with the England international making 10 whilst the Welsh international Davies has made a few more with 14, as per Whoscored.

The former Southampton manager seems to trust Davies in the bigger games, starting him in the north London derby to cite an example, although the former Swansea defender offers very little going forward in comparison to his teammate.

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As seen on Rose’s Whoscored page, the former Leeds man embarks on 1.3 dribbles per game in the Premier League, whereas, in stark contrast, Davies records just 0.1 dribbles per game.

He may have one more assist than Rose, but Spurs are noticeably less attack-minded down that left flank when the England international is out of the team.

You also have to bear in mind that the north London-based side prefer to play with a midfield diamond in a 4-1-2-1-2 system, which contains no natural wingers, but rather a defensive midfielder, two central midfielders and an attacking midfield in a narrow shape – as a result, it is pivotal for the full-backs to provide the width.

Why has Rose been out of favour?

In fairness to Pochettino, Rose did struggle with injuries last season and made just nine league starts, as per Whoscored, so his preference to play Davies was originally enforced and has just ended up being the order of the day at Spurs.

Now, however, the 28-year-old looks back to the player he was before his injury problems, recording an excellent assist for Fernando Llorente’s goal against the Blues in the aforementioned semi-final with a cross of real quality.

For Tottenham to take the game to their opponents and make the narrow system work to its full potential, Rose must be considered as first choice ahead of Davies immediately.