Football FanCast columnist ‘The New Voice of Football' wonders if Bassong should remain first choice at WHL, given the return to fitness of Woodgate and Dawson.
Despite the defeat to Stoke at White Hart Lane today, Tottenham have still enjoyed a first ten games to the Premier League season far removed from the last campaign. This accomplished with a central-defence that's been chopped and changed more times than a pile of Lego in a children's toy box.
One player, who has been there for Spurs more often than not, is Sebastien Bassong, whose place looked most under threat against the Potters, with Jonathan Woodgate returning and the phenomenon that is Ledley King available. Michael Dawson was also back and ready to play his part in a position, which has plagued Harry Redknapp from the onset this season.
Harry chose to rest King and play Bassong with Woodagte, a bad decision I feel as was proven, when Woody had to be taken off in the first-half. After all it makes no sense to have two central defenders on the pitch, who are liable to break down. The decision to play Bassong was right, but King should have partnered him unless Woodgate, was 100%, which he appears not to have been. Spurs have looked most solid this season, with King and Bassong at the back.
Ultimately it was not the defending, which cost Spurs dear against Stoke, but the missing of opportunities at the other end. Woodgate is a class act of that there is no doubt, but his consistent niggling injuries might now see him fall behind Bassong in the pecking order at White Hart Lane. Redknapp knowing it would be risky at the least to play King and Woodgate, with their problems. Given the choice Harry is always going to plump for Ledley, with Bassong my pick to partner him.
At 23 Bassong is still young and looks full of promise, his performances alongside King this season and whoever else in a long list of pairings standing out for me this term. He can only benefit from playing alongside King, who makes defending look easy and should be given what he wants by Spurs to sign an extension to his current deal and see out the rest of his days at the club.
Dawson will always get chances due to the situation with Ledley and Woody and is a very good defender, who it's great to be able to call on; but Bassong is the one most likely to command the backline in the future at Tottenham and must therefore be given every opportunity to learn off King, while he still can.
King won't last forever and Woodgate has had his chances in a career that promised so much, but will ultimately will be remembered as being strewn with injury and not quite reaching the heights of the game as a consequence. Whether Bassong was a bought as a stop gap or not at the start of the season is neither here nor there, for he has put in enough performances for Tottenham now for Redknapp to seemingly trust him enough to rest King. I would have preferred Ledley to play with him today, but he will more often than not. This partnership representing the best option for Spurs now and in the future and should not be broken to accommodate a player like Woodgate, who still remains to have question marks hanging over him.