Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action later this evening as they look to bounce back from their midweek FA Cup exit at the hands of Everton.
Although, a tough task now stands in the way of Jose Mourinho as he takes his side to Manchester City, a team that has won 15 matches in a row in all competitions.
All of Spurs’ defensive frailties were fully on display up in Merseyside on Wednesday night as the north Londoners shipped five goals, so there will surely be a change at the back tonight.
Mourinho opted for a pairing of Davinson Sanchez, who bagged himself a brace, and Toby Alderweireld, who was particularly calamitous as he had a desperate part to play in three of the Toffees’ five goals.
Perhaps it’s time to throw a lifeline to Joe Rodon…
It is evident that the Portuguese boss doesn’t trust his current options having constantly rotated them about every week. It’s even been reported that he wants a ‘transformative’ centre-back signing in the same ilk of a Virgil van Dijk or Ruben Dias.
So that speaks volumes.
It may now be the right decision to bring the inexperienced Welshman back into the fray – let’s face it, at only 23, he can learn from his mistakes unlike Mourinho’s supposed leaders Alderwerield (31) and Eric Dier (27).
Rodon has only started four of his seven Premier League appearances so far this season but has largely given a good account of himself, especially in his first start against Chelsea, helping the side to a clean sheet and more recently, against Sheffield United.
After that draw with the Blues, Paul Robinson told Football Insider: “Outstanding. I really thought he was brilliant,” before adding: “The biggest compliment I can pay him is that Tottenham did not miss Alderweireld.”
The 6 foot 4 man-mountain even drew glowing praise from Roy Keane, which is hard enough to achieve. He told Sky Sports, via Wales Online:
“It’s a tough place for him to go for his debut, he got a busted lip for his troubles as well, but yeah, done really well, nice composure, nice body language, he looked composed out there.”
Last season whilst at Swansea, the £13m-rated man earned a lofty comparison. Speaking on the Sky Sports EFL podcast, Andy Hinchcliffe likened him to one of Mourinho’s former leaders, John Terry. He said:
“He’s right up there in terms of position for his age. I think what you tend to do with young centre-halves is look at the greats of the Premier League. You look at Ferdinand and Terry and there are elements of both in Rodon’s game. What I want from a centre-half is someone who loves to defend.”
In his first season at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho handed the captaincy to Terry aged just 24, and they went onto win the league, so why not repeat that feat now?
If mistakes are going to consistently crop up in Spurs’ backline, then it’s only right to let Rodon be involved to learn from them and then subsequently improve on them – it’ll benefit the club in the long run albeit for a short-term and temporary sacrifice.
Rodon is yet to be dribbled past in his seven appearances, as per WhoScored, whilst he’s putting in more tackles per 90 (1.9) than either of Alderweireld (1.7) or Dier (0.6).
He must start at the Etihad tonight, he could well be the game-changer in stopping this Spurs rot.
AND in other news, Mourinho could already have his Reguilon replacement right under his nose…