30-year-old Michael Dawson is a player with more than 220 Premier League appearances under his belt, and 12 England caps.
He has played against the best of the best, yet revealed this weekend that the opponent who he has least relished facing during his career is none other than a current teammate.
During a Q&A session via the Tottenham Hotspur Twittter account over the weekend, the centre-back revealed that it was Emmanuel Adebayor who he rated as the best.
.@OzSpurs: "Who is the best forward you’ve ever come up against?" Daws: "Ade, when he was at Arsenal, but it's tough to single one out."— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 26, 2014
Dawson lined up against Adebayor's Arsenal in the last ever North London derby game at Highbury in April 2006, a game which ended a 1-1 draw. Yet was he even the best in that team? It's doubtful many would agree.
As he says, it's tough to single one player out - yet he of course contradicts himself by naming only the Togolese international striker.
The Arsenal team he faced that day also contained two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie, and all-time Gunners record goalscorer Thierry Henry.
Could he be just feeding into manager Tim Sherwood's methods of massaging Emmanuel Adebayor's ego to continue getting the best out of him, or is it a genuinely held view that the hot and cold Spurs striker really is the best around?
Adebayor is enjoying a real return to form for Tottenham under the club's new management, when it had seemed under Andre Villas-Boas he was surplus to requirements.
If Dawson really does rate him as more dangerous than even Robin van Persie when at the top of his game, then he may be interested to learn his goals-per-minute scoring ratio this season backs him up.
|Player||Team||Mins / Goals||Apps||Mins|
|Robin van Persie||Man Utd||130.29||11||912|
image: © Roger Gorączniak