Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen believes that playing alongside Federico Fazio consistently is helping the team.
Vertonghen and Fazio have started five of the last six games together, and they seem to be manager Mauricio Pochettino’s first-choice centre-backs now.
Argentine boss Pochettino has been rotating his central defenders and trying to find the best combination, and it appears that he has finally found them.
“I think, like the team, we are improving in every game,” London24.com quotes Vertonghen as saying. “The manager expects a lot from us as leaders, as a defence.
“He [Fazio] is a beast in the air and I’m less strong in the air than him, but we compensate for each other in that way. I think we’re doing quite well at the moment.
“We talk a lot - he speaks English very well - and I think it’s good for centre-backs to play together for a while.”
Communication is key for any centre-back pairing, and Belgium international Vertonghen, who can also play as a left-back, has revealed that it is one aspect of the game which the players have been working on in training.
“He (Pochettino) wants us to press high and to keep a high line to help the midfield and the strikers to press the opponent, because the spaces are smaller, so that’s one thing we’ve been looking at – and the communication,” said the 27-year-old.
“I think sometimes you can be a bit lazy as a centre-back when it’s going well, but this manager keeps us focused and keeps us on the front foot for 90 minutes.”
It seems that Tottenham’s hard work in training is finally paying off. On Wednesday, the North London outfit won their second successive game, getting the better of Newcastle United 4-0 at home in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.
Pochettino has been trying to find his best starting line-up so far this season, and he has yet to find it. However, he has certainly figured out the centre-back pairing.
If Vertonghen and Fazio can maintain their form and remain disciplined at the back over the festive period, then Tottenham will get a huge boost in their quest to finish in the top four of the Premier League.