Tottenham’s season started in rather turbulent style, with injuries and loss of form creating some real selection headaches for head coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Having named central defender Younes Kaboul as club captain prior to the start of the campaign, the former Southampton coach was inclined to start him as first choice in the back-line, which he did for the first 11 games of the Premier League season. The one consistent fixture in the heart of the defence, Jan Vertonghen and Vlad Chiriches alternated with each other, as well as Federico Fazio upon his arrival at the club.
Staying for as long as he did, Kaboul’s run in the side ended following the Lilywhites 2-1 defeat to Stoke City, and since then the central defensive unit has consisted of Vertonghen alongside Fazio.
After starting his Tottenham career in poor style - with a red card on his debut, and then a second just weeks later - Fazio has grown into character at White Hart Lane, and could now be considered on of the best defenders in the Spurs ranks. His partnership with Vertonghen allows both to excel, with various traits playing off one another to create a truly formidable defensive unit, and the stats suggest that Pochettino has finally found the defence that can lead the North Londoners to success.
As a pair, the duo have played 14 games together this season, of which 10 have been won, three have been drawn, and just one has been lost - which came away at Stamford Bridge to Premier League leaders Chelsea, who have won every game at home this season.
The three draws came with Partizan Belgrade - back in September - and Crystal Palace and Manchester United, with the latter coming as recently as Sunday. The duo should give a lot of thanks to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who has single-handedly won games for Spurs, but there appears to be much more stability when that pair are at the heart of defence rather than any other.
It has taken time for Pochettino to make his mark at White Hart Lane, but it looks as if he is starting to finally work his way into changing things for the better - starting with the defence. Now that the back-line has been fixed, the Argentine coach can start focusing on other areas that need work, and it looks as if it will finally be a promising season for Tottenham Hotspur.