Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Paul Miller told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he feels Mauricio Pochettino has a problem in central defence.
Miller has suggested that experienced defenders Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul don’t like each other, which appears to have forced the manager’s hand in terms of his central defensive combinations.
“Vertonghen is now showing us the player he was. He wasn’t happy playing alongside Kaboul, there was body language there, they didn’t like each other obviously,” said Miller.
“He’s now played alongside Fazio and Dier – we’re looking good in the middle at the moment.”
It’s a problem for the manager because Kaboul is the player he selected as his captain in the first half of the season, while Vertonghen is arguably his best centre back at the moment.
Vertonghen seems to have settled on a defensive partnership with Eric Dier in recent games though Federico Fazio has done well since moving to the club from Sevilla.
Pochettino’s tendency to use those three players suggests that Kaboul could well be on his way looking ahead to the summer, with the Mirror reporting that Roma were interested on transfer deadline day towards the start of this month.
That move never happened but if there is a personality clash as Miller suggests, Pochettino has nailed his colours to the mast and appears to be backing a trio of Vertonghen, Dier and Fazio with Kaboul used as cover.