Blind proved he should be first-choice left-back for Manchester United in win against Tottenham

Daley Blind Ajax VLQ

Daley Blind dropped into the left-back position with aplomb in the impressive win against Manchester United's Champions League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Manchester United stumbled on a predictable solution to what has been a problem position this season, with Louis van Gaal employing Daley Blind at left-back to great effect in the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. 

It is worth noting that Van Gaal has returned to a flat back-four in recent weeks, something that has generally helped bring defensive stability even if the personnel are changing regularly.

It is at left-back where Van Gaal has been unable, or unwilling to persist with the same player, but it is possible that against Spurs he stumbled on the right man - and it is something he would have perhaps known all along.

Blind started his first league game of the season at fullback, a position similar to the one he was so effective in during the Netherlands' World Cup adventure last summer.

Though he was bought as a versatile player, Blind has played most of his football as a defensive midfielder, and has struggled compared to Michael Carrick in this department whenever the English international has featured.

The problem for Van Gaal is that he has Luke Shaw as an expensively acquired specialist left-back, incapable of playing anywhere else in the side, and Marcos Rojo, another summer arrival who is best on the left of a three-man defence but who can also play at full-back. 

With the club's issues in midfield this year, it isn't a surprise to see Blind fill in there, but with fewer than 10 games to go, United have to play their best side in each of their remaining matches, even if that means players that may be expecting a start are left out of the side. 

Although Shaw is a player of undoubted promise, he has suffered an interrupted debut season at Old Trafford, with niggling injuries getting in the way of his attempts to settle in the first team.

Of the 12 matches the youngster has started for United, the Red Devils have won just 5 of them, and his last match was the 2-1 defeat to Swansea, where he was substituted after an hour on the pitch.

Rojo can be employed in central defence, or from the bench where he can replace any player who is struggling if need be.

But looking at the stats from each player's most recent game at full-back, it is apparent that Blind has to be considered a genuine option at full-back after playing his part in United's best performance of the season:

Blind vs Spurs 15/03/15

  PositionTeamWon Tackle% Duels for possesion wonTotal ClearanceInterceptionAerial WonPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Daley Blind MF Man Utd 2 50 3 3 1 82.46% 1 90

The former Ajax man was superb in the first half against Spurs, with his opponent Andros Townsend suffering the ignominy of being withdrawn after 30 minutes due to his inability to impact the game against Blind.

The Netherlands international was rarely troubled in the 90 minutes, and spotted Michael Carrick in space in the lead up to United's first goal. 

Shaw vs Swansea 21/02/15 

  PositionTeamWon Tackle% Duels for possesion wonTotal ClearanceInterceptionAerial WonPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Luke Shaw DF Man Utd 0 60 0 0 1 92.86% 1 58

Against Swansea, Shaw was unable to make an impact defensively, winning zero tackles and failing to clear or intercept the ball at all.

His passing accuracy was the highest of the three players, but seeing as though United lost in South Wales, they needed a full-back who could make an impact when it came to stopping the opposition, and Shaw lost goalscorer Sung-Yong Ki for the equaliser.

Rojo vs Newcastle 04/03/15

  PositionTeamWon Tackle% Duels for possesion wonTotal ClearanceInterceptionAerial WonPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Marcos Rojo DF Man Utd 3 36.84 6 1 3 89.36% 1 89

Rojo put in a much dominant defensive performance that Shaw in the win over Newcastle, positing similar stats to Blind against Spurs but with more clearances and aerial contributions.

What Rojo doesn't bring to the side is the ability to step into, or link up with the midfield in the way Blind does, as evidence by the Dutchman's pass to Carrick for Fellaini's goal.

The Argentine struggled in the number of ground duels for possession he won, with just over 1 in 3.

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