Tottenham Hotspur

Ben Davies stabilizes rocky After his most recent 92% performance, Ange Postecoglou is not likely to be a Tottenham hero.

 It’s safe to say Tottenham have been embroiled in something of a rocky couple of months after several injuries and results but one man has emerged as an unlikely shining light and that is Ben Davies.

Due to injuries and suspensions, Spurs have lost players such Destiny Udogie, Yves Bissouma, Giovani Lo Celso, James Maddison, and Rodrigo Bentancur.

However, none of them have had the same impact on Spurs as the departure of Micky van de Ven, who had shown himself to be an incredible summer acquisition from Ange Postecoglou following a stellar start to his Tottenham career.

Many Tottenham supporters would have thought their season was very much over when the Dutchman fell down against Chelsea, clutching his hamstring. That was just over a month ago.

Since joining the Premier League, the 22-year-old has been a revelation, helping the team improve their defensive performance from the previous campaign thanks to his connection with Cristian Romero.

Not for Spurs overall, but for Postecoglou specifically, who sorely needed a left-footed center-back at the left of his defense, his injury was a huge setback.

Nobody on the team has the defensive awareness, positioning, recovery speed, or ability to win a battle that van de Ven possesses, so Postecoglou might have been forgiven for throwing out his tactical playbook altogether.

Not quite, as Postecoglou called upon senior international veteran and seldom-seen player Davies, who many believed lacked the skills to ever play for the team again.

After a few weeks, the Welsh international has possibly been Tottenham’s most dependable and consistent player amid the team’s turbulent and quickly evolving changes.

On December 10, the 30-year-old played six accurate long balls forward and won 100% of his aerial duels against Newcastle. He also completed 86% of his passes in two of his three ground duels (Sofascore).

The next week, at the City Ground, against Nottingham Forest, it was much the same story, as the veteran of Tottenham Hotspur was instrumental in helping them record their sixth clean sheet of the season.

Spurs players led by Davies in touches (118), aerial duels won (five), and clearances (six) [WhoScored].

The Wales international was one of four Spurs players to record a dribble in addition to his impressive defensive play.

Dejan Kulusevski scored one goal and assisted on another as Tottenham won 2-0. While the Swede received all the attention and accolades, the Welshman stood out as the unexpected hero.

In the 4-1 victory over Newcastle United, Davies had equaled his season high in aerial victories (four), only to surpass it against Forest (five) [WhoScored].

The 30-year-old tied for the season lead with 102 passes, and his six clearances versus Forest were also his greatest total.

All of that suggests that Davies will continue to improve as the season progresses, which is both expected and appreciated.

When you consider how his future at the club fared both before the season began and throughout van de Ven’s incredible run as a star-studded new acquisition, his performances just do not get enough attention.

Although Davies may not be the most attractive or visually appealing player in the Premier League, he excels at what he does best and has performed admirably to fill in for van de Ven.

Ten of the 102 passes made versus Forest were deemed long, a game-high, and seven of those passes found their intended recipient, another game-high.

In fact, when it comes to advanced passes received, Davies is among the top 1% of center backs in Europe’s top five leagues, according to FBref.

Davies won five of his eight ground duels and five of his seven aerial duels during the course of the ninety minutes. He also made six clearances. He stopped one shot, won two tackles, and was never dribbled past.

He demonstrated equally impressive skill with the ball, finishing 92% of his passes and making seven of his ten attempted long balls forward.

Davies has improved significantly this season and has impressed Postecoglou, much to his credit.

Fans who had doubts about his defensive prowess and future at the club need to realize that true superheroes don’t wear capes or, to use football terminology, have the glamorous technical skills that fans crave. This is demonstrated by the veterinary and vintage Davies’ comeback in north London.

In other Tottenham news, the club may require assistance from Arsenal in order to receive their portion of a windfall of £4.2 billion.

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