Jan Vertonghen reiterates his desire to play in central defense

Clive Mason

Those Belgians sure do love talking to Belgian outlets about things they don't like about playing at Tottenham Hotspur, don't they?

Jan Vertonghen is sick of playing left back. It's tough to blame him.

The following quotes are from this Daily Mail story, which does not cite an original source. Because they're the Daily Mail, I'm going to assume they were lifted from a Belgian outlet and used without attribution. I'm linking and crediting them because I'm better than them.

'We have had some injuries on the left of defence at Tottenham this season, and it has often been down to me to fill the gap. Tottenham pay my wages, so I have to accept it, but it doesn't suit me, and the club know how much I want to play centre-half. I think I have done enough to deserve a place there now, ideally for every game.'

From earlier in the month:

‘Once the [manager] knows that you can play in other positions he keeps that in mind. I can play at left back and I can help the team at times. But everyone knows that I am not a left back. Once there are injuries, I'm the first option to fill the gap. It sometimes feels like I'm a stopgap. Sometimes it is better that you can play in only one position. You can see that with other players. These guys specialise in one position and can completely concentrate on playing there.'

Vertonghen has said this over and over and it's tough to blame him for feeling this way. He's a better central defender than left back, and it's good for both his career and the team if he plays every game at center back. Tottenham went into this season with only one left back, and a very inexperienced one who converted from left winger just a season and a half ago at that. They did this even though they had another senior left back, who was strangely loaned out, and even though they made a profit in the transfer market and had money to spend.

Because Vertonghen stopped short of actually criticizing management, I don't think there's anything wrong with what he said. And you know what? If he did criticize management, he'd have a point.

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