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"Broadway" at the Lane? Looking At Danny Rose, Gareth Bale, And The Left Back Position

Since his debut wonder-goal against Arsenal, Danny Rose has come on leaps and bounds. He had a sterling end of the season filling in at left back, and now just unleashed another master class with the England U-21's, especially impressive with the right foot from the left footed player (from 0:55). 

Rose's emergence at left back has given Harry Redknapp an asset and a dilemma: Rose and Gareth Bale are two young, talented left wingers who can play left back. Benoit Assou-Ekotto had a solid season at left back, but is much less talented than the young left sided duo of Rose and Bale.

If Harry is going to make the Rose and Bale duo the left side of the future, he would be wise to designate right now whom he wants to groom as a left back. So who should do what?

Physically, it would seem that Bale is better groomed to be a left back. He is bigger and stronger than Rose, and has more experience defensively after being brought up a left back. While Bale has blazing speed, he needs space to accelerate, which he would get making runs from deep. Bale is also still extremely left-footed, lessening the effectiveness of his inside runs.

Rose on the other hand is quicker than Bale and more comfortable with his right foot, making him a threat to go inside or outside with the ball. Combined with his high work rate and comfort on ball, and he seems to be the more natural left winger.

However, the problem comes in looking at what Tottenham needs. Bale is unquestionably a better player than Rose, and pulling him into defense would lessen the needed offensive impact he can make on the game. Along with Aaron Lennon, Bale is the absolute key to Tottenham's dangerous counter attack, and it was that counter attack that allowed Spurs to defeat both of Milan's sides. 

But in the end, it seems Redknapp might be wise to move Bale back to left back and concede the left wing to Rose. While in 2010 Bale was unstoppable, the turn of the new year helped reveal that Bale can be marked out of games and hard tackled out of effectiveness. Putting him at left back would keep Bale with the space to do what he does best, make long runs down the left chalk and putting in perfect crosses. Bale will still get chances at the wing, taking the position and moving BAE back to left back when Redknapp wants a more defensive line-up.

Danny Rose has earned a chance to seize the left wing position and make it his own. Spurs fans can dream of Rose cutting in on goal and drawing the fullbacks, only to have Bale supporting him wide. Maybe then we can see Rose begin to match the magic that he brought to White Hart Lane one year ago.