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Michael Dawson: The Difference Maker?

Michael Dawson was almost sold to QPR in January. But could his presence be a talisman for the Tottenham defense?

Julian Finney

Team captain. English International. Former "Tottenham Player of the Year." But in August, Michael Dawson was none of those things. He was the odd man out. Having missed much of 2011-12 season with ankle ligament damage, Dawson was at the bottom of the centerback depth chart. Bids from QPR also saw Dawson leave the club.

But the transfer didn't go through, and Dawson bided his time. Early action came primarily in the Europa League and Carling Cup, as Dawson tried to re-prove his talents. But as injuries have felled the Tottenham defense, Dawson finally has gotten opportunities to prove himself in the league. The return of Michael Dawson has come.

Starting against West Ham and Liverpool in consecutive games, it is evident that the old Michael Dawson is back. Not only was Dawson able to hang aerially with Andy Carroll against West Ham, but he was largely effective in stopping arguably the league's most in-form striker in Luis Suarez yesterday.

Dawson stood out yesterday in contrast to his centerback partner--William Gallas. While Gallas' lack of pace and athleticism has become a major detriment to a player who used to rely greatly on it, Dawson has been able to use strength an positioning to substitute for outstanding athleticism.

It seems evident then that the defense used against West Ham (Jan Vertonghen, Steven Caulker, Michael Dawson, and Kyle Walker) may be the most effective defense going forward until the likes of Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto return from injury. With Caulker's athleticism combining with Dawson's defensive discipline, we could see a strong defensive pairing that carries Spurs until they get back their injured defenders