Cartilage Free Captain is reviewing each of Spurs' first team players and evaluating their season. The series continues today with Tottenham Hotspur defender Vlad Chiriches.
Hot dogs eaten: ALL OF THEM
Minutes played: 1502
What went right?
Vlad Chiriches has been around long enough that we kind of know what to expect out of him when he plays, which honestly isn't much and is somewhat of a depressing statement of his performances of late. That said, he hasn't always been pants-on-head insane and has even put in a few decent shifts at right back for Spurs after Kyle Walker went down to injury. The other thing that went right is that we have successfully connected Vlad Chiriches to the consumption of hot dogs via our podcast, Wheeler Dealer Radio, and that has ironically made us love him a lot more than we probably should or would otherwise. Does Vlad really eat hot dogs? Does he really drive the Oscar Mayer Wiener-mobile? Who cares, it's awesome.
What went wrong?
A lot, frankly. (Frankly? Get it? HOT DOG JOKE.) Despite those couple of good games at right back, he wasn't very good overall. The stuff that Vlad brings to the table – ranging forward runs, progressive passing, ambitious defensive tackling – aren't especially what you want out of a central defender playing in a high pressing game. We routinely mock Squawka stats on this site, but it's worth mentioning that when Vlad is bad, he's pretty g*****n horrible, as illustrated by his cumulative performance rating of -23. I still don't really know what that Squawka number means, but I'm going to assume negative = NOT GREAT BOB. (See? I can use stats too, Caley.)
As much as I like Vlad, and against all rationality I do, the bad far outweighs the good. He's still known more for his incredible derps than for his resolute defending. Every few games he can be counted on to do something like this:
Damn, son! A botched trap, an attacker in behind him, and a handball in the box, all in one play. This .gif is Peak Vlad™ and why the Romanian is probably no longer in Pochettino's plans.
With the signing of Kevin Wimmer, it's altogether possible that we have seen the last of Vlad Chiriches in a Tottenham kit. Considering he, along with Etienne Capoue and Younes Kaboul, was left out of the post-season tour squad, it doesn't bode well for his future. If Vlad were to stay around it would probably be as emergency right back cover, but with Yedlin and Eric Dier still around and Spurs apparently mulling over a move for Kieran Trippier, even this seems less likely. His best bet is clearly to retire from football and open a sausage stand outside White Hart Lane called "Tottenham Hotdogs." I'd buy one.