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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Kyle Naughton

Every club has to have it's back-up players and keeping them happy is not always easy.

Kyle Naughton

If a player is happy sitting on a bench then he is admitting the guy in the team is better than him and he'll accept what game time he can get. Tottenham have to keep an eye on their wages budget and therefore need back-up players who are on reasonable wages.

Such players are either young development players making their way into the first team squad or lesser players and with either fans have to expect mistakes. For Spurs it is not really possible to have two first team players in every position and it is in defence where this weakness shows.

Kyle Naughton takes a lot of stick, he gets skinned by a decent winger and his howler against Southampton when running forward to allow the ball to bounce over his head did him no favours in fans eyes.

His versatility has made him valuable to the squad in the last couple of seasons. a £25,000 a week player sitting on the bench and having to do his best whether he is played out of position or not.

We have had problems in defence, it seems permanently. Naughton is a right-back but has spent much of his time playing at left-back as well as filling in the League Cup or certain Europa League games. Yes he makes mistakes but players like him are needed, we would have been lost last season without him.

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Kyle Walker has played in most games and has had to on many occasions. He appreciates the qualities of his friend and rival for the right-back slot.

They both came up through the ranks at Sheffield United before making the move to White Hart Lane in 2009.

“Of everyone here, I know better than most what Kyle can do. He doesn’t panic on the ball, he’s very talented.

“I always say the biggest thing about football is confidence and if you can play with confidence, you can do anything. We speak a lot and I’m happy he’s done well.

“I want to play all the time but at the same time, I’m pleased for Kyle that he’s got a good run in the team to show what he can do.”

At the end of February 25 year-old Naughton felt he would have to leave White Hart Lane in search of regular football and only a few weeks later Kyle Walker was out for the remainder of the season.

"I am 25 and there is a stage that you reach when you think, 'Well, am I going to be No 1?'

"That is what I am looking for. I want to be playing every single week. I want to be playing regularly.

"I am not sure what is going to happen, but if I can't hold down a first-team spot then I do have to look elsewhere.

"I am not going to lie - I am a right-back. That is the position I want to play in, but it has been difficult with Kyle Walker doing so well."

In the end he played 1,745 minutes in 22 Premier League appearances, which equates to 19.39 full games. He also played in 11 complete Europa League games and 67 minutes of a League Cup tie. In total he played 2,802 minutes. Only 6 players played more and one of those was Hugo Lloris.

The outfield players who played more were Dawson 3,464, Walker 2,990, Paulinho 2,868, Dembele 2,827 and Vertonghen 2,826.

The former England Under 21 international is under contract until 2016and there has been no rumours this time around of him leaving or of clubs being interested in signing him.


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