The recent history of the Tottenham right-back position isn’t a particularly pretty one, but it is a bit funny if you can separate it from the pain the following players caused you. Ready? Here we go.
Stephen Carr: Pretty good by Tottenham full-back standards, but definitely made to look better than he was by the dross he had to play with. He was essentially a Peugeot 206 in a line of Nissan Micras.
Pascal Chimbonda: A kind of defensive Adebayor, starting well for each of his 1000 new clubs before quickly shedding any care he once had about his performances or responsibilities. Pushed Paul Stalteri out of the side, which was sad. That said, I interviewed Stalteri recently and he said he and Pascal were good mates.
Didier Zokora: I know his main position was in central midfield, but he did deputise at right-back a fair few times. Played like a moth trapped in a lampshade. In both positions.
Alan Hutton: For about ten minutes Hutton looked like he was going to be the Scottish Cafu. Turned rapidly into a Scottish snafu. After his first few months, tended to play as if he’d just come back from a few pints, a kebab and a fight. Might well have done.
Vedran Corluka: Was he slower than the United States’ acceptance of gay marriage? Yes. But he did a damned fine job, did Charlie. He was steady, comforting and mostly reliable, like a footballing piece of toast. He also kept Luka happy, which was far more important than any of the above.
Younes Kaboul: Spent a good portion of the Champions League qualifying season at right-back when Corluka was injured. He was a bit of a Kaboul in a china shop, but it was quite exhilarating to see him bombing down the right in a straight line with no clear plan for what to do once he got near the opposition goal. Speaking of which…
Kyle Walker: Physically, the bloke has everything you want in a full-back. Tall, muscular, the pace of a desert predator and has a relatively good shot on him. Mentally though, it’s hard to escape the feeling that he’s one card short of a full deck. There are just clearly times at which he isn’t thinking about where he is or what he’s doing. From the vacant expression on his face, sometimes you have to question whether he’s thinking at all. A few times last season he simply ran the ball out of play, as if someone had just pulled his plug out. His last couple of seasons have been a massive shame, because when he first broke into the team it looked like he would be the long term solution.
DeAndre Yedlin: Far too early to say, but the kid is powerful and rapid. He is the closest to a human motorbike I think I’ve ever seen. A season’s loan would do him the world of good, and the club has to be careful he doesn’t fall into the Walker trap of relying too much on his physicality. If he does make it, he’ll surely be the coolest-named right-back Spurs have ever had.
Kieran Trippier: I refuse to get sucked in. Half of the players above started well. Some even started really well. Trippier looks like an excellent player, and he certainly appears to be an upgrade on Walker in every department other than pace. Have Tottenham finally found their right-back for the future? Let’s hope so. On the list of things I have to worry about, it would be nice to finally cross off Tottenham’s right-back.