Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Dawson loves his Spurs, but Spurs have fallen out of love with him

As any fan would tell you, they all love a player who gives 100% every game for the club.  It's like there is a supporter actually on the pitch playing for his favourite club.  Unfortunately at times Michael Dawson has played like a supporter.

Ever since Dawson joined the club in January 2004 in a double deal with Andy Reid (remember him by the way!), Michael has given his all in every match, very much like a modern day Gary Mabbutt.

Michael's better performances, and spells in the team have occurred when he has been partnered with a more experienced centre back.  Noureddine Naybet, Ledley King and William Gallas have all helped Dawson, you can sense that they have talked him through games, and helped with his positional play.

When Dawson has been the leader in the defence, this has led to some of his more cumbersome displays.  You sense that the responsibility of captaining the side, and marshalling the defence is detrimental to his performance.

Dawson in the summer of 2012 was surplus to requirements at Spurs, when Andre Villas Boas agreed that he could join QPR.  Michael however turned down the move failing to agree personal terms.  In hindsight would it have been better for Dawson to join QPR at this stage, as he never coped with AVB's (often suicidal) high line defensive structure.  He was too slow when turned by opposing forwards about 30yards out from goal, and was a ideal defender when all he is required to do is head and block balls coming into the box from crosses and long balls.  Asking him to play out of defence was always a step to far for Michael as well, the long diagonal ball often a favourite of his.

During Spurs 2010-2011 Champions League campaign, Michael had what I felt were his best two games in a Spurs shirt, when we managed to beat AC Milan 1-0 over two legs, he dealt with the threat of Ibrahimovic as well as I can remember any centre back dealing with him.

However as I've said previously Michael should really have joined QPR in 2012, as the Spurs tactical approach highlighted his deficiencies even more, and you also felt he struggled playing in the manner asked of him.

Michael Dawson will be looked on as a Spurs player who loved playing for the club, but most fans will admit he was never quite good enough for a team looking to qualify for the Champions League on a regular basis, and it was only the quality of his experienced centre back partners that made him shine.

Chris Clark © 2014    @Chrisclark1975 

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