Andre Villas-Boas will have concerns over the fitness of the three players who went off injured during Tottenham’s 3 – 0 win over Tromso in the Europa League. The injuries were the only down-side for Spurs who travel to play Cardiff City on Sunday and Aston Villa on Tuesday evening in the Capital One Cup.Danny Rose limped off in the first half and Mousa Dembele was stretchered off during the second half while Younes Kaboul had to leave the pitch in the final minutes as Spurs played out the game with ten men.
The lack of cover at left back will be of concern to AVB. Jan Vertonghen came off the bench for Rose to play in the position he occupies in the Belgium international team. With Benoit Assou-Ekotto on loan at QPR, he may have to fill that role for Spurs in the coming weeks. He played there on a number of occasions last season but prefers playing in central defence. To move him wide to left back would unsettle the partnership he is developing with Michael Dawson but other options are limited for AVB. Kyle Naughton has played on the left but being right-footed is more comfortable on the right while Zeke Fryers isn’t yet ready for the Premier League. If Vertonghen is required to play on the left side of the defence it could create an opening for new signing Vlad Chiriches who has now been granted his work permit – especially with the injury to Kaboul.
Rose is a doubt for Sunday’s game but AVB is hopeful that he might recover in time. He was quoted on ESPN saying,
We have to be a little bit more careful with Danny Rose. We hope it’s not serious. We have to give him one night to see the reaction of his ankle. He is in doubt for Sunday but he should be okay.
Spurs have greater cover in central midfield but with Etienne Capoue already out injured, Dembele is an unwanted addition to that list. Sandro has been enthusiastic in displaying his return to full fitness when given the opportunity so would be ready to replace of the Belgian midfielder.
AVB also commented on Dembele’s injury,
If there are any concerns about Kaboul Spurs will be reluctant to risk him following his season long absence last year. Caution is the best policy to take where he is concerned to ensure no further damage and that he is fully fit when he returns.
He felt a lot of pain when he was brought down, but now he’s steady.
The manager said that Younes felt muscle tightness in his adductor and we decided to take him off. He was struggling but he didn’t rupture anything.
With Aaron Lennon absent with a foot injury from which he is taking longer to recover than had been expected, and Nacer Chadli out with a hip injury, the squad players are getting more of an opportunity than they might have expected this early in the season.