LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 22: Matt Derbyshire of Birmingham City takes the ball past Sandro and Michael Dawson of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Birmingham City at White Hart Lane on May 22, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
I feel it’s pertinent to comment on Mr. Michael Dawson. Since his return to the first team fold after a spell out with injury, I don’t feel he’s hit the defensive heights of last season. Last season’s form was so superb that he finally received international recognition under Fabio Capello with England (as in a prolonged run with the first-team in the absence of Rio Ferdinand).
Since William Gallas has joined us at the start of this current 2010/2011 season, Dawson has often found himself playing as our left sided centre-back. Despite the team gaining a cluster of clean sheets with a defensive pairing of Dawson and Gallas, neither defender has looked completely comfortable alongside each other, either individually or as a pair. I’ve often wondered if Gallas can play as our left-sided centre back and then we can have Dawson in his natural position at right centre back.
Dawson’s relative lack of pace has often been found out too. He has a tendency to ball-watch and not anticipates attacks. That said, his reading of the game is still improving and he’s often had to lead the backline on his own, especially with the long term absence of defensive lynchpin Ledley King who often brought the best of out of Dawson. He’s becoming a vocal captain and leads with his physical style of defending. He’s a clean tackler too. He’s also humble and down to earth off the pitch. Let’s hope he becomes Mr Consistency for the duration of his Spurs career.