By Harvey Byrne
Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham has highlighted full-back duo Kyle Walker and Danny Rose’s pivotal roles in Tottenham’s 4-2-3-1 formation.
The defensive duo are considered Spurs’ first choice for the full-back positions, keeping Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier out of Mauricio Pochettino’s starting eleven.
The pair played key roles under the Argentine boss last season in his formation and they have continued their form in the new campaign conceding just three goals in their opening seven fixtures.
Higginbotham, who played in the Premier League as a centre-back during his career, highlighted the two Spurs stars’ ability to defend as well as attack.
“This is a more traditional modern-day formation,” told Higginbotham to the Sky Sports website. “One of the teams who utilise this system well are Tottenham. What they do very well is attack with both full-backs, who are expected to play both left-back and left midfield at the same time.
“Spurs transfer from defence to attack so quickly and the full-backs are key to that as they break into open space with pace. One second they’re defending, the next the ball’s in the back of the net.
“The way that is done nowadays is down to the defensive side of things, teams want to maintain their defensive solidity when they’re attacking.
“This is achieved when the two centre-backs split and a midfielder drops back into the defensive line. Teams still have the strength that comes from having three at the back, meaning they’re less likely to be counter-attacked.
“This has completely changed the role of the full-back, they’ve got to be more athletic and fitter, because they’re responsible for the length of the pitch in attack and defence.”
The north London club finished in third place in the Premier League, which ensured that they would compete in the Champions League for the first time since since the 2010-11 season.
They are now looking to improve on the previous campaign, while also competing against Europe’s elite.
They are currently on course to do so and sit a point behind league leaders Manchester City in second place, with Spurs the only unbeaten side left in England’s top flight.