Spurs boss discusses the best roles for Fryers and Eriksen
PUBLISHED: 11:59 21 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:59 21 April 2014
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Tim Sherwood believes that Zeki Fryers’ future is at centre-back after the 21-year-old defender started in the middle alongside Younes Kaboul against Fulham on Saturday.
Fryers, who came through Manchester United’s academy before signing for Tottenham in January 2013, broke into the Spurs team as a left-back and has played in that position on 12 occasions this season.
However, an injury crisis meant Fryers lined up in the centre away against Benfica in the Europa League last month.
And, having seen his side concede three first-half goals at West Brom last week, Sherwood responded by withdrawing Vlad Chiriches at the interval and introducing Fryers alongside Younes Kaboul at the heart of the rearguard.
The head coach opted to start with that pairing against Fulham on Saturday, keeping faith with Fryers and leaving Romania captain Chiriches on the bench.
And, although Fryers made a first-half error that gifted Steve Sidwell a goal, Sherwood feels the young defender could become a central player at White Hart Lane.
“I see him as a centre-half, a left-sided centre-back,” said Sherwood. “If you look at where he played at Man United, he played as a left-sided centre-back five or six times. That’s where he will be in the end.
“I think he’s flexible enough to play left-back but if he’s going to be picked at the moment, it’s as a left-sided centre-back.”
Meanwhile, Spurs fans continue to debate where summer signing Christian Eriksen will be most effective.
Sherwood has taken to deploying Eriksen on the left of midfield but he wants the Dane to stay away from the touch-line and drift into central areas.
“I don’t want him to play wide,” said Sherwood. “I think in my first game at Southampton, he played inside. I think he likes to play on the fringes of it and get the ball in between the lines rather than being on the combative side.
“He’s a No10 or plays narrow enough on the sides – that’s his position. He plays loose and gets in those sneaky positions, and he can affect it beyond the midfield. If he gets it too deep you’re probably wasting him.
“[Luka] Modric was similar. Modric played inside so who knows where he [Eriksen] might end up. He wants to learn and will adapt to what he’s asked to do.”