Dawson says his goodbyes, but is Fazio a good replacement?

Michael Dawson


Dawson Out

It looks like Michael Dawson may be finally on his way out of Spurs after more than nine years at the club. Sky report the defender is set to have a medical at Hull ahead of a permanent move to the Yorkshire club. He has been a great servant to Tottenham and it will be very sad to see him go.

The 30 year old centre back has had some notable successes in his time at White Hart Lane – winning a League Cup, reaching FA Cup semi-finals, two fourth placed Premier League finishes, a Champions League quarter-final, a Spurs player of the season award and four England caps.

Of late, Dawson’s lack of mobility has been his achilles heel. He isn’t mobile enough for the more progressive system favoured by Pochettino, and unfortunately his reading of the game isn’t good enough to make up for it. Last season this was evident in games against teams with pace and movement up front – Manchester City and Liverpool the obvious examples.

Having said that, he still has many qualities and in the right environment could be a real asset. The two areas where Dawson stands out amongst Spurs current squad are his aerial power and his leadership. His heading ability is obvious, a glance at last season’s statistics for aerial duels proves the point:

Rank Player Aerial Duels Won Per Game
1st Michael Dawson 4.1
2nd Jan Vertonghen 2.5
3rd Younes Kaboul 2.2
4th Kyle Walker 1.9

Leadership is a less tangible asset but one that was in short supply at White Hart Lane last season. The Spurs captain has always led from the front, never shirking his responsibilities, and it was no surprise when he assumed the Tottenham captaincy in 2010.

The ideal replacement for Dawson would possess these characteristics but with more mobility and quality on the ball.

Federico Fazio

Fazio In

Initially it looked like Villareal centre back, Mateo Musacchio might be on his way to Spurs, but complicated contractual issues seem to have put paid to any deal. Now Federico Fazio is close to signing for Tottenham, with some reports claiming we have already agreed to pay his £8 Million release clause. Pochettino is a former Argentine international centre back and appears to want a compatriot in the middle of the Spurs defence.

Fazio has been at Sevilla since 2007. Similarly to Dawson he has been capped on two occasions by his country. At 6′ 5” and commanding in the air, he certainly ticks the first box. With a statistic of 4.4 aerial duels won per game last season, he even beats Dawson, albeit in a different league.

As far as leadership is concerned, Fazio was named the Sevilla club captain just this month after the departure of Ivan Rakitic to Barcelona. Previously he was a vice captain.

But does Fazio have the mobility, reading of the game and ability on the ball Pochettino requires?

Like Musacchio, the Sevilla player was rumoured to be interesting Barcelona earlier in the summer, which is a good sign. He isn’t the quickest defender but he is fairly mobile and has a good reading of the game, as his 3.32 interceptions per 90 minutes last season testify – just below Musacchio’s impressive 3.42 but way ahead of Dawson’s 2.12. WhoScored.com even lists a penchant for dribbling as one of his strengths!

Of course statistics cannot tell the whole picture. At first glance he may appear to be the Argentine equivalent of Dawson but this is a player who has featured several times in midfield for Sevilla, not something that even the most ardent Dawson fan could see the Spurs player replicating.

Read my Spurs QPR Match Report – Pochettino teaches Harry a tactical lesson

Discuss this with me on Twitter: @ABPSpurs

Are you sad to see Dawson leave Spurs? Do you think Fazio is an upgrade? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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33 thoughts on “Dawson says his goodbyes, but is Fazio a good replacement?

  1. Mikee

    Sad to see Daws leave, but if he stays, he just won’t get any game time. Just hope that he leaves his “die for the shirt” attitude with us. Can only wish him all the very best for the future, (unless he’s playing against us of course!)

  2. Mark

    Yes he is a better replacement I’m a better replacement than Dawson any amount of ability Dawson had went about 3 years ago and that wasn’t a lot then there is no point wearing your heart on your sleeve when you don’t have the ability to back it up

    1. dean

      Dawson has been a quality servant to us in time of need, yes he is dwindling but do not question his time for us….. King is a legend for the club and would have been if carried on playing no matter how dwindling! Remember the scapegoats and mercenaries we have had through the years and do not slate a loyal servant…. COYS!!!!!! Wish Dawson the best if not against us….



    3. patnevin

      What an utterly stupid comment. Daws was a fantastic servant to the club and was more than good enough for a few managers, even winning England caps. You should show some respect for someone who put in shift after shift for this club.

  3. al granville

    Everybody loves Daws but sadly it’s the right time to say goodbye and wish him all the best of luck at Hull. Steve Bruce and he are carved from the same mould so this looks good all round.

  4. front wheel skid

    Thanks to MD! Yes he did Wear his heart on his sleeve……. a die hard guy! Remember Liverpool at Anfield? and vertongen standing in the tunnel like a boy picked last at a schoolboy game? you never MD do that? SO GOOD LUCK TO HIM!

  5. sethkahn

    He also has another intangible Dawson doesn’t. He’s been captain of a side that won something. I’ve been convinced for several years now that’s one of the big missing pieces from the squad–people who aren’t just talented enough to win, but have experienced actually doing it.

  6. Clevespurs

    Not sure what this article is trying to report. Headline reads that Dawson says his goodbyes not that this is backed up in any shape or form. Next it attempts to make a comparison where one is not necessary. Spurs are not trying to replace Dawson as that would be counter-productive. They are looking for a new type of defender to fit within the new philosophy Pochettino is attempting to instil at THFC. It would be nice to occasionally scrap useless stats for substance. He served Spurs as well as any of the great players to wear the lillywhite so why not just wish him well and remember him fondly. COYS!!!

    1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      I was trying to say that although he doesn’t fit the system there are some qualities he has that we still need. Whatever system you play, if you’re facing Andy Carroll you need someone decent in the air. Whatever formation, you need leaders on the pitch.

      While a replacement has to have the mobility and technical ability that Dawson doesn’t have, we have to be careful that we don’t leave ourselves short in the qualities he does.

  7. colin dadson

    Draws has been a great player for spurs,it’s just that time had caught up with him.great job done .thanks Daws

  8. Flashman

    Here we go again ,yes better than Dawson, have you seen the bloke play?Do you actually know anything about him,probably not but he’s foreign so he must be fantastic.

  9. Najeeb Haidary

    The statistics show that he is upgrade. However, bearing in mind that he was playing in different league. He had to prove that these statistics stand as well for Premiere League time will show.

  10. marsinho

    daws, i wish you all the best mate, your a credit to the sport and our club and ill be sad to you go, i only hope this fazio is as worthy as you so cheers and thanks for all the good memories. coys.

  11. John

    I’m glad to see the back of him. He’s never been much good since King got injured. I’ll always remember him for the Utd game. Which we seemingly had in the bag until he came in gifted them a goal and got sent off. How he always left others in the mire. Like the Europa semi leaving Verys with no choice but to get sent off. Running out of the line time and again. Hoofing the ball at will and taking an eternity to turn. Sorry but well past his use by date. Good luck to him. As the saying goes nice fella shit player.

    1. Mikee

      What a stupid comment. He’s been considered good enough to play for the club by the people who really count, the ones who PAY HIS WAGES. Their opinion is a bit more important than yours. Regarding Fazio, I’ve never seen him play and the only thing I know about him is that he is Inspector Montalbanos sidekick in the TV series, (and he doesn’t look 6’5″ tall on telly)! Therefore, I trust Pochs judgement in wanting him. A bit like Dier. I’d never heard of him either, but he seems to be doing OK.
      Don’t disrespect players who have given their all for the shirt. I only hope any new players have the same attitude.

  12. tony

    daws had his day.liveing on borrowed time.a 100% player who loved spurs.he was now a liability.in everything you must know when to quit.he didn’t and the club didn’t.pochettino has made some great buys.we must have faith with him with daws replacement.

  13. OC7

    To be fair, he was a bit of a donkey with those aimless crossfield long balls being his preferred method of passing… not a defender to carry the ball out of defence but yeah there have still been occasions where his defending has been heroic… against slower, taller, more powerful forwards he is very competent, however those quicker, smaller, more nimble players just give him the run around too easily. And for a tall CB he didn’t do enough damage at the other end – look how many goals Terry, Cahill, Vidic, Koscielny, Skrtl etc score for their clubs… Thanks Daws good club man and always a great attitude but just not quite enough ability for a team aiming to be in the Top 4 in the nation. All the best

  14. Anon

    Dawson is a one up man, the man who goes to win the ball from the goal kick, or long pass downfield, to often he was left out to dry by a partner who did not do their job, the one who goes around, the one with pace who is good on the ground, a good illustration of this was Hansen and Lawrensen for Liverpool. Dawson was not picked for his skill on the ball, but for his guts, determination and will to win. Any Spurs supporter will wish him good luck and thank him for his unswerving loyalty to the club. There were times in games when Dawson looked like he wanted to win more than the rest of the team put together.

    1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      Good point. I think this is one of the reasons he struggled against City and Liverpool. When dealing with a lone striker you can play this double act, when there are two front men and both are very mobile you have to be more than just the guy who wins the headers.

      1. Flashman

        I think ther were a few more struggling as well,give nine years of your life to a club and get called a donkey,Spurs “fans” there so loyal,mind you a lot of the people saying these things were probably in nappies when Dawson played his first game for us

      2. AnythingButPenalties Post author

        I don’t think many Spurs fans were being mean about him. From what I’ve seen, most fans were very fond of Dawson. As I say in the post if you read it properly, a great servant to the club and still a leader from the front.

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