It's no secret that Tottenham Hotspur's troubles this season have come mainly from the back. Of all the 49 goals conceded by Spurs, 24 of them were easily avoidable and due to faulty back-passes, lapses in concentration and all-round lack of spirit.
If said goals had not been conceded, I have calculated that Tim Sherwood's side would in fact be in fourth; a point above bitter local rivals Arsenal on 71. So, the blame for Spurs' struggles clearly lies with the defenders at White Hart Lane.
Kyle Walker has struggled for fitness this season and young replacement Kyle Naughton has had to step up his game to compete and while he often has done, he is still not near challenging for a starting spot once the pacey full-back is fully fit again.
All of Tottenham's centre-backs are injury prone and this has caused both Tim Sherwood and Andre Villas-Boas a real headache throughout the campaign. Jan Vertonghen has looked a fraction of the player he was last season although has still shown flashes of his former self.
Stand-in captain Younes Kaboul has been the eye-catching weak link for Spurs after a string of very disappointing performances. The 28-year-old has managed only 11 Premier League appearances so far this season, in which time he has scored in the right goal as well as the wrong one and was sent off during the 4-0 thumping at Stamford Bridge.
New kid on the block Vlad Chiriches has looked very comfortable in possession but extremely out of his depth in most of his games this season. After arriving in the summer from Romanian side Steaua Bucharest, he was been underwhelming and incapable.
Finally, captain Michael Dawson has really started to show his age and lack of pace this season, notably so against the youth of Liverpool. The game is more pace-based than ever before and Dawson has shown that he's not up to it.
Despite their faults, these players are not entirely to blame for the team's struggles as Tottenham have only scored 51 goals so far - the fewest in the top seven. The solution is simple: add some quality centre-backs who don't struggle with fitness or discipline.
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