September 2010, League Cup tie against Arsenal saw the Spurs academy product Steven Caulker making his first appearance for the Club. It might have been a perfect start for a blossoming career as the match went on to extra time, till that time Caulker and his experienced partner Bassong kept the gunners silent. Then Arsenal capitalized on the defensive mistakes in extra time and went on to thrash the opponents and the final score line read 4-1 in favour of the Gunners.
Sebastian Bassong after an impressive first year at North London went on to obscurity, fell out of favour and finally ended up in Norwich city this season. His partner in crime, the youngster Caulker was shipped out on loan twice, first in Championship to Bristol City and in the next season to Premiership newcomer Swansea City.
Steven Caulker impressed many pundits during his loan stint at Swansea along with his partner Ashley Williams. Brendon Rodger’s possession based football suited the intelligent ball playing defender Caulker and he ousted club captain Gary Monk to earn his starting position. Even though an injury forced him out of action for some time, he came back strongly to form the vital cog in Swansea’s football that had ball playing defenders moving the ball around which formed a vital pillar at the back.
Caulker’s style of play attracted interest from most of the managers including Fabio Cappello, Stuart Pearce and Roy Hodgson. He has represented England at various age level tournaments already and had got a call up to the senior team recently. He might have failed to make an appearance at senior international but he was the mainstay of the Great Britain defence in the recently concluded London Olympics carrying the hopes of the hosts. His assured and composed displays for Great Britain were beyond his young age and he marshalled his colleagues really well to establish himself as one of the first names in the team sheet.
Caulker’s calm and composed play on the ball is an added incentive to any team and his performance so far has drawn comparisons to recently retired Spurs Legend Ledley King. Caulker is tipped as the one to replace the legend for the Club and Country. Currently he finds himself down in the Tottenham pecking order after Kaboul, Vertonghen and Gallas. Many people argue that Caulker is far better than Gallas at the present situation due to his superior pace, passing, aerial presence apart from his much better suitability in Villas Boas preferred high-line defence.
Caulker made his second appearance in two years for Tottenham against Lazio in Europa league home encounter last week. His game play was excellent throughout and he finished the match with the highest successful passing percentage.He did his defensive duties admirably well to earn the first clean sheet for his club this season.
Legendary German striker Miroslav Klose was kept quiet throughout and at times Caulker drove his team forward with intelligent and clever runs after making excellent interceptions due to his outstanding reading of the game. Caulker was unlucky to see his headed goal wrongly ruled out for a foul in the build up. His partnership with Vertonghen helped to see out the threat paused by the clever movement and counter attacks posed by the Italians in a game dominated by the North London Side.
Things are looking brighter for Tottenham as they have unearthed a real gem in the form of Steven Caulker. It’s just a matter of time before he makes Ledley King’s position his own as he grows in stature with the passing time. Caulker already has close to 100 games under his belt and the expectations are very high on the young defender.
Only time will tell whether Caulker will be able to carry the weight of expectations on his young shoulders at this young age. Spurs fans are eagerly waiting to see more of Steven Caulker in the upcoming matches and we hope that he fulfils his potential to make a mark of his own in the football world.
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