Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has poured significant praise on Tottenham Hotspur defender Japhet Tanganga for his role in defeating Manchester City.
The 22-year-old has been far from a regular when it has come to his time at Tottenham Hotspur, having made just 24 appearances during the past two seasons at the club.
But he was given the rather unenviable task of having to try and stop a rather dangerous Manchester City attacking lineup that included the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish during the club’s first game of the season.
However, he managed to keep them at bay throughout the game, only managing to be dribbled past once whilst winning two tackles, making two clearances and one interception (as per WhoScored) – winning Man of the Match in the process (via Sky Sports), and speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast after the game, Neville couldn’t praise the defender highly enough:
“He handled Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish in that channel, with Sanchez and Højbjerg, brilliantly. I couldn’t have done that on my own 20 years ago – and I was a good full-back, played for Manchester United, played for England. But what that kid did out there today was really special from a one-on-one defending point of view.
“So I’m going to give credit to Tanganga today because he did something out on that pitch that I thought was really special, which was play one-on-one against, sometimes, two players who are exceptional going against players, dribbling against players, and he stuck at it and that’s why he won Man of the Match. Moura could have had it, but it was Tanganga because of that.”
TIF Thoughts on Gary Neville’s comments about Japhet Tanganga for Tottenham Hotspur…
What is Tanganga's best position?
Tanganga was certainly thrown into the deep end for that game, so for him to put in such a man-of-the-match performance in that situation against a team with such great attacking talent really is impressive.
And with the club having struggled defensively last season and spending plenty of money to try and rectify that, like with the signing of Cristian Romero, maybe it should be worth them looking within their own team for some solutions before they feel the need to splash the cash any further.
Because if he can put in a display like that against the champions, then who is to say that he can’t replicate that against the rest of the league moving forward?