There were some concerns. Last season, Kieran Trippier didn’t make his League debut for Spurs until late-December. Most of his duties were limited to the Europa League and if we’re being charitable, those midweek cameos were often a little rough-edged.
One in particular stands out: a group stage tie away at Anderlecht, where Trippier had the sort of game which you wish you could douse in kerosene and throw a match to.
Regularly caught flat-footed or out of positon; run ragged by the Belgian side’s dynamic attackers. First Stefano Okaka and, later, the Ghanaian Frank Acheampong. It was an evening to forget for Trippier and one that bought out of the very worst in social media bile from Spurs fans.
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While things weren’t going exactly to plan for the former Burnley defender, any grievances he may’ve harboured from a lack of playing time, were masked by a surprisingly upbeat outlook.
I’m not thinking of leaving, he told the press, when it was suggested that he might toddle off to Southampton to challenge Cuco Martina and Cédric Soares for a first-team spot. If we hadn’t seen the best of Trippier, we at least knew he was ready to fight for his place.
‘Me and Kyle [Walker] are good mates, and we are both trying our best to get that position,’ he continued.
This season, for Trippier, the perseverance looks to have been rewarded. Not only has the right-back proved himself a more than competent understudy for Kyle Walker, there’ve been some suggestions— most recently from angry opinions’ Chris Sutton —that the England defender should be worried about his status as first choice.
Mauricio Pochettino is clearly evaluating his options, too: Trippier has started ahead of Walker in two of the last three League fixtures.
/So, a revision. Is Kieran Trippier any good?
Yes— yes he is.