Tottenham vs. Basel: Players That Must Redeem Themselves in Second Leg

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 5, 2013

LYON, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 21:  Scott Parker of Spurs looks on during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32, second leg match between Olympique Lyonnais and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Stade de Gerland on February 21, 2013 in Lyon, France.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur will be heading to Switzerland wondering what could have been.

No, Andre Villas-Boas' squad isn't out of the mix in the UEFA Europa League, but Spurs are certainly on the brink of being eliminated after letting two goals in at White Hart Lane in the first leg of their quarterfinal tie with FC Basel.

With Gareth Bale set to miss at least two weeks while recovering from an ankle injury, Tottenham will need to step up collectively and put forth a monumental effort on the road.

Here, we'll highlight three Spurs players that must redeem themselves if given the opportunity in Thursday's second leg vs. Basel.


Kyle Naughton, Defender

Spurs defender Kyle Naughton had a day to forget on the back line at White Hart Lane on Thursday, as his defensive breakdown 30 minutes in opened the door for Basel's Valentin Stocker to give the visiting side a 1-0 lead. 

Naughton's lapse in judgment proved costly and can't happen again, let alone away from home in the second leg.

Yes, he nearly scored and rallied after a slow start, but Naughton's performance was highlighted by his disappointing defensive play (via Darren Evans).

If Villas-Boas looks to Naughton again next week in Basel, the 24-year-old will need to focus and lock-in on Basel's strikers, making sure to run along with them stride for stride and suffocate them in situations that call for it.


Scott Parker, Midfielder

Tottenham's Scott Parker was lackluster in midfield throughout the first leg at White Hart Lane, picking up a second half yellow card and missing a sweet chance to level the match at 2-2 right before the halftime break.

Here it is in case you missed it (via @PascalZidane).

With superstar Gareth Bale set to miss the second leg in Switzerland, Parker must elevate his game and look to take on a larger role for Spurs.

Despite earning five starts, the 32-year-old has yet to score or assist in Europa League play this season. It's not a must that he provides points, but in Bale's absence, someone has got to excel in midfield and spring the ball forward for Spurs.


William Gallas, Defender

Williams Gallas is a veteran defender at age 35, but his play in Thursday's draw with Basel was poor to say the least. Gallas picked up a yellow card less than a half hour into the match and often left far too much space in between he and Basel's attacking players.

Gallas struggled against Inter Milan in a 4-1 loss to the Italian powerhouse last month in the Europa League, so Thursday's struggles were disturbing, but nothing new.

He'll need to ratchet up his game in anticipation for the second leg, though, as his dismal performance at the back could have been even worse had Basel forward Marco Streller had more luck on some of his shots.


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