Almost unarguably, Erik Lamela’s best league game in a Spurs’ shirt.
For once his step overs and trickery weren’t made pointless by his lack of pace, his one-footedness and his decision-making. (That’s over harsh I know, I do find watching him very frustrating though). During the first forty-five minutes his cutting in from the right had the left hand side of the Burnley defence in all sorts. His dominance culminated in the winning goal, a superb curler from range after he’d been given space, that gave Heaton no chance but his superiority should have led to at least one other goal, most memorably when he dribbled and wriggled his way to the bye-line only to see his cross somehow evade two Spurs shirts (Kane and Mason?) in the middle and Eriksen at the far post.
Good as he was there is still room for improvement. Lamela it was who gave away possession and only half-heartedly tried to win it back in the build up to Ashley Barnes fine equaliser. Harry Kane had put us ahead before then, heading in Chadli’s cross after his quick free kick caused confusion to just about everyone in the ground apart from Eriksen.
Lamela was much quieter in the second half, but then so was everyone else including the crowd. In a season low on atmosphere the second period here was the lowest I think. There wasn’t much on the pitch to get the fans going. Burnley had a good five minutes but after that never threatened and whilst the absence of Mason (hope his injury’s not a bad one – we miss dynamism and quick two-footed recycling of the ball) meant things moved a lot more slowly and predictably when we had possession, we still created a couple of chances to wrap the game up properly, neither of course was taken.
Overall it was another encouraging performance following on from the Liberty and the swatting aside of Newcastle on Wednesday. The link up play & movement between the front four and Mason was excellent and Walker provides more solidity than any of his replacements have in the last 7 or 8 months. Fazio did really well from a discipline and physical view but will always be suspect on the turn and on the ground. The others around him just need to be aware of it.
It’s brilliant to see Lamela do so well, his attitude seems excellent, he’s got talent and skill but he’s got to learn how to use it given that he hasn’t got the speed and power that Bale, for instance, uses to make space for himself. The quicker he adapts to the tighter space available in the Premiership, stops overcomplicating things and learns to keep his studs down in the challenge the better. Hopefully now he’s also got his range.
Leicester on Friday and then two very tough games in a row. 7 points anyone?
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