Opinion: My big problem with Erik Lamela despite his goal and assist

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur’s Erik Lamela is a strange one. More often than not, he is out injured for large spells of the season, but it’s his spells on the pitch the baffle me.

Lamela has actually come up with the goods in both games so far this season, winning back the ball to set up a goal against Villa, before scoring and assisting against Man City.

However, despite his decent end product on these occasions, I do think there is plenty lacking in his game.

I feel as if the Argentine has good moments in a match, rather than good matches. For example, I would not say that he had a particularly good game against Man City over the course of the match, yet he had two or three good moments.

The first of these saw him curl a finish past Ederson, while the second saw him whip in a delightful corner onto the head of Lucas Moura.

What I want to see from Lamela is this level of class and end product consistently, week in week out, across full 90-minute games, rather than fleeting flashes of brilliance.

I believe that is all that separates Lamela from the likes of Eriksen, Moura, Son, etc. They all do it game in game out, for full matches, and for full seasons.

I want to see Lamela stay injury-free and pick up 10 goals a season in a Spurs shirt.

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  1. This is where you are over analysing a specific player. Football is a monotonous game of bad/average play broken up by occasional moments of brilliance and euphoria. That’s why these players are playing top level because they are capable of these moments, and it’s why we watch and love it. When Eric isn’t producing he is working his arse off for the team. A stone in muscle might help him though, his body shape hasn’t changed since Roma.

  2. Eriksen and Moura are just as inconsistent as Lamela and often go missing in games.

    Alli is the most inconsistent and vanishes consistently.

  3. You don’t provide much of an analysis. I didn’t learn a thing from your article. Please drill down a lot more next time.

  4. For Lamela to score 10 goals in a season he needs to start games, in his last season off regular football for us he had a hand in 26 goals for us, which his detractors conveniently forget. Where you say Lamela never has good games, I would say the opposite, Lamela (since his first 2 seasons where he was injured then integrating) never has a bad game for us. He constantly works and badgers the opposition’s defensive set up and as we’ve seen so many times he has those moments of total class out of nowhere that the opposition don’t see coming. You also forget a brilliant ball over the top to Kane yesterday from Lamela.

    Where Eriksen disappears recurrently in big games Lamela shows up. It also isn’t fair to compare Lamela to Lucas, Son, All or Kane in recent seasons. Eriksen is Spurs main playmaker, he responsible for more key passes and assists than any other player in the premier league since his arrival. How many times in recent seasons has Lamela got to play WITH Eriksen. Poch, in the last few seasons has always opted for one or the other despite us playing better and more attractive football with both together.

    In games (usually big games) where opposition teams focus on neutralising Eriksen, and Lamela isn’t there, we play badly as Eriksen doesn’t tackle and doesn’t run at players or dribble particularly well. Son, Kane and Lucas don’t have the creative strength to carry a game well in these instances, likewise when Eriksen head went in February last season Spurs went rapidly downhill. Lamela was always the foil to teams man marking Eriksen and Dele Alli in recent seasons has been forced to improve in this area which despite people slating Alli, is actually improving him as a player.

    Its hard to criticise Lamela, Lucas or Kane in yesterdays game as our biggest problem came in defence and midfield, our defence looked very panicky in their passing with even Alderweireld kicking the ball out on several occasions because of the relentless pressure from city. Where Winks as always looked comfortable in the ball, and Ndombele (like Walker Peters) looked like a player integrating into a baptism of fire, whilst Sissoko was very panicked in his play and sloppy in his passing and decision making. Kane and Lamela got so little service in a game where the ball barely made it past midfield.

    Despite all this Lamela punished City on the rare occasions he got on the ball, Lamelas goal came from nothing and his assist came from nothing, that’s what Lamela brings. He is the most under rated player few have at Spurs IMO because when direct play doesn’t work Lamela has the intelligence, skill and quick thinking to make something out of nothing. He runs at players, intelligently fouls, does through balls, over the top balls, shots and he really unsettles defences in a way that Wayne Rooney used to be so good at. When organised defences find their comfort zone in a game and settle into the game, Lamela is the player that throws their whole rhythm off in split seconds, because he never stops and never accepts defeat.


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