After what can only be described as one of the worst substitute performances of all time on Saturday, leading many to say that we should now give up on our Argentinian attacker.
So going against the grain here is why Erik Lamela should be given more time at Tottenham.
- He’s not ready for the season yet. After the Copa America Lamela only arrived back at Tottenham just before our trip to Denver to play the MLS all stars. So before the season started he had 1 and a half weeks of pre season. As has been shown with other players (such as dare to whisper it Harry Kane) without a proper pre season it is hard for a player to perform to his best. A player short of match fitness should not have been thrown into such important Premier League matches at crucial times. It would have been better to bring on Carroll or Alli to keep possession against Stoke.
- This is really only his second season. In his first season, down to injury Lamela only made 3 starts in the Premier League. So last season was really his first proper season in the league and while he by no means set the world alight, 2 goals and 7 assists from 25 starts is not disastrous. This was a decent enough ‘first’ season, especially in comparison to Nacer Chadli, who made 15 starts in his first season, scored 1 and assisted 3. Chadli has since turned this around and now looks to be one of Spurs’ better players, so if Nacer can do it, Erik can as well.
- At the end of last season it seemed the prevailing sentiment among many was to give Erik more time, at least until Christmas to prove his worth. Yet after a combined 60 minutes of football apparently he should now be out the door, 60 minutes of the new season hardly constitutes much time either. If we were basing our appraisals of players over the last two games, then the likes of Kane, would not be a 20 goal a season striker, Bentaleb would not be one of the hottest young prospets around and possibly even Lloris would not be a world class goalkeeper. Although this is somewhat dramatic, it is just to emphasise that one player cant be judged from two games.
- What he has done. Not just the rabona. Lamela has shown that he can make a difference, the slide rule passes to Chadli against Arsenal and Hull, the assist for Kane at Liverpool the dribble and cross vs QPR, the corner deliveries against QPR and Aston Villa, the goal against Burnley. All showing he does have it in his locker, admittedly it has not been shown consistently enough, but the ability is there.
- The alternatives. With Poch saying he doesn’t want to play Lennon, it seems Townsend is the major alternative, although Dembele has played nominally on the right of the 3 behind the striker it is painfully clear that he’s not a winger (although he has performed admirably). Back to Townsend who offers little more than Lamela in terms of end product. Not to mention that if we were to sell a right winger, since he’s English Andros probably holds more value. New signing N’jie may prove to be a better alternative to Lamela in the future but for now Erik seems no worse than any of the other options available on the right.
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