Where Has Christian Eriksen Gone?

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Image: SpursWeb

The outcomes hardly matter anymore, except to our opponents. Since Villa cared more they got the three points. Since Spurs didn’t and know they are headed for Europa purgatory no matter what they do, they got a deserved result: Nothing.

Of more significance is the perplexing disappearance of Tottenham’s attack, and nowhere is that personified more than in the play of Christian Eriksen. The general view last autumn was that he was our best player—perhaps the one real potential world-class component of our strike force. Harry Kane’s sudden ascension paired the two in our minds as a real foundation to build on for the future—each with the knack for the dramatic. If Lamela continued to disappoint, Adebayor smiled as he headed for the exit, Soldado remained mired in failure,Chadli displayed his limited form, and Townsend only briefly—and usually for England, not Spurs—flashed his brilliance, well at least we had the other two to depend on.

Not any more. The past two games—against teams fighting to avoid the Drop Zone—have consistently featured one frustrating image: Christian Eriksen with the ball, barreling toward goal, and nothing resulting. Rarely a shot, never a good shot, curious passing decisions that deposited the ball to the wrong person in the wrong position, heavy touches, surrendering of the ball—in short, it has been a litany of disappointing outcomes. And it doesn’t seem to matter if he is nominally on the left wing or in the middle—he’s getting the ball with a chance to create something. Eden Hazard doesn’t often fail to deliver; Alexis Sanchez or Santi Cazorla don’t either; Nor David Silva, Raheem Sterling or a handful of other top Premiership attackers. But lately Eriksen never produces something special. One can only hope this is a slump, born of a long season with little remaining to play for.

As for the rest, of course this defense would concede something today. Chiriches seems to be in the thrall of some Random Ball Distribution Program—as likely to pass it to the claret shirts as he is to a Lilywhite one. Fazio had one job—to fight Benteke for aerial balls—and failed miserably when it mattered most. Townsend did what Townsend does—a lot of sound and fury signifying next to nothing. And Kane cannot single-handedly tilt the field—opposition defenses have gotten rather good in bottling him up lately, which gets back to the other supposed difference-maker. If the Dane can’t be Great, we’re in for a much longer period of Europa penance than we feared.

As for the managerial drama, I really don’t care. Four-Four-Tim got his moment in the sun today. He heads back to the Midlands and mediocrity tomorrow. As for Spurs, it’s all starting to blur. Managers, players, styles, everything but the results: Europa… Europa…Europa… No exit in sight.

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Paul is a respected U.S. political pollster (Democrat) based in Madison, Wisconsin and Los Angeles. His love for Spurs began when the Premier League games started appearing regularly in the U.S. and an American lover of football had to choose a side. Bale, Rushdie, Adele, Shakespeare, the Spurs faithful, The Lane, etc. were all irresistible attractions and have made Maslin a Spur for life.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I think a lot of fans and pundits were blinded by his free-kicks and late goals earlier in the season. I don't think he's been very good all season. His forward passes are woeful – has very bad stats for forward pass completions and very poor chances created. I just don't think he does enough.

  2. Paul, you're spot on. I have to take issue with Poch's selection as well today and at Burnley. But at the end of the day, if this group of overpaid "stars" can't earn 6 points at the end of the year against the league's bottom feeders, then we deserve nothing more than a poor-man's reward.
    Disappointing on all fronts. Why does it seem that we as fans care more than the players themselves?

    • That is the big disappointment that the players show no sign of caring. Today looked like they were training rather than win a game. Villa wanted it more and I bet sherwwod is over the moon. He will just keep whinging on instead of shutting up and getting on with his job.

  3. His passing, crossing and shooting today was abysmal!! He's overrated. That's why Spurs got him on the cheap.

    Spurs would be a relegation candidate if it wasn't for Harry Kane's goals.

  4. I feel sorry for you so-called THFC fans! I am a dane and have followed your club since Christian Eriksen joined. One of the things I've noticed on your boards is the worrying about being a stepping stone club and complaining about club loyalty for former and present players, when big offers come up. I truly understand these players don't care, when so-called fans are'nt loyalty at all. I just hope for Christian Eriksen that he will join another club this summer like another English mid-table team or a spanish team

    • Casper, with all due respect, Eriksen has disappeared down the stretch. I think he's a terrific player and has been placed out of position too often this season (he's a natural 10 and should be there full time), but you can't honestly tell me you think he's played well when we needed it most recently.
      He's a centerpiece of this team but great players play great all the time…that's what makes them great. Not in bits and pieces, but all the time. He's not done that, so deserves the wrath of fans who would like to see him become great.
      Don't blame the fans for being honest…blame the player for his disappearing act.

      • Norb, I think we completely agree his lack of form since early february. In fact, it is only from november till january he hit form or during Chadli's injury break. And I understand your point, but I don't think you always can blame the player for disappearing. I think in this case he needs proper/more visionary players than any in the current front four and I truly believe he'll only thrive in a 4-3-3 and with less expectations to defend. But maybe I'm wrong :)

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