Coco rabona – Will the real Erik Lamela please stand up

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

We all remember ‘that’ goal from Erik Lamela in the Europa League back in 2014.

I remember it because my eyes saw something that my brain delayed processing. It was at first just a great left-foot effort from the edge of the area, that flew like a rocket into the net. Yay!…. but like my delayed brain, the commentator paused too …mind rewind …did Lamela’s right leg just cross behind his left leg and kick the ball? ….Rabona!!

As a 12-year-old Erik “Coco” Lamela was already being hailed as the next Lionel Messi (Mundo Deportivo). Indeed Barcelona wanted him, his family were said to have been offered £100,000 a year plus housing plus jobs to go and live in the Catalan city of dreams, just like Messi. However, he stayed in Argentina and played on for River Plate scoring 120 goals as a 12-year-old…in one season (Guardian).

It’s easy to see why Barcelona wanted the kid, why Roma bought him as a 19-year-old and why Spurs broke their transfer record in 2013 to spend £30m on a 21-year old Lamela (Independent). In today’s crazy inflated world of football money we are looking at maybe a valuation of £70m (in my opinion).

Lamela’s nickname is Coco. Fitting as that’s associated with Giovani “coco” Rocotelli, an Italian football player who was better known for his Rabona skills. Also fitting as the Rabona was first recognised in Argentina in the late 1940s as a legitimate skill. It was further legitimised on TV in the 1960s by a certain Pele.

In glimpses, we have seen undoubted talent. He has immense strength, speed and supreme skill, whilst also being able to shoot with both feet, can head, can tackle and tracks back to help out defensively. He was signed as either a number nine or a ten. In old fashioned money that translates to a centre forward or a support act. 

His injuries, however, have held him back; he has been unlucky. Maybe this will be the season that we get to see what he is really capable of. If Lamela delivers then Spurs will have filled that missing x-factor. I want to see that. I want to see a gifted South American talent at his pomp. Football deserves, Erik Lamela deserves. 

Can the real Erik Manuel Lamela please stand up.

Have something to tell us about this article?


  1. I can honestly say that this is the most stupid Spurs article I’ve ever read (and that’s saying something). Lamela a centre-forward? Lamela currently worth seventy million pounds? He’s now in his seventh season at Spurs, no longer plays for the Argentina national team, hasn’t attracted any serious interest from other clubs, and isn’t worth even half of what we paid in 2013, if a buyer could be found. Coco the clown still troubles the first team only because of Pochettino’s Argentine bias (and giving him a new contract last season was nothing short of scandalous) – he ranks with the likes of Rebrov and Bentley as one of the worst buys in Spurs’ recent history, and I can’t wait to see the back of him.

    • Hi Cheshunt boy,
      Wanted to reply just to clarify what a few points meant. £70m wasn’t referring to his value today aged 28 ( god knows it’s probably a free)….what I I meant if he was a 21 year old today the £30m possibly Inflates to £70m.
      Again I’m not at all suggesting he has arrived to fulfil his potential, just saying if he does…

  2. Saturday’s performance summed Lamela up perfectly. He just can’t do things right twice in a row. He is probably the most frustrating player you will ever see in a Spurs shirt. When Kane got the second goal, it came from Lamela having an awful effort at goal, not him finding Kane with a clever pass. He is so selfish. It is all about him. He tries stuff and it rarely comes off and his corners are rubbish too. It just seems a waste of a squad space and £100k a week to keep him around. We should have sent him back to Italy at a loss some time ago. I’m shocked Pochettino has persevered with him for so long. Yes he does rank with one of our worst ever buys. Often injured and always shit when he does play. Tracking back doesn’t make him a £30m player. It’s one of about 10 or 11 skills he should have, when giving the ball away and running into trouble are two of his biggest traits..

    • Hi Swindon Spurs,
      I agree with parts of what you write. What I’m trying to suggest is there is a proper player there. Any player that’s in and out a team like a yo-yo and serious injuries to recover from is always going to struggle.
      What I saw in pre season was a different player. He showed glimpses of his ability. To state he’s always shit is not right. To say he’s never consistent…I agree totally. Whilst Eriksen was the catalyst for Spurs against Villa, Lamella benefitted and looked a real threat too.
      Don’t dismiss him so quickly


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.