The Creative Conundrum

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy
With Tottenham Hotspur only three points from the top of the table, it would be foolish to right off their chances of a serious title challenge this season, especially with the experience their squad gained last year, along with an incredibly solid defence, and some very talented young players. But, and so often there is a ‘but’ with regards to the performances of the North London side, the creative players in behind Mauricio Pochettino’s lone striker (Harry Kane or new Dutch international Vincent Janssen) are simply not performing to the level expected. I am going to look through and analyse the form of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Heung Min Son, and Erik Lamela.
Without a goal to his name in nine Premier League starts this season, it is fair to say that irrespective of the rumoured affect of a new contract, Christian Eriksen has under performed. In recent fixtures he has looked bereft of confidence, even with his speciality free kicks. If this form continues, along with a concerning lack of fight and will to win tackles or headers in a Pochettino team, he is surely soon to find himself on the subs bench. This may well be necessary, but it’s feared it might not have the desired affect as the Dane does not react well to negative criticism from fans and manager alike. Perhaps it is best that play-maker remains in the side, as often when one game goes well for the Dane, it seems to kick start a run of form, perhaps similar to the form that saw him ruthlessly finish off Manchester City on his birthday in February of this calendar year.
Age is the most likely factor highlighting a dip in form for Dele Alli, although the performances of last season does seem to have affected the England international. Now he often goes to ground easily, and takes far more of a chance with his passing, with far more flicks and tricks than is perhaps necessary. It is undeniable that the creative midfielder has talent, and his goal scoring ability is still there, as shown against Stoke City earlier in the season, but if the player is to really push on, the chances missed against Bayer Leverkusen and Leicester City need to be going in. Focus and hard work is all that is needed to see Dele Alli performing at the level football fans know he can.
Heung Min Son has outperformed the majority of the Tottenham squad this season with his fantastic form in September, which saw him pick up the Premier League player of the month award. Sadly for Spurs fans, this form has dramatically fallen away, which has left both the White Hart Lane faithful and manager Pochettino scratching their heads; what has gone wrong? The South Korean has not played regularly for Tottenham until now, and it is probable that his sudden rise to first team necessity has resulted in fatigue, and therefore performances where he has been almost ananymous, for example against former club Bayer Leverkusen. It would be a shame for manager Pochettino to except that Son is merely a patchy impact player, and it is believed within the club that Son can with improved fitness, and the improvement of his defensive decision making that he can prove to be a vital part in the clubs aims this season and beyond.
Finally, Argentinian Erik Lamela who has under performed for the majority of this season is severely lacking in confidence similar Christian Eriksen, and looks to be making the rash decisions and poor challenges he was making eighteen months ago. Similar to Christian Eriksen, it is believed that a run in the team, and a couple of good performances in succession will result in an upturn in form. Without a goal since the opening day of the season, where better to score and start up your season than against North London rivals Arsenal on Sunday?
With these four internationals in poor form going into a huge month for the club, it is absolutely key that goals and assists start tallying up from these creative players if Tottenham Hotspur are to truly compete for the Premier League title this season.

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