Opinion: Was Christian Eriksen pivotal in Tottenham’s two dropped points

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Image: SpursWeb

I’m half serious. Let me do the rest first about a game where any result would have been fair, we scored twice against their run of play, they levelled after the best sustained effort of ours beginning the second half, both sides could have won at the death.

Lloris was fine; had little or no chance at their first goal or the penalty. Toby And Jan generally had good games despite a lot of Olympiacos pressure but for Jan making a careless stomp on a goal whose roots lay elsewhere, however. As for the fullbacks, credit Davies for the challenge and pass that produced Lucas’ goal, but acknowledge that for pure defending I thought his was the riskier proposition throughout. It’s just that Sanchez can’t do much of anything going forward and can concede too much space. But Davies was well off his line for their first goal—it was a perfect pass, touch and shot but if he had been closer, perhaps he disrupts one of those three elements and we, for once, go to the dressing room up 2-0.

Winks was solid and at times better than that. Ndombele and then later Sissoko didn’t ever make the type of foray or pass to break through the Greek defence, but I thought both were effective, unlike a certain other midfielder. Kane deserves all the plaudits for creating the penalty, as does Lucas for a terrific shot for the second goal. Lamela, Son, Dele were in more standard Spurs’ production—i.e, maddeningly disappointing. Dele in particular incurred the wrath of his manager when late in the game a simple cross to an unmarked Kane results in a tap-in winner, but he went for glory instead—a nice but ultimately failed shot that the keeper got a hand on. Lucas was particularly menacing down the right for most of his time on the pitch and deserved his goal.

As for the other guy, I am really trying to stay on an even keel given all the drama. But Eriksen was so bad at points tonight—so many losses of possession (it was his which led directly to the penalty), so many errant passes, so little imagination or attempt at the magic he is paid to deliver, that I can’t help wondering just where his head still is. And whether Lo Celso’s injury has simply delayed the point of departure where he will be banished for good and dispatched somewhere for whatever we can get in January.

It’s not as if there isn’t attacking depth—Lucas, Son, Lamela and Dele with Sissoko, Lo Celso and Ndombele sitting just behind—when (if?) healthy is the deepest forward combination we’ve had—with or without the Dane—in years. I hope this is simply a temporary lapse from a player who, after all, has shown the propensity to disappear for games on end then respond with some of his most resplendent play. But he was a weight around our necks today—more than anyone else on the pitch, he took a close competitive game but one we could and perhaps should have won and put even the point we won in jeopardy.

On to Leicester and let’s welcome Rose and Aurier back where they belong.

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