During the first half of the 2015/16 season many were calling for Christian Eriksen to be dropped from the Spurs starting XI. Despite the team’s good form, the Danish playmaker had become somewhat of a passenger. So often the hero in the previous season, scoring late goal after late goal to salvage points for his side. However, as this season got into the swing of things, and Pochettino’s side continued to evolve, the impact Eriksen sought to deliver had almost become irrelevant.
Games were being won with efficiency, and high level of performance over the whole ninety minutes. This meant that Eriksen’s tendency to perform as a clutch player, in that he would raise the level of his game in moments of high pressure or high stakes, was out of place in a Tottenham side now dominating games more than we had seen previously.Embed from Getty Images
Eriksen has netted six in 24 this season
Eriksen had become a player in a side who had now found his role redundant, and was struggling to find his place in this team. It did not help his cause that other No. 10’s across the country were delivering at a high level. Mesut Ozil over at Woolwich was delivering assists for his team-mates seemingly at will. Dimitri Payet plucked from the French league had somehow slipped under the radar of bigger teams to sign for West Ham and was lighting up Boleyn Park. And even at Spurs, Eriksen was in danger of slipping behind Erik Lamela, who had brought an almost frenzied level of energy to his play, the live-wire like Heung-Min Son and the prodigal talent of Dele Alli.
Eriksen had gone from being a clutch player to a luxury player. But, as we passed the half-way mark in the season, and it became apparent that this year, not just the top four is within our grasp, but even maybe the title, Eriksen has taken his clutch mentality to an even broader scale. Now instead of delivering just in moments of certain games to steal points, Eriksen has started performing over whole games in an effort to deliver us more than just a few grabbed points from the brink.
Since the start of the new year Eriksen has been near unplayable. He’s created 28 chances so far this year, ten more than the player closest to him, which happens to be a certain Mesut Ozil. Eight of these came in the recent smothering of Watford, in which the Dane picked out his team-mates time and time again, ghosting into spaces that the Watford midfield hadn’t even realised were there.
With 13 games to go we’re steadily approaching the run in. So with Tottenham firmly in the mix for a title challenge, it shouldn’t really surprise us to see Eriksen producing this kind of form. As he’s simply doing the only thing he’s ever done for Tottenham. Raising his game when it truly matters. This is a mentality born from being a title winning playmaker for Dutch giants Ajax whilst still in his teens. The midfielder has also confirmed recently that he’s in talks with the club about a new contract. A few days’ shy of his 24th birthday, Tottenham could potentially be tying down a player ready to fulfil his long talked about potential as one of Europe’s true elite playmakers.
Eriksen is once again proving this season that when the heat gets turned up, the man from Denmark is the coolest guy on the pitch.Embed from Getty Images
Written by Josh Smith
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