Son impressing but Spurs desperately need Eriksen to function
In the space of seven days, Tottenham played three times in two different competitions and picked up three encouraging victories.
Rather than those results – 1-0 at Sunderland, 3-1 against FK Qarabag and 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace – boosting confidence because of a rediscovered scoring touch, the ability to win while not at their fluent best is equally heartening for Spurs.
Resolute at the back, with three straight top-flight clean sheets, Mauricio Pochettino will be very satisfied with the strides his squad have made in that half of the pitch. Already, the club look far better defensively than last season, when conceding the sixth-most goals in the division.
However, the Argentine would undeniably like to see the attacking element of the squad produce more moments of celebration than they currently are.
Son Heung-min looks a wise addition and made telling contributions to the Qarabag and Palace wins after starting brightly at the Stadium of Light. But the forward line remains a unit still striving to develop its chemistry.
Against the Eagles, Son, Harry Kane, Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela were impossible to pin down to one role. All four of them roamed and interchanged positions at will, which when working as second nature can be a nightmare to defend against.
It was clear that the quartet were not quite able to use their constant shuffling to their advantage, but the return of one man could help accelerate their bond.
Christian Eriksen made a cameo appearance at White Hart Lane and possesses the creativity and passing skill to knit a buzzing Spurs attack together.
His expected reintroduction to the starting lineup should come at Lamela’s cost. The Lilywhites’ record signing cannot be faulted for his effort each time he takes the field, but his insistence on slowing the play to take numerous touches counteracts what Pochettino wants from his forwards.
It’s almost like, because of his price tag and perhaps his lack of production, Lamela feels he should be Spurs’ main man in attack, when in reality there are three others – including Son – that are ahead of him in that domain.
With Eriksen floating around from the number 10 position, Spurs are likely to fashion far more chances for the eager runners ahead of him. More goals are just over the horizon.
Tottenham are 7/4 to score over 1.5 goals against Man City on Saturday.
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