22 Midfielder Tottenham Hotspur Denmark
2014 has been...
…alright and sometimes, just sometimes, “alright” is enough.
When Tottenham finally did business on Bale with Real Madrid and launched the spending spree that birthed the “Spurs have sold Elvis but bought the Beatles” quote, we weren’t convinced. They bought a lot of very good individuals but they don’t always make the best bands. On paper a super-group with Blur’s Damon Albarn and The Clash’s Mick Jones involved should have been brilliant, in reality their Gorillaz record sounded like someone kicking a keyboard through a shop selling second-hand musical instruments.
Of those signed with the Bale-áctico windfall it would be fair to say that Eriksen has been the most consistent; in particular the UEFA Cup’s Erik Lamela and the Premier League’s Erik Lamela remain two different people, Paulinho lurches from the average to even more average, Roberto Soldado got a touch of the Fernando Torres virus and Nacer Chadli’s form this season has surprised everyone on last year’s showing. Eriksen has found his feet in a Spurs side that never seems totally comfortable in its own skin, under three different managers in a little over a year.
There is something there that shouldn’t be underestimated, namely that he’s managed to make steady progress in a Tottenham side that remain deeply schizophrenic. Under AVB they were chugging along whilst people tried to settle but not quickly enough for those above. Under Tim Sherwood they were hampered by a manager who deep down knew not to bother getting those business cards printed, and so used him brief tenure to talk a lot about Tim Sherwood. Tactically we’ll be kind and say they were naïve at times and that makes a team in transition even more susceptible to inconsistency.
It would be very difficult to replace Gareth Bale in terms of carrying the weight of your club’s expectations on your shoulders, and no Spurs player has done that. Eriksen has played well, found his scoring feet and scored some important goals – the winner at Old Trafford and his last seconds equalizer in an away game at West Brom last season come to mind – and he’s found a level he can play at in most games easier than several at the club. That’s enough in the circumstances and whilst it may not have always been spectacular or breathtaking, he’s quietly made good progress and that shouldn’t be ignored.
It hasn’t been easy being a Tottenham player over the last 18 months with the amount of change on and off the pitch. Eriksen will benefit from a period of stability and while Mauricio Pochettino’s start has been indifferent, given time and a shift away from a transfer policy that seems to have had little in common with the manager’s wishes in the past, we’re hopeful things will get calmer.
So a steady season’s progress behind him and Premier League feet found, should we be expecting a bit more? Yes and no. Yes because he is a really talented player, but no as yet again there’s a period of adjustment to be had with a new manager’s methods and tactics. If he carries on improving but goes a little under the radar compared to some on this list, all things considered that’ll be fine.
His talent is indisputable, his work rate excellent and potential uncapped. If things can get more consistent around him we’re certain he’ll really start to show what he’s capable of. He’s already an international mainstay and Denmark should qualify for Euro’16 comfortably, we wouldn’t be surprised if that turns out to be a big tournament for him.
“We’ve always liked him here at IBWM Towers and that remains undiminished, the one thing I really love is that he’s a genuine goal-scoring midfielder, something old-fashioned from a thoroughly modern player” – Dave Hartrick
"No Tottenham player was involved in more Premier League goals last season than Christian Eriksen (15; seven goals and eight assists)." - OptaJoe
C Steady progress at a minefield of a club, just needs to do a bit more of everything and keep going.
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