Harry Mahoney hails Tottenham record signing Erik Lamela.
After his man-of-the-match performance in the 2-1 victory vs FC Sheriff in the Europa League that secured Tottenham’s qualification to the last 32 of the Europa League, Erik Lamela has given Andre Villas-Boas a tough task for his selection of wingers in the Premier League.
Erik Lamela had a very influential first half by running at the opponents and having a couple of shots that were blocked well and it was his running at opponents that pulled the defenders out of their positions many times which allowed the space for Tottenham to get in behind as he, himself, proved as he slotted away the first goal of the night after finding himself in space when the ball dropped perfectly for him.
He also demonstrated his fine ball control when he ran past three players down the centre of the pitch and worked his Argentine magic to just float past the defenders and win the penalty which Jermain Defoe smashed home with conviction.
One thing I noticed that Erik Lamela was capable of in the games vs Hull in the Capital One Cup and FC Sheriff on Thursday night was that he is very good at finding pockets of space. His confidence was growing as the matches went on and he was happy to pick the ball up in space, turn and drive at the opponents and despite Erik, himself, cancelling out any Gareth Bale comparisons I think that this is one factor of his game that he is similar to the Welshman.
Since arriving at White Hart Lane, Erik Lamela has struggled to prove he deserves a place in the first team and this is mainly down to the form of Andros Townsend after putting in some brilliant performances for club and country. However, the last few weeks Tottenham have lacked creativity on the pitch and Erik Lamela could be just what Tottenham are lacking as he can bring dribbling and pinpoint passing to the final third for Tottenham.
Andros Townsend and Erik Lamela are completely different wingers as Townsend’s main attributes are pace, power and is a lovely striker of the ball whereas Erik Lamela has skill, flair, creativity as well as pace and he can add goals to his game as he improves.
Personally, I think a perfect set up for Tottenham this weekend in the game vs Newcastle would be to award Erik Lamela his first Premier League start on the right hand side and put Andros Townsend on the left-hand side.
Townsend can give the assistance into the box with his left foot and so that Erik Lamela can drive at his opponents and commit them to allow space for Kyle Walker to overlap and for the creative midfielder, likely to be Lewis Holtby, to have space to work into when Lamela opts to go wide.
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