Nacer Chadli is not a small man.
The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder stands at six foot two inches tall and is a physically imposing presence on the flanks or in a deep-lying attacking berth.
He is being asked to fill both of those roles at present, with Mauricio Pochettino favouring a 4-2-3-1 approach.
Chadli lined up slightly behind Harry Kane against Crystal Palace on Saturday evening, with it his duty to provide attacking support from the left while aiding buccaneering full-back Danny Rose behind him.
The Belgium international saw plenty of the ball early on, but he struggled to get to grips with a combative home outfit working under the guidance of Alan Pardew for the first time in a Premier League fixture.
|Match||Duel Lost||Aerial Lost||Total Tackle||Challenge Lost||Dispossessed||Touches||Mins Played|
|Nacer Chadli||C. Palace vs Tottenham||15||2||3||1||7||58||90|
The Opta statistics above suggest that they succeeded in that task when it comes to Chadli’s impact on proceedings.
To have come off second best in 15 duels over the course of 90 minutes, with two of those in the air, suggests that the 25-year-old was caught a little cold.
Spurs should have known what to expect, with a raucous atmosphere guaranteed at Selhurst Park as the locals welcomed a former favourite back to the dugout.
Chadli was by no means the only visiting player to see their standards slip, but he will be aware that better is expected when Spurs seek to get back on track against Burnley in midweek FA Cup competition and at home to Sunderland in the league on Saturday.
He has enjoyed an impressive campaign, which has delivered nine goals, but Pochettino has enough strength in depth at his disposal now that any poor showings could prove costly.