Hoddle hails exquisite Tottenham defender, says key man had an off day

Glenn Hoddle praised Jan Vertonghen's ability after Tottenham's 1-0 win.

A long pass from Jan Vertonghen helped change the course of the game for Tottenham against Sheffield United.

The Belgian's ball led to Roberto Soldado drawing a penalty which was converted by Andros Towsend, giving Spurs a 1-0 victory in the home leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final.

Former Tottenham player and boss Glenn Hoddle was impressed with the way the defender changed the game, adding that he needed to with Christian Eriksen below par.

He told SkySports television: "It needed something like Vertonghen's pass. Although he's a centre-back, he's a good footballing centre-back and his pick out pass was exquisite, it needed that.

"Eriksen had one of those games where it didn't work for him. Two attempts at home on target, one a free kick from 18-yards to a header, one a penalty, is not enough.

"Sheffield United did really well, Spurs will be disappointed but I agree they will go through, they'll get more space at Bramall Lane."

The win will be enough for Spurs to feel the night wasn't a total disappointment, but like the away draw against Burnley in the FA Cup, it was not a night where the team clicked.

They were far superior in the replay, and in the second leg against the Blades an improvement will be required.

To have to find a way to win a game without Eriksen at the top of his game or even near to it is no bad challenge to have to try to overcome. The Dane is a superb talent, but other players need to know not to become over-reliant on him, and the Spurs have one foot in the door on the way to the final, if they can just avoid defeat against the League One side next week.

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