Why Tottenham's Erik Lamela was important against Arsenal

Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela put in an excellent defensive display against Arsenal.

Tottenham Hotspur winger Erik Lamela arguably had the least impact against Arsenal of any of their attacking quartet, but he still played an important role in their 2-1 victory.

Lamela struggled to get involved in the match, with his usual offensive qualities not on full display. The Argentine was brought to White Hart Lane as a flamboyant wide-man who loved to run straight at defenders, but his role against Arsenal was a much more unheralded one.

Whilst Lamela may not have caught the eye, he still performed an important function in helping Spurs to a victory and it should not be overlooked.

The former Roma man had looked a lightweight figure in his first campaign in England, but he showed his new found defensive ability in the north London derby.

  TacklesDefensive duels wonChances createdDribblesInterceptionsAppearancesMins Played
Erik Lamela 4 4 3 0 2 1 89

Lamela was happy to feed off the derby atmosphere and he made four tackles, won four defensive duels and even completed two interceptions.

He, therefore, provided great protection to his defence and it meant that Arsenal failed to threaten Spurs at any point in the match.

It was a function which has gone rather unheralded since, but it may be a case that Spurs fans need to change their expectations of the youngster.

Lamela looks unlikely to ever become the thrilling jinking winger that he was in Serie A, but he can still be integral to the team and his showing against Arsenal was evidence of this. 

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