Was this Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino’s major mistake against West Ham United?

Christian Eriksen did not start Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League clash against West Ham United at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino left star playmaker Christian Eriksen out of the starting line-up against West Ham United on Sunday.

The Denmark international has been a key player for Spurs so far this season, but his place in central attacking midfield was given to Mousa Dembele.

The 27-year-old Belgium international has been in impressive form in recent weeks, which has seen Eriksen being deployed on the left.

On Sunday, Pochettino decided to leave the former Ajax star out of his line-up altogether, and it backfired.

Dembele struggled to make an impact in the first half and was rightly taken off at the interval, with Eriksen coming on in his place.

The 23-year-old was deployed in central attacking midfield, and it was his introduction that helped Spurs step up their game in the second half.

As the stats table below shows, Eriksen was far more effective and creative than Dembele in his preferred position.

  Total DribbleTotal CrossAccurate CrossTouchesTotal PassAccurate PassChances CreatedTotal ShotsDispossessedMins Played
Mousa Dembélé 1 0 0 35 26 21 1 0 3 45
Christian Eriksen 0 2 1 53 43 32 4 3 0 45

True, Dembele has looked good in central attacking midfield in recent weeks, but if there is a direct choice between him and Eriksen for that position, then it is the latter who should be preferred.

Against West Ham, Pochettino should have started the Dane. West Ham have not been in great form in recent weeks, but as they showed at White Hart Lane, Sam Allardyce’s side are no easy pushovers.

One cannot say for sure that Spurs would have won against the Hammers had Eriksen started the contest, but they would have certainly had a better chance of doing so with him in the line-up from the first minute.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch