Former Manchester United and Stoke City defender Danny Higginbotham described Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen as a ‘liability’ defensively on talkSPORT.
Higginbotham suggested that in the formation Tottenham currently play, the Danish midfielder does not do enough off the ball in terms of his defensive duty to the team.
“As good as Eriksen is going forward, defensively he can be a liability because he will not protect the full-back,” said Higginbotham.
“I remember when they went to Liverpool in the league, Liverpool found that out in five minutes – They ended up with a right-back and right winger against Danny Rose and Eriksen was giving no support whatsoever.”
Eriksen has been superb on the attack this season but it’s clear he can work harder defensively to protect his teammates in situations when Tottenham find themselves under pressure.
It’s a challenge for him personally and something he’ll have to work hard on over the rest of the season and into the summer, as he looks to become a more complete player ahead of the next campaign.
There is an argument to suggest that Tottenham shouldn’t be focused on using him defensively and should simply play him through the middle and behind the main striker, as someone who can provide good attacking support.
However, Mauricio Pochettino will want all of his important players to put effort in off the ball and for his side to become more difficult to break down as a unit.
The boss has to find a way for the midfielder to improve the defensive side of his game without allowing him to lose focus of his main job in the side, which is to score goals and create chances.