Pochettino uses Zidane as example to defend Lamela

Erik Lamela

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino says that Zinedine Zidane was criticised in his first season at Real Madrid.

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino has told Sky Sports that he has confidence in the ability of Erik Lamela.

Argentina international attacker Lamela has been playing well for the past few weeks and is being more consistent.

The 23-year-old, who can play as an attacking midfielder or as a winger, struggled with injuries during the 2013-14 campaign and was frustratingly inconsistent last season.

Things are now starting to improve for Lamela, who played well against Crystal Palace and Manchester City in the Premier League last month and against AS Monaco in the Europa League Group J on Thursday evening.

Tottenham head coach Pochettino, a former Argentina international centre-back, has praised Lamela and has used the example of Zinedine Zidane to suggest that patience should be shown towards the attacker.

“Zinedine Zidane arrived at (Real) Madrid in his first season and the supporters blamed him," Pochettino told Sky Sports. "He found it difficult and he was Zidane.

"Lamela is still young, 22 or 23, and sometimes you need to create a good dynamic in the team and around the training ground to help some players.”

In six Premier League appearances for Tottenham so far this season, Lamela has scored one goal and created 16 chances.

The Argentina international has a pass accuracy of 82% and a shot accuracy of 43%, and has won one header, five dribbles and nine tackles.

Lamela has done well in the Europa League as well, scoring two goals and creating one chance in two games.

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