Who Should Play As Spurs’ Number 10?
Christian Eriksen was left behind in the boggy trenches of International Football last Friday, nursing what looks from a parishioner’s eye to be a severe case of ankle-flub. If you average out the conflicting reports blowing around the airwaves it sounds as if Tottenham will be without their miniature Dane in the region of four-and-a-bit weeks.
This, as you might well imagine, is not ideal for Spurs. With both Manchester clubs lurking in the shadows of late-November and creative inspiration already at a puzzling low, what didn’t need to happen was one of their most cunning operators to go down for a month.
So, what’s to be done? Well, there appears to be four options with which to fill the playmaker-void left by Eriksen and here, by golly, are your legitimate candidates
Many suspect the Belgian’s most effective position is in the wake of a main striker, as oppose to the deeper role he’s often been asked to play under AVB. Certainly any position might prove more useful than his current residence sur le banc, which was perhaps his argument when telling his Nation’s press recently, that he was ‘unsatisfied’ with how things were going at Spurs. I suppose he may have a point.
The only worry with the gifted Antwerpian, is that his decision making isn’t always so hot. Often we see him slither past opposition as if they were bollards in a Cycling Proficiency Test, only to run into a dead-end or hesitate when the time’s right to play a killer-pass. His itchy-trigger finger (foot?) is also prevalent in his shooting. Seriously, you’re allowed to score, Moussa. No-one will mind.
What he lacks in extreme cunning he makes up for in selflessness, enthusiasm and an agreeable row of teeth. That’s not to do the young German a disservice, he’s got oodles of natural talent- and the potential is there to be a wonderful player (exhibit A: his two assists against Villa in the Cup)- Holtby is just perhaps a little too raw to be burdened with the role of Chief Creator, particularly against the League’s spicier outfits. But his time will come.
You can’t argue with Sigurdsson’s goal return this season. Well, you could because it’s not exactly spectacular. Just in light of the fact that we’ve forgotten how to score, his reasonable haul of ‘4’ looks positively biblical. Does his relative goal-threat make him a more worthy applicant for the number 10 position? No, probably not. Does it mean he should start every game? Again, it’s hard to argue to the positive. Can we just say he’s a lovely little player and an important member of the squad? Yes. Yes we can.
Come on. What’s the worst that could happen? The fresh-faced Argentinean was plucked from the Eternal City with the charge of being au fait in a number of key attacking positions, including as a central playmaker. Perhaps the Etihad is a little too tempestuous a stage for a starting berth in that role; indeed, the decision to involve Lamela gradually since his arrival negates any chance that he’ll be thrust into the limelight for a game as high-profile as this. Which will no doubt prove a fairly astute bit of man-management in the long run. But, still, it would be nice to see the boy in action, no?
RELEASE THE COCO!
Team sheets for City on the way.