Analysing Christian Eriksen's two-goal performance for Tottenham against Hull City
It was important that Tottenham managed to win on Wednesday night as they were provided with a great opportunity to make up ground on North London rivals Arsenal, who lost on Tuesday. The rest of the top six also won and the Lilywhites need to keep in touch with the Champions League places as that will be their aim for the season. Although they were coming up against poor opposition, their attack hasn’t been great in recent weeks and it was important that they got some confidence back against the worst defence in the Premier League.
Christian Eriksen took the headlines as he scored the first two goals for Tottenham on Wednesday night. He hasn’t been at his best this season and has struggled when asked to play in wider positions. However, a change in formation allowed the Dane to move back to the centre of the pitch and he benefited from that. Tottenham lined up with a variation of the 3-4-3, but with Victor Wanyama in the holding role and Eriksen playing a more advanced role. It allowed him to get on the ball a lot more often and when he has possession in dangerous areas, he can influence the game a lot more.
His goals came as a result of the position change, as he could play more in central areas and his movement was very impressive. He sensed an opportunity to score on both occasions and provided his team-mates with a good option for a pass in the penalty area. Although he isn’t known for his goal threat, it is an area of his game that has developed a lot over the past 12 months, especially in his movement. He is also a good finisher and that is why Tottenham need to get him more involved in central areas, as he will offer a goal threat. That was reflected by him having seven shots during the match, more than anyone else on the pitch. He came close to a hat-trick as he hit the post from a free kick and was unlucky not to add another.
The best part of Eriksen’s game is his vision and ability to pick a pass. He finished the match with 89% pass accuracy and he attempted 66 passes during the match, making him the most influential attacker for Spurs. From his 66 passes, two were key and this performance showed why he needs to be played in a central role. There is nobody else in the Spurs squad that can influence a match like he can and especially in the big matches this season, he hasn’t been given the opportunity to show that.
It was his goal threat and passing that was the best part of his game on Wednesday, but his set piece delivery and dribbling also impressed. He completed two dribbles during the match and showed that he can carry the ball, which is required if a player is going to be successful in a number ten role. Eriksen isn’t fast, but he has a quick burst of acceleration and that is a dangerous weapon to have.
The Danish midfielder has been criticised by some sections of the Tottenham support this season and he will be pleased to have shown that he is still key to the team with this performance. His problem is that he hasn’t been played in a role that has suited him, but he has now found one and it is important that Mauricio Pochettino continues to use him in a central position as he Tottenham’s most creative player. At the age of 24, it is now time for him to push on and become as good as he can be.
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