Classy Eriksen is the man to fill Tottenham’s Bale void
Despite the brace scored by Gylfi Sigurdsson in Tottenham’s 2-0 home win over Norwich on Saturday, the fact that he featured in few headlines this morning says much about the performance of Sigurdsson’s new midfield colleague.
Spurs fans and the assembled reporters were instead purring over Christian Eriksen, Andre Villas Boas’ latest attempt to replace the large Gareth Bale-shaped void in Tottenham’s creative hub.
The Danish international seems to have been touted as being on the cusp of greatness for a long time, but having forced his way into the Ajax team at the age of 18, the £11.5m signing is in fact still only 21.
And yet the way he seamlessly integrated into the side, complete with weaving runs, thrusting darts of pace and incisive passing as he hovered behind Roberto Soldado, suggests that AVB has saved his best signing till last.
Indeed it took him just 28 minutes to carve Norwich open and create something Spurs fans have been anxiously missing so far this campaign – a goal from open play.
His perfectly-weighted through ball found the feet of the on-rushing Sigurdsson in the 28th minute, who showed no shortage of composure in slotting past keeper John Ruddy.
And Eriksen found himself at the heart of his side’s second goal too, using time and space in a central area well to free Paulinho down the right flank, whose slide-rule cross evaded Ruddy and left Sigurdsson with a simple finish for his second of the game.
The Dane’s confidence had been evident from the off, with an early dribble producing a well-saved shot, which in turn saw Soldado fire the rebound off the post.
It might just be one game, but already it is clear of his importance to the way AVB wants his Spurs side to play.
On Saturday he was given all corner and set piece duties, while his marauding free role allowed others around him, like Soldado and Sigurdsson, more space and opportunity. Should he continue in this vein, Spurs’ search for more goals is over.