Tottenham ace Christian Eriksen has to start against Arsenal – Spurs can’t score without him – The Sun
HAVING been benched for two of Tottenham’s first three games, Christian Eriksen has to start against Arsenal.
Spurs are yet to score without him on the pitch — and it was glaringly obvious how much they missed him in the 1-0 loss against Newcastle.
Eriksen has mentioned he may need a fresh start away from the club, so Mauricio Pochettino has looked at it and possibly concluded the Dane is not in the right frame of mind.
The European transfer window closes on Monday, so barring a late surprise Eriksen, 27, going to be at the club until January at the earliest.
Therefore in my mind you have to play him.
Tottenham were frustrated for large parts at home against Aston Villa and Newcastle, with the one common factor that they did not turn the corner until Eriksen came off the bench.
Both those sides sat deep and narrow, frustrating Spurs by giving up no space in behind.
Pochettino has plenty of pace at his disposal going forward in Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela and Harry Kane.
With them looking to stretch the game, defences drop leaving a gap in between them and the midfield.
But without Eriksen they had nobody who could get into those spaces and act as the creative No 10 type.
Spurs’ front four were very close together against Newcastle, whereas if playing he would have sat slightly deeper, affording more space for himself and others.
At times you get to realise how good a player is when they are not in the team — and that definitely applies to Eriksen.
The former Ajax ace is the main man in that position and the Arsenal game should suit him perfectly.
With the onus on them at home, the Gunners, as ever, will try and play on the front foot.
They will attempt to dominate the ball with a much higher back-line than Newcastle, offering space in behind for Spurs’ runners.
So while Eriksen was needed in the space in between Newcastle’s defence and midfield, he may well play deeper at the Emirates tomorrow.
On the turnover, he is the one who can get on the ball and dictate, the one who can find the passes to the likes of Son and Moura, hurting Arsenal behind their attacking full-backs and centre-backs.
But it is not just Tottenham who have problems in breaking down these dogged sides.
United beat Chelsea 4-0 with 46 per cent possession but lost to Crystal Palace with 71 per cent.
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