Christian Eriksen is part of our problem

Another crazy performance from Tottenham in what has become a Tim Sherwood trademark, fast asleep to start and wake up when we are behind.




It is quite amazing how we go behind so early so regularly and do nothing about it. That is down to the players. Managers and coaching staff can only tell players but it is the players themselves that have to be mentally attuned and motivated.

Week in week out the Jan Vertonghen syndrome strikes. Surely now anyone who believes players aren't starting games with the wrong mental attitude must change their tune. Body language is our visible mental state. Part of the problem is the wrong ingrained system approach we have to a game.

The fact we are the only team not to have scored in the first 15 minutes tells you we don't try to start games fast, we don't try to impose ourselves, we don't try to take the upper hand, we try to not concede and remain at 0-0.

I have written before about our first-half performances, the statistics show we are a second half team and a bottom half standard first-half team. Our aim, as it has been for years, a legacy of the Redknapp era and continued by AVB, is to go in at half-time at 0-0.

Steadfastly for years I have stated this is the wrong approach as Liverpool have show. They are a first-half team who often have games won by then and can simply control games in the second-half. It is an attitude we must adopt and that requires a shift in mentality.

Again managers and coaches can tell the players until they are blue in the face but it's what they have between their ears that counts and too many of them have not adjusted.

Once again our left side excelled itself and once again both Rose and Eriksen have to take the blame within 1 minute. For all Eriksen's goals and creativity he is a liability defensively. We were two down after 4 minutes with both goals coming from our long standing left sided weakness.

Danny Rose is consistently proving those of us who said he is not a top four player and we won't qualify for the Champions League if he does play, correct. His defending was schoolboy stuff. In absolutely no danger he first allowed the attacker to turn which he should not be allowing, secondly to then beat him and thirdly not to foul him to prevent him getting away. In the first 30 seconds he would not have been booked, the ref would have had a word, Danny would have said yes sorry ref and we would have had to defend a set piece.

Mentally though he was asleep. Christian Eriksen was in no mans land assuming Rose had the situation under control and was waiting for him to be pushed along the touchline. He should have been a couple of yards further infield and a yard closer to Rose so that if anything did happen he wasn't expecting then he could cover it.

It was Eriksen not closing down the man with the ball for the second goal allowing him to cross the ball into our box for WBA to win the header and score from the knock down as out players get sucked to the ball.

Christian Eriksen is part of our problem


That's the approach of a mentally tuned player who knows how to defend in those situations, the mentality of a left sided midfielder. However Eriksen is not a left sided midfielder but a central one and his inexperience in the wide role defensively keeps showing itself. Liverpool's first goal was down to him not tracking a runner, when funnily enough he was in the right position to cover Rose but didn't.

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To compound our weak left side we have Chiriches who the commentators informed us was having a terrible game. Positionally he got sucked under the ball for the third goal, when he had 5 yards on the attacker. Had he stayed where he was when Kaboul went to head the ball there would have been no problem, no danger but by getting sucking over he gave the attacker an opportunity which he took.

Once we had decided we had given them a sufficient chance we started to play and just like the Southmpton game dominated. We could point to missed chances, a woeful penalty, where is Soldado when you need him, Kane not playing in Adebayor for a clear strike inside the box but shooting wide himself from outside.

I could list hard luck after hard luck but that does not alter the fact that we approach games in the wrong fashion. We never seem to learn that square pegs in round holes doesn't work. Yes Eriksen has been our creativity lately but he is part of the problem when played on the left, culpable for conceding goals.

I can't wait to see Christian play central in the 4-3-3 system Louis Van Gaal employs, then maybe at last the players we have bought can play in a system we have bought them for and in the positions we have bought them to play.



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