It is safe to say that despite a reasonably quiet game against Schalke it has been a successful pre-season for Lamela. Having trained in Argentina at his old club River Plate, spent time with his family and got a full pre-season under his belt he is fit, happy and confident.
The North American tour was an important one for him, for his confidence. It started well and got better. Pochettino was able to talk to him and has given him a role usually starting from the right where he can roam and interchange with Eriksen primarily.
Goals always help even with good performances so grabbing goals on tour will have boosted and solidified that new found confidence. So far so good and Ledley King agrees.
“So far in pre-season he has looked really good, it’s his first pre-season with the Spurs and that has really helped.
"He has been getting to know the players and when I saw him he looked very happy. The new manager being able to speak to him in his language has benefitted him.”The fact that he has been on social media so mush shows he is confident and not hiding, he always seems to be with Soldado and Sandro, who he can talk to and Lewis Holtby as the joker keeping everyone happy.
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On the field he looks at his best cutting in from the right, just as he did at Roma, starting centrally he hasn't been as effective and against Schalke centrally he was quiet, when he went wide and swapped with Eriksen he came into the game more. Pochettino has been looking at him in both positions and explained he hasn't a set position at a press conference at the training ground last week.
“It depends on the situation whether Erik will play as the No10 or wide. My philosophy is to give a freer style with a good organisation and not only with Erik, with other players. The most important thing is to create a good shape for our players to be comfortable and to show their real qualities.
“It is important to know that Erik is still young and it is difficult to adapt to the Premier League. It is the most difficult league to play – the style, the language, but now, after one year at Tottenham, we believe that Erik is ready to show his quality.”
Some fans have been bemoaning the quality of opponents but what if we had played the high quality they suggest and Lamela had had a tough time against them, what would that have done fr his confidence prior to the start of the season?
Lamela has used them to hone his fitness, grab some goals, put in performances and boost his confidence, isn't that exactly what we wanted? As fans we are now positive about him instead of negative, that is as a result of pre-season, far from being the wrong games they were the right games.
West Ham one week away and after last season an important game, it'll be an important game for Erik Lamela too, a new beginning.