Glimpses of the real Lamela

Tottenham were struggling until Erik Lamela was brought on after 72 minutes on Thursday and he immediately changed the game, creating a goal inside 2 minutes and a second one 6 minutes later.

Glimpses of the real Lamela


It doesn't signal that Lamela has arrived but that he is on his way. WE all know what a total disaster last season was and the fact he saw so little Premier League action means this season is like his first in the Premier League and there will still be some adapting to do.

Having spent a summer in Argentina he was able to relax in familiar surrounding while training at his old club, a smart move from Tottenham. From there a full pre-season to build his strength and a new confident Lamela is emerging from the shadows as Pochettino explained after the UEFA Europa League win.

"He was very disappointed about last season but the past is the past. It is never easy in the first season for a player from another country. 
"He was injured, too, and we are confident that with time and hard work, like he has done in pre-season, he can go far. 
"We need him to look forward, believe in his skill and condition and work very, very hard. With confidence and time he will show his value."

Erik Lamela has admitted himself he wasn't happy last season when he felt alone and isolated, but now he is enjoying himself again and we are starting to see the first signs of the player we bought.

"I am enjoying my football again. When I was injured, I was not good, I was not happy. I am happy to be playing football again and helping the team to win. 
"This season is a challenge for me because last season did not go as I had hoped with the injuries. But these are things you have to overcome and change yourself. I spent all my holidays over in Argentina with my family and friends. It was great. I now feel 100 per cent, without any injuries. 
"You have not seen the best of me yet and you always have to improve. I don't know how far I can go but I will try my hardest to make my team win. 
“I always play the same, no matter if my team is winning or losing and if [opponents] try to intimidate me, I respond, because I’m young but I’ve got my character. You play football with the ball, not with your mouth.”

A big help to him is the fact that there are so many Spanish speaking coaching staff at the club with the arrival of fellow Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino and his team. This season he has people he can talk to and seek advice from whereas last season, with an English coaching staff, he had nobody apart from Spanish striker Roberto Soldado, who was having his own problems adapting.

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Pre-season was encouraging but it's how he fares in the tough world of the Premier League that is important, that's what Spurs have bought him for. Against West Ham we were down to 10 men after 29 minutes with the sending off of Kyle Naughton so he had to play a more defensive role than an attacking one.

How did he do? Well how many times can you remember West Ham getting down his side and beating Eric Dier, who took over at right-back. The fact those incidents were few and far between shows he did well in that role as well and showed a responsible attitude towards the team objective of not conceding. He has been learning our high pressing system and in the first competitive game he has to abandon it, you can't play that style 10 against 11.

The UEFA Europa League tie was another encouragement and so to a home game at White Hart Lane where all eyes will be on how he gets on again.

This time we will be able to see our pressing game at work and see more of Lamela as an attacking force than a defensive one. It will be an important moment for his when he affects a Premier League game and when he scores a goal this season, he'll feel he is starting to justify his price tag, feel he is just starting to arrive.




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