Tottenham are unbeaten in all 9 league games of the season, however, that hasn’t secured them an enviable spot on the log. Boasting of the youngest squad in the league and a crop of super talented players, mounting a strong title challenge is very certain for the White Hart Lane outfit this term, and one of the players to help lead their title ambitions is Denmark international attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen.
The 24-year-old played an integral part last term as the Spurs cruised to 3rd position, and he would hope to beat that position and better his performances this season. In 35 league appearances last term, Eriksen bagged 6 goals – his least in 3 seasons at the White Hart Lane. However, his attacking contributions peaked, with the 114 chances he created his best tally.
A slow start to this season’s campaign has seen Eriksen’s attacking inputs temporarily put on the back burner, and it has got many wondering if his impact for Tottenham in the final third is beginning to fade out. Despite registering 3 assists in all his 7 league appearances so far, he is yet to find the back of the net in his 686 minutes of Premier League action.
What makes it more troubling is the “record” he holds. He has attempted 24 shots – the highest of any player, without a goal to his name thus far. A handful of them found the target and were saved while some others were blocked. But only goals count, and he has none.
24 – Christian Eriksen has had more shots without scoring in the Premier League this season than any other player (24, incl. blocked). Wait. pic.twitter.com/XFrZR63eAr
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 21, 2016
Has his boot lost the magical touch that saw a couple of his strikes bend beyond goalkeepers’ reach last season? Just when will he break the duck? These and many more questions need answering from Eriksen, and he sure would give answers. But the earlier the better, as Tottenham can do with some goals from him rather sooner than later.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men have scored 13 goals this term (the same as 9th-placed Watford), perhaps partly down to the temporary loss of their proven goal poacher Harry Kane, to injury. Only Liverpool (135) have created more chances than Tottenham (120) at the moment, yet the Lilywhites have just failed to be more clinical and ruthless in front of goal. Fellow north London club and bitter rivals Arsenal have scored more (19) despite creating just 94 chances.
Eriksen and his attacking mates must make the best of their chances if they are to have a real shot at the title this season. The Dane’s struggles highlight a problem Pochettino must address quickly this season as the race gets tougher and 2016-17 is certainly looking like a campaign where even a goal difference could be the ultimate decider for the top 4 slots come season ending.
The league table at the moment gives an insight as what to expect when it all finishes. The top 3 teams are level on same 20 points but separated by goal difference, while Chelsea and Tottenham follow closely at 4th and 5th respectively. Same points (19), different goals scored. The White Hart Lane have already proven their quality at the back, with only 4 goals conceded thus far, they must also prove their quality at the other end of the pitch too.
Arsenal created 464 chances last season and converted 65 of them. Tottenham created 500 and could only score 69. Harry Kane’s golden boots couldn’t get the job done eventually as their title ambitions collapsed at the tail end of the season. The onus is on other members of the attacking force to stop the profligacy in front of goal, and it starts with Christian Eriksen.