Christian Eriksen has been criticised by some sections of the Tottenham support over the course of this season, but he is beginning to find his form and played a vital role in the side’s 4-1 victory over Southampton on Wednesday evening. Tottenham have struggled to score goals this season, especially from open play and have relied heavily on Harry Kane and their full backs to produce in the attacking half. They have dropped points in matches that they shouldn’t due to this, but Mauricio Pochettino has now given Eriksen more freedom and he is once again becoming the influential midfielder that we know he can be.
In this match, his passing was superb as he was influencing the game from deep with his vision and range. He can execute passes that few others can and he ran the game in the second half. During the first 45, there were signs that his game wasn’t at the level that he needed it to be and in previous matches, he would have faded. However, he looks revitalised and motivated to dominate matches once again and he came to the fore in the second half.
He was spraying the ball to all areas of the final third and this created space for his team-mates to exploit. Eriksen possesses a range of passes that allow him to be the creative hub of a team and he has failed to show this in too many matches this season. Over the past few matches, he is steadily growing into the player that we know he can be. Sometimes it is forgotten that he is only 24. The Dane has been around for a long time, but he remains young and inconsistency is to be expected. He is coming into form exactly when Spurs need him and they will be hoping that he can provide them with momentum to go on and finish in the top four.
Eriksen finished the match with two assists showing how important he is to Spurs in the build-up play. His first assist came from a corner as Harry Kane headed in at the near post. Eriksen has a lot of quality from the dead ball and that showed on Wednesday evening. It was his second assist that showed Eriksen at his best. He had space in the centre of the park and played a perfectly weighted ball over the defence to the on-running Son Heung-min who finished the move off. Although it came off the head of a defender, it still found its desired target and led to a goal. Eriksen could have added a goal to his evening’s work, with a powerful strike in the second half that struck the crossbar.
It was an improved performance from Eriksen and highlighted how he is able to dominate matches in this league. He hasn’t been at the level that we have come to expect from him in years gone by, but recent matches suggest that he could be ready to have a much better second half of the season. Tottenham need him to as well if they are to finish in the top four for the second successive season. They have struggled to score goals, especially from open play with their tally of 33 goals being somewhat inflated by a few high scoring matches. Their issue has been in the transition phase, but this evening Eriksen showed that he has the quality to improve that for Spurs. If he continues to play like he did in the second half at St Mary’s, Tottenham will be a force over the coming months.