Paul Merson has insisted that Tottenham ace Erik Lamela “has been awful” so far this season as he previewed the clash with Arsenal this weekend.
Spurs have made a relatively slow start to the Premier League season as after coming from behind to secure three points against newly-promoted Aston Villa at home, they held Man City to a draw before losing at home to Newcastle Utd.
While it’s still very early in the campaign, Mauricio Pochettino will know that they can’t afford to allow their slow start to continue as a gap could begin to emerge already between them and their rivals at the top of the table.
Particularly if they wish to challenge for the title, it could be a huge blow to their hopes if they aren’t able to get a positive result against Arsenal prior to the international break.
Merson believes that Christian Eriksen is key for Tottenham, and has been less complimentary of some of his teammates with Lamela seemingly being singled out by the pundit as he looked at the problems that Tottenham are currently facing.
“Harry Kane looks frustrated this season as well. He’s coming so short all the time to receive the ball because he isn’t getting any service,” he wrote his in Daily Star column. “But that’s because Christian Eriksen isn’t playing. Without him, they don’t have enough vision. Moussa Sissoko is not going to play that killer ball that opens up a packed defence.
“Harry Winks plays to deep to do it, he just keeps things ticking over nicely at the base of midfield, Erik Lamela has been awful, and Lucas Moura feels more like an impact player.”
As for a prediction, it’s fair to say that the former Arsenal man is backing his old club to get the three points.
“I don’t see how they’re going to live with Arsenal. It’s too slow. Too predictable. That negativity from Pochettino has fed on to the pitch,” he added. “I think Arsenal’s forward line will cause them all sorts of problems – especially with Jan Vertonghen out of the picture.
“He’s been one of their best players for years but he’s not playing. Something’s happened there. Have words been said?”