Eriksen gets straight to the heart of matters for Tottenham
Tottenham’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scores the side’s first goal during the Premier League match agsinst Norwich city at White Hart Lane, Tottenham. Photograph: Tim Parker/PA Wire
Paulinho of Tottenham celebrates after Gylfi Sigurdsson’s opening goal for theb team in Saturday’s Premeir League victory over Norwich City at White Hart Lane . Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Gylfi Sigurdsson (right) celebrates with-team mate Roberto Soldado after scoring his second goal in the 2-0 Premier League victory over Norwich City at White Hart Lane. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters.
Roberto Soldado has been impressed by Christian Eriksen’s rapid adaptation to English football. The Dane signed for Tottenhamfrom Ajax on the final weekend of the transfer window and, because of the international break, barely had time to get to know his new team-mates before his first game for the club on Saturday, but he looked right at home.
The 21-year-old had only had three training sessions with the Tottenham squad but he played a part in both of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goals in an easy 2-0 win.
Tottenham had looked flat in midfield during their first three games but Eriksen’s deployment as a number 10 just behind Soldado proved a masterstroke from André Villas-Boas.
Eriksen linked midfield and attack perfectly and his skilful touches on the ball meant he was lauded by the home fans and his team-mates alike.
Soldado said: “He is a brilliant player. It’s incredible that he has got up to this level already in his first game in English football. It’s great for him, for the team. He is a player who is capable of improving all of us.
“He is a player that makes everything look easy and that’s good for us. He’s a player that can support us in everything we do. He can offer us a lot of passes to everyone who plays in attack for Spurs.”
Soldado almost added his fifth goal in five games when he pounced on a loose shot by Eriksen, but his clever backheel hit a post. Still, Tottenham were good value for their win and had it not been for some impressive defending from Chris Hughton’s team the home side could have had four or five.
There were concerns that Spurs would not be able to cope without Gareth Bale but they have now chalked up three wins from four games without the Welshman. Soldado thinks home victories such as the one against Norwich could prove crucial come May, when Spurs hope to be in the top four.
Three points at home
“We know it’s important to get three points at home, that will be clear at the end of the season,” the Spaniard said. “I was close to scoring, but winning games always comes first.”
Villas-Boas admitted it will take some time for his seven new signings to integrate themselves, but the early signs look good. He did, however, play down talk of a possible tilt at the title, though Hughton, a former player and coach at the club, thinks Spurs have a chance.
“It’s certainly a squad that will be up there challenging,” the Norwich manager said. “There is no doubt about that. They have put together a wonderful squad. They don’t have the experience of winning it recently, unlike the teams around them, but Tottenham are aspiring to do that.”
Hughton, who has one win in his opening four games, was impressed with how Eriksen and another summer signing, Paulinho, performed.
“I have seen a lot of Eriksen and he will be a real star here,” Hughton said. “He is a very good player. If you look at his record, for a lad of 21 he must have nearly 40 caps for Denmark. He is almost an experienced young player and he is just very, very good.
“When you’ve got the likes of Paulinho and [Mousa]Dembélé and Eriksen, with Sigurdsson coming off the wide areas, the decisions you have to make are how you want to go tactically and it is hard to stop that.”