Christian Revival: Spurs Could Have Done With Eriksen Against Brentford

Tottenham's 0-0 draw at the Community Stadium lacked the creative spark Eriksen brings
19:20, 23 Apr 2022

What Tottenham Hotspur wouldn’t give to have a player like Christian Eriksen. They had one of course, the great Dane played for them with distinction between 2013 and 2020. But as they laboured to create anything meaningful at the Community Stadium, their need for a creative midfielder was writ large. This was a sterile display from Antonio Conte’s side, and Brentford will perhaps feel like a single point is not a fair reflection of their share of the play. Tottenham’s improvement under the Italian has been palpable, but his work is far from over based on this evidence.

Brentford took the early initiative, with Bryan Mbeumo dragging his shot narrowly wide. Ivan Toney saw his strike blocked at a corner, before getting another bite of the cherry at the next set piece. Eriksen, rapturously received by the Tottenham Hotspur travelling support, whipped a precision corner in for the striker. Toney thundered his header in, but Hugo Lloris tipped it wide with an acrobatic save.

Thomas Frank’s side kept the pressure on throughout the half, racking up corners to keep Spurs boxed in. Toney had another volley blocked, and Eriksen rarely missed his teammates with his accurate deliveries.

Spurs eased back into the game before half-time. The visitors put together some smooth passing sequences, but failed to break the lines enough to make Brentford think. Their frustrations were summed up when Son Heung-Min broke with a superb run. There was a dearth of passing options for the Korean forward, and he looked visibly annoyed as he was fouled.

Lloris had to race off his line early in the second half, as Toney went clear. A ball over the top outdid the Spurs defence and left the striker racing to meet it. Lloris reacted quickest and, while there were shouts for a foul, won the ball cleanly and decisively.

Eriksen’s metronomic brilliance must have drawn some envious glances from the fans he used to entrance on a weekly basis. His importance to Brentford was clear as he sprayed passes, serving as the creative nucleus of the team. His comeback story has been an absolute joy to behold. To even play again after a life threatening incident is worthy of praise. To do so and be able to bend Premier League football matches to your will is nothing short of extraordinary. It would not be surprising if there is a queue of suitors jockeying for his signature when his six-month contract runs out in the summer. Spurs would be well-served by joining them.

Eriksen nearly exerted further control over the match, trying a shot from outside the box. His well-struck effort took a deflection and skimmed wide, affording him another opportunity to fire in a corner. His delivery ended up causing havoc in the Spurs box. Harry Kane made a clearance off the line before Eriksen himself drew a fine save from Lloris at the near post.

Tottenham continued to charge forward as the clock ran down, but one element all their attacks had in common was the ease with which they were snuffed out by Brentford’s defence and midfield. There was plenty of will but nothing like enough skill as the away side tried aimlessly to force a late winner that never looked like arriving. It was a display lacking in any real creativity, something a certain midfielder offered Brentford in spades. What a difference Christian Eriksen would make to this Spurs team.

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