Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pochettino issues Eriksen challenge

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Dec 2016

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Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen must be more dominant if he is to reach the very top of the world game.

The Denmark international has been on fine form over the last month, scoring five times and producing two assists in Spurs’ last four top-flight matches.

Tottenham sit fifth in the Premier League going into Sunday’s home match against Burnley and Pochettino has been delighted with Eriksen’s rise after he had failed to score in his first 11 league games in 2016-17.

But Pochettino wants to see the 24-year-old take the next step if he is to be ranked alongside the world’s best.

“He is an elite player. It’s true that he is young and can improve, but I think he is a very good player,” the Spurs manager told reporters.

“Does he dominate games enough? That is a challenge for him. Maybe we need to go further and try to assess his personality, character, his position on the pitch, his quality.

“For me he is a player who has a good opportunity from now and into the future. He is a player that will improve a lot.

“He will get more maturity in the game and realise which aspects he needs to improve to be a top, top, top player.”

Spurs played with a three-man defence in their 3-0 win over Hull City last time out, a match that saw Eriksen net a double.

Pochettino added: “I don’t want to say that it was the formation that helped him, he was the protagonist in the action, he was aggressive with the ball and that is a good thing to keep now and in the future for the team, not only for him.

“You need clever players, intelligent enough to read the game in every action. Christian plays on the left, on the right, in the middle, deeper, higher.

“When you are in the starting XI it is because the manager wants you, trusts in you and because the manager believes in you for what he wants to do. That is modern football.”

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