Impressive Christian Eriksen happy to shun limelight says Mauricio Pochettino
Christian Eriksen is nicknamed ‘Golazo’ at Tottenham for his knack of scoring brilliant goals but Mauricio Pochettino says the Dane is happy for others to take the limelight.
After a slow start to the season, Eriksen has been arguably Spurs’ best player since the turn of the year, his consistency surpassing even the more explosive Dele Alli in recent months.
Alli has taken most of the plaudits after hitting six goals in seven games for his club but Eriksen has been the team’s chief creator.
He has 15 assists this season, the most in the division, and, according to the Premier League’s official website, has laid on 11 ‘big chances’.
For comparison, Alli has created two ‘big chances’ this term and Eden Hazard, one of the favourites to win the PFA Player of the Year award, has made three.
Eriksen’s goalscoring has not gone unnoticed either. He has scored four in his last eight for Tottenham, including a sweet left-foot drive against Southampton as well as a delightful dummy and finish against Watford.
Pochettino says Eriksen has drawn the nickname ‘Golazo’ among his Spurs team-mates, a Spanish term used to describe great goals.
“He is so special. We always call him Golazo – Golazo because he is capable of scoring unbelievable goals,” Pochettino said.
“The recognition from us is massive. He feels that we love him. It is true he is so quiet, so calm, he is a very relaxed person but he loves football.
“He is a player that does not need too much the feedback of the fans, the media, the people outside.
“He has always a smile, he is a happy person and I like him a lot because he does not need to be recognised. He needs only to feel the love from us inside the club.”
Tottenham host Bournemouth on Saturday, hoping to cut the gap behind Chelsea to four points before the Blues travel to Manchester United on Sunday.
Harry Kane has recovered from an ankle injury and is likely to make his first start in almost five weeks while Victor Wanyama is also expected to return after overcoming a back problem.
“They are a good team, very aggressive with good players who try to play always along the grass with a very clever philosophy,” Pochettino said.
“It will be tough for us and we know we need to fight a lot and give our best.”
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believes his side have to be “very aggressive” if they are going to get another positive result at White Hart Lane.
The Cherries suffered a first defeat in six games when beaten 3-1 by Chelsea last weekend, while Spurs kept themselves within striking distance of the pacesetters after sweeping aside Watford 4-0 for a sixth straight league win.
Howe has been impressed by the progress of Pochettino’s squad, but believes his players can use the battling goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium in October as inspiration for the challenge ahead.
“I knew how good a performance that was, it was not just the result itself,” the Bournemouth boss said.
“We were very good, very aggressive, we looked solid. Keeping a clean sheet is a real achievement against Tottenham, with how they have played this season, and late in the game we could potentially have got more.
“We are going to need to match that if not surpass it (at White Hart Lane), so we are going to look for a similar type of performance.
“We have a game plan, as for every match, where we review the team we are playing and come up with a plan which we think can make us competitive, and then it is up to the players to execute it.”
Bournemouth are currently in 15th place and seven points clear of Swansea, who occupy the final relegation slot.
Howe added: “We know we are running out of games to get the points we need, so are scrapping for everything as we look to surpass last season’s total of 42.”
Midfielder Dan Gosling remains a doubt after suffering a setback to his recovery from a knee problem.
Defender Tyrone Mings is available again after serving out his five-match suspension for a stamp on Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while winger Junior Stanislas could feature having been sidelined by a groin strain.