This double backheel exchange between our Belgian beast and the young little Frenchman puts a smile on my face every time I watch it (which is too many times than I would like to admit). 19 year old Nabil Bentaleb played a total of 106 passes with a completion rate of 93% on Saturday, which was the most in the league that day. If that’s not enough to sell you on this youngster, check out this shot from Bentaleb that was seriously unlucky not to hit the back of the net:
While Eriksen may have had the crucial first goal that gave us the momentum to beat Crystal Palace in my mind the MOTM was a tie between Bentaleb and Jason Puncheon. To be honest Spurs struggled in the first half and Bentaleb was one of the few players who seemed solid for the whole 90 minutes. We were extremely lucky not to be down at half and Puncheon’s missed penalty kick for Palace was a huge booster for us. There are rumors that Jason’s penalty was taken with so poorly it actually left the stadium, crossed the pond and the ball ended up frozen somewhere in downtown Manhattan. See for yourself:
Here are my takeaway’s from this match:
- What to do with Roberto Soldado? He was a ghost on the pitch today and this was one of this worst performance of the season. When Defoe came in for him not long after half he was far more effective and even scored a goal. I want to like Soldado and I know we need to be patient, but games like this aren’t helping his case.
- Eriksen is brilliant. While he had a somewhat weak first half he was deadly in the second. My only issue is that he drifts in to the middle so often he leaves Danny Rose out to dry defensively far too often. Ultimately I’d like to see Eriksen moved back into the center, but it’s clear he needs to be in the starting 11 every game.
- Bentaleb had the potential to be a star. I’m not sure about his pairing with Dembele as they are somewhat similar in their style, but I trust him on the ball and he can make passes in tight spaces which is something we desperately need. We have so much talent in the CM space I’m not sure who I want in the starting 11 when everyone’s healthy.
- Chiriches, Walker and Rose had bad games, we need Super Jan back desperately. One good thing that came from it was the performance of Naughton. I feel like this guy gets a lot of flack and when he plays LB I agree he is horrendous, but he stepped in well for Walker and had a very nice game at RB.
- Adebayor only played OK, but he is our best striking option no question.
- Lennon had another good game, but where is Lamela?