Tottenham Hotspur have had an odd season thus far in the 2018-19 campaign. They have yet to look their best for a full ninety minutes in the Premier League. However, they continue to accumulate points. Two of their best performances came in the Champions League, but due to mental lapses, the results didn’t follow. Spurs have only allowed one goal in their current four-game league winning streak. Offensively, they have only managed to score more than a goal one time since the end of August. Their finishing has to improve as the season goes on. Spurs need the likes of Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min, and Dele Alli to get back into goalscoring form. With their three main scorers from the past few seasons off to slow starts, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura have been leading the Tottenham attack in North London.
With the fixtures beginning to pile up, and matches with Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal all in the next month and a half, Spurs need to find their groove. They are currently tied for 3rd on points, but sit in 5th due to goal differential. If they can find a way to be more clinical in the final third, they can erase that deficit. The Tottenham attack is potent enough to challenge at the top of the league. The fact that they are in the position they are in without their best goal scorers in top form is a testament to this squad’s depth.
Lamela and Lucas Leading the Tottenham Attack
Good to Be Back
Erik Lamela had to sit and wait a long time for his chance to shine again. He missed nearly a full season with a hip injury, returning in the second half of last season. As he was working back into shape last season, he showed flashes of the grit, work rate, and skill that Spurs fans had come to expect. He has hit the ground running to begin this season. In five Premier League games this season, Lamela has three goals and an assist. He scored a goal versus Barcelona in the Champions League. His pace and attacking mindset have helped Spurs as many teams try to sit back, forcing them to break down a crowded defense. The energy and aggression of his play have never been in question, but he has now began to bring his finishing up to a higher level.
Lamela has also shown the ability to score in multiple ways this season. He pulled one back for Spurs against Liverpool with great control and a wicked finish from a tight angle. When Brighton was pushing for an equalizer, Lamela helped start a counter, then continued his run into the box and finished off a Danny Rose cross with an excellent first time strike. Last weekend he scored the winner over West Ham with a smooth header from a Moussa Sissoko cross. He may not be a starter for this group when everyone is fit and in form. However, he has shown he will contribute and can provide a spark as a sub with his energy and pace.
Like a New Signing
Plenty was made about Tottenham’s lack of summer signings, both in the media and among fans. The last player they signed was Lucas Moura in the January transfer window. The Brazilian never got going after the move, as he was working his way into the lineup. Due to his lack of time on the pitch since the move from PSG, he could almost be looked at as a new signing heading into this season. Regardless of how he is viewed, he has not disappointed. Lucas has been a spark of creativity and relentless effort since August. He adds a different style to the Tottenham attack. His skill, pace, and willingness to challenge defenders 1v1 is unique on this squad. Lucas has scored three goals in nine Premier League appearances. He bagged his first Champions League goal for the club this week at PSV.
The exciting wing has made an impact with and without the ball this season. The stereotype of attacking Brazilian players who lack in their defensive duties does not apply to him. He often spearheads the Tottenham press, chasing down defenders and harassing them into mistakes. In a 3-0 thrashing of Manchester United, he seemed to just pop up out of nowhere into passing lanes. His pace and effort make him a constant threat, even when he doesn’t have the ball. There are still some growing pains, Lucas and his teammates are still figuring out how they can best work together. As they grow in comfort and confidence, expect his goal and assist totals to rise as the season progresses.
Putting It All Together
The production of Lamela and Lucas to begin this season has been a godsend to the Tottenham attack. The likes of Kane, Son, Alli, and Christian Eriksen are still rounding into form after a long summer of international duties. Spurs have been able to maintain its spot in the fight for a top four finish in the Premier League. However, if they want to continue to keep up with the other top clubs, they need all of their attacking talent to hit high gear. Kane is still putting in the goals despite not being at his best, scoring five in nine league appearances. He has shown signs recently of regaining the brilliance Spurs fans have become accustomed to.
Son has yet to score on the season, but he also missed a month while leading South Korea to Asian Games glory. Alli is recovering from a hamstring injury and should be back fit again soon. Eriksen is the team’s best creator, and he had his best performance of the season during this week’s Champions League draw with PSV. These three are vital to Spurs success. The chemistry and firepower in this team is at its best when they are clicking.
Spurs need to get all of their goal scoring threats going at the same time. That could propel them on a big run as the busy holiday fixture period approaches. The Tottenham attack needs to hit another gear because they can’t rely on winning games 1-0. Getting back to the free-flowing, goal scoring, and crowd-pleasing side they have been for much of the past three seasons is a must. Lamela and Lucas have done a good job of leading the charge for the first few months of this campaign. Now the rest of the Spurs attacking threats need to find their form so the team can push on from here.
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