Tottenham’s Eriksen Is ‘Elite’ But Can Get Better – Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino has challenged Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen to produce his best more consistently if he is to become a top player.
Eriksen is enjoying a purple patch, having registered five goals and two assists in his last four Premier League games.
But the Dane, who scored twice in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Hull, started the season slowly as he failed to find the net in any of Spurs’ opening 11 matches.
“He is an elite player. It’s true that he is young and can improve, but I think he is a very good player,” Pochettino said.
“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.”
Eriksen produced a superb display in a deeper central midfield role against Hull on Wednesday and he may be deployed there again for Sunday’s game at home to Burnley.
Pochettino has typically used Eriksen further forward, however, either centrally behind the striker or on the left of an attacking three.
The Spurs boss believes Eriksen’s versatility is a sign of his intelligence.
“Modern football uses different systems for playing offensive opposition, when we’re in possession, out of possession, different players in the starting XI,” Pochettino said.
“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 11 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 today.”
Tottenham take on Burnley this weekend, looking to continue an upturn in form that has seen them win three of their last four matches and concede only twice.
Burnley, meanwhile, sit 13th and have scored just once in seven away games in the league this season.
“It will be difficult because they have a very clear idea of how they play,” Pochettino said.
“They are strong physically and mentally, it’s a very difficult team to play — we can see the last game against West Ham was difficult for West Ham and a penalty decided it.
“The Premier League always is tough, the most important thing is to arrive fresh with the ideas of how we need to play and what we need to do and then try to give our best.”