Mauricio Pochettino has claimed Christian Eriksen is Tottenham ’s secret Special One – and he feels the love from everyone at White Hart Lane.
The Great Dane tops the charts for Premier League charts for chances created this season and is level with Manchester City superstar Kevin De Bruyne for assists.
Playmaker Eriksen ’s achievements are overshadowed by the dazzling exploits Harry Kane and Dele Alli as second-placed Spurs again bid to close the gap on leaders Chelsea by beating visitors Bournemouth in Saturday’s lunchtime game.
But Pochettino insisted everyone inside White Hart Lane knows the real value of the £12.5million former Ajax star – and that the 25-year-old is happy out of the limelight.
“He is so special,” said the Argentinean. “We always call him ‘Golazo’ — because he is capable of scoring unbelievable goals. 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 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. I like that a lot.”
The form of Eriksen and Alli has seen Pochettino tweak his system to allow both to play in attacking roles behind the centre-forward.
“We play with two number 10s,” said the Spurs head coach. “I think it’s important that the new system suits Eriksen.
“We are always thinking – that is what it means to be flexible, because if you have two players like Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, who both can play in the pocket, in behind the No 9, you must create a system that can fit them both.
“You can see Dele or Eriksen with a no 9 – Harry, Vincent, Sonny, – how they use the pocket and how we create many different things to try to swap the position, play on the right or left, drop sometimes to try to build from the back when the teams play deeper.
“We try to play now with two No10s that play facing the opponents’ goal, not back to the opponents’ goal.
“I think that the formation and the system and the philosophy helps Christian and Dele a lot. And they help a lot with the system and the philosophy that we play. It’s in both directions.”
Tottenham players put their language skills to the test
By contrast, Bournemouth’s Jack Wilshere is struggling to refind his form on loan from Arsenal.
Pochettino said: “I think he’s a good player.
“We know him very well, like all players from Bournemouth. I think Bournemouth have a very good squad, very good players.”
With Chelsea not playing until Sunday, when they visit Manchester United – and Spurs facing them in the FA Cup semi-finals next weekend – Pochettino added: “It’s important for us to get the three points more than to put pressure on Chelsea – to keep our level, to win games for ourselves, and try to like a consequence put pressure on them.”