Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent has criticised Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to bench Christian Eriksen for the visit to Leicester City on Saturday.
Eriksen, who was also benched for the games against Aston Villa and Newcastle United earlier this season, was left out of the starting lineup once again as he was gifted just 11 minutes against the Foxes, following 90 minutes in the Champions League in midweek.
The Danish international’s performance against Olympiakos came under some scrutiny for an ‘unrecognisable’ showing in midweek, though Bent feels that the opposition’s tactics were among the factors which led to a bad night for Eriksen.
Bent defended Eriksen for his performance in Greece, and believes the 27-year-old should be starting every game when he’s fit.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “We didn’t see him on the ball like we’re used to seeing him (v Olympiakos), he was giving the ball away but I thought that was down to Olympiakos’ pressing. They upped their game.
“For me, when Eriksen’s fit, he’s got to play, I’d play him week in, week out. You see when he’s not there, they have barely any creativity. When you come up against teams like that, who are pressing high and running all over, it’s difficult for him to get involved.
“He needs to be involved in games, be on the ball [all] the time. He does work hard, you cannot question him for that, but he needs to get on the ball and make things happen.”
This by no means the first time Eriksen’s omission from the Spurs starting lineup has come into question this season, with the likes of Harry Redknapp and Paul Merson previously noting of his importance to the Tottenham side.
In fact, Bent himself urged Spurs to keep hold of the midfielder after his display on the opening day, amid suggestions he could have left the club this summer.
But with the closing of the transfer window not doing much to stop talk about the Dane’s future, his latest snub from the starting XI is surely bound to cause further questions, after a lacklustre performance in midweek and his subsequent bit-part role at the weekend.
Spurs fans, should Eriksen have started on Saturday? Can you afford to let him go? Join the discussion by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!