This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Christian Eriksen turned in a genuinely appalling performance on Sunday as Tottenham Hotspur lost to Liverpool at Anfield.
The Denmark international was restored to the starting XI after missing the Premier League draw with Watford and also the 5-0 Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade.
However, he failed to make any sort of impact on Merseyside.
He had one shot on goal, per WhoScored, and touched the ball a total of 36 times; only Harry Kane and Harry Winks had fewer touches of the Spurs players who started the game.
Eriksen also failed to complete a key pass and had a pass completion rate of 62% from 26 total passes. That means just 16 passes were accurate.
Playing on the right side of an attacking trio that also comprised Kane and Son Heung-Min, Eriksen did not complete a dribble, nor did he make a tackle or win an aerial duel. He was dribbled past once, took two corners, neither of which were accurate, and was dispossessed twice.
One has to ask what Mauricio Pochettino was watching.
Eriksen was tasked with tracking Andrew Robertson throughout the game but struggled to do that, as the Scot completed two dribbles and registered two key passes.
The Spurs ace also failed to impact the game in the final third, as evidenced by his lack of a single key pass.
The situation becomes all the more strange when one considers that both Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso were sat on the bench.
Either could have offered a more effective attacking option than a player who was being frozen out of the game.
Pochettino, though, brought them on after the 80-minute mark, replacing Eriksen with Lo Celso with two minutes left, when Spurs had surrendered their lead earned through Kane’s first-minute header and with the game slipping away.
That he left Eriksen on until the 88th minute, really, is nothing short of a disgrace and sends out one message to the rest of the team: mediocrity is tolerated.