This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
When Toby Alderweireld rose highest to head home Kevin De Bruyne’s corner in Belgium’s 4-0 win against Scotland on Monday, it would have been met with equal jubilation and exasperation from Tottenham Hotspur supporters.
In an instant, the 30-year-old showed just how dangerous he can be from set-pieces when the delivery is right – and if the marking is poor enough – and it certainly was from his teammate who ended the game with three assists and a goal himself.
As per Football London, remarkably it was Alderweireld’s first goal for either club or country in 101 appearances in all competitions, with his previous one coming in May 2017 against Hull City.
So why hasn’t he been scoring more for Spurs especially given he is clearly a threat in the opposition penalty area?
Well, part of the reason may lie at the footsteps of teammate Christian Eriksen.
It wasn’t an anomaly either with tactical website Tifo Football saying (see 3:05) back in June that last season, the Dane saw 66% of his corners in the Premier League cleared at the near post – a ridiculously high rate that you imagine must leave fans, teammates and Mauricio Pochettino hugely frustrated.
That record shows that more often than not, the likes of Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez have little chance of getting a chance let alone a goal.
It is a worrying stat, and one that makes it even more confusing that Eriksen remains one of the north London outfit’s primary corner takers.
Given Alderweireld’s latest header the 27-year-old either needs to prove he can step up to the plate in the next few weeks, or Pochettino needs to strip him of the responsibility and give it to someone else who can deliver to help try and boost Tottenham’s goal tally.