After booking their passage into the last 16 of the Europa League on Wednesday night, Tottenham turn their attentions back towards the Premier League as they take on Burnley at home.
Jose Mourinho’s side suffered defeat last time out in the top-flight, falling to a 2-1 loss to London rivals West Ham. That game saw the Spurs boss make a couple of half-time changes to try and spark a comeback, and while it didn’t prove to be fruitful in the end, it did underline that one man simply has to be dropped: Erik Lamela.
The Argentine was one of those hooked at the interval at the London Stadium by the manager, with Gareth Bale coming on in his place. The Welshman was unlucky not to find himself on the score-sheet after striking a volley onto the crossbar, while it was his corner that saw Lucas Moura head home.
Lamela, on the other hand, delivered another disappointing display to add to his collection of below-par performances this season, with the West Ham game meaning that the £80k-a-week earning man has still yet to score or provide an assist in the Premier League this season – a truly woeful return for someone who has played out wide on the right and even as a number ten.
Former Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor delivered a scathing verdict on Lamela’s performances earlier this month, saying: “He’s not the same player he used to be, Lamela.
“When I watch him now, he doesn’t really get past anyone, he doesn’t score or assist. I think Jose Mourinho is just playing him because he’s annoyed at Gareth Bale. He’s just playing Lamela because he’s got nobody else to play. If Jose Mourinho is given a bit of money he will definitely get rid of Lamela.”
But, with Bale arguably producing his best 45 minutes in a Spurs shirt against West Ham last time out in the Premier League, and Mourinho himself claiming that the Welshman is in the best shape he’s been since joining the club, the time has surely come for the 31-year-old to get his chance in the starting line-up.
And that means making a ruthless call on Lamela and dropping him against the Clarets on Saturday afternoon. The fact is that the Argentine has been holding Spurs back with his lack of end product this season, and it’s about time Mourinho takes action.