Erik Lamela is the go-to man when it comes to a barometer for others to compare a new young signing for another club to the Tottenham man's 'disaster' of a first season. According to some Lamela is a flop. I guess this comes down to definition. Personally speaking if a player has spent most of the season injured and prior to that over protected whilst he acclimatised you can hardly be critical. Lamela has done absolutely nothing wrong. Everything around him just wasn't right.
Headlines and articles have to sometimes rely on a touch of sensationalism. Generalisations are easier to consume. Did Lamela light up the Premier League? No. Did he impact and influence the team when playing? No, not really. Did he then disappear for a prolonged period of time whilst injured and recuperating? I should expect so. Perhaps he should have created an Instagram account during this low point just to appease the baying public's thirst. Not that we should be blamed. Spurs fans had high hopes for Lamela much like most of the new signings and our dissent into disillusionment was thanks to an epic bout of underachievement and mismanagement by one and all.
Lamela is simply a victim of circumstance. It's tricky enough to land on these shores from a different footballing culture and hit the ground running. There was uncertainty as to whether he was a Franco Baldini signing with a not so subtle caveat of future financial promise for Daniel Levy's fabled 'buy young and sell on for profit' mantra. Although if his £30M transfer fee is exact, we must really believe he can be something extra special. That price tag means everyone's expectations are heightened further.
Lamela and the culture shock also meant the initial protection of him was a requirement - especially as he might have been struggling away from Tottenham and the football to adapt to a new life away from Italy. Moving from Argentina to Serie A and Roma was not as dramatic or traumatic. On the pitch he looked light weight, uncertain and lacking conviction. Again, no surprise because of his age and the chaotic circumstance. Chaotic because we sold Elvis and bought the Beatles. Chaotic because all of the signings and Andre Villas-Boas tactics were meant to flow like a beautiful river with the sun shining down on it. Instead we got dark brooding clouds and hailstones.
With pre-season and our US tour under-way, Lamela has recently taken to social media. Not that this equates to footballing promise, but it does serve to show how happy and content he is, sharing superfluous photos. He's found a comfort zone after the non-event of last season.
Did he flop? Of course not. Spurs did and by association he was doomed with the tag. The injury and recovery leaves him with a fresh start. A new coach, a new belief and a new approach for all involved. It's not his fault we spent £30M on him but he's about to prove if he's worth that amount.
via Club Metro