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…
Christian Eriksen turned in another absolutely woeful performance on Sunday.
Spurs drew 1-1 with Everton and the Dane lasted the complete 90 minutes before being substituted in an extended injury time that allowed for Andre Gomes’ horror injury.
To look at his statistics is to see a player who is seemingly bereft of confidence.
Throughout the game, Eriksen touched the ball 47 times, per WhoScored. He did not have a shot and clocked a pass completion rate of 74% – of the outfield Spurs players that started the game, only Lucas Moura and Dele Alli had a lower number.
The Dane did register one key pass but he did not complete a dribble, nor did he make a tackle or win an aerial duel; he was dispossessed on two occasions.
This is a player in genuinely atrocious form and the statistics support that.
Take a look at his shots per Premier League game. This season that number is 1.5 per his WhoScored history. Last season it was 2.4; in 2017/18 2.6; in 2016/17 3.7 and in 2015/16 it was 2.9. That is not so much a sharp decline as a steady stagnation.
His key passes per game numbers are even worse. Back in 2015/16, it stood at 3.3 and since then it has slowly but surely declined, as has his influence on the team.
In 16/17, it was 3.1, then 2.6, then 2.1 and now it stands at 1.4.
Tackles per game have got worse, too; he averages 1.1 now. While his zenith was 1.4 in 17/18, it was 1.2 in 18/19 and 1.3 in 15/16 and 16/17.
The numbers are clear.
Eriksen’s contract expires in the summer and there have been suggestions that he is key to this Mauricio Pochettino team, with Barney Ronay of The Guardian writing that he was “essential” after scoring against Arsenal.
But that, quite simply, is rubbish. Eriksen has got markedly worse across Pochettino’s reign and one feels that perhaps his time to make that big move, to a club of the stature of Real Madrid, has been and gone.
He needs to improve if he is to even hold down a spot in this Spurs team, particularly with Giovani Lo Celso surely champing at the bit to get into the action on a regular basis.
As it stands, though, the statistics point at another season of underachievement from the Dane, who may have already peaked.