Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Hoddle: Spurs need some magic

Christian Eriksen, pictured, could be key for Tottenham this season, according to Glenn Hoddle

Glen Hoddle believes Tottenham still lack a bit of magic up front despite their £100million spending spree.

Five new signings were on the pitch on Sunday, but Tottenham could not find a way past Arsenal's defence in the absence of Gareth Bale.

Hoddle, who played for Spurs for 12 years before going on to manage the club, thinks the 1-0 defeat showed that Andre Villas-Boas is still missing something special in his squad despite signing seven new players this summer.

"Much as I was impressed by the strength and power that manager Andre Villas Boas and his director of football Franco Baldini has injected into the squad this summer, an orchestrator, a creator...someone to produce that spell of magic or the key skill to unlock a defence is not there," Hoddle told zapsportz.com.

"Bale is not a playmaking creator but he did make things happen. He was able to unlock teams with his power, pace, shooting ability and sheer force of will.

"Spurs need someone to pick the pockets of opposing teams. Having seen them against Swansea last week and with the team now boasting a record of just two goals - both penalties - in their first three league games, that is a definite concern, even if Villas Boas and Baldini have spent £108million on summer team building so far."

Hoddle believes that Christian Eriksen, a versatile midfielder signed from Ajax last Friday, could provide the answer.

"Christian Eriksen has just arrived from Ajax for £11million, that is nowhere near the sums splashed on some of the other buys, but I see he was regarded by Martin Jol as a "traditional number 10" when he was manager of Ajax and this boy from Denmark may be the answer, especially as he matures.

"He has been compared to Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart and even fellow countryman Michael Laudrup. Those are big shoes for Eriksen to step into.

"Tottenham - post Gareth Bale - still need to find a sprinkling of stardust."

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