Cartilage Free Captain is reviewing each of Spurs' first team players and evaluating their season. The series continues today with Tottenham Hotspur attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen.
Minutes played: 3,863
What went right?
Coming into this season Christian Eriksen was arguably the most important player on Tottenham Hotspur's squad. And with good reason. After the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Eriksen stepped into the superstar left behind and became Spurs' new talisman. He continued that excellent form into the beginning of the 2015-16 season. Utilized either in the hole or wide left where he could drift inside, Eriksen showed an impressive amount of skill on the ball and an ability to make magic out of virtually nothing.
And then there were his glorious free kicks, many of which bailed Spurs out of some potentially embarrassing results. Take this one, for example, from Spurs' 2-2 League Cup semifinal draw with Sheffield United.
Spurs weren't always great, but they seemed to always have Christian Eriksen there to provide a bit of class and bail them out when they needed him the most. It's impossible to underestimate how good Eriksen was for the first two-thirds of the season.
What went wrong?
Soon after Tottenham's loss to Chelsea in the League Cup final, as the matches started piling up Eriksen's production started going down, to the point where he started to disappear from games. His goal production went way down, he started getting marked out of matches, and he looked absolutely gassed. Whether this dip in production was due to sheer exhaustion after an incredible amount of games, a niggling injury that nobody was informed of, or simply a routine dip in form, Eriksen was not himself for most of the last third of the season. Tottenham's form suffered as a result.
After a rather disappointing end of the season, it's really easy to be short-sighted and forget how monstrous he was for us early. Eriksen is still one of the best players at the club, capable of creating a moment of magic out of nothing, and Tottenham is incredibly fortunate to have him. Eriksen needs to continue to kick on and play his best football with whatever changes happen in Spurs' midfield. As a result of his late downtick in performance, I'm docking him half a Chirpy, but he's incredibly important to Tottenham's chances of making the Champions League next year.
Grade: 4.5 Chirpys