When he arrived at Tottenham Hotspur, perhaps Mauricio Pochettino’s main remit was to get the best out of the under performing members of Spurs’ squad.
Big-money signings like Erik Lamela, Paulinho and Roberto Soldado had struggled, while previous stars of the side such as Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul were in desperate troughs of form.
One man the Argentine was not expected to have to do a great deal with was Christian Eriksen, Spurs’ Player of the Year in his debut season in north London.
On the face of it, Eriksen has started the campaign reasonably enough, netting twice in seven league games including the winner against Southampton in his last outing, but the Dane has not been as influential as fans might have hoped after last term.
His national manager Morten Olsen laid into the 22-year-old after Denmark lost 1-0 to a late Portugal goal in their recent Euro 2016 qualifier, saying he was unable to control the game.
Pochettino has stepped in to counter that somewhat harsh criticism, but Eriksen can be said to have underperformed at White Hart Lane this term.
Last year only Mesut Ozil and David Silva averaged more key passes per game in the Premier League than the Dane’s 2.7, this term he has dropped to 1.9.
Also down are his successful crosses per game. Last year Eriksen ranked joint-ninth in the league with 1.6, now he provides just 0.7.
The Dane’s direct involvement in goals has also fallen compared to his fantastic run at the end of last season.
In his final 17 league appearances of the campaign Eriksen scored seven and set up eight, a run which included four goals and five assists in Spurs’ last eight matches.
Perhaps, the most worrying aspect of his form this season is the fact he is yet to set up a goal, with Lamela forced to take up the side’s creative mantle with three assists thus far.
Though the 22-year-old is still showing flashes of his talent, and can be granted some leeway due to his age, Eriksen has already shown he can dominate matches in England’s top-flight, and needs to recover the consistency he demonstrated under Tim Sherwood.
Spurs next match is away at Manchester City, a game they are a lengthy 25/4 to win. If they are to upset the odds, they’ll need their Danish playmaker on top form.