The Lamela Enigma: Spursed ?


Three goals in one week and one of them a world saluted “Rabona”… The young Argentinian player, is again in the front pages, but this time the comments are positive, if not elogious.

Man of the Match against Brighton, criticised badly versus Newcastle, is he doomed to shine only when he plays “second class” adversaries ?


Coco(his nickname) is an old timer in spite of his young age( 22). He almost joined Barcelona, after making headlines for scoring 120 goals with River Plate’s young side and got a similar deal to the one of another Argentinian, Lionel Messi. Interviewed for Trans World Sport , the 12-year-old admitted that his wish is to follow Maradona’s steps and win the World Cup, for his country.

On  August 2011 he left  Argentina and joined Serie A’s La Roma, for a fee of 12 M Euros. He scored  his first game against Palermo and ended his first season in Italy, with 6 goals in all competitions.


Lamela started his second season (2013-2014) well , scoring seven goals in six games, including a brace versus Udinese in a 3-2 home defeat. After a month out with an ankle ligament injury, he returned to the field and scored a brace  against Milano in a 4-2 victory on December 22.


The Argentinian went on to score 15 times in 33 games and finished joint fifth goalscorer in Serie A . However that season ended badly, for after losing the Coppa Italia Final, versus old rival Lazio, La Roma, were ousted from European competitions for the second consecutive season.


On 30 August 2013 the player signed to Premier League’s club Tottenham Hotspur; the deal was worth an initial £25.8 M plus up to £4.2 M in bonus payments. This fee made him the most expensive player in the club’s history, breaking the two previous records( Paulinho’s and Roberto Soldado’s).


What happened then ? All signals were green, then why Lamela became Tottenham’s red herring? There are lots of reasons good or otherwise.


The language barrier, comes first; a very different league (from the ones he knew) and the high quality of Premier’s League, comes second. It’s never easy to adapt quickly for a foreigner player and even more, when the supporters are expecting Messi’s and Ronaldo’s performances due  to the high price fee paid by the club.

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A similar event has taken place in France; Lyon paid a record price for Yohan Gourcuff, “the new Zidane” a very talented and technical player, but this price tag and all the fans expectations made him injury prone, ( he even got injured when he was walking his dog !). When he’s fit to play, he’s decisive, but everyone’s expecting his next relapse !  Mindgames…

There’s a lot of talking about the team’s lack of reaction when things turn bad; it seems that the whole  (or almost) squad is affected. Are the players more confident when playing versus lesser (with all due respect) teams as the ones of Europa’s League Groups and the National  Cups early rounds ?

Lamela’s feats versus Asteras Tripolis and Brighton, delighted the Spurs’ fans. I don’t think that’s a flash in a pan; Pochettino is able to solve the team’s  difficulties and give Lamela the opportunity to shine, at last. Let’s also not forget that the lad had already three different coaches in one season and a half !

Spursed? Well, of course he is and he’s not the only one; the club’s decision makers have a lot to answer for( but that’s another story).

What are the supporters expectations, concerning their  (very expensive) star? Admiring Rabonas in every game? Maybe not; maybe,  the only thing they expect from their prized player is to be the talented Argentinian that they admired in YouTube. They want to see the guy who gave so much to his former club, (Francesco Totti, the italian legend, once referred to Lamela being his heir at the club, whenever he chose to hang his boots) and not only some glimpses of what he could have been.


We already know that the guy’s got temper and grit; wasn’t he involved in a dressing-room punch-up with teammate Oswaldo and banned for three games for spitting at Stephen Lichsteiner during a game versus Juventus?

So, stop being an enigma Coco, enter the pitch and play !

Here’s some highlights of what he’s able to do… 

Categories: Analysis, opinion

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