The Mysterious Erik Lamela (alias Coco)



WANTED : Erik Lamela , alias “Coco” aged 24 , Argentine footballer, last seen in North London, late October  2016. Please help us to find him! Signed , Tottenham’s faithful.

Looking for Erik?  Which one: Tottenham’s favorite, Roma’s apprentice  working  hard under  Luis Enrique  guidance and  later Zeman‘s 100% offensive football  who gave him a first  taste of European football, or just the kid from Argentina looking so frail in his football kit, listening murmurs about “the new Maradona” the Hero of every Argentinian player?

As many footballers of his age, “Coco” is   an internet born; youtubers were the first to appreciate his skills  and even if it was only rumors and whispers, Barcelona came to claim the boy who’ve scored almost a hundred goals for his club of River Plate. That didn’t please the Argentinian authorities and put  quickly a term to  Lamela’s family fairy tale story( Barça had offered Erik’s father 130.000€ annual wages). When asked about it,  the youngster  calmly replied that” he only wanted to be as good as Maradona and win the World Cup for Argentina”.

Did Lamela’s Youtube world-wide success, made  of him an internet star? Neymar walked the same path, as did so many others. It certainly opened  the door to the European clubs, after the young man’s beloved club River Plata was relegated in Division 2.

Italy, the sun, pasta and football could/should make him happy, shouldn’t it? Alas working under such hard masters as Enrique and Zeman wasn’t the ideal for the young expatriate; he showed some brilliance but also some inconstancy.

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale astronomical  transfer to Real Madrid,  gave president Levy enough cash to buy whom he wanted and Lamela was one of the “magnificent seven” bought by the Spanish money.

English football is renowned for its aggressive ways; Erik spent the next  two years (under  André Vilas- Boas and Tim Sherwood) in the physio room, but then a new coach arrived… A  barely known Argentinian, Mauricio Pochettino .

Pochettino changed Tottenham’s legendary soft touch ; hard work and discipline did wonders:” I learned to accept not to play in every game, said  the player some months later. It’s impossible to play every game, but now thanks to Pochettino, I’m having the best year of my career” So what went wrong ?

This season (2016-17) has started so well; a great header vs Everton (1-1) and then…

Tottenham announced that the player suffered from a minor injury picked during the team’s training at Hotspur’s Way; since then that”minor” inconvenience was transformed  in an every week’s  tale, truth , fantasy  and wild rumors.

First  of all that hip injury wasn’t as minor as announced; the player had already had some problems with that and the death of his beloved dog didn’t help to boost Coco’s mental. For those who never had a dog, Lamela’s behaviour might look strange even disproportioned but  for a young man living alone,  away from his family and  country, this dog was his remedy against that loneliness, for he still has problems with his life in London. It’s not financial problems (lol) but emotional ones; life and weather conditions are not the same as the Argentinian(or Italian) ones.

Despite Pochettino’s reassuring sounds, things went from bad to worse; Lamela’s brother accident stopped the player’s run to fitness, for he went to Argentina to help his family and after his return he left again, this time for Italy and his former club La Roma.

He went to Italy, said Pochettinno, he need to change a little about the atmosphere and has strong links in Rome. He has a special link with physios and doctors in Rome, so thank you La Roma for opening the door to him and help him recover.”

A few weeks later, Lamela came back to London, but despite Pochettino’s optimistic announcements, Erik Lamela(alias Coco) is still missing from the Spurs squad. Tottenham’s faithful are still waiting for him ( last seen October 25th 2016), the team need him more than never, for this Argentine  “magic” winger  is able not only to help his teammates but also change Tottenham’s game for the better.

Unfortunately, Lamela’s injury is not the only one; several players ( Jan Vertonghen, Danny  Rose) are  too,  out of the squad; Tottenham have battles to win in three different competitions and need  all   the help they can get. Pochettino could be in a very difficult situation,  if the team don’t deliver the goods that Tottenham’s faithful hope and pray to get. Some might say that Pochettino is too indulgent towards the Argentine international; same  nationality, father figure …whatever. Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane  admitted  that their manager can be very hard, if needed. So what is to be expected from the Spurs manager? Some magic, maybe for… ( He’s magic, you know) if not …

WANTED : Erik Lamela (alias Coco) Have you seen that man ?

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Categories: Biography, Premier League

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