Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen feels the club has improved leaps and bounds since he joined in 2013 as he shed light on Tuesday night’s determined performance to come back from 2-0 down to draw against Juventus in the first leg of Champions League round of 16.
Spurs were shocked inside nine minutes when Gonzalo Higuain scored twice. Harry Kane pulled one back before Higuain missed a penalty just seconds before half-time. After the break, Eriksen scored a fine free-kick to draw the North Londoners level on the night. While it ended 2-2 in the first-leg, Spurs have two away goals advantage ahead of the return leg on March 7 at Wembley.
“The games against the top teams, when we were 2-0 down after nine minutes, we’d lose 6-0,” Eriksen told the Guardian.
“That’s the thing we’ve changed with the manager coming in and with the players we have. Everyone has grown up and they are not going to lie down if they are 2-0 down.
“We don’t care where we are or what time it is or which stadium we play in or which we team we play, we always try to dominate; to get the ball forward as quickly as possible and create something. After 2-0, Juventus dropped a bit, which gave us a bit more of the ball.”
The Dane, who joined the club back in 2013 from Ajax, is delighted with the way the club has evolved since the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino.
“The club is completely different – from what it was when I came to what it is now,” he added.
“That’s up to the manager and up to the players, with the quality we have in the squad. We are building on every season compared to when I arrived here.”
As with some of Tottenham’s rising stars, Pochettino has also been a subject of interest from some of Europe’s elite clubs – primary among them being La Liga champions Real Madrid.
But Eriksen, who signed a four-year contract in September 2016, believes our gaffer will be at our club for a very long period of time.
“I think what he’s building here, he would like to be part of it,” the 26-year-old explained.
“I think that’s what he showed when he signed his new long-term deal [in May 2016]. Of course, there will be interest from other clubs because he’s doing really well but hopefully he’ll stay. The players are happy with him and the club is very happy with him but, of course, it’s his decision.”
Eriksen sparkled against Juventus, proving to be the link between the midfield and the attack. And indeed, the Dane is right in claiming that our club has come a long way in terms of challenging for the Premier League and other silverware.