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Lamela: "If I can't always play well, I will always run and run for the team"

Posted on 10 October 2016  - 14:15

Erik Lamela feels right at home - and we’ve reaped the benefits over the last 18 months.

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The Argentine forward admits life was tough on his arrival from Roma in the summer of 2013.

Injury didn’t help as Erik was restricted to just 16 appearances in 2013-14. A back problem kept him out of action from December 29 until the opening day of 2014-15, West Ham away. That’s when football life started to take turn for the better for Erik at Spurs.

Erik started to blossom that season under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino.

Below: Erik shows the love after his goal against Gillingham

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He made 46 appearances in all competitions including 25 starts in the Premier League and scored his famous ‘Rabona’ in the Europa League.

Last season was even better. A bundle of footballing energy so suited to Mauricio’s pressing style, Erik weighed in again with 44 appearances and more goals, 11 in total including five in the Premier League and a hat-trick against Monaco in the Europa League.

“At the beginning it was very tough, arriving in England, another style of football, another country, another language,” said Erik, currently on international duty with Argentina.

“I was injured for a long time as well. That was difficult. I played for three months but then I was injured for seven months.

“That’s football, you need to be strong and keep training.

“I feel well now. I feel good at the training ground and after training, I go home and it feels like home. That’s important. I’m always focused. I’m happy and that helps on the pitch."

Whatever his form, you’ll never get less than 100% effort from the man from Florida, Buenos Aires.

“I try to do my best every game and if I can’t always play well, I try to run and run and always help the team,” he said. “We always need to show that we want to win.”

Below: Erik scores at Everton

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Indeed, the phrase ‘no I in team’ isn’t lost on the 24-year-old, who will always deflect away any personal praise back onto his team-mates - even after scoring his Rabona!

“I always look for the team first. If the team wins, I’m happy. If I play well but we don’t get three points, my feeling isn’t good.

“The most important thing is always to win.”