Ossie's Lamela dream
04 September 2013|Tottenham Hotspur
Ossie Ardiles admits to an increasing sense of excitement as he assesses the growing strength of the Spurs first team squad.
And, hardly surprisingly, it is the arrival of his fellow countryman Erik Lamela that’s put a big smile on his face.
Ardiles, our former player, manager and Argentina international, was the real pioneer when it comes to the import of overseas players when he joined Spurs with World Cup-winning partner Ricky Villa in July, 1978.
Ossie’s been following Lamela’s career since the Buenos Aires-born attacking midfielder made an early breakthrough at home town club River Plate. And he is convinced that the man known as Coco has found his spiritual home at White Hart Lane.
Ossie sums him up thus: “He’s a brilliant player. Of all the really top players Tottenham have bought for this season, he is the one that excites me the most.
“And not at all becomes he too comes from Argentina! It’s simply because of the way he plays. He’s a different type of player; to my mind a real Spurs player.
“These days you could describe a lot of players as manufactured. But not Lamela. He is a natural – and very talented. He is also extremely mature in his game for his age.
“He made his debut at a very young age at a big club like River Plate. And he coped very well with the obvious pressure in what was a traumatic season for the club as they were relegated under the format of the Argentina Primera that takes into account the form of each club over the past three seasons.
“Then the move to Roma – and we all know how difficult it is to play in Serie A. Despite his youth – and remember he’s only 21 now – he had a good record there. He showed his resolve and there is something extra about him as he approaches his football from a very different angle.
“He is never predictable in his play; he’s much more subtle than that. I would sum him up as very skilful at pace.
“In Argentina he was seen as a traditional number 10. And only the very special players achieve that acclaim. He can play in that crucial creative area behind the main striker; as an attacking midfielder or more to the left which he has done with success.
“All in all he is very talented. True, like all the new arrivals, he’ll need a bit of time to adjust to the pace of the Premier League. But he’ll do that and he’ll do it well. It’s great to have him here and I’m excited about the immediate future at Tottenham.”