Tottenham Focus – Contrasting fortunes for Sigurdsson and Holtby

Tottenham fans should be coming to appreciate Gylfi Sigurdsson. It may have taken a good part of the season but the Icelander has been showing his value to the team. His positioning on the left side has helped give Gareth Bale the license to move in to the No 10 slot, the position in which Sigurdsson had excelled at Swansea and which attracted him to Spurs. With Bale excelling himself behind the striker, Gylfi in some ways has had to reinvent himself.

Whilst Sigurdsson does not have the pace of an out an out winger he does have the creativity and intelligence to compensate for this lack of speed. He holds the ball up well and links the play, arguably doing much of the work Emmanuel Adebayor does when pulling wide. However, Sigurdsson’s ability to deliver telling crosses and drift inside to shoot perhaps makes him more effective.

Sigurdsson has scored two goals in the Premier League – three in Europe – but has been unlucky through a mixture of near misses, woodwork and good saves from the goalkeeper. What he has done is increase Spurs’ number of shots, moving behind Bale, Jermain Defoe and Clint Dempsey in shots taken.

However, he has provided four assists in the league and a key passes total in the 20s. Maybe a disappointing figure, but then Sigurdsson was an intermittent figure for much of the season and the Icelander is second in assists for Spurs behind Aaron Lennon. Sigurdsson’s continuing improvement and assimilation into the team maybe crucial for Spurs between now and the end of the season.

Ironically, Sigurdsson’s role in the team has arguably come at the expense of a player that many may have thought was brought in to take his place. The signing of Lewis Holtby was pushed through early, in January rather than the summer. The German looked to be needed due to injuries and the trouble both Sigurdsson and Dempsey seemed to be having in settling in.

Holtby looked an instant hit with an electric cameo against Norwich which gave the impetus to a ragged looking Tottenham. The following games against West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle saw bigger roles for the former Schalke player. Since then, to the frustration to some fans, Holtby has not figured as much as expected.

Coach Andr

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