One of the features of being a devoted supporter of a team is developing a love for a player that the outer world doesn’t really understand or appreciate. It’s something you can pick up only when you watch your team every game, to witness the nuances and habits of everyone that those who only drop in every so often would miss.
Erik Lamela is that for a lot of Tottenham supporters. He’s not a regular starter, but Spurs fans love him because, and I say this in the most complimentary way possible, he’s a complete asshole. He plays in everyone’s face, he flies into tackles, he never stops yapping, he never stops trying. He brings unique energy into the team when he’s in it, while annoying the piss out of opponents.
And you’d have to be a world-class asshole to even think of trying this, much less make it work. Watch closely, you might miss it on the first viewing:
This is the kind of thing you’d only do at the end of practice while you’re fucking around. You certainly don’t pull out a Rabona in a crowded penalty area in the middle of a North London Derby, but Lamela is just that kind of asshole. Yeah, you’d only do it if your right foot is utter dogshit, as Lamela’s is. But who cares? He nutmegs one Arsenal defender and finds the corner with this bit of geniusness/insanity. It doesn’t really stand up as logical, but logic rarely applies to the level of asshole Lamela can be
Of course this being Spurs, they gave up an equalizer to this goal just 10 minutes later, even though it should stand as a classic, memorable winner. Can never have nice things, those Spurs.