Monday 26 September 2016

Christian Eriksen: Studying Andrea Pirlo has boosted set piece accuracy

Published 05/10/2015 | 12:06

Christian Eriksen has been studying free-kick experts
Christian Eriksen has been studying free-kick experts

Tottenham's Christian Eriksen has revealed studying Italian maestro Andrea Pirlo is the secret behind his dead-ball brilliance.

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Eriksen produced two superb free-kick strikes as Spurs twice fought back from deficits to draw 2-2 at Swansea in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.

They were the Denmark midfielder's first goals of the season after an injury-hit start to the campaign, but the 23-year-old has underlined his reputation as one of the best free-kick exponents in English football - even if he spoke about an Italian influence.

"I've watched Pirlo taking free-kicks and he makes it look so easy," Eriksen said.

"When he's there (over the ball) he knows what to do.

"But everybody has a different position of doing it. I know I have my own and it's working."

Eriksen said that he had not even been practising free-kicks because of a knee injury which ruled him out for a month until mid-September.

"I've done it for many years but I haven't really done it since I was injured - I think my practice was in the game because we had a lot of free-kicks.

"But I know what feeling I have to step over the ball and score. I've always had a good shot and take free-kicks.

"At Ajax I only took them at the end of my time there, but at some point it turned after a lot of training and a bit of focusing."

Spurs have lost only once this season, away to Manchester United on the opening day, and have now gone 10 games without defeat in all competitions.

And Eriksen believes Spurs can maintain their progress with Mauricio Pochettino now in his second season at White Hart Lane.

"There's always been a good spirit here and, although some new lads have come in, everyone knows what they have to do," Eriksen said.

"It's a good mix and with the more games we get the more we know each other.

"We have had to learn a lot of things pretty quick but now we have the time to build on something and you can see we know what we're doing.

"Everything is still open because a lot of teams are losing points, but that makes it a fun season."

Swansea have gone four games without a league win but their performance against Spurs was a marked improvement on recent defeats at Watford and Southampton.

And Spurs old boy Gylfi Sigurdsson believes they are still capable of finishing in the top half of the table.

"We started the season really well but we have not been like ourselves the last three or four performances," Sigurdsson said.

"We have dropped points, which is going to happen in the season, and there is still a long way to go.

"But if we play our style of football we will be in the top half of the table.

"We go away now for the international break but we can build on this game and performance to keep the momentum going."

Press Association

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