Erik Lamela may have pulled off the spectacular to give Tottenham Hotspur the lead in the North London Derby in March, but the Argentine’s attempt at the same skill in his side’s 3-1 loss to Leeds United at Elland Road on Saturday went horribly wrong.
And it incurred the wrath of former Manchester United defender and BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand in the process.
Lamela, who was brought on as a second-half substitute by interim manager Ryan Mason, massively overcomplicated a cross-field ball in the game’s dying moments, and saw his fancy rabona pass float on out of play.
You’d expect something so unavoidable and unnecessary to go down badly with his teammates, especially when the team was 3-1 down, but Spurs players seemed to barely react.
That lack of response and care astonished Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand, who strongly criticised Lamela and his teammates in the post-match analysis on BT Sport.
“The goal against Arsenal was fabulous and we were all drooling over it. But you’re 3-1 down at this moment, he tries this pass,” said Ferdinand.
“But the more important thing was the reaction from all the players in Spurs shirts. I was looking for somebody to get onto him, to say: ‘What the hell are you doing? We’re 3-1 down. Play normal’, that tells me a lot.”
Ferdinand continued by suggesting that this never would have happened in any of the successful teams he played in during his United days, and suggested that because nobody lambasted Lamela for his mistake, the players aren’t serious about taking the club forward.
“I couldn’t imagine being in a team when I played where that player isn’t getting an absolute rollocking at that point. It shows me, even the fact that he is trying that, nobody is holding him accountable for that,” he added.
“They’re not serious. They ain’t serious about this. They’re little moments that shape the way the team is seen and how it feels, how it’s perceived. You’ve got to look right.”