Lewis Holtby had his move to Spurs from Schalke brought forward, as was his introduction to the Premier League. On 71 minutes, with the side down 1-0, he found himself thrust in to action at Carrow Road, with a handful of post-it notes.
The handwritten scribbles were directions from AVB for Scott Parker and Moussa Dembele, as the coach wanted a switch to a midfield four. However, the introduction of Lewis Holtby helped Spurs gain an increasing control of the game, before he was heavily involved in the equaliser.
What he showed in those 20 minutes was enough to whet the appetite that there is plenty more to come.
Lewis Holtby covers the ground
In just 20 minutes of action, it was clear to see that Lewis Holtby had brought his movement from Schalke and was going to be allowed to express this within the team.
He received the ball 21 times in his 20 minutes on pitch and was always available for a short pass, particularly from balls forward or lay offs from Moussa Dembele. He covered a fair amount of ground for someone who was on the pitch for such a short period of time.
Lewis Holtby moves the ball forward
In the post “What Lewis Holtby will bring to Spurs” i wasa excited to see if he would bring his attacking, vertical passing to the Lane. At Norwich last night, we got some glimpses of just that, as the ball was moved more quickly forward after his introduction.
Of his 25 passes in the match, 15 were forward, with just 6 backwards, highlighting his desire to get the ball in to attacking positions. This included several balls played on the diagonal in to or towards the box, which is his forte.
A couple were incomplete, shown by the red lines, but the intent was there which was pleasing to see.
Getting the ball forward also meant that he was heavily involved in the build up for Gareth Bale’s goal.
Lewis Holtby took a difficult pass from Benoit Assou-Ekotto, which he flicked round the corner to Jermain Defoe. The pass was nice, but the fact that he took a quick glance to see where the striker was beforehand, illustrated his awareness of what’s around him.
Lewis Holtby defensively
In the post on “What Lewis Holtby will bring to Spurs” I talked about his ability to make tackles and bring a defensive aspect to the game. With this also came an impetuous nature that can see him commit fouls and get booked quite often.
Here he did just that, picking up a booking for a foul on Wes Hoolahan during his brief spell on the pitch. Although it did highlight that he is not going to be one of those players who is just interested when we have the ball, then switch off and jog back when we don’t.
Lewis Holtby Overall performance
Although brief, Lewis Holtby had 20 very productive minutes on the pitch. He covered the ground, was always available to receive possession and was looking to play the ball forward in a vertical attacking manner. It was no coincidence he was involved in the build-up to the goal and helped us press on looking for a winner.
Exciting times lay ahead with Lewis Holtby in the side. Andre Villas-Boas described him as a “major coup” and perhaps we will get to see more of him at the Hawthorns on Sunday.