• Premier League

Lamela struggling to settle - Villas-Boas

ESPN staff
October 29, 2013
Villas-Boas laments White Hart Lane atmosphere

Andre Villas-Boas has admitted Tottenham's £30 million record signing Erik Lamela is struggling to settle into English football.

Villas-Boas suggested the Argentine youngster, who joined Spurs from Roma in the summer, is "not producing half of what he should" as he struggles to break into a side that has started the season impressively without Lamela's influence.

"We have been speaking a lot with him and I think getting him acquainted to the Premier League is important because he doesn't know the language," Villas-Boas said.

"[Roberto] Soldado had some knowledge of the language before he arrived here, so it was a little bit easier for him, but it is not so easy for Erik. We have given him massive, massive help and his family arrived this week.

"He knows he isn't producing half of what he can produce, but he understands the situation now is that he has to compete for his place.

"We are patient with him as we appreciate he is a player of huge potential and I will continue to pick the players that are best for the team."

Lamela admitted last month that he "needed to adapt quickly" to hang onto his place in Argentina's World Cup plans ahead of next summer's finals in Brazil, as he admitted the demands of Premier League football would take some getting used to.

"I'm playing in England and I have to adapt quickly," he said. "English football is more physical and not as tactical as the Italian game, and I talk to my team-mates about that."

Lamela may get another chance to impress Villas-Boas when Hull make a quick return to White Hart Lane in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night, just four days after the two sides played out a Premier League game at the same venue.

Small pitch

Mousa Dembele says Spurs' poor home form is down to the pitch at White Hart Lane being too small.

Villas-Boas pointed a finger at the club's fans after scraping a 1-0 win against Hull on Sunday, but midfielder Dembele blames the playing surface.

"It's not easy for us. We know some teams will come here and make a block, and we don't have a big pitch so it's even more difficult," he said

The White Hart Lane pitch, which measures 100m by 67m, is the Premier League's fourth smallest behind Crystal Palace, Fulham and Stoke.

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