Every good football squad requires a sort of player that is not flashy, rarely makes mistakes and who goes about their business with no one usually noticing.
Neat and tidy, work horses, essential cogs to a functioning wheel.
The midfield generals.
One needs to look at the line-up to realise that they’re on the pitch. Rodri, Kante, Busquets, Fabinho and McTominay are some players that embody this aspect.
Another player who is part of this bunch is Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
The “Number Six”, as they are called, keep the play ticking, mop up mistakes, help out defenders, cut out attacks and generally cover every blade of grass available.
Hojbjerg does this job so well that he has made himself the first name on the team sheet for Tottenham under Antonio Conte.
The player has played in 113 games for Spurs, including all 9 PL games this season.
Averaging a solid 7.62 FotMob rating, PEH has scored 2 and assisted 1 in PL thus far.
He added another assist to his tally against Eintracht Frankfurt in the CL last night, with a sweet cross for Son to get his second and the team’s third goal of the day.
Those numbers though, do not encompass the importance of the Danish to the London club.
Given the fanfare and the general euphoria around the player, it came as an unpleasant shock when a Spurs podcaster known as Bardi called Hojbjerg a ‘cement mixer’ on The Extra Inch.
The phrase was used as an insult, calling the player unremarkable and implying that he is slow, uncreative and just makes easy back-and-forth passes without impact.
Bardi’s dislike goes so far that he does not even want to credit him for a goal well taken.
The fact is, this could not be further from the truth.
Just look at the filthy skill he pulled out yesterday, spinning away from a tackle and charging up the field, passing to Kane but not receiving it due to the striker’s fault, and all this in the 91st minute!
And how does Conte rate him? Decide for yourself.
Even when compared to other numbers six’s in the league, we can comfortably say that Hojbjerg is much more than just a sideway passer.
Since the podcaster’s take, fans have taken it upon themselves to keep telling him about his fault.
We can see in the clip how PEH keeps collecting and distributing the ball, and not just sideways but making runs and finding spaces.
PEH has already scored as many goals as he did in each of the previous two seasons for this side, and in only 9 games.
While goals are not how we judge PEH, it certainly is not a bad addition to his skill set.
With Yves Bissouma and Oliver Skipp waiting to take his place in the starting XI, the “cement mixer” cannot let his performances drop.
But if the performances this season is anything to go by, he need not worry about that.
And going back to Bardi, actually, watch some football before starting talking on a podcast maybe?