For a player who had already scored 5 goals for Spurs in the EPL this season, one would think Roberto Soldado would have “acted like he’d been there before” when he struck for the Lilywhites in the 28th minute.
But for Soldado, his second goal from open play this season meant so much more.
Though Soldado has played an important part in Spurs’ ability to
maintain pace with the top-4 in the Premier League this s
eason, he arguably has not lived up to his bi
lling as a £26 million striker. Prior to the game against Cardiff, Soldado had not scored at all since a December 29 meeting against Stoke, let alone from open play since 20 October 2013 at Aston Villa. That gap has seen manager André Villas-Boas sacked and replaced with Tim Sherwood. Sherwood installed a variation of a 4-4-2 and Soldado partnered with rejuvenated Emmanuael Adebayor to put Spurs back on pace to qualify for a European tournament.
His play in support of Adebayor has been commendable, with Soldado showing a willingness to share the ball and to drop or run into unusual spaces for a striker. Soldado’s job now will be to pot goals on a more consistent basis. With matches coming up against the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, and Benfica this month, he will be counted on to keep Spurs afloat in the top-5 of the table.
Though his emotional goal against Cardiff appeared to be a big confidence booster for both Roberto Soldado and Spurs fans, goals going forward may even mean more.