Tottenham's late collapse in the 2-1 Capital One Cup quarterfinal defeat to West Ham was made all the more remarkable thanks to a non-appearance from club-record signing Erik Lamela.
Despite failing to appear in a competition that offers him the most pressure-free route into Spurs' first team, the 21-year-old is more than happy to be at White Hart Lane.
That is, according to his brother, Brian Lamela:
@TottenhamBanter yes— Brian Lamela (@brianlamela) December 18, 2013
Interim manager Tim Sherwood called on periphery figure Emmanuel Adebayor, who opened the scoring with a thumping finish in the second half, but Lamela was unable to force his way onto the bench.
Roberto Soldado, another expensive summer signing, wasn't required to leave the dugout even when Spurs went in search of an equaliser in the last five minutes.
While optimistic supporters will believe Sherwood is resting Lamela for a full run in the upcoming Premier League game against Southampton, the former Roma star's inability to hold down a consistent first-team place will have many frustrated, especially considering former boss Andre Villas-Boas often favoured the underwhelming Nacer Chadli on the flanks.
Lamela has made seven starts and five substitute appearances across the Premier League and Europa League this campaign, per WhoScored.com. He performed admirably in the 2-1 win over FC Sheriff on Nov. 7, but was dropped after Spurs' next game saw them thrashed 6-0 by Manchester City.
The talented prospect, who is comfortable playing on both wings, didn't make it off the bench during the recent 5-0 home loss against Liverpool. However, he did make a positive impact during 90 minutes in the previous match against Anzhi Makhachkala, which saw him provide an assist.
Does Erik Lamela deserve a consistent chance in Tottenham's first team?
Although Lamela's career is still in its infancy, the managerial merry-go-round won't help his ability to settle in at White Hart Lane.
While many will be pleased to hear he is happy and willing to support the team even when completely overlooked, it is unlikely to be long before both the player and fans begin to question whether Lamela's deal was right for both parties if he isn't provided with decent game time.
Andros Townsend is expected to be unavailable for a significant period of time after picking up a hamstring injury during the West Ham game, per Chris Richards of the Mirror, suggesting Lamela could be about to receive the chance to shine.