The international break is always a worrying time for managers with players returning exhausted after lengthy journeys travelling around the world for meaningless friendly matches or picking up injuries which disrupt the team and keep them out for a considerable period of time.
Having just got back into the team Christian Eriksen picked up an injury in Denmark’s friendly game against Norway. He went off in the 40th minute and it is thought the ankle injury could keep him out for three weeks at what is the start of a very congested programme of matches in the Premier League and Europe with a Capital One Cup quarter-final tie coming up in late December as well. Eriksen who received the Danish Player of the Year award for 2013 had just returned to the team for the league game against Newcastle and had been hoping for an extended run in the side to become accustomed to the rigours of English football.
World Cup Play-offs
The news for the Tottenham players involved in the World Cup play-offs was not encouraging. Iceland were held to a scoreless draw at home to Croatia who dominated the possession. Gylfi Sigurdsson’s team will have a difficult task in Zagreb on Tuesday evening if Iceland are to make it to the Finals in Brazil next summer.
Hugo Lloris and France will be at home to Ukraine but have to pull back a two goal deficit from the first leg. That will not be easy against a very well organised and disciplined Ukraine team.
Vlad Chiriches missed Romania’s match in Athens as Greece took a 3 – 1 lead into Tuesday’s second leg. Another difficult match for Romania with Chiriches again absent having broken his nose against Newcastle.
The news wasn’t much better for Tottenham players involved in friendly matches. Kyle Walker missed England’s 2 – 0 defeat to Chile at Wembley due to injury but Andros Townsend and Jermain Defoe made appearances as second half substitutes.
Belgium with Jan Vertoinghen at left-back lost 2 – 0 at home to Columbia on Thursday, conceding both goals in the second half. Mousa Dembele played the last 15 minutes as a substitute.