Now that the World Cup qualifying rounds have been completed, the focus for those players who have helped their countries reach next year’s Finals in Brazil is clearly on being selected for the squad by their national team coach. The comments of many of the Tottenham players have all related to their chances of inclusion in the squad for next summer.
The 18 Spurs players who will have Brazil and the World Cup Finals on their minds are:
England: Kyle Walker, Andros Townsend and Jermain Defoe who are currently in the squad. Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson and Danny Rose might harbour thoughts that they could make it into the squad in the coming months.
We have had numerous comments from both Townsend and Defoe on how much inclusion in the World Cup squad means to them. Defoe is one of those players concerned about the lack of opportunity at club level in the Premier League. He was quoted in a report in the Independent saying,
Getting into a World Cup squad is based on merit and you have to play for your club. As a forward, if you are not getting the opportunities to play it will be difficult.
There are regular reports and comments about his lack of opportunity with the possibility of a move away from Tottenham in January if his prospects don’t improve. He has said that he doesn’t want to leave White Hart Lane, “he just wants to play.”
Townsend, a surprise addition to the England squad at the beginning of the season, has excelled in his early appearances for his country but he knows he much achieve consistency and has set his sights on scoring more goals for Spurs as a way to ensure he retains his place in England team. In an interview with TalkSport he said,
Goals and assists make you un-droppable and I know there are great players all vying for two wing spots at Spurs, so I need to get more goals and assists to cement my place in the team and not give the manager an excuse to drop me.
Lewis Holtby speaking on Talksport expressed the view that Michael Dawson is deserving of an England call-up. He said,
I’m surprised Michael hasn’t been called up……He’s a very good captain, a good guy and an outstanding centre-back. He’s a great role model, gives 110 percent in training every day and I hope he gets a call-up soon as I think England need a defender like him.
Belgium: Jan Vertonghen is assured of his place in the Belgian team but lately Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli have been used from the substitutes bench. This has brought comments of dissatisfaction from Dembele who hasn’t started regularly for Spurs this season although he has played in every match. There have been remarks about not starting for Spurs and suggestions that he could leave in the next transfer window as he fears losing his World Cup place. His comments to the Belgian press were reported by the Daily Express.
I can not be satisfied with it, of course, I just want to play as many games. The coach explained that he makes a tactical choice, he wants more defensive players in midfield.
Brazil: Paulinho has played regularly for his country in the Confederations Cup last summer and in the series of friendlies they have been involved in this autumn. He is central to the manager’s thinking while his team mate Sandro will be hoping to make his way back into the international team before next summer. He has played 17 games for Brazil before his injury last January and with so much competition in midfield at Tottenham, there are reports of clubs in Italy being interested in signing him in January which would provide him with regular football.
Argentina: Erik Lamela will be anxious to see more action for Spurs as a way of improving his opportunity of gaining a place in the Argentine squad. With the national team, it is similar to being with Spurs for Lamela as he only makes brief appearances as a substitute.Spain: Roberto Soldado was in the Spain team at last summer’s Confederations Cup and he scored in his last game for his country, a friendly against Chile in September. He has, however, been omitted from the most recent squads and with great competition for a place in the Spain team, his lack of goals in the Premier League will be a concern for him with the World Cup firmly in his mind.
Germany: Lewis Holtby has made 3 appearances for Germany. He captained the Under-21 team in last season’s European Championships but has not been called up to the senior squad since joining Tottenham. He will be hoping that in the coming months he will get more matches for Spurs which will give him the the opportunity to make an impression with the German coach.
France – Hugo Lloris has led his country into the Finals. It was a close run thing requiring a three goal win, France became the first team to turn around a two goal deficit in the play-offs. Lloris will be assured of his place, fitness permitting but two other Spurs players will be hoping to join him. Etienne Capoue was a regular in the squad prior to the injury picked up at the beginning of Septmeber. Now that he’s worked his way back to fitness, he will be looking to reclaim his place in the team. Younes Kaboul had made it into the France team before last season’s injury and will hope to impress the coach in the coming months.
Speaking to SkySports in August before the start of the season as he completed his recuperation, the World Cup was certainly on his mind. He said,
When I will be back to my best level, the French team will be my number one objective. Today it is a bit early, but the World Cup is in a corner of my mind. I have faith. There are a lot of good defenders, but there could be an opportunity. I will do my very best to go to the World Cup.
Cameroon: Benoit Assou-Ekotto, on loan at QPR, helped Cameroon through to the Finals in Brazil with a 4 – 1 win over Tunisia. Whether he will still be a Tottenham player by the time of the Finals is unclear but he will be hoping to maintain his place in the team for the finals in Brazil in June.
Playing in the World Cup finals is a landmark in every international player’s career and over the next months the Tottenham players have major goals to play for with both club and country. If you’re looking to head to Brazil next summer, 2014 World Cup tickets are available. There will be plenty of Spurs to cheer on when you’re there!