Seven current Tottenham players – Paulinho, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli, Hugo Lloris, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Nabil Bentaleb – started out in the group stages of the World Cup a fortnight ago. Now, as the competition goes into the knock-out stage, there are 6 Tottenham players in the World Cup Round of 16.
The performances of the Tottenham players involved in the group stages haven’t been great, much like their form throughout last season. 6, however, remain with only Benoit Assou-Ekotto returning home at the first stage. He played quite well in the opening game as Cameroon with some good fortune on their side suffered a narrow defeat against Mexico. In the following heavy defeat against Croatia, BAE was involved in a head-butting incident with another Cameroon player and was omitted from the team for the final game against Brazil.
Tottenham Players in the World Cup Round of 16
Hugo Lloris – France
Of the Tottenham players, Hugo Lloris has been the most impressive for a France team who qualified as group winners. They enjoyed two comfortable wins over Honduras and Switzerland although after establishing a 5-goal advantage over the Swiss, Lloris must have thought he was back playing for Spurs. France conceded two late goals with the first from a free-kick going straight through the defensive wall, just as had happened against West Ham. In the final scoreless draw against Ecuador, Lloris made a good save late in the game, France having wasted many chances to win the game comfortably.
Round of 16: Monday, 30th June: v Nigeria (5pm UK time)
Paulinho – Brazil
Brazil qualified as group winners but Paulinho who started all three games, has failed to impress. He was substituted early in the second half of the controversial win over Croatia, played the full game in the scoreless draw against Mexico and was taken off at half-time against Cameroon, with Fernandinho who replaced him scoring Brazil’s fourth goal.
Round of 16: Saturday, 28th June: v Chile (5pm UK time)
Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli – Belgium
Belgium finished as winners of Group H with maximum points. Late goals from substitutes enabled them to recover to defeat Algeria and achieve a single goal victory over Russia. In the final match against South Korea, reduced to ten men late in the first half, Belgium won when Vertonghen scored a goal with 13 minutes to play, following up when the goalkeeper failed to hold a shot by Origi.
The three Tottenham players started the opening game but none impressed with Vertonghen’s challenge conceding an early penalty and then Chadli was substituted at half-time with Dembele going off early in the second half. All three were dropped for the next game but Vertonghen came off the bench after 30 minutes. In the final game, Vertonghen and Dembele started with Chadli making an appearance early in the second half to help Belgium to all three points and go into the last 16 as one of four teams with three wins.
Round of 16: Tuesday, 1st July: v USA (9pm UK time)
Nabil Bentaleb – Algeria
Bentaleb played all three games as Algeria qualified with 4 points. After the late defeat to Belgium they defeated South Korea 4 – 2 and then came from behind to take the point they needed against Russia to qualify in second place. Bentaleb worked hard in Algeria’s midfield, having been a late addition to their squad after impressing for Spurs in the second half of the season. Algeria reached the knock-out stages for the first time in their history.
Round of 16: Monday, 30th June: v Germany (9pm UK time)
The performances of the Tottenham players were disappointing but at the end of the group stages, six players remain to compete in the latter stages of the World Cup Round of 16.