Six of Ten Tottenham Players in International Action

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Matt Doherty of Republic of Ireland and Tottenham (Photo by Mike Egerton - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Matt Doherty of Republic of Ireland and Tottenham (Photo by Mike Egerton - Pool/Getty Images) /

On Thursday across the globe, Tottenham had six out of a possible ten players participate in international matches for their respective countries.

After a relatively quiet international day on Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur had several players in action all over the world on Thursday evening, as ten players from the squad were eligible to represent their respective country. One – Gareth Bale – sat in the stands, while three more – Harry Kane, Eric Dier, and Ben Davies – were unused substitutes. For the other six it was another day at the office, only for a different badge. So, who played and how did they do?

Spurs in World Cup Qualifiers

Both Davinson Sanchez and Giovani Lo Celso are participating in World Cup qualifiers for Columbia and Argentina over the next week. Lo Celso started the action today from the bench but was shortly called into duty. Just like Sergio Reguilón the night before, Giovani Lo Celso was brought on in the first half, just before the ½ hour mark for an injured player.

Exequiel Palacios was fouled by Angel Romero and had to leave the match, forcing the change and Lo Celso’s introduction. Argentina was already down 1-0 when Lo Celso stepped on the pitch after La Albiceleste had conceded an early penalty kick.

Gio was excellent from the off for Argentina, setting up the first of three shot assists in the first half, within 3 minutes of being on the pitch. As 32 minutes Lo Celso’s introduction paid off and he assisted Nicolas Gonzalez off a corner kick. Gio had one more shot assist late in first half extra time, but then seemed to go relatively quiet for the rest of the match.

Ultimately, his assist was huge as the game ended level 1-1. Argentina are at least temporarily atop the qualifying table in CONMEBOL with 7 points from three matches, but a handful of teams can pass them with a third straight qualifying win. Lo Celso and La Albiceleste play again next Wednesday in Peru.

Other Qualifying Matches

Both Serge Aurier and Gedson Fernandes were in action playing qualifying matches for their respective sides. Serge Aurier was playing in the first of a home-and-home series with Madagascar in the African Cup of Nations qualifying. The video found of the game made it look like it was a brutal affair and Aurier appeared quite lucky to avoid injury only about 5 minutes in after being taken down by a vicious challenge.

Ivory Coast did win 2-1 and Aurier seemed to have played all 90, but also was caught a bit too far inside and then was beaten on the Madagascar goal. Likewise, the Portugal U-21 team won their U-21 European Championship qualifier 3-0 over Belarus. Gedson Fernandes – who has not been featuring for Spurs – started and played the full 90 for Portugal in the win.

Tottenham in the Friendlies

We knew going in with a match being a friendly, in the ideal world Tottenham’s top talent would not play. Robert Page took no chances with Gareth Bale leaving him in the stands, where many were speculating Bale was watching The Master’s from his computer. The picture making the rounds had a computer, but who knows what was on it.

While Bale sat out Wales exhilarating 0-0 draw with team USA, Ben Davies had the fortune of being an unused substitute, whereas Tottenham new signing Joe Rodon, coming on for the last 21 minutes in the back. It was a good game for Bale to miss as Team USA dominated possession 61 to 39 and outshot Wales 7 to 4. Most importantly Bale missed out on the 17 fouls committed by the Americans.

The headline game of the afternoon was the big match-up between the Republic of Ireland and England. Ultimately, that game turned into a route as England scored within 20 minutes as Spurs Harry Winks set up Harry Maguire for the 1-0 lead. Winks then had a hockey assist, recovering possession and getting it to Jack Grealish who got it over to Jadon Sancho who scored 31 minutes giving England a 2-0 lead. England scored again on a Dominic Calvert-Lewin penalty in the second half to finish the 3-0 drubbing.

According to the Irish Examiner Matt Doherty of Tottenham represented the Republic of Ireland and was speaking of his embarrassment coming “off the pitch” due to the results with his country, saying the feeling of “losing games…is not nice”. Doherty’s manager apparently agreed saying he would be “disappointed” if Doherty was not concerned after the loss. Part of the attitude is likely what makes Doherty such a solid professional.

Doherty will see more familiar faces Sunday as the Republic of Ireland is scheduled to host Bale and Wales, whereas Harry Kane and his Three Lion mates face Toby Alderweireld and Belgium. Both of those matches are Nations League matches, which are a bit more competitive than friendlies. Again, we wish all the boys well and hope for good health!