Joe Rodon Not in the Tottenham Europa League Knock-out Squad

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Alfie Whiteman of Tottenham Hotspur and Joe Hart. (Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Alfie Whiteman of Tottenham Hotspur and Joe Hart. (Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
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We had thought – although no one had said – that maybe Joe Rodon was in a battle to win himself a spot on the Europa League roster for Tottenham Hotspur during the knockouts. Instead, Rodon was again left off as there were only minor changes to the squad that carried Spurs through the Group Stage of the competition.

Rodon or Sanchez, Never Was

Apparently if we listen to Coach José Mourinho, there really was never any question in his mind about who was going to be on the list for the knock-out stages, the players who were part of the team from the start. Asked specifically about Rodon, Mourinho replied, “we didn’t, we didn’t”.

The coach continued that it was “a hard decision, but a decision where we wanted to show respect for the group, we wanted to show respect for the people that started the competition”. He said it would be potentially “hard for the group” in dealing with one player being involved being taken out or another player who was not in the group.

Coach Mourinho noted the decision also impacted Japhet Tanganga, who could have gone out on loan, but was kept with the squad to help provide that cover along with Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, and Toby Alderweireld at center-half in the Europa League. Ultimately, saying No to Joe Rodon having not participated already was going to have the least impact on the squad, so that was the decision. Too bad for Rodon, but hopefully good for young Japhet Tanganga.

A Few Tweaks to the Tottenham Europa League Team

Overall, there were only a few changes to the Europa League squad from what was used during qualifying and those changes affected mostly young players. Several Spurs were part of the squad previously how are now out on loan, so they are not part of the player list from UEFA.

Both Jack Clarke and Cameron Carter-Vickers were part of the original list and are not not included. The same is true of Paulo Gazzaniga, although Gazzaniga was not on the original list either, but was still part of the club then, versus being on loan now. One loan player still part of the list is Harvey White, which may be for emergencies and convenience given his age.

Speaking of age, sixteen-year-old Dane Scarlett is part of the B List of players as is 18-year-old Dennis Cirkin. While seeing Scarlett play again would mean something likely went very right, seeing Cirkin may mean the opposite, but both get listed in the squad and given the expanded bench in UEFA play could get to travel some.

Takeaways from Tottenham Knock-out Squad

While we were hoping to see Joe Rodon added to the Europa League squad for Spurs, the logic of José Mourinho makes sense. Frankly Davinson Sanchez has been a big part of getting Spurs this far in the competition and it would be sad to see him removed, although some may argue differently.

Ultimately, it is the ongoing Eric Dier situation with UEFA that causes issues. While Wales has its own association and in theory could be separate, Dier still not counting for homegrown for Spurs is darn near criminal. When a player is born in a country, plays for the country’s national team, and is listed from that country on the competition’s website yet cannot count as being ‘homegrown’ maybe the rule needs some reconsideration. While it would not help Rodon this year, it sure would help Spurs in the future.