The month-long buzz that coincides with the World Cup is beginning to die down. France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the final to win their second ever World Cup trophy. Most club teams around Europe are already beginning their preseason work. That means it’s time for the Tottenham player’s World Cup review.
In terms of European clubs in the World Cup, no team was represented as well as Tottenham Hotspur. Last season’s third-place finisher from the Premier League had nine players in the semi-finals, and twelve players overall participating in Russia. Tottenham had the most goals accounted for by any European Club in this summer’s tournament with 12.
World Cup Review: Tottenham Players Shine
Tottenham Solo Acts
The review begins with Tottenham players who did not have another Spurs man in their nation’s team.
Hugo Lloris – Goalkeeper – France
The Tottenham captain was the first man to touch the World Cup trophy. As the captain of France, he was the man who got to raise the Cup above his head after it was presented to the winners.
Lloris had a solid tournament, despite a moment of madness which allowed a Croatian goal in the final. His save against teammate Toby Alderweireld in the semifinal kept the game tied in the first half. While not called into action too much over the course of the tournament, he made the saves he had to make.
He will return to north London a World Cup Champion, and can now shift his sights to lifting a trophy for his club.
Christian Eriksen – Midfielder – Denmark
The Danish talisman helped his team advance past the group stage before losing to eventual finalist Croatia. Eriksen had a goal and an assist in four matches.
His passing and control helped Denmark go undefeated in their group, finishing second behind France. He did miss his penalty in the shootout loss to Croatia in the Round of 16.
Son Heung-Min – Attacker – South Korea
The tournament did not go quite as planned for Son and his South Korean teammates. After losses to Sweden and Mexico, they were eliminated before the third group stage match.
They did, however, produce one of the shocks of the World Cup in their third match. Two late goals allowed them to get their first win, and eliminate defending champion Germany from the competition. Son scored twice in three starts, including a belter from 25 yards out against Mexico.
Davison Sanchez – Center Back – Colombia
The youngster was immense in the back for his country. His centre-back partner may have gotten more headlines with his three headed goals, but it was Sanchez who stood out in defence.
His awareness and composure were on full display. Even when the rest of his teammates were boiling over during their knockout round loss to England, Sanchez stayed level. He also showed his timing and recovery speed with his multiple last-ditch challenges to prevent goals.
Teaming Up: Tottenham Players’ World Cup Review
The Tottenham player’s World Cup review continues with those Spurs who had club teammates join them in their respective national sides.
Jan Vertonghen – Center Back – Belgium
Vertonghen played in six contests this summer in Russia. He helped lead his country to only their second ever semi-final, as they took third place. Belgium made use of his versatility, moving him to left back when they switched from a back three to a back four.
He had a costly mistake against Japan, misplaying a ball that lead to their first goal. Vertonghen redeemed himself, with a looping headed goal in the 69th minute. It sparked one of the best comebacks in World Cup history as the Belgians came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with a goal in the closing moments.
Toby Alderweireld – Center Back – Belgium
As per usual, Alderweireld was a rock at the back for his country. The 29-year-old played in six matches, amassing 25 clearances and seven blocks throughout the tournament. He had an assist as well to go along with all his defensive work.
A brilliant save from his club teammate kept him from giving his side the lead in the semifinal. He in turn robbed a club teammate, clearing an Eric Dier shot off the line in the third place game to keep his team in the lead.
Moussa Dembele – Midfeilder – Belgium
Dembele was not as his best in Russia. He played in four matches, including a start in in the semifinal loss to France. He was not his normal dominant force in midfield, and could never get a rhythm about his play. A long club season may have been weighing on the 31-year-old’s legs, as he did not have his usual mix of balance, strength, and burst.
The English Contingent
Harry Kane – Striker – England
The Tottenham superstar was perhaps not in top form in Russia, but that doesn’t mean he did not have a good tournament. Kane scored six goals, taking home the Golden Boot, including his first career World Cup hat trick.
For him to not be at the top of his game, yet still be the tournament’s leading scorer and captain his country to the semifinals is a testament to just how good he has become. He often had to drop to far back to get involved, and England’s lack of a true number 10 hindered his amount of chances.
Kane captained his country to its best finish in 28 years, and won the Golden Boot still. This certainly qualifies as a great World Cup debut and he will make the team of the tournament in almost everyone’s World Cup review.
Kerrian Trippier – Right Back – England
Perhaps the breakout player of the tournament, Trippier was magnificent. His delivery from corners provided the bulk of England’s attacking threats. Set pieces were a big part of the country’s success.
Trippier had an assist on Harry Maguire’s header against Colombia. He also scored a brilliant free kick goal to give England the lead in the semifinals against Croatia. He was a constant threat down the right side, and was also solid in his defensive duties.
The ability he showed on corners may result in him getting a look in that role for Tottenham moving forward.
Dele Alli – Midfielder – England
Sometimes, the stats can lie about a player’s performance. Dele Alli has proven his creative and offensive worth in his last few seasons in north London. While those traits weren’t on full display in Russia, he was still an effective component to England’s run.
Alli seemed to be playing in a deeper role than normal. He was tasked with helping Jordan Henderson in the middle of the park, while Jesse Lingard was free to roam forward. His work rate and energy breaking up play in the midfield was impressive.
While he was not the attacking threat he often is for Spurs, he did seal the win over Colombia with a nice headed goal in the second half.
Eric Dier – Midfielder – England
Eric Dier played in six of England’s seven matches. He was mainly used as a late sub to stabilize things in midfield. He was his usual steady self, breaking up play with his positioning and aggression.
Dier will forever be remembered for converting his penalty to secure England’s first ever penalty shootout victory at a World Cup. He also could’ve had a goal in the third place match, if not for the aforementioned goal line clearance by his Tottenham teammate.
Danny Rose – Left Back – England
The Tottenham player’s World Cup review finishes with another full-back. Rose played sparingly in Russia, totaling just 200 minutes over five appearances. He was behind Ashley young in the pecking order, and was mainly used as a substitute.
He started in the 1-0 defeat to Belgium in the group stage. Otherwise, he was mainly used off the bench. For the most part, Rose was not able to make much of an impact.
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