The World Cup is a perfect place for an integral member of your team to get injured. That statement could certainly worry teams who have their best players playing against teams where they have no control over them. Club managers have to trust that their player will get back after an international game with their fitness intact, and that isn’t a good thing. Already, we have seen a casualty in Christian Eriksen. Playing for Denmark, the attacking midfielder picked up a bad injury, which is likely to keep him out of the team for the immediate future. While Eriksen is unlikely to be Tottenham’s most important player this season, nobody wants a player who can contribute to be unable to do so. This is why players who do not go to the World Cup can be seen as very important to managers, as it allows them some kind of certainty regarding their fitness, and allows them to track their progress in training. So, what is the starting XI of Tottenham players who are not going to the World Cup?
Goalkeeper: Brad Friedel
Hugo Lloris was dangerously close to taking this spot between the sticks after a shocking 2-0 defeat against Ukraine, however with a 3-0 victory in the second leg, France have made it through (just about). That leaves Friedel, the American who retired from his national team in 2005. The second choice is a highly reliable goalkeeper, and despite playing his part in the 1-0 defeat against Newcastle, he is an adequate deputy to the Frenchman.
Left Back: Danny Rose
Even though England has made it through to the World Cup, Danny Rose has not been deemed as good enough to make the senior team. With Leighton Baines, Ashley Cole and Kieran Gibbs all vying for that left back spot its understandable that Rose didn’t make it, but England’s loss will surely be Tottenham’s gain.
Centre Back: Michael Dawson
Another Englishman unable to make the team is Michael Dawson. Tottenham’s skipper will surely feel hard done by, especially including how arguably inferior (yet younger) defenders such as Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have made it into the team, however Dawson will continue with the resilience he has always shown, even if it is only on club level.
Centre Back: Vlad Chiriches
Playing for Romania, it wasn’t a matter of whether Chirches would make the squad or not (he is almost guaranteed a spot), but a matter of the quality surrounding him. Either way, Romania has not made it into the 32 qualifiers, and AVB will probably be happy that that is so, especially with Jan Vertonghen and Belgium making it through.
Right Back: Younes Kaboul
Surprised? While Kyle Naughton has played this season (albeit as a left back), Younes Kaboul is my choice at right back. Even though he is a natural centre back, the Frenchman has shown that he is more than able to deputise on the right, especially with Kyle Walker playing internationally.
Centre Midfielder: Etienne Capoue
Another Frenchman in our side, Etienne Capoue is unable to break into the international team filled with talented midfielders like Paul Pogba and Yohan Cabaye. The summer signing is still integrating into Tottenham’s side, however his rapid progress means that Capoue is a great option for AVB to have.
Centre Midfielder: Lewis Holtby
Another player unable to make his international team because of player of high quality, Lewis Holby will unlikely break into an attacking midfield of Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus, Julian Draxler, Mario Gotze and many more. That means the versatile midfielder will be forced to watch some of his former team mates play on an international level. He should be getting some solid game time at Tottenham though.
Central Attacking Midfielder: Christian Eriksen
Denmark never really had a chance of making it. Despite Eriksen’s undeniable talent, it was very unlikely that the Dane was going to feature in the World Cup. Arguably the most talented player in his national side (Daniel Agger has a good shout too) Eriksen will surely feel hard done by having the misfortune of being in a generation of Danish players who would never replicate the results needed to join the worlds best. AVB will surely feel better about it though, having already seen the former Ajax man return from international break with an injury.
Left Winger: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Gylfi Sigurdsson seems to be in a very similar situation as his teammate Christian Eriksen. Both play for international teams unlikely to make it into the World Cup, both are most likely their national teams best player, and both are quality players who would play for most teams that did make it though. For Sigurdsson, that means that he will take up the left flank in this hypothetical team.
Right Winger: Aaron Lennon
Speedy winger Aaron Lennon has always been on the periphery of the England national team. Sometimes he’s in, sometimes he’s not so lucky. This is one of the latter situations. Lennon could attribute this to his teammate Andros Townsend, who will be flying to Brazil in this coming World Cup, but even he can admit that after the 22 year olds recent performances, he deserves to go.
Striker: Emmanuel Adebayor
This one was a difficult one to decide. With Roberto Soldado and Jermain Defoe a part of Spain and England respectively, that really only left two strikers. One was the Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor, and the other was young, inexperienced Englishman Harry Kane. In the end, despite the former inconsistency, there is not doubt that he can be a very good player on his day. Even though “his day” doesn’t come around so often recently, he still possesses some of the immense quality that allowed him to play for such massive clubs as Manchester City, Real Madrid and (as much as I hate to call them a massive club) Arsenal.
Have something to tell us about this article?