Opinion: Three Tottenham players who excelled in World Cup qualifiers; none are Harry Kane

Martin Cooper April 2, 2021
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

We look at three Tottenham Hotspur players who enjoyed stand-out displays during the recent World Cup qualifiers – and we’ve given Harry a rest.

It’s great being a Spurs fan – most of the time. Jose Mourinho has got a squad chock-full of international talent.

Apart from the worry some of them may get injured while on international duty, it’s great to see your heroes wearing another badge with pride.

So as the players return for the next round of domestic duties – at Newcastle on Sunday (2.05pm) – let’s take a look at three Tottenham players who excelled during the recent World Cup qualifiers.

And, just to make a change, we’re not choosing England skipper Harry Kane in this.

Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Three Tottenham players who excelled in the World Cup qualifiers

Hugo Lloris – France

Rumours abound that Hugo Lloris wants to return to his homeland at the end of this season. Spurs, meanwhile, have been linked with a number of younger shot-stoppers.

Whatever the case, Lloris stood out during Wednesday’s qualifier for France at Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Lloris was praised for his “heroics” by the Daily Mail as France snatched a 1-0 win following an Antoine Griezmann header.

The Mail wrote: “It was the home side who had the best chances of the first half as Hugo Lloris had to make two smart saves to deny Darko Todorovic from distance and Anel Ahmedhodzic from a corner.”

The victory meant back-to-back World Cup wins and clean sheets for Lloris and France after beating Kazhakstan 2-0 three days earlier.

Despite being surprisingly held 1-1 at home by Ukraine the Wednesday before, Les Bleus have a four-point lead at the top of their World Cup qualifying group. 

Lloris, who is captain of both Tottenham and France, will be more than pleased with his work.

Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – Denmark

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is another Spurs player who enjoyed a great international break.

Denmark have made a monumental start to World Cup qualification. The enjoyed three wins and three clean sheets while racking up a remarkable 14 goals.

Hojbjerg got a well-deserved rest while Denmark smashed eight past poor Moldova but played every minute of his nation’s two away qualifiers.

A 2-0 win in Israel was impressive enough. But Hojbjerg starred as Denmark thrashed Austria 4-0 in Vienna, with the Tottenham man getting on the scoresheet and providing an assist.

Those three wins mean Denmark are sitting pretty on top their World Cup qualifying group, already four points ahead of Scotland in second place.

Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Joe Rodon – Wales

Wales didn’t get off to the greatest start to their qualifying campaign but then they were playing away to the world’s best team.

Despite the 3-1 defeat in Leuven, Spurs centre-back Rodon stood out as he largely managed to restrain a certain Romelu Lukaku.

Rodon was rested for the pointless friendly against Mexico at the Cardiff City Stadium but was required for the all-important clash with the Czech Republic on Tuesday night.

The Tottenham Hotspur centre-back was in dazzling form back in Cardiff. Rodon made an intervention as good as a goal in the game’s dying embers to secure a massive 1-0 win for the Dragons.

In fact, Rodon’s form for Wales is always impressive.

Among his 12 caps, Rodon has only suffered two losses – the Belgium game and a friendly with England in October.

Belgium are bound to win the group so it’s likely to be Wales and Czech Republic battling for second spot. Thanks to Rodon, the Welsh are currently in pole position for that.