Seven clearances, 50 touches: Spurs star in fine form for his nation last night

Nathaniel Kay March 31, 2021
Seven clearances, 50 touches: Spurs star in fine form for his nation last night
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur defender Joe Rodon impressed once more last night while wearing a Wales jersey.

Rodon shone during the huge 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory for Wales over the Czech Republic.

Both sides were reduced to ten men in the second half, but a late Daniel James header sealed all three points for the Welsh.

Rock-solid Rodon

In the middle of the drama stood the assured figure of Rodon. Tottenham’s young centre-back led by example and rarely put a foot wrong in the match.

WhoScored.com recorded the 23-year-old as making seven clearances, a game high. He also won five aerial duels, the most of any Wales player.

And Rodon saved his most important defensive contribution until stoppage time, when he made a vital block to deny Ondrej Celustka what seemed a certain Czech equaliser.

Combine that with 50 touches – the second-highest for Wales – and Rodon’s evening was complete.

Lukaku under lock and key

All-conquering international displays are nothing new for the Tottenham star.

Photo by ANDREW BOYERS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Although Wales lost 3-1 to Belgium last week, Rodon emerged from the defeat with his pride intact.

Not many centre-backs have managed to keep Romelu Lukaku quiet this season but the Spurs man stuck to his task brilliantly. The Inter Milan striker only scored from the penalty spot.

Turning it round at Tottenham

Spurs fans will expect to see plenty more of that kind of performance when Rodon returns to club duty at the weekend.

It hasn’t been an easy ride for Rodon since leaving Swansea City in October 2020 for £11m (BBC Sport).

Ten appearances in all competitions for Jose Mourinho’s side is a weak return and one Rodon will want to improve in the coming months.

The Welshman set sail for international duty on the back of a 2-0 Premier League win at Aston Villa. That, and his displays this week, may lead Mourinho to put more faith in Rodon.

Tottenham restart their domestic campaign at Newcastle United on Sunday (2.05pm). They will hope Rodon brings some Welsh fire with him as fans will expect nothing less than three points.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.