Mourinho, Rodon and Bale: Tottenham’s winners and losers of the international break


The international break is now over and the Tottenham players will be returning to Hotspur Way to prepare for the Premier League’s resumption this weekend.

Spurs will make the trip to Newcastle United on Sunday after a fortnight that has brought mixed emotions for many of the players.

For Jose Mourinho, he will be hoping that Tottenham can continue a strong run that has brought six wins in eight matches rather than revert to the dismal efforts of the two defeats in that run – against Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb.

Here are the winners and losers – yes we know losers is far too harsh an expression – of the international break at Spurs:

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Winners

Joe Rodon

The Welshman has put in some impressive performances for Wales during this fortnight to follow on from his showing in Spurs’ win at Aston Villa.

He did well against Belgium and Rodon‘s performance against the Czech Republic was particularly eye-catching on Tuesday night as he shone during the game and in added time made a crucial block in front of the Wales match to save all three points.

Harry Kane

The Spurs talisman got a rest even though he might have wanted to fill his boots against San Marino.

Kane then broke his England drought of late to score and grab an assist against Albania.

On Wednesday night he netted from the spot to ensure that he has now scored in each of his last 12 international tournament qualification games, netting 16 goals in those matches.

He now sits just 19 goals behind Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 goals for England.

Serge Aurier

After recovering from the illness that kept him out of the Villa match, Aurier has had a great time with the Ivory Coast.

The right-back scored a goal and recorded three assists across two matches as he captained his country to qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Maksim Paskotsi and Troy Parrott

The two young players had a week to remember despite the results of their countries.

Due to some absences in the Estonia camp, 18-year-old Tottenham academy centre-back Maksim Paskotsi found himself suddenly found himself drafted up to the senior squad.

Even better than that he started both of his country’s World Cup qualifying defeats against the Czech Republic and Belarus before making it a hat-trick of starts on Tuesday with his performance in a 1-0 loss to Sweden.

For Parrott, while Ireland had a poor week, the 19-year-old at least got off the bench for both of the games against Luxembourg and Qatar to double his caps for his country.

Tanguy Ndombele

Ndombele returned to the French squad after an absence of almost 18 months and it was just reward for all of his efforts to turn his Tottenham career around.

He started in the victory against Kazakhstan, playing 82 minutes of the match, and although he did not come off the bench in the match against Bosnia and Herzegovina, the fact that he has returned to Didier Deschamps’ squad ahead of the Euros will be a crucial boost for the 24-year-old.

Jose Mourinho and Davinson Sanchez after Tottenham Hotspur’s victory at Aston Villa before the international break

Jose Mourinho

The international break came at a good time for Mourinho.

Spurs had won the game at Villa but everybody needed to take a breath and clear their heads after a tumultuous week beforehand.

The break also gave some his key players some much needed recovery time and Giovani Lo Celso a chance to work on his fitness ahead of the business end of the season.

It would have also given Mourinho the chance to speak to players like Harry Winks and Dele Alli who may have felt disillusioned in recent weeks and to work more closely with Carlos Vinicius to improve on his first Premier League goal.

He may have a couple of injuries in his squad after the break, but he will be refreshed and ready for a crucial month of matches.

Losers

Harry Kane

The England striker manages to make both lists and yes we know this is incredibly harsh.

This is not really completely his fault, but by not shutting down questions about his future or even just saying ‘Let’s talk about England today people’ he opened up the speculation train even further.

The reason he’s on this side of the list is that while that speculation will always be there, he’s given it plenty of fuel to dominate discussion before and after every remaining Premier League match and the Carabao Cup final build-up. Hopefully he won’t let it distract him from the job at hand.

Gareth Bale

Again, the Welshman could have been on both lists with his two assists in two matches for Wales.

However, it was his comments that have upset a number of Tottenham fans.

While Bale clarified his comments about having to return to Real Madrid in the summer, saying he was contractually obligated to, some supporters were upset that his words came across as if he was using Tottenham purely to get himself fit for Wales and the Euros.

He later explained that he had moved to Tottenham to start enjoying his football again but the original comments were clunkily worded and while the reaction was over the top, his phrasing did not help.

Matt Doherty and Harry Winks were left out completely against Aston Villa

Harry Winks

The 25-year-old midfielder hasn’t had the best of months, other than a rare Premier League start in the win against Crystal Palace, his first in 12 matches in the competition and he was completely left out of the matchday squad for the victory at Villa Park.

This fortnight he has found himself watching England from afar, having lost his place in the squad just when Gareth Southgate is really starting to make his mind up about his squad for the Euros.

Dele Alli is in a similar position to Winks but it is the latter who was closer to making the squad and that’s why this week will sting that little bit more.

Eric Dier

Sometimes even getting into the England squad isn’t enough as Eric Dier has discovered.

The 27-year-old has struggled for Spurs in recent weeks and has player in just three of the past 10 Premier League matches.

His inclusion in Southgate’s squad drew plenty of criticism and he did not get a minute of football to his name across the three matches and was not even included in the matchday squad for the game against Albania.

His confidence on returning to Spurs will not be any higher.

Matt Doherty and Ben Davies

The two full-backs have returned from international duty with injuries.

Davies’ problem appeared to have been one he was already carrying and then had to play with against Villa and he was soon sent back from the Wales camp with caretaker boss Robert Page calling it a “significant” injury.

Doherty injured himself early on in the Republic of Ireland’s poor defeat to Luxembourg and he had to come off at half-time.

Mourinho will deliver an update on both players on Friday at his press conference.





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