Returning World Cup Stars
Whilst watching the Seattle and Toronto games, the commentators frequently made reference about missing our '7 World Cups stars'. I was just wondering what we all felt of each of their individual World Cups and what now becomes of their Spurs futures. Once Pochettino gets to work with them, I'm guessing we'll find out more in due course. Here's one mans opinion on each player:
Lloris: Probably the easiest one to talk about. He showed in the WC what a class act he is and there's probably no argument from any Spurs fan. Lloris has signed the new contract and we're all left wondering does he get the armband.
Ekotto: the Spurs forgotten man played in the WC and then got in more controversy by head butting a team-mate. I believe it is a matter of time before we figure out which hooped team from Shepherds Bush he'll be lining up for next year. In my mind, he is the Spurs past not the Spurs future and we need to move him out.
Vertonghen: once again showed his versatility by occupying the left side of defence for Belgium. He actually played very well going forward but I'm not sure he was really up for defending and sort of left that to his team-mates. No doubt we're all a little worried about links to him leaving but I'm hopeful he'll be the next player to sign a new contract. After an indifferent season, most of us want to see him on left of central defence and back to the form of 2 seasons ago. Another option for the armband.
Bentaleb: for Algeria, we saw exactly what we expect from him. He was neat and tidy, very intricate at times and didn't look out of place at that level even at 19 years of age. I also thought it was a bit harsh that he an unused substitute when they finally went out to the eventual winners, Germany. Perhaps exposed in the wrong games last season, he definitely deserved to be in amongst the 1st team squad. He is also a free pick so Pochettino can keep him in the squad setup this season and leverage his talents.
Dembele: I'm a little gutted for Moussa. His World Cup was like his season. Half fit, patching himself up to play and therefore performing less than his ability. Eventually he just sat games out and we don't know now whether he is fit again now. We're still waiting for the silky player we bought from Fulham running at defences. I actually think this will be his make or break season for Spurs and I hope we see the best of him. He has the rare blend of silk and steal but we need more from him.
Paulinho: Unfortunately his Annus Horribilis continued in his home country. Glimpses of quality but never really asserted himself and ended up as a sub rather than a starter. Pochettino has a tough decision to make with him. He needs to decide whether he can unlock him and turn him into a free-scoring midfielder or cash in. I'd personally love him to stay and prove his doubters wrong.
Chadli: His World Cup seemed to be mostly from the bench. He didn't really make his mark but I'm not sure any of the Belgium`s really did. For Spurs, the jury is still out. He started off playing wide left and looked like he was making progress. By January it looked like Sherwood wanted him loaned out and by the end of the season he was in centre midfield. He's another one that Pochettino has to make a tough call on. He probably deserves another season but might be sacrificed if the right offer comes in. I would keep him.
So in summary, an indifferent World Cup for our players but it will be great to see them back training with the main squad. I think that at least 2 of them will be gone by the start of the new season. I'm just not sure which ones at this stage.
What do you think?
Written by muttley