Maddison out of position, Hojbjerg to the rescue, and Romero praised by Messi: here are the headlines from Spurs’ players’ performances during the international break.
It feels like it’s been ages since our 5-2 win at Turf Moor, but that doesn’t mean Ange’s lads have been twiddling their thumbs.
Drama ensued last Saturday as the highly criticized England gaffer Garett Southgate started James Maddison out on the left flank.
Madders has performed exceptionally well in the first weeks of the 23/24 campaign, helping Tottenham gather 10 points in 4 games while featuring exclusively in the number 10 role.
Fellow English midfielder Jude Bellingham has also made an impact early on, already securing five goals for his new club, Real Madrid, in just four matches.
Given the bright starts from the two players, fans rightfully expected them to be playing side by side in the important Euro qualifying match against Ukraine.
Southgate’s choice was perplexing, especially considering he was benching wingers like Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden, who have much more experience in the attacking role.
The poor decision, resulting in a 1-1 draw, has only further fuelled the criticism of the coach, who reportedly will be replaced after the 2024 Euros, potentially by Man City’s Pep Guardiola, whose contract with Man. City runs until 2025.
Maddison looked a bit out of place in the position and certainly would’ve contributed more as a 10.
On a more positive note, Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg dazzled in Denmark’s 1-0 victory over Finland, sealing the win with an 86th-minute goal.
So far this season in the Premier League, the Dane has only contributed off the bench. He wasn’t able to get his anticipated move away this summer, but surely there is still plenty he will be able to provide with his composure on the ball and defensive awareness.
In other news, Cristian Romero continued to impress with his phenomenal leadership, holding off Ecuador1-0 win on Thursday and pummelling Bolivia 3-0 in La Paz on Tuesday.
After the Ecuador match, Messi talked about Romero, stating publicly, “For me, he is the best defender in the world right now. Amazing performance tonight, man of the match.”
Messi, who has played alongside Jordi Alba, Dani Alves, Carles Puyol, and Sergio Ramos, knows a good defender when he sees one.
Spurs are set to face Sheffield United Saturday upon their return from international duty.
Their opposition has had a tough start to the season, to say the least, with only one point to their name.
Hopefully, with players staying healthy and in good form, Ange and company will secure another three points.