Date: 7th June 2018 at 8:24am
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Will A Spurs Player Hold Up The World Cup?

It seems to me that we need a thread to discuss the World Cup …. particularly as so many of our players are to be involved. And that’s the point of this article. Which countries do VS posters think will progress through the group stages and be in the running to be crowned World Champions?

The Spurs players who will take their part on this world stage are:

England: Captain Harry Kane, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Dele Alli.
France: Captain Hugo LLoris.
Belgium: Jan Vertonghen,Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele.
Colombia: Davinson Sanchez.
Denmark: Christian Eriksen.
South Korea: Son Heung-min.

That’s a total of twelve players or a full team and one substitute! Spurs have more players representing England than any other PL club (which could be good if we win or bad if we fail to at least reach the quarter-finals).

It’s entirely possible that one, or more, of our talented Spurs players could get their hands on the world’s supreme football trophy. Yes, it is, really! I suppose the players most likely to do this are the ones representing England and Belgium. But, first, they will have to progress through the group stage.

Here’s my prediction for the Group Stage:

Group A: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay.
Progressing: Russia and Uruguay?

Group B: Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran.
Progressing: Spain and Portugal?

Group C: France, Australia, Peru, Denmark.
Progressing: Australia and Australia. Sorry about the typo… I meant France and Denmark!

Group D: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria.
Progressing: Argentina and Croatia?

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia.
Progressing: Brazil and Switzerland?

Group F: Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea.
Progressing: Germany, South Korea?

Group G: Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England.
Progressing: Belgium and England?

Group H: Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan.
Progressing: Poland and Japan?

Group I: China, New Zealand, Italy, Wales.
Progressing: Impossible to predict so I’ll leave that up to you guys?!

I don’t think I’d be alone if I said that I can’t wait for the Spurs v Spurs game! Sorry, another bloody typo. I meant the England v Belgium game!! I’m sure we’ll all be glued to the set for that one, just as we will for all the Australian group games!!

Anyway, here’s a WC thread to start with … and maybe to keep going? It will make your summer go faster (unlucky you) and my winter go faster (lucky me). Gotta love football.

Click for the forum

48 Replies to “A Look At Whether A Tottenham Hotspur Player Might Hold Up The World Cup”

  • Agree with most of the predictions, but I don’t see Russia making it out of their group, despite home advantage. I just think that team is bare of talent, and I’d probably back Egypt if Salah is fit. One world class player can probably carry his team past Russia and Saudi Arabia.

    In group H, I’d pick Colombia over Japan, much for the same reasons. Colombia have enough talented payers to carry them past Japan and Senegal, for me.

    I’ll see if I can write a “first hand” report of the Spurs v. Spurs game – and attach pictures if the VS staff will let me!

  • That would be good, BS.

    I was tempted to go for Egypt for the same reason but wasn’t sure if Salah was going to be fit.

  • We have 12 players at the World Cup and so do Chelsea (and PSG) apparently. Man City have 16 with RM 15 and Barca 14. We’re keeping good company with the amount of money those clubs throw at international footballers. I also read that England are the only team to have their entire 23 playing in their country’s top division. The Prem is also the most represented league with 124 players whereas Spain has 81 and Germany 67.

    As for who will win it? The top 4 seeds are Germany, Brazil, Spain and France. It’s hard to look beyond those 4 and my instinct is saying Germany. Would love to see Lloris hold the trophy aloft or for the miracle of all miracles to happen and Kane and the Spurs boys bring the cup home. Just don’t see it happening when the biggest debate about the squad was why Jonjo Shelvey was omitted !!

    Always worth remembering the impact of the footballing gods and refereeing decisions have on major tournaments. If you believe in what goes around, comes around then England should win the World Cup at a canter. My prediction is that referees will keep bottling the first half yellow cards and will keep allowing the senior players get away with bad fouls that their younger team mates simply will not. There will be blatant red cards not given as well. I’m now calling it the “Antonio Valencia guidelines to refereeing” 🙂

  • muttley – I’d venture to say that talent-wise, there is no better or deeper squad than Belgium. It’s also the most experienced squad at the WC, with an average of 45 international caps in the squad.

    The group has been together for 6 years now, and although they have flattered to deceive in the last 2 tournaments, I’d fancy their chances against any team in the world. It’s definitely now or never.

    I’m not saying they’re definitely going to win it, but I see no reason why they shouldn’t be in the conversation. Everything those other teams have, Belgium has, except history.

  • So with a little luck, the help of VAR and maybe with a favourable decision from a Russian linesman, Harry Kane will be lifting aloft, the 2018 World Cup…

    Seriously, I think that England could go far this year, if not to the final.

    Of course, it will almost inevitably start badly, with the 3 Lions going a goal down to Tunisia in the first 5 minutes, only to gain a lucky 1-1 draw from an own goal scored in the dying seconds of added time.
    And, we’ll (just) get through Group G, as runners-up to Belgium

    We’ll then somehow reach the semi finals, beating a tournament favourite along the way… Only to fail miserably and lose it on penalties…

  • BS – Belgium would be very popular winners. To see a nation of that size produce a World Cup wining side would be great for football.

    Perhaps you can enlighten me. Who ends up as left back for Belgium? I assume they will play a back 3 but see Meunier on one side but no real option at LWB. I thought I saw Jordan Lukaku there in the past, but he’s not in the squad.

  • As an England fan, I had no inclination to give the corrupt Russian’s any of my money after their side arrangement with Sepp Blagger. In the end, I opted for the “follow the country” tickets only for the semi’s and finals. That means if by some minor miracle we get to the last 2 games of the tournament, I’ll get a guaranteed ticket.

    My educated guess is that I won’t be going to Russia this year 🙂

  • “It seems to me that we need a thread to discuss the World Cup”.

    At least we have an article on something definitive to discuss. Thank White Hart. Any chance you can make this article a ‘sticky’?….else in two days, another 10 speculative articles, this will disappear off the face of Vital!

    As for the prediction… I personally don’t think there’s been a real standout team during the qualifiers, regardless of what the results and the tables suggest. Could get a dark horse lifting the trophy and I’d stick a fiver on Engerland at 17/1.

    Last world cup we had a sweep at Vital. Any chance of sitting one up White Hart/Vital ?…Poch’s 2nd book as the prize?!

  • CS … When I submitted the article Jonathan said he’d make it stick until I tell him it’s not needed. I figure it would be good to have one place for world cup discussions to continue.

  • muttley – the LWB position is the most contentious one.

    The starter is Yannick Carrasco, but although he’s a hugely talented player, Roberto Martinez has come under heavy fire for picking him there.

    First of all, Carrasco has just left Atletico to chase the riches of China, which isn’t a popular decision. Many feel that he’s wasting his talent away for the sake of money, and that the inferior level of football in China is bound to negatively impact Carrasco’s form and development sooner or later.

    Secondly, he’s never played as a wing back. At Atletico he was a left winger, and in China he’s a striker. Although left-footed and very talented, lots of people feel that it’s a square peg in a round hole. He has poor defensive positioning. He works hard and gets up and down the wing, but his defensive frailties could get exposed against quality opposition.

    Martinez is banking that Jan, Toby and Kompany will mop up any mistakes he makes, and hope that he’s only going to get better in that position.

    But the reality is that there isn’t a ton of alternatives. Either Belgium play Jan as a LWB, but his lack of pace would be a problem, or they play Nacer Chadli instead, who has actually done quite well there (better than Carrasco defensively). but Chadli isn’t as talented as Carrasco, he’s right-footed and offers less of a threat going forward. Every choice has a trade off, and Martinez must have decided that Carrasco was the lesser evil based on what he wanted to get out of the position.

    Other inferior players such as Romelu Lukaku’s younger brother Jordan (who plays for Lazio) have been considered, but couldn’t crack the team.

    In the end, it just shows that Martinez will want Belgium to take the game to the opposition, and attack, attack, attack. The game plan is to score as many s possible, and hope that the solid CB’s and GK make enough stops to come away with a win. At the very least it’ll be fun to watch.

  • BS …. You’ve just made the England/Belgium game even more mouth-watering.

    There’s usually a surprise team (and we all know that football will always throw up a surprise), so it will be interesting to see which of the lesser favoured teams make their mark. South Korea maybe?

  • Apologies Geof. I gave White Hart the credit for the article, then reading the style, I realised there’s one guy from down under who could’ve written that!

    BTW, am a little surprised you didn’t opt for Aus from Group C along with France. Denmark are a Christian Eriksen Team, just as Egypt being team Salah.

    Judging by Sterling’s performance v Nigeria, he thinks it’s team Sterling. Most selfish and wasteful player. The reason why Pep constantly subs him. In the WC we won’t be getting many chances. So he’d better think about TEAM game. Be interesting to see how Vardy and Kane combo works out tonight.

    I didn’t watch the Belgium game last night. How did Vert and Toby go on Belgian?… very surprised about Sane’s omission though.

  • CS … Apologies not warranted, mate. I’d love Australia to do well. Getting through the group stage would be awesome but, despite my tendency to be optimistic, I can’t see it happening. As for Denmark being a ‘one man team’ … I think that one man might be just too much for the Aussies. And, if Australia doesn’t progress …. Hugo and Christian probably will. Having so many of our boys out there makes it so much more interesting.

  • Geof;

    You have an extra Group I, with non-qualifiers; China, Wales, Italy and NZ in it.

    That must be why it’s impossible to make a prediction for those 4 teams.

    A deliberate error on your part?

    I still can’t believe Italy didn’t make it and it was a shame for Wales (and Bale) not going to Russia.

  • CS – the Belgium vs. Egypt game was about as one-sided, predictable, and boring as anyone could have guessed. Even with Salah, it would have been a long night for Egypt. Without Salah, well, let’s just say that I hope Salah recovers in time for the WC, for their sake.

    No intensity, but Belgium just sparked to life on a few occasions to produce moments of quality. Too much of a gulf in class. Whenever Hazard accelerated, the Egyptians just could not deal with him.

    Jan and Toby were on the pitch (until Jan was subbed after 70 minutes any ways), but they may as well have been eating hot dogs. They were there in body, but not in mind. They barely were on TV, let alone touched the ball.

  • HT …. I think you answered your own question. It was deliberate, therefore not an error. I wondered how long it would take! (The voices in my head told me to do it!)

  • BS – thanks for the insights on Carrasco. Can’t wait for the England – Belgium game. Let’s hope both teams have 6 points with a fantastic GD. Then we can relax and watch a great game of football.

    Looking forward to seeing England in action tonight. Let’s hope Danny Rose can have a stormer and put some of these mental health issues to one side for a few hours.

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