November International Roundup

Harry Kane and Erik Lamela were the pick of the Spurs players in action in the November international break. Kane’s twentieth strike for his country fired England into the Nations League semi-finals whereas Lamela picked up an assist on his return to the Argentine national team.

Dele Alli, Harry Winks and Eric Dier joined Kane in the England squad, with Spurs teammate Kieran Trippier ruled out due to a groin injury. Alli and Winks started in England’s first match against the USA, whereas Dier came on as a second half sub, in an impressive 3-0 victory. Alli was one of the most influential players on the pitch and assisted Jesse Lingard’s opener in a game which was Wayne Rooney’s last for his country.

In England’s second match of the international break, the rested Kane returned to captain the side to victory over Croatia in their final Nations League encounter. After going 1-0 down thanks to former Leicester striker Andrej Kramarić, goals from Jesse Lingard and then Kane ensured that Gareth Southgate’s young side will participate in the Nations League finals next summer in Portugal. The draw on 3rd December will determine who they will face between Portugal, Holland and Switzerland and as many as six Spurs players could be involved in those matches.

Kane now has twenty goals in thirty five internationals and it is easy to forget that the England captain is still just twenty-five years old. Jimmy Greaves has the most England goals as a Spurs player with 28 and Kane will surely surpass that record in the future.

Paulo Gazzaniga makes Argentina Debut

There were debuts for Juan Foyth and Paulo Gazzaniga as three Spurs players were in action for Argentina this international break. The South Americans played Mexico in two friendly matches, both of which they won 2-0. In the first encounter Juan Foyth made the first appearance for his country, playing ninety minutes at centre back in a three man Argentinian defence. Erik Lamela came on as a late substitute for Marcos Acuna but did however appear from the start in the next encounter. In that tie he grabbed an assist, as goals from Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi saw Mexico off at Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes. Incredibly, it was the first goals for Argentina for both Dybala and Icardi, despite them being amongst the finest players in Serie A. Lamela impressed with his performance but is a doubt for Spurs’ Premier League encounter with Chelsea on Saturday because, along with Foyth and Gazzaniga, he is due to fly back to England on Friday.

Kyle Walker-Peters impressed for England Under 21s as they stretched their unbeaten run to twenty-two matches with wins away at Italy and Denmark. The Spurs youngster played the entirety of the game against Italy at right back, with two Dominic Solanke strikes giving the under 21s victory. The Spurs man also started at right back in the next game against Denmark, before being substituted in the 71st minute as England ran out 5-1 winners. Solanke and Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice whereas Leicester’s Demarai Gray opened proceedings for Aidy Boothroyd’s side.

Hugo Lloris and Moussa Sissoko were both involved for France in their games against Holland and Uruguay. Lloris captained France against the Dutch in Amsterdam and Sissoko came on in the second half, but the World Champions lost 2-0 courtesy to goals from Georginio Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay. However France beat Uruguay 1-0 in Paris on Tuesday, with Lloris completing the entire game whereas Sissoko came on as a substitute in stoppage time.

Toby Alderweireld had a disappointing week with Belgium as they were shocked by Switzerland and, like France, did not make the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League. The week started off with a routine win over Iceland thanks to two Michy Batshuayi goals. Yet, against Switzerland in their next Nations League match, Belgium threw away a two goal lead to miss out on a semi-final spot. It was an almighty collapse from Roberto Martinez’s team but credit must be given to Haris Seferovic, who scored a hattrick for the home side. Alderweireld played the entirety of both games, with Spurs teammates Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele unavailable for selection because of injury.

Serge Aurier played as Ivory Coast secured qualification to the 2019 African Cup of Nations with a 1-1 draw against Guinea at the weekend. Fulham man Jean Michael Seri scored for The Elephants whilst a Mohamed Yattara equaliser ensured both teams will participate in the finals next summer.

Christian Eriksen captained Denmark in their two matches against Wales and the Republic of Ireland. The Spurs playmaker completed the ninety minutes in Cardiff and was withdrawn at half time against Ireland, perhaps with the busy Spurs schedule in mind. The 0-0 draw in Aarhus was Martin O’Neil’s last match in charge of the Republic of Ireland as he and assistant Roy Keane were relieved of their duties earlier today.

Cameron Carter-Vickers played the full 90 minutes for the USA last night after they went down to a last minute goal from Matteo Politano in a 1-0 loss to Italy. The Spurs man, on loan at Swansea this season, was on the bench versus England but did not make an appearance against his Spurs colleagues at Wembley.

Ben Davies was not involved in Wales’ two games as manager Ryan Giggs decided to rest him. The left back was suspended for their Nations League game against Denmark and so the decision was made for him not to be involved in their friendly versus Albania. Mauricio Pochettino will surely be pleased with the decision as Davies is currently the only recognised fit left back in the Spurs first team squad.

Heung-min Son and Davinson Sanchez have also had a rest as both South Korea and Colombia were not involved in the November international break. Victor Wanyama was not involved either as Kenya’s home African Cup of Nations qualification match against Sierra Leone on Saturday was cancelled because Sierra Leone are still serving a global ban from football.

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