Midfield Marvels of Spurs and England
Tottenham Hotspur is a club with a rich heritage of nurturing some of the finest English footballers to have played the game and the new generation of Spurs starlets are set to continue that tradition.
Ever since the great Spurs teams of the 1960s saw the likes of Jimmy Greaves take his astonishing club form and turn it into goals for his country – 44 of them in total - fans have become accustomed to seeing their club’s stars strut their stuff for England.
The 1970s were no different, with England World Cup winner Martin Peters becoming a mainstay in the Spurs team. In the 1980s, England players like Ray Clemence, Glenn Hoddle, Steve Hodge, Chris Waddle and Gary Stevens all played their club football at White Hart Lane.
Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Teddy Sheringham, Darren Anderton, Nick Barmby and Sol Campbell were amongst a glut of Tottenham stars who shaped the fortunes of the national team throughout the 90s. Since the turn of the century, the likes of Ledley King, Jermain Defoe, Paul Robinson and Aaron Lennon have also all turned out for the Three Lions.
The Premier League dominance of Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal in recent years has made it more difficult for Spurs players to catch the eyes of England coaches like Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello. But under Roy Hodgson’s leadership there has been a revival of Tottenham talent appearing in the England squad.
With the 2016 European Championship in France on the horizon, four Spurs midfielders are hoping to follow in the footsteps of Gascoigne, Anderton and Lennon by turning it on for their country at a major tournament. The football betting odds as of 8th January are offering 9/4 on two or more Spurs players starting in England’s Euro 2016 opener.
Here are four of the current crop of Tottenham players hoping to clinch a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad.
Despite being just 19 years of age, Dele Alli is perhaps the most likely Spurs player to make it to France.
Having graduated through the England youth ranks, Alli made his debut for England in a 2-0 win over Estonia, and went on to score a superb goal in his first start for Hodgson’s team against France.
If he can maintain his current form and fitness, it will be hard to argue against him making the squad.
Despite coming under fire from certain quarters this season, Eric Dier has adapted well to making the transition from defence to midfield. This has been a major factor in his emergence as an England international.
He featured as a substitute in England’s friendly defeat to Spain and then started in the subsequent victory over France. The strength of his link-up play with Alli could persuade Hodgson to take him to the Euros.
Despite playing only a bit-part role in Tottenham’s strong start to the Premier League season in 2015/16, Ryan Mason remains an emerging talent who could prove valuable to England.
He is likely to be towards the fringes of Hodgson’s options for the summer, but his assist for Andros Townsend’s goal in his only England appearance to date, back in March 2015 against Italy, will help to keep him in the running.
With 10 England caps and three goals to his name, Townsend could have been forgiven for thinking he would be a shoo-in for the England squad for the Euros just a year or two ago.
Since then, his form has waned at club level and he is said to be seeking a move away from White Hart Lane.
However, Hodgson knows he can be relied upon for England and his pace and flair on the wing should be enough to keep him in the manager’s mind – even if he is no longer a Spurs player by the time June rolls around.