Inside Lane: Spurs’ England contingent have helped me to reconnect with the national team ahead of Euro 2016
Tottenham blogger Tom Hayward says he is excited about England’s prospects again due to the importance of the Spurs contingent within Roy Hodgson’s national squad.
It’s been a long time since I’ve managed anything more than a raised eyebrow when it comes to the fortunes of the England team, but it was impossible not to care about the latest round of international fixtures when the Tottenham contingent were so heavily involved.
More than involved; they were downright influential in the 3-2 victory over world champions Germany in Berlin on Saturday night.
Being cynical about England has been very easy (and fun) since about 2006, when it became clear that the ‘Golden Generation’ were never going to reach their potential and we stumbled pathetically into the international wilderness.
My feelings towards England have been exactly the same as what I felt towards Spurs at the end of the disastrous 2013/14 season, when the team was directionless and simply dislikeable. There was no connection or engagement with the fans until the current group started baring their teeth and showing us what they were made of. Now it’s happening at national level too.
Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane aren’t token call-ups. They could legitimately make up almost half of England’s first team at Euro 2016 this summer, and the performance of the Tottenham quartet against Germany (Walker was not in the side) conjured a reaction amongst rival supporters that falls in line with how Spurs fans have felt about our team for the whole of this season. Now you see why we’ve been banging the drum.
With all this, though, comes a degree of selfishness. After all, the same fans who called Kane a fraud and a one-season wonder now get to experience how it feels to have this genuinely top-class striker scoring goals for their team. But he’s one of our own. Not yours. Ours. I don’t care how petty that makes me sound.
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There’s obviously some myopia when it comes to your own club’s players and their involvement with the national team but there are few players in the Premier League who deserve this more than the Spurs boys.
The additional games are obviously a worry and every 50/50 tackle will be viewed from behind the sofa, but the more games they play (and win) together at the highest possible level, the better it will be for a potentially successful Tottenham.
It’s therefore impossible not to feel excited about a major summer tournament for the first time in a decade, and if all five Spurs players start in France the rest of the country would surely follow suit. Judging by what I’ve seen at the Lane this season, England would be in safe hands.
Tom (@TomFoins87) is host of The Tottenham Way Podcast, available on iTunes and Acast now.