England Hopefuls: Tottenham Hotspur

Jamie McDonald

It hasn't been all rosy in White Hart Lane, will it affect Spurs English contingent chances of going to Brazil?

After selling Gareth Bale in the summer to Real Madrid (yes it wasn't that long ago), Tottenham went on a shopping spree (they actually did most of their shopping before selling Bale) buying no less than 7 players in order to strengthen their squad. However, the season hasn't has not gone as well as expected and December 2013, Andre Villas-Boas was dismissed - a day after his squad was defeated by Liverpool 0-5 at White Hart Lane. In comes Tim Sherwood, who had previously worked with the youth team. Tottenham are currently 5th in the league, and have quite some ground to make up if they want to make the qualifying round of the Champions League next season.

Now let's take a look at some of the Englishman in Tottenham's squad and whether they have a chance of representing England in Brazil this summer.

Kyle Walker

The right back (who will turn 24 just before the World Cup) has made the right back spot his own following several loan spells around English football. This season he has made 26 appearances in the league, scoring a goal, provided 2 assists and 29 key passes (via squawka.com). However, he has also committed 2 defensive errors that in both cases led directly to goals. While in modern football fullbacks have a significant role in attack, their primary role as defenders must not be forgotten. Though the 37 goals that Spurs has conceded in the league isn't solely Walkers fault, he must pay attention to his defensive side of the game. Especially with the attacking quality Uruguay and Italy possess.

On the beach or on the plane? Kyle should start for England in Arena da Amazonia when they face Uruguay. His primary competition for the spot, Glen Johnson is older and has had a bit of injury problems recently. That being said, he needs to be on his best if England are to survive the attacking forces of Uruguay's and Italy.

Danny Rose

Like Kyle Walker, Rose has been on several loan spells of his own throughout his Tottenham career. However, he has found it difficult to break into Spurs first team squad. This season alone, he has only made 13 appearances in the league for the Lilywhites. He has 2 assists to his name, but has also committed 2 defensive errors (via squawka.com).

On the beach or on the plane? The beach, the amount of players competing for that sole left-back spot (Baines is a lock) means that it will take a miracle for him to be considered for a spot in England's squad.

Aaron Lennon

The speedy winger who's only 26 of age (seriously, it seems like he's been around forever) has not had the best of seasons. His stats read a little like Downings from last season - one goal and one assist to-date. His offensive contribution is almost non-existent, despite boasting a 100% shot accuracy it only came with 5 shots (seriously that's 1 shot for every 4 games). Lennon has a very short window to convince Roy Hodgson why he's worthy of a call-up.

On the beach or on the plane? Lennon struck me as a player that Roy would call upon regardless, it seems that designation is only limited to James Milner. It also struck me as shocking that he's been fairly non-existent this season. With his last England cap coming more than a year ago and his omission from the 30-man squad, it's more than likely he'll sit this one out.

Kyle Naughton

The 25 year-old fullback who is equally adept playing in the left or right side of defense has only played occasionally for Spurs this season, featuring 20 times in the league and Europa league combined. His statistics aren't that impressive though he does have a tendency to commit quite a number of tackles, averaging nearly three a game (via who scored.com).

On the beach or on the plane? Another one who will have to enjoy the World Cup from the couch or elsewhere, he doesn't really stand out compared to other English fullbacks and his lack of appearances have also hurt his chances.

Andros Townsend

Townsend has been on nine (yes nine) different loan spells while with Spurs and this season has had a bit of an up and down season. He was the man of the moment following this goal in his England senior debut against Montenegro. However, he has had to miss several games with a hamstring injury. Having only returned last month, Townsend will be eager to make up for the lost time. For Spurs this season, he has scored one goal (Spurs have only scored 37 times in the league) in 18 league appearances.

On the beach or on the plane? With Theo Walcott set to miss out on this summer's World Cup, Townsend was primed to take his spot. However, with players such as Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain having made their claims in recent months, Townsend cannot rest on his laurels and will have to show Roy why he belongs in the 23-man squad. Leaning slightly towards him going to Brazil (maybe on the wing).

Michael Dawson

The skipper is currently Tottenham's longest serving player and has been ever present for Spurs in the league this season, featuring 28 times in the league out of Tottenham 29 league games. He's been impressive for Spurs this season and is ranked in the top 10 in interceptions, clearances, and blocked shot (whether that's a byproduct of Spurs poor defense which forces him to do more is probably worth an article space later on).

On the beach or on the plane? Based on those statistics and his relative clean bill of health this season, perhaps Dawson warrants a call-up. However he was omitted from the 30-man squad and though that is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to this summer's squad, it's likely he'll be on the outside looking in for this World Cup.

Jermain Defoe (now at Toronto FC)

Technically, he's a Toronto FC player, but since he's spent 7 months with Spurs this season and has not yet made his debut for Toronto FC (they'll play their season opener this weekend against Seattle Sounders) we'll analyze his chance based on his performance for Spurs. Defoe has been a bit of an enigma for Tottenham this season, appearing 14 times in the league he has only managed to score once, but in Europe he managed to score 5 goals in 4 appearances (perhaps caused by the relative quality of the opponent). Based on this, Defoe has his work cut out for him if he wants to go to Brazil.

On the beach or on the plane? Despite his relative lack of goals, Defoe was still called up to the 30-man squad against Denmark last week. At this rate, Defoe is a known quantity who is a streaky scorer. He's also 31 and will ply his trade at the MLS. That will help him with playing time, but whether that help his chance of going to Brazil remains to be seen. He has some competition in Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez, and Andy Carroll. Looks like he'll be missing out on this one.

Ezekiel Fryers & Harry Kane

These two English lads have combined for 7 starts (all by Fryers) and a total of 16 appearances (9 for Fryers, 7 for Kane). At 21 (Fryers) and 20 (Kane) they will have to show significant progress either at Tottenham or perhaps from a loan spell elsewhere.

On the beach or on the plane? Definitely on the beach. Fryers will have a probably tougher time breaking in to the senior side considering established players such as Leighton Baines and Ashley Cole are still around, plus younger ones such as Luke Shaw and Kieran Gibbs looks set to battle it out for England's left back spot. Kane, who is a year younger probably stands a better chance especially considering England lack of strikers. Both was in the u-21s for the game against Wales last week.

Jake Livermore (on loan at Hull City)

The central-midfielder has made 26 appearance with Hull, on his 7th loan spell away from White Hart Lane. He's been key to Hull's performance this season pitching in with 3 goals and 4 assists. There's a hint that he might be staying with Hull on a permanent basis.

On the beach or on the plane? The beach. But he might have a chance in the future to add to his single England cap given enough playing time, as he is only 24 years of age.

Tom Carroll (on loan at QPR)

Another Spurs youngster currently out on loan, Carroll has played 17 times in the Championship for QPR this season. Deployed in the centre of midfield, Tom has not registered a goal nor an assist to his name. Passing seems to be his strong suit, with 83% pass accuracy.

On the beach or on the plane? The beach. He was in the u-21 squad for the game against Wales, however at 21 years of age he needs to quickly established himself with a Premier League team or in the Championships where he can count on playing regularly to develop further.

There you have it Tottenham fans, think Dawson and Defoe should be called for the World Cup? Or that Kyle Walker shouldn't start for England? Have your say in the comments below!

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