The 2022 World Cup is over and attention now returns to the Premier League. However, with the fallout from the competition set to carry on for some time yet, we look at three established Premier League stars who might still be feeling the after-effects of the Qatar competition for a few weeks to come.
England captain and Spurs striker Harry Kane will probably rue his penalty miss against France in the quarter-final forever. It’s important for Kane and his Spurs side that he doesn’t let it affect this game too much. Spurs are still in with a chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League as they're currently priced at odds of +125 to finish in the top four, according to the most popular outright Premier League bets selections. In addition, a lot of Premier League football tips have predicted that Spurs will make the top four and next season’s Champions League.
But suppose Harry Kane can’t put that penalty miss against his Spurs teammate Hugo Lloris behind him... In that case, it could end up being a season of real disappointment for the England man at both the domestic and international levels.
Hugo Lloris (a.k.a the guy Kane missed his penalty against) is another player who needs to shake the World Cup out of his system as soon as possible.
Hugo Lloris didn’t do a lot wrong in Qatar, but when it comes down to the small details, he must be looking at his opposite number in the Argentina goal and asking himself if could he have done more in that World Cup final shootout.
The days of goalkeepers just hoping to get lucky at penalty shootouts are gone. More modern goalkeepers are expected to bring something other than just good fortune to a shootout. We’ve seen plenty of examples in the past of goalkeepers being substituted onto the field of play in the last minutes of extra time, purely to take part in the penalties.
Lloris must be looking at what Martinez did, wondering if he could have done more to help his nation win the dramatic finale.
Speaking of the shootout, and for the complete opposite reasons to Hugo Lloris, could Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa also be heading for a World Cup-induced fatigue - literally and metaphorically?
Messi will get the plaudits, but Martinez was arguably the man who really won the World Cup for Argentin a. Without him, they may not have gotten past the Netherlands in the round of 16, and they also may have lost the final to France in both the last minute of extra-time and in the penalty shootout.
Martinez will be the toast of Argentina, but when he's back playing for Villa, the chances are he won't be greeted with similar enthusiasm by fans of opposing Premier League teams.
The stopper will also need to keep his own feet on the floor. His life will have changed forever in the past few days, and he will now be the center of attention in a way he has never known before. Whether that affects him in a negative way or not remains to be seen.