While the US & Canada pre-season tour by Tottenham was good for some of the youngsters we took, Ryan Mason (Ryan Mason next Spurs star) and Cristian Ceballos (Cristian Ceballos catches the eye), it wasn't as successful for another though.
With 10 players missing fringe players and Development Squad players had a chance to impress. No matter when in he season it is its important that a youngster when given an opportunity take it. All of us who watched Ryan Mason against Chicago Fire will have noticed his performance and no doubt all of us thought this guy might have a future.
Tom Carroll grabbed attention by not performing, by nor taking his chance. He had a slight knock so missed the Chicago Fire game but his game against Toronto FC suggests his game has gone backwards. I know it's pre-season and this is all about fitness, but it was pre-season and all about fitness for Mason too.
Carroll was a big hope at White Hart Lane but seems to have run into a brick wall, he isn't developing and his loan spell at QPR was poor. Harry Redkapp didn't even pick him for the play-off final and the QPR fans who watched him all season weren't impressed.
My worry for him is that he telegraphs every pass. He turns his body shape to indicate where he is going to pass the ball, a bit like indicating when leaving a motorway so everyone knows what you are going to do. He seems to play every pass with his instep whereas in his role he needs to be playing with the inside and outside of both feet.
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One incident sticks in my mind, Toronto's first goal. Cristian Ceballos tried a pass that had minimal chance of success which was easily intercepted on the half way line and the guy simply had a free path to run at our defence before playing n the striker to score. Our central defenders were wide in our new system and in such circumstances a holding midfield player should be central for this eventuality. Where was Carroll?
He was nowhere to be seen. That incident rather summed up his tour for me. His performances rather went unseen. he has stepped up from the Development Squad and seems like a chicken caught in headlights, unsure of hat to do.
He may emerge, he may not but I doubt he has advanced his claims and Spurs can't play everyone so what does the future hold for him? He needs a loan move to play each week, he tried the Championship so the next step should be the Premier League, but who would have him?
Harry Redknapp is back in the Premier League with QPR and tellingly he is not looking to take Carroll on loan again which arguably suggest he doesn't think Carroll is good enough. Not every youngster will make it, other may blossom when they leave. It's up to Carroll to produce performances and force his way in, it's not up to Spurs to bend over backwards to accommodate him, to give him a chance. Chances come when you earn them and then you have to take them.
He is only 22 so has time to turn things round but this may be an important year for him this year. Will he be worth a squad place in a years time or should he be sold and opportunities be given to others instead?
There are two major pre-season friendlies to go, if he gets on the field there needs to be an improvement in performance. Football is a cut throat business, there is no room for passengers.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 Tom Carroll