Plotting a course for Tottenham’s Tom Carroll


Outside of White Hart Lane, there aren’t many fans in this country who are really aware of Tom Carroll – ask a Tottenham fan about him, though, and they’ll give you a glowing reference.

The 21 year-old is that very rare English commodity: a patient, technique-based, cultured midfielder with a delightful passing range. Spurs have one of the most promising home-grown players of his generation, of that there’s no doubt.

This season Carroll was without a start in the Premier League, and was restricted to just seven substitute appearances. Andre Villas-Boas showed several times during 2012/13 a willingness to use the midfielder to change games, and to alter the passing rhythm within his midfield, but his total involvement domestically amounted to just sixty-six minutes – that, from a development standpoint, needs to increase next season and the year beyond.

Should Spurs capture their rumoured transfer targets over the Summer, then realistically their midfield depth will be far greater in 2013/14. By August, it’s possible that Carroll could be battling Sandro, Mousa Dembele, Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, and Paulinho for a spot in central-midfield, and his age, level of experience, and relative ability will likely count against him in that contest.

Because of the nature of the Premier League, and the instant gratification culture within it which has been incubated by the importance of Champions League football, we’ve all grown impatient: while we appreciate developing talent and we enjoy watching it flourish, the value of wins and points is unquestionably of more value.

Essentially, there’s a decision for Spurs to make: keep Carroll at the club next season and continue on this path of gentle exposure, or farm him out to a lower-level club in the division, and give him the opportunity to play a more significant role.

This isn’t as simple as just ‘loaning a young player’, because Carroll does have an immediate – if sporadic – value to Tottenham, and his departure would leave Villas-Boas without a valuable set of attributes, but equally, his progress and adjustment to Premier League life is likely to be far quicker if his first-team minutes are dramatically increased.

This is someone who warrants a higher level of involvement, and whose talent only flies under-the-radar because he’s seen so rarely by a wider audience – maybe it’s time to change that, and for Tottenham to start cultivating his potential more aggressively?

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6 Comments on "Plotting a course for Tottenham’s Tom Carroll"

  1. Parklane67 hast the solution.. An this is prob what will happen if Avb doesn’t find a suitible lone club. Carol will play a bit part in a spurs shirt.. Just not yet

  2. ParkLane67 | Jun 22, 2013 at 6:31 am |

    The simple answer is to start him in early Europa League and cup games and use him on the bench if Hudd/ Parker are allowed to leave.

  3. The guy got potential. He’s a cultured passer, but lacking the physical dimention to his game I fear he will not develop well at a Championship club. The ideal thing for his development would imo be a loan to a bottom half club in EPL, Crystal Palace or Aston Villa for example, where he could get at least 10 starts.

  4. Anyone who’s seen him play live knows he’s got the technique to be a top player; he needs the top level game time to build stamina and to make and learn from mistakes. Look up Bale’s cracker against WHU in Feb – the composure TC showed when making a simple assist was quality.

    I think Spurs could do a lot worse than giving TC 1st team responsibilities in 2013/14

  5. Carroll and Pritchard are miles better than the other Spurs midfield players. It is a disgrace and a waste that Carroll has not been given more games. AVB cost Carroll his England under 21 place by not picking him.

  6. The question you have to ask is will spurs fans be happy starting young Carroll next season instead of buying a big name midfielder. I would give Carroll a change to make the position is own, don’t forget we also have Alex Pritchard who potentially can be a superstar. The future is exciting

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