July 8, 2012

Tim Sherwood on our use of the loan system

Sherwood’s role

Much has already been written about Tim Sherwood, our Technical Co-ordinator (at the time of writing!), with many anticipating that he will be promoted to a Technical Director/Director of Football style role.

As it stands, though, Sherwood is still very much focused on bridging the gap between our Development Squad (essentially those who have progressed beyond the U18s, either due to age or ability), and the first-team. Part of his remit, as we know, is to manage the loan players – ensuring that they are sent out to an appropriate loan club and properly handled when there.

Previous approach to loans

In a telling interview last week, Sherwood told Alex Aldridge (@accordingtoaldo) from NewsAtDen:

“I will sit down with the new manager and talk in more depth about his philosophy on loaning younger players. But I think there might be a change of tack, because we don’t really learn anything from sending players to the Championship for a second time.”

It is quite clear, then, that the Manager/Head Coach’s view on the loan system is a vital when it comes to decision-making. We know that Redknapp was a big fan of players going out on loan – in this interview with The National, he spoke of the young players he managed at West Ham, saying:

“I have always felt it is far better for talented teenagers to go out on a longish loan spell to a club lower down the leagues where they come up against seasoned pros and have the opportunity to play lots of games rather than sit on the bench or play in games that might come too easy for them.”

The problem with the approach taken last year (seemingly based on the above) was that we seemed too quick to get as many players out as possible with, it seemed, little thought as to the selected club. Whilst some players got regular action, others (Carroll, Mason, Khumalo, Bostock, Oyenuga, etc) were struggling to get regular games due to being either unsuited to the loan club’s style or indeed to the league that they were sent to play in.

It seems as though lessons have now been learnt, and Sherwood’s comment illustrates that we are prepared to lean from experience and change the way that loans are managed.

Harry Kane

The interview was primarily about Harry Kane potentially returning to Millwall for the coming campaign, and Sherwood revealed that this would be unlikely:

“We don’t think there’s any value in loaning Harry out to the Championship again. He’s ticked that box. He may need a few more games if he’s not in the frame at Tottenham, but he’s going to be given every opportunity to prove himself to the new manager.

If the manager decides he’s not ready, that would be the only time we would consider loaning him out. But as we stand, we’re not looking to loan him.”

Villas-Boas will want to be able to have a close look at Kane in pre-season and potentially use him in the Europa League prior to making a decision on where he will spend the majority of the season.

Loanee clubs

Interestingly, Sherwood also gave some insight as to how Millwall were chosen as a destination – and it does seem to be a case of “who you know not what you know”:

“I know Kenny Jackett because we played together at Watford, so there’s a connection there. Millwall is a good move for our young boys because it gives them experience and it’s local.”

However, he was also quick to point out that even a “tried and tested” loanee club will not suit every player:

“Sometimes it works out, as with Kane, but sometimes it doesn’t, as with Mason.”

This, in my opinion, is the crux, and the key aspect of Sherwood’s job; Ryan Mason, the talented number 10, has not had too much luck out on loan, and it might be that he is a player who will be better off amidst the Development or even first-team squad, learning from Villas-Boas and his team. It’s Sherwood who ultimately has to make these decisions – which players are suited to loans (and where), which are better off within the confines of the club – and also to pull players back when things are not going to plan (as happened a couple of times last season).

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  • jibby says:

    kyle walker is the perfect example of how its done, but its rare to get it just right. wheres kyle naughton ? he looked to have potential but he’s spent 2 season’s treading water.
    [good stuff as per mr WINDY.

  • Anonymous says:

    and it proved that Bostock is sh*t.

  • Kyle Naughton did ok last season. He was a regular Premier League starter with Norwich. Another season of first-team football should do the lad a whole lot of good.

    For all of Redknapp’s experience with youngsters that have gone on to do well in the Premier League, I was surprised that he seemed not to give our younger players more first XI opportunities. Then again, I guess that’s why he sent them out on loan.

    • Windy says:

      Totally agree – thought his handling of the young players was generally really quite poor. He tended to either not use them at all, or chuck them all in at once (which is far from ideal).

      Also hated that he often went with two goalkeepers on the bench rather than using a young player.

  • SpurredoninDublin says:

    First of all, congrats to Windy on producing another interesting piece on the more obscure aspects of the club.

    Regarding Jibby’s comments on the two Kyles, it is clear that they are both decent players, and both have followed the same route (as has Caulker) of being loaned out to increasingly more prestigious league sides. All three of them gained PL experience and they would definitely all walk into our current squad as Walker has proved.

    I find myself in agreement with Sherwood. What is the point of repeating a loan of say Harry Kane to Millwall? If he has not improved enough to go up another division, or at least be a regular for a team challenging for the Championship, then he is unlikely to ever be the type of forward we are looking for. that’s how the two Kyles and Caulker have done it.

    • Anonymous says:

      i may be misunderstanding your comment – but are you suggesting Kane did not do well at Millwall? If so, that is wrong, he was a first choice and chalked up quite a few goals and assists… which is why Millwall want him back. Sherwood is surely suggesting either keep him at Spurs or loan him to a Premier League club this year?

    • Windy says:

      Agree with the response – I think the implication is that Kane has now proven that he is good enough for the Championship, so it is now up to him to push on and get himself into AVB’s plans.

    • SpurredoninDublin says:

      @anonymous.

      See Windy’s response for an explanation. As with the other three players I mentioned, the question is not whether he is good enough to play in the lower divisions, we know he is. The question is whether he can advance to play just as well at a team in the PL, or at least challenging for the Championship. Thus a second loan (for the purposes of developing the player) to the same club is unlikely to teach us anything new about Kane.

      Strictly my opinion, but I have not seen anything about HK that suggests he will ever make it as a regular, but I’d love to be wrong. He is coming up for 19 years of age, and if you look at our most successful strikers over the years, they were first choice at that age, and not “potential possible maybes”.

    • Windy says:

      I really think Kane has a chance – he’s seen by many as one to look out for in the game. Gareth Southgate is a big fan of his, for example.

    • zin says:

      I’m still not sure who Kane would play in place of in the 1st team squad. I don’t know who in the game to compare him to either. Is he a Robbie Keane style player?

    • Windy says:

      Robbie Keane nowadays maybe – not a Keane of old (shoulder player). Think Sheringham. Likes to come deep, receive the ball to feet, and create with clever reverse passes. He has a good touch and movement, and when he gets a chance he usually hits the target.

  • Anonymous says:

    HE WAS HIGHLY THOUGHT OF AT NORWICH AND THEY HAD A GOOD SEASON SO IT DOES WORK.

  • jibby says:

    stand corrected re kyleII didnt see or hear much of him last term, but if he’s done ok at narrrrritch , sweet, as what i saw of him as a youngster, he looked pretty good and i’d hate to see that potential grow at another club. same with caulker.

  • Aaron says:

    Holy shit, a blog linked to NewsNow that isn’t the same news regurgitated ad nauseum. I might have to lay down.

  • Anonymous says:

    Think that Windy hinted that the choice of clubs used for loans is not very scientific. Clubs chosen are based on personal relationships. Would have thought it best to select and build relations with clubs that play football similar to Tottenham.
    Personally couldn’t understand what players were going to learn about Premier League football from playing at Yeovil. Perhaps TS could widen his network and build links with continental teams where young players are likely to be technically better and less likely to get kicked to bits.

    • Windy says:

      Totally agree with your first comment, Anon.

      Re: Yeovil – certainly under Skiverton they were trying to play the right way. My concern is that it’s such a long way away that it’s difficult for the club to monitor them.

  • Anonymous says:

    Naughton was continually beaten by wingers while at Norwich and is not good enough for the first team squad. I expect him to be sold and Rose to go out on loan now that Fryers is back up for left back.

    Bentley has been to many clubs on loan but has produced nothing for any of them so sometimes it is the player that’s to blame and not the club he goes to.

    • zin says:

      Disagree. Followed the Norwich forums last season and they would be over the moon if he signed on permanently. One of the top 3 players at the club last season, consistent and solid and easily their best defender.

  • JimmyG2 says:

    Encouraging signs that the days of flying by the seat of one’s pants
    are coming to an end.
    Signing of Gylfi and Vertonghen and the use by AVB of an established club figure who has been doing a good job would seem to indicate that the club will be put on a more professional footing.
    In this respect the use of our main resource,the players,is the most important.
    New stadiums and state of the art training facilities are all very well but the waste of talent has been the most upsetting feature of Harry’s reign to me.

  • Anonymous says:

    One player I was excited about Windy was Soulman Coulibaly but sadly he seems to have gone of the boil. When we bought him he had been a sensation for his country and our fans thought after pre- season he would have cameo roles. Also I believe Bostock has been treated badly and Harry angered his father by saying Lampard went on loan; Well Bostock was bought from Palace a league higher then Brentford he also scored some crackers at Hull so why reward him with a lower club confidants and believe is now lower after his good cameo for Spurs we all thought more would follow to me he has more skill than Livermore.Davspurs

    • Windy says:

      Hello Dav – think it’s a bit unfair to say that Coulibaly has gone off the boil, as he’s not even 18 until Boxing Day, but I’ve certainly seen nothing from him to suggest that he’s anywhere near ready for first team football.

      TBH I heard that Bostock had a few “issues” off the pitch (which could explain some of the poor performances I saw from him in the U18s). Now he has knuckled down, but it could potentially be too late for him at Spurs; don’t think he is flavour of the month.

    • zin says:

      Coulibaly isn’t even part of the development squad yet. Might not even be this year. Give him time.

      I think Bostock can only play in a certain formation and style, if anything he would probably fit into an AVB system. I think people forget he along with Parrett (who both cost a fee thus get more grief) are only 20. Livermore broke through when he turned 22. Give them a chance, especially Parrett who’s actually done well out on loan most of the time.

    • bonse says:

      It’s not just us that hold of players longer than the fans seem to expect, look at Man Utd and Everton, both bringing excellent youngsters through but at 22, not 18.

      Modern football has changed, maybe for the better maybe for the worst, but the youngsters we see turning out for the first team at 17 nowadays are either Rooneys or more often very quickly forgotten about.

    • Windy says:

      Absolutely – was told that by John McDermott- some players just naturally come through later.

  • kevski says:

    Ive always believed that our youngsters would gain massive experience from being loaned out abroad,personally i would love to see this happen,for them to learn a new culture and adapt to different tatical systems.For me this is the way forward

    • Windy says:

      I think that’s a good call in certain circumstances, but it does make it more difficult to keep tabs on them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who’s the guy out in the US at the minute? Seems to be doing OK despite his remoteness from the club.

    • Anonymous says:

      And they might get too used to that countries style of football . Meaning they are not ready for the premier league

    • Anonymous says:

      Might actually be a point to give some of the youngsters more time nowadays. Usually they’ve been chucked out when they turn 20 (if they’re not up to it), but looking at let’s say Italy, a lot of the talents there don’t really reach the level before they’re 23/24.

    • Windy says:

      As said above, I was told by John McDermott that some players just naturally come through later and they hang on to them for longer now.

  • Rick Desira says:

    Harry was just lazy in all aspects of managing our team. His philosophy was just to play all the best players that were available regardless of positions and try and fit them into a formation.

    No young player would ever get in the team unless it was an absolute emergency and would only stay there in they were absolutely exceptional (Bale / Walker), which doesn’t often happen.

    I have often maintained when all the Harry-ites were saying (but we’re playing good and got 4th) that a better manager would do so so much better with our squad than he could ever do.

    • Windy says:

      Totally agree with you, Rick. It felt like the “rest of the club” (i.e. not the first team) was just happening around him without any kind of vision or philosophy from him.

  • DannyBoy says:

    @Windy – Do you maintain an up-to-date list of the squad, with positions, ages and contract termination dates?
    Would be good to see how it’s all coming together (especially with the 25-man squad rule) and where strengthening is actually required?

    • Windy says:

      Funnily enough I started writing this very article last night. I’ll try to get something finished over the next week.

  • jibby says:

    when arry got sacked at west ham, i believe that scarred his mentality regarding youth players for life. he hand a decent batch of kids under him, and trusted tony carr 100% . he did a decent job and could have built a good team, but the club sold the players, binned the dough, then sacked him in due course. he obviously knows how to get teams attacking and is a good manager, but he will never look beyond this season and will never become a great manager because of that.
    the wonky eyed cunt. 😀

  • Enorme Nuez says:

    It appears that Tim Sherwood knows what he’s doing

  • Anonymous says:

    i reckon we keep kane till europa if we progress further and depending upon how much he impresses we either loan him or replace jd who wants to leave with him. Also i hope we spend 30 odd million on siteh stars dzeko ade and AJ as i think they would do well and also allow rvp to join citeh.
    High hopes for kane though if only he could be quicker cos from what i have seen he is a bit of a striker vdv with a hefty shot and ability to slide balls on the turn very strong and physical too

  • daryl says:

    i tink Kyle Naughton shld def cover for Walker & BAE & start in the Europa League & cups. Same for Caulker Kane, Townsend & Rose.
    Perhaps a loan for Carroll in the Championship will help.
    Bostock? no idea if he will ever make it in the Premiership..

    • Windy says:

      I’m positive that Rose will go – either on loan or permanently.

      I don’t think Naughton’s good enough at left back, which is why I think we’re trying to sign Zeki Fryers.

  • Anonymous says:

    The Harry Kane comments above are littered with ignorance: not ALL strikers come good early and those that do often go off the boil by 26(Owen, Fowler). Some actually come good only in the early mid 20s(Lineker) and that is why kane should be shown patience. I would lend him out to a middling ballplaying PL side

  • Anonymous says:

    The vast majority of players really come through later than 18-19. And, as mentioned, the ones who are superstars at that age often tail off/don’t get much better (probably because they aren’t as good as the media tell them they are). We are obsessed with getting the next top youngster – truth is the next top player might be an average-good one at 23 right now.

  • Anonymous says:

    Point 1: Rotation to keep players happy is IMPOSSIBLE. The only way it is possible is the way that Harry did it last season. A cup squad and a league squad. Arsenal, Man U and Liverpool do it….and so did we. You want your best players to play 30-40 games a season otherwise you are weakening your squad merely to give GDS, Bentley or Niko 6 runouts instead of 3…. Makes no sense, and you get no benefit. Occasional resting is an acceptable reason – if the guy really needs it. The likes of Messi, Ronaldo do not need it – and neither to BAE, Bale, Modric, Walker – barring say 1 or 2 games. I accept that Scott Parker got knackered last season. That is because Hudd was injured all season, Sandro for half the season (and stuggling for form mostly) and Livermore is too green. Also Parker has been unlucky in his career, and has never played a 30 game season before now – so wasn’t used to it.
    Point 2 – Harry Kane (as many have mentioned) is about to be 19. Strikers making it at this age are incredibly rare. It is clear that he is not a Rooney, Owen or Fowler (because he isn’t scouse?) because those other 3 were demanding to be picked through ridiculous scoring ability. We have proven that Kane is not that from his time at Millwall, so no rush job needed. Let him mature in his own time, and loan him out to some choice locations. He does not come across like an AVB type player anyway.

    • Windy says:

      I totally disagree with your first point. Ferguson is the master of keeping players happy with regular rotation, and it is certainly possible. Best players should play between 25 and 35 games a season to keep them fresh.

      You honestly tink BAE and Walker don’t need resting? Did you not notice their form dips due to exhaustion? BAE regularly tweeted about being exhausted.

      On the other hand – ABSOLUTELY agree re: Kane, except that I think he could potentially be an AVB player as he has genuine football intelligence.

    • bonse says:

      Mourinho is quoted as saying the ideal is two top players for each position. I don’t think he meant one for league and one for cup either.

      It was clear that strong squad or not Harry didnt think this way, letting Corluka go on loan and bringing back a youngster that would only ever be replacing walker if his leg fell off.

      As of Kane, I am now quite excited by him, he still doesn’t bustle as much as I would like, but he does look clever, like Barmby did at his age. And before I get mocked for praising Barmby, he was a great potential who would have done well to stay away from Left Wing

    • Windy says:

      I think two is the ideal too – and I also totally agree on Kane. Barmby is an interesting comparison, hadn’t considered that one but you’ve got a point.

  • JimmyG2 says:

    Just watched Kane in the England U19 game against France.
    Scored a well taken goal, set up the first with an astute pass, took an excellent free kick and showed strength and work rate from midfield.Some quality passes to the wings.
    Would benefit from staying with the squad until at least Xmas and then going on loan to Prem. club depending on the Europa/cup situation in January.

  • luvinloans says:

    I think Kyle might be able to play for Spurs, he’s seen some action at Norwich…he’s ready for the big league

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Such a smart ball through from Trippier but Kane had looooads to do there and he did it *perfectly*. What a start! #COYS
15 hours ago