I was pleased that Redknapp gave Danny Rose a start yesterday. Although he’s technically “graduated” from the U18s now, it will be a huge boost to the current Academy players to see one of their team-mates getting a start.
When I interviewed John McDermott, our Academy Director, on behalf of the COYS forum, he spoke of the “extended apprenticeship” of young players at football clubs today. He said that “an apprenticeship is no longer 16-18, it’s more like 16-21.” With that in mind, here’s an update on our U21 players:
Dorian Dervite, Central defender, 25/07/1988 21
After some unconvincing pre-season performances, Dorian’s been on the first-team bench a couple of times, but hasn’t seen any action. Rumours about a fall out over extending his contract seem to have some truth, as he’s not been out on loan, whereas many of his team-mates have. Will surely leave once his contract expires.
Lee Butcher, Goalkeeper, 11/10/1988 (21)
Butcher has had two loan spells this season – he made 4 appearances on-loan at Grays, but was only an unused sub at Leyton Orient. I’d imagine that he’ll be moving on in the summer.
Troy Archibald-Henville (on loan at Exeter City), Central defender, 04/11/1988 (21)
Having been in and out of the team at Exeter City, Troy got himself sent off for a bad tackle, and was banned for three matches recently. He was back in the starting eleven yesterday. I would think that he may move to Exeter permanently in the summer.
Kyle Naughton, Full-back 11/11/1988 (21)
Having had very limited chances so far despite some impressive pre-season displays, there’s talk of Naughton joining Walker back at Sheffield United on-loan. He must be regretting his move so far.
David Button (on loan at Shrewsbury Town), Goalkeeper, 27/02/1989 (20)
Had a very difficult loan spell at Bournemouth earlier in the season, but has really turned it round at Shrewsbury, and has had some glowing reports.
Giovani dos Santos, Attacking midfielder, 11/05/1989 (20)
According to the Telegraph, he is close to a move to Galatasaray. A player who is a talented dribbler, but has not shown that he is able to fit into a 4-4-2 formation, and is therefore very difficult to pick. Off the field antics last season, and turning up late to training have not helped him, and it seems better for all concerned that he moves on.
Adel Taarabt (on loan at ), Attacking midfielder, 24/05/1989 (20)
Taarabt has burnt his bridges with Spurs, saying recently that he won’t go back once his loan at QPR is over. He also seemed to be in the middle of the Paul Hart sacking – some reports suggested that the owners tried to force Hart to play him. He’s had some good and bad games for QPR, but he has certainly showed some skillful moments, and has five goals to his name so far.
Gareth Bale, Full-back/midfielder, 16/07/1989 (20)
Having come back into the side in Assou-Ekotto’s absence, Bale has been our best player in the last two games (against Liverpool and Leeds), and also played well against Peterborough. He clearly has plenty of natural talent but, for me, there are still doubts over which is his best position.
Jake Livermore (on loan at Peterborough United), Central midfielder, 14/11/1989 (20)
Having scored against Barcelona in pre-season, Livermore spent the first half of the season on-loan at Derby County, where he found himself in and out of the side. They chose not to extend his contract, and he has since moved to Peterborough. Having been their best player on his debut, he scored what turned out to be a consolation yesterday.
Kyle Walker (on loan at Sheffield United), Full-back, 28/05/1990 (19)
Walker’s had an impressive season so far on-loan at Sheffield United, and it’ll be interesting to see what we decide to do with him next year. If we’re in Europe, he may find himself getting a few matches. If he does play, look out for his long throw!
Danny Rose, Central/left midfielder, 02/07/1990 (19)
Rose made his full debut yesterday and, despite not having a particularly good game, he won the penalty that Defoe missed. It was good to see him involved, and nice to hear that he’s been impressive in training, as he had a tough time on loan at Peterborough earlier in the season – of the four games he started for them, he was taken off at half-time in two.
Jonathan Obika (on loan at Yeovil Town), Forward, 12/09/1990 (19)
Jon has got 6 goals in 13 starts and 7 sub appearances so far for Yeovil, and many of their fans describe him as their best finisher. He didn’t look out of place on his only start for Spurs in the UEFA Cup but at this point it’s still hard to tell whether he’ll cut the mustard in the long-term.
Sam Cox (on loan at Torquay United), Central midfielder 10/10/1990 (19)
Sam had a tough time on-loan at Histon, and was unable to force his way into their side. He’s a big favourite amongst the coaches at Spurs due to his enthusiastic displays for the U18s. He often filled in at left-back for the Academy side despite being A) primarily a midfield player, and B) right-footed. I’d imagine that his current loan deal at Torquay may be a “try before you buy” type deal, as with David Hutton at Cheltenham last year.
Oscar Jansson, Goalkeeper, 23/12/1990 (19)
Jansson had a mixed time on-loan at Exeter, but got 7 games under his belt, and will be looking to build on that with another club. He has been on the bench for the first-team, but is yet to make his debut.
Calum Butcher, Central defender, 26/02/1991 (18)
Having recovered from an injury, Butcher went to Barnet, and made his league debut. He had mainly joined them as cover, though, and when their players returned from injury, he returned to Spurs. He will be looking for another loan spell, no doubt.
Adam Smith (on loan at Torquay United), Full-back 29/04/1991 (18)
Smith is currently winning rave reviews playing at left-back for Torquay United, having been a right-back for our U18s. He has represented England at every level up to U18.
Ryan Mason (on loan at Yeovil Town), Forward/attacking midfielder, 13/06/1991 (18)
I think many felt that Mason would struggle with the physical nature of League One, as he’s quite slightly built. However, he has proved many wrong, and has done very well so far. He has plenty of technical ability, and was described by Darren Bent as the best young prospect he’d seen.
Andros Townsend(on loan at MK Dons), Winger 16/07/1991 (18)
Having played well for Leyton Orient, Townsend is currently on-loan at MK Dons. He made is full debut for them yesterday, and Paul Ince made some really positive comments about his performance:
“He was the only one in the first half, along with (Mathias) Doumbe, who looked like they wanted to be out there.
It’s not right for me to go in at half-time and tell my players that the only one out there is an 18-year-old kid.
That’s a lesson to us, but he exceptional, not just going forward but defensively as well. He’s slotted in superbly.”
Anton Blackwood, Central defender, 18/08/1991 (18)
Presumably signed because we were short of cover for the U18s, Blackwood has looked uncomfortable in most of his appearances for us, and I personally can’t see us hanging on to him.
Anthony Jack, Attacking midfielder, 16/10/1991 (18)
Hasn’t had too many opportunities for the U18s, and he’s another that I think may well move on in the summer.
Chace O’Neill, Attacking midfielder, 01/11/1991 (18)
Another player whose chances have been limited for the U18s. He will be looking to try to force his way into the side over the rest of the season.
Dean Parrett, Central midfielder, 16/11/1991 (18)
After a successful spell at League Two Aldershot Town, I fancied that he would go out to a League One club. Whether there have been no takers, or whether we have not made him available is unknown.
Coskun Ekim, Central midfielder, 17/11/1991 (18)
Ekim is not even getting on to the bench at U18 level at the moment, so it seems that he will be another to leave in the summer.
Steven Caulker (on loan at Yeovil Town), Central defender, 29/12/1991 (18)
Some exceptional displays at the back for Yeovil have led to many of their fans describing him as their player of the season so far. He is very popular down there, and IMO has all the tools to play in the Premier League if he continues to work hard.
John Bostock (on loan at Brentford), Attacking midfielder, 15/01/1992 (18)
Having scored twice on his debut, I think Brentford fans may have expected a little more from Bostock, who has been on their bench for the last two games. By all accounts Andy Scott has been very impressed with him in training, but I get the impression that, like Taarabt, he tries to do too much, and doesn’t fit into a system very easily.
Mirko Ranieri (on loan at Ipswich Town U18s), Goalkeeper 08/02/1992 (17)
Having found himself below Jamie Butler in the pecking order, he was sent to Ipswich’s U18 side to get some game time. He has had a mixed time there – they lost 6-1 this week!
Jose-Paul M’Poku, Attacking midfielder/winger, 19/04/1992 (17)
I’ve only ever been impressed with M’Poku, but he doesn’t seem to get singled out too often by his coaches. Whether I am seeing something that they aren’t, or whether they are protecting him from hype, I’m unsure. I’d imagine that he will be a candidate to go out on loan next year.
Jamie Butler, Goalkeeper, 18/05/1992 (17)
A very vocal goalkeeper, who doesn’t really look like a goalkeeper! He is quite small and stocky, but seems to be a good shot-stopper.
Tom Carroll, Central midfielder, 28/05/1992 (17)
A cultured player with a good left foot, who suffers from being physically small and not the strongest. He has often had to play at left-back this season, but has now become a first team regular.
Nathan Byrne, Full-back/central defender, 05/06/1992 (17)
Due to a shortage of central defenders, Byrne was asked to fill in there, and he hasn’t let the side down. It was quite tough deciding what position to put down for him, as I’ve seen him play everywhere!
Jake Nicholson, Central midfielder, 19/07/1992 (17)
Nicholson has been converted to a holding midfield player this year, and has been very impressive. He will be another that will be looking to get a loan spell in the not-too-distant future.
Paul McBride, Winger, 13/09/1992 (17)
McBride’s had quite a patchy season, playing around 50% of games. He is a left winger who is more in the Downing mould than the Lennon mould.
Olumide Durojaiye, Central defender, 20/10/1992 (17)
Another player that has been in and out of the side. Has probably learnt a lot from this season, and will look to kick on next year.
Ryan Fredericks, Winger 30/10/1992 (17)
Exciting right-winger, who seems to go from strength to strength. Has become a key man for the U18s, and is always an outlet.
Cameron Lancaster, Forward, 05/11/1992 (17)
Having two good forwards ahead of him, he has mainly played in other positions – wide midfield and even central defence! He will hope to get more opportunities during the rest of the season.
Jesse Waller Lassen, Winger/full-back, 26/12/1992 (17)
A versatile player who can play on the wing or at full-back. He will be looking to make more starts during the rest of the season.
Kudus Oyenuga, Forward, 18/03/1993 (16)
Very good scoring record for the U18s – a good finisher with decent pace. It’s still early days, but the signs are good.
Alex Pritchard, Attacking midfielder, 03/05/1993 (16)
Has had limited chances next year, but it’s early days.
Callum Tapping, Central midfield,er 05/06/1993 (16)
Zaine Francis-Angol, Full-back, 30/06/1993 (16)
Had a few rocky performances early on, but has grown as the season has gone on.
Harry Kane, Forward/attacking midfielder, 28/07/1993 (16)
Captain of the U18s as the youngest player, he has a decent scoring record, and even made the first-team bench for the Everton game.