Spurs Youth/Academy Updates
It’s been a while since I have written any form of youth update – partly because, due to personal circumstance, I have barely seen any Under-18 football this season, and partly because there are others doing it so well on Twitter – namely the fantastic @thfcacademy, a ‘must follow’.
Firstly, as far I have been told, this is what will happen with the second year academy scholars at the end of the season (in order of age):
Ryan Loft 14 Sep 1997 – third year of scholarship.
Armani Daly 23 Sep 1997 – released.
Chris Paul 25 Sep 1997 – released.
Christian Maghoma 8 Nov 1997 – contract.
Charlie Hayford 29 Nov 1997 – released.
Charlie Owens 7 Dec 1997 – contract.
Joe Muscatt 15 Dec 1997 – third year of scholarship.
Musa Yahaya 16 Dec 1997 – status still unknown after recent ‘loan’ move.
Thomas Glover 24 Dec 1997 – contract.
Cameron Carter Vickers 31 Dec 1997 – contract.
Zenon Stylianides 7 Jan 1998 – contract.
Tom McDermott 30 Jan 1998 – unknown.
Shilow Tracey 29 Apr 1998 – as he’s only just joined, I assume he signed a (one year?) contract.
None of those being released surprised me. I wish them well, obviously, as I do any player that has been through the academy, but ultimately they did not show enough by this point. I was slightly surprised to hear that Owens and Stylianides had been given contracts rather than being offered another year of a scholarship to prove themselves – perhaps it speaks to their hard work and attitude on the training pitch.
In terms of those leaving, Charlie Hayford played for Palace against Charlton. He then scored for them against Colchester.
As well as Hayford, Chris Paul was previously training with Birmingham, and Armani Daly has trialled for QPR. Good luck to them in finding clubs. Hayford always impressed me with his attitude on the pitch, even if his ability was not on a par with others.
Things have not been good for our Under-21s. We have not won in the Under-21 Premier League since November (seven matches without a win). Results are not all that important at that level, and so I am not overly concerned about the results themselves. But results can help build confidence and momentum in a team, and in individuals. The performances have been disappointing, and Ugo Ehiogu continues to make some odd team selections – possibly because he’s instructed to, to help development, or possibly because he’s trying to plug gaps.
There are several individual players at Under-21 level that ultimately aren’t good enough, leaving myself and other watchers wondering why we have not been promoting more of the Under-18s, or using youngsters from the first team squad if extra experience/physicality is required (as has been one of the arguments for the starts Anton Walkes has been getting in attacking midfield).
One particular player impacted has been Luke Amos, who has played mostly at left-back this season, despite being a defensive midfielder who was playing for England in that role. He has regressed this year – in my opinion, through no fault of his own. He played at centre-back in the last match; an improvement on left-back, but still not ideal.
Ehiogu has also been playing winger Anthony Georgiou at left-back too, and Anton Walkes – who was always a bit of a utility man at Under-18 level (he played defensive midfield, centre-back, full-back) as a number 10. Walkes has popped up with the odd goal, and does seem to time his arrival into the box well, but he is struggling in this position on the whole, and the experiment now needs to end.
John McDermott’s Role
Before Christmas, John McDermott’s job title was updated on the official Spurs website to ‘Head of Coaching & Player Development’, with Dean Rastrick listed as ‘Academy Manager’. I asked the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust to ask for clarity on McDermott’s role when they met with the Tottenham Hotspur board last week, which they have kindly done. The minutes of the meeting can be found here and the specific section is below:
It seems as though McDermott has taken on some of the duties that Tim Sherwood was covering – i.e. overseeing loans and the link between the academy and the first team. As a slight aside, Paul Brush has been responsible for keeping tabs on loan players. Speaking of which…
Between February 9th and March 24th Football League clubs can sign players on loan for between 28 and 93 days at a time. This is known as the emergency loan window. We know that Kyle Walker-Peters has been linked to Chesterfield, so I wonder whether that might go ahead.
We also know that Wycombe are looking for a forward, after allowing Aaron Amadi-Holloway to move on loan to free up funds. We have a relationship with Wycombe having previously sent Jordan Archer there, so I wonder whether we might send Shayon Harrison there or whether we would rather keep him around to train with the first team squad (and perhaps even be on the bench in the Europa League).
There have been some developments with our loan players. Firstly, Dominic Ball has played a couple of games in defensive midfield for Rangers, a role he did play in his youth career. He spoke about how Tottenham were monitoring him in a very interesting recent interview with the Daily Record. Perhaps he can be the next Eric Dier!
Grant Ward has seen his manager at Rotherham, Neil Redfearn, leave the club. This was a real pity, as Redfearn had been speaking very highly of Ward. Neil Warnock has taken over there – hmmm!
Connor Ogilvie has also seen his manager leave, as Teddy Sheringham has left Stevenage. Ogilvie has had a good season with Stevenage and, Sheringham was talking him up just before Christmas.
Europa League Squad
We recently updated our UEFA Europa League squad, with Andros Townsend, Alex Pritchard and Federico Fazio removed. As I said back in December, Alfie Whiteman has been added:
— Chris Miller (@WindyCOYS) December 10, 2015
There are now a few youngsters included on List B:
Tom Glover is included in List A as he has not been on the club long enough to be included on List B.
England Youth Development
Moving on, this was an interesting read from the Independent on the England team’s development and ambitions to win the 2022 World Cup.
Matt Crocker, the FA’s head of player and coach development, told the writer the following:
“Chelsea currently have a great model in terms of their development programme and talent ID model, while Tottenham have some fantastic, technical players who can do the things that we want them to do.
There are others. Birmingham City are producing some great youth players, Fulham are on the way up, but overall in terms of consistency, Chelsea and Tottenham lead the way.”