Ex-Prem star mindful of fans heaping “too much pressure” on this Spurs youngster

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham have had a brilliant pre-season campaign so far with wins over Juventus, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich.

A lot of youngsters were part of the squad which took part in the International Champions Cup and the Audi Cup, with many of them impressing.

Arguably no one impressed more in their outings that young striker Troy Parrott.

His performances in preseason have caused some Spurs fans to call for him to be promoted to the first team and serve as Harry Kane’s understudy for the upcoming season.

The 17-year-old is very highly rated at Tottenham and great things are expected off him in his home country of Ireland too.

Former Premier League defender Kevin Kilbane has now warned that perhaps people in Ireland are putting too much pressure on the teenager’s shoulders.

Speaking about Parrot, Kilbane told the Sun, “The worst thing about us is we’ve got nobody else in some respects. We’re all looking to this lad to be our beacon of light.

“I saw him play for the Ireland Under-19s. I’ve only seen him play once watching him live, bits and bobs on YouTube and Twitter clips of Champions League Under-23s.

“I would be mindful of the fact that we do heap too much pressure on a youngster.

“It’s not necessarily that he feels it, it is that the expectation is too great and then he’s got a long, long way to go. But I think the early signs are very good.

“I think he would have got cup games last year if it wasn’t for injury. That cost him a little bit but that’s what you get when you’re a young lad as well, you get those little setbacks along the way.

“I speak to lads who have coached him and watched him. They say he’s such a natural talent, natural ability. I think he’s going to get better.”

Kilbane, who made over 100 international appearances for the Republic of Ireland, said that he expected Parrott to make the Irish national team if he gets any game time at Spurs in the coming season.

He said, “We have to be mindful of his age, we have to stand off and let him progress.

“If he gets any game time for Tottenham this season, he’ll be immediately in the international set-up, won’t he? If he gets any game time, he’ll be in. That’s the reality of it.

“It’s not giving him a cap for the sake of it, he’ll be in on merit because he’s playing Premier League football and surrounded by top-class players.

“Mick McCarthy knows full well that if he’s anywhere around that first team and coming off the bench, he’ll be immediately in his squad whether it is a competitive game or a friendly. That, again, is probably more pressure on him.

“But the way youngsters are now, when they come through the system it’s, ‘I want everything that is going to come my way’. And he has potential, but at the moment it is just potential.

The 42-year-old also said that Parrott would be able to handle the pressures of international football if he approaches his debut with the same confidence as Ireland and Spurs legend Robbie Keane did.

Kiblane added, “Attitude-wise, he’s got that carefree attitude of, ‘Yeah, bring it on’. That’s got to be a good thing — if he’s got any type of attitude like Robbie had when Robbie came in .

“That home debut with Argentina, it was incredible to see, we all knew something special had happened that evening.

“If Troy is anything like that, which I believe him to be, I believe we’ve got a special talent.”

“But given how international careers can fail to go the way people hope, Kilbane is urging caution.

“Anthony Stokes and Stephen Ireland are among the players who, for differing reasons, never reached the heights hoped for and Kilbane added: “I’d be overly-cautious because we’ve seen it before.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Even in recent times, we have seen many highly-rated youngsters fail to make the expected progression to the first team including the likes of Josh Onomah and Marcus Edwards. So it is important that we don’t expect too much of Parrott too quickly and allow him to ease into top-flight football.

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