Spurs academy graduate pays tribute to coach who was tough and honest with him

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Kyle Walker-Peters
Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images

Kyle Walker-Peters has praised departing academy chief John McDermott and revealed in the process that he likes coaches who are tough and honest with their players rather than ones who sugarcoat things.

The club confirmed last month that McDermott is leaving his role as Head of Academy Coaching and Player Development in June to take up a new position with the Football Association

Walker-Peters was among several young talents who made the transition from the academy to the first-team under McDermott’s watch and he has credited the departing academy chief as being an important part of his success.

The defender is currently on loan at Southampton, having struggled to get a look in at Tottenham since the arrival of Jose Mourinho.

However, the 21-year-old did reveal that he loved McDermott’s ‘tough love’ approach, which is also synonymous with the current Tottenham head coach.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, the full-back said: “[McDermott was] a crucial part of my success. He was always tough because he cared about us having careers.

“You prefer someone tough and honest over someone who sugarcoats things.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Perhaps I might be reading too much into Walker-Peters’ comments but his ‘sugar coating’ remarks do sound like a slight on Mauricio Pochettino, especially given the defender’s recent admission about his frustrations at the lack of opportunities at Spurs.

While Pochettino proved that could be ruthless if he had a personal disagreement with someone, there is no doubt that he also had his favourites and he would often go huge lengths to shield them from any criticism.

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