Tom Carroll and why we shouldn’t scapegoat!

Image: SpursWeb

This season Tom Carroll has started to appear more regularly in the Tottenham first team. I for one like him. Maybe it’s because we’re the same age and are from the same town (well almost). Because of this, I want him to succeed, regardless of whether I think he will or won’t. Nonetheless Pochettino is giving him his chance in the Premier League and he appears to be growing in confidence as a result.

After a solid performance against Monaco, including a nice goal, he was handed his first start in the Premier League against Newcastle. Much has been said about his performance in that game. He didn’t have a good game, his quick, tidy passing was ineffective against a team sitting deep, and he wasn’t strong enough against their midfield. But, apart from Lamela, no one had a decent game. The outcry after the match regarding his performance was completely over the top. He was subbed at 1-0 and therefore cannot be blamed for the defeat.

This for me highlights a big problem amongst football fans, the fan’s inherent need to scapegoat. Win, lose or draw, you’ll often hear fans saying something along the lines of “I’ve had enough; he’s just not good enough”. That attitude can seep into the crowd and is completely counter-intuitive. Instead of encouraging a player to improve his performances it can shatter his confidence minimising his impact on a match. I know as highly paid professional athletes they should be able to deal with these types of mental challenges, but it can’t be easy doing your job with 36,000 people berating you rather than supporting you.

As football fans we are also naturally stubborn; I am certainly guilty of this. Therefore, once we’ve made up our mind someone isn’t good enough, that negative attitude tends to continue into the next game; I still hear people saying they are unconvinced about Lamela which can only be coming from previous seasons, because this year he has been fantastic for us.

Is it not much more beneficial to take the Pochettino approach? After his poor game against Newcastle, Pochettino, after returning Carroll to the bench, brought him on with ten to go against Southampton and Norwich. This trust Pochettino showed in Carroll would have raised his self-confidence. It paid off; he scored a very good goal against Norwich, played well against Watford and then again against Everton this weekend. Jamie Carragher even went as far as to say he was outstanding and “ran the game for Spurs”.

If Pochettino trusts him enough to play him in these games, shouldn’t we as fans get behind him and support him all the way, who knows, maybe with the Spurs fans cheering his name he’ll raise his game. After all, he’s young, decent and a Spurs boy. Surely it’s too early to write him off as “not good enough”.

I would like to see him continue to stay and improve at Tottenham, I like his quick passing and think it adds a different element to Tottenham’s style of play. He can move the ball very quickly from one area of the pitch to the other, something which becomes increasingly effective when we press high and win the ball back.

It’s also worth remembering, with a fully fit Tottenham squad you would probably classify him as the 5th choice midfielder behind Dier, Dembele, Mason and Bentaleb (assuming Alli will now continue to play in the attacking three). Surely we should be commending him for his dedication to the team, despite his few appearances, and his willingness to just work hard when he’s not playing to give himself the best chance to get into the team. At the beginning of last season our first choice central midfielders barely seemed to put in half the work this boy does (*cough* Paulinho *cough*).

I guess what I’m trying to say is, as Tottenham fans let’s get behind our players, all of them, regardless of good and bad performances. In future there will be less chance of the bad performances rearing their ugly heads as the whole squad are brimming with confidence as 36,000 fans cheer their name. We can have our favourite, that is to be expected, but just like any father, let’s not let our kids [the players] know which is which, and pretend to love them all the same when we are in their company. Who knows it could be just the motivation they need to end a 54 year desperate wait!

What do you think?  Have your say below.

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  1. I agree, give him a chance

    On another note, let’s bring Defoe back! Others cab learn from him and perfect back up or partner to can, a great impact player

  2. As much as we want him to do well I just don’t think he is good enough if we aim to be a regular top 4 side. He does pass it well and can do some tricky link up play but if you were an opponent who would you rather face… Carroll or Dembele? Dembele wins in every category for me. Tom is unfortunately too small and lightweight to be considered as a top midfielder. I’d keep him as a squad player though

  3. Counter-intuitive is the term: Everyone but Lamela has a poor game…so blame the least experienced player; Carroll goes off when we are a goal up…so blame him for conceding two late goals after he goes off???

    He may never make it at the Lane – but Pochettino believes it is worth giving him a run of games to find out if he will be a good option for the squad. And I, for one, believe that the Head Coach has earned the trust to do that.

    Go Tommy!!!

    • I agree he isn't big or strong enough. It would be really interesting to see how he would fair in a 4-3-3 system. He is slightly to small to dominate in a midfield two, but isn't good enough to play as a number 10. I think he would flourish in a midfield 3, not that I'm advocating changing our 'philosophy', would just be interesting that's all ha ha.

  4. too small?
    he's the same height & build as Eriksen.. I don't hear many saying get rid of him as he's too small.. sounds like we've got too many so called experts who want us to go back to picking only players over 6 foot & 14 stone… thank fuck top coaches don't sit with that philosophy.. or you wouldn't see players like Messi doin the business.
    Carroll has grown & improved& not forgetting it's only his third start.. give the lad a break, he will ne an England regular in time.. he's that good & if you can't see that .. go back to watching Wimbledon playing in the 1980's.

  5. He’s good enough. Wenger said the same of modric, not strong enough and not big enough. If he plays enough then he will grow and adapt. He’s earned his shot. Come on Tommy!!

  6. I think its fair to say he is a good player just not strong enough I think Tom is a good player to bring on not as a starter I think eriksen could play next to dier he played further back for Ajax with that killer pass and where eriksen plays we have got cover /son/Onamoa/chadli/ I think Tom has come along at wrong time where we stepped it up a level poch is doing great strange substitutions sometimes u got to think out the box sometimes like Newcastle game it was obvious that rose could not handle sissoco the whole game he to big and to strong and Davies would of been the same should of put vert left back brought wimmer on cb same as against Everton could of dropped dele back cm and put son on behind Kane took Carroll off when u want a goal u don’t bring dele and eriksen off still think Kane is better behind the St because he’s better coming from deeper the defence back off and that’s where he punishes teams

  7. Against Newcastle I'd class him as lost, Against Everton he progressed in my books to fragile. Dembele every time if we're to get super serious about winning the league.
    Personally I blamed Potch against Newcastle….Carrol and Erikson on at the same time makes for a too light weight midfield – just as Lamela and Erikson used to be.
    BUT Lamela toughened up (one of them had to) and balance was achieved. For the first time this season (ever) to help cover for Carol, Erikson played like a Tottenham toughie. Well one of them had to.

  8. I'm had high hopes for Tom and seeing his name in the team sheet had me excited. however, His performances are not upto par. I'm not sure anyone notices when he plays the tempo of our game is very slow. Reminds me of AVB days except for the sudden outbursts of pressure. As a playmaker it's crucial to control the tempo of the game but he only slows it down every time and he's proved that he's lightweight to be played in the centre of the park in a double pivot. I'm sad to say this but tom needs to leave and go to either la liga or serie A where he can thrive better.


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