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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