Spurs youth making the step up
After Gareth Bale fled the bitter surroundings of the N17 nest to seek warmer climates and bigger pay cheques, we couldn’t help but be invested with hope as we belligerently injected more or less the sum that was received from Real Madrid into the playing staff.
October 13th, 2014
You could forgive yourself for sniffing at optimism, buying into the hope (and arguable expectation) of success before its fragile legs were inevitably uncovered.
As a youth player, it would only have been natural to have felt another setback in your opportunity to break through the first team wall. Tom Carroll got a brief look-in prior to Bale’s departure but, again, struggled to keep hold of that place. The opportunity for our next generation of younger talents seemed tarnished. The platform to showcase our prospects was taller than ever, out of grasp to anyone daring enough to reach.
The tail-end of last season and the start of this one should be a momentous celebration of irony. Nabil Bentaleb and Harry Kane compromised the structural integrity of the first team wall and bridged the gap of uncertainty to play the minutes that their performances fully warranted. Ryan Mason has recently been another that Pochettino supported in reaching the unreachable platform and showcasing that added urgency that we’d arguably lacked in centre midfield.
The importance for players to ensure that they add genuine value to the side cannot be underestimated. We’re inundated with options in largely the midfield areas of the side, but these options possess varying skills and quality at which they execute them. Ryan Mason plays the game at the pace warranted in Pochettino’s ideal. He’s quick to see a pass and doesn’t shy away from a shot. My concerns were made quite clear in his inclusion in the starting XI away at Arsenal for fears of being overrun in midfield.
Bar a nervous start, Mason settled into the side well and impressed with his eagerness and range of distribution. He’s not anywhere near the end product we’d strive for but has showcased enough talent that there seems to be something to build on there. I like and further invite the opportunity for our players being given the opportunity in the first team if their performances on loan or in the youth team warrant it. Mason of course is 23 and so, naturally, this season could prove a defining one in regards to his future career with Tottenham Hotspur. He’s on the right path to facilitate the step-up needed into the first team, and must ensure this isn’t another Dean Marney-esque cameo.
The restructure of our youth team in 2005 under Martin Jol’s era at Spurs as well as the investment in the new training centre appear to be producing more and more results exponentially. Players that don’t just provide value in selling to lower league clubs, but players that can seemingly add a growing influence on the first team stage.