Loan Watch – Season Review 2013/14.

Tottenham Hotspur are known for utilising the loan system to give game time to young players and fringe players. This season has been no different, and now it’s time to evaluate how well the players have done in their loan spells for several different clubs in few different countries, and see what the future holds for them, whether it is at Spurs or away from Spurs, permanently, or on another loan deal.

Ryan Fredericks – Championship – Millwall. – The 21 year old right back made the move to Millwall in January, brought in to help the Lions avoid the drop. He started really well with a goal on his debut, but unfortunately Ryan dropped out of the Millwall team and didn’t play as much as he may have wanted, but was praised by manager Ian Holloway for his fight and quality during his time at Millwall. He played 18 times, scoring 1 goal, and I think we can say that this was a relatively successful loan spell, in which Fredericks gained vital League experience. Ryan has a future at Tottenham, he showed that with a brilliant performance against Anzhi in the Europa League prior to being loaned out, and he has shown a lot of quality and shown that he has a good attitude to the game. I’m looking forward to Ryan returning to Spurs, and possibly giving Kyle Walker competition next season.

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Jon Obika – Championship – Brighton & Charlton. The 23 year old striker firstly made the move to Brighton in January, in which he didn’t start a League game and only made 5 appearances from the bench, he didn’t score a League goal for the Seagulls. He started his only game for Brighton in the FA Cup and that is where his only goal came, against Port Vale. He made 8 appearances overall in his time down South, but he became something of a scapegoat at Brighton and after watching him play, it was fair. He was dreadful. He was then sent back to Tottenham in mid March, and then straight away sent out to Charlton, he didn’t score a goal during his time and 12 appearances, but 9 were from the bench. The player doesn’t have a future at Spurs, he is too old and doesn’t have the quality. A sale in the Summer is the best we can hope for.

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Alex Pritchard – League 1 – Swindon Town. Pritchard was on a youth loan deal at Swindon, and he recently turned 21 and so had to return to Tottenham early, but in his time at Swindon he had a very impressive season, being nominated for Young Player of the Year in the Football League and Young Player of the Year in League 1, he didn’t win, but it was a great achievement to be nominated. In 36 appearances, only 3 were from the bench and he became a key player for Swindon who eventually missed out on the play offs and finished 8th, but Alex Pritchard provided 8 goals and getting 11 assists, which I class as a real success and can see a real future at Tottenham for him, but first I’d give him one more season on loan, hopefully at a Championship club or a Premier League club.

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Shaquile Coulthirst – League 1 & League 2 – Leyton Orient & Torquay United. Our 20 year old striker had a very short stint at Leyton Orient in League 1, in which he only made 2 sub appearances after joining early on in January, he scored on his debut but then returned to Spurs after his one-month loan deal run out. Coulthirst was then loaned out to Torquay United in League 2 late on in March, in which he played 6 times for the Yellows in a short spell to try and help them stay in the Football League, unfortunately Shaq wasn’t able to help them stay up, but he scored 2 goals in those appearances. Unluckily, Coulthirst was injured in his final appearance for Torquay, and has now had surgery to his ankle and has a summer of rehabilitation ahead of him. Hopefully he comes back stronger, I believe Coulthirst has the right attitude to the game, and after another loan to a team in the Championship, a bit like Alex Pritchard, I think he could have a future at Tottenham.

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Lewis Holtby – Premier League – Fulham. Our 23 year old attacking midfielder joined Fulham in January after playing a fairly important role in the first half of our season, but Sherwood was not keen on Lewis. An opportunity for Lewis to get Premier League experience and come back next season stronger and better for it. I think we can say it was a successful loan spell, despite ending in relegation for Fulham, Lewis performed admirably in a dreadful team and was a fan favourite instantly due to his passion and commitment. He played 13 times for the Whites getting 1 goal and 3 assists, which by Fulham’s standards is pretty decent! I judge Lewis’ loan spell as a success and believe he can become a big player for Tottenham still.

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Jake Livermore – Premier League – Hull City. Jake is now 24 & his loan to Hull as been a complete success for the England international. Jake has been on the fringes of the Tottenham side for quite a long while now, plugging holes in our first team, but has never had a run in a Premier League team, until his loan to Hull. He has been a regular for the Tigers, playing 41 games, becoming a key player and learning next to Tom Huddlestone. He’s scored 3 goals and assisted 4, a good tally for a holding midfielder. Jake has expressed his desire to complete a permanent move to Hull City, and with the quality we have in his position, I don’t think whoever is our new manager will make Jakey stay. He deserves first team football, and he’ll get that at Hull.

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Iago Falque – La Liga – Rayo Vallecano. Now 24, this loan for Iago was extremely important, either to prove himself to a Tottenham, or the more likely option of him playing to be bought by another club. What this loan has done for him is to propel himself into the limelight at Rayo, and get him a permanent transfer to La Liga after playing a key part in their campaign. You may ask, why can’t he make it at Tottenham? I think the reason is that he is set on first team football, regularly, to improve himself and better his career. He wouldn’t start at Tottenham. Iago scored 3 goals and got 2 assists for Rayo in 31 appearances, becoming a regular for them.

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Ryan Mason – League 1 – Swindon. Ryan has had an injury stricken season with Swindon, having an ankle injury which needed surgery, he was playing very well for Swindon along with Pritchard & Grant Hall, he played 18 times, which is still a respectable amount, starting 13 times. Ryan is 22, and is not at a Premier League level, so I do not know what the future holds. Mason needs to concentrate on getting fit in the summer and coming back stronger to either push for another loan move, or a permanent transfer. Mason scored 5 goals and got 1 assist for Swindon in his 18 appearances.

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Cristian Ceballos – Primeira Liga – FC Arouca. Ceballos is 21, we signed him from Barcelona in 2011 and had extremely high hopes for his future, of course the media tipping him as the next Lionel Messi! This season, Ceballos was in Portugal, & although I haven’t seen him play, the stats suggest he hasn’t hit it off as he would have wanted. Next season, I think a loan to a more prestigious club would be much better for him, testing him at a higher level. Cristian has played 19 times but only scored 1 goal, with Arouca finishing 12th in the Primeira Liga out of 16 teams. I would like to give Ceballos another chance to prove himself next season, on loan, hopefully at an English club.

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Tom Carroll – Championship – QPR. It’s been an on-and-off season for Tom Carroll. At 21, you could say he still has massive potential to become a wonderful player, but then you compare him to where Christian Eriksen & Erik Lamela are at the same age and it takes the shine off of his potential. At QPR, Carroll wasn’t best liked by the Ranger’s fans, but still played a lot of games. Although, he struggled with the physicality and intensity of the Championship, & I’d argue it wasn’t the best move for him, & Tottenham should have pushed for a Premier League loan move, or potentially abroad, to a club like Ajax. Carroll has a massive season ahead of him now, in which he can show he has a massive future, or it all goes a bit pear shaped for the young lad. I think Carroll will get another loan move, & I hope it is to a Premier League club this time, to test himself more. Carroll made 26 appearances and helped QPR reach the Premier League, not managing a goal, but getting 4 assists.

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto – Championship – QPR. Now 30 years of age, a loan for Benoit is exactly what he would have wanted. I’m sure he’d like to be settled at a club and playing consistent football, but this is the hand he was dealt. His performances with Tottenham were no less than appalling, after injury, he hasn’t recovered and returned to the level he was at during our Champions League years. At QPR, I watched Assou-Ekotto a fair bit, & analysed how the QPR fans saw him, and I have to say I wasn’t impressed. When a player is struggling to handle the Championship at the age of 30, there’s no doubt in my mind that he is not Tottenham level. Long balls, mistakes, a lack of pace and wayward crossing. He’s not better than Danny Rose, and that’s not a compliment to Danny Rose. I don’t think he has a future with Tottenham, & it’s best he moves on. He played 31 times for QPR, not scoring a goal, but getting 2 assists.

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Grant Hall – League 1 – Swindon. Our 22 year old centre back was a regular for Swindon last season, but was struck by injury in early January, and then didn’t feature until late April, before he was injured again and returned to Spurs for treatment. Hall is a very decent player from what I’ve seen, but I don’t know what the future holds for him. I think Hall will get another loan next season, maybe even back to Swindon, & then we can see what happens when he has a solid, injury free season. Hall played 36 times for Swindon last season, with no goals or assists.

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All in all, I think the loan system really helps Tottenham and their young/fringe players. We can utilise other club’s abilities to grow youth and play players that wouldn’t get game time at Tottenham. Next season, I expect another large amount of young players to go out on loan, but hopefully, we can get rid of some deadwood this summer and trim the squad. Let’s see what happens! COYS!!

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The Outgoings at White Hart Lane.

Ahh, the transfer window beckons once again, always a busy time at White Hart Lane, but not always the best of times. In the past we’ve had players going out that we wanted to stay, and players coming in who nobody wants! But this Transfer Window has to be perfect for us, we’ve got expectations as Spurs fans that need meeting, and if they aren’t, serious questions will be asked about the Tottenham board, it’s time to get rid of the deadwood and spend some money!

The Outgoing players.

A clear out is definitely needed for us this summer, we have players who are sitting around not contributing that will never reach the heights that we need them to. Our back up players simply aren’t as good as the teams around us, and it hurt us last season, and it needs to be rectified. The players below are the main outgoings, I think they are the most likely, but I wouldn’t be surprised at many others being shifted out of North London.

Jake Livermore – A definite outgoing this summer, hasn’t got the quality that we need and there are better back ups around him, it’s surely the end of his Tottenham career. I think a lot of mid-table teams could be in for him.

Price tag – £3million – £5million.

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Heureleho Gomes – Gomes is a player that has been on the way out for a long time, and this summer has to be the time he leaves, he is a player taking money from the club that we need in other areas and it’s time to ship him out.

Price tag – £500,000 – £2million

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Emmanuel Adebayor – Adebayor has had a poor season, and with the club reportedly paying him £100,000 a week, he has to go, this money has to be used in other areas of the squad, and Adebayor just isn’t the man we need to be paying the big bucks.

Price tag – £5million – £8million

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William Gallas – It’s being reported that we haven’t offered the veteran centre back a new deal and that he will leave the club, great news, more money freed up for other areas of the squad, and well, I think we can all agree we are happy he’s leaving.

Price tag – Free (Released)

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David Bentley – Again, it’s being reported that the misfit midfielder will be let go and that we have released Bentley, it’s sad that he didn’t really make anything of what was a promising career, but it’s time for him to move on. I hope he can maybe regain some old form at another club.

Price tag – Free (Released)

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto – I think a new left back is key in this summer, and this opens the door for Assou-Ekotto to leave, a good player throughout the years, but it seems he is not in the plans of AVB, and AS Monaco could be his destination.

Price tag – £4million – £5million

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Tom Huddlestone – I think Tom has been very unlucky with injuries, he was in a rich vain of form when injury halted his progress, he has never regained his old form, and it looks as though he has lost that little bit of class that used to make him a great player.

Price tag – £5million – £6million

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Jermain Defoe – Jermain will only leave if we sign at least 2 other strikers, Defoe is only good enough for the bench, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t like the idea, and wanted to leave. I like Jermain, but at 31, it could be time for him to move on.

Price tag – £7million – £8million

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Scott Parker – I would say Scott is a good back up player, he is a very hard worker and he only wants the team to do well, but I’m not sure if he’s at the level we need him to be, with Sandro coming back, he won’t have a first team place.

Price tag – £3million – £4million

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I think this clear out is needed, and it will happen to free up wages for incoming players, and a new deal for Gareth Bale. It’s inevitable that some younger players will be let go as well, with Dean Parrett already on the way out of the club, but we’ve got to hope that we keep some of our most talented youngsters as well, and integrate them with the first team.

Younes Kaboul, the return.

Younes Kaboul is back, we have missed him this whole season, he is perfect for our team at centre back. We play the high line, and Kaboul is the main player for that system, his pace to go with strikers, his tackling ability make him one of the best centre backs we have, and I’m so glad he is back. Younes makes the team stronger, he is a leader, his experience will be useful to our team, and he will make our other centre back Jan Vertonghen an even better player. Our best back four includes Jan and Younes as the centre back partnership, with Walker at right back, and Assou-Ekotto and left back. This back four is so strong, and will be extremely hard to get past with the player’s pace, and defensive ability.

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Younes should make his comeback this season, but next season, he will make a big impact, we have needed him, and urged for him to get back, but he is back now, and it’s a massive boost. He obviously has the ability, as we saw last season, he was our best player all season in my opinion. He has the ability to improve, and I think he will, it will take him time to get back to his best, but when he does, he will be better than even. The injury that happened to him was a bad one, the same sort of knee injury as Sandro, it is painful, and if the surgery doesn’t go well, it can ruin you for a while, but both Sandro’s and Kaboul’s surgeries went really well, and they will be back, stronger then before. He is going to be like a new signing, really happy he is back. Finally! Kaboom! COYS!!

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Coventry

This is our first game in the FA cup, a cup that we want to win. On paper we are the outstanding favourites, but anything can happen in the cup. Coventry are in League one, and so we could be putting out the youngsters. We are at home, so if we were to lose it would be disastrous! Coventry are a club in disarray after being relegated from the Championship and now sit eleventh in League One.

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto could be involved, and Scott Parker should have his first start after returning from injury. Players such as Tom Carroll, Iago Falque and Andros Townsend could all play a part as we try to get to the next round of the FA cup. Brad Friedel should start in goal to give Hugo Lloris a rest as he is now our only other ‘keeper after Carlo Cudicini left and Gomes looks to be on the way out. Gylfi Sigurdsson should start after some quality performances in the Premier League. I hope that we can get a big win and secure our place in the next round of the FA cup, the worst result would be a draw as we have had a lot of games and another one would not be appreciated. The game is at 3pm on Saturday at the Lane. The game unfortunately is not televised. COYS!!

My preferred team to face Coventry in the FA cup:
Friedel
Naughton – Gallas – Caulker – Assou-Ekotto
Falque – Parker – Carroll – Townsend
Sigurdsson
Adebayor