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Monday, 20 June 2016

Pre-season is like the 11+

Pre-season has become important for many youth team players at Tottenham. In America, Ryan Mason showed enough to force his way into the reckoning while Cristian Ceballos didn't. We used the youth players to come on as substitutes and finish off games.

Last summer Eric Dier was thrust into a new position, Josh Onomah played the full game against AC Milan, Harry Winks, Luke McGee and Kyle Walker-Peters were given game time. It is almost as if it is a pre-season or post-season exam for our youth that determines their next year. Do well and you have a part to play, struggle and you won't be seen for another year. It's like the 11+ as you move from little school to big school.

Glasgow Rangers have already let it be known that Mauricio Pochettino would like to have a look at Dominic Ball before he decides his future. With the European Championships starting today and the Copa America as well our players involved will need a holiday once it is over. We will be taking  youngsters os pre-season trips, this summer we return to Australia where we have a large fanbase.

In addition to Dominic Ball, Harry Winks, and Josh Onomah, another name may well be Marcus Edwards, the 17-year-old (18 in December) who Barcelona have noted as being a star player of the next decade. Dele Alli has shown if you are goos enough you are old enough and this kid certainly looks as if he is good enough. Naturally he has developing to do, but anyone who watched his individual performance video against Guinea  can't help but have been impressed.

We have to sort his contract situation out again. It was a struggle it seemed last time and we need to demonstrate that we want to push him forward. Pre-season gives us an opportunity to blood him, encourage him and convince him that Tottenham is the place to be.

We will get to see Victor Wanyama, assuming he passes his medical, but it is the youngsters who will once again command a lot of the attention. Who has developed, who is going to take their chance this summer and perhaps force their way into playing a bigger part this season?

You would think this is going to be a big few games for Alex Pritchard, who basically has lost a season and is still to prove himself at Premier League level. He will need to show during pre-season that he can have a part to play. Pre-season could well determine his future, whether it is at Spurs or away from the club.


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