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Monday, 8 August 2016

Tom Carroll, the new Tom Huddlestone

Tom Carroll, the new Tom Huddlestone

Tom Carroll signed a new contract at Tottenham in 2011 at the same time as Jake Livermore. Midfielder Livermore departed for Hull City at the beginning of 2013–14 on a season-long loan, along with Tom Huddlestone. He signed permanently at the end of that season.

Tom Huddlestone seems like a player with no motivation, talented, but happy to plod along, not rock the boat and not improve his game. Mousa Dembele was the same until Pochettino forced him to either get his mentality right or leave. Dembele has improved as a result and was ranked one of the best midfielders in Europe, Huddlestone was playing in the Championship. He should be a better player than that.

Tom Carroll is similar. He has ability, he has strengthened up so physicality doesn't look the issue it once did, but would you say he is motivated or drifting along like Huddlestone? Where is the player who can stamp his mark on a game, the player who can take control of it. That is what he has to do, at the moment all he does is look pretty.

Every time I see him I think the aesthetic of his pass is more important than the pass itself. Presumably, he has taken on board the technical aspect of passing a  ball and honed the body positioning to make telling passes. What does he do though? Does he do any more than Huddlestone used to, he probably does less, he probably does less than Livermore used to as well. He is a player who needs a kick up the backside.

His contract ran out in 2016 (all contracts run from 1 July to 30 June each season) but Tottenham had a one-year extension option which has been activated. He will be a free agent next summer if a suitable offer doesn't come in for him this summer. He adds to the home-grown in the squad and provides cover.

It is almost as if he doesn't believe in himself, as if he knows his place and is not motivated enough to change it. Everyone is not Dele Alli, but he showed what you must do, make an impact when you get an opportunity. What impact has Tom Carroll made whenever he has played?


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