Tottenham news with thoughts on the success of Southampton’s Academy and the FA Commission Report’s proposal for B Teams.
Alan’s 2014 Summer Diary – No. 6
Tuesday 26 May
Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed our head coach and will be bringing some of his back room staff with him from Southampton. See my reaction and quotes from interested parties in my separate blog.
Tottenham’s New Start with Pochettino: Read more
Southampton Academy Success
Last week before the appointment of Pochettino and in a reaction to the FA Commission’s report on the restricted opportunities for young players I referred to the success that Southampton had in developing youngsters and suggested the FA looked into more detail on how it was done. I referred to an article in the Express which gave much of the credit to Les Reed, an ex-England coach and Pochettino himself.
I soon received a very helpful comment/correction from one of our readers who pointed out that the “Southampton Academy” started years earlier under 3 coaches who are now reunited at Fulham and having success again with their kids. They are Malcolm Elias, Steve Wigley and Huw Jennings. It reminded us that they also discovered/developed Wayne Bridge and Kenwyne Jones. Les Reed and Pochettino clearly deserve credit for picking it up and taking it forward after 2009 but the others were the ones in at the start. Thanks to Herts Hammer for the contribution.
You can get more insight from Elias’s words on Fulham’s official website,
“In football you must never say never. When Huw Jennings (Fulham Academy Director), Steve Wigley (Head of Coaching and Manager of the Under-18s) and myself left Southampton to go in different directions, none of us thought that we would be together again as part of the same team. But we are delighted to be back together and part of a top team at the Fulham Academy.
The players we helped to develop during our time together at Southampton are well documented – the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have moved on, while Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Calum Chambers and James Ward-Prowse are Academy boys now playing in the Premier League for the club. We all have great pride in what we achieved as part of a team at Southampton.
We are determined and confident that with a pathway throughout the Academy to the First Team, we will have a similar sense of pride in the players who will play for Fulham in the Premier League. I left Liverpool to come to Fulham for job satisfaction and so far I have not been disappointed and I know Huw and Steve feel the same as part of the Academy here.”
Looks like Magath is lucky to have them there.
Thursday 29 May
Fact: Lukasz Fabianski has rejected a contract offer from Arsenal to join Swansea.
Rumours: Michael Dawson and Andros Townsend wanted by Redknapp? Aguerro to Real Madrid? Hazard to PSG?
FA Commission Report – B Teams
I said I expected something like this. The Daily Mail has reported that the B Teams idea is likely to be rejected.
“B teams competing in a fifth-tier League Three — the central plank of FA chairman Greg Dyke’s England Commission proposals — looks to have been kicked into the long grass by the FA themselves. The FA Council debate on the commission welcomed some of Dyke’s initiatives but not Plan B. Predictably, fans’ chief Malcolm Clarke complained about the lack of consultation with supporters. Less expected was John Ward, who chairs a committee reviewing the Football League pyramid, claiming he wasn’t consulted either.”
Greg Dyke must already feel that implementing change is like wading through treacle.
All in the Family
Incidentally, when I was logged in to the Daily Mail website I found another feature about Spurs managers by Neil Ashton which revealed a fact about Daniel Levy that I either never knew, or had long since forgotten. It says that he is Joe Lewis’s godson. That explains a lot. The clamour has grown in the media for Levy’s removal as the Spurs managerial changes have become so frequent. In the light of the relationship between de facto owner and chairman, it’s clear why he seems bulletproof.
I actually don’t think it is a bad thing. Whatever their faults, he is clearly dedicated to Tottenham, even if his judgement sometimes seems compromised by his desire for instant success. I’d rather have a family that is dedicated to a club but prepared to keep it on a relatively even financial keel than the fly by night foreign billionaires that treat clubs as a plaything and load them with massive debt to finance their other interests. Hopefully he’ll realise his ambitions for the club eventually. Let’s hope this new dawn is not another false one.
Tottenham U.S. Tour
Spurs’ summer U.S. tour dates have been announced:
July 19: Seattle Sounders,
July 23: Toronto FC,
July 26: Chicago Fire.