So no more reserve football for the Spurs. At least not during the course of the 2010 season. In its place, the club looks set to loan out players and have the rest competing in tournaments and privately organised friendly fixtures. Reasoning behind this is that the club believe it offers a better 'alternative in meeting the changing requirements of our players'.
This might just work out for the best.
Reserve team football can be a little bit of a cemetery of apologetic performances whereas if a player is out on loan, he has to be on top of his game and willing and able to impress at a far more competitive level. I'm probably being a little harsh on reserve team football because for some it’s the only way for them to prove their worth. But scoring a couple of belters in front of an empty ground isn't exactly proving much. Other than fitness and sharpness. There is no true gauge of development for a youngster because the result doesn't really matter that much and the tempo is far off being close to a proper football match.
La Liga have the right idea with their B team structure in their second division. None of the B teams gain promotion, but get to compete with other clubs.
We've enjoyed plenty of success with the kids and second eleven over the past few seasons. It's got relatively easy. So loaning some of them out is a positive step. It worked well for Adel who is a player that has to learn about composure and decision making, something that is unlikely in reserve team football. For QPR, he gets to test out the show-pony skills and learn a harsh lesson that it's not always possible to swan around thinking you are Zidane. Gunter had a successful time at Forest and Troy Archibale-Henville was immense for Exeter City.
More of these kids playing in the Championship and beyond helps them to grow in stature and us in understanding if they can ever make the grade in the Premier league. If they can't then they've spent time in the shop-window and we can move them along with relative ease.
The kids not loaned out and the players who sit on the fringe of the first team will benefit from the games organised by the club which should have more of that extra bite than a typical reserve team game played out at Orient. And please, no trips to Crawley and Stevenage.
The academy boys have already experienced plenty of success in tournaments the world over, although having them size up against other English academy sides was a good measure of progression that I'll actually miss seeing. And now they will have more time to travel.
More trips to Europe and South America rather than Watford and Southampton. Freedom to do as we see fit without the constraints of a fixture list.
Although the article doesn't reveal much at the moment about proposed schedule, I can't believe the club would ever consider pushing ahead with this without knowing that we won't have players sitting around listening to their i-pods and texting while they wait for an organised game or tournament. It will be interesting to see who makes the cut for the loans and the academy/first team fringe places.
So, in essence we are replacing the reserve team with our academy players (without the requirement of playing in the reserve league) and the older players (players on the fringe of the first team or returning from injury and academy players that are best kept close than on loan - like Obika) will play in organised games rather than die of boredom at Brisbane Road.
The up and coming players will be loaned out. The likes of Bostock, Parrett Mason and Rose.
It's a brave new world and makes complete sense. I'm sure David Pleat once upon a time suggested we do this. If so, it won't take long for him to mention how it was his idea.