herald

Thursday 17 October 2019

Patience a virtue as Pochettino and Mick plot Parrott's future

Spurs striker Troy Parrott
Spurs striker Troy Parrott

A lot of people were hoping that we'd get to see Troy Parrott play for Spurs in the Champions League this week when it was revealed that he had travelled to Greece.

He did play against Olympiacos, but only in the Youth League, not for the first team. That just shows that we need to take a step back, allow him time to develop and trust his managers at his club and the national team.

He did really well with the Ireland U21s, took his goals well, and as a nation we are desperate for a superstar to emerge.

But my fear is that if he is brought in too early he could suffer lasting damage as he still only 17. He may need to build things up, play at his own age level and wait until his managers decide he's ready.

Mauricio Pochettino and Mick McCarthy both have plenty of experience of blooding young players. They know how to help young players coming through and I think they'll know when the time is right for Parrott.

They know they have players in their squads who they can trust to do certain jobs and at the moment, Troy is still learning. The opportunities will come for him but people need to stop worrying about when he'll get a debut with Spurs.

You have to make sure that when you do give him a chance, he is ready, that he's not asked to step up too soon.

Even next week, Parrott has a chance of playing for Spurs in the Carabao Cup. But even if he played in that game against Colchester and scored a hat-trick, he won't even be on the bench for the next Premier League game.

Mick has seen all this before with young players, I am sure Pochettino has been through it as well.

It would be a really good news story for us in Ireland to have Parrott in the Spurs side and then coming into the Ireland squad for the two big games next month, but the fact that Spurs picked him for the UEFA Youth League and not the Champions League proper this week shows that he has a long way to go.

We have to stop burdening him with the pressure of expectation.

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