Huddlestone slows it down


Well-Known Member
Jan 26, 2005
Thread starter #1
Tom Huddlestone – Is he the brightest talent in English football? or without pace and agility will he struggle in the modern game?

Tom Huddlestone has shown the best and worst of his talents in a short spell in the first team, he has controlled games with power and great passing with even more effectiveness than Carrick.

I watched him against Manchester City and saw a player that I thought could be the best midfielder in the Premiership, however since then I have been disappointed slightly, but what can you expect of a 20 year old central midfielder. What has occurred to me is that the City midfield was, via Joey Barton, pathetic and more importantly slow and did not close Spurs down so Huddlestone had time and space to show his true game, since then he has looked rushed, less effective and more importantly slow.
It seems that a lack of pace is allowed if you are a defensive midfielder as being mobile is not the most important attribute for that position. They sit there and spray balls around the park like Carrick or Xavi and have great positional sense defensively. However these players have good agility and balance, which is an area where Huddlestone seems slightly lacking.
I have no doubt that Huddlestone will be a quality player and his footballing wisdom will grow him into a Spurs great but can he ever be a world beater without pace and perhaps more importantly agility. I here you scream out a list of players who have made it in the premiership despite being slow Carrick and Sheringham spring to mind straight away, but those players are famed for their reading of the game and only time will tell if Tom develops in this area.<o:p></o:p>
Arsenal are rumoured to have a policy where Wenger will only sign players who are essentially athletes over short distances. Apparently he refused Carrick and even Robinson for these reasons. He has based his team around players who are young and fast because he thinks that in modern football you ‘generally’ have to be pacy. For all the insults about his nationality, attitude to losing, and his transfer policy you cannot argue that there is not a chink in his logic.
Are scouts looking at pace first and talent second? There is a prime example at <st1:city><st1:place>Chelsea</st1:place></st1:city> in my opinion where you have <st1:place><st1:placename>Wayne</st1:placename> <st1:placename>Bridge</st1:placename></st1:place> and Ashley Cole. <st1:place><st1:placename>Wayne</st1:placename> <st1:placename>Bridge</st1:placename></st1:place> you could argue is technically a better footballer than Ashley Cole, however Ashley Cole is very fast and that seems to be what cuts it in the modern game.
In the end Tom is still young and has the promise to become a great player despite his lack of pace, but are the slower players like Huddlestone a dying breed in the Premiership? Huddlestone will make it due to his superb technical ability, but slow players in general will in my opinion eventually become a thing of the past.
Aug 17, 2005
As a Spurs fan, I have heard hundreds of ridiculous transfer rumours regarding our club. However, I think Fans FC have just posted the most pathetic yet. According to those in the know at Fans FC - Morinho will be coming to Spurs in exchange for Jol (and Jol will want to move owing to the money on offer).

Perhaps we can sign Abramovich in exchange for Levy as well!


Chaos Agent
Dec 22, 2003
Pace is an insurance policy against being able to read the game properly, as Tom plays more and improves on his ability to read games he will make quicker, less talented players look poorer.

Besides, I don't think he is as slow as everyone seems to think.
Dec 18, 2004
Huddlestone needs support of someone athletic beside him. Bring back JJ and cultivate a midfield partnership out of them - Jenas' pace and athleticism will more than make up for Huddlestone's shortfallings. This is the idea of team tactics - to find the blend that maximises the players' skills while minimising their weaknesses. Something SGE should've realised during the last world cup...


Active Member
May 8, 2006
always nice to hear the opoinions of fans in regards to players and modern football, so i wont knock your post.

However, to say that Huddlestone cannot become a world beater without pace and agility is wide of the mark.

As quick as the modern game is I also think its essentail to have a holding midefielder (modern libero if you will) from where attacks are started and where attacks from the opposition are ended. If you look at the top teams they all have this type of player, who will just sit in front of the back four, breaking up play where needed, and spraying balls to players in more advanced positions. Makelele, Carrick, Alonso, Gilberto been examples for theie respective clubs.

In my opinion, i think that huddlestone has the potential to be a great player for spurs and england and i do not believe that his lack of pace (he isnt that slow you know) will hinder him.

I do not think that the so called "slower player" are a dying breed in the premiership. Paul Scholes been the prime example, as he has arguabley been Man Utds best player so far this season.

It is true that wenger is obsessed with pace and players ahve to be of a certain speed, but just because he wants pacey players doesn't mean that its the right way forward.

rite got that off me chest, off to lunch im starving!!!!
Jan 29, 2006
I think Wenger is right on the money, everyone saw how they destroyed Liverpool with pure pace.

On another note when we come up against teams with pace, power, fight and close us down for 90 mins, we lose.


SC Supporter
Mar 18, 2005
True quality always finds a way. The likes of Ruud Gullit became a true great with a great footballing brain and always found space for himself, he had great strength to hold players off and find space for a pass. He was a revelation even in his later years for Chelsea.

I think Huddlestone is similar in a lot of ways to Gullit. Great strength and range of passing.

Our midfield needs the right blend. Tom could be a great partner to Zokora or Jenas but not Tainio or Murphy. Pace is needed in the modern game but that doesn't mean every single player has to be especially quick.

Only time will tell how good Tom Huddlestone will become, but he has the potential to be a true great despite not being the quickest.
Jan 3, 2007
I totally agree with you famousyiddo. Look at the top two sides in the league at the moment. Although they do have player with undoubted pace the team is not packed with this type of player.
These 'slower' players can be deceiving, David Beckham was never known for his pace but I once heard a respected pro when asked about Beckham being slow respond by saying 'you try keeping up with him!'
Pace is a fantastic attribute to have but reading of the game imo is far more important.
Apr 29, 2004
Good post.

I don't think Tom's biggest problem is a lack of pace as I believe he will develop the ability to compensate for that, I think Tom's greatest flaw is his lack of aggression. With his size and ability he could and should be dominating other midfield players, but he is young and he can improve in this area as well.

All in all I think Huddlestone has a great future in the game as well as slower players. In my opinion the game is in a sad state when talented players are over looked in favor of players who can do a 100m in 10 secs



New Member
Dec 6, 2006
Thud is not so slow, larger players always give that impression and anyway it’s about speed of mind and if you watch him closely you will see him make numerous one-touch passes and rarely gives these away. My main criticism of Jenas is that although he is very athletic and fast his decision making can sometimes make him appear to dither on the ball, but I still think he can improve and be a class player. And Thud has quick feet on the ball shifting it between left and right, passing accurately with both feet - he always has his head up too. What we should be thinking is if he can do what he can now at 20, how good can he become?


Well-Known Member
Jul 16, 2004
Our team has plenty of pace infact loads we just seem to have lost all our pace to injury recently if Lennon, and Jenas are fit then we have plenty of pace, Pace helps but movement is also very important when we have plenty of moevement off the ball we look good when people stop moving then find it hard to find space to pick out a pass. When we loose the ball a lot of the time its becuase a player has become isolated and they have had no options sometimes its becuase they have run down a blind alley but a lot of the time its becuase no one else has made themselfs avaliable.
Apr 6, 2004
Good dicussion point. I think along with most others that you do not need to be quick if you are technically gifted. The reason these players do not need pace is they create time and read the game well. Something Tommy will pick up through playing and gaining experience. The main thing is not to expect to much from him too soon.


New Member
Jan 9, 2007
Bore off you lot. Hudds the best CM we have. End of. Stop analysing the poor bloke hes 19 and has only played handful of games.


New Member
Nov 2, 2004

Interesting post - we were talking at work about pace & our conclusion is that at 31 Beckham is past it (so we are glad he didn't sign for Spurs). Arguably he never had any pace (only saw him use pace in that game vs Greece).

About 10 years ago, we reckoned players 26-28 years old were in their prime - now with certain exceptions (eg Zola) players seem to be past it at 27.

Whether this is due to burn out or injury I'm not sure. Is it because pace is seen as so important?

It could be down to types of player - Owen because he has always relied on pace now looks past it at 27 with his injuries & lack of fitness. Yet Shearer, as a different type of player who has never really relied on pace, slogged on until nearly 40, same with Teddy.

I don't think you can generalise and can't conclude that Hudd is not the ticket because he doesn't have explosive pace.
We should all applaud the Levy/Jol policy of buying young (hopefully pacy) English talent.

Having pace is no good without the talent and footballing brain.

Like so many things, it comes down to striking a balance that suits the team.


Well-Known Member
May 10, 2005
A player like Huddlestone will make your quicker players even more effective.

Manchester Utd are 6 points clear at the top of the Premiership with Carrick and Scholes playing central midfield. Arsenal are 15 points behind.


SC Supporter
Feb 2, 2005
wenger likes pace because arsenal often play counter attacking football. U play against a team like bolton, it dont matter how quick u are over five yards, with their players you will not get the chance to "run away".

Hudd will be a quality player i am sure .....but this is with the belief he will develop a great understanding of the game (i believe Jol once said that he was pretty advanced for his years in this area). The beauty of players who lack pace, is that they can perform at a higher level, with out having to rely on this commodity!!