Huddlestone slows it down

Discussion in 'Columns' started by Frozen_Waffles, Jan 12, 2007.

  • by Frozen_Waffles, Jan 12, 2007 at 11:17 AM
  • Frozen_Waffles

    Frozen_Waffles Well-Known Member

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    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.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by Frozen_Waffles, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. infamousyiddo
    what is wrong with Jenas?
  2. beuller

    I am 27 and am still dictating the Crawley Saturday Prem. Honestly, its like Hoddle with pace.............
  3. scottadams40
    Come on, your judging the guy as if he's a seasoned pro, he's 19 and it his first full season! Ok, hes not the quickest on the park, but we all know with the correct passing skill, you can make the ball move much faster than any player. I think he's got enough in his locker to see that as not being an issue. I know he's a long way from what Hoddle was at the moment, but there are certain elements in his game that you can atribute to Hoddle's style of play. Calmness on the ball, yes he doesn't dive in like a crazy loon, but he does holds the ball up well when challenged, he can pick a pass and he's striking of the ball is getting better and better with each game.

    Given the right suppport and oppitunities i think he could be a great midfielder for both club and country.
  4. mgrowe
    Pace can be deceptive

    Some of the great players looked almost asleep at times. Zidane for instance often looked slow but seemed to find the time to make the so called fast players on the other side look like snails.

    Huddlestone has a lot to learn (He is only a young boy after all)

    A certain Mr Hoddle was never exactly Jack Flash.

    I for one think we have already done the best business we could this window by signing Huddlestone and Lennon to long contracts.

    The future looks very good as even if we do have to let them go at some point soon the club will benefit with a large infux of cash. (I hope they stay as with them and the squad we have it is only time before we start to mount a serious challenge to the top 4).

    Huddlestone will be a great great player if he stays and does his apprenticeship at the Lane. COYS :grin:
  5. welshspurs
    the hudd dont need pace for his job anyway a good brain and an eye for a pass does his job perfectley and he is only going to get better!!!!! COYS
  6. adamsilver
    Excellent post and I agree with what has been said - I have always been weary of the hype surrounding Huddlestone - but at least he has time on his hands. He is very lathargic, but perhaps with the right players around him and the true experience of positional awareness he could still be very effective. Pace is SO DAMN important these days and Huddlestones lack of mobility shows. However he is a true baller, and has excellent football technique in his composure, passing and shooting. Only time will tell I guess.
  7. Kurtzen
    Not sure, but i'm guessing if you lined Hudd, Mido, Daws & Murphy on the starting blocks you'd be able to throw a(large) napkin over the lot at 20 meters?
    I'd even hazard a guess Hudd wouldn't be at the back of this (in part) mottley bunch.
    If you want a 'slow moving target'.....Mu...
  8. turboyid

    Apparently, Hudds lack of agression is down to the fact that when he was younger he was twice the size of anyone else and he kept breaking other peoples bones so naturally he stopped tackling quite so hard. If he does get more agressive i cant see anyone in the premiership going for a 50/50 tackle with him and not coming out the worst!
  9. OrangeTHFC
    I prefer intelligence above speed. Otherwise football was a game of 11 Linford Christies.

    You need more intelligence in a game then you need speed. What really matters is the speed of the ball, thát's what makes the real pace! Plus an intelligent player that can split open a defense with only one ball. Remember the ball is always faster than a player ever can be.

    And within a team players have to complement eachother well. A goal is a teameffort... not from just one player.

    Besides that: what actually is speed?
    If I start running one second earlier I'm optical faster than my opponent.
    It's about intelligence what really matters that makes me start earlier!

    And I think Huddlestone is a very intelligent player who's still improving. Don't know if he will be a worldbeater, but it's clear he has the potentials. His positives outweigh his negatives by far.
    At this stage of his career the others have to work their socks off, so he can improve as fast as he can.

    So back to the trainingground and the rest is up to Jol!
  10. talkshowhost86
    just to add my tuppence worth, i think it would make a big difference to huddlestones game if we managed to sign a left winger/midfielder and actually get some shape into the team.

    Firstly the balance in the midfield would create more space for thudd as we wont have four central midfielders clogging up the centre circle and subsequently we wont have four of the opposition midfielders in there marking them all.

    secondly the amount of times that he picks the ball up in midfield and only has a backwards pass as an option is ridiculous. without lennon in the last few games we've had no width at all which means thudds options have been limited to a ball back to dawson, a killer pass forwards (which we all know can go wrong from any player) or an intricate little 2footer to *insert central midfielder here) who is actually standing on his left foot.

    get some width and he'll flourish. if we continue with the current 'system' then maybe we'd be better off with the athleticism of zokora and jenas in there.
  11. MidnightCaller
    pace has nothing to do with it, look at Man U, top of the premiership with who yes Carrick, yes and he is slow, Huddlestone to me, is miles a better player then Carrick and a younger version, If you look at Carrick what he has done for Man U, he has the ability to slow the pace down. and just look at the top european teams they have the same holding player to do the same, in time Huddlestone will be taught by other eg Davids, on how to do this and with is talent will be the best holding midfield in the world, just look at some of the passing he does.
  12. Gardinho
    Huddlestone has the world at his feet and at 20 he is more than capable of shedding a few pounds and adding to his pace slightly. Pace is an excellent asset within the modern game but all teams need balance and a player who can put his foot on the ball and dictate the game at the pace that he wants to play is wonderful asset too.

    My main concern is Zakora he is not playing the way he & we want him to and for 10mil we need a lot more from him towards the end of what is promising to be a fantastic and memorable season.
  13. laskoir
    Whats wrong with Jenas?

    Loses the ball - kind of the most important thing in the premiership not to do - looks scared under pressure - complete lack of ability to create space for himself
    weak passes puts team mates in danger
    Scuffs the ball wide as much as he scores - kind of defeats the object of the goal scoring midfielder idea which is the only thing he might ever be good at
    only tackles if he feels like it and even then slides about like bambi on an ice rink
    looks lost in the middle of the park - compare it to how comfortable hudd looks
    puts pressure on others with all the above imcompetence
    best CM pairing hudd + 1 (not Jenas)
    When we bought him 2 Newcy fans said to me. "youll be sick of him in months, your welcome to him"
    Nuff said.
  14. Ali
    I quite agree, and with the poster who pointed out Man U and Arsenal's respective league positions and midfield formations. Lennon is to Hudd what Ronaldo is to Carrick. And Berbatov isn't exactly a streak of lightning, but he uses his skill and technique to beat players.

    And for the greatest example of all, you only have to look at the great Ted to see a player who even at 40, and who has never been blessed with pace, can still come off the bench and change a game. Just by thinking and positioning. It doesn't matter how fast you are, if you don't have any other skills you'll never be a good player. I was a very fast sprinter at youth level, but wasn't much good at playing team sports - too lazy! Sprinting was fine because it only took 12 or so seconds and it was over!
  15. danielneeds
    On another point, as much as I despise him. Ashley Cole is an easily superior leftback to Wayne Bridge.
  16. danielneeds
    And, what's the point having pacey players like Lennon, Defoe and Jenas if you have nobody who can thread a through ball to them? Since Carrick has gone, the Hudd and Murphs are the only players at the club who can have this in their repertoire (Berbs too, but ideally he should be on the end of them), and Murphy is just to lethargic to play at center mid in the premiership these days.

    No its got to be The Hudd with one of Jenas and Zokora in the middle.
  17. OrangeTHFC
    LOL. That made me chuckle.:grin:

    Nice and err... speedy!:wink:
  18. green_nigel
    Good post, Frozen Waffles.

    Regarding pace, Huddlestone may not have an abundance of it, and Wenger may have employed it to great effect at Arsenal, but a look at football on the continent will make it clear that pace isn't everything. Our continental cousins place greater emphasis on ball retention...pass, pass, pass while probing for weaknesses.

    Of course, there is an advantage to having explosive pace and power over, say, ten meters. But I think at Spurs we have players of that caliber: Zokora, Lennon and Defoe all spring to mind.

    Lastly, I'll say this: Huddlestone has just turned, what, 20? Players generally reach their peak at 26, so let's not put too much pressure on those young shoulders. Routledge's injury last year allowed Lennon to take center stage. He was a little rough around the edges to begin with, but was altogether more polished during the World Cup. Similarly, the departure of Carrick has provided an opportunity to Huddlestone, probably earlier than he had reasonably hoped to expect. No he's there, let's give the lad time to grow (figuratively speaking, of course!). Taking up a crucial CM position, one could argue that he faces a lot more pressure than Lennon ever did.
  19. laskoir
    Sorry Daniel but Jenas has let us down too many times already. BTW people forget Malbranque is actually a Attacking CM. And the way hes been getting stuck in lately I think HUDD + MALBRANQUE is worth go.
  20. easiman
    I agree with Ali, but its down to the overall balance (left to right) / speed / aggression on the pitch. I think Tom can be great with the correct balance around him. Getting and maintaining this is what MJ (and others) are striving to do.

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