Dec 18, 2006

The name's Huddlestone, Tom Huddlestone

If I hear or read one more 'Is Huddlestone the new Carrick?' thread I might consider DOS attacking the forum in question and laying to rest the irrelevant comparisons once and for all.

Tom can pass the ball. Not very well, but wonderfully well. And because of that, he's being compared to Carrick and Hoddle - because for some ridiculous reason Spurs fans think that the kid has to go up against this benchmark.

There will never be another Hoddle. And as for Carrick, its always been debatable just how good of a player he is. Ask some and they'll tell you he's the best passer of the ball in England and never has to tackle because he reads the game so well he gets to the ball before the need to slide to it. Others well tell you he's just over-rated.

Because he left Spurs in the summer, the instant knee-jerk from the fans who miss him is to latch onto the idea that Tom Huddlestone is some kind of direct prototype replacement and thus has to fill the void Carrick left behind. Well no. A good midfielder should be able to pass the ball and pass it well. How exactly does that make him the new Carrick?

Tom is a player with quite majestic vision and touch. A player comfortable and composed on the ball, so much so, you forget his tender age and inexperience in top flight football. He's an excellent passer of the ball and enjoys a good olde crack at goal, usually from distance. However, he lacks pace and mobility and due to his inexperience he also has to improve his general conducting from the central midfield position.

And Carrick?

Majestic vision and touch. Check.
Comfortable and composed. Check
Excellent passer. Check.
Cracks at goal. Well, no.
Lacks pace. Check.
Mobility. Check.
Conducting. Check.

Take that above list and then take the 'playmaker' or the 'player who pulls the strings' from any of the top sides and you'll find that these are simply the necessities of a good midfielder. Some will have more pace others will score a ton of goals. But everyone is an individual and although they may fit into a type of 'mould', they still retain their own characteristics, strengths and weaknesses.

Huddlestone is not the new Carrick. He's Tom Huddlestone. And simply allowing him to develop on his own accord (with help of course from his coach) rather expecting him to mimic departed players is the way to go.

As for the Hoddle comparison - thats just unnecessary. Hoddle was nothing like Carrick and vice versa, so placing Huddlestone alongside either of them has no logic. Yes - they are all midfielders. Yes - they are all wonderful passers of the ball. Yes - they all lacked pace. But Hoddle and Carrick are two very distinctively different footballers. Not too long ago Spurs fans were asking, 'Is Carrick the new Hoddle?'.

Tom Huddlestone has yet to clearly define the type of player he will become. What is ironic is that Carrick's depature has given him a chance to shine, and suddenly the £14M to £18M or so banked from his move to Man Utd is looking even more like the deal of the season. Not for Utd, but for Spurs. Lets hope he isn't dropped when Jermaine Jenas returns from injury.

The only comparison that will ever matter is that in 20 years from now Spurs fans talk about Tom the same way they talk about Glenn. In 2 or 3 years time, we might be in a position to predict if that will ever come close to happening.


1 comment:

Forza Huddlestone said...

God bless for stopping the madness at overhyping THudd based on a half-season's worth of decent performances (not even that, really), and letting him develop under his own speed.