Another one emerging on the seemingly endless line of English talents is defender Anton Blackwood who is believed to have a good future in the game. But will Spurs fans ever accept a former Gunner, even if he was just a reserve for the big rivals? It will be interesting to see if Blackwood is able to make his way into the Tottenham first team and what reception he would get but ability could go a long way to making fans forget his past with Arsenal.
Blackwood is a very physical player with good strength which is combined with great pace which makes him a great all-around defender. He’s able to play anywhere across the back and shows constant determination to get the ball off opponents with his concentration never fraying. The Gunners website described him when he was on their books as:
“A talented and versatile defender… a stylish, ball-playing defender Anton is also an accomplished sprinter, and can play anywhere across the back four, as well as in midfield.”
Along with his abilities is Blackwood’s record so far – he began his career with League One side Northampton Town where he was a regular for the Under 18’s. His performances were highly impressive and by the age of 16 he was courted by both Spurs and Arsenal. Being a lifelong Gunners fan Blackwood naturally picked Arsenal where he remained for two years, often appearing for their under 18’s although he suffered from a number of injury complaints.
This summer his contract expired as Arsenal had been reluctant to talk about it whilst he was suffering from injuries and, although Arsenal showed an interest in keeping Blackwood, he opted to move on a free to Spurs instead, believing himself capable of making it to the Spurs first team. He has impressed for the Under 18’s so far and, whilst still far away from a call-up to the first team, there is a belief that Blackwood will one day make it to the top.
However the competition at Spurs is so fierce that these young players will have to prove better than just capable in order to get into the first team ahead of established players who are being bought in. There’s always hope for English talent at Spurs though and Blackwood will fancy his chances of making it one day given that the majority of Spurs prospects are more offensive players rather than defenders. His versatility and physical capabilities could yet make him a Premiership star.