When Tottenham came up with the decision to scrap their reserve team you kind of felt that there was likely to be one or two casualties along the way. While many supporters saw it as a positive move, especially in giving the likes of Mason, Obika and Townsend some first team experience, I wonder whether John Bostock is a player that would of benefited from some stability and being in and around the first team on a regular basis. My view is that Harry Redknapp has handled the kid badly and it is hardly surprising that Bostock has hardly been inspired at Griffin Park.
Redknapp came out yesterday and suggested that he was disappointed that Bostock failed to build on the impressive debut he had for the Bees. Harry being the old school manager pipes on about the good old days, where he happily sent the likes of Lampard to Swansea and he played his heart out and showed great professionalism, but the difference is the game has moved on from the era where he brought the crop of youngsters through at West Ham and even Lampard himself stated recently that he felt the modern day footballer could benefit from a proper apprenticeship, basically the cleaning of boots, toilets and changing rooms. Today’s young players no longer have to do that, whether that is right or wrong, therefore I fail to see how Redknapp can draw a parallel with Bostock and Lampard. Young players perhaps have it too easy at this moment in time, but that is hardly Bostock’s fault. The player may have not showed the desired application and perhaps he believes he is a bit beyond League One; I for one certainly would agree. You rarely see the likes of Ferguson farming out their better youngsters below the Championship level and why would they given the obvious gulf in class.
The modern day footballer is now a complex creature and the managers that are successful in nurturing those young prospects are the ones that show great man-management and recognise those who need a rocket at them and those who need an arm around the shoulder. No two players are ever the same, so it is ridiculous to suggest what is good for one player is good for the other. One of the great problems that Bostock has probably gone through is that during his years at Palace he was always billed as a wonderkid and the next big thing and even on his arrival at Tottenham it wasn’t long before he was thrown into the first team squad and getting game time. The last 12 months has seen a loss in momentum somewhere along the line and it is terrible that this has been allowed to happen, especially with a talent like Bostock. Make no mistake he is the best young player at Tottenham and there was a queue as long as your arm of clubs trying to take him away from my beloved Palace. Bostock is stalling in his progress and I wonder if Tottenham made a huge mistake in not loaning him back to Selhurst Park in order to aid his development. Take Victor Moses as an example, a player which many clubs including Arsenal and Man City are looking at believe me Bostock has far more ability and a damn sight more potential.
I don’t know Bostock as a person and therefore not sure what kind of attitude he has, but one thing that is obvious is that Redknapp doesn’t have much time for those who have a bad one. Bentley and Pavlyuchenko are the obvious examples, but surely an exception should be made for someone who is a damn sight younger and inexperienced. Perhaps Bostock believes that he should be in and around the first team, or loaned out to a club at a higher level and while you would think that he should just knuckle down, work hard and prove people wrong, not everyone is blessed with that attitude and can turn a negative into a positive, however that shouldn’t define whether he can cut it or not. Playing and training alongside those Brentford players is one thing, but doing the same with Tottenham or a top Championship club is quite another. I’m not suggesting that Bostock deserves everything on a plate, but perhaps the management team and coaches at Tottenham could find the best method to get the best from Bostock and the desired response. It is a waste of a talent if they don’t, especially as I feel he has so much to give.
Written By Jon Preston