DeAndre Yedlin is doing fine, says Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Brad Friedel. Big Brad gave an exclusive interview to the Tottenham and Wood Green Journal about the Tottenham's newest signing and about MLS, and cautioned fans to have patience with the young American as he acclimatizes to a new country and league.
The first time I met [Yedlin] was when he came here, but I've watched him play many times and I think he's settled in really well... It's a lot different than Seattle obviously and he's just received his work permit two or three weeks ago, but he's settled in nicely. It's a new culture, new team, new everything for him. He's a really good guy, a nice guy who's got a smile on his face every day, and I think he's mixed in with the boys very well.
Spurs fans, especially American supporters who watched Yedlin play for the USA National Team in this summer's World Cup, or with Seattle Sounders in MLS, can sometimes be accused of burdening Yedlin with undue expectations. It's a natural response to have when one of the most promising young American players gets a high profile move to a strong English team. Friedel tried to downplay those outside expectations as unrealistic, at least at this stage.
There's a massive difference between the two leagues. The MLS is getting better and better, but the Premier League is different than any other league in the world in one main area, and that is the pace of play.
Any players, it doesn't matter who you are - and you've seen some world-class players coming and going from the Premier League - it takes them time to get their eye in. That's what he's doing in training - and he looks good in training, he looks really sharp. So he'll just have to work really hard and hopefully get his playing time in due course.
For [Yedlin], there's no danger. He's come in, he's signed with a new club, Mauricio [Pochettino] is an excellent manager, Tottenham's an excellent club and we've got a lot of excellent players. So he's just going to become one of those and he's going to train as hard as he can and then when Mauricio thinks he's ready he'll put him in a game.
Did you hear that, Spurs fans? Cool your jets. Yedlin will have his time, but for now it seems clear that Pochettino is content not to rush him into action. So long as Kyle Walker is healthy and starting matches, there's no need to rush Yedlin into action, and the more time he has to acclimate the better off he'll be.
Few players at Tottenham would have a better understanding of what Yedlin is going through right now than Friedel. One of the first Americans to play most of his football in England, Friedel is hanging up his boots this season after a long career with Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa. He joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2011.