Cartilage Free Captain is once again reviewing each of Spurs' first team players and evaluating their 2015-16 season. The series continues today with Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tom Carroll.
Cards: 4 yellow cards, 0 red cards
Females Seduced: Probably a lot
What Went Right?
We all know that notorious playboy Tommy C scores a lot off the pitch, but unfortunately this review is about his success as a Tottenham player, not as a wild sex-crazed deviant. He did manage to get a few goals this season, scoring one in each competition that Spurs managed to stay in for longer than one match.
Expectations were low, so it's tough to say that Carroll didn't meet expectations this year. With the emergence of players like Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason in 2014/15, Carroll being sold or loaned before the season wasn't out of the question.
Tommy played well, for the most part, when he was played in the cups against weaker opposition. He had impressive 90 minute performances against Qarabag and Monaco in the Europa League, even getting his first senior goal for the club against Monaco. We at CFC celebrated appropriately.
Stay woke fam pic.twitter.com/WrQ0ebmRpm— Cartilage Free Capt. (@cartilagefree) December 10, 2015
Carroll's longest run in the team was over the busy holiday season. With rotation on Mauricio Pochettino's mind, he turned to players like Carroll to step into temporarily bigger roles when needed. This resulted in what was unquestionably his highlight of the season, his wonderful goal against Norwich.
I was lucky enough to be at White Hart Lane that day. Spurs coasted to a 3-0 win, which wasn't surprising given the quality of the opposition, but there was one major shock in store. Tom Carroll scored a belter, for his first Premier League goal! From my view in the Park Lane end it almost seemed too good to be true, maybe I had a few beers too many?
Credit to /r/soccer
Even Tommy couldn't believe it. He celebrated and appeared genuinely surprised that he had just scored. But nope, it really did happen! No matter what the future brings with Carroll, we'll always have that moment.
What Went Wrong?
He's got a big heart, but Tom Carroll is not a big guy. He's listed at 5'10 and 157 pounds, and that's probably an overestimate. His size makes him a liability in the midfield when he is played against better opposition.
After the 2-1 loss to Arsenal in the League Cup, much of the fan anger was directed at Mauricio Pochettino for his team selection. The decision to play Carroll and Federico Fazio, for 90 minutes against our biggest rivals, was not a popular one. Somehow, Mathieu Flamini bossed the midfield and scored two goals that evening. In hindsight, Tottenham would've been much better served with Dele Alli in the game instead of Carroll.
If Carroll didn't start the season on a high, he certainly didn't end on one either. The first leg against Borussia Dortmund in the Europa league was a disaster for Spurs and for Carroll. But it was a disaster that Poch should've seen coming.
If Tom struggled against teams like Everton and Watford, obviously he was going to be exposed by Dortmund. He should've never been put in the position, but he was atrocious. The game passed him, and the midfield, by at every stage as BVB dominated to win 3-0. Assuming Carroll is moved on in the summer, it was probably the last full 90 he will have played for Tottenham.
It's a shame, but Tom Carroll just isn't good enough to play for Tottenham Hotspur at this point in time. As the club takes its place in the Champions League next year, CM is definitely a position where an upgrade is needed. The idea of Carroll being forced to start, against Europe's elite in the CL, is nightmare inducing.
Carroll is Spurs through-and-through. He's been in our academy since he was 16, and he never complained about not making the 18 or being loaned out to clubs like Leyton Orient or Derby County. He deserves respect from our fans, but he also deserves a transfer to a smaller club. Hopefully he moves somewhere where he can see more playing time under lesser expectations.
We'll always love you Tommy. I'm sure you'll throw one hell of a party to say goodbye to North London.
Rating: 2.5 Chirpys