Three days ago former Spurs striker Jermain Defoe was handing Hugo Lloris the Walter Tull Memorial Cup on the Ibrox Stadium pitch. Soon, he’ll be heading up his own Tottenham Hotspur academy age group. The Evening Standard is reporting this morning that Spurs are set to appoint Defoe and former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure as academy coaches.
We’ve talked about both of these potential appointments before. Defoe noted back in May during a halftime interview that he’d had conversations with Spurs about joining in an academy coaching role. Yaya Toure, the Manchester City great, has been working with Spurs youth players in an informal role since 2021 while he worked on his coaching badges.
Both former player are Premier League greats. Toure’s impact at Manchester City is enormous, and Defoe is still Tottenham’s sixth all time leading goal scorer with 143 goals in 363 appearances. The Standard says that each coach will be in charge of his own age group in Spurs’ academy, but doesn’t specify which coach will have which age group.
I love these appointments. Being a good player doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good coach (see: Lampard, Frank) but both Toure and Defoe have massive credibility from their time in the game, and I can see them having a huge impact on their young charges. Hopefully they can pass on some of the things they’ve learned to the next generation of Tottenham players coming up through the academy.
The Tottenham coaching tree isn’t extensive, but the club does love to bring back former players whenever it can. Ledley King and Michael Dawson are both club ambassadors with King having served as a coach under Jose Mourinho; Ryan Mason, of course, is an assistant coach in the first team and served as interim manager after Mourinho was fired. Former Spurs player and coach Scott Parker is now managing in the Premier League again with Bournemouth, after leading Fulham there a couple of seasons ago.