Now might be the time for Tottenham to give up on Tom Carroll, following a poor showing against Arsenal.
Carroll has always been seen as the next big thing at Spurs, but it finally appears as if time is running out for the midfielder.
The 23-year-old, a mainstay in England’s Under-21 team, made his 28th appearance for Spurs last night, playing the full 90 minutes as the Lilywhites fell to defeat to Arsenal.
A player regarded for his technical skills and creative excellence, the issues that have clouded Carroll’s youth have been due to his slight frame and lack of physicality.
Various loan spells have sought to fix this issue, dropping to the Championship in an attempt to bulk up in a division with more physical football.
Yet it does not appear to have worked, and Carroll’s inability to impose himself on a game looks to be affecting his actual on field abilities, now that he is turning out against the top class players that Arsenal possess.
Utilised alongside Eric Dier in the double-pivot position, Carroll was all neat flicks and visionary passes last night, but he really let down his side in his role as playmaker.
The youngster touched the ball 74 times, the most in the Tottenham side, but he was one of the most wasteful players in Pochettino’s set-up, despite his main aim of keeping possession and ensuring play moved forward.
He played 63 passes, but only ended the game with a passing accuracy of 69%, one of the lowest in the side. He also failed to play a single key pass, despite frequently attempting to play balls through the central part of the pitch.
His role of keeping possession was also hard to fulfil, being dispossessed the second highest number of times in the Tottenham line-up, whilst also completing the most unsuccessful touches of any Spurs player.
Carroll has yet to develop into the player many thought he would, and his performance against Arsenal was one which failed to truly show what he can do.
It is all well and good being a technical footballer, but if that cannot be transposed onto the field of play, one will always struggle to be a successful player.
Carroll is unlikely to be gifted many chances to play in the Premier League this season, and Pochettino may seriously consider ending the experiment of attempting to make the 23-year-old into a Premier League-level player.