Featured Matches
Previous
Germany
Argentina
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Czech Republic
United States
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
England
Norway
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Toronto FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New England Revolution
Sporting Kansas City
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chivas USA
Seattle Sounders FC
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Russia
Azerbaijan
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lithuania
United Arab Emirates
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Latvia
Armenia
5:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Denmark
Turkey
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Czech Republic
United States
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Republic of Ireland
Oman
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Germany
Argentina
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
England
Norway
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Morocco
Qatar
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Somozas
CD Varea
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Leioa
Sestao
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Izarra
Atlético Granadilla
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Puertollano
Teruel
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Barakaldo
Trival Valderas
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Alcoyano
Pena Deportiva
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Cornella
Real Jaen CF
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gimnastic de Tarragona
Atlético Baleares
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gimnástica Torrelavega
Lealtad
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Huesca
Toledo
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Racing Ferrol
Atletico Astorga
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Aviles Industrial
Marino de Luanco
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Oviedo
Amorebieta
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Cartagena
UCAM Murcia
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Hercules
Eldense
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
La Hoya Lorca
Villanovense
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
San Roque de Lepe
Cádiz
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
UD Marbella
Linense
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Toronto FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New England Revolution
Sporting Kansas City
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chivas USA
Seattle Sounders FC
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Estudiantes La Plata
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
River Plate
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
EC Vitória
Sport
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Goiás EC
Fluminense FC
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Crucero del Norte
All Boys
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ferro Carril Oeste
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Argentinos Juniors
Aldosivi
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Douglas Haig
Instituto de Córdoba
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Santamarina
Independiente Rivadavia
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Colón de Santa Fe
Guarini A. Franco
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Patronato
Sarmiento de Junín
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
San Martín de San Juan
Nueva Chicago
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Atletico Paranaense
América RN
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Santa Rita
Cruzeiro
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 5
Game Details
Ceará
Botafogo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Bragantino
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Flamengo
Coritiba FBC
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Santos FC
Gremio
Postp
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
Aguilas Doradas
Independiente Santa Fe
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Junior
Atlético Huila
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
León de Huánuco
UTC
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Limon
Santos
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Carmelita
Perez Zeledon
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cartagines
Universidad De Costa Rica
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Pumas Generalena
Club Sport Uruguay
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

Roden: Del Bosque's youth infusion

Spain less than a minute ago
Read

Top 5: First XI costs in Premier League

Transfers 1 day ago
Read

West Ham fan's fundraiser

The Toe Poke 12 hours ago
Read
Oct 28, 2009

Spurs spark a reserve revolution

Harry Redknapp may have kick-started a revolution when he made the bold move to abolish Tottenham's reserve team last summer. Every Premier League club is granted access to the top-flight reserve league designed to promote youth development and also give out-of-favour star names or returning injury victims some match action to get their teeth into.

Yet there are only 19 teams taking part this season, with the southern section lacking the presence of one of its traditionally powerful competitors after Tottenham declined their invitation to participate.

Redknapp's decision to pull Spurs out of the reserve league in favour of sending his shadow squad out on loan spells to Football League clubs has resulted in 18 of his players being shipped out to exotic locations such as Yeovil, Exeter, Cheltenham and Aldershot in recent months, with the manager convinced they will get more out of a spell in the Football League than playing reserve games lacking competitive bite.

"You are restricted when you have reserve fixtures set in stone and it means some players are rushed back from injuries or played in games they could do without," he begins. "What we have now is a little bit more control over what we want to do with our players.

"The lads we sent out on loan last year benefited greatly from their experiences and came back to Tottenham as better players. That's the target we have for this season. Young boys need to get games to improve and playing in a competitive league is more beneficial for their development."

Redknapp makes a solid case for the defence, but the prosecution may offer a couple of flaws in his stance, with first being the perception that are Tottenham using historic Football League clubs as a makeshift stage on which their up-and-coming stars can audition.

The top teams in Spain have long used the lower leagues to promote their young players by entering a B team into competitive leagues, but such a proposal is abhorrent to the majority of supporters who follow English clubs with lengthy and proud traditions.

Redknapp and Tottenham have found a way around that animosity, ensuring they will reap the rewards of any of their farmed out talent and in return, the recipient clubs get an instant benefit from the deal. However, loan players now dominate so many lower league starting line-ups in England and their loyalty to their temporary club will always be, naturally, a fragile commodity.

The other downside affecting Redknapp right now is that the star names not getting close to the Spurs first team are without an outlet to show they are worthy of a recall. David Bentley, Gareth Bale, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Alan Hutton cost Tottenham around £47 million to buy and yet all four are full-time bench warmers who are relieved to get a first-team chance in games such as this week's Carling Cup tie against Everton.

A game against Dagenham & Redbridge at Spurs Lodge training ground last week saw a Spurs XI packed full of internationals take to the field eager for some much-needed match practice, but Redknapp has few qualms about the plight that established and highly-paid stars Bentley and Pavlyuchenko find themselves in.

"A club of Tottenham's stature should be competing at the top of the Premier League and it means we need a big playing staff," continues the Spurs boss. "The door is not closed on anyone in the squad. When the lads who have not been in the team get their chance, they have to take it.

"The players out of the team have their opportunity in the Carling Cup games as we need to get some football into their legs. They have not been getting into the first team because we have some good players here and it may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I'd say they have to take their opportunity when it comes.

"While it is difficult for high profile players like Pavlyuchenko and Bentley, they have to show they are up for the challenge when their chance comes. They are top performers, so they have to show it."

It is a point of great frustration for all associated with Tottenham that despite heavy investment in the club's youth setup, Ledley King remains the last great homegrown star and he burst into the first team a decade ago.

They are clearly hoping this revolutionary plan of spreading their talent across the nation will change the course of failure in the Tottenham junior ranks and they have some bright stars that could sparkle in the first team if they develop at a decent pace.

Enfield-born teenager Jon Obika is one to keep an eye on during his loan spell at Yeovil and midfielder Danny Rose, currently on loan at Championship side Peterborough, is another local product with a big reputation. Spurs are also waiting for the raw talent of John Bostock to explode after his contentious move from Crystal Palace last year.

Midfielder Jamie O'Hara has proved, to an extent, that it is possible to bypass the big money signings and make it into the Tottenham first team and yet he is currently on loan at Portsmouth. In the time he has been away, Nico Kranjcar has arrived at Spurs and seemingly shoved O'Hara even further down the pecking order.

So could it be that Tottenham are edging towards a change of mindset as they develop their youth setup, with the possibility of turning it into a sideline business a very real possibility? If they succeed, we could rapidly get to the point where Premier League clubs work a two-tier structure where the first team functions on its own and the second string are snapped up at a young age before being prepared and packed for sale at a later date.

If the youth products are bringing in a few hundred thousand pounds per sale on a regular basis, a profit can be made on their investment. Essentially, clubs would be getting themselves into the commodities market, with footballers the stock they are trading in.

It's hardly what the game's authorities had in mind when they promoted the Academy system with such vigour, believing it to be the solution to the dearth of emerging English talent, and Redknapp admits the lack of rising English stars is alarming. "The players in our national team at the moment are the best bunch we have had for some time, but I wonder whether we will have a group as good to follow on," he adds. "We look around for English lads, but they are not easy to find and it's a major worry.

"Tottenham have worked with a lot of English players in recent years, but there is no point just trying to do a favour to the local lads if they are not good enough. The best players should be in the Premier League and that's the way it's always going to be."

Coming from the manager who gave Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Jermain Defoe, Michael Carrick their starts at West Ham, it is a damning verdict and the decline in the traditional supply line from the lower leagues may be the primary reason why homegrown talent is being edged out the English top flight.

Lower league clubs used to survive on the profits of the sale of their best talent to the Premier League giants and now the roles are being reversed. The football landscape of England may change forever if Tottenham's mass loaning experiment proves successful.

TOTTENHAM'S OTHER FIRST TEAM (4-4-2 formation)

Carlo Cudicini
Gareth Bale
Michael Dawson
Vedran Corluka
Alan Hutton
David Bentley
Jermaine Jenas
Niko Kranjcar
Giovani dos Santos
Peter Crouch
Roman Pavlyuchenko

TOTTENHAM'S ON-LOAN TEAM (4-5-1 formation)

Ben Alnwick (Norwich)
Kyle Walker (Sheffield United)
Sam Cox (Cheltenham)
Steven Caulker (Yeovil)
Troy Archibald-Henville (Exeter)
Jamie O'Hara (Portsmouth)
Adel Taarabt (QPR)
Danny Rose (Peterborough)
Jake Livermore (Derby)
Jonathan Obika (Yeovil)

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.