In this modern era, fans rapidly judge new players; they have to adapt to extra pressures and demands. These includes rising transfer fees, the cost of attending matches, as well as the upwards trajectory of Tottenham Hotspur as a club. Thus, whilst in Juan Foyth’s first match many fans were worried about his first start, his second performance turned their heads once more. He is an example that it is important to reserve evaluation or criticism of a player until they play a string of successive games.
Juan Foyth’s Start Shows Need for Reservations
Near Loss Experience and the Ecstasy of Victory
Juan Foyth had a very mixed first game for Spurs. He conceded two penalties, both of which were rash challenges. Admittedly, other players and factors were involved in these incidents. However, these moments were almost pivotal in the narrow 3-2 win over Wolves. Nevertheless, he was otherwise showing great technical ability, looking solid, except in those vital moments. Fast forward to the next match and he grabbed the winning goal.
Now, the obvious difference is that he cut out the rash mistakes. And, he latched onto a Harry Kane rebounded shot to seize the three points. However, his attributes and performance as a whole across the last two games played are very similar. Indeed, he has excelled and impressed with his start so far.
Home Grown Over Import
There are many players to make parallels with, including those already in the squad. Interestingly enough, Harry Kane is someone who, coming up through the youth ranks, attracted little expectation. And thus, any evaluation of his initial performances were more muted than imported talents such as Foyth.
Again, this refers to the economic nature of the modern game and the way in which transfer fees create expectation. But also, it is largely down to the natural predisposition of English fans to support their ‘own’ in a patriotic, whether national or local, way.
Price Tag and Expectation
Moussa Sissoko is a curious example indeed. He came to the club with a huge transfer fee and really did not impress. Fans quickly judged his initial performances because of his reputation for being inconsistent and uninterested. However, his recent performances form an upturn for the player’s career at the club. During his barren spell, the fans’ expectations of the player fell so low that his recent form has been surprising. But, there are lower limits of what might be deemed as Sissoko having a ‘good game’. The player benefits from the lowering of expectations in the way that they can put in better performances (whether by perceived or actual betterment).
Moving back to Foyth, fans must not set such unreachable expectations. He is unfortunate in that he is the next in line for the thrones of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. These classy, experienced defenders have set a tough act to follow. Young players also struggle to fill the importance and prestigious nature of the centre-back role.
Mistakes in this position will usually lead to goals. Young strikers can miss opportunities to score, and midfielders may lose their battles in midfield, but there seems to be a greater power of negative feeling towards unforced errors in defence. Foyth is unlikely to repeat the anomaly of giving away two penalties on his debut appearance. Thus, fans must look past this to look at the greater picture of his performances.
It must be reiterated that judging a player shouldn’t occur until they are playing regularly enough to justify any observations. Nevertheless, Foyth’s start is promising. He fits the Spurs defender mould, with his ability to play out from the back.
His frame is perhaps a little small and needs filling for the robustness of the Premier League. But, some of his recent heroic tackles and blocks suggest that he matches up to tussle to the best he can. Otherwise, he is comfortable and competent, a crucial player to ignite the Spurs attack from the back by winning back possession and re-distributing the ball.
Now, with a few appearances to his name, he looks to keep impressing, whilst his senior, Vertonghen, remains out injured. He must now make the most of this playing time to develop before fans can make any real judgements.