To put it lightly the 2012/13 season has been a roller coaster ride for Tottenham Hotspur.
Andre Villas-Boas' side made a climb from the lower half of the Premier League table and are now regular customers in the top five.
They suffered through a dismal 5-2 defeat to to their north London rivals Arsenal, but later redeemed themselves with a 2-1 win over the Gunners in front of their home fans at White Hart Lane at the beginning of March.
Spurs also recovered from a less than impressive Europa League group stage performance to eventually becoming the favourites to win the tournament until later bowing out of the tournament with a penalty shootout loss to FC Basel. The past couple of weeks have included a stunning seven minute display from the Lillywhites which lead to a 3-1 win over Manchester City, but also a depressing 2-2 tie to Wigan Athletic.
Many fans and critics seem to agree that Spurs perhaps did not deserve to even salvage that single point.
The recent inconsistencies have left many calling for the axing of veteran Scott Parker. Something must be done if Spurs wish to make the Champions League next season and therefore keep star man Gareth Bale.
Though Parker may be a veteran and loved by Tottenham supporters, Andre Villas-Boas needs to hold a firm hand and replace the midfielder who has not been performing up to snuff.
Tottenham's heroic seven minutes, three goal display against City did not take place until after Parker was subbed off and the equaliser against Wigan came after Parker had taken his seat on the bench, off the pitch. Parker also has a deplorable 67% completion rate inside the final third and also is dispossessed more than any Spurs midfielder.
Obviously numbers like that are not going to lead to scoring opportunities which Tottenham will desperately need if they are to take three points from their final four matches, let alone take down Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on May 8.
Parker's defensive numbers are not much better with Tottenham's star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris only gathering one clean sheet in Parker's 16 outings. So, without the injured Sandro, what should be done?
Tom Huddlestone, though he has shown to be decent off the bench lately, performed terribly when he started early on this season and I think many Spurs fans would agree they do not want to witness that again. The answer is simple, youngster Tom Carroll.
Though the 20-year-old only stands at five feet eight inches tall with his boots on, he looks extremely confident when in possession and thrives on giving and receiving the ball. To me he looks to have shades of the former Tottenham star, Luka Modric. Carroll has made 14 total appearances in games this season, mainly as a substitute.
After his start against NK Maribor, Twitter exploded with Spurs fans praising Carroll for his amazing passing ability and keen eyes for creating scoring chances with great through balls and accurate passes to Tottenham attackers. Carroll also assisted Bale's fantastic extra time winner against West Ham which topped off an undefeated February.
He may be young and quite small, but to me he is the answer to Tottenham's midfield creativity problems.
I also do not recall Lionel Messi having major issues playing with his short stature. Do not get me wrong Carroll is no Messi, but there is no reason he cannot hold his own. Jack Wilshere is another vertically challenged central player and I see no reason why Carroll could rival him on the pitch and Spurs will not have to deal with the same negative attitude problems. On another note, do not think of him as some kid who will roll over for larger veterans. He did receive a yellow card in the match against NK Mribor for simply being aggressive.
If AVB gives him a chance with a start against a Premier League opponent or at least a full half off the bench a star may be born. The game against Southampton looks to me as a good warm up for Carroll and if gets a run out against Chelsea in the mid-week clash he could play a vital roll in what is perhaps Tottenham's most important game of the season.
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