Redknapp: Spurs must find their own Young Guns
HARRY Redknapp feels that Tottenham have to match Arsenal s youth and scouting system before they can truly claim to be on a par with their north London rivals. The Gunners signed Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song, Gael Clichy, Abou Diaby...
By Ben Pearce
HARRY Redknapp feels that Tottenham have to match Arsenal's youth and scouting system before they can truly claim to be on a par with their north London rivals.
The Gunners signed Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song, Gael Clichy, Abou Diaby, Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson, Johan Djourou and Theo Walcott before any of them were 20 years old.
Meanwhile Arsenal's next generation of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Kieron Gibbs are already starting to make an impact at the Emirates.
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Redknapp admits that Spurs are currently struggling to compete with Arsene Wenger's relentless conveyor-belt of emerging talent, but he intends to narrow the gap during his time at White Hart Lane.
"We've both got quality players, and in certain areas I think we're maybe stronger than they are," said the Tottenham manager. "But I would think they've got a bit more strength in depth than us - maybe a few more younger players in that group of 19 or 20-year-olds who are ready to step into their first team.
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"They're an outstanding team, a great club and they're full of outstanding young talent. But it's not happened overnight, it's been years of Arsene Wenger doing a fantastic job there - moulding the team, bringing his own players through, producing great young players. That's how he's done it, and that's really the line that we want to go.
"Arsene's got a great scouting system, it's about recruitment and that's what they do. No disrespect to Arsene, it's not him who's finding the kids, no more than it's me who's finding the kids here.
"Somebody's finding them and then bringing them into your football club. Arsene's not standing on the touchline at Hackney Marshes on a Sunday afternoon watching kids play, it doesn't happen.
"I think we're all working hard to try to get some kids through, and that's really what we want. We feel we've got some good young players coming through, we've got a few out on loan who are doing well, and hopefully they'll come back and make a mark at Tottenham."
While Wenger continues to blood his young Guns in the Carling Cup, Redknapp is a firm believer in the loan system, and there are currently 18 Lilywhites away with other clubs.
Jamie O'Hara is at Portsmouth, while Adel Taarabt, Jake Livermore and Danny Rose are all in the Championship with QPR, Derby and Peterborough respectively.
Jon Obika, Ryan Mason and Steven Caulker have been key players in Spurs' Under-18s, but they are all at Yeovil for now, while Andros Townsend is also in League One with Leyton Orient.
"I think it [loans] gives you the answer how good they are. It tells you everything," said the Spurs boss. "Michael Carrick went to Swindon when he was about 17, and that was how it went with all of them [at West Ham]. Rio [Ferdiand] went to Bournemouth. They're playing league football, it's proper football. Frank [Lampard] was at Swansea and it's done him the world of good.