Do you reckon he’s getting a sense of déjà vu?
Because I certainly would. Six games Jack Clarke has been in the squad for since he joined us on loan from Spurs in the last few days of the January window, and in that time he has played a grand total of 114 minutes, which averages out to just under twenty minutes per game. This after being incredibly starved of minutes at Leeds United in the early half of the season.
Now I’m not particularly fussed about what his development is like ‘for the future’, he’s not our player, so long as he can contribute whilst he’s with us, I couldn’t care less if we’re not ‘looking after his long-term interests’ for when he goes back to Tottenham.
However, I do think that we could be damaging ourselves with the lack of minutes that we are giving the young lad.
Given that one of the key reasons Spurs decided to give him to us in the first place, was Mark Warburton’s supposed reputation for developing young players, to see someone like Clarke sitting on the bench and getting such little time on the pitch, it kind of makes you think if perhaps he’s doing that reputation some damage, something I hinted at when he first signed.
More than just Warburton’s reputation though, I’m more concerned about the reputation that the club could get off the back of this.
If we don’t give Clarke a level of minutes that Spurs would be happy with, then it could make them not want to do business with us again, because they won’t trust us to develop their young players in the future, and that cuts off one club for us to do business with going forward.
So whilst Warburton is trying to make sure his team is set up right to win on a weekly basis, and I’m not in any way telling him how to pick his team, it should at least be worth noting that he needs to look after the future of the club at the same time he’s looking after the present.
Should Jack Clarke be getting more minutes?
And hopefully he’ll be around long enough to make those decisions in the future.