Three days ago, former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe was handing Hugo Lloris the Walter Tal Memorial Cup at Ibrox. Soon, he will be heading his own age group for the Tottenham Hotspur Academy. The Evening Standard reported this morning that Tottenham are preparing to appoint Defoe and former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure as coaches for the academy.
We’ve talked about each of these potential appointments before. Defoe noted back in May during a halftime interview that he had held talks with Tottenham about joining a coaching role at the academy. Yaya Toure, the great Manchester City player, has worked with Tottenham’s young players in an unofficial role since 2021 while working on his coaching badges.
Both former players are Premier League greats. Toure’s impact at Manchester City is enormous, and Defoe remains Tottenham’s sixth all-time scorer with 143 goals in 363 appearances. The Standard says that each coach will be responsible for their own age group at the Tottenham academy, but does not specify which coach will have their age group.
I love these appointments. Being a good player doesn’t mean you’ll be a good coach (see: Lampard, Frank) but both Toure and Defoe have tremendous credibility from their time in the game, and I can see their huge impact on both of them. Youth fees. I hope they can pass on some of the things they’ve learned to the next generation of Tottenham players coming from the academy.
Spurs’ training tree is not extensive, but the club likes to bring back former players whenever possible. Ledley King and Michael Dawson are both ambassadors for the club having worked as a coach under Jose Mourinho. Ryan Mason is, of course, an assistant coach in the first team and served as interim manager after Mourinho was sacked. Former Tottenham player and manager Scott Parker is now managing the Premier League again with Bournemouth, after leading Fulham there two seasons ago.