Marcus Edwards. In the now distant past, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino mentioned the youngster in the same breath as Lionel Messi. In September 2016, the young man came on at White Hart Lane against Gillingham and impressed, with many questioning since why he hadn’t progressed into the first team. Now, though, he has seemingly dropped off the radar and is on a route from potential star to potential nobody.
Marcus Edwards’ Route From Potential Star to Potential Nobody
‘The Start of a New Messi’
“His qualities … it’s only looks – his body and the way that he plays – they make me remember a little bit the beginning of Lionel Messi.”
These are the words that Mauricio Pochettino used back in 2016, words that he has since said he regretted using. The media pounced on the part about Messi, ignoring the fact that the Spurs manager was not really trying to say he was on the road to becoming another Messi but merely that Edwards reminded him of him a little. The comments created excitement amongst Spurs fans and there was almost an expectancy that he would soon be a Spurs regular and wowing the masses.
That never happened and not a week went by when fans did not question as to where the wonder kid was in the Spurs matchday squad. Did Pochettino not like him? Had there been a falling out?
Drop The Attitude
Even though Edwards only played for 12 minutes against Gillingham, there were signs of raw talent. It was unfortunate that shortly after his debut he picked up an ankle injury and he was unable to play for the rest of the season.
Once he did return from that injury, fans once again waited and waited to see Edwards start his second match for Spurs. And they waited. Pochettino doesn’t suffer fools, gladly, and Edwards’ lack of action started to raise more questions than it did answers. Pochettino likes to nurture young talent and tie them down to contracts whilst they learn and grow to be strong enough for the first team. He also expects discipline from his players and they must have application to succeed as he described in his book, ‘Brave New World’.
“Marcus is still in the process of adapting to the rigours of being a professional, which require you to act and think differently, be disciplined and make sacrifices.”
The signs were there that Edwards wasn’t acting in a way that Pochettino expects.
The Wrong Advice
It can appear at times that fans like to see players at other clubs fail but, in reality, football fans love to see new, exciting, raw talent appear. Especially home grown talent and Pochettino has a better record than many in nurturing this talent.
Football agents, or management companies as they have now rebranded themselves, are not the most popular people in football. Pochettino isn’t a fan either which is proven by the fact that his agent and management company is himself and only himself. Marcus Edwards has a management company, Eminel Sports, who sound more like a rap artist than football people, and thus far they have declined at any time to respond to queries about the young player.
It raises the question as to whether he is getting advice from the wrong people. Looking at Harry Kane, Erik Lamela, Davinson Sanchez for example, Edwards would do well to limit the advice he takes to being from his club manager.
To Norwich and Back Again
In January 2018, Edwards was sent on loan to Championship side Norwich City. Finally, this was the chance for him to get some game time in a competitive league and develop the talent he has. The player himself seemed confident giving his first interview after joining and said he was ambitious to “get involved as soon as I can”.
Since he signed he has played six minutes for Norwich City, culminating in his return back to Spurs this week, and Spurs have waived any fees due. Players within the Norwich squad are rumoured to have found Edwards unwilling to get involved, although Spurs are rumoured to have said he is an introverted character and that can be sometimes be misunderstood.
The official line on Edwards’ return to the North London club is due to ’personal reasons’ but not many are buying that, and Norwich have said he would turn up late for training and meetings.
Is This the End of the Line?
In less than two years, Marcus Edwards has gone from an emerging, potential superstar to an almost nowhere man. Pochettino doesn’t give up on players easily but Edwards has to listen to the man who has said “He has authority and behavioural problems, and we have to look at the bigger picture to find out the root cause. There was a time when it would have been seen as impossible for him to play professionally, let alone make it in the Premier League.”
If he learns and takes on board the advice from Pochettino, his talent can be realised but turning up late, not apologising and having a generally bad attitude will mean only one thing: he will be a forgotten man long before he has had chance to be remembered. And what a waste that would be for football. What a waste of talent. He has a choice. The wrong choice and it will all be over. And only one person will be to blame. Marcus Edwards.