What next for Bostock?
As John Bostock returns from what could be described as another under-productive loan, I have to wonder what is to become of the former boy wonder?
With a total of nine appearances, no goals and one assist, the stats don't make great reading and though they clearly don't tell the whole story, his lack of playing time perhaps indicates that all hasn't gone smoothly for John. Though it was believed that Paulo Di Canio would have liked to keep him and may still try to take him back to the County Ground before the window closes, but it still begs the question over what is to become of a player that at sixteen was rated as one of the hottest properties in the game.
At the start of the season, Di Canio talked of Bostock's quality and his intention to play him behind one striker in a 4-4-1-1, but as the season has progressed he has reverted to playing two strikers, and the majority of games John has played have been in central midfield, which according to a friend of mine who is a Swindon season ticket holder isn't a position he has looked comfortable, though on occasions he has ripped teams apart, though sadly for all parties, those games gave been too few.
Not being a success on loan isn't of course the problem that many might believe. Players like Jake Livermore or Tom Carroll have struggled to establish themselves when they have gone away, but have returned and looked comfortable in the Premiership and Europe. Perhaps Bostock has again been unlucky in simply not fitting into a managers system or struggling with the more physical demands of the lower leagues, but how often can a player be unlucky in loans.
Ever since Bostock received criticism over his attitude when on loan at Brentford, there has been talk of an arrogance and Big Time Charlie attitude from Bostock, but was that merely a blip in a teenage player trying to make his mark and making a mess of things? John is a deeply religious person, happily married and someone who in many ways is a total contradiction of the modern footballer, but the fact he has yet to settle and force his way into lower division teams, does make you wonder if he is never going to fulfil his potential, though I do wonder if he would be better trying his luck in the Championship, where he may actually thrive on a better brand of football, just as long as he gets the chance to play in his preferred role.
To date loans to Brentford, who didn't take up an option to extend amid criticism of his attitude, Hull, where he started with a wonder goal, but then faded without trace. A short term deal with Sheffield Wednesday, where some fans forums heralded him as the worst player to ever wear their shirt, which is saying something. Last season when he joined Swindon, he looked to be lacking match fitness and perhaps was carrying a little extra timber from what I saw, but in Di Canio wanting him again this season, I was hopeful that he was rated and also that his new manager was sufficiently impressed with his attitude to perhaps dispel the talk of him being a prima-donna. Nine games later, and at best the jury is still out.
John is 21 in a weeks time, and it is hard to see him having a future with Tottenham, though I suppose you never say never, but with the likes of Yago Falque, Alex Pritchard, and others moving up the youth ranks and of course the signing of Lewis Holtby and Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is only two years older, the would appear to be plenty of youngsters ahead of him or at least deserving of consideration in the future, and Bostock could find himself struggling to re-establish himself in the game after yet another unfulfilled time away...