Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughMuch too much, much too young - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Much too much, much too young - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Much too much, much too young

Cast your mind back to the 2007/08 season, Crystal Palace were under the stewardship of Neil Warnock and gave a 15 year old his first team debut.

The player’s name had been mentioned for a long time by those in the know, he was supposed to be a truly special talent, he was supposed to be England Captain one day. That player’s name was John Bostock.

Despite calls for him to stay and learn his trade under the club that coached him as a precocious youngster Bostock decided to cross the River Thames and sign for Tottenham. As no fee between the two clubs could be agreed it went to a tribunal, with Palace receiving only £700,000  in compensation.

Four years on and with only four appearances for the Spurs 1st team, all of which have come as a substitute in cup games, Bostock has found himself seemingly surplus to requirements.

Loan spells at Hull, Sheffield Wednesday, Brentford and now Swindon Town has seen Bostock try to reignite his career and get some much needed playing time under his belt.

His omission in an interview recently that he would be willing to make his loan switch to Swindon permanent if they were interested shows just how much his star has fallen.

That is not a slight on Swindon, but it is worth noting how Bostock is now willing to settle for a club that play in League One when he made his debut for a Championship team and realistically could have played over 100 times for them by now.

It goes to show how some young players would be much better off learning their trade with their first club and not searching for the big money move at such an early stage in their development. Bostock played a handful of games for Crystal Palace and as soon as there was another party interested in him, he was off. Not bad for a player who used to be a season ticket holder at Selhurst Park and by his own admission is/was a Crystal Palace fan.

Loyalty in football doesn’t count for a lot in modern times but leaving as a 16-year old just seems to stick two fingers up at the coaches who spotted your talent and helped to nurture it so you could hopefully one day play for the first team.

Tottenham obviously have better training facilities and more renowned coaches but for me nothing compares to playing week in, week out in a competitive environment. Something he would have been exposed to had he stuck with Crystal Palace.

Bostock may well move to Swindon Town, he may well go on to be one of their best players but for the boy who was supposed to do so much so far he has done very little. And a large deal of the blame has to rest at his door. Wilfried Zaha would do well to bear John Bostock in mind in the coming months.

Robert Lock