Tom's aiming to make a big impression
8th October 2014
Tom Carroll is ready to hit the heights with Swansea City as both player and club look to continue their growth in the Barclays Premier League.
For the man nicknamed Tom Thumb and even the Little Mascot at his parent club Tottenham Hotspur, Carroll is keen to make a big deal of his loan spell at the Liberty and prove that size doesn't matter in the top flight.
At 5ft 7in Carroll is dwarfed in size by the majority of his opposite numbers, but by no means is he the smallest member of the Swans squad.
But the 22-year-old, a technically gifted and intelligent midfielder who has drawn comparisons with former team-mate Luka Modric, believes he has found the right club as he looks to outgrow the nicknames that have stuck with him throughout the early parts of a promising career.
"I'm getting a bit tired of the headlines reading 'Tiny Tom'," said Carroll. "I don't think I'm that small these days. It's a brand I've been given over the years.
"I don't see any problem with my size, I don't think it will hinder me at all. The big thing here is being comfortable on the ball - and if you're not you'll look out of place."
Having featured in the Capital One Cup wins over Rotherham and Everton for his new club, Carroll certainly looked at home in the centre of midfield as he slotted in with ease.
And he is already feeling the benefits from his temporary move from London.
"I've been here a month and I'm enjoying my football," he said with a smile. "Everyone knows the philosophy of the club and it suits my style of play. It helps that I played in a similar style at Spurs.
"As soon as I knew Swansea were interested I really wanted to come here. It's a great club that is now established in the Premier League."
Establishing himself in the Premier League is now Carroll's target while in SA1.
Of his 25 appearances for Tottenham, Carroll has made just seven appearances - off the bench - in the top flight.
And while he admits he may have to remain patient for regular game-time due to Monk's midfield options also including Ki Sung-Yueng, Jonjo Shelvey and Gylfi Sigurdsson, Carroll is just concentration on developing his own game.
"Every Premier League club has a strong squad now, and you are competing for places with very good players," said the Swans loanee.
"But you just have to concentrate on yourself and do everything you can to impress. I've just got to be patient because the club have made a good start in the Premier League. If I get an opportunity I have to take it."
And, given by his comments on training sessions with his loan club, Carroll will be ready when that opportunity arises.
"The sessions are very sharp and the way the team plays on the pitch is replicated in training," he added.
"I've had some of the toughest sessions of my career here. The last few days have certainly been up there because we had a double session one day and an 11 v 11 session the following day. That's pretty tough!
"But you have to go through them sessions because it helps you on the weekend. The more you put into training the better you are equipped for game-day."