Jose Mourinho is not making life easy for Troy Parrott at Tottenham. In fact, the manager is killing the confidence of a young player who is still trying to find his way in the game.
Every time Parrott sits on the bench for Spurs, he's not going to be feeling confident. He will have listened to what the manager has said about him and will think to himself, I am only here because there's no one else.
It strikes me that Mourinho is trying to fight the Tottenham fans, and Troy is caught in the middle of it all, and all of the attention is causing a negative impact on him.
The supporters want to see Troy play as they have heard so many good things about him, but Jose is the one who sees him in training every day and is convinced he’s not ready.
Mourinho is trying to say: I am the boss, I know what's right and what's wrong here and I will fix it.
Jose will make the point that the fans clamoured for Parrott to get on and then he missed a penalty so, somehow, it's the fans' fault.
And all the while Parrott's confidence suffers.
No matter what the fans and the media think, Mourinho is convinced Troy is just not ready for the Premier League, but it keeps becoming a story because the media ask why Parrott’s not playing, and Mourinho comes back with his negative responses.
It's completely unfair on Parrott that all of this is being played out in public.
The media will ask questions about Troy, that's their job, instead of getting involved in fights, Mourinho should just make clear, quietly, that Troy is a player for the future.
He owes it to a young player to make that point as well as he can and try to protect someone who is still only 18, but instead Mourinho goes into all that detail, saying fans have never seen Parrott play don't know what colour hair he has.
He should just say, give Troy time and in 18 months he will be a great player for this club, try to boost his confidence instead of damaging it.
Troy is at an important stage of his career and confidence is so vital.
And when he's on that bench for a Cup tie at home, he should be on a high, hoping to get his chance, prove himself as a player, win the fans over.
Instead he's just going to doubt himself as he knows the manager doubts him.
It's not good for Parrott and it's not good for Ireland. Mick McCarthy has made it clear that Troy won't feature for the senior team this month if he's not involved with the Spurs first team.
Troy was never really in the senior squad in the first place – I know he came in for a friendly last year but that was more of a trial from Mick to see how he could cope.
He did OK, but the game was a friendly at home to a poor New Zealand side. That's no preparation for a Euro qualifier away from home.
Mick is looking for a player who is ready to deliver in Slovakia in two weeks' time and, sadly, Troy is not there. He will probably stay with the U21 squad for the time being.
As much as everyone in Ireland would love to see him play and score in Slovakia, the time is not right.
At that age, you need a manager to back you, really believe in you. At the start of my career, I had that in Joe Royle.
As soon as I went over to Everton, he was good with me. He'd always come and speak to the younger players.
But I think he tried to find extra time for Irish lads as we were away from home with no family around us, and as a teenager living in England, getting to grips with all that, a kind word or a pat on the back from the first-team manager meant a lot.
One Friday, when I was only 17, he called me up to his office and said, 'your mum and dad are coming over tomorrow'. I asked him why and he just said, 'you're playing'.
And that was it, no build-up, no stress, just my first-team debut for Everton. I played that weekend, I played the following week... and then I didn't play again for three months.
After he was sacked at Everton, he brought me to Manchester City and it was the same thing, as a manager Royle gave me the belief that I could be a player.
Talent is important in football but so is luck – and having a manager who likes you, has your back, who, for whatever reason, has confidence in you, has seen something in you that other people don't.
I was lucky to have that from Royle when I was only 17, Troy is now 18 and he seems to be a bit stuck in terms of Mourinho.
He could develop into a Premier League player over the next 18 months, but Mourinho could have a massive say in that.