Spurs under 23’s versus Brighton: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Brighton: (match preview)

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After their heroics up in Anfield last Friday evening, Wayne Burnett’s development side will be hoping to carry some of the confidence from that performance into their home PL2 game against Brighton on Friday. Burnett’s youngsters put in an incredible performance against Liverpool last week, forced to play with ten men following the early dismissal of centre half Japhet Tanganga. Spurs not only managed to fight back from the reds taking the lead early on in the game, but they also managed to pull a goal back despite their limitations going forward. Not only that, Burnett’s side put in one of the most disciplined, mature and effective defensive performance your ever likely to see at this level, as they ground out an impressive 1-1 draw up on Merseyside. Next up for Burnett’s side is newly promoted Brighton who they will face in Stevenage on Friday evening. Originally scheduled to be played at the new Spurs stadium as the first public test event, it’s a shame for the youngsters that they’ll be unable to take part in such a historic event. However, all attention will be on Simon Rusk’s Brighton side, the seagulls have drawn their opening two games of the PL2 season against both Liverpool and Arsenal respectively. Brighton finished third in division two last season, and Rusk’s side were able to gain promotion to division one via the play offs. With the seagulls beating Middlesbrough and Aston Villa en route to gaining promotion to division one. Ironically Brighton’s last game was against our old foes Arsenal at the Emirates stadium, on Monday evening. Bolstered by the inclusion of first team players Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Jurgen Locadia, Biram Kayal (30) and Jason Steele Brighton could only manage a 1-1 draw against the reigning champions of the division.

Whilst the likes of Jahanbakhsh and Locadia won’t be coming up against our lads on Friday evening. There’s no reason why fringe first team players such as Jason Steele and Israeli international Biram Kayal won’t. Wayne Burnett will be desperate for his side to register their first win of the new season against Brighton on Friday. After a disappointing 3-1 loss to West Ham in their opening game, they showed their quality and character to come out of the encounter against Liverpool with a point. I’m expecting a different side to the one which drew to Liverpool last week, owing to our under 18’s important league fixture against Chelsea the following morning. I would assume that one of the stars of that Liverpool performance Troy Parrott (16) will be saved for the Chelsea game along with Paris Maghoma, another player who featured in that game. It is likely that Burnett will field a lot of the more experienced members of the squad, players such as Georgiou, Harrison and Ogilvie (if fit!). Just like their first team, Brighton’s development side have a strong defence and only conceded 25 goals in division two last season. As always I’m anticipating a tough game for Spurs, but with the absence of a couple of Brighton’s first team players. I feel that we’re a far better side than the south coast club, and if we can come flying out the blocks early on in the game, then I could see us dominating proceedings . Anyhow, it will be intriguing to see how we fair against the seagulls on Friday evening. There were many scouts at our opening game of the season against West Ham and there will likely be just as many if not more at the Brighton game on Friday. As the loan window for EFL clubs closes at the end of the month. I will be reporting on the game and I shall have my match report out by Saturday evening. It will be interesting to see if Shayon Harrison will lead the line following his excellent performance against Liverpool.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Ogilvie, Marsh (c), Roles, Edwards, S.Shashoua, Georgiou, Harrison.

Subs from: Whiteman, Brown, Duncan, Tracey.

Doubtful: Shilow Tracey, Samuel Shashoua, Connor Ogilvie, Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Tom Glover (Glover has been out on trial with other clubs such as Birmingham and Sporting Lisbon).

Injured/unavailable: Jamie Reynolds, Kazaiah Sterling and Japhet Tanganga (suspended).

My one to watch: The seagulls 20 year old forward and top scorer in the league last season with seven goals. Swedish youth international Viktor Gyokeres will be one of Brighton’s main danger men.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/08/20/spurs-under-23s-1-1-liverpool-match-report/

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Spurs under 23’s 1-1 Liverpool: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 1-1 Liverpool: (match report)

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It was a performance of great maturity from our under 23’s on Friday evening at Anfield. As Wayne Burnett’s young side battled back from a goal down to grind out an impressive 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the PL2, in front of a crowd of over 3000. To say I was proud of how our lads performed would be an understatement, they were phenomenal throughout the game. A young Spurs side which was missing key players such as Shilow Tracey and Samuel Shashoua through injury. Burnett was forced into fielding some of our under 18’s, with Paris Maghoma (17) and Troy Parrott (16) making the step up for the PL2 encounter with Liverpool. After being reduced to ten men inside the opening two minutes of the game after Japhet Tanganga was dismissed for blocking a goalscoring chance with his hand in the Tottenham box. Spurs looked disheveled as Liverpool’s Adam Lewis prepared to take the resulting spot kick. Fortunately for Spurs the fullback blasted the ball over Alfie Whiteman’s crossbar. Spurs were forced to reshape and quickly dropped significantly deeper, with the likes of Shayon Harrison forced into playing as a defensive midfielder. However, Neil Critchley’s Liverpool side took the lead on 14 minutes through Bobby Adekanye in controversial circumstances. Burnett’s extremely defensive team fought back however, and after weathering the storm for nine minutes they drew level through Marcus Edwards. After the winger had been found by a superb long pass by Parrott who did some great initial work to control the ball in the centre of the park. Critchley’s Liverpool side enjoyed 70% of the possession during the game, managing to have 23 attempts on goal. The most extraordinary and spirited of defensive performance from the young Lilywhites however, managed to somehow prevent Liverpool from regaining the lead despite having them having the advantage of an extra man.

Everyone single one of our lads threw their bodies on the line for the team, defending like veterans. They were mature and resistant to Liverpool’s typically explosive attacking football as Burnett’s excellent young side held on to record a hugely important point up at Anfield, as I watched on with great pride from the Kop. After suffering defeat to West Ham in their opening league game of the season Wayne Burnett opted to stick with the same 4-2-3-1 formation but with a number of changes in the starting eleven. Spurs lined up with Alfie Whiteman in goal, with a back four of Hinds, Eyoma, Tanganga and Brown. In front of them stood the midfield pairing of George Marsh and young Paris Maghoma. Whilst an attacking trio of Marcus Edwards, Shayon Harrison and Anthony Georgiou lined up behind 16 year old centre forward Troy Parrott who made his first start at this level. Spurs got the game underway on a cool summers evening at Anfield, but it was Critchley’s side who started the better. Immediately putting our defence under pressure with their high pressing, the lively Glen McAuley forced Whiteman into making a sloppy pass early on. After aggressively pressing the Tottenham keeper as he attempted to play it out from the back, Whiteman ended up passing the ball straight into the feet of Liverpool’s Curtis Jones on the edge of the penalty area. The wide man picked the ball up before surging forwards and hitting a powerful low effort at goal, which was well saved by Whiteman who got down at his near post to tip the ball behind for a corner kick. The resulting corner kick was whipped dangerously into the box as Parrott cleared it out to Jones on the left wing. The winger whipped the ball back into the danger zone as Whiteman came out to claim the ball. Unfortunately, the 19 year old spilled the ball as McAuley pounced to fire the ball towards the empty net, with Tanganga blocking it on the line. Unfortunately for Tanganga the referee was already reaching for his back pocket as he sent the young defender off for an adjudged handball on the line as he awarded the reds an early penalty.

After a devastating opening couple of minutes Alfie Whiteman had to try and prevent the penalty taker Adrian Lewis from opening the scoring. Fortunately for Burnett’s side the fullbacks wild effort went high and wide of the goal as Spurs survived a chaotic opening three minutes. Burnett’s lads were forced into reshaping, with the team reverting to an ultra defensive 4-4-1 formation as the skipper George Marsh filled in at centre half alongside Eyoma. Whilst Georgiou and Edwards were now effectively wingbacks who’s job was to protect the fullbacks. Attacking midfielder Shayon Harrison dropped into the centre of the park with Maghoma where he would effectively hold a defensive midfield role for the remainder of the game. After an awful start to the game Spurs then found themselves on the back of a dangerous Liverpool counter attack as Christie-Davies fed a lovely through ball into Adekanye out on the right wing. The Dutchman sprinted all the way into the Tottenham penalty area before firing his low effort inches wide of Whiteman’s goal. We looked vulnerable every time the home team went on the offensive. It had been a tough start to the game for our goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman who was continuing to put his defence under pressure with sloppy passes out from the back. Passing the ball about with ease as they attempted to break the deadlock, Neil Critchley’s side were looking increasingly dangerous by each passing minute. A well worked move from the reds saw McAuley and Adekanye combine well inside the box before the latter curled the ball narrowly over the top of the Spurs goal. Zipping the ball about with an air of confidence about their game it always seemed only a matter of time before our defence would crumble. And Critchley’s side made that all important breakthrough on 14 minutes when the potent Bobby Adekanye gave Liverpool the lead.

The ball was worked out to the winger on the right side of the penalty area, but just as Adekanye received the ball the linesman on the near side raised his flag. Many of the Spurs defenders froze thinking that Adekanye had been ruled offside. This caused great confusion in the Spurs team as Adekanye cut inside Eyoma in the box before rifling an effort at goal. The wingers low effort ended up outwitting Whiteman as it took a heavy deflection off of Marsh before nestling inside the bottom left hand corner of the Tottenham keepers goal, 0-1. Lead by the captain George Marsh the Spurs players crowed around the referee as he went to consult the linesman about the goal. Marsh was furious with the referee as he preceded to award the goal and the Tottenham captain was right to feel aggrieved with the referee. It had been a disastrous start all round for Burnett’s side. The reorganised Spurs defence now had to deal with an attacking onslaught from the reds. Centre half TJ Eyoma was forced into making a vital headed clearance inside the penalty area as Critchley’s side went in search of their second goal of the game. 20 minutes had past and as expected Liverpool were enjoying the lions share of possession, passing the ball around for fun as every Spurs player stayed back in their own half to try and prevent the home team from extending their advantage. Despite a few decent attacking forays from Marcus Edwards down the right wing, Spurs had offered nothing going forward and had yet to register a single attempt on goal. Our defence was under great pressure every time Liverpool entered our final third. Critchley’s side came close to doubling their advantage when Christie-Davies slipped the ball through to Adekanye inside the Tottenham penalty area. However, the alert Jaden Brown managed to read the situation well and was able to get in front of the Dutchman before making a superb sliding challenge to put the ball out for a corner kick.

We were defending superbly under the circumstances but our passing it out from the back was putting unnecessary pressure on the defenders as Whiteman’s distribution was often sloppy and inaccurate. A moment of magic from the centre forward Troy Parrott managed to create a totally unexpected leveller for Spurs on 23 minutes. Our equaliser which was against the run of play had managed to catch the Liverpool defence by total surprise. Brown’s long pass up to Parrott on the halfway line was excellently contested by the Irishman who was able to hold off two Liverpool defenders before controlling the ball with a sublime first touch. The centre forward immediately looked up to spot Edwards galavanting down the right flank, as Parrott managed to curl a lovely pass out to Edwards. The winger took on the Liverpool fullback Adam Lewis as he continued into the penalty area before turning Lewis as he rolled the ball away from him effortlessly and onto his right foot, before firing the ball past Kelleher who did manage to make contact with the ball, and into the far corner of the goal, 1-1. It was an excellently taken goal by Edwards and an absolute peach of a pass from Parrott to pick him out in the first place. Shortly after the restart the impressive Anthony Georgiou gave away a dangerous free kick on the edge of the penalty area after holding back Virtue-Thick. However, the referee felt it was necessary to take it further by handing out a harsh yellow card to the Cypriot international. Virtue-Thick’s powerful delivery into the box was headed away by Brown who recovered before making another important block to stop Adekanye’s cross a couple of moments later. Liverpool were continuing to pile on the pressure as the half progressed with the makeshift Spurs defence continuing to work their socks off in order to make it as difficult as possible for the Liverpool forwards.

TJ Eyoma had really stepped up since Tanganga’s early dismissal and the young centre half was demonstrating his aerial prowess as shown when he managed to divert Lewis’ dangerous cross away from danger. Continuing to press us aggressively Liverpool were coming closer and closer to regaining the lead. After makeshift midfielder Shayon Harrison gave the ball away to Adekanye the Dutchman quickly passed the ball to McAuley who laid it off to Christie-Davies, but the midfielders powerful low effort was held well by Whiteman in the Spurs goal. A flurry of chances continued to come Liverpool’s way. After Eyoma gave away a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, Adam Lewis’s resulting curler flew a whisker wide of Whiteman’s left hand post. A rare attacking move from Spurs at the other end ended in Jaden Brown seeing his cross into the danger zone cleared to safety by a Liverpool defender. A player who was holding his own in the centre of the park was the young Paris Maghoma and the midfielder did well to try and break down a dangerous looking attacking by the reds as he pulled back Jones who was sprinting dangerously through the middle. The referee waived play on as Jones shifted the ball out to Adekanye on the left side of the penalty area. The former Barcelona youngsters effort across goal flew narrowly wide of the mark as Spurs escaped once more. The referee then went back to Maghoma to give him a yellow card for his pull on Jones. An overhit back pass from Eyoma a couple of minutes later was the last thing Whiteman wanted to deal with, as the young goalkeeper stuck out a leg to make a vital block to steer the ball away from goal. An excellent block from Marsh on Adekanye in the box followed as Spurs continued to defend well. Burnett’s sides heroic first half performance ensured that Spurs went into the break level. The likes of Parrott whose defensive contribution was immense, Edwards and Harrison had all had unbelievable half’s.

Liverpool got the second half underway as they attacked the Kop end and it didn’t take Critchley’s side long before they found their feet again. Adekanye’s menacing cross into the danger zone was bravely defended by Brown who had managed to get to the ball in front of McAuley at the back post to head it clear. We were effectively playing with ten men behind the ball as the likes of Parrott and Harrison took it upon themselves to be combative defensive players as Liverpool upped their pace. After Georgiou had conceded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area after a foul on Adekanye. Adam Lewis’s resulting curling effort was well headed away by Brown inside the danger zone. Liverpool almost regained their lead a couple of minutes later through the ever threatening Bobby Adekanye. After bringing the ball forwards Jones laid the ball off to Adekanye down the right side of the penalty area. Adekanye managed to trick his way around Brown before firing the ball across goal, with Marsh there to get a vital flick on it to divert it out for a Liverpool corner. It was a heroic block from the skipper! The game was incredibly fast paced and one had to wonder how long our lads could keep up this most heroic of defensive performances for. Curtis Jones curled an effort well wide of goal from long range whilst Paris Maghoma won a free kick in a promising position at the other end of the pitch. Electing to take it himself Maghoma’s resulting delivery into the box went out for a goal kick. Anthony Georgiou had been exceptional throughout the second half and his excellent last ditch defending and searing pace was protecting Jaden Brown who stood behind him. The left wing back made a crucial block to prevent Whelan from whipping the ball into the danger zone. TJ Eyoma made a similarly important block when he was able to get in front of Whelan’s cross a couple of moments later.

The lively Curtis Jones was then gifted the ball by Maghoma before the winger tested Whiteman with a low drive from range which was easily gathered by the Tottenham goalkeeper, it was all Liverpool! Despite being under the cosh for the entirety of the second half Spurs had a rare golden chance which presented them with the opportunity to take the lead for the first time in the game. After Whiteman’s long kick up field was chased down by the tigerish Troy Parrott, what should have been a routine piece of defending for Johnston ended up being anything but that. As the Irishman pressed his man aggressively forcing the Liverpool defender into making an error. With Parrott managing to win the ball off of him before poking it out to Edwards who remained free out on the right wing. Edwards picked up the loose ball before surging into the penalty area. One on one with Kelleher you would have have expected Edwards to add to his account. However, the 19 year old tried to be to fancy with the ball and his eventual effort was low and weak, and was saved comfortably by the feet of Kelleher. It should have been 2-1 to Spurs. The ever impressive impressive Anthony Georgiou had helped to quell the threat of the speedy Bobby Adekanye in the second half. The Londoner was there again to make a brilliant interception off the Dutchman inside the penalty area. Troy Parrott then made a vital headed clearance at the back post as Liverpool upped their intensity as we reached the final stages of the game. Maghoma blazed over from range at the other end in a rare attempt at goal for Spurs. A well worked move from the Lilywhites followed as Harrison picked out Parrott with a long pass. The Dubliner controlled the ball before rolling it into the feet of Georgiou who zoomed across the penalty area before passing the ball to Edwards out on the right wing.

Edwards managed to trick his way into the penalty area before being brought down by Johnston who made an excellent crunching challenge to break up the attack. Roared on by the Kop, Liverpool were trying desperately hard to breakthrough the brick wall that was the Tottenham defence. Paris Maghoma made a hugely important block to stop Curtis Jones’s powerful shot on the edge of the penalty area. Burnett then made defensive reinforcements when he brought on Jonathan Dinzeyi for Jaden Brown four minutes before the end as Spurs continued to defend impeccably. However, a late pass over the top of Dinzeyi temporarily paralysed the Spurs defence as it allowed Adekanye to run through on goal with only Alfie Whiteman to beat. Fortunately for Spurs Whiteman had closed the winger down well and was able to make an important save to stop Adekanye’s low effort as Paris Maghoma applauded the Tottenham goalkeeper. Tottenham had to deal with another dangerous Liverpool attack a couple of moments later, as some brilliant goal line defending by Marsh saw him snuff out Adekanye’s dangerous effort across the face of goal. Marsh had managing to clear the ball just before McAuley could convert from close range. Burnett’s side were given another scare a couple of minutes later as Johnston fired the ball narrowly over the crossbar, after picking up the ball inside the Tottenham penalty area. Burnett brought Dylan Duncan on for Marcus Edwards as we entered stoppage time. It would take the 19 year old less then a minute to go into the referees book after committing a cynical foul on a Liverpool player. A late defensive blunder from Dinzeyi after he failed to deal with Jones’s cross into the box, allowed Virtue-Thick with an opportunity to get a shot away from close range. Fortunately for Dinzeyi the midfielders poorly struck effort ended up going straight down the throat of Whiteman who easily gathered it. Corey Whelan’s menacing cross drew a late gasp from the Kop as it flew agonisingly across the Spurs goal in the dying seconds of the game.

Thankfully the referee blew for the final whistle immediately after that chance and almost every Spurs players collapsed to the floor. They were exhausted, and after putting in the performance that they did it was unsurprising. To have to deal with having a man sent off at Anfield in the opening minutes of a game against a fast attacking team almost certainly spells defeat. However, Burnett’s young side were resilient and mature. They didn’t panic, they reorganised themselves well and were disciplined in defence. I was immensely proud of the whole teams performance against Liverpool on Friday. They fought like warriors under such difficult circumstances, the likes of Parrott, Marsh and Georgiou were excellent but for me the whole team was just superb. Hopefully Burnett’s side can go a step further in our next league game against Brighton on Friday by registering their first win of the campaign.

Player reviews: – Alfie Whiteman: After a difficult start to the game for Whiteman, which saw him contribute to Spurs giving away an early penalty after committing a bit of a blunder inside the box. Whiteman responded well and apart from his nervy looking distribution in the early stages of the game the 19 year old put in an excellent performance in the second half. Making a string of crucial saves in front of the Kop end, the one that stood out the most was his stop to deny Adekanye one on one towards the end of the game. Whiteman showed great character throughout the game.
– Tariq Hinds: It was another really mature performance from the 18 year old fullback on Friday. Following Tanganga’s sending off, Hinds never looked out of place whilst defending against Curtis Jones out on the right wing. He stayed deep and protected that side of the pitch with some really effective and tidy defending.
– Japhet Tanganga: After his early dismissal it would be unfair to review Tanganga’s short time on the pitch. He will miss our next game against Brighton on Friday.
– TJ Eyoma: Eyoma rose to the occasion following the dismissal of his fellow centre back in the second minute of the game. Forming a tenacious partnership with makeshift centre half George Marsh. Eyoma was flawless against Liverpool, he was excellent in the air and tight in his defending of the Liverpool forwards. He was astute and cautious, but not once did he allow the likes of McAuley to get into space inside the danger zone. Eyoma was also composed under pressure.
– Jaden Brown: It was Brown’s first appearance of the season for Burnett’s side following his unsuccessful trial with Dutch club NEC Nijmegen earlier on in the summer. I thought Brown had an excellent game at left back on Friday evening. He was up against a really tricky customer in Adekanye, and whilst he was helped out by Georgiou on that side. Brown defended superbly, making many important last ditch challenges, blocks and clearances in the box. He put in an extremely brave performance against the reds. Brown also played his part in our goal, with a long pass upfield to Parrott.
– George Marsh: A leader of men. George Marsh started off in the centre of the park alongside Maghoma, but Tanganga’s early sending off saw the skipper take Tanganga’s place at centre back. Marsh marshalled the backline to perfection, it was a really heroic performance from the 19 year old. Marsh threw himself in front of danger, I lost count at the amount of blocks and superb goal line clearances that he made. He was terrific!
– Paris Maghoma: I was extremely pleased to see the 17 year old in the starting lineup for the Liverpool game. Favoured by Burnett over the older and more experienced duo of Dylan Duncan and Jack Roles. The second year scholar lined up alongside Marsh in the centre of midfield. A box to box midfielder with a lot of attacking qualities, any license that he had had to go forward was extinguished once Tanganga was sent off. From then on he was essentially a defensive midfielder whose job was to protect the back four alongside Harrison who dropped back. Maghoma was extremely well disciplined and played his part in helping Spurs to come away with a point, making some important blocks in the process. There was one moment in the game where his maturity really showed. Whilst Spurs were defending a dangerous free kick on the edge of the penalty area, Maghoma took it upon him to order the wall as the defenders kept quiet. He was roaring at Whiteman as he barked instructions to his teammates. Hopefully Maghoma will start our next game against Brighton on Friday.
– Marcus Edwards: Another player who had an excellent game, the skilful Marcus Edwards put in a superb shift out on the right wing. Whilst his attacking freedom was limited from early on in the game, he provided Spurs with their main attacking outlet. As he went on some really impressive attacking forays down that side of the pitch. Edwards hard work at tracking back was equally as impressive. Everything about his excellently taken goal was just sublime, and the 19 year old may feel that he should have scored another in the second half after receiving the ball in a similar position.
– Shayon Harrison: Starting off as a number ten, Harrison was quickly reassigned to the unfamiliar role of central midfield. I was extremely impressed with the way that Harrison adapted to that defensive midfield role. He worked ridiculously hard throughout the entirety of the game, he worked as a shield to the defence and broke up play so effectively. Harrison’s numerous interceptions and blocks in and around the six yard box didn’t go unnoticed either.
– Anthony Georgiou: To say that Georgiou had an excellent game would be an understatement. The Cypriot internationals performance against Liverpool on Friday was immense. Despite starting out on the left wing, Anthony was soon forced into playing as a left wing back in front of Brown. He embraced that role with both hands and put in a heroic defensive performance. He helped Brown out massively whilst defending against the speedy Adekanye. He made some excellent tackles in and around the danger zone and was able to read the game and anticipate danger to perfection throughout the PL2 contest. Georgiou helped Spurs to counter attack Liverpool with some excellent lung bursting runs down that left hand side. He didn’t put a foot wrong and he demonstrated to the Tottenham coaching staff just how brilliant and effective a wing back he is. I was extremely proud with the 21 year olds performance.
– Troy Parrott: My motm, see below.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Fleeting eleven minute cameo from Dinzeyi who added steel to the Tottenham defence for the closing minutes of the game.
– Dylan Duncan: Fleeting cameo.

My man of the match: Troy Parrott. Most 16 year olds could only ever dream of playing at Anfield, but not young Troy. He not only lead the line for Spurs on his first PL2 appearance but he put in a performance which spoke volumes as to how ridiculously talented a centre forward the young Irishman is. The Dubliner put in a phenomenal performance against Liverpool, he lead the line to perfection and created Spurs’ only two key chances out of nothing. He held up the ball really well and moved around the park like a young Robbie Keane. However, it was the tigerish Parrott’s hunger and determination which stood out above all else. His ability to make such mature decisions was mightily impressive as was his combative defending in front of the back four. The strikers high pressing unsettled the Liverpool defence and forced them into making errors. However, the many blocks and clearances he made inside his own penalty area spoke volumes about what kind of player he is. Think Harry Kane!

Liverpool: Kelleher, Whelan (c), Lewis, Phillips, Johnston, Chirivella, Adekanye, Christie-Davies (Coyle 75), McAuley (Millar 65), Virtue, Jones. Substitutes (not used): Atherton, Gallacher, Masterson.

Spurs: Whiteman, Hinds, Brown (Dinzeyi 86), Marsh (c), Eyoma, Tanganga, Edwards (Duncan 90+1), Maghoma, Parrott, Harrison, Georgiou. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Roles.

Goals: Liverpool – Adekanye 14; Spurs – Edwards 23.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Georgiou 26, Maghoma 39, Duncan 90+2.

Red card: Spurs – Tanganga 2.

Referee: J Johnson.

Attendance: 3,114.

Venue: Anfield, Liverpool.

Spurs under 21/23’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Samuel Shashoua – 1
Marcus Edwards – 1

Assists: Troy Parrott – 1

Spurs under 23’s versus Liverpool: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Liverpool: (match preview)

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Our under 23’s started the new PL2 season with a disappointing and frankly unexpected defeat at home to West Ham on Monday evening. Wayne Burnett’s experienced side were marginally the better side during the first half, they passed the ball around well and defended competently. However, a slight lapse in concentration allowed the similarly strong Hammers side to score an equaliser on the stroke of halftime. Portuguese forward Xande Silva’s quick fire brace to secure his hat-trick shortly after the restart wrecked Spurs’ confidence, and they were unable to recover from it. Hardly creating anything of note throughout the second half Spurs were totally shutdown by the resolute West Ham defence with the likes of Reece Oxford and Ben Johnson putting in really strong defensive performances for the Hammers. Our first away game of the new season will take place at the majestic Anfield stadium on Friday evening, as Spurs take on last years division one runners up, Liverpool. This will be the third time in three consecutive seasons that our under 23’s will take on Liverpool at Anfield. The previous two encounters have ended in defeat for Spurs (2-3 and 2-4). Last seasons game was a particularly enthralling one, after an explosive start from Neil Critchley’s Liverpool side, which saw them take the lead inside the first minute. Spurs looked like a fish out of water as the reds soon doubled their advantage through Harry Wilson who netted his second on 16 minutes. Seemingly heading for a thumping Burnett’s side upped their tempo and had a brilliant 15 minute spell which saw them score two goals to draw level. They were however, unable to keep that up and they were beaten comfortably by Liverpool in the end.

Tomorrow evening Wayne Burnett’s side will be hoping end that bad run with a positive result at Anfield. However, with a thousand or so Liverpool fans cheering on their team in the world renowned stadium, under the lights on a fine summers evening, it will be a tough ask for our youngsters. Critchley’s side got their PL2 season underway with a goalless draw against Brighton last Friday. They enjoyed an impressive 64% of the possession, making an impressive 507 passes in the process. Burnett’s side will have to be alert if they are to deal with the reds explosive attacking style of football. Jürgen Klopp’s footballing philosophy has clearly been passed down through the youth ranks at the Merseyside club, with fast attacking football such a big part of how Critchley’s side operate. Whilst they won’t be able to rely on the services of their top last seasons top scorer Harry Wilson (on loan at Derby) Critchley has players such as Solanke, Pedro Chirivella and the experienced attacking midfielder Sheyi Ojo to choose from. He may also be able to field fringe first team players such as Lazar Marković and Marko Grujić. It will be really interesting to see how Burnett approaches tomorrows game, whether he will go with an offensive or defensive formation is yet to be seen. But if we can involve our quality attacking players such as Georgiou, Shashoua and Edwards into the game then we could really trouble the Liverpool defence. I’m expecting us too see a much different team to the one that lost to West Ham earlier in the week, I could see us shifting Georgiou to left wing back, with Paris Maghoma making the step up from the under 18’s to feature in the middle of the park. Goalscoring midfielder Jack Roles could also featured in the middle of the park as Spurs look to break down the Liverpool defence.

I am anticipating an enthralling game of football tomorrow evening, and one in which should provide a real test for our young lads. I will be reporting on tomorrows game from Anfield but for those of you who want to watch the game live, it is being shown on Liverpool TV. Meanwhile our under 18’s travel to South Wales for their league fixture with Swansea on Saturday morning, they thrashed the Swans 5-2 in this fixture last season. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make that game as I will be at Wembley for the Fulham game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Dinzeyi, Tanganga (c), Georgiou, Marsh, Maghoma, Edwards, Roles, S.Shashoua, Harrison.

Subs from: Freeman, Brown, Eyoma, Duncan, Tracey.

Doubtful: Connor Ogilvie (leg), Shilow Tracey (leg), Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Samuel Shashoua (back).

Injured/unavailable: Kazaiah Sterling and Jamie Reynolds.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-0.

My score prediction: 3-3.

My one to watch: A player who was has been on the fringes of the first team squad since signing for Liverpool, from Chelsea back in the summer of 2017. Towering centre forward Dominic Solanke also featured for the reds development side on numerous occasions last season. We have been on the receiving end of some excellent performances from the centre forward since
his Chelsea days (the 2015 FA youth cup semifinal springs to mind!). A traditional centre forward in many ways, Solanke’s physical and aerial presence will cause trouble for the Spurs defenders.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/08/14/spurs-under-23s-1-3-west-ham-united-match-report/

Spurs under 21/23’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Samuel Shashoua – 1

Assists: None.

Spurs under 23’s 1-3 West Ham United: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 1-3 West Ham United: (match report)

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Our under 23’s first league game of the new PL2 season got underway with a disappointing 3-1 defeat to London rivals West Ham on Monday evening, at Broadhall Way. It wasn’t the ideal start to the domestic season for Wayne Burnett’s side by any means. Hoping to carry on their fine form from pre-season things were looking up for Burnett’s strong side during the early periods of the game. They were never outstanding but they looked solid and were comfortable at knocking the ball around the park and keeping possession. A wonderful goal from the lively Samuel Shashoua on six minutes put Spurs in good stead against a Hammers side which featured a whole host of experienced players such as Reece Oxford, Josh Cullen (22) and Xande Silva. Liam Manning’s Hammers side certainly looked the sharper team during the first half, they were quicker than us and their attacking players were more switched on. Our back four of Eyoma, Tanganga, Dinzeyi and Ogilvie managed to neutralise the threat of the Hammers recent Portuguese recruit, centre forward Xande Silva and wide man Nathan Holland for much of the first half. We were solid and assured in our defending whilst managing to create some decent chances at the other end. The game could have panned out so differently had Shilow Tracey not squandered a golden chance for Spurs on the stroke of half time. Only a couple of moments later Silva drew the Hammers level at the other end. After the restart Manning’s side stunned our defence, Xande Silva scoring a quick fire brace to virtually extinguish any chances of a Spurs comeback. From that moment on we were flat and quite sloppy with the ball, unable to break down the West Ham defence who put in a really mature performance in the second half to close us down.

It was a disappointing first league game of the season for Spurs, I thought we lacked an offensive threat from the centre of the park, I.E: Maghoma (who was carrying a knock). The two holding midfielders in George Marsh and Dylan Duncan were too defence oriented and I feel as if that isolated the wide players, Georgiou and Edwards who struggled to really get involved in the game, which had a knock on effect for makeshift centre forward Shilow Tracey. Burnett’s side lined up with the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation, for our London derby with the Hammers on a mild summers evening in Hertfordshire. Going strong, Whiteman started in between the sticks whilst the back four consisted of Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Tanganga and Ogilvie (the skipper). In front of the defence was the central midfield partnership of Marsh and Duncan, and in front of them was the talented attacking trio of Edwards, Shashoua and Georgiou. With makeshift centre forward Shilow Tracey leading the line just as he had done for the majority of pre-season. Liam Manning’s West Ham side was also strong and he decided to field the likes of Josh Cullen, Reece Oxford and new signing Xande Silva. Spurs got the game underway at Broadhall Way as they went in search of those all important three points. The Hammers were looking sharp in the opening couple of minutes and were stringing together some decent passes. Shashoua looked lively for Spurs in the opening couple of minutes and only a couple of moments after playing a clever through ball to Georgiou out on the left, which ended in the Cypriots cross being deflected out for a corner kick. Shashoua put Spurs ahead courtesy of a moment of magic from the 19 year old. All stemming from the resulting corner kick, Spurs tried to work the ball into the area. Georgiou’s pass to Edwards on the edge of the box saw the forward robbed of the ball by Cullen.

The loose ball came rolling out to Shashoua who picked it up on the edge of the area before spinning around Cullen and bending a delightful effort off of the left hand post and into the back of Trott’s goal, 0-1. Catching the West Ham keeper by surprise as he caught his blindside, Samuel’s sharp turn after picking up the ball was nice and effective but the way in which he managed to wrap his foot around the ball and just place it into the bottom left hand corner of the goal was sublime, the pace and bend of the ball caught Trott by total surprise in only the sixth minute of proceedings. Almost immediately from the restart West Ham’s Nathan Holland came close to forcing an equaliser after he managed to go on a tricky run through the middle. Holland’s quick feet saw him get away from Tanganga and Dinzeyi before entering the right side of the penalty area, before forcing a good save out of Whiteman at his near post with a powerful low effort. Japhet Tanganga made two important blocks in quick succession to deny West Ham’s Grady Diangana inside the penalty area, before the same player curled an effort well wide of goal a couple moments of later. Japhet Tanganga headed over from Shashoua’s corner at the other end as Spurs started to see a lot more of the ball. However, the visitors still looked the more dangerous side in the final third. The alert Jonathan Dinzeyi got an important toe on the ball to thwart Diangana’s menacing cross, before Oxford attempted to replicate David Beckham’s famous goal against Wimbledon from the halfway line. However, the Stevenage stewards wouldn’t have been too happy as it went high and wide and into the building site behind the Spurs goal. Hogging possession in the central areas of the park Spurs were trying hard to get their second goal of the game. Edwards lovely slaloming run to round Akinola on the edge of the box looked promising as he slipped the ball into Shashoua down the right side of the box. Unfortunately his effort was blocked by Pask who came sliding across.

Again at the forefront of any decent attacking moves in the final third, Shashoua managed to whip an inviting corner into Ogilvie who did excellently well to flick his diving header back into Tanganga in the centre of the box. Rising high to win the ball ahead of any West Ham defenders, Tanganga’s dangerous looping header had to be tipped over the crossbar by Nathan Trott. West Ham were continuing to stand strong in defence as Josh Pask did well to block Edwards powerful strike on the edge of the penalty area. Despite looking confident and assured in defence Spurs almost gifted West ham an equaliser when Marsh put Whiteman under great pressure with his clumsy back pass. Failing to look up as he passed the ball back to Whiteman from the edge of the Tottenham penalty area, Marsh’s back pass was chased down by Alfie Lewis. As Whiteman tried desperately hard to get to the ball before him, Lewis managed to win the ball off of Whiteman down the left side of the penalty area.

Whiteman managed to do a good job at closing down Lewis whose shot from a tight angle was well saved by the Spurs goalkeeper. Whiteman then managed to smother the loose ball as Marsh came racing back to help him out. Whiteman was clearly angry at his teammate for putting him under such unnecessary pressure. Whilst West Ham were starting to get back into the game more from an offensive perspective, Spurs still looked good whenever they entered the final third. A good through ball from Marsh sent Edwards galavanting down the middle of the pitch, embarking on a promising jinking run as he skipped past Coventry. He was just about to pull the trigger when he had the ball intercepted off him on the edge of the box. Georgiou was starting to establish himself a bit more down the left, only a couple of minutes after blasting an effort over from rage. The speedy winger sped away from his man down the left wing, the run ended in him having his powerful effort blocked behind for a corner kick by Cullen.

Right towards the end of the half Shashoua created a golden chance for Tracey to convert. After winning the ball off of Lewis in the centre of the park Shashoua did well to hold the Hammers man off before surging through the middle, with the ball glued to his foot. Shashoua continued forwards before threading a perfectly weighted through ball into the feet of Tracey down the right hand side. The forward skipped past Pask and into the box before steadying himself and firing an effort across goal. Tracey’s powerful low effort was desperately unlucky as it flew inches wide of Trott’s far post. Most of the crowd thought it was a certain goal. Shashoua came close to doubling Spurs’ lead a couple of moments later. After receiving a pass from Duncan, Shashoua curled an effort towards that very same corner of the goal, Trott was left scrambling as he palmed the ball away before coming out to smother it as Tracey tried to pounce on the loose ball. Excellent in the first half TJ Eyoma made a brilliant crunching challenge on Akinola which drew rapturous applause from the crowd. West Ham were pushing for an equaliser as we entered the last couple of minutes of the half, the alert Dinzeyi did well to get in front of Silva inside the box and make an important headed clearance. However, Spurs’ excellent defending in the first half was all undone in the 44th minute. After Xande Silva netted an equaliser for the East London club. After picking up the ball out on the right wing Diangana looked to work his way through the Tottenham defence. After cutting inside and onto his left foot the winger spotted the run of Silva who was coming across Tanganga. He slipped the ball into the Portuguese forward who took the ball into right side of the penalty area. Duncan made a sliding challenge to try and intercept the ball off him but he didn’t get much clean contact on the ball and Silva continued forward before riffling an unstoppable effort into the roof of Whiteman’s goal, from an acute angle, 1-1.

Reece Oxford blocked Duncan’s ambitious attempt a couple of moments later as Sam Purkiss blew for half time, it was such a frustrating goal to concede for Burnett’s side. The Irons got the second half underway and they were wasting no time in trying to trouble our defence. Less than a minute after getting the game back underway West Ham had the ball in the back of the net through Xande Silva once again. We’d been caught napping, allowing Cullen to go running through the middle. The Irishman weighed up his options before rolling the ball through to Silva who waited on the edge of the box. Tanganga’s attempted lunge to try and trap the ball was unsuccessful and the ball rolled on through to the Portuguese forward, who darted into the penalty area before tucking the ball inside the bottom left hand corner of Whiteman’s goal, 1-2. This came as a bitter blow for Burnett’s side who now had it all to do if they were going to get back into the game. West Ham had come flying out of the blocks and only two minutes after taking the lead the irons punished us again, with devastating consequences. It was as if Burnett’s side hadn’t recovered after giving away such an early goal. Nathan Holland picked up the ball out on the left wing before going across to the byline and squaring it to Silva, who waited in space inside the penalty area. With far too much room to aim at the centre forward calmly just stroked the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the Spurs goal, leaving Whiteman with no chance, 1-3. Deflated and stunned by the Hammers excellent start to the half, Burnett knew that his side had to make an immediate response. Shortly after Japhet Tanganga had done well to block Diangana’s effort, Burnett introduced Shayon Harrison to the game as he replaced the injured Samuel Shashoua who limped off after taking a knee to the back.

The potent Nathan Holland fired narrowly over for the away side after picking up the ball on the left side of the penalty area. Shortly afterwards Spurs’ talisman Connor Ogilvie was the victim of a nasty crunching challenge from West Ham’s Ben Johnson, but to the youngsters credit he stayed with Ogilvie as he was being treated by the physio. Spurs looked disjointed and fairly sloppy whenever they managed to get out of their own half. The impressive Reece Oxford nodded wide from a corner kick, whilst George Marsh went into the book after catching Johnson in the head with a flailing arm. The young Spurs lads were finding it increasingly difficult to find a way past the West Ham defence, the isolated Marcus Edwards had a speculative shot blocked behind for a corner by Coventry. Japhet Tanganga then headed over from the resulting corner kick claiming to the referee that he was having his shirt pulled by a West Ham player. West Ham responded down the other end as Holland whipped a teasing ball across the face of the Spurs goal. Unable to involve the wide players especially Georgiou who was often finding himself in acres of space out on the left, Spurs were unable to trouble the resolute West Ham defence. After getting on the end of Ogilvie’s header Diangana blasted over for the Hammers, Ogilvie was replaced by Brown shortly afterwards I believe this was as a result of the challenge he sustained from Johnson. The visitors were showing no signs of slowing down as they continued to move the ball around the park with pace. A well worked move from Manning’s side saw Johnson receive the ball from Lewis out on the right wing. The fullback travelled forwards before squaring the ball to Silva inside the penalty area, but the forwards effort on goal was heroically blocked by Tanganga who came across the Portuguese player.

In one final roll of the dice Burnett brought on Jack Roles for Dylan Duncan in the centre of the park. The Cyprus under 21 international came close to making an immediate impact after he came across the face of the goal to meet Marcus Edwards corner, forcing a decent stop out of Trott from his bullet header at the near post. The game had begun to peter out for Burnett’s side who apart from the odd individual move were unable to trouble the Hammers defence. To make matters worse Spurs were forced to play the final minutes of the game with ten men after Mason Barrett had injured Tracey with a meaty sliding challenge after the forward had embarked on a promising run down that side. Shortly after the fourth official had signalled that there would be a minimum of five minutes additional time, West Ham thought they had netted their fourth of the evening. After Holland had cut inside onto his right foot, the forward forced a good save from Whiteman with Barrett there to nod home from close range. Unfortunately for him the linesman had adjudged him to have been offside, in the end it was a disappointing evening for Burnett’s youngsters. We weren’t great by any means but we managed to play well for large periods of the first half, and we defended superbly during that period. Essentially what killed us was Silva’s quick fire hat-trick, it stunned the team and left them totally depleted, and after that we offered virtually zilch going forwards in the second half. Spurs will be looking to make a response when they travel up to Merseyside on Friday to face Liverpool at Anfield. The reds have beaten us in their last two meetings at Anfield and will no doubt fancy their chances of making it win number three come Friday night.

Player reviews: – Alfie Whiteman: The 19 year old had a decent game in between the sticks on Monday evening, Whiteman was solid. The 19 year old old made some important stops and his overall reading of the game was impressive. I.E set pieces and corner kicks of which he dealt with well.
– TJ Eyoma: Fresh from his time away with the first team in pre-season, Eyoma played at right back for our encounter with the Hammers. He put in a strong performance particularly in the first half where I thought he was faultless, making many crucial interceptions and a crunching challenge which brought spectators off their feet. The second half was a bit tougher for Eyoma and his lack of pace did cause a few issue when trying to defend against the tricky Nathan Holland.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: My motm, see below.
– Japhet Tanganga: The England under 19 international put in a good showing at centre half against West Ham. He defended well making many important blocks/challenges and looked assured in possession. As always with Tanganga he managed to keep excellent positioning throughout, and posed a real goal threat from set pieces.
– Connor Ogilvie: Connor will have made a positive impression on the various EFL scouts who were watching the game last night. The 22 year old skipper is far too good for this level and it showed once again last night. He defended right winger Diangana tightly and managed to neutralise the threat on that side. He covered well for the centre backs on occasions and showed real maturity when leading the team. Ogilvie is a captain who every young player would like to play alongside. It will be interesting to see whether or not he goes out on loan before the window closes at the end of the month.
– George Marsh: Another player who clocked up valuable minutes for the first team in pre-season. Marsh dropped back down to u23 level for the West Ham game as he formed a central midfield partnership with Duncan. I thought Marsh was ok on the whole, generally effective at breaking up play. Although he did make a couple of clumsy decisions on the night.
– Dylan Duncan: Like Marsh he was generally quite effective and combative in the middle of the park. He mopped up well after him and kept things ticking with some nice crisp passing. However, he wasn’t much of a threat going forwards.
– Marcus Edwards: He really struggled to make much of an impression out on the right wing, which was a shame as Pochettino and his coaching staff were watching on from the stands. Edwards found himself isolated out wide quite a lot of time. He tried to cut inside and trick his way through the middle but was often overpowered by the West Ham midfield/defence.
– Samuel Shashoua: Without a doubt our most influential attacking player during his time on the pitch. Shashoua looked really lively as a number 10, the scorer of a wonderful goal in the opening couple of minutes of the game. Young Samuel robbed the West Ham midfield of the ball on a good few occasions. The 19 year old went on some fruitful attacking forays down the middle and a made a couple of defence splitting passes. A really good showing from Shashoua who was forced off through injury early in the second half.
– Anthony Georgiou: One of the young stars from pre-season, it was nice to see Georgiou play against West Ham’s development side out on the left wing. Hard working, skilful and tidy with the ball at his feet, the Cyprus international went on some on good runs down the left hand side. However, he wasn’t picked out enough by his teammates. He found himself in acres of space out on the left wing, particularly in the second half. Yet rarely did his teammates play the ball in to him whenever was trying to make those runs down the wing. Like Edwards a winger can only do so much without the ball, they need support from their teammates, and they need somebody in the middle of the park to play those passes down the flanks. It’s no good for them having to track back or go into the middle and pick the ball up and try and be Cristiano Ronald/superman. Georgiou was up against a really strong right back in Ben Johnson and he managed to neutralise him for much of the game. However, Anthony did well under the circumstances.
– Shilow Tracey: I was pleased with how Tracey lead the line on Monday evening. He’s by no means a natural centre forward and he lacks that goal scoring nous about his game. However, he got stuck in and held the ball up well whilst making some promising runs down the right. He’ll be disappointed that he wasn’t able to convert his chance on the stroke of halftime. He worked so hard for the team!
– Jaden Brown: Filled in well for Ogilvie at left back after coming on for the last 20 or so minutes of the game.
– Shayon Harrison: He looked really lively after coming on in the second half. Playing behind Tracey he managed to initiate some good moves whilst weaving his way around the West Ham defenders. It was a shame that he didn’t lead the line for Spurs.
– Jack Roles: Shory but promising cameo from the box to box midfielder who managed to get in some good goalscoring positions following his introduction to the game. Had he have started the game then I feel as if he would have really changed the flow of the game for Spurs. Hopefully he’ll start against Liverpool on Friday!

My man of the match: Jonathan Dinzeyi. I thought our young centre half was Burnett’s best player on the night. He put in a really strong performance at centre back. He read the game well, and was strong and decisive in the air. However, it was Dinzeyi’s excellent last ditch defending which was so impressive. As always he put in a really brave performance and although he is still quite raw, he never backs down from making that all important challenge/interception. Dinzeyi was excellent at defending set pieces against West Ham and good at getting in front of his man, don’t be at all surprised if he heads out on loan to an EFL club before the window closes at the end of this month. Physically he is ready and after an impressive pre-season he is really starting to find his feet at u23 level. He really impressed me the other night!

Spurs: Whiteman, Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Tanganga, Ogilvie (Brown 68), Marsh, Edwards, Duncan (Roles 75) Shashoua (Harrison 51), Georgiou, Tracey. Substitutes (not used): Freeman, Hinds.

West Ham: Trott, Johnson, Pask (Barrett 78), Oxford (c), Akinola, Diangana (Afolayan 72), Coventry, Cullen, Holland, Silva (Hector-Ingram 78), Lewis. Substitutes (not used): Anang, Scully.

Goals: Spurs – Shashoua 6; West Ham – Silva 44, 46, 48.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Marsh 59; West Ham – Barrett 87.

Attendance: 724.

Venue: Lamex Stadium.

Spurs under 21/23’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Samuel Shashoua – 1

Assists: None.

Spurs under 23’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)

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Our under 23’s play their first PL2 game of the new season later today when they host London rivals West Ham at Broadhall Way (kick off 7pm). After an interesting pre-season which saw them travel to France to compete in this years Tournoi Europeen. Burnett’s side albeit not at full strength have played some really decent football during pre-season. Looking to build on their ninth place finish in division one last season, Spurs who are bolstered by some older and experienced players will be desperate to avoid another relegation battle this season. This evenings game will also serve as an audition for many of the older players in the squad (eg: Ogilvie) who will be wanting to impress the many football league scouts and managers that will be in attendance. Players such as Ogilvie, Georgiou and Harrison in particular will most likely have scouts watching them ahead of the close of the loan window at the end of the month. We played out three thrilling games with Terry Westley’s West Ham side last season, most memorable of which came in the PL international cup when we beat them 7-2. West Ham finished last season in fifth place in division one. They’ll be no push overs for Burnett’s young side and if Westley chooses to field the likes of Toni Martinez, Reece Oxford and Josh Cullen then it will make things a lot tougher for our lads. But after all this league is about experience and development. One final word, I noticed that Jaden Brown was back training with the development side on Saturday, Brown had been on trial with NEC Nijmegen last month. As always I shall be reporting on this evenings game and shall have my in-depth match report published by the following day.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Tanganga, Dinzeyi, Ogilvie (c), Duncan, Roles, Edwards, Harrison, Georgiou, Tracey.

Subs from: Freeman, Brown, Oakley-Boothe, Maghoma, S.Shashoua.

Doubtful: None.

Injured/unavailable: Kazaiah Sterling, Jamie Reynolds (leg) and Tom Glover (out on trial).

Previous meeting: 2-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 1-0.

My one to watch: The hammers experienced Spanish centre forward Toni Martinez (21). The clinical target man scored 11 goals for West Ham’s development side last season before heading out on loan to Spanish side Real Valladolid in January. If he is involved tonight then his physical presence and aerial prowess will pose a big threat to Burnett’s side.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/08/12/spurs-under-18s-6-4-brighton-match-report/

Spurs under 18’s 6-4 Brighton: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 6-4 Brighton: (match report)

526FD402-88EF-4DA6-A74E-6A36C5B69A06Our under 18’s got the new season underway with a bang on Saturday morning as they managed to beat Brighton 6-4 in their opening league game of the new season, in what was one of the most pulsating games of football you’ll ever see. Played on a gloriously sunny day at Hotspur Way, new head coach Matt Wells took charge of the under 18’s for the first time in domestic competition as Spurs hosted the seagulls. With it being the first game of the season it was always going to be interesting to see which new first year scholars would link up with the second years. Wells opted to go for the 3-3-3-1 formation with Jonathan De Bie (the skipper) playing in goal as an overage goalkeeper whilst two first years Luis Binks and Harvey White formed a back three alongside Tainio. In front of them stood the lively trio of Paris Maghoma, Armando Shashoua (more advanced) and Jamie Bowden. Whilst wide men J’Neil Bennett and Dilan Markanday played on the flanks with Phoenix Patterson playing as a number 10 behind Troy Parrott who lead the Tottenham line on only his fourth appearance at this level. It was a pulsating game of football with so many twists and turns. After a bright start Wells side fell behind against the run of play to Jayden Onen’s goal in the ninth minute of proceedings. Despite enjoying the bulk of possession Tottenham’s back three was being punished on the counter attack, and the seagulls doubled their lead through Onen less than 20 minutes later as the youngster bagged his second of the game. Matt Wells’ side responded through defender Luis Binks as he pulled a goal back for the young Lilywhites on 34 minutes. However, the seagulls took less then two minutes before restoring their two goal cushion through Stefan Vukoje’s unstoppable strike.

But Spurs managed to respond once more and they finished the half in spectacular style as Troy Parrott’s quick fire brace on the stroke of half time, meant that the scores were level going into the second half. After a bit of a disjointed first half performance Wells side started the second half with a real intensity about their game and it caught Mark Beard’s seagulls by surprise. A spectacular solo goal from Paris Maghoma on 53 minutes saw Spurs go ahead for the first time in the game. From there the young Lilywhites controlled the game substitute Brooklyn Lyons-Foster came on to make it 5-3 for Spurs. Before the potent J’Neil Bennett scored a wonderful goal of his own to make it 6-3 a couple of moments later. Brighton did manage to pull a goal back through Onen who secured his hat-trick but Spurs continued to out play the visitors throughout the remainder of the game. Knocking the ball about for fun, Matt Wells’ side played some beautiful attacking football as they held onto the ball. On another day they could have hit ten! It was a superb start to the season for our under 18’s, they showed real character and resilience to not only bounce back from being two goals down. But also to totally change the game and carve open what had been a pretty solid Brighton defence. They played with a real panache about their game, they were unstoppable during that second half. Wells youthful side put in an excellent team performance and it was so enjoyable to experience it first hand.

The visitors got the game underway at a sun kissed Hotspur Way for our under 18’s first league game of the 2018/19 season. Wells’ side looked lively in the opening couple of minutes, none more so than Dilan Markanday who robbed the ball off of Tanimowo out on the right flank early on. The typically energetic forward sped towards the Brighton penalty area before having a pop at goal. His effort was well blocked by Clarke-Eden, a player who would go onto have a brilliant game for the seagulls. Spurs’ high energy start was beginning to cause a few problems for the Brighton defence. Fresh from his first team debut the previous Saturday, Jamie Bowden managed to pick out Parrott inside the box with a well weighted cross. But it was a difficult chance for the Dubliner to convert due to the angles he had to aim at, the 16 year old sent his header well wide of the goal. Matt Wells side continued their bright start to the game when Bennett embarked on a galavanting run down the left. The 16 year old ran at the Brighton fullback, beating two defenders in the process as he continued towards the edge of the Brighton box, before forcing a decent stop out of Bentley with a low effort at goal. The young Lilywhites had started the game really well, they were moving the ball around with pace and were forcing the Brighton defenders into making mistakes due to their high pressing. They did however, struggle to carve through the very much defensive minded opposition who were sitting deep a lot of the time. A sloppy pass from Tainio presented Mark Beard’s side with their first real chance of the game but first year scholar Luis Binks was on hand to make a crucial interception on the edge of the box to win the ball off of Onen. And only a couple of minutes later Beard’s side took a surprise lead courtesy of a strike from the very same player. Totally stunned by the Brighton front lie we had been caught on the counter. Ayo Tanimowo saw a weakness down our left hand side.

The fullback surged forwards to the byline before whipping the ball into the danger zone. Not picked up by White or Binks inside the penalty area, Tanimowo’s cross was met by Jayden Onen who had a headed attempt brilliantly saved by De Bie from close range. Fortunately the ball spilled back out to the Brighton forward who managed to bundle the ball home from less then four yards out, 0-1. Brighton had taken the lead against the run of play. After the seagulls had taken a surprise lead in only the ninth minute of the game, the match began to develop into an end to and game as we tried to draw level. The impressive Paris Maghoma fired over from long range whilst his midfield partner Jamie Bowden was given a warning by the referee only a couple of minutes later. Bowden was forced into making a cynical foul to prevent yet another dangerous Brighton counter attack. The lively Markanday had an effort blocked by the alert Clarke-Eden whilst Marc Leonard sliced a long range effort wide, at the other end. It was a becoming an increasingly frustrating time for Matt Wells youngsters who looked vulnerable whenever they had to deal with a Brighton attack. After being picked out by Jayden Onen inside the Tottenham penalty area, Danny Cashman tried to test De Bie with a powerful low effort which was blocked by White. However, Cashman had been allowed far too much room inside the Tottenham penalty area. The potent J’Neil Bennett who was often finding himself in a lot of space out on the left wing, threatened the Brighton defence when he tricked his way into the box. Attempting to get past Shihab the Tottenham winger fired over from an acute angle. Spurs were dealt another blow on 25 minutes when Jayden Onen managed to net his and Brighton’s second goal of the game. A defence splitting through ball from Vukotje had managed to set Onen racing through on goal down the right hand side.

The forward battled it out with Harvey White as he powered his way into the danger zone before tucking the ball into the far left hand corner of De Bie’s goal, wrapping his foot around the ball as he did so, 0-2. Once again Matt Wells side were caught out on the break. The young Spurs lads knew that thy had to respond before halftime. A scuffed effort by Patterson from long range was easily gathered by the Brighton goalkeeper George Bentley. Whilst the continuously dangerous looking Bennett had a venomous shot blocked by Clarke-Eden a couple of moments later. The ball came out to Patterson on the edge of the box, the playmaker attempted to pick out Parrott inside the area but the Irishman’s header towards goal was deflected over the crossbar and out for a corner kick (Spurs had 22 corners in the game!). The 16 year old was working incredibly hard up top up and was often tracking back and getting stuck in, in the centre of the park. Brighton skipper Danny Cashman claimed a penalty kick after being brought down by White inside the Tottenham box. And Wells’ side had the right to claim one themselves after some pulling from Clarke-Eden was spotted at the other end only a couple of minutes later. J’Neil Bennett had went to meet Harvey White’s inviting cross at the back post, the wide man contested the ball with Clarke-Eden but could be seen having the bottom of his shirt pulled as he missed out on making any contact with the ball. However, Spurs managed to pull an important goal back through Luis Binks in the 34th minute. After Phoenix Patterson had whipped a menacing cross into the danger zone the centre half who somehow found himself so high up pitch, was at the back post to meet the ball. His powerful header was saved by Bentley and a defender quickly cleared the ball to safety. Everybody in the crowd suspected nothing of it (including the players) until the linesman on the far sided deemed it to have crossed the line, 1-2.

After pulling a somewhat fortuitous goal back Wells side looked to reestablish their control on the game. However, a little under two minutes later the seagulls regained their two goal cushion courtesy of an unstoppable strike from Vukotje. After receiving a crisp pass from Onen around 25 yards out from goal the Brighton winger continued unchallenged through the middle, before firing an effort at goal from the edge of the penalty area. His powerful swerving effort crashed onto the underside of De Bie’s crossbar before then bouncing off the line and into up the roof of De Bie’s goal. The wingers unstoppable strike gave the Belgian no time to react, 1-3. Spurs responded straight from the restart through Jamie Bowden who fired an effort narrowly over from range. Trying desperately hard to get themselves back into the game, Spurs were attacking the Brighton defence as if the game was about to end, towards the closing stages of the half. Troy Parrott should have been awarded a stonewall penalty after pouncing on a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area. Surging into the box the centre forward was taken clean out by Shihab who went sliding in totally missing the ball in the process. Parrott was stunned and exclaimed ’ how? ’ to the referee Shaun Barry. Parrott’s bemusement was soon turned to joy after he pulled a goal back for Spurs in the 42nd minute. After some lovely dribbling from the tireless Shashoua on the edge of the penalty area, the midfielder passed the ball to Maghoma who charged into the penalty area showing good feet as he did so. After being crowded out by green shirts inside the box the midfielder took a heavy touch which rolled right on through to the alert Parrott who swept home from close range, into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 2-3. After racing back to the halfway line Spurs continued to look for an equaliser as we entered stoppage time. After really piling on the pressure Matt Wells side came desperately close to getting an equaliser. When Maghoma’s attempted cross from the left wing came rattling off of the top of Bentley’s left hand post. The ball was eventually worked out to Harvey White who took no time in whipping a cross into the danger zone.

Lurking in the middle of the goal was Parrott who managed to just glance his header past Bentley to make it 3-3, in what was the final action of an extraordinary first half. Spurs got the game back underway as Matt Wells side looked to continue the second half where they left off the first. It was clear from the opening couple of minutes of the half that Spurs were showing some ridiculously high energy levels as they moved the ball about in the final third. J’Neil Bennett had Spurs’ first chance of the half after he went on an attacking foray down the left. The tricky wide man then cut inside onto his right before firing an effort at goal. His powerful attempt was deflected off of a Brighton defender inside the box, this caused a bit of panic amongst their defence as they tried desperately hard to clear the ball before it rolled out to Markanday at the back post. Spurs were dominating possession and were testing the visitors with numerous attacking forays. One player who was playing a much more advanced role in this half was Paris Maghoma. After whipping a menacing cross into the box which only just evaded Dilan Markanday at the back post. The England youth international produced a moment of sheer genius to put Spurs ahead for the first time in the game only a couple of moments later. Maghoma’s incredible solo goal started after he received a pass some 25 yards out from goal. The 17 year old then managed to work his way around two Brighton defenders with the most sublime pieces of skill. Like peak Paul Pogba he continued to stride towards the penalty area evading more Brighton defenders before unleashing a rocket of a shot from the edge of the box. Which slammed high into the centre of the goal, leaving George Bentley rooted to his spot, 4-3! Spurs were now on top and their wonderful high intensity, attacking football was making the seagulls struggle to keep up. The hardworking Patterson saw his low effort from 20 yards out saved by the feet of the Brighton goalkeeper.

Before a well worked short corner almost made it 5-3 to the Lilywhites. After Shashoua decided to take the corner kick short to Patterson who then rolled the ball out to Bowden, the midfielders first time strike was blocked by Clarke-Eden. The ball came back out to Patterson who picked Parrott out in the centre of the penalty area. The centre forward controlled the ball before trying to sort his feet out whilst being hounded by two Brighton defenders. Parrott ignored Maghoma who was in space to his left and instead sent the ball trickling wide of the left post. Spurs continued to pepper the Brighton goal when Shashoua embarked on an excellent surging run towards goal. The midfielder squared the ball for Markanday in the centre of the box. Markanday’s effort was blocked brilliantly by Clarke-Eden who once again had put his body on the line. Spurs made their first substitution shortly afterwards as centre half Brooklyn Lyons-Foster entered the fold in place of Phoenix Patterson. Spurs were showing no signs of lowering their tempo. J’Neil Bennett curled a deflected effort narrowly over from range before Spurs got that all important fifth goal. Armando Shashoua passed the ball to Harvey White out on the right wing, the makeshift centre half sent another peach of a cross inside the danger zone. Amongst a sea of bodies the newly introduced Lyons-Foster rose to guide the ball into the far corner of Bentley’s goal, as it managed to creep in, 5-3. At times mesmeric with his wide ranging skillset and galavanting runs down the left wing, J’Neil Bennett deserved a goal. And after seeing his shot blocked by Clarke-Eden only a couple of moments later, the Tottenham winger put the icing on the cake with a spectacular sixth goal for Spurs on 63 minutes. After receiving a pass from Shashoua some 25 yards out from goal, Bennett curled a wonderful effort inside the top right hand corner of Bentley’s goal sparking scenes of elation from the Tottenham players, 6-3.

Spurs’ wonderful intricate attacking football had played the seagulls off the park and they weren’t done yet! Keen to get on the scoresheet himself Jamie Bowden had a promising effort blocked by Tanimowo. Whilst the impressive Luis Binks managed to make an important block to thwart Onen’s effort at the other end. However, an absurd decision from the referee on 68 minutes allowed Brighton to pull a goal back through Onen, who secured his hat-trick. Lyons-Foster was clearly tripped from behind by Onen as he attempted to play the ball out from the back all the players paused presuming a free kick has been awarded. But to everyone’s surprise the referee waived play on as Onen raced inside the penalty area, De Bie came rushing off of his line and made a good stop to deny the Brighton forward. However, the ball rolled back out to Onen on the edge of the penalty area and he made no mistakes this time round as he calmly slotted into the back of the net, 6-4. However, this didn’t affect Spurs in the slightest they continued to dominate possession and were knocking the ball around for fun. Maghoma had a shot blocked by Roberts before Parrott forced an easy stop out of Bentley after getting on the end of Bowden’s cross. The newly introduced Mukendi made a brilliant crunching challenge which brought rapturous applause from the spectators, as Spurs continued to press Brighton ridiculously high up the pitch. Continuing to create, Harvey White could have had a hat-trick of assists had Binks have been able to convert his cross which was gathered by Bentley. Onen fired narrowly over at the other end before Binks made a magnificent block to deny the same player, as Brighton tried to get back into the game but it wasn’t working. Our lads almost hit seven when Bennett embarked on yet another promising run down the left hand side. Bennett’s run ended in him smashing the ball agonisingly across the face of the goal. The former QPR schoolboy went close again a couple of minutes later after powering his way down the wing he came across onto his right before firing a low effort a fraction wide of the Brighton goal.

Spurs continued to create a flurry of late chances, as the game began to draw to a close. A well worked move saw Bowden pass the ball to Maghoma the latter surged forwards before shifting the ball out to Bennett on the left side of the penalty area. Bennett turned his man before firing over, failing to register Maghoma who had created a good pocket of space on the edge of the penalty area. The final score Spurs 6-4 Brighton, a most extraordinary game of football on day one of the new season sees Matt Wells’ side pick up three points against a good Brighton team. It was a performance of great character and resilience from Spurs particularly in the second half where they put in an unstoppable attacking display. Up next for our under 18’s is a trip to South Wales where they will face Swansea at their Landore training centre, next Saturday morning.

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: I must admit I was a little surprised to see the Belgian start against Brighton. The overage goalkeeper had a good game against the seagulls as he took the captains armband once again at this level. There was nothing he could of done to prevent any of Brighton’s goals, De Bie made some good saves throughout the game and put in a good strong performance. The 18 year old also ordered his defence well whenever they had to defend a set piece.
– Maximus Tainio: On the whole it was a decent performance from the young Finn who slotted into a back three for our win against Brighton on Saturday. Although he was caught out for pace on a coupe of occasions Tainio put in a strong and commanding performance before shifting out to his more natural position of right back towards the end of the game.
– Luis Binks: It was a memorable day for young Luis Binks, the England u17 international put in a really impressive display at centre half. Making many crucial interceptions and blocks, like Lyons-Foster Binks loves to play out from the back and he did so a lot against the seagulls. He showed good composure and made some nice forward passes. He topped it all of with his first goal at this level.
– Harvey White: A player who I am a big fan of, the cdm dropped back to form our incredibly young back three. Solid and composed throughout the game White put in a really strong defensive performance. However, it was his excellent crossing ability which won the plaudits against Brighton as he bagged two assists against the seagulls.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Really good cameo from the ball playing centre half. The 17 year old put in a strong performance and really bolstered our defence after coming on and didn’t put a foot wrong. Lyons-Foster also managed to score his first goal at this level!
– Dennis Cirkin: He looked solid during his 14 minutes on the field. Cirkin stayed deep.
– Jamie Bowden: The deepest of our midfield trio Bowden swept up well in the centre of the park. Asserting himself well on the game, Jamie really grew into the game and made many clever choices. He was particularly impressive during the second half where he got forward a lot more.
– Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below.
– Armando Shashoua: Like a bee buzzing around in the faces of the Brighton defenders. The technically brilliant midfielder was a thorn in Brighton’s side throughout the game, playing such a pivotal role in our win. His trademark pressing and constant bombardment of the Brighton defence forced them into making numerous errors during our 6-4 win. Not only that but the slick midfield technician recycled possession well, and initiated many moves in the final third with his crisp and accurate passing. The 17 year old was also very good on the ball, his dribbling really worked the Brighton defenders. It was an excellent performance from the 17 year old who managed to register two assists on game one of the new season. He was so key to Spurs breaking Brighton down.
– Dilan Markanday: Constantly getting into good pockets of space out on the right flank. Markanday who it’s worth remembering is still only 16, put in a really impressive performance. With his many weaving runs and lovely well weighted passes into the danger zone, he remained a threat throughout.
– Phoenix Patterson: The number 10 really took the game by the scruff of the neck and would go onto make a positive impression on the game. He was heavily involved in so many of our attacks, Patterson was tricky and astute. Often driving at the opposition, he was at the forefront of so many of our attacking forays. The 17 year old also managed to set up Luis Binks goal with a well weighted cross.
– Jeremie Mukendi: Mukendi looked promising during his late cameo as he embarked on a couple of fruitful runs down the right. His well timed crunching challenge shortly after coming on drew praise from the audience.
– J’Neil Bennett: A player who you’ll all know I’m a big fan of, the 16 year old left winger put in a superb performance against Brighton on Saturday. The Zaha like showman took players on for fun, galavanting down the left wing as if he was freestyler. However, Bennett was hugely productive throughout the game and created many chances from that left hand side. The trickster wrapped up a superb performance with a glorious goal from long range. He is going to be such an important player for Wells’ side this season.
– Troy Parrott: After spending the majority of pre-season away with our development side it was good to see the 16 year old centre forward back playing at this level. Extremely hard working throughout the entirety of the game, not only did Parrott press high he also involved himself much deeper in the pitch. Winning the ball in the centre of the park and driving forwards. Hugely deserving of his two goals of which were typical poachers finishes, Parrott had a great game all round and could even appear on the bench for our next under 23 game. It’s also worth mentioning that there was a scout from the FAI in attendance.

My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. Energetic, box to box and extremely influential to the way in which Spurs played, Paris Maghoma was hands down my man of the match yesterday. He did his role so well in the centre of midfield, like a young Paul Pogba he was effective at both ends of the pitch. In the first half he was much deeper and added real steel and tenacity to the side, bossing the central areas and dictating play. Maghoma also did well to set up Parrott for his first goal of the game. In the second half the 17 year old was quite simply unplayable, he got further up the pitch much more often. And was constantly linking up with the likes of Parrott and Bennett. The scorer of one of the most sumptuous goal I’ve ever seen at this level. Young Paris put in the complete midfield performance, his driving runs and multiple key passes helped us to unravel the Brighton defence. Another thing I noticed about his game was how often he was able to find himself in little pockets around the six yard box. A superb game for the teenager who I’m sure will be heavily involved with the development squad this season.

Spurs: De Bie (c), Tainio, Binks, Bowden, White, Maghoma, Markanday (Mukendi 73), A Shashoua (Cirkin 80), Parrott, Patterson (Lyons-Foster 59), Bennett. Substitute (not used): Oluwayemi, Walcott.

Referee: Shaun Barry.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 2
Luis Binks – 1
Paris Maghoma – 1
Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 1
J’Neil Bennett -1

Assists: Harvey White – 2
Armando Shashoua – 2
Phoenix Patterson -1
Paris Maghoma – 1

Spurs under 18’s versus Brighton: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Brighton: (match preview)

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After a long summer our under 18’s return to domestic action tomorrow when they host Brighton and Hove Albion at Hotspur Way (11:30 AM KO), in their first under 18 league game of the new 2018/19 season. It’s fair to say that it’s been an eventful summer of outgoings as far as the Tottenham academy is concerned. We’ve lost some of our most promising youth prospects this summer to overseas clubs with Keanan Bennetts, Reo Griffiths and Noni Madeuke all opting to try their luck on mainland Europe. Madeuke was one of our most promising under 16’s, a skilful midfielder the former Crystal Palace schoolboy was extremely highly rated at Spurs. That’s why it was a major loss for Spurs when he decided to join Dutch giants PSV earlier on this summer. Another high profile departure was that of our under 18’s head coach Scott Parker. Parker linked up with his former club Fulham where he is now a first team coach. Former youth team player and long time academy coach (former u23 assistant manager) Matt Wells has taken Parker’s place and will be in charge of the under 18’s for the 2018/19 campaign. Over the course of the domestic season Wells side will compete in the u18 premier league south, the u18 premier league cup which they made the final of last season, and the most prestigious competition of them all the FA youth cup. A lot of this seasons under 18’s will also get game time in the UEFA youth league over the course of the season, I presume Wells will be in charge for that as well. We’ve got another really exciting pool of players in the under 18’s this season, with ten first year scholars joining last seasons unusually large intake.

Matt Wells’ sides first opponents of the new season are Mark Beard’s Brighton. We contested two fiercely competitive games with the seagulls last season, including a nine goal thriller down on the south coast. Known for producing some exciting talents over the last five or so years Brighton’s current under 18 side boasts some impressive young players. Of which includes England u17 international Tareq Shihab, midfielder Teddy Hoare and the seagulls second top scorer last season, Dan Cashman. It will be a tough opener for the young Lilywhites and I’m intrigued to see what team Wells will pick. It will also be fascinating to see which first year scholars are included, I would suspect Irish prodigy Troy Parrott will lead the line after his pre-season involvement with the development side. I would also expect Dennis Cirkin to start at left back due to the lack of players we have in that position. However, I’m really looking forward to seeing the lads in action this season and reporting on my first under 18 game of the new season. I wish all of our players the very best of luck for the new campaign and I must say I will be astounded if anyone can match or even beat Reo Griffiths’ (now of Lyon) extremely impressive goal tally of 33 goals at this level last season! My in-depth match report of tomorrows opening game of the season will be published on Saturday night.

OAG* = Overage goalkeeper.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Freeman (OAG*), Tainio, Lyons-Foster (c), Statham, Cirkin, Bowden, Patterson, Richards, A.Shashoua, Bennett, Parrott.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Okedina, Cooper, Thorpe, Asante.

Doubtful: None (as far as I am aware).

Injured/unavailable: None (as far as I am aware).

Previous meeting: Spurs 6-3.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: The seagulls 17 year old forward Dan Cashman, Brighton’s second top scorer with six goals last season. Cashman impressed me during both our encounters with Brighton last season.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/07/19/a-piece-on-spurs-new-first-year-scholars/

The continued rise of Oliver Skipp:

The continued rise of Oliver Skipp:

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I’ve been meaning to write a piece on Spurs academy hopeful Oliver Skipp throughout the close season. In fact I did start a long in-depth article on the midfielder whilst on holiday in Ireland back in June, but anyhow here it is now and hopefully it does the immensely talented youngster justice. After the teenagers recent exploits away with the first team on our pre-season tour of the United States I think it’s quite an appropriate time to write a piece on Skipp, and one inwhich reflects on his extraordinary contribution to the development side last season whilst still a first year scholar. The Hertfordshire born midfielder played an incredible 61 games for Spurs’ various youth teams last season whilst in his first year of scholarship at the club. Young Oliver has always been ahead of his years at least since I first became aware of him. As an under 15 he was already a full England under 16 international and an integral part of of Tottenham’s under 16 side. The following season (2016/17) the lifelong Spurs supporter was quickly integrated into John McDermott’s under 18 side despite only being a schoolboy. It didn’t take Skippy (as he is known by teammates) long before he made his mark on that talented side. He became an important part of the side which made the 2017 FA youth cup semifinals that same season, he also made a string of appearances for the under 19 side in Europe. On top of that he featured prominently for McDermott’s side in the under 18 league after adapting so seamlessly to under 18 football, he also regularly played at centre half. The tenacious midfielder would reach a feat few youth players had achieved for Spurs. When in February of 2017 he was given his debut for the development side by the late Ugo Ehiogu in a PL2 game against Sunderland. Oliver was still a schoolboy. A domineering defensive midfielder Skipp shows all the qualities of an old school ball winning anchor man, combined with the qualities of so many of the top central midfielders of the modern day.

Combining brains with brawn Skipp is incomparable with any of the midfielders of his age group in England. He draws likeness with a wide ranging set of players, from our very own legendary midfielder Steve Perryman to the likes of Frank Lampard, Toni Kroos and a certain Michael Carrick. He is the complete defensive midfielder, he has that ability to control games from the centre of the park. He is both domineering and decisive, he recycles possession effectively and is able to read the game to perfection. He presses relentlessly and keeps good positioning, often covering for defenders who are higher up the pitch and out of position. He carries the ball well and is able to glide past players twice his size in the centre of midfield, showing great guile as he does so. However, the lad from Hertford is much more than a combative defensive midfielder and fine centre half. He is also an extremely creative player who uses the ball resourcefully to initiate attacking moves from deep. His range of passing is impressive as is his skilfulness, something which isn’t mentioned a lot about his game. The teenager is also a good dribbler and he often poses a threat going forward, with his trademark lung bursting forwards runs from deep inside in his own half. A little over a year ago I watched in amazement as Oliver started our under 23’s first league game of the season against Sunderland, up in County Durham. Skipp singlehandedly embarrassed Sunderland’s Jack Rodwell in the middle of the park that day, he controlled the midfield from start to finish, even going onto assist Kazaiah Sterling’s goal. It was at that precise moment that I realised how incredibly special a talent the teenager was.

After our encounter with the black cats development side Skippy never seemed to look back, he would go onto cement his place in Burnett’s under 23 side. Keeping out his older and more experienced teammates such as Jack Roles and Dylan Duncan in the process. His ability to dictate games is one of his greatest qualities, his composure under pressure and ability to create little pockets of space for himself is so effective, and useful for his teammates as it helps to alleviate the pressure off of others. That remarkable maturity makes him a natural born leader. He constantly plays with his arm flailing and can often be seen giving out advice to other members of the team throughout games. Having watched Skipp play extensively over the past couple of seasons I’ve grown to admire his style of play. There’s no big I am about the teenager from Hertford. No pretentious skills or over the top showboating in the centre of the park (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) like Winks he doesn’t take unnecessary chances during games. He keeps things ticking like the 22 year old midfielder, but unlike Winks he is far more effective at breaking up play and recycling possession, it seems to come more naturally to him. Throughout my many reports from last season you’ll spot a consistent theme whenever I reviewed Skipp’s performances, not once did he have a bad game. He was consistent throughout the campaign and whilst he did tire towards the end of the season due to the ridiculous amount of games he had been involved in, he always managed to hold his own and find a way to impact games. Whether that be throwing himself right in front of an attempt on goal or making defence splitting passes through the middle. He always managed to find a way to effect the game in a positive way. It didn’t surprise me in the slightest to see him impress fans with his performances for the first team this summer. His most impressive showing came during our showdown with AC Milan in Minneapolis.

During that game Skipp managed to hold his own in the middle of the park whilst competing with house hold names such as Franck Kessié and Manuel Locattelli. He fitted in so seamlessly to Pochettino’s young side, he was assertive and energetic all over the pitch. With his typically aggressive pressing and hounding down of the opposition players, Skipp also managed to make some important interceptions and recoveries. His pass completion rate was impressive as was the way in which he carried the ball in the centre of the pitch. He even drew praise from Tottenham star Christian Eriksen who was impressed by Skipp’s courage and all round ability. During my end of season round up of our development side last season, I lauded Skipp as the best English midfielder of his age group in the country, and I strongly stand by that statement. I’m not expecting him to get much game time for Pochettino’s side this season other then in the odd cup game. However, I’m expecting him to go down the same path of development as Walker-Peters and Winks have done in recent seasons. That consistent involvement with the first team in training combined with regular involvement in the PL2 with the development side, and the UEFA youth league with the under 19’s. Young Oliver is an exceptional talent and I know for a fact that all of the premier leagues top clubs have been tracking him for a long, long time. But like Winks and Onomah and Kane he is a Tottenham fan just like you and me, and sometimes that is all that matters. The masterful midfielder has already proved to Pochettino that he is able to step up and perform on the big stage. The next step for young Oliver and the Tottenham coaching staff is about nurturing that talent and ever so slowly easing him into the first team fold. And I have no doubts whatsoever that he’ll go onto make his mark on the first team in the future, after all he is still only 17!

Why I’m hoping that Anthony Georgiou can follow Danny Rose’s path into the first team:

Why I’m hoping that Anthony Georgiou can follow Danny Rose’s path into the first team:

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After an impressive time away with Spurs’ first team in America last month, academy graduate Anthony Georgiou is continuing to show signs of improvement to his game ahead of the start of the domestic season. Over a year has past since he made his explosive debut for the first team during the 2017 tour of the states, with a terrific performance against AS Roma. A fruitful season followed for the Londoner, who would later go onto make his competitive debut for the Lilywhites during our champions league game with APOEL Nicosia, in Anthony’s native Cyprus. If that wasn’t already enough Georgiou also went onto win two international caps for Cyprus that same season. Dividing his time training with the first team and the development side, Georgiou also made 13 appearances for the under 23’s last season. Scoring on one occasion. A stark contrast to the injury hit 2016/17 season that he endured. It was so refreshing to see so many of our academy players involved with the first team on our tour of America. Anthony was joined by the likes of Oliver Skipp, Luke Amos, George Marsh and TJ Eyoma, all of whom were excellent for Pochettino’s side when called upon. Georgiou played in all three of our ICC games featuring prominently in our encounters with Barcelona and AC Milan, and he won many plaudits off of Spurs supporters in the process. With his explosive pace and good awareness Georgiou proved effective down the right wing after coming on as a second half substitute against Barcelona in game two. Eager to run at the Barcelona defence Georgiou’s tricky attacking forays asked questions of the Spanish sides fullback Marc Cucurella and he would go onto create Nkoudou’s equaliser during the latter stages of the game (even though he should have been awarded the goal!).

In his next outing Georgiou would be played at left back as Spurs took on Italian giants AC Milan in Minneapolis. This is where I thought Georgiou had his best game of the tour. Not only did he read the game well and defend to a good standard, Anthony was exceptionally bright going forwards. His rapid pace left him in good stead as he galloped down the left wing linking up well with and overlapping Nkouodu. He is no stranger to playing at wing back, he featured prominently in that position for Burnett’s development side last season putting in some strong defensive performances. He looked incredibly assured whilst up against Milan’s tricky forward Suso, I thought he tracked him well and prevented him from enjoying too much space out on the right wing. He also carried the ball extremely well, his fine skill and balance helping him to get away from Milan players whilst in tight spaces. However, Georgiou was very much an attacking fullback throughout the entirety of his time on the pitch he would surge forwards whenever he had the opportunity, and was always looking to take players on. Something which is so typical of his game, he is such a direct and forward thinking winger a traditional wide man in many respects. Having watched Anthony play at youth level for so long I’ve no doubts whatsoever that he could become a Pochettino style wingback much like Danny Rose has managed to become. Rose once a winger himself was converted to fullback in his early 20’s and whilst it took him a fair while and a couple of loan moves before he learnt his trade and adapted his game. He managed to defy the odds. And it wasn’t too long ago that he was regarded as one of the finest left backs in the world something which few Spurs fans would have predicted only a couple of seasons earlier.

On each of his seven appearances for the first team Georgiou has only ever drawn positive feedback from fans. However, as great as it is to see the likes of Georgiou, Amos and Skipp playing pre-season friendlies it is crucial that they get to play competitive games for the first team as well. As the old saying goes it’s a fine dividing line. In my opinion Anthony shows all the hallmarks of being a top class wingback he has speed, skill, agility and good awareness. He also has an absolute wand of a left foot, he is a good crosser of the ball and he can certainly test the goalkeeper as well. As shown on the tour he also has good vision and has the ability to pick out key passes to the forwards. The Lewisham born winger is courageous and has a ridiculously high work rate and loves to press the opposing teams defenders. I’ll never forget that time I was watching our under 23’s take on Manchester United back in 2016. Georgiou who was our best player that day suffered a nasty gash to the side of his head. Despite dripping with blood he was up and down that flank like nobody else, even though he was quite clearly in some discomfort. In some respects he reminds me of my fellow countryman James McClean, a marauding left winger who is also adept at playing at wingback I have watched him play extensively over the years. McClean who is a star for the Irish national team is lightening quick like Georgiou, he is also strong and has a wand of a left foot. Although Georgiou is far more skilful than the Stoke player the thing that is so strikingly similar about them is their relentless chasing down of the opposition. Like McClean, Georgiou has the most exceptional work rate it doesn’t matter if he’s playing as a wingback or as an out and out winger. The youngster is nonstop, he tracks back at every opportunity and unlike other players on the pitch he’ll make those lung bursting runs to commit himself defensively.

When Pochettino’s side face Girona tomorrow in their final game of pre-season Georgiou will likely be given more game ahead of the start of our premier league campaign the following Saturday. In my eyes he has proven himself at this level both as a winger and as a wingback, he is also far too good to be playing at youth level. He is a player capable of offering so much more to the first team whether that be as an impact sub playing on the wing or as a youthful wingback, he would also undoubtedly save Pochettino money. Georgiou is a special talent and one who thoroughly deserves to be fully integrated into the first team squad this season. Like Rose was at the same age Georgiou is a natural attack minded winger whose first thoughts are to beat his man down the left wing. That is something which we have lacked since the days of Lennon and Bale and something which is so key to the way Pochettino’s likes his side to play football. Rose was once that kind of player but he was able to use his speed and skill to his advantage so as to better his defensive game. I have a great feeling about this season for Georgiou and I think that he can go a step further than he did last season by getting more game time. Whether that will be for the first team or for another club out on loan we’ll have to wait and see. However, if somebody was to ask me which youth player most deserves to have a sustained run in the first team this season I would say Anthony without any hesitation. For me he has the all attributes of a top wingback/winger and I and many other Spurs fans are looking forward to seeing how he progresses this season. I just thoroughly hope that Pochettino will give the fearless wideman more game time to prove his worth.

Spurs under 21’s 0-1 EA Guingamp: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 0-1 EA Guingamp: (match report)

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Our under 21’s final game of this seasons Tournoi Europeen took place on Sunday morning in Ploufragan. Burnett’s side faced local team EA Guingamp in the fifth/sixth place play off on Sunday morning. There was torrential rainfall in Ploufragan for Spurs’ final game, the bad conditions would ultimately affect how they played. Burnett decided to change things up for Tottenham’s final game of the tournament. He picked a 4-2-3-1 formation which saw Spurs lineup with De Bie in goal, whist Duncan, Statham, Ogilvie (c) and Hinds made up the back four in place of Jonathan Dinzeyi who was sent off against Stade Rennais. It also turns out that the young centre halve is injured at this moment in time along with Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Shayon Harrison. Bowden and Roles played behind the attacking trio of Markanday, Samuel Shashoua and his younger brother Armando, 16 year old centre forward Troy Parrott lead the line for Spurs on his second start of the tournament, (I gather that Harrison has picked up an injury!). Spurs got the game underway at the Henri Guérin centre as the rain continued to pour down, after some decent early passes Guingamp took a surprise lead through Ryade Hachem in the seventh minute. Quite out of nowhere Mattias Phaeton burst down the left wing before forcing a brilliant save out of De Bie with a venomous effort from the edge of the penalty area. The Belgian could only palm the ball towards the feet of Hachem who managed to convert from close range, 0-1. Burnett’s side almost made an immediate response when they went on a promising attack a couple of moments later.

The lively Samuel Shashoua was able to weave his way into the Guingamp box before playing a quick one – two with Parrott before being brought down by an opposition player inside the box. The ball eventually rolled out to his younger brother Armando as the referee ignored any protests for a penalty. The younger Shashoua squared it for Parrott in the centre of the box but his first time effort was straight at Youfeigane who produced a good save to deny the Irishman a certain goal. Samuel Shashoua threaded a promising through ball into Parrott a couple of minutes later but the centre forwards touch let him down as Youfeigane came out to smother the ball. The prominent Jack Roles then curled an effort narrowly wide as Spurs began to really push for an equaliser. The slippery surface wasn’t helping either side, centre halve Connor Ogilvie had a bit of a scare when Phaeton robbed the ball off of him in the final third before sprinting towards the goal, dragging an effort across the face of De Bie’s goal. The lively Dilan Markanday was proving to be a tricky customer out on the right wing, the 16 year olds menacing free kick on 20 minutes was only narrowly poked wide by Duncan who was lurking at the back post. Spurs began to ask questions of the Guingamp defence, the spritely Parrott did well to win a free kick in promising area for Burnett’s side. The captain Connor Ogilvie stepped up to bend the ball narrowly wide of Youfeigane’s left hand post as the French side continued to keep Spurs at bay. The torrential weather conditions were beginning to really affect Spurs’ passing style and this began to frustrate them in the final third. There was an unpredictability about the game and both sides seemed vulnerable on the counter. Guingamp came close to doubling their lead after Ilan Radenac connected with Phaeton’s cross inside the danger zone, thankfully Radenac nodded the ball narrowly wide at the back post.

The impressive Jamie Bowden tried to play the lively Dilan Markanday through on goal with a lovely lofted pass. However, the speedy winger didn’t have enough time to open his body up as Youfeigane came rushing out to assertively clear the ball. Connor Ogilvie made an important block at the other end to prevent Aly Guedard from getting a clean shot away at goal, after the winger cut inside onto his right foot on the edge of the penalty area. Dilan Markanday then curled an effort well wide of the mark as Parrott exclaimed ’ Why didn’t you pass to me ! ’ Whilst Spurs were seeing a lot more of the ball in the central areas of the pitch neither they nor Guingamp could string that many passes together. The rain was coming down heavier and the conditions were worsening by the half. Burnett’s side had to remain alert at the back as the half progressed, Guedard tested Duncan down the left once again with a surging run. As the winger cut inside onto his right foot before hitting a venomous effort at the Tottenham goal from the edge of the penalty. Of which was brilliantly blocked behind for a corner by Maxwell Statham. Guingamp’s resulting corner kick was whipped in by Louis Carnot as Antoine Hequet flicked the ball into the arms of De Bie, in what was the last real piece of action from the first half. Guingamp got the second half back underway as Spurs went in desperate such of that all important equaliser. However, Burnett’s side found themselves in a spot of bother early on in the half as the newly introduced Es Sahal won the ball off of Bowden in the middle of the park. Es Sahal drove forwards down the middle before lashing an effort wide of De Bie’s goal. Dylan Duncan then made a good challenge inside the Tottenham penalty area to prevent an opening for the French side. Whilst Burnett’s side created a good move at the opposite end of the pitch which culminated in Roles having his shot blocked on the edge of the penalty area.

One of Tottenham’s main creative outlets was Samuel Shashoua and the tricky winger was constantly trying to work his way through the brick wall that was the Guingamp defence. After embarking on a mesmeric run Shashoua managed to take the ball into the Guingamp penalty area but with such limited space to aim at, the winger had his shot blocked at the last moment by a Guingamp defender. Spurs were beginning to play a lot more fluently and they were now able to dominate possession. The hardworking Parrott couldn’t create any openings of his own as Guingamp’s tight defence was strangling the Spurs forwards as they desperately tried to get into space. After conceding a supposed foul on Hachem out on the right wing the referee awarded a free kick against the Dubliner. Clearly unhappy at this decision Parrott asked the referee to open his eyes this resulted in him receiving a yellow card. The referee was getting a bit carried away with handing out yellow cards and only a couple of minutes later he put Spurs captain Connor Ogilvie in the book despite the fact that the 22 year old had won the ball. Spurs were working extremely hard to get back into the game, young defender Maxwell Statham could be heard urging his teammates to keep going as spurs reached a critical stage in the game. About ten minutes from the end the French club almost doubled their advantage through Yohann Baret. After Luc Heumel drilled a low free kick towards goal the ball ended up deflecting into the feet of Baret inside the Tottenham box. The youngster fired a powerful low effort at goal which was excellently saved low down by De Bie who did ever so well to collapse his body in time. Shortly afterwards Jamie Bowden became the third Spurs player to enter the book after a rash challenge on a Guingamp player. The 17 year old was quickly replaced by Paris Maghoma who was brought on in the hope of adding to Spurs’ attack.

Es Sahal tried to beat De Bie in the Spurs goal with an audacious effort from ridiculously far out as Spurs tried desperately hard to work the ball up the pitch. Burnett threw on Edwards and Tracey into the game in a final attempt to try and carve through that rigid Guingamp defence. The alert De Bie did well to snuff out a dangerous looking through ball towards Es Sahal. As Spurs were throwing everything at Guingamp as the clock ticked down, Parrott tried once again to test Youfeigane but was crowded out inside the box before having his shot blocked by a defender. Whilst at the other end Phaeton tore down the left wing before squaring the ball to Es Sahal inside the penalty area. The forward spun around before firing an effort narrowly over the top of De Bie’s goal. Spurs managed to get into a promising position during our last attack of the game but it was as if we were trying to score the perfect goal. Samuel Shashoua and Edwards linked up well before the former worked his way past a couple of defenders on the edge of the penalty area but once again he didn’t shoot. This greatly frustrated Maghoma who could be heard roaring at him on the final whistle, asking him why didn’t he pass the ball to him. The final score from the Henri Guérin centre on a tough morning for Burnett’s side was Spurs under 21’s 0-1 EA Guingamp, Spurs finish the tournament in sixth place. A lot of fans will come to the assumption that this wasn’t a particularly impressive tournament for the Spurs youngsters but I strongly disagree. We were only 25 minutes away from reaching the final during our final group game against Stade Rennais, throughout the group stage we put in three very impressive performances. We were the better team against the eventual winners of the tournament PSG in our opening game. We followed that up with two competent performances against Nice and Stade Rennais in our next two games.

Whilst it would have been nice to reach the final for a second consecutive season the primary objective about these tournaments is about testing the young players mettle. Burnett’s side have performed really well at this years Tournoi Europeen and I for one am extremely proud of their efforts. Young Paris Maghoma (17) was awarded the player of the tournament award after a string of impressive performances in the centre of the park. Whilst Tottenham manager Wayne Burnett was awarded the fair play award by the tournament officials. There have been a whole host of extremely impressive performances from the Spurs players. Those from Connor Ogilvie, Maxwell Statham, Tariq Hinds, Paris Maghoma, Jamie Bowden and Jonathan De Bie all come to mind but I’ve been impressed with all of our players performances throughout the entirety of the tournament. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reporting on our lads progress at the tournament and I would like to thank the Henri Guérin centre for putting on such a welcoming and enjoyable tournament. I would also like to extend my thanks to the Tottenham Hotspur players who kindly took the time to take photographs with me before yesterday’s game with Guingamp, they were all top, top lads. Our development sides first league game of the season is at home to West Ham on Monday the 13th of August.

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: My motm, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: The 19 year old put in a really competent performance in the unfamiliar role of right back. He was strong and flexible and read the game well.
– Tariq Hinds: Another extremely impressive defensive performance from the fullback this time at left back. Hinds remained solid throughout our encounter with Guingamp and hardly put a foot wrong. I can’t remember him getting beaten once down the wing.
– Connor Ogilvie: The commanding defender reverted into playing as a centre halve for our game with Guingamp. Ogilvie put in another strong defensive performance and despite his lack of pace he managed to form a really strong defensive partnership alongside Statham.
– Maxwell Statham: It was another excellent performance from the 17 year old centre back. Statham snuffed out danger throughout the match and managed to marshal the backline well whilst remaining dominant in the air. It was another performance of great maturity.
– Jack Roles: Somewhat of an orchestrator in the centre of the park the industrious midfielder initiated some good moves and made some promising runs in and around the six yard box.
– Jamie Bowden: Cool, calm and collected. The young midfielder capped off an excellent performance with another strong showing in the centre of the park against much older and more physical opposition. He also moved the ball around well.
– Dilan Markanday: Electric inside the first 30 minutes Markanday’s excellent balance and surging runs down the right wing caused a whole host of problems for the Guingamp defence. Whilst he had a quieter second half the 16 year olds strong performance was extremely impressive and effective.
– Armando Shashoua: Another energetic performance in the number 10 role, the intricate midfielder was key to us creating openings. He also linked up really well with his older brother out on the left wing.
– Samuel Shashoua: He made some really dangerous forays into the penalty area whilst constantly peeling into areas of space throughout the game. He was one of Spurs’ main attacking outlets.
– Troy Parrott: Worked incredibly hard up top whilst dropping deep and committing himself to the more defensive aspects of the game. He had one good chance but it was a real battle for the 16 year old agains some extremely well drilled and strong defenders.
– Paris Maghoma: Bright cameo. Maghoma linked up well with the forwards.
– Marcus Edwards: N/A.
– Shilow Tracey: N/A.

My man of the match: Jonathan De Bie: An excellent performance from De Bie saw the Belgian make a string of top class saves. Two of which could only be described as world class!

The Superhotspur player of the tournament: Connor Ogilvie. Strong, powerful and decisive at both ends of the pitch. 22 year old Connor Ogilvie had a magnificent tournament, the skipper lead the team by example and was without doubt our most effective player. He put in some heroic defensive performances whilst combing that with some lovely galavanting runs down the left wing. Please may Pochettino integrate him into the first team squad this season !!

Goals: EA Guingamp – Ryade Hachem (7 minutes).

Our under 23’s pre season stats during the 2018/19 season:

Goals: Marcus Edwards – 2
Connor Ogilvie – 1

Assists: Marcus Edwards – 2
Jamie Bowden – 1