Remembering former Spurs man Noel Brotherston:

Remembering former Spurs man Noel Brotherston:

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Noel Brotherston was a highly skilful winger who had a great knack of being able to read challenges and turn at pace. Brotherston would go onto enjoy a successful career with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Blackburn Rovers, as well as for his country Northern Ireland on the international stage. However, in this article I will be focusing mainly on Brotherston’s time at our beloved Spurs, as well as touching on his career as a whole. This is a commemorative piece intended to remember a much loved footballer who in other years could quite easily have gone onto become a household name at the world famous Tottenham Hotspur. Noel Brotherston was born on the 18th of November 1956 in Dundonald, (just east of Belfast) Northern Ireland, the son of James and Eleanor. The young Noel Brotherston grew up in Dundonald’s Ballybeen estate where he played for Glentoran’s youth team during the Northern Ireland troubles. The Ballybeen estate was a close knit community where everybody knew one another. Brotherston was one of four children (Noel had three sisters Gael, Janet and Nicola) and his father worked in the Belfast shipyards. As a child Brotherston was inspired by the legendary George Best who Noel had a big poster of up in his room, with all of Best’s scars and many injuries on show. Ironically Noel was scouted by the same guy (Bob Bishop) who had discovered George Best, Bishop had actually been at this particular game to scout another boy when he came across the talented Noel. He quickly recommended the tricky winger to a number of clubs. Described by his wife Lynne as a calm and quietly spoken man, Noel Brotherston was actually a Leeds United fan as a boy however, it was Bill Nicholson’s Spurs who impressed Noel’s father the most, so much in fact that the 15 year old Noel decided to sign for the north London club in the early 1970’s as a 15 year old. Initially Noel found life in north London very difficult and life in his home town of Dundonald must have felt a million miles away for the young Noel, and that’s why Spurs put him in digs with young players from Wales, Scotland and of course Ireland at mrs Crossley’s house in Haringey. However, life changed for Noel when he met his future wife Lynne a local girl from Tottenham, one New Year’s Eve at the local British Queen public house.

Noel would frequently bump into Lynne in the area near White Hart Lane as Lynne’s parents ran a fish and chip shop on the high road, and after paying Lynne’s fare one day on the bus, the pair would get on like a house on fire. This really helped Brotherston to settle into life in the English capital. During my interview with Lynne she described Noel’s Spurs career as “ living the dream. ” (Noel was the great Alan Gilzean’s boot boy) Brotherston had managed to work his way up the ranks at Spurs and he went onto become an important member of the Spurs side which won the 1974 FA youth cup under the tutelage of the much respected Pat Welton. The pacy Brotherston would also go onto become a regular in the Spurs reserves. Brotherston was performing well for Spurs at reserve team level when he was called up to play for the first team for their league game against Aston Villa on March 13 1976 at White Hart Lane to replace the injured Jimmy Neighbour (his one and only competitive appearance for the Lilywhites). However, Noel was replaced by Martin Robinson in the second half and the Northern Irishman felt that he hadn’t performed his best on the day, despite giving 100%. Life for Noel at Spurs after that game wasn’t easy as he wasn’t favoured by the then Spurs manager and fellow countryman Terry Neill. Brotherston had been regularly training with the first team before Neill had arrived and before winger Peter Taylor had signed for Spurs. At the end of the 1976/77 season and after four memorable years at Spurs, Neill decided to give Brotherston a free transfer. The likes of Charlton and Leyton Orient all came after Noel but after a phone call from Jimmy Smith from Blackburn Rovers, and after much deliberation between him and Lynne, Noel decided to sign for the then second division club. Brotherston would go onto spend 11 memorable years with Blackburn who, he struck up a great relationship with the clubs fans. Known for his long jinking runs down the wings, Noel really showcased just how skilful a player he was. With great balance and good vision on the ball, Brotherston was a tricky winger who felt that the artistry of the game wasn’t expressible in British football. In that way it’s a pity that a move to French side Saint Etienne broke down when Noel was at Blackburn (the French club had come to watch Noel play).

During his time at Blackburn Noel endeared himself to the Blackburn faithful, and it was his positivity and ability to do the unexpected with the ball which had the Blackburn fans on the edge of their seats. Doing my research on Noel I discovered just how loved and admired he was by fans of the ‘ Rovers ‘. He was a hero to many at the time with his charismatic hairstyle and superb footballing ability. Brotherston also had a good eye for goal and during his first season with Blackburn he finished it as top scorer. Brotherston became a,regular under a number of different managers at the Lancashire club before he departed Ewood Park for Bury who he spent two seasons with. Brotherston then moved to Swedish side Motala AIF after a chance encounter with a Swedish scout in Blackburn. He would go onto spend two enjoyable years with the Swedish semi professional club. Brotherston would return to England where he ended his career with non league side Chorley Town. However, it was Noel Brotherston’s time at Blackburn Rovers which was the pinnacle of his club career. Brotherston received high praise from fans and journalists alike during his time there, and during one interview with full back Kenny Samson in Shoot magazine the former Arsenal man described the former Blackburn man as the most skilful player that he ever had to defend against. However, leaving Brotherston’s club career to one side, it was in fact his international career with Northern Ireland which was the pinnacle of Noel’s footballing career as a whole. Brotherston was capped from schoolboy level right up until senior level with his country who he was so proud to represent. Lynne describes Noel’s time with Northern Ireland as being wonderful all the way through. In total Noel won 27 caps for his country between 1980 to 1985. Brotherston helped Northern Ireland to qualify for the 1982 World Cup which he played in however, his biggest contribution was scoring the goal against Wales in 1980 which secured Northern Ireland the British championships trophy. 

Another highlight for Noel was his footballing hero George Best singing his praises on television during the 1982 World Cup as well as playing in the final qualifying match against Israel at Windsor Park (having played in all the qualifying matches to get to the World Cup). Going back to Noel’s time at Spurs, Lynne said that it was a club that he had such fond memories of with it being his first club. The club of Martin Chivers, Alan Gilzean, Pat Jennings and Ralph Coates always had a special place in Noel’s heart until the day that he died, and that is so wonderful to know. Following his retirement from the game Noel went into the painting and decorating business, he also worked for Blackburn Rovers in their legends lounge on match days. Brotherston later played regularly for the Blackburn Rovers veteran team (the modern day legends team, right up until his untimely passing). The skilful winger who had gone onto become a cult hero with Blackburn Rovers and Northern Ireland, tragically passed away aged just 38, after suffering a heart attack on the fifth of May 1995, the season that Blackburn won the Premier League for the first and only time in their history. The much loved family man who loved his boys Lee and Ryan who would have been so proud to see them grown up and carrying on the Brotherston name with two beautiful granddaughters, Evie and Clara, had a funeral fitting of the great man he was. His service in Blackburn was packed with people who loved and admired him so well. Many of his former Spurs teammates attended the funeral including his close friends from the Tottenham youth team Neil McNab, Ian Cranstone and Wayne Cegielski. The gentleman who everybody that met liked was, in many ways a hero to Blackburn Rovers and his country Northern Ireland, and that speaks volumes in itself. I think all at Spurs ought to be very proud of what Noel went onto achieve in the game, and what a lovely man he went onto become. A huge thank you must go to Noel’s wife Lynne who so kindly invited me into her house to do an interview. Without Lynne’s cooperation I would not have been able to write this article.

Some notes on Spurs youngster Troy Parrott’s performance against New Zealand:

Some notes on Spurs youngster Troy Parrott’s performance against New Zealand:

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It was a memorable night for 17 year old Dubliner Troy Parrott on Thursday as the second year scholar made his debut for the Republic of Ireland’s senior team, in their international friendly against New Zealand at the Aviva stadium in Dublin. Parrott completed 62 minutes of last nights match and he chipped in with an assist to cap off a fine debut performance. The tigerish centre forward put in a good shift up top for Mick McCarthy’s side and he also came close to netting a debut goal. Starting up top in a 4-3-3 formation, Parrott pressed well during the opening stages of the game. After the skilful Jack Byrne (a player who Parrott would link up well with on the night) sent a nice lofted pass over the New Zealand defence, Parrott was set racing through on goal down the left side of the oppositions box. However, the flag on the far side went up (it was a very tight one!) just as he flicked the ball over the New Zealand goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic. After a dominant spell of possession for the Irish, Parrott managed to upset New Zealand defender Winston Reid after he had caught the West Ham man from behind. Around six minutes later Parrott made a run down the right flank to try and latch onto Robbie Brady’s lofted pass. However, Marinovic had come rushing off of his line to clear the ball before Parrott could get to it. A good move from Ireland saw Jack Byrne pass the ball to Robbie Brady who passed the ball to Parrott who had his back to goal inside the New Zealand penalty area, he appeared to be shoved to the ground by physical central defender Michael Boxall, but no penalty kick was given. After receiving Alan Browne’s pass Parrott tried to the pull the ball back to Jack Byrne inside the New Zealand box however, his pass was cut out by the alert Michael Boxall. New Zealand then took a slightly surprising lead on 30 minutes through Callum Mccowatt. Ireland tried to respond. After getting on the end of the ball inside the New Zealand box after a bit of a scramble, Parrott turned and shot but once again Boxall was in the way to block it. A couple of minutes later Parrott managed to get on the end of a Robbie Brady free kick however, his acrobatic volleyed effort was blocked and cleared away by Michael Boxall.

After holding the ball up well on the left flank Parrott passed the ball to Derrick Williams who rifled a shot wide from long range. Williams would eventually draw Ireland level before half time. The tigerish Troy Parrott started the second half with the same high intensity and it didn’t take him long before he made an impact on the game. After winning the ball off of Joe Bell on the edge of the New Zealand box Parrott laid the ball off to Sean Maguire who struck it first time, curling a glorious effort into the top right hand corner of the goal to make it 2-1 to Ireland. Shortly afterwards Parrott won a free kick after some good work on the edge of the New Zealand penalty area. Parrott came very close to getting on the scoresheet himself after almost finishing off a lovely Ireland attacking move. After receiving Jack Byrne’s pass Sean Maguire slipped the ball into Troy Parrott down the left hand side of the New Zealand box. Parrott kept his composure in front of goal but his eventual low finish which was intended to go through the legs of Marinovic, was saved by the goalkeeper who had come out to close the teenagers angles down. Parrott was replaced by Callum Robinson in the 63rd minute of the game. This was a very positive performance from Spurs’ bullish centre forward. Parrott imposed himself well on the game, his movement was good and he made many intelligent runs. I see know reason why Troy can’t be included on the bench for the Republic of Ireland’s crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark on Monday.

The continued progress of young Spurs striker Troy Parrott:

The continued progress of young Spurs striker Troy Parrott:

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Back in March 2018 a schoolboy called Troy Daniel Parrott, started ahead of Spurs’ inform striker Reo Griffiths in an important under 18 premier league cup final against Chelsea, at their Cobham training centre. Parrott had only played one competitive game previously for Spurs’ under 18’s, that came against Swansea City just a little over a week earlier. On that ice cold day in Surrey, Parrott worked tremendously hard for the team, he also linked play well however, he could not match the strength of the two physical Chelsea centre backs Marc Guehi and Marcel Lavinier, and hence he struggled to make much of an offensive impact on the game. Fast forward two seasons and Parrott has grown an awful amount physically speaking. As bullish and determined as he has ever been, the now second year scholar who has always been regarded as a hot prospect, has in my opinion developed a lot as a footballer over the last six to eight months alone. Don’t get me wrong he has always been an exceptional talent whose work rate and hunger to score has been so refreshing to see. However, since he returned from a toe injury towards the tail end of last season the teenager from Buckingham street in Dublin’s north inner city, has looked considerably sharper, stronger and more potent in matches. Parrott has also been in red hot form of late and so far this season for club and country the centre forward has netted ten goals in eight matches, going into tonight’s international friendly with New Zealand where the young Parrott will make his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland. In doing so Parrott becomes the first Spurs academy player to win a senior cap for his country since Christian Maghoma did in 2017 (for the Democratic Republic of Congo). I have already gone into great depth about the Irishman’s style of play, traits and qualities in a long piece that I wrote last season. However, there is just so much to admire and write about the young Troy Parrott. From the impeccable timing of his runs to his razor sharp movement in and around the danger zone, Parrott has in many ways all the attributes to become a Harry Kane-esque complete centre forward. The 17 year old is good in the air, quick on his feet (he can dribble well), and he is quick and has a good first touch.

The former Belvedere schoolboy is not just a clinical centre forward who is prolific in front of goal and scores a wide range of goals, he is also a centre forward who offers much, much more. The Dubliner has a tremendous work rate (one of the best I’ve ever seen at youth level) and he can often be seen dropping 50 yards down the pitch to help out the defence. Furthermore, he has that ability to link play (he is a fine passer of the ball) and bring others into the game, much like Harry Kane does. Parrott is also vocal on the pitch and he is an effective communicator who isn’t afraid to tell his teammates what to do in certain situations. I have been watching Troy play for Spurs since soon after he joined the club as a schoolboy in the 2016/17 season and there are many matches that he has played both for club and country which I look back on with great fondness. One such game was against Liverpool under 23’s at the very start of the 2018/19 season, when Parrott was a second year scholar. The then 16 year old led the line at Anfield with the maturity and nous of a veteran. Spurs were reduced to ten men early on in the game after Japhet Tanganga was sent off for handling the ball inside his own penalty area. However, Parrott rose to the occasion on his competitive debut for the young Lilywhites development side. He got stuck in, covered vast amounts of the pitch, and he dropped deep to help his team defend. Apart from all of this Parrott also somehow managed to set up Marcus Edwards to score our equaliser with a glorious long pass. Another game in which Parrott shone in was against Swansea City’s under 23’s at the tail end of last season. In a crucial PL2 encounter in which Spurs needed to win to avoid relegation, Parrott once again rose to the occasion. Capping a superbly well rounded display by scoring two sublime goals. The final game in which I’d like to focus on was actually the last game that he played in. On a mild afternoon at Hotspur Way Spurs took on Serbian side Crvenza zvezda. In what was an excellent team performance from the Spurs lads, Parrott put in an outstanding individual performance. Scoring four different types of goals, the centre forward showed a remarkable desire to score goals and lead the Tottenham line.

In that game against Crvena zvezda a defining moment occurred with the scores at 2-0 to Spurs. After chasing Jonathan De Bie’s long kick up field all the way into the oppositions penalty area, most strikers would have stopped running when the goalkeeper Andrija Katic partially gathered the ball however, Troy is not one of those players. Parrott continued to run at full pelt before throwing himself at the ball, managing to knock it away from Katic. I was stood close to where the eventual goal was scored and it was quite incredible to see Parrott fall to the floor, adjust his legs and body, and somehow manage to tuck the ball home while he was still stretched out on the floor. It was a goal that would win us the game. Parrott would go onto score two more goals in that game and what really struck me was that he was never satisfied with just the four goals. He was always striving for more, and making good runs in behind the Crvena zvezda defence. After winging a late free kick on the edge of the oppositions penalty area, Parrott had a brief albeit fairly friendly quarrel with set piece specialist Harvey White as to who would take it, in the end Parrott let White take it. However, that was just one refreshing example of Troy’s hunger and determination to score goals. Parrott’s record at youth level for club and country is very impressive. For Spurs Parrott has scored 16 goals in 15 appearances for our under 18’s, while in the UEFA Youth League for our under 19’s he has scored eight goals in eight appearances. Then for our development side he has scored four goals in 14 appearances. Parrott has also been somewhat of a creative force for Spurs and he has laid off a number of goals for his teammates over the last season and a half. The 2018 Borgaro Maggioni Righi player of the tournament winner has trained exclusively with Spurs’ first team this season after enjoying an impressive pre-season. Parrott also made his competitive debut for Spurs’ first team in a challenging Carabao cup game against Colchester United back in September, while more recently making the bench in a premier league game against Everton. It’s fair to say that Parrott is on the cusp of Spurs’ first team as they continue to struggle for results this season. However, it is with the Republic of Ireland who he has made even greater progress with. Ireland boss Mick McCarthy already confirmed that Parrott will start tonight’s international friendly with New Zealand at the Aviva stadium in Dublin.

McCarthy said in yesterday’s press conference that he had been impressed with the young Spurs man in training and there was one time in training when Parrot turned sharply and shot at goal, which particularly impressed the experienced Ireland manager. That is something that the young Parrott is somewhat of an expert at. On what will be such a special night for young Parrott, I and so many other Spurs and Ireland fans will be proudly watching on. Troy’s huge potential is a breath of fresh for Irish football in general and although it is still such early days in his career, I hope and believe that he surpasses what former Spurs man Robbie Keane has achieved in the game. Tonight’s game is only just the very beginning for Parrott. Spurs have a long and rich history of helping to improve Irish talents. The names Robbie Keane, Stephen Carr, Pat Jennings and the late Noel Brotherston are just some of those who have improved as footballers after donning on the famous Lilywhite shirt of Tottenham Hotspur. Troy will surely be looking to some of those players as inspiration as he continues to develop as a footballer. 

Spurs under 21’s 0-2 Gillingham: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 0-2 Gillingham: (match report)

Our development side faced league one club Gillingham on Tuesday night, at their Priestfield stadium in what was a crucial Leasing.com trophy clash. Spurs went into this final group game of the competition on two points, two points behind second placed Colchester United. Wayne Burnett’s side needed to win and hope that Ipswich Town beat Colchester to qualify from the group. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and Spurs were beaten 2-0 by the ‘ Gills ‘ on a bitterly cold night in County Kent. Two goals in either half sunk Spurs who, although they defended well, they were never really able to create any clear cut chances and that cost them on the night. This was however, quite a close game but it was the team (Gillingham) who won the midfield battle who would go onto secure all three points in group nine. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Alfie Whiteman started in goal. A back four made up of Jubril Okedina, captain TJ Eyoma, Luis Binks and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster sat in front of him. Harvey White and Tashan Oakley-Boothe lined up in central midfield while Shilow Tracey and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Armando Shashoua. Rodel Richards led the line for Spurs on his return from injury. The young Lilywhites got the game underway at Priestfield. After receiving the ball out on the left flank Tottenham winger J’Neil Bennett cut inside onto his right foot before forcing a save out of Gillingham goalkeeper Joe Walsh, from his whipped effort from range. Spurs had started the game positively and they were doing well at knocking the ball around the park. Mikael Ndjoli curled an effort wide of Alfie Whiteman’s goal from the right wing, before TJ Eyoma cleared a cross from Ousseynou Cisse. After being given the ball by Tashan Oakley-Boothe, J’Neil Bennett came inside from the left flank before whipping the ball with pace, deep into the Gillingham penalty area. However, the stretching Shilow Tracey could not get to the ball to tap it home at the back post. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then cleared away Regan Charles-Cook’s cross, before TJ Eyoma cleared away former Spurs man Connor Ogilvie’s free kick. The attentive Lyons-Foster then cleared away a succession of dangerous crosses.

Then in the 25th minute of the game Gillingham took the lead through Alex Jakubiak. After Luis Binks had cleared away Bradley Garmston’s cross, the ball came to Ousseynou Cisse and he then passed the ball to Alex Jakubiak who skilfully jinked past Jubril Okedina inside the Spurs penalty area, before rifling the ball into the bottom right hand corner of Alfie Whiteman’s goal (the Spurs goalkeeper managed to get a hand on the ball), 0-1. A couple of minutes after the restart Mark Marshall’s cross managed to pick out Jack Tucker inside the Spurs box however, the ‘ Gills ‘ defenders headed effort on goal was cleared on the line by Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. The ball then came to Regan Charles Cook whose effort was flicked narrowly wide of Whiteman’s goal by Ousseynou Cisse. At the other end of the pitch J’Neil Bennett had a cross cleared behind by Connor Ogilvie before Harvey White’s corner kick was cleared away by Ousseynou Cisse. After receiving Armando Shashoua’s pass Harvey White shot narrowly over Joe Walsh’s crossbar from 25 yards out. Luis Binks then cleared away Regan Charle Cook’s cross before J’Neil Bennett fed the ball into Rodel Richards down the left hand side of the Gillingham box but, the Spurs striker shot narrowly wide of Joe Walsh’s goal. Regan Charles Cook had a corner kick headed away by Brooklyn Lyons-Foster before Henry Woods totally mistimed his resulting effort on the volley. Shortly afterwards a corner kick from Regan Charles Cook was headed clear by Luis Binks who had been dominant in the air. Jubril Okedina shot an effort over Joe Walsh’s crossbar from the edge of the Gillingham box before Binks headed clear another of Regan Charles Cook’s whipped corner kicks before the ball came to Henry Woods. Woods fired the ball straight at Eyoma before then shooting an effort wide of the Spurs goal. Regan Charles Cook whipped a dangerous ball across the face of Spurs goal before the referee Craig Hicks blew his whistle for half time. Spurs made a change at halftime as the previously injured Tashan Oakley-Boothe was replaced by Phoenix Patterson, Gillingham got the second half underway. After a good spell of possession for Spurs the young Lilywhites came close to drawing level.

After Harvey White had threaded a pass through to Armando Shashoua the attacking midfielder darted into the Gillingham penalty area. Shashoua tried to take the ball around goalkeeper Joe Walsh who had rushed out, but he eventually had a shot which was saved by the Gillingham goalkeeper. At the other end of the pitch Mark Marshall’s cross was completely missed by Alfie Whiteman however, the Spurs goalkeeper was a tad fortunate that Alex Jakubiak couldn’t tap the ball home at the back post. After receiving Shashoua’s pass Bennett whipped a low cross into the Gillingham box. Both Shashoua and Richards attacked the ball but it was Richards who latched onto it, before turning and firing the ball over the crossbar. Luis Binks cleared Mark Marshall’s cross before Spurs made their first change of the game, when Rayan Clarke came onto replace Rodel Richards up top. Unfortunately Gillingham doubled their lead in their 79th minute of the game after the ‘ Gills ‘ defender Jack Tucker powered a header past Alfie Whiteman and into the back of the net, after meeting Mark Marshall’s cross, 0-2. Maurizio Pochettino came onto replace Brooklyn Lyons-Foster before J’Neil Bennett curled an effort wide from distance. A couple of moments later Bennett had a deflected effort saved by Joe Walsh, before Mark Marshall came inside from the right flank before forcing a fine save out of Whiteman from his whipped effort on goal. Jubril Okedina headed away Bradley Garmston’s cross before Harvey White was shown a yellow card for a challenge on Regan Charles Cook on the edge of the Spurs box. Charles-Cook’s resulting effort was blocked by Pochettino in the Spurs wall. There was one late chance for the ‘ Gills ‘ after Alex Jakubiak received Regan Charles Cook’s pass however, the Gillingham forwards effort on goal was saved by Alfie Whiteman before the referee sounded his whistle for full time. Our development sides next game is away to Everton on the 22nd of November.

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: The Spurs goalkeeper made two saves in total and he had a solid game on the whole.
  • Jubril Okedina: The right back stayed deep and he defended well against the Gillingham attacking line. Okedina was solid against the ‘ Gills ‘. 
  • TJ Eyoma: The Spurs captain formed a strong defensive partnership alongside the slightly younger Luis Binks. Eyoma was good in the air and strong on the ball. He also dealt well with the Gillingham forwards.
  • Luis Binks: Despite the fact that we conceded two goals this was another very mature showing from young Luis Binks at a ground that he knows so well. Binks won virtually all of his aerial duels, he was tenacious at the back, and his positioning was very good on the night. The vocal 18 year old could have done nothing to prevent both the goals that we conceded, and he was one of our best performers on the night.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: My man of the match, see below.
  • Harvey White: The midfielder was excellent on the ball against Gillingham and he used it both well and intelligently. White made some good passes and he was also tenacious in the middle of the park.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The central midfielder did well when he was on the pitch although he was forced to come off at halftime due to injury.
  • Shilow Tracey: The right winger who would switch flanks during the latter stages of the game, struggled to really get into Tuesday’s game although he worked incredibly hard for the team.
  • Armando Shashoua: The CAM’s movement and ability to wriggle away from opposition players made him a tricky customer to defend against. Shashoua pressed the opposition players really well and he gave a good account of himself on the night.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The highly skilful left winger had a good game for Spurs last night. Bennett used the ball well and he always looked dangerous whenever he would run at his man down the left flank. The 17 year old was inventive and creative out on the flank and he created some good chances for Spurs. Bennett also tracked back really well to help out left back Brooklyn Lyons-Foster.
  • Rodel Richards: The lone centre forward worked hard and pressed well although he didn’t get a terrible amount of service.
  • Phoenix Patterson: The second half substitute slotted into central midfield where he did a fine job however, he didn’t manage to get on the ball much.
  • Rayan Clarke: The wide man came on late in the game and he worked hard when he was forced to play up top. 
  • Maurizio Pochettino: N/A.

My man of the match: This was a very good performance from the stand in left back Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. Although he is a centre back by trade, Lyons-Foster protected the left flank really well for Spurs (he completed 79 minutes of the match). The 18 year old made some important interceptions and clearances, he was dominant in the air and he also read the game to perfection, much like Luis Binks. Lyons-Foster also made a good clearance on the line during the first half. It was a performance that the defender should be proud of.

Gillingham: Walsh, Hodson, Garmston, Cisse, Tucker, Ogilvie (c), Marshall, Woods (O’Keefe 78), Jakubiak, Ndjoli, Charles-Cook. Substitutes (not used): Bonham, Ehmer, Mandron, Fuller, Lee, Hanlan.

Spurs: Whiteman, Okedina, Lyons-Foster (Pochettino 79), White, Binks, Eyoma (c), Tracey, Oakley-Boothe (Patterson 46), Richards (Clarke 74), Shashoua, Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Dinzeyi, Hinds, R Clarke, Thorpe.

Goals: Gillingham – Jakubiak 25, Tucker 79.

Yellow cards: Gillingham – Jakubiak 63; Spurs – White 90+1.

Referee: Craig Hicks.

Venue: Priestfield Stadium.

Spurs under 21’s versus Gillingham: (match preview)

Spurs under 21’s versus Gillingham: (match preview)

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(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC).

Our development side face league one club Gillingham on Tuesday night, in what is a crucial game in group nine of this seasons Leasing.com trophy. Ideally  Spurs need to win the game and hope that Ipswich Town (a side which could include Spurs loanee Anthony Georgiou) beat Colchester United, for that is what Spurs need to happen if they are to progress out of the group (Spurs are on two points while Colchester are on four). The good news is that tomorrow’s opponents Gillingham can’t mathematically make it out of the group and so for Steve Evans side this is a bit of a dead rubber at their Priestfield home. The ‘ Gills ‘ haven’t made the best of starts to this season and they currently occupy 16th spot in the league one table after picking up 18 points from 16 games. Gillingham have also only won three home games this season. Some of you may remember that Wayne Burnett’s Spurs side beat Gillingham 4-0 in this competition last season, that game was played at Charlton Athletic’s ground due to work on Gillingham’s Priestfield pitch. Although Gillingham manager Steve Evans is expected to name a weakened side for tomorrow’s clash, some of the ‘ Gills ‘ players to look out for include Scottish centre forward Alex Jakubiak (23) who has netted four goals from 15 league appearances this season. Also former Spurs defender Connor Ogilvie, Southampton loanee Alfie Jones and 25 year old centre forward Mikel Mandron are other players to look out for. Just as we experienced in our last two games in this competition, Burnett’s side will have to be able to deal with the physicality of the opposition if they are going to come away with all three points tomorrow. It’s also worth noting that Spurs will be without important midfielders Paris Maghoma and Jamie Bowden for Tuesday’s game due to international call ups. I would like to wish the young Spurs lads that do play tomorrow all the very best of luck. This will be a great test for the team.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Eyoma (c), Walcott, Binks, Lyons-Foster, White, Oakley-Boothe, Patterson, Shashoua, Tracey, Etete.

Subs from: De Bie, Okedina, Hinds, Thorpe, Pochettino, Markanday, Whittaker.

Injured/unavailable: Maximus Tainio, Jamie Bowden, Paris Maghoma, Jeremie Mukendi, Dennis Cirkin.

Doubtful: Rayan Clarke, Rodel Richards, Enock Asante.

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1. 

An interesting pre-match read: https://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/sport/binks-homecoming-could-be-emotional-215728/

My one to watch: Former Spurs man Connor Ogilvie who has cemented his place in the Gillingham starting 11 since leaving Spurs in the summer. The powerful defender can play LCB and left back.

Spurs under 18’s 3-5 Chelsea: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 3-5 Chelsea: (match report)

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Our under 18’s resumed league action on Saturday morning when they took on fierce London rivals Chelsea at Hotspur Way. Matt Taylor’s side took on a Chelsea side who sat in second place in the league table going into this encounter, and it was always going to be a big test for the young Lilywhites to achieve all three points. After an extremely difficult first half where Spurs were totally dominated by Chelsea, the ‘ Blues ‘ found themselves five goals to the good as they ripped Spurs to pieces. However, Spurs put in a much better display during the second half, thanks mainly due to the introduction of midfielder Harvey White. Tarrelle Whittaker got a brace and Harvey White scored the other goal as Spurs got the scores to a respectable 5-3. Matt Taylor will have been happy with the great spirit that his side showed during the second half of Saturday’s London derby. Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Thimothee Lo-Tutala started in goal. A back four consisting of Dermi Lusala, Marqes Muir, Aaron Skinner and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Max Robson and Rafferty Pedder anchored the midfield while Tarrelle Whittaker and Chay Cooper operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Yago Santiago. Schoolboy Dane Scarlett led the line for the Lilywhites. Spurs got the game underway on a bitterly cold morning in north London. However, the game got off to the worst possible start for Matt Taylor’s side who, conceded inside the first two minutes, after Spurs defender Aaron Skinner gave away a penalty. After latching onto Sam McClelland’s pass Joe Haigh sprinted past Aaron Skinner down the left flank, and into the Spurs penalty area. Skinner managed to catch up with Haigh however, he pulled back the Chelsea man who shot wide of Thimothee Lo-Tutala’s goal, leaving the referee with no other option than to point to the spot and show Skinner a yellow card. Lewis Bate stood up before firing the ball into the right hand corner of Lo-Tutala’s (he had guessed the right way) goal, 0-1. A well worked passing move from the ‘ Blues ‘ inside the Spurs penalty area ended in Thimothee Lo-Tutala smothering the ball from the feet of Marcel Lewis a couple of minutes later. 

After receiving Levi Colwill’s pass Armando Broja darted forward down the right flank before shooting wide of the Spurs goal. Lo-Tutala saved Marcel Lewis’ curling effort on goal shortly afterwards before Valentino Livramento fired an effort just wide of the Spurs goal after receiving Joe Haigh’s pass. 15 year old Spurs centre forward Dane Scarlett was forced to come off through injury a couple of moments later. Scarlett had hurt himself while making a late challenge on Dynel Simeu, he was replaced by Romaine Mundle as Tarrelle Whittaker went up top. Rafferty Pedder was shown a yellow card for fouling Joe Haigh. A couple of minutes later and after Chay Cooper had conceded a free kick out on the left flank, Chelsea doubled their lead. Lewis Bate’s free kick managed to pick out Joe Haigh who headed the ball at the Spurs goal. Goalkeeper Lo-Tutala palmed the ball against the underside of the crossbar but he couldn’t prevent it from going in, 0-2. Shortly afterwards Chelsea made it 3-0. After Armando Broja had attempted to meet Xavier Simons low cross from the right flank, Broja’s effort was turned into his own goal by Spurs defender Dermi Lusala, 0-3. A couple of minutes later and after Lusala had given away a free kick in a dangerous position, Chelsea made it 4-0. Marcel Lewis’ free kick was headed down by Dynel Simeu in the Spurs box for Xavier Simons who tapped the ball past Lo-Tutala, 0-4.  Shortly after the restart and after receiving Sam McClelland’s pass Marcel Lewis‘ shot on goal was well blocked by Aaron Skinner. Valentino Livramento then had an effort on goal which was blocked by Dermi Lusala before being gathered by Thimothee Lo-Tutala. After Max Robson had conceded a free kick on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area Lo-Tutala managed to beat away Marcel Lewis’ curling effort on goal. Then Lewis Bate’s corner was headed into the arms of Lo-Tutala by Dynel Simeu. At the other end of the pitch Rafferty Pedder volleyed over Tarrelle Whittaker’s pass, before a good Chelsea move resulted in Joe Haigh passing the ball to Valentino Livramento who passed the ball to Marcel Lewis down the left side of the Spurs box however, he could only fire the ball into the side netting.

After receiving Marcel Lewis’ pass, Armando Broja fired the ball into Dennis Cirkin on the turn. A couple of minutes later Lewis Bate passed the ball to Valentino Livramento who in turn gave it to Armando Broja who fired wide of the Spurs goal. However, shortly after Broja did make the net back of the net bulge. After Marcel Lewis had passed the ball to the Albania under 21 international inside the Spurs box he managed to find the bottom left hand corner of Lo-Tutala’s goal courtesy of a fine finish (Lo-Tutala managed to get a hand on the ball). Spurs responded by knocking the ball around the park well. After Pedder had passed the ball to Mundle out on the right flank he whipped the ball deep into the Chelsea penalty area where he managed to pick out Chay Cooper at the back post however, the Tottenham winger could only flick the ball into the side netting. At the opposite end of the pitch Aaron Skinner managed to block Armando Broja’s effort on goal before Lo-Tutala managed to save Marcel Lewis’ curling effort from distance. At the other end of the pitch Chay Cooper surged forwards before shooting a low effort wide of Jake Askew’s goal. Chelsea got the second half underway and soon after getting the game restarted Levi Colwill had a shot blocked by Marqes Muir inside the Spurs box. The following corner kick which was delivered by Lewis Bate, was met by Sam McClelland whose headed effort was cleared on the line by Chay Cooper. Dermi Lusala then blocked Henry Lawrence’s effort on goal before Sam McClelland headed Lewis Bate’s free kick wide of goal. Yago Santiago madd way for Harvey White, with Rafferty Pedder slotting into the number ten role. Soon afterwards Rafferty Pedder had a cross palmed away by Jake Askew before the lively midfielder skewed an effort wide of goal from distance. Chelsea then had a penalty shout waived away after Armando Broja appeared to be tripped in the Spurs penalty area by Dermi Lusala. Spurs did manage however, to pull a goal back shortly afterwards. After Lusala had passed the ball to Mundle on the right flank the Tottenham winger whipped the ball deep into the the Chelsea box. Mundle’s cross managed to reach the outstretched Tarelle Whittaker who volleyed the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the Chelsea goal, 1-5. Valentino Livramento responded for Chelsea by whipping a dangerous low ball across the face of the Spurs goal. Marqes Muir blocked Livramento’s cross a couple of moments later before Dermi Lusala blocked Henry Lawrence’s shot on goal. Max Robson was then shown a yellow card for a foul on the same Chelsea player.  

Aaron Skinner blocked a shot from Lewis Bate before Xavier Simons blocked a shot from Rafferty Pedder. Marqes Muir was then shown a yellow card for pulling back Marcel Lewis. After winning the ball Harvey White passed the ball to Tarrelle Whittaker who surged forwards towards the Chelsea penalty area before emphatically smashing the ball off the underside of Jake Askew’s crossbar before it went into the back of the net, 2-5. Schoolboy Roshaun Mathurin came onto replace Max Robson to make his competitive under 18 debut. Tarrelle Whittaker then had a shot blocked by Sam McClelland on the edge of the Chelsea box. A couple of minutes later Spurs won a penalty after Chay Cooper was barged to the floor by Henry Lawrence while attempting to get onto Rafferty Pedder’s cross inside the Chelsea box. After an argument took place between Harvey White and Tarrelle Whittaker as to who would take the resulting penalty kick. Eventually it was decided that White would take it. The midfielders powerful whipped effort nestled into the right hand corner of Jake Askew’s goal, despite the Chelsea goalkeeper getting a hand on the ball, 3-5. Tarrelle Whittaker had a late effort saved by Askew after he had received Cooper’s pass, before the referee sounded his whistle for full time. Spurs’ next game is away to Newcastle United in the premier league cup, on Saturday the 23rd of November. 

Player reviews: 

  • Thimothee Lo-Tutala: The 16 year old goalkeeper made four saves in total against Chelsea and he had a solid game.
  • Dermi Lusala: The right back had a decent game in which he made some good challenges in.
  • Marqes Muir: Really showed his strength on numerous occasions in Saturday’s 5-3 defeat. Muir defended well and he contributed well to what was a difficult game for Spurs. 
  • Aaron Skinner: The LCB from Bury started the game badly by giving away a penalty inside the first minute. However, the second year schlolar grew into the game and he made some important blocks. Skinner’s passing and positioning were good.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The Spurs captain made one excellent defensive intervention during the second half. Generally the left back had a good game against the speedy Valentino Livramento.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The skilful midfielder tried to get Spurs playing football throughout a difficult first half. Nobody could fault Pedder’s tremendous work rate and desire to impact the game and although he was outmuscled on occasions by some of the muscular Chelsea midfielders, the Spurs man never let his head drop and he put in a very good shift for the team. Every time the second year scholar received the ball he would always look to drive at the ‘ Blues ‘ defence. Pedder also played a part in Spurs’ final goal of the game. He can be proud of his performance. 
  • Max Robson: The central midfielder tried to impact the game with his energy, pace, quick feet and incisive passing. 
  • Tarrelle Whittaker: The forward worked hard up top, his movement was good and he also took both of his goals well.
  • Yago Santiago: The 16 year old worked hard but he ultimately found it difficult to make much of an impact on the game.
  • Chay Cooper: I was impressed with the left wingers communication skills and encouragement to his teammates. Furthermore, Cooper tracked back excellently and he was one of Spurs’ best attacking outlets on the day.
  • Dane Scarlett: The 15 year old went off injured early on in the game.
  • Romaine Mundle: Always looking to run with the ball, and very positive in his overall play out on the right wing. Mundle chipped in with an assist.
  • Harvey White: My man of the match, see below. 
  • Roshaun Mathurin: The skilful schoolboy looked promising in the CAM/LW role and he had some nice moments during the latter stages of the game.

My man of the match: Harvey White was a class above everybody else on the pitch today. Entering the game in the 53rd minute the classy central midfielder dictated the tempo of the game from midfield. With his fine vision, immaculate passing and tenacity, the 18 year old really did boss the midfield. White got an assist and a goal today and he put in an excellent shift for Matt Taylor’s side. White will be hoping to start against Gillingham on Tuesday in the Leasing.com trophy.

Spurs: Lo-Tutala, Lusala, Cirkin (c), Robson (Mathurin 79), Muir, Skinner, Whittaker, Pedder, Scarlett (Mundle 13),Santiago (White 53), Cooper. Substitute (not used) Kurylowicz.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:

Goals: 

Tarrelle Whittaker – 6

Chay Cooper – 3

Enock Asante – 3

Kion Etete –  3

Kallum Cesay – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Max Robson – 2

Dane Scarlett – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Harvey White – 1

Assists

Chay Cooper – 4

Max Robson – 3

Tarrelle Whittaker – 2

Kion Etete – 2

Dermi Lusala – 2

Romaine Mundle – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Eddie Carrington – 1

Kallum Cesay – 1

Marqes Muir –  1

Enock Asante – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Yago Santiago – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Harvey White – 1

Clean sheets: 

Kacper Kurylowicz – 2

Joshua Oluwayemi – 1

Remembering Spurs’ instrumental former scout Dick Walker:

Remembering Spurs’ instrumental former scout Dick Walker:

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“ I didn’t know anybody who didn’t like him ”. (Ronnie Clayton).

As a player Edward Richard Walter Walker served West Ham United with distinction, making over 600 appearances for the ‘ Hammers ‘ throughout a 23 year period (includes appearances during the Second World War) and Walker was unfortunate not to be capped by England. Affectionately known by everybody as Dick, the former centre half who could also play at right back was, a West Ham United legend in his own right. A well built centre half who read the game well, and who was a very difficult player to get around. However, it is Walker’s time as a chief scout at our beloved Tottenham Hotspur which I will be focusing on in this short piece. Born in Hackney, east London on 22nd July 1913, Walker and his family moved to Dagenham when he was a child. Walker would go onto play for Dagenham boys and Becontree Athletic before spending time as an electricians mate. Walker was later scouted by West Ham, the club that he would later join and spend such a long time associated with. A talented footballer and a solid defender, Walker would spend many memorable years with the ‘ Hammers ‘ although his time at the east London club was interrupted by the Second World War. Rather than becoming a physical training instructor in the British Army (as many professional footballers were offered the chance to do at the time) Walker chose to serve on the front line. The footballer served across the continent in countries such as Italy, he also went onto serve in El Alamein in Egypt. It’s worth noting that Walker was a sergeant and a paratrooper who served in an infantry battalion. He was also a parachutist, as former Spurs scout Ronnie Clayton recalled to me in a recent conversation that I had with him. Dick was mentioned in dispatches on several occasions during the war. Upon his return to England Walker took the captaincy at West Ham and he would spend a further 12 years at the club. He received a testimonial in October 1957 against Sparta Rotterdam. It is unknown what year Dick joined Spurs as a scout upon retiring from the game however, he began working for Spurs at some point during the late 1950’s, soon after Bill Nicholson took over from Jimmy Anderson as manager. Former Spurs youth and reserve team player David Sunshine told me recently that he believed Walker was a mercenary scout who scouted for various London clubs before joining Spurs. Sunshine was partly scouted by Walker playing in a district football match in the late 1950’s.

It was during the late 1950’s that Walker started a 20 year association with Tottenham Hotspur, and for most of that time he served as Bill Nicholson’s chief scout. Nicknamed the colonel by those that knew him at Spurs due to his tendency to wear military like clothing, Walker was a stylish man who is described as having a swagger about him. He was also highly popular at the club and as Ronnie Clayton recalled “ I didn’t know anybody who didn’t like him ”. A jovial character who was idolised by many in the game, Dick Walker had a fine eye for talent and Bill Nicholson most often sent him out to watch district or schoolboy games, something of which he was a specialist at. During his time at Spurs Dick scouted and recommended scores of young talents to Bill Nicholson (many of which we’ll never know). Two notable ones, though there are many big names in the game that Walker brought to Spurs, was the talented Mark Falco and Gary Brooke (some of the former Spurs players that I have interviewed were scouted by Dick Walker). Both of whom he brought to Spurs in his latter years at the club. Former Spurs scout Ronnie Clayton who joined Spurs in the early 1960’s, worked alongside and very closely with Dick Walker who he recalls as a man who knew his football. Clayton befriended Walker and when the pair used to go to the old Boleyn ground to watch matches, Clayton recalls that “ it was the most amazing thing as everybody at West Ham knew Dickie ”. Two of the Spurs scouts admirers were a certain Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst. Clayton’s first game as a Spurs scout in Romford was with Dick, who he described in a recent interview as somebody who made a life for him in the beautiful game. Walker’s fine eye for talent left a legacy at Spurs which would last for quite a long time after he left the club. However, although the true extent of Walker’s positive impact on Spurs is something that only the club knows, although I do know for certain that he brought many young talents to the Lilywhites who went onto have a successful career at the north London club, I will likely find out many top names who were brought to Spurs during Walker’s tenure as chief scout at Spurs, as I continue my historical work on my beloved club. 

Away from Walker’s important contribution to the Lilywhites, it is also worth noting that the hugely popular former chief scout was also a really nice guy who, had such a positive impact on a lot of young Spurs players lives. Walker was known to send encouraging and motivational letters to boys that he had scouted who perhaps hadn’t been taken on by the club. One young Spurs player who Dick Walker left a lasting impression on was former Spurs apprentice Martin O’Donnell. O’Donnell recalls how Walker was a great character who visited him in hospital on various occasions after he had fractured his femur. Martin also notes that Dick was always very kind and motivating to him. It’s those small things which left such a big impression on young footballers which, shouldn’t be forgotten. Walker passed away in a London hospital in 1988, at the age of 74 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. However, he left a lasting legacy in the game and on Spurs, the team who he would go onto become really fond of during his non playing days. An all round nice guy who served Spurs so well during his 20 years with the club, Walker is somebody who, like Cecil Poynton (former Spurs trainer) and Johnny Wallis (former kit man) must not be forgotten, as they were all in their own way important components of our clubs history and people who we as fans should be proud of.

(Thanks must go to former Spurs scout Ronnie Clayton, former player Martin O’Donnell and Spartacus-educational.com for helping me to write this article).

My interview with former Spurs scout Ronnie Clayton:

My interview with former Spurs scout Ronnie Clayton:

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(Ronnie is pictured second from left in the front row).

Ronnie Clayton served Spurs as a scout for a long period throughout the 1960’s. The brother of former Spurs player Eddie Clayton, Ronnie was instrumental in getting us to sign a number of players who would go onto play for the Tottenham first team. Players of which include Ray Evans, Steve Perryman, Jimmy Neighbour and countless others. Ronnie also had a hand in bringing a young Northern Irish goalkeeper by the name of Pat Jennings to the Lilywhites. Clayton’s time at Spurs was fascinating and the naturally talented scout who had an eye for talent stretching back to his playing days for various amateur clubs, recommended many a fine player to the great Bill Nicholson, who he worked for. As Ronnie’s son Steve so poignantly put it, Ronnie is the last of the Bill Nicholson, Eddie Baily, Charlie Faulkner and Dick Walker (both chief scouts) era. A gentleman whose wealth of knowledge of Spurs from a bygone era is so very precious. I had the great privilege of going down to the south coast to interview Ronnie about his time as a scout at Spurs. The club that he loves so well.

Could you briefly talk me through your playing career?

Ronnie: I didn’t start playing until I was about 13 when I played at play centres and things like that. I then belonged to a boys club in Bethnal Green where I played as a ball playing inside forward. When I was 16 we won the double in the AJY league and I then got picked to play for the league there. After that I had a brief period playing for a team on a Saturday called Sarsons (the vinegar people). Then after that I spent two years in the RAF for national service and when I played there I used to run the equipment team. I also used to play for the station. The biggest game that I played in (I was stationed just outside Kingston in Surrey) was against Kingstonian. When I came out of the RAF I was advised by somebody that I was good enough to play professionally and so I went to Wimbledon who were then in the southern league, for a trial. And after playing a game everyone was saying that they’ll sign you but they didn’t and by that stage I was 20. The only way they were going to sign me was if I was better than the guy who was playing in that position in the Wimbledon team, and that guy happened to be Alan Court who was the captain, and I wasn’t as good as him. So after that I went back to my job at the port of London authority and played some good football for them for a while before playing in the Surrey business housing league. I was there about a year and I wasn’t going to go training because I was too busy earning money and was married at the time. So I played for years for this team in a league that had 19 divisions, so I was always not a bad player. Going back to when I was 20 I played a couple of games for Ilford who were in the Isthmian league. One particular thing was quite funny. When I went for a game once they had to pick a team from 15 and they’d had a request from Maldon Town which was in Surrey, and so they needed a couple of guest players. So me and the centre forward who played in the A team volunteered to play and we actually helped them win the game. That was the first time that I played in a game where the crowd had used rattles. Anyway we got through to the next round and the manager did ask me to join them but I still had aspirations of playing for Ilford so I politely said no.

My job at the PLA was more important for me but I ended up playing football at local level when I was 29. Anyway I used to watch my brother Eddie play for Spurs and so I knew all the Tottenham players. So then one day Dickie Walker who was the chief scout at Spurs asked me if I’d like to become a scout for the club and so I agreed to do it at the weekends. It corresponded with me spending a lot of time down at Tottenham because unfortunately the shipping industry was changing and containerisation was coming in, so the goods going in and out of the country was all changing so hence I had a lot of spare time on my hands. So I spent lots of time down at Tottenham at the office and it was a very small office. Harry Hopkins was the accountant who did the wages and everything, and he was quite a Dickensian character who was tall and wore glasses. In the office with Harry was Barbara Wallis who was Bill Nicholson’s secretary. There was also a girl in there called Judie who did general duties. And then on a Saturday they had a man who manned the phones because it was quite busy then, and that was it. I also knew the secretary called Reg Jarvis and the assistant secretary who was a man called Alan Leather. One thing with me which you’ve got to to remember not a lot of people could do at that time was that I could read and write, something that I always could do as I had went to a central school. Anyway not only did I know the players intimately with Eddie when he started playing in the 1950’s (Eddie got involved with Spurs through the great Alf Ramsey) but I also got to spend time with them outside of football.  My first game as a scout was at Romford who were in the southern division who were managed by a guy who played for Tottenham called Harry Clarke who was signed for a thousand pounds. I used to watch the games at Spurs up in an old stand at Tottenham when they had bars that you lent on. I was right up in the corner opposite the players entrance watching the games every week from the time that I was 13 or 14 years of age. Funnily enough a guy who used to watch the games with us called David Lodge would go onto become quite well known in the carry on films.

What is your earliest Spurs memory?

Ronnie: I’ll always remember when my headmaster told me that he was officiating down at White Hart Lane on a Saturday and that was in 1944. I went down and met him outside the players entrance and he gave me a ticket for a game which was between Spurs and Arsenal because, Arsenal and Spurs shared the ground at that time.

What is your earliest memory as a Spurs scout?

Ronnie: Well my earliest memory was going down to watch a guy called Bill Brown for Romford who I went with Dickie Walker to watch, as Spurs were interested in signing him as an amateur. Anyway I went down there and saw him and wrote my report (I noted that he was a decent player) and anyway they signed him on amateur forms for a while although nothing much came off it. Really Spurs wanted me for getting young players so I spent most of my time watching district football. Bill Nicholson was alway interested in doing what we called getting players young because he had a forward way of looking at things just like Alf Ramsey did. So I spent most of my time going around watching district football, and many of those that I saw then with me and Dickie were at Cheshunt, which is just off the Cambridge road. We’d see games where we would look to tell if someone would go onto become a good player and that’s the first time that I saw Glenn Hoddle when he was nine and a half or ten. My job on the Sunday would then be to put the whites against the blues and he’d tell me the names and I’d call them out to tell them where they were playing. And we used to do that throughout the years on a Sunday with boys who were recommended to us. With boys who were recommended from Wales (and they’d stay with Terry Medwin and that) you had Arthur Willis who had contacts, then there was a guy in Scotland who’d recommend people and also someone from Ireland. The only time that I used to watch senior pros if you like to call them famous people, Bill Nicholson would go and send me to see a player. He’d ask me to see if that player was carrying an injury because a lot of people hide injuries. I remember one particular game when he sent me down to Highbury and I went down there to watch two people one was Ian Ure and the other was George Armstrong. They were very famous players but funnily enough when I went down there I was sitting in the directors box and thinking how amazing it was when all of a sudden a guy came up to me and his name was Ron Reynolds (former Spurs goalkeeper) and he asked me how I was. Before asking me what I was doing here. Lo and behold there was a famous wing half who was very famous at the time called Jimmy Dickinson and he was also there and Ron Reynolds introduced me. Footballers were like gods to me at that time! 

Anyway my main thing was to watch Ian Ure and George Armstrong, but there was a young right back who impressed me that day called Pat Rice who was 17 at the time. Also a centre forward a guy called Radford who was 16 also caught my eye. 

Having told me some of your early memories of being a Spurs scout could you talk me through the rest of your career?

Ronnie: Well I used to mostly go to down to Spurs on a Tuesday and Thursday to watch the players sometimes, because that was the time that Syd Tickeridge (former Spurs player) who was a guy who did all of the soccer training. During my career I met many boys when they were 14 and 15 who went onto become famous. Boys such as Trevor Brooking who came from a nice family, his dad was a policeman. And Trevor was a clever boy. Sometimes however, sad stories happen. We had a boy (at Spurs) who was outstanding and he was the captain of Kent boys (an inside forward) but unfortunately he kept getting injuries to his legs and he was told that he’d never make it in professional football because he lacks calcium in his bones. He was a wonderful player who had to retire at 15. There was another boy who I knew well that we had called Jimmy Pearce, who managed to make it into the Tottenham first team and the same thing happened to him. He was told that he would never be able to play two games a week because his bones weren’t up to it and I think that he retired when he was only 24. So many people from the reserves that I knew became famous such as Ray Evans. The first time I saw Ray play he played outside left for Edmonton boys and he ended up playing centre half and right back. What upset me during my time as a scout was the combination of work at the PLA and not being able to get away to watch floodlight football which came in when I was scouting. And then what happened was that another guy came into Spurs called Charlie Faulkner who had previously been at Queens Park Rangers came to Spurs as a scout. And that was good at the time because we had this boy from Scotland called Graeme Souness who I used to watch in the ball court as a boy. Lo and behold what happened was that Graeme used to always run back to Scotland and Charlie who was an amazing guy who had a cigarette holder, and he took over. He wasn’t like Dickie who was an amazing guy. To go down to West Ham with Dickie was the most amazing thing as everyone knew him. He’d walk down from the Boleyn underground station to the West Ham ground and it was was wonderful as everybody knew him. Going off topic I’d have scouted for Spurs for nothing and that’s also how Bill Nicholson felt. He thought that it was an honour if you had a Tottenham shirt. 

I remember taking a 15 year old Steve Perryman to a Spurs game and telling him that he would be out there at White Hart Lane one day, and he’d ask me do you think so and I said that he would. He was the hardest of workers. Anyway the end of me was the combinations. I thought that by 1968 I knew enough to be a coach and so I became one. So I thought I had to take advantage of being one so I worked in several boys clubs at the times, but at Spurs Charlie Faulkner was sort of taking over. I had a word with Bill Nicholson and said that it was very difficult for me because when I came here I took every from Dickie Walker but now Charlie’s taken over and Dickie’s lost heart and I’m in the middle of it. But Bill said that neither of them were chief scout, but I said no I don’t like it anyway at work I’d been promoted so I couldn’t get to Tottenham as much as I used to. So by 1971 I’d really had enough and so I never signed on for the next season. In 1971 we played Aston Villa in the league cup final and I could tell at that time that things weren’t going well because after that game which we won, I wasn’t on the big table with everyone but I noticed that rather than being in the main hall I was in a little alcove with Arthur Willlis and the referee of the game and I thought no, this is the end. I’m not saying that I still didn’t watch games but other things came into being. And I’ll never forget the day that Bill Nicholson resigned as I couldn’t believe it. And I couldn’t believe that Eddie Baily wasn’t given the job and instead they gave it to an Arsenal guy called Terry Neill which I thought was wrong. Then about a year after I’d left Spurs Terry Medwin was made the chief scout at Fulham and he phoned me and said that he was looking for at least one more scout and are you interested in coming. He already had George Cohen and Ted Drake as scouts but I said no as I had gone past that and I now had a family, and watching games in the pouring rain just wasn’t my thing anymore. Going back off topic again I remember Bill Nicholson telling me a funny story one time when he was back in Scarborough as a 14 year old and he had an accumulator for a radio, and he was swinging it to get it recharged but in the end he swung it against the lamppost and it got broke. When he got home his old man gave him the old belt, and as he was telling me this story he couldn’t stop laughing and he had a red face. Anyway I did meet quite a lot of young boys who did become quite famous players.

I remember one day Vic Buckingham (former left half at Spurs) was telling me this story about using psychology on players. So he was telling me about this 17 year old kid who knew everything which a lot of 17 year olds are like. Buckingham said that this particular kid drove him wild even though he was a good player. Anyway he let this 17 year old know that next year he was going to make him captain and if there was any trouble with the players it was him that I was coming for, not them. He asked him if he was ok to captain this great side and he said yes. So this kid would inform Buckingham if there was any trouble in the camp and he said from that day on he never had any trouble from this boy who, became his confidant. That kid was Johan Cruyff and the team was AJAX. So that was Vic’s story of how you use psychology on people by dangling a carrot in from of them. And a similar thing happened to Ray Wilkins at 17, a boy who I knew very well, I can remember Ray when he had lovely jet black hair. 

Would you be able to tell me some interesting players who would go onto make it in the game that you recommended to Spurs?

Ronnie: I’ll tell you who I recommended through a friend of mine was Jimmy Neighbour and what happened was, that a friend of mine who I played with in the PLA ran a boys club. And he called me to tell me that I had a boy who you might be interested in who was a 14 year old winger. So I brought him down to Spurs and he signed on. I was also instrumental in Ray Evans joining Spurs and also Steve Perryman who would be the most famous one. Also another one was a guy who had moderate success called Roy Woollcott and he came down to Spurs. Others I saw and recommended to the club that went on to other clubs and became quite successful. Really there were loads who came down who I recommended but didn’t make it. Other boys who I recommended were Ray Clarke, Micky Dillon and Roger Hoy. I also said to Bill Nicholson at the time that a friend of mine who used to play in Watford had told me that we’ve got a goalkeeper who is really good. And it was me who told Nicholson and he got in touch with Watford and the next thing he’d signed him. I was a bit surprised at the time as we had Bill Brown who was a very good goalkeeper, and we also had Johnny Hollowbread but not one of them could touch Ted Ditchburn who was a goalkeeper who had great style. Anyway I’ll run through a couple of names of other players who I scouted that made it in the game who didn’t join Spurs but went on to make it elsewhere. Mick Channon was a player who I’d watched play in a game between Leyton Orient reserves and Southampton at Brisbane road which is a really quaint little ground. I can vividly remember Leslie Grade being at the game (he was one of the directors at the Orient) and there was a young boy who was maybe seven or eight who was playing soldiers on the floor. Anyway to be fair to Mick Channon the game was all Leyton Orient and the guy who stood out to me in that game was a guy called David Webb who would go onto become quite famous with Chelsea, and he was only 17. When I made my report I said that Channon to be fair had hardly had a kick but the guy who did impress me was the left back of the Orient called David Webb who was playing against a guy called Chadwick. However, the funny thing was that the boy who had been playing on the floor, his dad was trying to pump me to see if there was any chance of him becoming a director at Tottenham! 

However, that little boy who was playing on the floor turned out to be Michael Grade, who you read about nowadays. Going off topic I can always remember Terry Venables asking me if Tottenham were interested in him when me and Dickie Walker had scouted him, when he was about 21. Venables asked me whether or not Bill Nicholson fancied him and to be truthful he didn’t really however, sometimes you’ve got to buy a player to bring competition to the team. He bought Venables to keep everyone happy. Once again going off topic we came very close to signing Bobby Moore to Spurs and what happened there was that in 1966 we had a scout who was also the manager for Bobby Moore. So he told me that they (Tottenham) had arranged to buy Moore in 1966 but they knew that he was having some stomach complaint because he was spending a lot of time in hospital. And this guy who was his manager said to Bobby that he’d be taking a chance because what he had at the time was cancerous (this was just before the World Cup). And so whatever happened Tottenham dropped out. However, it’s amazing to think what would have happened if we’d had signed him. Bobby was also a really nice guy. An interesting player who I took down to Spurs was Ray Wilkins but everyone was after Ray. Ray was the one who used to say that I’d got him thrown out of Spurs  and he used to tell that to my daughter when she used to work for Chelsea. I used to say to him don’t do that because you were the one who wanted to sign for Chelsea because it was round the corner, and you were to lazy to come down to Tottenham. Ray was a great talker and a good footballer who played on 45 occasions for England. Another player who I scouted for Spurs was John Toshack. Me and Eddie had gone up to Cardiff to meet his mum and dad, and Toshack came down to Spurs for a trial along with a goalkeeper and a right back and a player called John Collins. However, John Toshack was due to go for a trial with Cardiff who he ended up signing for before he ended up going to Liverpool, and he had a great career. John was a nice person and although he had no pace he was a big guy. I can remember at the trial came at Cheshunt the game finished 2-2 and he scored both goals for his team, he had that knack of being in the right place at the right time, and you get people like that who have that quality.

Another player who I scouted and looked to bring to Spurs was one Sam Allardyce. What had happened there was that I had been to watch a game and I was walking over Hackney Marshes when I saw this game going on and the team were wearing white shirts and black shorts, and they weren’t Londoners. I saw this guy who was a big, tall and skinny guy with skinny legs who was telling everyone where to go and what to do. I watched him for a little while before going over and speaking to the guy on the line and he told me that the team were from West Bromwich and I said was it alright to speak to that tall skinny when he comes off, and he said that it was fine. So when he came off I said to him my name is Ronnie Clayton what’s yours? And he said Sam and I said no what’s your surname? And he said Allardyce and I said that you looked quite good so I said how would you like to come down for a trial with with Tottenham, and he couldn’t believe it. Tottenham he said, and his eyes lit up and he said that would be great. So I took down his details when this master had said to me that he might have already signed forms. So anyway about ten days before spotting Sam I was down at Leyton Orient’s ground to watch a final between East London and Harrow Boys and after the game me and the chief scout at West Ham were accused of trying to get players out of the Orient and it was in the papers the next day. And Eddie Baily said that they (us) were trying to get these boys who had already signed forms with the Orient. However, Eddie Baily said that the papers had made it up and in the end I had to explain myself to the papers, and he said that you can never believe these bloody papers. And he believed me. I can remember once that we played Queens Park Rangers with a group of 15 year old boys. And Dickie Walker who was in his 50’s decided that he was going to show the goalkeeper his positioning, now the goalkeeper who played for Dagenham wasn’t a tall guy. In the end I told Dickie off and rightly so because within ten minutes we were 3-0 down. Bill Nicholson was annoyed that we were losing to QPR but I made a bet with them that if there’s any score we’ll get as many as them, and he took me very seriously. Anyway at the end of the game he came up to me and apologised as the scores were 1-1.

However, what happened with Sam Allardyce in the end was that I had wrote a glowing report of him and written down his address and I had said in the report that he had signed for West Brom. At that time the FA were very disorganised and they didn’t send out reports so I left it at that. I was always thought however, that if Sam had come down to Spurs he would have become a more polished player because we at Spurs had style, but in the end Sam never came down to Spurs for trial and I felt guilty about that because as a 14 year old he would always have remembered about the time that he could have joined Spurs. 

What was your time at the Lilywhites like on the whole?

Ronnie: Well I was proud to belong to them and it was nice to have met the people that I’d met as they were nice to me. I never had a row with anyone at Spurs and I got on with all of the players, and not once did I ever take anything off the club unlike other scouts at other clubs.

Did you have any footballing heroes or inspirations and if so who were they?

Ronnie: Well my great player was Peter Doherty who came from Northern Ireland, and he was a wonderful player. I saw him playing for Derby County down at Spurs once, but the greatest time I saw him was down on a mud heap pitch at West Ham when they were down to nine men in a cup tie. What happened was that West Ham had a corner, somebody headed it out and Pete Doherty got on the ball and he ran on this mud heap all the way from the edge of his 18 yard box to the other goal, and he smashed the ball into the back of the net, now how many people can do that? I’d never seen anybody like him so he was my hero. My only other hero was a man who played for Real Madrid called Alfredo Di Stefano, and what a player he was.

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

Ronnie: Well it was Bill Nicholson I suppose because I’d never seen anyone so dedicated to football, and Tottenham Hotspur was his life. Bill lived near the ground and I knew his family personally. Even at his heights Bill Nicholson never took advantage of anyone or anything. Bill was a great Englishman and Tottenham was his first and final love.

What do you feel was your greatest contribution to Spurs as a scout?

Ronnie: Well I think having an inquiring mind and always noting everything down and always following up on players who were recommended to me. You never knew where calls were going to come from, so I’d never turn anything down.

Could you describe to me what the legendary Bill Nicholson and Eddie Baily were like to work for?

Ronnie: Again with Bill Nicholson he had high standards and he wanted loyalty, which he got. You could never lie to Bill Nicholson because he always found out in the end, I remember seeing things that embarrassed him. Me and Dickie Walker went to watch a boy once who had been recommended to the club and had come up from Plymouth (a centre forward). He was picked to play in an under 15 game for England possibles against probables in Ilford. This particular game also saw Charlie George play. This game was a very ordinary one and the poor guy who had been recommended to the club was up at the game there with his dad. Anyway Dickie Walker thought that he was hopeless but I thought that to be fair he didn’t have one kick but anyhow Dickie had left us. However, I took the boy and his dad out for a meal in Stratford, east London. The father was a business man and he knew exactly what had happened and he said that Dickie had buggered off. I kind of covered for him though and said that he had to go because he had an appointment. The boy however, was disappointed because he hadn’t had a kick and off they went. Then the next day Bill Nicholson wanted to see me at Tottenham. And he said that he’s got a letter here he said. Anyway Bill had a dictaphone which allowed everyone to hear a phone call and he read this letter out to me and it read, I know that it was disgusting that Dickie Walker had just gone off like that. I know my son didn’t have much of a game but that’s no way for a club like Tottenham Hotspur to act in a case like this. Also in the letter it said that I exonerate Ron Clayton who at all times showed what the honour of Tottenham Hotspur was about. Anyway what happened was that Dickie Walker phoned in and we could hear him and he was blustering although he was a big man who was often referred to as the colonel! And Bill Nicholson wasn’t happy with him that he’d brought the club into disrepute. During the war Dickie was a parachutist and he used to jump out of planes at least three times a day during the weekends because he was a sergeant. Eddie Baily on the other hand was a great guy to work for and he was also a very jovial character. 

What was Dick Walker like?

Ronnie: He was a loveable rogue who knew his football through and through, but he was a funny man who was never lost for words. Dickie never knew the name of the street but he knew the name of the pub that was on it. However, I’d      never known anybody who didn’t like him. The Bobby Moore’s and Geoff Hurst’s all loved him and that says a lot.

Were any players or staff members at Spurs who you were particularly close to?

Ronnie: Only Dickie Walker really and he was somebody who made my life for me. He’d take me out to all the drinking clubs of the west end and he treated me very well. I always remember one club that we were in, me, Dickie and a 21 year old Terry Venables. A little lady in the bar said that she used to sing for a guy called snake hips Johnson and he (Terry) couldn’t stop laughing and she got Terry up to sing with her. I got on well with Terry although I couldn’t show that I was too friendly with him because he took my brothers place in the Spurs team. 

What would your advice be to the young Spurs players of today as they look to make it in the game?

Ronnie: Well they’d have to be dedicated and they’d have to be very talented because the standards are so much higher today then they were in my time.

What was the great Danny Blanchflower like to know?

Ronnie: I found him to be a very serious minded bloke really, he gave me the impression that he was more of a director than a footballer because he just didn’t look like one, he always had a book under his arm. He may have had funny legs but up in his head he was also two thoughts ahead of everyone and he was a good talker. Interestingly Danny, Bill Nicholson and Bernard Joy used to meet round Danny’s house and they used to talk purely football. Joy used to play centre half for Arsenal and him and Bill Nicholson were very close. One of the funniest things that I saw once is as follows. There was a guy who used to write for the evening news called Vic Rowden and he was telling me that Spurs were playing at Everton. He asked Bill Nicholson if there was any chance of him getting a lift on the coach from the ground to Liverpool Lime Street station, so I could get on the train with you. However, Bill said that no ones allowed on the coach and that’s what he thought of reporters. As the coach pulled out Bernard Joy was in the front coach waving at Rowden! 

After all these years how do you look back on your time with the Lilywhites and is Spurs a club who still hold close to your heart?

Ronnie: It does. I was proud to be associated with a great club and I look upon it as a time in my life where I met so many interesting people. I can’t think of one time where I had a person that I didn’t get on with.

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

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

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(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC).

Our under 18’s resume league action on Saturday when they take on London rivals Chelsea at Hotspur Way. This is the young Lilywhites first league game since they drew 2-2 with Arsenal in October. Matt Taylor’s side occupy sixth spot in the premier league south after picking up ten points from eight matches. Spurs welcome a Chelsea side to Hotspur Way who have been in red hot form of late. Ed Brand’s side sit in second place in the league table on 22 points, and they’ve won three of their four league matches on the road so far this season. The ‘ Blues ‘ under 18’s side may not be as good as it was say three seasons ago, but Brand’s side has some very talented players in it. One of those is Albania under 21 international and centre forward Armando Broja (18) who has scored seven goals from seven league games this season. Another player from this talented Chelsea side to look out for on Saturday is commanding central defender and Northern Ireland youth international Sam Mcclelland. Former Crewe striker George Nunn is another player to watch out for as is attacking midfielder Marcel Lewis. Incidentally the last time that Chelsea lost a league game at this level was against us back in April. Troy Parrott scored a brace on that day to help Spurs achieve a 2-0 win. Saturday’s game will be a very tough one for Spurs as they have been quite inconsistent this season. Also the fact that central defenders Malachi Walcott and Luis Binks seem to have moved up to the under 23 side (perhaps that’s why we have taken former Bury defender Aaron Skinner on trial), as well as the fact that we are missing a number of players to injury doesn’t help matters for Matt Taylor’s side. However, these matches are about development and the visit of Chelsea will bring with it a great test for the young Lilywhites. I shall be reporting on the game and my in-depth match report will be out on Sunday afternoon. 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Lusala, Muir, Skinner, Cirkin (c), Robson, Santiago, Bennett, Pedder, Cooper, Whittaker.

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, Cesay, Mundle, Carrington, Scarlett.

Injured/unavailable: Michael Craig, Nile John. 

Doubtful: Jeremy Kyezu, Matthew Craig, Kion Etete, Enock Asante. 

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-0.

My score prediction: 2-2.

My one to watch: Albania under 21 international and former Spurs schoolboy Armando Broja is my one to watch on Saturday morning. Broja who operates primarily as a centre forward has scored seven league goals from seven appearances so far this season. 

Spurs under 19’s 0-2 Crvena zvezda: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 0-2 Crvena zvezda: (match report)

In game weeks four of this seasons UEFA youth league group stages, Ryan Mason’s Spurs under 19 side travel to Belgrade, to face Serbian side Crvena zvezda, a side who they defeated 9-2 in the last game week. However, this time around Spurs succumbed to a two goal defeat in what was a very poor game which was played at a low tempo. Mason’s side never really got going and they massively missed the focal point of an out and out centre forward such as Troy Parrott or Rodel Richards. Spurs lacked pace and as a result the defensive opposition made it extremely difficult for them to break them down. The wide men J’Neil Bennett and Tashan Oakley-Boothe were frustrated throughout the game and were unable to create many chances. Both of Crvena zvevda’s goals came in the second half. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation on Wednesday with Jonathan De Bie starting in goal. A back four consisting of TJ Eyoma, Malachi Walcott, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Captain Jamie Bowden and Harvey White anchored the midfield while Tashan Oakley-Boothe and J’Neil Bennett operated on the flanks, either side of CAM Max Robson. Dilan Markanday operated up front although he was more of a false nine. Spurs got the game underway at the Voždovac stadium and they were knocking the ball around the park well during the opening stages of the game. The first chance of the game came Crvena Zvezda’s way. After Ilija Babic passed the ball to Borisav Burmaz on the edge of the Spurs penalty area the Crvena zvezda forward struck the ball narrowly wide of Jonathan De Bie’s goal. After J’Neil Bennett had won a free kick in a decent area Jamie Bowden’s resulting effort struck the Crvena zvezda wall before going behind for a corner kick. Goalkeeper Andrija Katic’s long kick up field came to Andrija Radulovic whose eventual dragged effort was gathered easily by Jonathan De Bie. Harvey White then shot wide from long range before Crvena zvezda attacked Spurs. Uros Blagojevic passed the ball to Ilija Babic who in turn gave it to Andrija Radulovic in the Spurs box however, he was charged down by Dennis Cirkin who made a lunging challenge, and managed to get some of the ball to prevent Radulovic from getting a clean strike on goal.

The commanding Luis Binks cleared Bojan Radulovic’s free kick before then heading a Harvey White corner kick into the arms of Crvena zvezda goalkeeper Andrija Katic. A couple of minutes later Milos Pantovic received Martin Novakovic’s pass before racing forward and dragging an effort wide of Jonathan De Bie’s goal. Martin Novakovic then had a good drilled effort from distance well saved by De Bie who managed to gather the ball in what turned out to be the final piece of action from the first half. Crvena zvezda got the second half underway. Martin Novakovic had a dragged effort from long range saved by De Bie before Dennis Cirkin was shown a yellow card for pulling back Milos Pantovic. Harvey White fired an effort wide of goal from long range for the frustrated J’Neil Bennett was shown a yellow card for lashing out at Andrija Radulovic. Dilan Markanday then became the latest Spurs player to be shown a yellow card for a challenge on Borisav Burmaz. A fine cross from Dennis Cirkin just evaded J’Neil Bennett inside the Crvena zvezda penalty area, before Harvey White’s lofted pass towards Dilan Markanday just evaded the Spurs winger inside the oppositions box. Forward Tarrelle Whittaker came onto replace Max Robson before Crvena zvezda took the lead in the 69th minute of the game. After Andrija Radulovic latched onto Vladimir Miletic’s header he burst down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area, past defender Malachi Walcott, before firing the ball into the bottom right hand corner of Jonathan De Bie’s goal, 0-1. Dilan Markanday volleyed wide Harvey White’s free kick wide of the target before Luis Binks headed Jamie Bowden’s corner kick wide of goal courtesy of a deflection off a Crvena zvezda player. Maurizio Pochettino then came onto replace Tashan Oakley-Boothe. Soon after coming on Pochettino had a cross cleared behind by Aleksandar Lukic before TJ Eyoma had a shot blocked by a Crvena zvezda defender before Luis Binks headed a cross from Jamie Bowden wide of the goal. Rafferty Pedder came onto replace Dilan Markanday. Spurs came close when J’Neil Bennett received Harvey White’s pass before coming in from the left flank and having a good powerful effort beaten away by Andrija Katic. 

Crvena Zvezda then went straight down the other end and doubled their advantage. After Andrija Radulovic passed the ball to Ilija Babic inside the Spurs box, the winger back heeled the ball for Petar Piplica who slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 0-2. The referee sounded the final whistle a couple of moments later to bring an end to a game of poor quality. Spurs now have to win their next game against Olympiakos to stand any chance of qualifying from the group. 

Player reviews:

  • Jonathan De Bie: The Belgian goalkeeper made three saves on the day and he had a decent game.
  • TJ Eyoma: The right back generally had a solid game and he protected the right flank quite well. 
  • Malachi Walcott: Apart from being out paced for the opening goal the RCB had a decent game. 
  • Luis Binks: The LCB was one of Spurs’ best players on the day and I was impressed by his communication skills and positioning.
  • Dennis Cirkin: It was quite a tenacious performance from the young left back who made an important sliding challenge during the first half.
  • Jamie Bowden: The Spurs captain was always looking to make a positive pass and he looked good when he was on the ball. 
  • Harvey White: White generally moved the ball about well in the middle of the park.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The right winger had very few touches of the ball.
  • Max Robson: Despite bringing a lot of energy to the game the CAM struggled to make much of an impact. 
  • J’Neil Bennett: Another player who was frustrated was left winger J’Neil Bennett who apart from coming close to finding a late equaliser was pretty anonymous, although he did work very hard.
  • Tarrelle Whittaker: The second half substitute barely got a look in against Crvena zvezda.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: The right winger got very few touches of the ball. 
  • Rafferty Pedder: The 17 year old looked lively during his short time on the pitch. Pedder was alway on the move and looking to create space for himself.

Crvena zvezda: Katic, Mitrovic, Blagojevic, Matic (Miletic 67), Lukic, Milikic, Pantovic (Bacanin 70), Novakovic, Burmaz (c) (Piplica 90+2), Radulovic, Babic. Substitutes (not used): Copic, Savic, Pisar, Pesovic.

Spurs: De Bie, Eyoma, Cirkin, Bowden (c), Binks, Fagan-Walcott, Oakley-Boothe (Pochettino 77), White, Bennett, Robson (Whittaker 67), Markanday (Pedder 83). Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Lusala, Muir.

Goals: Crvena zvezda – Radulovic 69, Piplica 90+3.

Yellow cards: Crvena zvezda – Mitrovic 59, Radulovic 83, Burmaz 86, Piplica 

90+3; Spurs – Cirkin 54, Bennett 63, Markanday 65.

Referee: Sebastian Gishaumer (AUT).

Venue: Voždovac Stadium, Belgrade.

Attendance: 650.

Spurs under 19’s statistics:

Goals: Troy Parrott – 5

Rodel Richards – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Max Robson – 1

Kion Etete – 1

Harvey White – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Assists: TJ Eyoma – 2

Rodel Richards – 1

Troy Parrott – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1 

Jonathan De Bie – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1