Spurs under 19’s versus Barcelona: (match preview)

Spurs under 19’s versus Barcelona: (match preview)

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On Tuesday afternoon a couple of hours before our first teams huge UEFA Champions League game against Barcelona, Matt Wells under 19 side will also be contesting a must win game against the Catalans. That game comes in the final round of group games in the UEFA youth league, with a place in the knockout stages still up for grabs. After five group games Spurs sit in second place in the group on six points. However, after our last game against Inter Milan in which we suffered a surprise 4-2 home defeat to the Italians, Wells’ side will now have to go to the Mini Estadi and get the win against group winners Barcelona tomorrow afternoon, in order to progress to the play off round where they will meet a team from the domestic path of the competition. However, to achieve that feat Spurs will have to be at the very top of their game to overcome a Barça side who are unbeaten in this seasons competition. Although it is likely that Barcelona will make a number of changes from their last game against PSV under 19’s, the Catalan won’t want their unbeaten record in this seasons competition to come to an end. When these two met in the reverse fixture at Hotspur Way, Spurs were by far the better team. In fact Barcelona were lucky not to have beaten that day by a young Spurs side who controlled the game from start to finish. Some of Barcelona’s most talented players include highly rated centre forward Abel Ruiz who hasn’t been involved in any of Barcelona’s recent games, right back and captain Guillem Jaime and American winger Konrad De La Fuente who really impressed me during the game at Hotspur Way back in game week 2. It will be interesting to see how Matt Wells side will approach tomorrow’s game which is being shown live on BT Sport 2. Playing at the Mini Estadi in front of a big crowd by our lads standards will be a big test for our young lads. However, I have no doubts in their ability to overcome Barcelona on their own patch with their own exciting brand of attacking football. Unfortunately I will be unable to attend tomorrow’s game but I will be able to watch it on BT Sport and I shall write an in-depth match report which I will publish sometime on Wednesday evening. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck ahead of Tuesday afternoons important UEFA youth league game.

My predicted lineup: (4-3-3) Austin (c), Hinds, Eyoma, Binks, Brown, Bowden, Maghoma, Oakley-Boothe, Markanday, Parrott, Roles. 

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Lyons-Foster, Cirkin, White, A.Shashoua, Pochettino, Richards.

Injured/unavailable: Jonathan Dinzeyi, Phoenix Patterson, Enock Asante, Jeremie Mukendi.

Doubtful: Malachi Walcott, J’Neil Bennett, Maximus Tainio, Oliver Skipp (possible first team involvement), Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. 

Previous meeting: 1-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Barcelona’s 17 year old left winger Anssumane Fati who has scored one goal from his four appearances in this competition this season. 

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Spurs under 23’s 2-2 Everton: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 2-2 Everton: (match report)

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Our under 23’s took on high flying Everton in the PL2 on Friday afternoon at Hotspur Way, as Wayne Burnett’s side looked to build on their impressive win over Wolfsburg II earlier in the week. David Unsworth’s Everton side came to Enfield in good form and a win against Spurs would have lifted them up to the top of division one. It was a closely fought game in many ways, with both teams having dominant spells in the game. Spurs had more of the ball and they created more chances than the visitors but once again they didn’t kill the game off when they had the chance to. Burnett’s side were the better team, they were the sharper of the two sides and they moved the ball around the park well. After a closely contested opening 30 minutes Spurs took the lead from a corner kick through Jack Roles who was able to turn Kazaiah Sterling’s header into the back of the net. Then less than two minutes later Spurs doubled their lead as Roles turned provider by setting up Sterling who clinically slotted past Everton goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt to give Burnett’s side a healthy two goal lead. However, they undid all of their good work by letting Everton pull a goal back right on the stroke of halftime through Bassala Sambou. Our lads controlled the majority of the second half and they played some really good football as they created numerous chances. However, they were punished in the end for not putting away any of those second half chances and we were dealt a cruel blow when substitute Anthony Gordon drew level in the 86th minute to rescue a point for the traveling ‘ Toffees ’ whose direct style of play frustrated Spurs at times. Despite the fact that we gave away a two goal lead I came away from the training centre feeling very buoyant after Friday afternoons performance. Apart from the two goals that we conceded I thought that we had an excellent game, we moved the ball around well and we used it intelligently. We defended well for large periods of the game but we were also very potent in the final third. Anthony Georgiou who continues to make his way back from injury had an excellent game out on the left wing. And our two goal scorers Jack Roles and Kazaiah Sterling linked up well with each other throughout the match. 

Spurs lined up in the usual 4-2-3-1 formation with Brandon Austin starting in goal for Burnett’s side once again. A back four of Hinds, the captain Tanganga, Eyoma and Brown sat in front of him, as George Marsh and Dylan Duncan started in the middle of the park. Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Anthony Georgiou started out on the flanks with Jack Roles playing in between them in the hole. While 20 year old centre forward Kazaiah Sterling led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway at a wet and windy Hotspur Way. Burnett’s side had a bit of an early scare after TJ Eyoma gave the ball away to Nathan Broadhead inside his own half. Broadhead drove forwards through the middle before passing the ball to Josh Bowler down the left flank. Bowler then crossed for Bassala Sambou inside the box but the former Coventry youth team player ended up flicking the ball wide of Austin’s goal. George Marsh attempted to play Sterling through on goal a couple of minutes later. However, the midfielders ambitious long pass was snuffed out by Everton’s skipper Morgan Feeney. Young TJ Eyoma had yet another nervy moment when he passed the ball straight to Josh Bowler right on the edge of the Spurs penalty area. Bowler burst into the box but luckily for Eyoma, Japhet Tanganga was on hand to make a crucial interception to bail his teammate out. Both sides were struggling to find their feet in the game during the early periods. Morgan Feeney cleared Jaden Brown’s menacing free kick before Spurs worked a good passing move which saw Georgiou pass the ball to Sterling on the edge of the Everton penalty area. However, Sterling’s powerful low effort on goal was blocked by Everton defender Tyias Browning. Then at the other end of the pitch Anthony Georgiou made a headed clearance from an Everton corner kick which set Spurs on the break. 

Oakley-Boothe picked the ball up and exchanged passes with Roles as the pair advanced forwards into the Everton box, before Roles had an effort on goal which was stopped by Mateusz Hewelt who had closed him down well. Sterling got caught under Roles’ feet and this unbalanced the Tottenham midfielder before he got his shot away. Japhet Tanganga glanced Brown’s resulting corner kick wide as Burnett’s side started to grow into the game. After losing possession in their own half Tariq Hinds was forced into blocking Con Ouzounidis’ cross after the young Aussie had broken forward down that side of the pitch. Some more sloppy defending followed as Tanganga gave the ball straight to Sambou on the edge of the Spurs penalty area however, his teammate TJ Eyoma was on hand to make a crucial interception. The rain had started to gush down in North London as the half progressed. Tyias Browning headed clear Dylan Duncan’s corner kick before the Spurs players then went in search of a penalty from the referee Jack Morgan after they had felt that Kazaiah Sterling had been obstructed by Everton defender Morgan Feeney. After Sterling had raced to meet Jack Roles’ searching pass inside the Everton penalty area where he was seemingly obstructed by the Everton captain. The lively Bassala Sambou then came desperately close to nodding home Antony Evans’ dangerous cross, but the Everton forward just couldn’t make contact with the ball despite his best efforts. Josh Bowler then whipped a dangerous low cross into the box which was dealt with well by Tanganga who got it clear. The ‘ Toffees ’ almost took the lead from Nathan Broadhead’s resulting corner kick, but Tyias Browning’s bullet header was spectacularly cleared on the line by George Marsh. TJ Eyoma headed behind Nathan Broadhead’s free kick delivery a couple of minutes later as the Tottenham defence continued to hold. Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin was then forced into making his first save of the game. After receiving Ouzounidis’ pass on the edge of the penalty area Dennis Adeniran tested Austin with a fizzing low effort at goal, which the diving Spurs goalkeeper was able to tip behind for a corner kick.

The Spurs goalkeeper who had, had very little to do during the opening stages of the game then did well to confidently claim Antony Evans’ cross. Spurs went on a promising attack at the other end as Duncan shifted the ball out to Jack Roles on the right flank. Roles then slipped the ball into Sterling inside the box but the centre forward couldn’t control the ball and it ended up coming out to Georgiou who fired over from 13 yards out on his weaker right foot. Spurs went on another promising attack a couple of minutes later which ended in Oakley-Boothe’s blocked cross coming out to Hinds on the edge of the Everton penalty area. However, the Tottenham fullback fired wide of Hewelt’s goal with a powerful first time strike. The Merseyside club played a quick free kick at the other end when Bowler passed the ball to Harry Charsley inside the Spurs box but the alert Eyoma was able to get in front of the Irishman to win the ball off of him. George Marsh managed to find Sterling inside the oppositions penalty area shortly afterwards. Sterling passed the ball to Brown who then laid it off for Roles to strike, but the Cyprus under 21 internationals effort on the turn was deflected behind for a Spurs corner. And it was from that corner which Burnett’s side took the lead from. Jaden Brown whipped the ball into the box and it was met by Sterling who made a good leap before powering his header on goal. Sterling’s header was flicked onto the underside of the crossbar by the reactive Jack Roles before going in, 1-0. Merely two minutes later Spurs doubled their lead through Kazaiah Sterling as Spurs caught the Everton defence out cold. Eyoma passed the ball to Roles who threaded a perfectly weighted through ball to Sterling who was able to power his way past Browning, before entering the penalty area and slotting the ball past Hewelt and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 2-0. Everton looked to respond, Sambou passed the ball to Bowler on the edge of the Spurs box but the winger fired over. Oakley-Boothe then went on a promising run down the other end as he skipped past Charsley down the right flank before seeing his cross cleared by Feeney.

Frustratingly for Spurs Everton pulled a goal back right on the stroke of halftime through Bassala Sambou. After receiving Charsley’s pass down the left wing Everton winger Antony Evans sent a menacing low cross into the penalty area. The Everton mans cross came all the way to the lunging Sambou who was able to turn it home at the back post despite the best efforts of both Eyoma and Austin, 2-1. And the visitors almost drew level before the half was up, Adeniran won the ball off of Marsh in the middle of the park with a crunching challenge. The former Fulham player then passed the ball to Bowler who burst forward before testing Austin with a fizzing effort which the Tottenham goalkeeper did ever so well to stop at full stretch, bringing an end to an eventful first half. During the break I noticed that Oxford United manager Karl Robinson was in attendance, no doubt checking our lads out before we face the league two side in the Checkatrade trophy later this month. David Unsworth’s Everton side got the second half underway and after a quiet start it was Spurs who had the first real chance of the half. After receiving Roles’ pass out on the left flank, Georgiou managed to beat Ouzounidis before finding Duncan on the edge of the Everton penalty area. However, Duncan’s first time effort was blocked heroically by the sliding Tyias Browning. Burnett’s side were moving the ball around the park well as they looked to regain their two goal lead. Anthony Georgiou whipped a menacing ball into the box which ended up coming off Sterling and out to Oakley-Boothe down the right side of the penalty area. The wide man teed the ball off for Sterling whose effort was blocked by Feeney, before Jaden Brown curled an effort wide a couple of moments later. TJ Eyoma was on hand at the other end to put Antony Evans’ cross out for a corner kick. Bowler’s resulting ball in was met by Evans who glanced a header narrowly wide of Austin’s goal. Tyias Browning headed clear Dennis Adeniran’s free kick shortly afterwards, before the same player headed Ouzounidis’ corner kick over Austin’s crossbar.  

The sliding Anthony Georgiou only just missed Kazaiah Sterling’s low cross at the back post after a good move from Burnett’s side. Dylan Duncan then had an effort on goal saved by Hewelt from close range after latching onto Tariq Hinds’ cross inside the Everton the penalty area. Everton’s young Polish goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt had limited Duncan’s angles by coming out and closing him down. Instead of shooting Duncan should have passed to Roles who was in acres of space inside the penalty area. 17 year old Dilan Markanday came onto replace Anthony Georgiou out on the left wing in the 76th minute. Tanganga did well to block Nathan Broadhead’s shot on the edge of the penalty area, before Josh Bowler picked up the ball down right side of the box before firing narrowly over. Japhet Tanganga went on a good jinking forward run as he brought the ball out from the back. The 19 year old beat a couple of Everton players before passing the ball to Duncan out on the right flank. Duncan crossed for Sterling but the ball ended up falling for Roles whose powerful effort was blocked by Con Ouzounidis. However, Spurs were dealt a cruel blow in the 87th minute of time when the ‘ Toffees ’ scored a late equaliser through Josh Bowler. The goal stemmed from a misplaced pass by Dylan Duncan in the centre of the park. Duncan had attempted to pass the ball to Hinds out on the right flank but it was intercepted by the newly introduced Manasse Mampala who drove down the left wing before whipping the ball towards Bowler at the back post. And the one time QPR under 18 player was able to tap home unopposed at the back post, 2-2. Duncan was given a yellow card shortly afterwards for a foul on Adeniran as Spurs desperately tried to regain their lead during the final moments of the game. Spurs launched one last attack as Roles passed the ball out to Markanday on the left flank. The winger picked out Sterling in the box but the strikers effort on the turn was blocked by Morgan Feeney. George Marsh then glanced Oakley-Boothe’s corner across the face of the Everton goal, but that was to be the final bit of action from the game and the referee sounded for full time shortly afterwards.

It was in many a ways a very frustrating result for Wayne Burnett’s side who let their two healthy two goal lead go to waste. We were the better team on Friday and I think that’s what will frustrate our lads the most. However, it was a very good performance from Spurs and there were plenty of positives to take away from the game. Our under 23’s will face Manchester City at their Academy stadium next Saturday in their next PL2 game. Unfortunately for the first time this season I will miss a game and I’ll be unable to report on how our lads get on due to the fact that it is being played behind closed doors. I will however, be at Wembley that day watching our first team take on Burnley so I wouldn’t have been able to make the game even if it had been open to the public.

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: The 19 year old goalkeeper didn’t have an awful lot to do against Everton on Friday. Austin made two saves in total one of which was a very good one to deny a fizzing strike from Josh Bowler towards the end of the first half. Austin dealt with crosses and set pieces well and he was commanding throughout the game. There is nothing that Austin could have done to prevent either of Everton’s two goals from going in.
  • Tariq Hinds: The right back had a good game on Friday and I thought that he defended his side of the pitch well. Hinds got up and down the flank well but he was disciplined throughout. Although Hinds couldn’t get back in time to get to Manasee Mampala for Everton’s second goal, the 18 year old made an excellent crunching challenge to win the ball off of Mampala just a couple of minutes before that goal. 
  • Japhet Tanganga: The skipper worked well alongside his defensive partner TJ Eyoma and he put in a good performance at RCB. Tanganga marshalled the defence well and he made a number of important interventions of his own. Good in the air and strong in the challenge, you really couldn’t fault Tanganga’s performance in any way. The 19 year old kept good positioning throughout the game and he also played the ball out well from the back.
  • TJ Eyoma: Apart from a couple of early sloppy passes which put us under pressure I thought that the England under 19 international had a really good game at LCB. Eyoma read the game well and him and Tanganga formed a strong defensive partnership which quelled the threat of attacking players such as Bassala Sambou and Nathan Broadhead. The 18 year old impressed me with his crisp short passing and his awareness. Eyoma also did well to get in front of his man on numerous occasions inside the danger zone. Him and Tanganga had a great game against the Merseyside club.
  • Jaden Brown: It was a decent performance from the left back who stayed deeper than usual against Everton due to the presence of Anthony Georgiou in front of him. Brown maintained good positioning throughout Friday’s 2-2 draw, and he also timed his challenges well.
  • George Marsh: I thought that the 19 year old put in another good performance for Burnett’s side as a holding midfielder. Marsh won everything that came his way and the tireless midfield anchor man scrapped for every ball in the middle of the park. He pressed relentlessly throughout the game but he also protected the back four and he would often fill in for defenders who were higher up the pitch. Marsh made a terrific goal saving block to deny Tyias Browning’s header in the first half.
  • Dylan Duncan: Like Marsh the 19 year old had a really good game in central midfield. Duncan was commanding and combative in the middle of the park, he got around the pitch well and he also managed to make a positive impact at both ends of it. He won a lot of balls in the middle of the park but he also dropped deep and this saw him make a number of important interceptions. The teenager worked really hard against Everton and he showed a real desire to influence the game. From a defensive point of view Duncan had an excellent game. However, I also thought that he linked defence with attack extremely well. Duncan went on some good driving runs through the middle of the park, and he also got into some good goalscoring positions in and around the six yard box. He also impressed me with his passing. Yes it was the 19 year olds misplaced pass which led to Everton’s equaliser however, those things happens to the very best players.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: It was another start for Oakley-Boothe on the right wing in our 2-2 draw with Everton. And Oakley-Boothe put in another impressive performance in that position. He was creative and hardworking, he also linked up well with both Roles and Sterling and the trio went on some good attacking forays. The 18 year old was tricky and direct and he made Irish left back Harry Charsley work hard throughout the game. Oakley-Boothe beat his man on several occasions and he would often drift inside and go on surging runs through the middle.
  • Jack Roles: My motm, see below.
  • Anthony Georgiou: This was the Cyprus internationals first start at this level since August, and after coming off the bench in midweek to make his long awaited return from injury in our 2-1 win over Wolfsburg II, Georgiou got more vital minutes under his belt on Friday. The 21 year old started the game on the left wing and he did his job so well out on that left hand side. Georgiou managed to get the better of Everton’s strong right back Con Ouzounidis and he beat his man on numerous occasions throughout the game. The speedy winger was tricky and direct, he whipped some lovely crosses into the box during the second half and he was very unselfish in possession. I was keeping a really close eye on Georgiou who completed 76 minutes of Friday’s 2-2 draw. During the game he made some superb runs down the left flank, he also did very well at creating space for himself down the left channel. Being the most senior player in the team, Georgiou was vocal and encouraging to his teammates, and he demonstrated good leadership skills. The Lewisham born youngster also made it clear to them when he wanted the ball down the left wing, something which frustratingly wasn’t picked up on enough during  the first half. In addition to his duties as a winger Georgiou also made sure that he helped out Jaden Brown in defence. I thought that he had an excellent game and after he was replaced late on in the game his absence really showed.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: The 20 year old striker found the net for the second time in a week on Friday. Sterling put in another excellent shift up top, he made some forceful and well timed runs. He also made life difficult for the defenders as he would often play with his back towards goal. Sterling looked sharp and really up for the visit of the ‘ Toffees ’ and his hard work reaped it’s rewards. After getting the assist for Jack Roles’ opener, Sterling was played in by the 19 year old a couple of minutes later. He showed off his strength and speed in order to get past his man and in the end it was a very cool finish from the Spurs forward who has always been very good at finishing when he is one on one with the goalkeeper.
  • Dilan Markanday: The second year scholar came off the bench to make his second appearance at this level on Friday when he replaced Georgiou out on the left wing. Markanday put in a shift for the team and the 17 year old tracked back well after him during his short time on the pitch. Markanday also went on some promising attacking forays down the left channel and he was positive in possession.

My man of the match: Jack Roles is a young man who isn’t afraid to express himself on the football pitch and express himself he did during Friday’s 2-2 draw. The in form Cyprus under 21 international had a magnificent game for Wayne Burnett’s side. Roles played the game in the hole as opposed to playing out wide as he has been doing during recent games. The 19 year old was superb as a number ten. Chipping in with another goal and assist, the youngsters goal was a typical poachers finish to turn home Kazaiah Sterling’s header. His assist on the other hand was a perfectly weighted pass to set Sterling through on goal. The North Londoner was the best player on the park on Friday, he oozed class. He worked his socks off in order to influence the game. He would drop deep to receive the ball and start an attack. He was so clever in the way he went about the game, with his sharp twists and turns and ability to create space for himself in the most congested areas of the pitch. Every time Spurs went on an attack Roles was always involved in the thick of it and on another day he could have had a hat-trick if other players had have spotted him inside the danger zone. I will be writing an in-depth piece on Jack Roles later in the month.

Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Brown, Marsh, Tanganga (c), Eyoma, Oakley-Boothe, Duncan, Sterling, Roles, Georgiou (Markanday 76). Substitutes (not used): Glover, Reynolds, White, Richards.

Everton: Hewelt, Ouzounidis, Charsley, Iversen, Browning, Feeney (c), Evans (Gordon 74), Adeniran, Sambou (Mampala 61), Broadhead (Simms 61), Bowler. Substitutes (not used): Hilton, Astley.

Goals: Spurs – Roles 34, Sterling 36; Everton – Sambou 42, Gordon 86.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Duncan 87; Everton – Charsley 43, Bowler 76, Iversen 79, Simms 83.

Referee: Jack Morgan.

Venue: Hotspur Way, Enfield.

Attendance: 135.

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

Goals scored: Jack Roles – 5

Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jaden Brown – 2

Kazaiah Sterling – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 5

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Kazaiah Sterling – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

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

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

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Our under 23’s will be on a high following their excellent 2-1 win over Wolfsburg II in the Premier league international cup on Monday. And Wayne Burnett’s side will be hoping to put in a similar performance when they face high flying Everton in the PL2 on Friday. Spurs will be looking to avenge the 6-0 thrashing that they received at the hands of the ‘ Toffees ’ back in September at Goodison Park, when these two teams meet at Hotspur Way on Friday. After going on a run of four games without a win, Spurs picked up a very good result earlier in the week over Wolfsburg II as they got their Premier league international cup campaign underway. Since the inception of the PL2 back in 2016 Spurs have lost every single game that they have played Everton in. Everton head coach David Unsworth has made sure that the Merseyside club are one of the best teams at this level. The 2016/17 PL2 winners have started the current campaign in fine form, and after 11 league matches they currently sit in second place in division one. In fact Everton have only lost twice from the 16 games that they have played in all competitions this season. A physical side who are both direct and attacking in their style of play, Unsworth has some very technically gifted players in his team this season. One of those technically gifted players is 21 year old playmaker Kieran Dowell who spent last season on loan with Nottingham Forest. The England under 21 international is a player who can change a game in an instance, and he also has a good scoring record at this level. Another player of similar quality is another England under 21 international in right back Jonjoe Kenny.  Kenny was a regular for Everton’s first team last season and after only recently retuning from injury the 21 year old who played in Everton’s last game against Liverpool, could well travel down to London for Friday’s game. One thing that former Everton defender David Unsworth has implemented into his side is a defensive solidity. And Everton have conceded the fewest goals in the PL2 this season (6) and that is something that Burnett’s side will have to be mindful of going into the game.

I have already mentioned both Dowell and Kenny but another player is 19 year old Scottish youngster Fraser Hornby, a forward who is adept at playing at centre forward. Hornby gave our defence a torrid time when these two teams met up in Liverpool earlier on in the season. Hornby’s sheer force and aerial prowess was something which caught our defence out on several occasions during that 6-0 defeat. Everton’s top scorer in the PL2 this season is centre Bassala Sambou (4) and he will be another player to keep an eye on. Beating Everton on Friday and returning to winning ways in the PL2 will be a tough ask however, it is certainly possible if we can get off to a bright start and play with confidence just like we did against Wolfsburg earlier on in the week. Burnett will still be without the likes of Shayon Harrison, Luke Amos and Jonathan Dinzeyi who all have long term injuries. On a more positive note it is likely that Anthony Georgiou will start for Spurs after appearing off the bench in our 2-1 win over Wolfsburg II earlier in the week. Georgiou had been out injured since August. I’m looking forward to Friday’s match, it will be a good test for Burnett’s youngsters who will be keen to avenge that painful 6-0 defeat up in Liverpool earlier on in the season. My in-depth match report of Friday afternoons match will be published on Saturday afternoon. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Hinds, Eyoma, Tanganga, Georgiou, Marsh, Duncan, Oakley-Boothe, Maghoma, Roles, Sterling.

Subs from: Glover, Brown, Bowden, Reynolds, Richards.

Injured/unavailable: Luke Amos, Shayon Harrison, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Phoenix Patterson, J’Neil Bennett.

Doubtful: Jamie Bowden, Shilow Tracey. 

Previous meeting: Spurs 0-6.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Everton’s 21 year old playmaker Kieran Dowell who spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest. Dowell is a player who the Spurs defence will have to be wary of if he is involved, Dowell is particularly dangerous on the edge of the penalty area and he is a fierce striker of a ball.

Spurs under 23’s 2-1 Wolfsburg II: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 2-1 Wolfsburg II: (match report)

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Wayne Burnett’s development side ended their run of four games without a win in superb fashion on Monday evening, by beating a very good Wolfsburg II side at Broadhall Way. Spurs took on the German club in their opening group game of this seasons Premier league international cup a competition which they have entered for the second season in a row. Burnett’s side came up against an experienced and technically gifted Wolfsburg side who had only lost one game from the 23 that they had played this season going into their meeting with us. The German clubs reserve side are also the league leaders of the Regionalliga North back in Germany. It really was an enthralling encounter with Wolfsburg, it was a fiercely competitive game in which both sides tried to implement their own brand of attacking football. The visitors were the more experienced side and Ton Lokhoff’s team included 26 year old Felix Klaus in their starting eleven. The big news from our match day squad was the inclusion of Cyprus international Anthony Georgiou (21) who started on the bench following a frustrating three month injury lay off. The first half was played at an extremely high intensity as both teams went in search of an opener. Wolfsburg looked the more dangerous team in front of goal, but their were chances aplenty at both ends of the pitch. A thrilling first half ended in the alert Jack Roles pouncing on an error from Niklas Klinger to curl home from inside the six yard box from an acute angle, to put Spurs 1-0 up on the stroke of halftime. Burnett’s side started the second half in similarly excellent fashion, Jack Roles turning the provider this time for striker Kazaiah Sterling. The 19 year old capping off an excellent run across the edge of the Wolfsburg box by rifling an effort beyond Klinger to double Spurs’ advantage. Spurs were the better side and following Sterling’s goal they started to grow in confidence and this resulted in them creating some excellent chances. However, for all the shots that they had on goal, they were unable to put the game to bed. And after Daniel Hanslik pulled a late goal back for the visitors it was a nerve racking end to the game. However, Burnett’s side defended superbly throughout and in the end they did just about enough to get off to a winning start in group C, and they did it in some style too. 

Wayne Burnett opted go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for the visit of the German club. Brandon Austin started in goal, with a back four of Hinds, Eyoma, Tanganga and Brown starting in front of him. George Marsh and Dylan Duncan started in the middle of the park with 17 year old Jamie Bowden out injured. While the attacking trio of Oakley-Boothe, Maghoma and Roles lined up behind centre forward Kazaiah Sterling who led the line. Spurs got the cup match underway on a chilly evening in Hertfordshire, in front of a crowd which included our under 18 squad who were supporting teammates Pochettino and Thorpe who started on the bench. Spurs won an early free kick out on the left wing after Duncan was fouled. Paris Maghoma’s delivery found Tanganga on the right hand side of the penalty area however, the defenders weak header was cleared by Wolfsburg defender Robin Ziegele. Felix Klaus went on a searing run down the left flank shortly afterwards, before cutting inside and travelling across the edge of the Spurs box and firing a powerful low effort off of the inside of Austin’s left hand post. Fortunately for the Tottenham goalkeeper the ball bounced back away from goal. George Marsh cleared Felix Klaus‘ low cross a couple of moments later as Wolfsburg began to dominate possession during the early stages of the game. The German side created another good passage of play after Murat Saglam received Gian-Luca Itter’s pass before slipping the ball into Klaus inside the Tottenham penalty area. However, Duncan got to his man in time to win the ball off the German before clearing it away from danger. The visitors were playing with a lot of confidence about them and they were taking the game to Burnett’s side. Malcolm Badu’s long pass out to Klaus on the left flank was cushioned down to Saglam on the edge of the Spurs penalty area, but he blazed an effort over Austin’s crossbar. Spurs responded at the other end through Duncan who drove forward through the middle before slipping the ball through to Sterling who was brought down by the sliding Tim Siersleben.

Paris Maghoma picked up the loose ball before taking it around the goalkeeper however, he took one touch too many and he ended up taking the ball away from goal. In the end he chipped the ball back across goal for Tanganga, who couldn’t make significant contact with it. The ball then came out to Brown on the edge of the box but he shot a low effort wide of goal. Tanganga did well to block Felix Klaus’ effort at the other end of the pitch as the game continued to pick up pace. Paul Seguin then headed Saglam’s corner kick narrowly wide a couple of moments later. Neither side was able to get a stranglehold on the game and this meant that both sides were trying to catch one another on the break. A well worked move from Burnett’s youngsters resulted in Hinds passing the ball to the lively Paris Maghoma who twisted around his man before giving the ball to Sterling whose first time shot was blocked by Wolfsburg defender Robin Ziegele. However, the ball rolled out to Roles on the left side of the box and the Cyprus under 21 international had a low effort on goal well saved by Klinger who put it behind for a corner kick. Jaden Brown’s resulting corner kick was nodded wide by Tanganga who couldn’t keep his header down. The tenacious TJ Eyoma did well to block Saglam’s effort on goal at the other end of the pitch before blocking the Wolfsburg forwards effort for a second time a couple of moments later. Felix Klaus then whipped a menacing ball across the face of Austin’s goal from the right wing before John Yeboah fired an effort narrowly over Austin’s crossbar with an effort from 20 yards out. Japhet Tanganga was booked shortly afterwards for a mistimed challenge on Felix Klaus. Some more intricate play from the German club resulted in Wolfsburg centre forward Daniel Hanslik heading Felix Klaus’ cross narrowly over Austin’s crossbar as the visitors continued to put pressure on the Spurs defence. A long pass over the top of the Wolfsburg defence almost set Sterling through on goal, and Wolfsburg broke straight down the other end but Tanganga was on hand to clear Malcolm Badu’s teasing cross into the Tottenham penalty area. 

Brandon Austin punched Daniel Hanslik’s resulting corner kick away from danger. However, the Tottenham goalkeeper got lucky a couple of moments later after passing the ball straight to Paul Seguin on the edge of the Spurs penalty area. But the 19 year old made amends for his error a matter of minutes later when he stopped Malcolm Badu’s powerful effort, after he had cut inside from the left wing before testing Austin. The Tottenham goalkeeper then did well to prevent John Yeboah’s effort on the follow up with his feet. TJ Eyoma headed the same players cross away from danger a couple of minutes later. The game had developed into a frantic end to end affair with chances aplenty at both ends of the pitch, as both sides impressed going forward. The energetic Kazaiah Sterling won a free kick on the edge of the Wolfsburg penalty area after he was obstructed by Seguin. Jaden Brown’s powerful low effort was turned just wide by the fast thinking Jack Roles on the volley. Spurs’ most potent attacking player Paris Maghoma advanced on a mazy run a couple of minutes later as he took the ball into the Wolfsburg penalty area before leaving it for Jack Roles to pick up. However, Roles’ shot was blocked by a Wolfsburg defender who had done well to close him down. Spurs then had their best chance of the half through Kazaiah Sterling shortly afterwards. What should have been a routine tap in for the Spurs striker turned out to be a moment to forget for the 20 year old, who somehow managed to nod Dylan Duncan’s cross wide from only four yards out, at the back post in front of an empty goal. The potent Felix Klaus forced a decent stop out of Brandon Austin at the other end after he cut inside onto his right foot before running across the edge of the penalty area and dragged a low effort across goal, which was stopped by the diving Austin. The impressive Oakley-Boothe was cynically brought down right on the edge of the Wolfsburg box by Klaus, winning a free kick in a good position for Burnett’s side. Maghoma’s resulting delivery was met by Roles who headed the ball down to Duncan whose volley was turned into the back of the goal by Sterling, however the linesman on the far side had raised his flag for offside, and the goal was disallowed.

Paris Maghoma fired an effort narrowly wide after picking up the ball down the left side of the Wolfsburg penalty. The German club responded at the other through the Klaus who managed to latch onto a headed clearance from Tanganga on the edge of the Spurs box before wildly volleying well wide of the mark. An over hit pass from Hinds to Austin shortly afterwards put the Spurs goalkeeper under unnecessary pressure and forced him into hurriedly clearing the ball. However, Wayne Burnett’s side took the lead right on the stroke of halftime through the inform Jack Roles, after the alert north Londoner had caught Wolfsburg goalkeeper Niklas Klinger out. It was a sloppy goal to conceded from Wolfsburg’s perspective, the goal came from Paris Maghoma’s corner kick which was headed clear by a Wolfsburg defender but only out to Duncan on the edge of the box. The Spurs midfielder headed the ball back into the danger zone but Paul Seguin’s header back to the goalkeeper wasn’t a good one. And this resulted in Roles and Klinger racing to get to the loose ball out on the left side of the box. The Spurs man beat Klinger to the ball before twisting around and curling the ball into the opposite corner of the goal, from an almost improbable angle, 1-0. It was an excellently taken goal from the 19 year old capping off an excellent half of European football. Wolfsburg got the second half underway and the German club almost drew level shortly after the restart through Felix Klaus, who fired narrowly over Austin’s crossbar after receiving Yeboah’s pass down the left side of the Spurs box. However, Spurs responded by doubling their lead courtesy of an incisive counter attack. It was a clever break away down the left flank from Spurs which started with Roles who played the ball down the channel to Sterling who cut inside onto his right foot. Sterling ran across the edge of the penalty area before rifling the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Klinger’s goal, 2-0. Although it was a great run and finish from the Tottenham centre forward, a lot of the goal had to do with young Paris Maghoma whose excellent darting run through the middle confused Klinger, and he was excepting Sterling to square the ball for Maghoma.

 Spurs almost extended their lead a couple of minutes later after Jack Roles received the ball out on the left flank after Duncan had passed to him. Roles then whipped the ball towards Sterling at the back post. The Spurs striker headed the ball back across goal to Maghoma whose volley was saved by the feet of Klinger much to the Spurs teenagers disbelief. Ton Lokhoff’s side came close to pulling a goal back through Hanslik who fired an effort narrowly wide of Austin’s goal after receiving Iba May’s pass on the edge of the Spurs penalty area, following a well worked passing move from the visitors. Wolfsburg were knocking the ball about the park patiently as they looked for gaps in the Spurs defence. However, Spurs were catching the opposition on the break at every opportunity, Jack Roles almost set Sterling through on goal with a clever pass over the Wolfsburg defence, but Klinger came rushing off of his line to get to the ball before Sterling. Maghoma managed to find Sterling down the left side of the Wolfsburg box a couple of minutes later, but the Spurs striker fired an effort narrowly wide of Klinger’s near post. Brandon Austin showed good hands to hold Daniel Hanslik’s free kick after Tariq Hinds had conceded the free kick on the edge of the Tottenham box. Duncan gave the ball away to Hanslik shortly afterwards but the strikers effort on goal was blocked superbly by the sliding Eyoma. Paris Maghoma then had a powerful low cross cleared by a Wolfsburg defender at the other end moments later, before Burnett made his first substitution of the game when he brought on Anthony Georgiou for Jack Roles. The game continued to be played at a high tempo as both sides attacked with intent. TJ Eyoma cleared Davide Itter’s cross before Dylan Duncan was replaced by Jamie Reynolds in the centre of the park. Paris Maghoma then had a golden chance to put the game to bed after he received Tariq Hinds‘ pass before weaving his way into the Wolfsburg box in style and then firing an effort narrowly over Klinger’s crossbar. The tireless George Marsh blocked Paul Seguin’s shot at the other end, before Brandon Austin saved Felix Klaus’ free kick.

Wolfsburg had upped their tempo during the final stages of the game and they were really pushing for a late goal. Substitute Jesaja Herrmann blazed an effort  over Austin’s goal from range before Tanganga did well to block Seguin’s effort on goal. However, the Spurs defence couldn’t do anything to prevent Wolfsburg from pulling a goal back in the 82nd minute through Daniel Hanslik. The Wolfsburg centre forward managed to get on the end of Gian Luca-Itter’s corner kick before powering a header into the bottom left hand corner of Austin’s goal. Itter’s bullet header came off of the inside of Austin’s post before going in, 2-1. Maghoma was replaced by Pochettino shortly afterwards as Oakley-Boothe switched into the number ten role. Tanganga cleared Felix Klaus’ low cross as Wolfsburg really started to put the pressure on Burnett’s tiring defence, as they went in search of an equaliser at the death. Some good work from Georgiou down the left flank resulted in the 21 year old slipping the ball through to Brown down the left side of the Wolfsburg penalty, but the fullback dragged his effort across Klinger’s goal, squandering a great late chance for Spurs to put the game to bed. Some desperate late defending from Spurs prevented Wolfsburg from punishing us. Tariq Hinds blocked Hanslik’s effort on goal before the same player whipped the ball into the danger zone. However, Austin came out to confidently claim the ball. George Marsh was given a yellow card shortly afterwards for a foul on Tim Siersleben as Spurs held on, to record a hugely impressive win against the experienced German side. Our under 23’s next game is on Friday when Burnett’s side face Everton at Hotspur Way in the PL2.

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: The 19 year old goalkeeper put in another excellent performance for the Lilywhites on his eight appearance for the development side this season. Austin made five saves in total against Wolfsburg on Monday evening and once again he dealt superbly with set pieces and corner kicks. Austin’s double save in the first half to prevent both Badu’s and Yeboah’s effort proved to be a decisive moment in the game. He also made three other important stops and I was impressed with how quick he was on his feet, how commanding he was inside the six yard box and also how good he was with his hands. It was another fantastic performance from a fantastic young goalkeeper.
  • Tariq Hinds: The right back had a good game and he defended relatively well against Wolfsburg’s most potent attacking player in winger Felix Klaus. Hinds was attentive throughout the game and although the 26 year old winger caused him quite a few problems I thought that Hinds defended well down that side of the pitch. 
  • TJ Eyoma: Playing at lcb, 18 year old defender TJ Eyoma had an absolutely fantastic game alongside Japhet Tanganga on Monday. Eyoma read the game very well, he also anticipated potentially dangerous situations well. He was good in the air and calm on the ball, but it was the quality of some of his blocks and interventions which helped Spurs to see out the game. The Londoners positioning and awareness was second to none, and as far as I could see he didn’t put a foot wrong. Eyoma and Tanganga work very well together at centre back.
  • Japhet Tanganga: Like his partner at centre back Tanganga had an excellent game for Spurs. The 19 year old who was operating at rcb skippered Wayne Burnett’s side for the visit of the German club. Like Eyoma his positional understanding was good and he didn’t allow Wolfsburg’s experienced centre forward Daniel Hanslik the space which he so desperately craved. Tanganga was everywhere across the back four and it was a very good all round performance from the Spurs captain, who performed his duties so diligently throughout the match.
  • Jaden Brown: The left back got up and down the flank well and he dealt well with Wolfsburg winger John Yeboah. However, Brown impressed me most going forward and he was involved in some good moves down that side of the pitch, particularly when Georgiou came on in the second half as he allowed him to take more attacking risks.
  • George Marsh: It was another tireless performance from the hardworking and combative holding midfielder who did a good job at helping us to control the midfield. Marsh got back well to cover for the defenders and he made some important blocks and interceptions. He really helped us to manage the game during the latter stages of the match.
  • Dylan Duncan: Duncan started alongside Marsh in the middle of the park and like his teammate he put in a very respectable performance. He won a lot of balls in the central areas of the pitch and he recycled possession well. He also went on some good driving runs through the middle of the pitch and he showed a real willingness to get into decent positions in and around the oppositions penalty area. Duncan played his part in Jack Rolea’ opener with his header towards the Spurs forward from Paris Maghoma’s corner kick. The 19 year old was replaced by Jamie Reynolds in the 72nd minute of the game.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The 18 year old had an excellent game out on the right flank, in fact it was one of the best games that I have seen him play this season. Oakley-Boothe was one of our most creative players on the night and he helped to link play with centre forward Kazaiah Sterling. The 18 year olds movement was impressive and he got back well to help out Tariq Hinds at right back. Oakley-Boothe used the ball intelligently and his ball control, hold up play and ability to wriggle away from opponents in tight spaces helped Spurs out on so many occasions. He was positive in possession and he would often look to take on players as he got further up the pitch. Oakley-Boothe also linked up well with our number ten Paris Maghoma and he would fill in for the 17 year old after he was replaced late on in the game.
  • Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below. 
  • Jack Roles: A 19 year old who has been in red hot form this season, Jack Roles had another productive game out on the left wing. Chipping in with a goal and assist, Roles used the ball well and his aggressive pressing and willingness to create space for himself proved to be very useful for Wayne Burnett’s side. Roles took his goal excellently from a tight angle and he did well to set up Kazaiah Sterling for our second of the game.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: The 20 year old scored his first goal of the season and it was no more than he deserved after putting in an excellent shift up top against Wolfsburg on Monday. Sterling put in an electric performance and his many well timed runs in and behind the Wolfsburg defence made him a real pain to play against. Sterling worked his socks off in order to get into good positions. He held up the ball well and he helped out his teammates at the other end of the pitch. Despite missing a sitter in the first half, Sterling made up for it at the beginning of the second half after he cut inside from right flank before rifling an unstoppable effort beyond the Wolfsburg goalkeeper.
  • Anthony Georgiou: I couldn’t have been more delighted for Anthony to see him make his long return from injury as a second half substitute against Wolfsburg on Monday evening. Georgiou put in a really good shift out on the left wing after replacing Jack Roles in the 65th minute. Georgiou got up and down that left flank so well, he was disciplined and he knew when and when not to let Brown overlap him. However, Georgiou also went on some good runs of his own and he made some smart decisions in the final third. It was so good to see him back out on the pitch, and hopefully he’ll start against Everton on Friday as he continues to make his comeback from injury.
  • Jamie Reynolds: The 19 year old replaced Dylan Duncan in central midfield late on in the game and helped Spurs out at the back with some brave defending.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: It was only a fleeting cameo for the 17 year old who made his debut for the development side after replacing Maghoma late on in the game. 

My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. The 17 year old was absolutely outstanding against Wolfsburg on Monday evening. Playing in the number ten role, Maghoma was by far and out Spurs’ most influential player and the midfielder was pivotal in us carving open the German clubs defence. A constant thorn in Wolfsburg’s side, Maghoma’s weaving runs and urge to take on players helped us to break down what was a sturdy back line. He moved around the park extremely well and he was forceful much like Dele Alli is for the first team. However, the intelligence and unpredictability about his game made him almost unplayable for large periods of the match. His driving runs, balance and ability to trick his way around the Wolfsburg defence was simply sublime. Maghoma had four excellent chances in the game to get on the scoresheet and although he will have been disappointed that he couldn’t have put any of those away, I thought that his swiftness of thought and intelligence in the final third more than made up for this. Some of his jinking forward runs and twists and turns were an absolute joy to watch. As was his movement in and around the oppositions penalty area. Maghoma played a big part in our second goal of the game after he confused the Wolfsburg goalkeeper and defence by making a darting run into the penalty area, as if Sterling was going to play him in. However, this allowed Sterling to catch the Wolfsburg goalkeeper by surprise, by going for goal instead. It was a wonderful performance from Maghoma who is improving by every game that he plays.

Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Brown, Marsh, Tanganga (c), Eyoma, Oakley-Boothe, Duncan (Reynolds 72), Sterling, Maghoma (Pochettino 83), Roles (Georgiou 85).

Substitutes (not used): Glover, Thorpe.

VFL Wolfsburg: Klinger, Badu, G Itter, May, Ziegele (Moker 74), Siersleben, Klaus, Seguin, Hanslik (c), Saglam (Herrmann 58), Yeboah (D Itter 59).

Substitutes (not used): Tasche, Messeguem.

Goals: Spurs – Roles 45+2, Sterling 47; Wolfsburg – Hanslik 82.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Tanganga 21, Duncan 65, Marsh 90+1; Wolfsburg – Saglam 15, May 39, Klaus 56, Ziegele 68, Seguin 72.

Referee: Savvas Yianni.

Venue: Lamex stadium, Stevenage.

Attendance: 433.

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

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jack Roles – 4

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 4

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Atlético Levante UD:

Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Atlético Levante UD:

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19 year old Spurs youngster Samuel Shashoua made his 11th competitive appearance for his loan club Atlético Baleares on Sunday morning, in the ‘ Balearicos ’ 2-1 league win over Atlético Levante UD. Shashoua started yesterday’s game and he completed 78 minutes of the Segunda Division B match which lifted Manix Mandiola’s high flying side up into third place in the table, just three points off of league leaders Lleida. Shashoua started the game out on the left wing for the match at the Son Malferit, as Atlético lined up in their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation. Once again I was able to watch the game thanks to the fantastic live stream which was provided by Balearic television channel IB3. Atlético Levante got the game underway on the island in front of a good crowd at the Son Malferit. Samuel’s first involvement in the game came in the first ten minutes courtesy of some dazzling skill out on the left flank. After picking the ball up on the left wing, Shashoua managed to sharply turn away from Levante fullback Genís before successfully beating Javier Soler and whipping a low cross into the box, which was cleared by Álvaro Moreno. Atlético Baleares were seeing a lot more of the ball during the opening stages of the game and it was becoming quite evident that the Levante players were trying to deny him space to roam freely down the left channel. Shashoua’s next involvement in the game was some more fancy footwork on the left wing to beat Mongil before seeing his whipped cross cleared by Álvaro Moreno once again. Shashoua’s dazzling footwork to get past Mongil drew rapturous applause from the Atlético supporters. A couple of minutes later Shashoua picked up a long pass out on the left flank before cutting inside onto his right foot and attempting to play a quick one-two Francesc Fullana before making a darting run into the penalty area. However, the move was snuffed out by Levante defender Rubén González. Shashoua was becoming more involved in the game as the half progressed, and as Atlético came closer to breaking down the rigid Levante defence.

After picking up a short corner on the edge of the Levante penalty area Samuel whipped an inviting ball into the danger zone however, it was claimed confidently by goalkeeper Olmedo before any Atlético players could get on the end of it. The ‘ Balearicos ’ took the lead in the 28th minute through their inform centre forward Nuha Marong after he was played through on goal by Canario before firing home. In the aftermath of the goal Atlético’s Adri Hernández could be seen giving Samuel some words of advice. After having a goal disallowed shortly after the restart the home side continued to control the game and young Samuel was working hard to involve himself in the final third. An inviting low ball from captain Francesc Fullana into the Levante box almost came through to Samuel who was lurking, but a Levante defender managed to get to the ball right in the nick of time to clear it away from danger. Samuel’s last bit of involvement in the first half came after he latched onto a long pass out on the left flank before quickly passing the ball to Nuha who was in space. The centre forward attempted to feed the ball back into Samuel who had made a run into the six yard box, but once again it was cut out by a Levante defender. Manix Mandiola’s side got the second half underway and it couldn’t have started any worse for the his side who conceded an equaliser in the 55th minute, after a defence splitting pass had opened up the Atlético defence. The home team looked to respond, Shashoua managed to control goalkeeper Karl Claus’ long kick up field out on the left wing. Samuel then took the ball into the penalty area, before twisting away from Javier Soler who recovered in time to win the ball off of Samuel. It did seem as if the Levante man had handled the ball in the process of making the interception, Samuel protested to the referee as he looked for a possible penalty, but the referee wasn’t having any of it. Shashoua was enjoying a bright spell in the game following Levante’s surprising leveller, and he was the home teams most potent attacking player who was providing that spark that they so desperately needed.

Shashoua picked up a pass from Fullana shortly afterwards out on the left wing      and the west Londoner did well to beat his man before advancing forward on one of his usual jinking runs. However, as he approached the penalty area he was cynically tripped by Javier Soler who then had the cheek to claim his innocence to the referee as he handed him a yellow card. Unsurprisingly Samuel wasn’t too happy with the Levante man doing that. Shashoua did ever so well five minutes later, to hold off Levante substitute Blesa out on the left hand side before cutting inside his man and whipping a dangerous ball into the penalty area, which Fullana only just missed getting a head on. That was to be Samuel’s final action as he was replaced shortly afterwards by Hugo Diaz the man who would score the dramatic late winner for Atlético, before celebrating in style with a photographers camera. It was another three points in the bag for Samuel’s parent club who are really mounting a charge for the title this season and that charge has had a lot to do with the influence the teenager from London has been having on the Balearic side. After the match Samuel took the time to pose for photographs with some of the young Atlético supporters before the team left the field. It was another very good performance from the 19 year old who despite being closed down well by the experienced Levante right back Mongil, he still made things happen with his clever touches and twists and turns. Shashoua has had a few minor injuries over the last month and it was great to see him start another game for Atlético as he works his way back to full match sharpness. As always Samuel tracked back well after him on Sundays game, and he worked hard to link up with his teammates in the final third. He would often cut inside onto his right foot and look to play a quick a quick one two with either Nuha or Fullana. He was quick off the mark but most importantly of all he was so positive in possession. Always looking to work the Levante fullback and beat his man. The skilful Shashoua mixed up his play and this would ask real questions of the Levante defence. Some of his jinking runs and darting movement resulted in the Levante players cynically tripping him as it was the only way they could stop him. It was a really positive performance from the 19 year old who made things happen at every opportunity. Samuel and Atlético’s next game is against Valencia B next Sunday morning. I will be writing another loan report for that game.

Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: 

Appearances: 11

Goals: 3

Assists: 2

Spurs under 23’s versus Wolfsburg II (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Wolfsburg II (match preview)

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Our under 23’s will play their first group game of this seasons premier league international cup on Monday evening, when they face German side Wolfsburg II at Broadhall Way. The premier league international cup is a fantastic competition which gives English development sides the chance to test themselves against a variety of both top European and English clubs. Wayne Burnett’s side entered this competition last season however, they were knocked out in the group stages after they failed to qualify from their group. This season we have been drawn in group C which was one of the toughest groups available. Our group contains Monday evenings opponents Wolfsburg II, Spanish club Athletico Bilbao B and Norwich City’s development side. Whilst only the winners of the group will qualify directly into the next round, the two best second placed sides from the group stages will also go into the draw for the knockout stages. Winless in their last four matches at this level, Wayne Burnett will be hoping that his side can end that barren run when they take on Wolfsburg’s talented second team on Monday. We are the only team in group C who have yet to play a group game this campaign. Wolfsburg have played one and won one, after defeating Athletic Bilbao 4-0, and the German club currently lead the group with three points to their name. When I was doing my research on Wolfsburg II who ply their trade in the Regionalliga North alongside a host of professional senior sides, I was surprised at just how good Wolfsburg’s form has been this season. The club from Lower Saxony have lost only once from the 23 competitive games that they have played in this season. In addition Rüdiger Zieh’ls team are top of the Regionalliga North with 50 points from their opening 21 matches. Considering just how good Athletic Bilbao B are I was a little shocked to see that Wolfsburg beat them so comfortably in their opening group game. In fact I have been doing quite a bit of research on the German Bundesliga sides reserve team. Interestingly as with a lot of European B teams there squad is vastly made up of players in their early 20’s. There star player is 22 year old centre forward Daniel Hanslik who has found the net on 17 occasions this season. However, Wolfsburg also have a number of older players who are regulars within the reserve team.

29 year old centre back Julian Klamt is Wolfsburg’s captain and he has featured on 19 occasions for the club in the league this season. Furthermore, Wolfsburg’s 30 year old central midfielder Michele Rizzi is another regular for the reserve team. As is 30 year old forward Marcel Stutter, I’m not for one moment suggesting that any of those three overage players will play against us on Monday. However, it would appear likely and this would make the challenge of getting something out of the game a lot harder for Burnett’s side who are likely to be coming up against a very technical and experienced Wolfsburg team. Meanwhile Spurs’ oldest player will probably only be 20 years of age with a number of our more experienced players still out injured. Our under 23’s have a PL2 game against Everton on the Friday and this could see Burnett shuffle his side around for Monday’s game by giving players who haven’t played a lot this season, some all important playing time. Quite honestly I don’t know what to expect from Rüdiger Zieh’ls side on Monday evening. Last season we were played off the park by Spanish side Villarreal B before going onto outplay Benfica B in our final group game. One thing is for sure though and that is that, this competition will provide our young players with vital experience of playing some very talented European teams. I will be reporting on Monday evenings game from Broadhall Way, and I shall have my match report out by the following day. I wish Burnett’s side all the very best of luck for our important game against the German club. 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Marsh (c), Eyoma, Tanganga, Reynolds, Bowden, Duncan, Oakley-Boothe, Maghoma, Roles, Sterling.

Subs from: Freeman, Hinds, Brown, White, Markanday.

Injured/unavailable: Jonathan Dinzeyi, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Malachi Walcott, Phoenix Patterson, J’Neil Bennett, Luke Amos, Shayon Harrison.

Doubtful: Shilow Tracey, Anthony Georgiou.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Wolfsburg’s 22 year old centre forward Daniel Hanslik has been prolific in front of goal this season, scoring 17 goals from 21 league appearances. Hanslik played in Wolfsburg’s opening group game against Athletic Bilbao B and will most likely feature again for the German club on Monday evening. 

Spurs under 18’s 4-0 Leicester City: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 4-0 Leicester City: (match report)

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Our under 18’s took on Leicester City at their Belvoir Drive training ground on Saturday morning, as Matt Wells unbeaten side looked to strengthen their place at the top of the under 18 southern division. And strengthen it they did, as Matt Wells side put in another hugely impressive performance to beat Leicester 4-0 courtesy of a 12 minute goal blitz at the beginning of the second half. Spurs had to be patient with Leicester sitting deep for the vast majority of the game. And it was after a quiet first half for Wells side that things began to change. We upped our tempo for the second half against a very negative and defensive Leicester team. After seeing a lot more of the ball during the early stages of the half we took the lead in the 54th minute courtesy of a fine first time strike from Troy Parrott, on the edge of the Leicester penalty area. Dilan Markanday tapped home close range shortly afterwards to make it 2-0 to the Lilywhites, before Harvey White made it 3-0 a couple of minutes later from the penalty spot after Dennis Cirkin had been fouled inside the area. Then in the 62nd minute of the game Spurs netted their fourth and final goal of the game through Troy Parrott to cap off an excellent 12 minute spell from Matt Wells side. Spurs controlled the remainder of the game, playing some classy attacking football as they did so. After conceding a late penalty kick Joshua Oluwayemi made amends by superbly stopping Luke Thomas’ spot kick. That was Oluwayemi’s fourth penalty save of this season. Leicester tried their luck towards the end of the half by pumping a lot of balls into the Spurs box. However, the Spurs defence of which included Luis Binks and Maxwell Statham was resolute, and they would not be broken. It was another superb performance from this superb Spurs side, we have now reached the halfway point of the league season and Matt Wells side remain unbeaten as they continue to sit at the top of the table. 

Matt Wells opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for the trip to Leicester, with Joshua Oluwayemi starting in goal. A back four of Mukendi, Okedina, Binks and Cirkin lined up in from of him. Whilst captain Armando Shashoua and Harvey White started in the middle of the park, with Markanday, Richards and Clarke starting behind Troy Parrott who led the line for the Lilywhites. Spurs got the game underway on what was another wet and windy morning. The ‘ Foxes ’ started the game brightly and after Dennis Gyamfi went on a dangerous run down the right flank, the Leicester fullback picked out Shane Flynn inside the Tottenham penalty area with a low cross. However, the Irishman who was in space inside the Spurs box ended up side footing the ball over Oluwayemi’s crossbar, squandering a great chance for the home side. Jubril Okedina cleared Leicester captains Luke Thomas’ cross a couple of moments later, before Matt Wells side were dealt an early blow after Mukendi went down in agony after being fouled by the Leicester skipper out on the left flank. Mukendi was swiftly replaced by Maxwell Statham and unfortunately the 18 year old had to be stretchered off the pitch after receiving treatment. Harvey White’s delivery from the resulting free kick was gathered comfortably by Leicester goalkeeper Oliver Bosworth. Leicester midfielder Ed Elewa-Ikpakwu almost caught Bosworth out with an over hit back pass shortly afterwards, which the Leicester City goalkeeper managed to frantically clear before it crept into the goal. A good move from Matt Wells side saw Binks pass the ball to Richards who almost managed to slip Parrott through on goal inside the Leicester penalty area. Moments later Statham received Dilan Markanday’s ball out on the right wing, Statham whipped a dangerous ball into the box which Bosworth just did enough to manage to hold. Rodel Richards won a free kick on the edge of the Leicester box shortly afterwards. Tottenham midfielder Harvey White’s delivery ended up hitting Luis Binks in the chest before it went out of play for a Leicester goal kick.

Spurs were enjoying the lions share of possession as Leicester sat deep and tried to catch us out by pumping the ball into our box. There was a quiet spell in the game before the next chance for either side was to occur. After receiving Markanday’s pass down the left flank, Rayan Clarke attempted to get past Gyamfi. Clarke managed to travel towards the byline before seeing his scuffed shot saved by Bosworth. Spurs were playing more freely as the half progressed, the adventurous Dennis Cirkin advanced down the left wing before playing a clever one-two with Richards before picking the ball up in the box, and then dragging the ball across Bosworth’s goal. Oluwayemi got fortunate at the other end after he flapped and missed Shane Flynn’s cross before the ball found its way out to Gyamfi on the right flank. The Leicester fullback whipped the ball back into the box but this time it was cleared by Luis Binks. Leicester threatened our defence again a couple of minutes later after Liam Loughlin picked out Terell Pennant at the back post. However, the Leicester winger mistimed his effort and ended up blazing over from close range, on the half volley. Loughlin then passed the ball to Flynn out on the left wing but his cross was blocked by Binks before Oluwayemi gathered the ball. Maxwell Statham blocked Shane Flynn’s effort on goal shortly afterwards on the edge of the box after Loughlin had passed the ball to the Leicester winger. Leicester came desperately close to taking the lead a matter of minutes later through their most potent attacking player, Shane Flynn. After Sidnel Tavares passed the ball to Flynn on the left flank the Irishman fired the ball narrowly wide of Oluwayemi’s near post with a fizzing first time strike. Jubril Okedina blocked Will Russ’ effort shortly afterwards, before Statham did well to block Liam Loughlin’s powerful effort on goal. The referee Ben Cooke was then winded by Troy Parrott’s pass after it struck him right in the chest, bringing to an end a close first half. 

Trevor Peake’s Leicester City side got the second half underway as Spurs started the half with a different energy about their game. Dennis Cirkin had a cross blocked by Luke Thomas before Luis Binks’ long searching pass came close to setting the tigerish Troy Parrott through on goal. Spurs continued to dominate the game, Rodel Richards had an effort on goal blocked by Elewa-Ikpakwu. Before Spurs’ opener duly arrived in the 54th minute of the game, courtesy of an excellent finish from the potent Troy Parrott. It was a wonderfully worked goal from Matt Wells side which started with captain Shashoua who picked out Markanday down the right flank with a clever lofted pass, before picking the ball up on the edge of the penalty area after Markanday gave the ball back to him. Shashoua then passed the ball to Parrott on the edge of the box. The Dubliner set himself up well before wrapping his foot around the ball to send his curling first time effort into the top right hand corner of Oliver Bosworth’s goal, 1-0. It was a great strike from Parrott which left the Leicester goalkeeper with no chance of getting to the ball.  Spurs continued their excellent start to the second half, and less than two minutes later they doubled their lead through Dilan Markanday. Spurs were sharp and incisive in possession, Parrott managed to shift the ball out to Clarke on the left flank. The wingers powerful low effort from the edge of the penalty area was stopped superbly by the diving Bosworth, but he couldn’t hold onto the ball and it trickled out to Markanday who tapped home from close range, 2-0. Spurs had upped their tempo and the sheer energy which they were producing was something which the Leicester defence just couldn’t deal with. Spurs won the ball back shortly after the restart and Parrott managed to slip the ball into Cirkin down the left hand side of the Leicester penalty area. The Dubliner was brought down by Bright Arrey-Mbi and Ben Cooke pointed straight to the spot. Dead ball specialist Harvey White stood up to slot the ball down the left side of the goal as Bosworth dived the opposite way, to net Spurs’ third goal in just five minutes, 3-0. 

Spurs were playing some wonderful quick attacking football and Matt Wells side made it 4-0 a couple of minutes later. The move started with Cirkin who passed the ball to Richards who embarked on a promising jinking run through the middle before passing the ball to Clarke on the left wing. Clarke skipped past Gyamfi before squaring for Parrott to tap home from the middle of the box, 4-0. Matt Wells made a double substitution shortly after Parrott’s goal, bringing off Harvey White and Dilan Markanday in place of Elliot Thorpe and Maurizio Pochettino. The newly introduced Elliot Thorpe curled an effort over Bosworth’s crossbar after the ball came out to him on the edge of the Leicester box. Trevor Peake’s side did however, manage to win a penalty after Liam Loughlin’s defence splitting pass set Will Russ through on goal down the left side of the penalty area. Oluwayemi came rushing off of his line to meet Russ and he managed to dive in front of the Leicester player to get a hand to the ball. However, the referee didn’t see it that way and he pointed to the spot much to Oluwayemi’s disbelief, as he protested his innocence. The resulting penalty kick was taken by Leicester captain Luke Thomas whose powerful low effort was spectacularly saved at his left by Oluwayemi, to make his fourth penalty save in under a month to keep his clean sheet intact before he cleared the ball. The Tottenham goalkeeper then did well to claim Shane Flynn’s in swinging delivery a couple of moments later from a free kick out on the left wing. Peake’s side were really pushing for a late goal during the final moments of the game. Dennis Cirkin conceded a free kick on the edge of the box a couple of minutes later. Luke Thomas’ resulting dipping free kick cannoned off of Oluwayemi’s cross bar before coming down and being cleared away by Okedina. Luke Thomas blazed over from an improbable angle shortly afterwards before Shane Flynn tested Oluwayemi from a tight angle. Loughlin slipped the ball into Flynn down the left side of the Leicester box, Flynn cut inside before firing the ball straight at Oluwayemi just as Luis Binks came sliding across him.

Dennis Gyamfi’s resulting corner kick was palmed away by Oluwayemi before it crept into the back of the net. Oluwayemi ended up clattering into the post and he fell to the floor in pain after being winded. Kacper Kurylowicz came running onto the pitch to hand his shirt to Luis Binks as Spurs had already made their three substitutions. However, Oluwayemi bravely soldiered on and was able to complete the final seconds of the game. Luke Thomas’ resulting corner kick  caused the Spurs defence a bit of trouble after Binks had been brought to the floor by Will Russ, but Oluwayemi managed to get to it in the end. Binks was unhappy with the force that had been used by the Leicester teenager and this resulted in a bit of a skirmish between both sets of players, but captain Shashoua stepped in to calm the situation down. That brought to an end an excellent game from Spurs’ point of view and it ensures that they will finish the year at the top of the southern division. Whilst our under 18’s don’t have any more league game this year, we still have two important cup games to contest before Christmas. Our under 18’s next game is against Millwall in the third round of this seasons FA youth cup. That is a game in which I and so many other Spurs supporters will be looking forward to.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The 17 year old goalkeeper had another fine game for Matt Wells side on Saturday. Oluwayemi made three saves in total against Leicester including a wonderful diving save to deny Luke Thomas from the spot, after the Spurs goalkeeper had wrongly been penalised for giving away the penalty. Oluwayemi was confident and assertive inside his box and he did a good job at dealing with the many balls that were pumped into the Tottenham penalty area. The diving save in which Oluwayemi made to deny Luke Thomas from the penalty spot was class and the penalty saving specialists other two saves weren’t bad either. 
  • Jeremie Mukendi: Sadly the makeshift right back only played nine minutes of yesterday’s 4-0 win. After being challenged by Luke Thomas Mukendi sustained what appeared to be a knee injury and he had to be stretcherd off the pitch. Mukendi could later be seen walking around on crutches, I wish him a speedy recovery.
  • Jubril Okedina: The 18 year old who operated at rcb formed a really strong defensive partnership with Luis Binks. Okedina read the game well and he was able to anticipate danger with precision. Composed and cool as he played out from the back, the centre half was good in the air and in the challenge. The second year scholar also made a number of important blocks and vital clearances throughout the game. He has been playing so well this season after enduring an injury hit first year of scholarship during the 2017/18 campaign. 
  • Luis Binks: If I were to describe the England under 18 internationals performance in one word, that word would be flawless. Playing at lcb, Binks had yet another outstanding game for our under 18’s, he was a pleasure to watch play. Binks was everywhere across the back line and the 17 year old in a very Alderweireld-esque way helped to thwart the threat which was posed by the Leicester forwards. It was a really well rounded performance from Binks whose timing was second to none. He made some excellent blocks, clearances, interceptions and defensive interventions against the ‘ Foxes ’ but he also showed his class by the way in which he played out from the back. His Dawson-esque cross field passes were on display throughout the game. But it was Binks’ passing in general which was so, so good. A classy player who did a great job at stepping in front of his man at all times, the Gillingham born Binks was so composed and influential in our 4-0 win.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The left back had a superb game at Belvoir Drive, once again putting in a real shift at both ends of the pitch. Cirkin travelled with the ball so well down the left flank and he really asked questions of the Leicester fullback Dennis Gyamfi. As I have said before the way in which Cirkin runs with the ball and dribbles really reminds me of how Nick Tsaroulla used to play for our under 18’s. And it was Cirkin’s willingness to run and take on the Leicester defence which helped to open them up. The Dubliner who won our penalty in the second half also showed good defensive discipline, and he was able to keep the pacy Terell Pennant in check for the entirety of the match. I really like how well balanced Cirkin was in his play against the ‘ Foxes ’ and he has now been directly involved in four of our under 18’s goals this season.
  • Harvey White: The defensive midfielder completed 63 minutes of yesterday’s game and he had the unusual experience of being followed around by Leicester’s Sidnel Tavares who was essentially man marking him during his time on the pitch. White broke up play well in the central areas of the park and he protected the back four on several occasions. White calmly tucked home his second half penalty to net his fourth goal of the campaign. I wouldn’t be surprised if White was on the bench for our under 23’s game against Wolfsburg II tomorrow.  The 17 year old kept things ticking in the centre of the park against Leicester and helped Spurs to control the game (Spurs had 70% of possession against Leicester).
  • Armando Shashoua: The Spurs skipper had another influential game from central midfield and he helped Spurs to control that area of the pitch. Shashoua (18) was so good on the ball and his movement, passing accuracy and ball retention rate helped Spurs to victory. The Londoner was heavily involved in our opening goal of the game, a move from which he started and then set up Troy Parrott for his goal. Shashoua led by example and he impressed when he managed to defuse the late skirmish which involved both sets of players. Shashoua has now been directly involved in 13 of our under 18’s goals this season. 
  • Dilan Markanday: After struggling to impact the game in the first half Markanday began to ask real questions of Leicester fullback Luke Thomas during the second half. Markanday was involved in our opener before he got our second of the game after tapping home from close range. As always the 17 year old impressed with his many runs, tracking back and willingness to take on and beat players successfully. Markanday is another player who I wouldn’t be surprised to see appear on the bench against Wolfsburg II tomorrow.
  • Rodel Richards: The forward played as a number ten against Leicester and he had a good game against the ‘ Foxes ’ helping Spurs to break down Leicester in the final third. The skilful forward was involved in some good moves for Spurs and his long driving run through the middle played a big part in us creating our third goal of the game. Richards pressed well throughout yesterday’s game.
  • Rayan Clarke: It was another influential performance from the left winger on Saturday as he set up two goals in our 4-0 win over Leicester. Clarke had a tough first half and the impressive Dennis Gyamfi prevented him from beating him. However, Clarke did manage to get the better of the Leicester fullback in the second half and the powerful 17 year old played a massive part in us breaking down the ‘ Foxes ’ defence. Clarke’s two assists came as a result of going on good runs down the left flank. 
  • Troy Parrott: My motm, see below.
  • Maxwell Statham: Statham was forced to come off the bench after just nine minutes to replace the injured Jeremie Mukendi. And the 18 year old filled in superbly at right back for the injured Mukendi. Statham read the game excellently and he managed to keep Leicester’s best player on the day in Shane Flynn on check throughout the match. The tricky Flynn was prevented from getting as many of his dangerous crosses into the box as he would have liked to because of the Spurs man. Statham made some superb blocks and interceptions against the ‘ Foxes ’ as well as being dominant in the air, and I felt that he was a real force in the Tottenham defence. The second year scholar also impressed me with his accurate passing.
  • Elliot Thorpe: The Wales under 19 international replaced Harvey White during the second half and I thought that he played with a real flair about his game when he came on. He made some clever passes particularly through balls which were aimed at Parrott, and Thorpe managed to link up well with the Dubliner as well as the wide men.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: The 17 year old replaced Markanday in the second half and he put in a positive performance out on the right wing. Impressing with his many sharp twists and turns.

My man of the match: Troy Parrott. For the second time in a week the Dubliner has been my man of the match for his excellent performance against Leicester on Saturday. Parrott led the line by example and if you were to take his two goals away from him then I would still have been greatly impressed by his performance against the ‘ Foxes ’ as he put in a very Kane-esque shift up top. Parrott’s movement and well timed runs through the middle of the Leicester defence weren’t picked up on many occasions during the first half. However, the 16 year was a lot more involved in play in the final third during the second half. Bagging a brace, Parrott’s first goal was a wonderful curling first time effort on the edge of the penalty area. His second was a slightly more routine tap in from Clarke’s square ball. The potent centre forward made some really intelligent runs and his darting movement off of the shoulders of defenders caused Leicester problems. The Dubliner worked exceptionally hard for Matt Wells side and like he did against Inter Milan in midweek he would often come deep in order to pick up the ball and drive forward. Showing good hold up play against the ‘ Foxes ’ Parrott showed a real hunger to chase down players and drop deep in order to help out the defenders down the flanks. During the second half Parrott darted 20 yards into Leicester’s half in order to win the ball of a Leicester player, before superbly powering his way past two more and recycling the ball. That was just one of so many examples that I could use. The first year scholar has been directly involved in 18 goals from the 18 appearances that he has made for Spurs at all levels this season.

Spurs:

Oluwayemi: Mukendi (Statham 9), Cirkin, White (Thorpe 63), Okedina, Binks, Markanday ( Pochettino 63), A.Shashoua (c), Parrott, Richards, Clarke. 

Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Cooper.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 10

Dilan Markanday – 7

Rayan Clarke – 6

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Armando Shashoua – 4

Harvey White – 4

Luis Binks – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Jubril Okedina – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 9

Armando Shashoua – 9

Jamie Bowden – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Rayan Clarke – 4

Troy Parrott – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Dilan Markanday – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Maxwell Statham – 1

Jeremie Mukendi – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 4

Spurs under 18’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

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Matt Wells unbeaten under 18 side will be hoping to build on last weekends emphatic 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Hotspur Way as they go into this weekends league fixture. Top of the table Tottenham Hotspur will be making the trip up to Leicester on Saturday morning to face the ‘ Foxes ’ at their Belvoir Drive training ground. Our under 18’s 3-2 win over Arsenal in last Saturdays north London derby was made even more impressive by the fact that we were missing so many key players to injury. This will again be the case for this Saturdays game, with Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Malachi Walcott and Phoenix Patterson just some of the players who will miss out. Last season our under 18’s finished one point above Leicester in fourth place in the league table, this season the ‘ Foxes ’ sit healthily in fourth place in the southern division with five wins from ten league matches. Trevor Peake’s side have a historically good record against us in recent seasons and during the 2017/18 campaign we contested three exciting matches with Leicester. The first was a league game at Belvoir Drive in which we lost 4-2, the second was a narrow 2-1 win in the premier league cup. And our most recent meeting with Leicester was an enthralling 4-4 draw at Hotspur Way back in February. Although I must confess that I don’t know a great deal about Leicester’s current pool of players, they seem to be grinding out results and apart from suffering a 7-0 defeat to Chelsea earlier on in the season, no side has managed to beat them by a convincing scoreline so far this season. As you will read at the bottom of the page, I have highlighted one of their star players in versatile midfielder Luke Thomas. However, defenders Dennis Gyamfi and Lukas Husek will be players to watch out for as well as 17 year old Irish midfielder Shane Flynn. Leicester’s youth teams tend to play in a very similar way to their first team, they are a compact and well drilled side, and they are usually very good at set pieces. Trevor Peake’s side also have a pretty strong defence and the ‘ Foxes ’ have only conceded 16 goals from their ten league matches this season. 

After our under 19’s suffered a disappointing 4-2 defeat to Inter Milan in midweek, Matt Wells will be hoping his under 18 side don’t end their exceptional unbeaten record on Saturday morning. Wells side will probably include the likes of star players such as Harvey White, Dilan Markanday and captain Armando Shashoua for tomorrow’s game. However, our under 23’s will be playing Wolfsburg II on Monday in the premier league international cup, and that game could potentially include a couple of the players from the under 18 side. Tomorrow mornings game will be another good test for our high flying side who will have to cope without a number of their best players. However, it won’t matter as this richly talented side have the team spirit and quality to school any  under 18 team in the country. The game against Leicester will be an interesting one and I’ll be fascinated to see how they approach their game with the mighty Tottenham Hotspur. I will be heading up to Leicester first thing tomorrow morning to report on the game. This is our last under 18 league game this of year so I’m hoping that we can end what has been an excellent 2018 on a high. I wish all of Matt Wells lads the very best of of luck for tomorrow’s game against the ‘ Foxes ’ at their Belvoir Drive training ground. My match report will be published sometime on Sunday.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Okedina, Statham, Binks, Cirkin, A.Shashoua (c), White, Markanday, Richards, Clarke, Parrott. 

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Mukendi, Thorpe, Pochettino, Pedder.

Injured/unavailable: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Malachi Walcott, Phoenix Patterson, Enoch Asante. 

Doubtful: Maximus Tainio, J’Neil Bennett.

Previous meeting: 4-4.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-1.

My one to watch: Leicester’s versatile midfielder Luke Thomas who is the ‘ Foxes ’ top scorer at this level this season with three goals. Thomas already has experience playing with Leicester’s development side.

Spurs under 19’s 2-4 Inter Milan: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 2-4 Inter Milan: (match report)

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Our under 19’s penultimate game in group B of this seasons UEFA youth league campaign took place on Wednesday afternoon, as Matt Wells side took on bottom of the group Inter Milan at a wet and windy Hotspur Way. A win against Armando Madonna’s winless Inter Milan side would have all but confirmed Spurs’ place in the next round of the competition. However, Matt Wells youngsters fell to a surprising 4-2 defeat to the Italian club in a game which they really should have won. After falling behind to Tibo Persyn’s opener in the 12th minute of the game, Wells side responded well and they managed to draw level less than 12 minutes later courtesy of a stunning goal from Troy Parrott. Following Parrott’s goal Spurs started to take control of the game and they were really carving open the Inter Milan defence. It took less than a minute for Spurs to get their second of the game through Jack Roles, who scored with a typical poachers finish from close range. Spurs were the much better side for the remainder of the first half and considering all the chances that they had, they should have been at least 4-1 up. The visitors started the second half in resurgent fashion and after threatening the Spurs defence Maj Roric drew Inter Milan level in the 53rd minute. Once again Spurs took control of the game and they would have put the game to bed but for their sloppiness in the final third. The counter attacking and much more mature Inter Milan side regained their lead in the 82nd minute through Davide Merola, before the impressive Facundo Colidio put the game to bed with Inter Milan’s fourth of the game five minutes later. That disappointing defeat for Matt Wells side has now turned the tables in group B. Whilst Spurs still remain in second place and are still set to qualify, they have to go to Spain for their final game to face group winners Barcelona. A win would book our place in the next round as runners up, however if we don’t win and PSV beat Inter Milan in the other game, then we will be eliminated from the competition. However, Barcelona may not field a full strength side for that final group game, due to the fact that they have already won the group.

Matt Wells didn’t opt to go for the usual 4-3-3 formation for Wednesdays European match, instead he opted to go for the 4-2-3-1 formation. Captain Brandon Austin started in goal whilst a back four of Hinds, Eyoma, Binks and Brown lined up in front of him. Jamie Bowden and Harvey White started the game as the two central midfielders, with Markanday, Roles and Maghoma lining up behind lone striker Troy Parrott who led the line. Spurs got the game underway at a very windy Hotspur Way and it didn’t take both sides long to find their feet in the game. After Tibo Persyn whipped a dangerous ball across the face of Brandon Austin’s goal after he had skipped past Brown down the right wing, Jamie Bowden tried to play Roles through on goal with an ambitious pass. Bowden picked the ball up in the middle of the park before playing a long searching ball towards the Spurs forward inside the Inter Milan penalty area, which Roles was unable to latch onto. Inter Milan were playing with a lot of width during the opening stages of the game. Thomas Schiro came close to giving the visitors the lead after he met Persyn’s cross inside the Tottenham penalty area however, he side footed an effort over Austin’s crossbar on the half volley. It had been a lively start to the game as both sides tried to get that all important opening goal. Right winger Dilan Markanday fired a low effort at goal which was saved by Vladan Dekic, after Markanday had picked up Harvey White’s header on the edge of the Inter Milan box. TJ Eyoma did well to clear Tibo Persyn’s cross before Spurs almost managed to take the lead at the other end following a good run from Markanday. After picking the ball up on the right flank Markanday cut inside before going on a jinking run across the Inter Milan box all the way to the opposite flank, before pulling the ball back across goal as Parrott tapped narrowly wide at the back post. Armando Madonna’s side then took the lead in the 12th minute through Tibo Persyn.

The goal came from a good ball over the top of the Spurs defence from a Nicholas Rizzo pass, which Facundo Colidio was able to run onto down the left side of the Spurs penalty area. Colidio squared the ball for Persyn to tap home from close range at the back post despite Brandon Austin’s best efforts, 0-1. Spurs responded through the lively Dilan Markanday who received Jack Roles’ pass on the edge of the Inter box before dragging an effort wide of goal. A dangerous corner kick from Harvey White shortly afterwards was cleared out to Markanday who ended up volleying well wide of the Inter Milan goal. Matt Wells were starting to improve by every passing minute, and a good passing move from the hosts almost saw them draw level. Jack Roles passed the ball to White who played a pass over the top for Parrott who passed to Brown down the left side of the Inter Milan box. However, the fullbacks effort on goal was blocked by the sliding Ryan Nolan. The increasingly threatening Spurs side did manage to draw level a couple of minutes later thanks to an unstoppable strike from Troy Parrott. Jamie Bowden did well to win the ball out on the left flank as he battled with Persyn who almost pulled Bowden’s shorts down as he attempted to move inside. Bowden then passed the ball to Roles who played a short pass to Parrott on the edge of the Inter penalty area. Parrott controlled the ball as he stepped inside his man before powerfully curling a sublime effort into the top right hand corner of Vladan Dekic’s goal, it was a truly wonderful strike, 1-1. Spurs continued their comeback in excellent fashion by taking the lead for the first time in the game less than a minute after they had drawn level. Harvey White passed the ball to Brown down the left side of the Inter penalty area. The left back’s powerful effort was palmed away by Dekic but only for Jack Roles to nod home from close range, 2-1. The Inter Milan defence had been stunned by the sudden burst of energy from Matt Wells side.

Inter Milan weren’t perturbed by Spurs’ quick turn around and the Italian club started to reshape as they looked to draw level. Marco Pompetti’s pass over the top of the Spurs defence was met by Facundo Colidio down the left side of the penalty area. However, the young Argentine dragged a low effort narrowly wide of Austin’s left hand post. TJ Eyoma got a yellow card shortly afterwards after he brought down Salcedo Mora on the edge of the Spurs box in a desperate attempt to prevent the pacy winger from breaking through on goal, after Luis Binks had failed to clear Nicholas Rizzo’s dangerous pass. Colidio’s resulting curling free kick was tipped over the bar by the alert Brandon Austin. Spurs had now managed to attain control of the game and they were desperately pushing for that all important third goal. Harvey White’s short corner to Hinds resulted in the right back whipping the ball into the box. The fullbacks cross was met at the back post by Eyoma who headed the ball into the side netting from an acute angle. A good one-two between Markanday and Maghoma down the left side of the penalty area resulted in Markanday forcing Dekic to tip his powerful effort over the bar. A sloppy pass from Maj Roric was intercepted by Jack Roles shortly afterwards, the Cyprus under 21 international slipped the ball into Parrott down the left side of the penalty area. However, the Dubliner’s powerful low effort was well saved by Dekic who could only parry the ball. Parrott picked the ball back up and came desperately to close to picking out Markanday with a lofted pass at the back post. Brandon Austin comfortably gathered Salcedo Mora’s cross at the other end before Spurs responded through Jamie Bowden. The 17 year old played a nicely weighted through ball down the left flank to Brown who ended up the firing the ball into the side netting of Dekic’s goal. Jamie Bowden had another clever pass snuffed out by Nicholas Rizzo a couple of moments later, as the Inter defender header the ball back to Dekic.

Spurs were dominating possession but they were not putting their chances away. An in swinging free kick from Marco Pompetti went behind for a Tottenham goal kick. Matt Wells side then came desperately close to extending their lead right on the stroke of half time. After Markanday received Eyoma’s pass out on the right flank, the tricky winger embarked on a typically excellent mazy run across the Inter Milan box. Before forcing a fine low save from Dekic to prevent his curling effort from nestling inside the bottom right hand corner of the goal, bringing to an end an eventful first half. Inter Milan got the second half underway as Spurs looked to put the game out of sight. A good passing move which was initiated by Maghoma saw the 17 year old exchange passes with Roles before forcing a decent stop out of Dekic from range. Luis Binks produced an excellent block at the other end to thwart substitute Samuele Mulatierri’s powerful low effort on goal. Dilan Markanday made a cynical foul from behind on Roric a couple of minutes later to prevent him from breaking down the left wing. Comically the referee pulled out a yellow card and booked Tariq Hinds to the fullbacks amazement, before his assistant informed him that it was actually Markanday who had made the foul, he then corrected himself by booking the winger. Surprisingly the quietly influential Jamie Bowden was replaced by Tashan Oakley-Boothe in the 55th minute. The newly introduced Oakley-Boothe played a pass into Markanday who cut in from the right side of the Inter penalty area before forcing a decent stop out of Dekic. Luis Binks then blocked Colidio’s effort on goal, before White made a vital interception on Roric inside the Spurs box. However, the Tottenham defence were unable to prevent ‘ La Beneamata ’ from drawing level in the 63rd minute of the game through Maj Roric. It was a poor goal to concede from Spurs as Roric ran onto Gabriele Zappa’s delivery before poking home the fullbacks low cross from the centre of the Spurs penalty area, 2-2. Harvey White tried to respond for Matt Wells side after the restart but his shot was blocked by Nolan on the edge of the penalty area. 

By this period in the game both sides were really pushing hard for the win and this meant that the sides were quite vulnerable at the back, particularly Spurs. After receiving Colidio’s pass out on the right wing Persyn Tibo’s low drive was blocked superbly by Binks on the line. Brandon Austin then did well to stop Facundo Colidio’s low strike on goal from close range. Spurs then came close to regaining their lead through danger man Troy Parrott. A well worked move from the boys from Bulls Cross saw Hinds pass the ball to Roles, who then shifted the ball out to Markanday on the right flank. The winger cut inside onto his left foot before entering the penalty area and laying the ball off to Parrott. The 16 year olds first time effort was scuffed however, and this made it a relatively comfortable save for Dekic to make. Matt Wells brought off Jack Roles for Armando Shashoua as the rain started to fall down. The 18 year old made an important defensive contribution shortly after coming on when he cleared Nicollo Corrado’s low cross. Spurs then broke down the other end through Markanday who went on an excellent run down the right flank, before passing the ball to Maghoma who gave the ball to Parrott inside the penalty area. The Dubliner took a couple of touches before powering an effort off the upright before it bounced wide, much to his disbelief. The dangerous Corrado whipped a menacing ball across Austin’s goals at the other end, before Binks and White managed to crowd out Roric inside the Spurs box before he could get a shot away. Thomas Schiro then blazed an effort over Brandon Austin’s crossbar as Inter started to up their tempo. A clever ball from Armando Shashoua a couple of minutes later almost managed to set Maghoma through on goal. However, Inter Milan were looking the more likely of the two teams to score and they found the back of the net in the 82nd minute through the newly introduced Davide Merola. After receiving Colidio’s pass down the right wing Gabriele Zappa found Merola inside the six yard box with a powerful whipped low cross, which the substitute cleverly managed to flick beyond Brandon Austin, 2-3.

Spurs made two substitutions in quick succession following Merola’s goal as Wells brought on Cirkin and Richards in the place of Binks and Maghoma. The potent Facundo Colidio powered an effort across goal shortly after the restart, after he received Zappa’s long pass out on the left wing. Inter Milan caught the Spurs defence out again and they managed to put the game to bed in the 87th minute of the game, through their best player Facundo Colidio. The Argentine managing to fire home Davide Merola’s through ball from inside the Tottenham penalty area, 2-4. Armando Madonna’s side unsurprisingly switched to an ultra defensive formation for the final minutes of the game. TJ Eyoma flicked a free kick from Harvey White wide of goal, before Troy Parrott had a shot on goal deflected behind for a corner by Schiro. That brought to an end an incredibly frustrating game from Spurs’ point of view. Despite our dominance we were unable to make our chances count, and that combined with some rather sloppy defending cost us on the day. Matt Wells side remain in second place in the group going into their final game against Barcelona in a couple of weeks time when they travel to Spain. A win against Barcelona would book our place in the next round of the competition, and whilst it will be a real challenge for us I have no doubts that we can defeat the Spanish giants, and qualify from the group. That game will also be shown live on BT Sport. 

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: The Spurs captain made two saves in total during yesterday’s game against Inter Milan, and there was nothing the 19 year old could have done to prevent any of Inter Milan’s goals. Austin dealt very well with crosses and set pieces, and he would constantly give out advice and be encouraging to his teammates.
  • Tariq Hinds: The 18 year old put in quite a solid performance for the majority of the game although he did get caught out quite a few times down his side of the pitch. Hinds did allow Inter’s attacking fullback Niccolo Corrado a lot of space which the Inter Milan player made the most most of. Although, Hinds did go on some decent attacking runs during the latter stages of the game.
  • TJ Eyoma: The centre half started yesterday’s game at rcb although he would often help out on the right flank. Eyoma made some important blocks, clearances and interceptions and the England under 19 international also did well in the air. Perhaps at times him and Binks didn’t compliment one another a lot due to their different styles of play. Eyoma’s lack of pace left him vulnerable to the many passes which Inter Milan made over the top of the Spurs defence. Eyoma was however, very good on the ball.
  • Luis Binks: Operating at lcb, young Luis Binks made three hugely important blocks during his 84 minutes of pitch time. The 17 year old was quite confident and assured in his defending and he didn’t play about with the ball at his feet. Binks made some good cross field passes and on the whole I thought that he read the game very well. A vocal member of the side Binks was a leader within the team, and were it not for those three excellent blocks that he made in the second half then Inter could have put the game to bed a lot earlier on.
  • Jaden Brown: The left back had an ok game on the whole and he managed to get up and down the left flank relatively well, despite getting caught out on a number of occasions.
  • Jamie Bowden: It was another quietly influential performance from the central midfielder, who was surprisingly brought off early on in the second half for Tashan Oakley-Boothe. Bowden didn’t put a foot wrong during his time on the pitch and I thought that he put in a really good shift. He didn’t hold onto the ball for longer than he needed to, nor did he overplay. Putting in an industrious shift alongside White, Bowden kept the ball moving in the middle of the park and this resulted in us creating more chances with him on the pitch. He gave us a nice balance in central midfield much like Winks did for our first team later that evening. He mixed his play up well and made some really intelligent and creative passes. Bowden got the third assist for our opening goal, after doing well to take the ball away from Tibo Persyn before passing the ball to Roles who would then give it to Parrott. After Bowden was replaced by Oakley-Boothe in the 55th minute we never seemed to regain our stranglehold on the game, and Bowden’s absence in the middle of the park was noticeable.
  • Harvey White: The central midfielder put in a real workman like performance alongside Jamie Bowden in the middle of the park. White was excellent in possession and his tigerish pressing and willingness to cover for other players was a big plus for the team. He made a number of important blocks, and he won a lot of balls in the centre of the park. The 17 year also played his part in our second goal of the game after picking out the run of Jaden Brown down the left flank. It was a good all round performance from the first year scholar who showed great composure throughout the game.
  • Dilan Markanday: One of our most creative and potent players on the day, right winger Dilan Markanday’s directness and dribbling ability helped to create a lot of chances for Matt Wells side. Whilst the 17 year old was at times a tad indecisive in the final third, I thought that he provided Spurs with an important attacking outlet. Markanday worked hard down the channel and he would often shift the ball onto his left foot before cutting inside, and trying his luck at goal from the edge of the penalty area. The north Londoner’s unpredictability with the ball at his feet caused a lot of problems for the Inter Milan defence.  
  • Jack Roles: The Cyprus under 21 international had another excellent game as he started as a number ten against Inter Milan. So intelligent and decisive both in and out of possession, Roles linked up well with centre forward Troy Parrott and his first rate movement helped out the Dubliner. It was a tireless and creative performance from Roles who managed to chip in with a goal and an assist during his 76 minutes on the pitch. Roles was a player that his teammates were trying to give the ball to every time we were in the final third, and it’s little wonder why. 
  • Paris Maghoma: Playing in the less natural role of left wing, Maghoma did the best he could do in that position against Inter Milan. He was constantly trying things for Spurs in the final third, with his clever little one-twos and good link up play with the other attacking players. However, I thought that the 17 year old would have been a lot better suited to the game if he was playing in a more central role. As I felt that we really missed his many driving forward runs. Maghoma worked extremely hard through out Wednesdays game and he pressed well.
  • Troy Parrott: My motm, see below. 
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The 18 year old replaced Bowden in central midfield in the 55th minute of the game, and he helped Spurs to manage the game well for periods of the second half. Oakley-Boothe also looked promising in the final third. 
  • Armando Shashoua: The 18 year old had a really positive late cameo as a cam, after he came on late in the game to replace Roles. Shashoua was confident and positive with the ball, getting around the park well and impressing with the variety and accuracy of his passing, as well as his dribbling ability and close ball control. Shashoua made an important clearance inside the Spurs box shortly after coming on.
  • Rodel Richards: N/A.
  • Dennis Cirkin: N/A.

My man of the match: Troy Parrott. The 16 year old centre forward had a fine game for Matt Wells side on Wednesday afternoon. The lone striker led the line well and managed to put in an impressive all round performance on the day,  that our legendary former striker and Dubliner Robbie Keane announced his retirement from the game as a player. Parrott scored an excellent leveller for Spurs in the first half after he received Jack Roles’ pass on the edge of the six yard box. Parrott took some nice touches before arrowing the ball spectacularly into the top right hand corner of the goal. There was a lot more to Parrott’s performance and he could easily have been celebrating scoring a brace after smashing the woodwork in the second half, again showing good first touches before opening up his body and striking the ball. The Ireland under 19 international really impressed me with his movement especially in the oppositions six yard box, where he did well to create space for himself. He also worked so hard for his teammates, and he would often come deep in order to pick up the ball and start a move of his own. The first year scholar also impressed with his Kane-esque hold up play. Parrott’s goal against Inter Milan on Wednesday was his tenth of the season in all competitions for Spurs.

Spurs: Austin (c), Hinds, Brown, White, Eyoma, Binks (Cirkin 84), Markanday, Bowden (Oakley-Boothe 55), Parrott, Roles (A Shashoua 76), Maghoma (Richards 84). Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Clarke, Pochettino.

Inter: Dekic, Zappa, Corrado, Pompetti (Demirovic 66), Nolan (c), Rizzo, Persyn, Roric (Merola 76), Colidio (Grassini 90+3), Schiro, Salcedo (Mulettieri 46). Substitutes (not used): Stankovic, Adorante, Ntube.

Goals: Spurs – Parrott 24, Roles 25; Inter – Persyn 12, Roric 62, Merola 82, Colidio 87.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Eyoma 29, Markanday 53, Brown 81; Inter – Rizzo 31, Schiro 34.

Referee: Alex Troleis (Faroe Islands).

Venue: Hotspur Way, Enfield.

Attendance: 243.

Spurs under 19’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 2

Jack Roles – 2

Rodel Richards – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Assists: Jamie Bowden – 3

Troy Parrott – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Jack Roles – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 1

Spurs under 19’s versus Inter Milan: (match preview)

Spurs under 19’s versus Inter Milan: (match preview)

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Our under 19’s will take on Inter Milan tomorrow afternoon in their penultimate UEFA youth league group game of the campaign. Matt Wells unbeaten side are within touching distance of progressing from the group stages, and a win against the winless Italian side tomorrow would all but confirm their place in the  next round of the competition. Armando Madonna’s Inter Milan side are bottom of group B with just one point to their name. However, Madonna’s side are doing a better job in their domestic league, the Primavera 1. Madonna’s side have won four of the nine games that they have played in their domestic league this season, and their last game was a dramatic 4-3 win over their bitter rivals AC Milan. Inter Milan’s chances of qualifying from the group are extremely slim and it would take a minor miracle for them to pull it off. Of all the teams that Matt Wells side have faced in group B, Inter Milan are by far the most unimpressive. Although we ended up drawing 1-1 with the Italian side in Milan in the reverse fixture, back in September, we were by far the better side that day and were it not for the unfortunate dismissal of Troy Parrott then we would have won the game. I thought that Madonna’s side were very laborious in possession and they moved the ball around very slowly, and without a lot of attacking intent. After taking the lead they parked the bus and essentially had ten players playing behind the ball at every opportunity. It was only after we got a late equaliser through Jack Roles that they started to attack and come at us again. Taking an early lead tomorrow will prove vitally important for Spurs as it will force the Inter Milan defence to open up. Whilst Madonna’s side have a strong defence which includes tenacious Irish centre half Ryan Nolan, they also have some good attacking players and we saw glimpses of that in the reverse fixture. Pacy and skilful winger Eddy Salcedo Mora will cause problems down the channels, and clinical 18 year old centre forward Andrea Adorante who has scored six goals in the Primavera this season is a player that the Spurs defence will have to pay close attention to.

Matt Wells side have performed very well in this competition this season despite the fact that they have only won one group game. Spurs will be without Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and J’Neil Bennett for tomorrow’s game however, we have a squad with a lot of depth and other players can easily slot into the side. Tomorrow’s game which is being shown live on BT Sport is another big game for Matt Wells high flying side. And I am feeling extremely confident that they can overcome the Italian side in typically dominant fashion by playing their usual passing game. I shall be at Hotspur Way covering tomorrow’s game and my match report will be out the following day. I will be in attendance with former Spurs player Eddie Clayton, hopefully he’ll get to see another Spurs win!

My predicted lineup: (4-3-3) Austin (c), Eyoma, Walcott, Binks, Brown, Maghoma, Bowden, White, Markanday, Parrott, Roles.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Cirkin, Okedina, Oakley-Boothe, A.Shashoua, Cooper, Clarke.

Injured/unavailable: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jonathan Dinzeyi, J’Neil Bennett.

Doubtful: Phoenix Patterson, Oliver Skipp. 

Previous meeting: 1-1

My score prediction: Spurs 4-0.

My one to watch: Eddy Salcedo Mora. The skilful 17 year old Italian has been in excellent form for Inter Milan’s under 19’s in their domestic league this season,  and he has found the back of the net on 8 occasions this campaign.