Spurs under 23’s versus Norwich City: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Norwich City: (match preview)

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Our under 23’s return to action on Friday afternoon when they face second division side Norwich City at their Colney training ground, in their second group game of this seasons Premier League International Cup. Wayne Burnett’s side sit in second place in Group C after winning their opening game against Wolfsburg II back in December. A win against bottom of the group the ‘ Canaries ‘ tomorrow would leave Spurs in great stead to qualify from the group ahead of their final group game against Athletic Bilbao B next week. This is our development squads last chance of realistically winning some silverware this season, and I’m sure that Wayne Burnett and his coaching staff will be desperate for the lads to get to back to winning ways tomorrow afternoon. Spurs can progress to the knockout stages of the competition by finishing as one of two of the best group runners up. However, a win over David Wright’s Norwich who have a very slim chance of getting out of the group, would leave the young Lilywhites with a fantastic opportunity of topping the group. Tomorrow’s opponents have won only one of their last 14 matches in  all competitions and David Wright’s side currently languish in tenth place in division two. It’s been quite a long time since both of these clubs last met at this level. In fact our last meeting was in the old under 21 premier league when we lost 2-1 at White Hart Lane, a young Kyle Walker-Peters was sent off on that night. The current Norwich side have a number of talented players but the three who I thought have stood out over recent seasons are central midfielder Bilal Kamal, and forwards Anthony Spyrou and Adam Idah. Tomorrow’s match should be a really interesting and competitive affair and I will be intrigued to see if Wayne Burnett’s side will include Netherlands international Vincent Janssen after his impressive performance against West Ham in our last game. I shall be reporting on tomorrow’s game at Colney and I would like to wish all of our lads all the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Marsh, Tanganga (c), Reynolds, Roles, Oakley-Boothe, Tracey, Sterling, Georgiou, Janssen.

Subs from: De Bie, Statham, Duncan, Clarke, Thorpe.

Injured/unavailable: TJ Eyoma (Suspended), Jonathan Dinzeyi, Luke Amos, Phoenix Patterson.

Doubtful: Shayon Harrison.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-2 (U21 level).

My score prediction: Spurs 4-2.

My one to watch: Ireland under 19 international Adam Idah is a player who I have watched on many occasions for Ireland at youth level and on one occasion for the ‘ Canaries ‘ under 18 side. After making the permanent step up to under 23 level this season Idah has been in terrific form for David Wright’s development side. The pacy centre forward has found the back of the net on nine occasions from 12 league games. The second year scholar who has previously been linked with a move to Manchester United has excellent off the ball movement, and he is a clinical finisher. The Irishman is also very good at holding up the ball and creating chances for his teammates, he is a player who I am a big, big fan of and he is also a player who the Spurs defenders will have to be wary of.

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

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

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On Thursday evening two of the most talented under 18 sides in Europe will go toe to toe in the fourth round of this seasons FA youth cup. Few of our under 18’s will have ever been involved in a bigger game of football than our cup tie against Arsenal on Thursday. Matt Wells unbeaten under 18 side will make the short trip to Meadow Lane the home of non league side Boreham Wood on Thursday evening to face the home team the ‘ Gunners ’ who are only one place below Spurs in the league table in second place. Both teams are two of the favourites to win the worlds most prestigious youth competition this season,  and in so many ways it’s a great pity that we had to be drawn against our bitter rivals so early on in the competition. Fresh from their 4-1 league win over Brighton at the weekend Matt Wells table toppers have already beaten their arch rivals in the league this season. Although neither side fielded their strongest team for that game, Spurs still did well to beat Arsenal 3-2 at Hotspur Way in a typically dramatic and fiery North London Derby back in November. Tomorrow’s hugely important cup tie will likely see both sets of managers field very different sides. Especially Ken Gillard’s Arsenal side who I’m assuming will have England youth internationals Bukayo Saka, Xavier Amaechi and Tyreece John-Jules available for tomorrow’s match. The ‘ Gunners ‘ are one of the best sides that we have come up against this season and they are a team who like to play with a lot of width. Arsenal’s under 18’s have a very well rounded squad who have a solid defence, powerful midfield and a formidable front line. Their two towering centre half’s Mark McGuinness and former Spurs schoolboy Bayli Spencer-Adams form a very strong defensive partnership and then you’ve got midfielders such as Alfie Matthews and James Olayinka. However, Arsenal’s most talented players are their attackers and they have it in abundance. When at full strength the ‘ Gunners ‘ front line is frightening. With the pace and skill of Bukayo Saka and playmaker Xavier Amaechi Arsenal will look to test the Spurs fullbacks and try and to the clinical Tyreece John-Jules inside the danger zone.

In addition to their attacking trio of England youth internationals Arsenal also have prolific centre forward Folarin Balogun, former Sunderland schoolboy and attacking midfielder Sam Greenwood, and former Spurs schoolboy Jordan McEneff to choose from ahead of tomorrow’s cup tie. Overcoming Arsenal on Thursday evening will be a very difficult challenge for Matt Wells‘ side and they will need to be at the very top of their game to be able to beat the ‘ Gunners ’ inform side. I have no doubts that our lads can out class, out pass and out perform Arsenal when these two teams meet. While it is highly unlikely that Oliver Skipp will be available for tomorrow’s match we should still have a very strong side to choose from excluding any injuries that players have picked up since our last game against Brighton. I have interviewed a number of former Spurs youth players who have won the FA youth cup and so many of them have said to me that winning the famous cup had been one of the highlights of their footballing careers, and some of those players went onto play football at the very highest level. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck for tomorrow’s big game and I would like nothing more than too see the wonder boys of Hotspur Way beat Arsenal in their own back yard. I will be at tomorrow’s match and my in-depth match report will be out by the next day. COYS!

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Okedina, Lyons-Foster, Binks, Cirkin, White, Bowden, Maghoma, A.Shashoua (c), Bennett, Parrott.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Tainio, Walcott, Thorpe, Clarke.

Injured/unavailable: Enoch Asante, Jeremie Mukendi, Phoenix Patterson, Rafferty Pedder.

Doubtful: Rodel Richards, Dilan Markanday.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: Arsenal have many talented attacking players but winger Bukayo Saka is one of their very best prospects. The speedy left winger has already featured on a couple of occasions for Arsenal’s first team this season, and with his skill and frightening speed Saka will be looking to cause problems for Spurs down our right hand side.

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

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

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Our under 23’s took on London rivals West Ham at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on Sunday in the PL2, as Wayne Burnett’s side looked to avenge their 3-1 defeat to the ‘ Hammers ‘ earlier on in the season. It was a typically scrappy and highly competitive match in East London on Sunday afternoon, as both sides went in search of all three points. Burnett’s side included Netherlands international Vincent Janssen (24) in the starting 11 for the second consecutive match along with Cyprus international Anthony Georgiou who played at left wing back. While Spurs had the stronger side on paper Liam Manning’s West Ham side were better and more sharper than us on the day. They played with a higher intensify than us and they worked well as a team, and although I thought that our lads had a good game yesterday I thought that West Ham dominated in the middle of the park and I think that’s what cost us in the end. Goalkeeper Brandon Austin had a fantastic game for Wayne Burnett’s side and his razor sharp reflexes may well have stopped Spurs from going home empty handed. The ‘ Hammers ‘ started the first half well and after coming close to taking the lead early on in the game they were awarded a penalty kick in the 25th minute of time, after Japhet Tanganga had fouled Jahmal Hector-Ingram inside the Tottenham penalty area. West Ham’s Joe Powell stood up to convert the resulting spot kick to give the home side the lead. However, Wayne Burnett’s side responded well and less than four minutes later Vincent Janssen drew Spurs level after he tapped home Kazaiah Sterling’s pass from close range. Spurs had a golden chance to take the lead before the half was up, after Kazaiah Sterling won a penalty kick for the Lilywhites. However, the 20 year olds resulting spot kick was tame and the West Ham goalkeeper Joseph Anang was able to comfortably deny Sterling’s effort. Unfortunately for Spurs they weren’t to have any such goal scoring opportunities in the second half and in all truth it was a dour half of football.  And it was West Ham who were the much better side during the second period. After TJ Eyoma was shown his second yellow card of the game in the 66th minute Spurs had to reshape for the latter stages of the match, this meant that they offered very little of a threat going forward. Burnett’s side did however, do well to prevent West Ham from scoring a winner and in the end they did well to record a point.

Wayne Burnett picked a similar side to the one which had drawn 1-1 with Liverpool the previous Monday. Lining up in a 3-4-2-1 formation Brandon Austin started in goal for Spurs, while a back three of Eyoma, Tanganga (the skipper) and Marsh lined up in front of him. Tariq Hinds and Anthony Georgiou started the game as wingbacks down their natural sides of the pitch while central midfielders Jamie Bowden and Dylan Duncan operated in the middle of the park. Meanwhile Cyprus under 21 international Jack Roles and Kazaiah Sterling essentially played as inside forwards behind 24 year old Vincent Janssen who led the line. The ‘ Hammers ‘ got the game underway on a cool day in East London and it was Liam Manning’s side who started the game the brighter of the two teams. West Ham started the game with a real intensity about them and they almost took an early lead after Ben Johnson was allowed to break forward down the right flank unopposed. Johnson was allowed to continue forward down the channel before picking out Jahmal Hector Ingram inside the Tottenham penalty area with a pin point cross. The West Ham centre forward jumped up well before testing Austin with a powerful header which the Spurs goalkeeper did well to palm away at full stretch. Japhet Tanganga did well to clear Joe Powell’s dangerous low cross shortly afterwards before Janssen tried to play Sterling through on goal at the other end. After the Dutchman has skipped past Alfie Lewis in the centre of the park the striker attempted play Sterling through on goal but Janssen’s pass had too much pace on it, and Anang was able to gather the ball before Sterling could get to it. West Ham almost caught us out a couple of minutes later after Joe Powell passed the ball over the Spurs defence to Hector-Ingram down the right side of the Spurs box. However, the alert Brandon Austin came out to close him down before making a smart stop to deny the West Ham forwards low effort on goal. Austin did hurt himself in the process but after a little bit of medical treatment the 20 year old was fine to carry on, before telling the referee that Hector-Ingram’s studs had touched him.

Austin did well to come out and claim Joe Powell’s resulting corner kick as Liam Manning’s tigerish side continued to dominate the game. Alfie Lewis ended up side footing an effort well wide of Austin’s goal from 25 yards out before Jamie Bowden managed to pick Janssen out down the right hand side of the West Ham penalty area. Young Jamie Bowden did well to find Janssen down the right hand side of the ‘ Hammers ‘ penalty area with a clever lofted pass over the West Ham defence. Janssen controlled the ball well before stinging the palms of Anang who could only parry his powerful effort on goal. However, Spurs still looked vulnerable whenever West Ham went forward and they were dealt a big blow in the 25th minute of time after Japhet Tanganga gave away a penalty. Joe Powell’s pass over the top of the Spurs defence had caught out Tanganga who was unable to keep up with Hector-Ingram who darted down the left side of the Spurs penalty area. The Tottenham captain knew that he was never going to be able to win the ball so he ended up cynically tugging the back of Hector-Ingram’s shirt, leaving the referee Carl Brook with no other option than to point to the spot and to give Tanganga a yellow card. Joe Powell stood up to take the resulting spot kick for West Ham and the midfielder made no mistake from seven yards out. Powell powerfully curled the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, despite the fact that Austin had guessed the right way and was only a matter of inches away from getting to the ball, 0-1. Burnett’s side looked to respond, Jamie Bowden played a corner kick short to Georgiou who gave the ball back to Bowden whose cross into the box was clawed away by West Ham goalkeeper Joseph Anang. A matter of minutes later Spurs unexpectedly netted an equaliser through Vincent Janssen. Spurs had managed to slice open the West Ham defence after TJ Eyoma had picked out Sterling with a lofted pass down the right side of the West Ham box. Sterling’s first touch was good and although Ajibola Alese attempted to get in front of the Spurs forward the 20 year old was able to get past Alese before passing the ball to Janssen who tapped home at the back post, 1-1.

TJ Eyoma did well to clear Joe Powell’s teasing cross shortly after the restart before Spurs threatened the West Ham defence once more. After Janssen had received Tariq Hinds pass down the right flank the Dutchman tried to cross the ball into the box, but Conor Coventry was able to put the ball behind for a corner kick. Anthony Georgiou’s resulting corner kick was headed wide by Japhet Tanganga who had gotten too much power behind the ball. TJ Eyoma was harshly given a yellow card shortly afterwards for a challenge on Joe Powell. The same players resulting free kick was headed up in the air by Tanganga before Austin came out to punch the ball clear. The ball then came out to Dan Kemp on the edge of the penalty area but he ended up volleying an effort well wide of Brandon Austin’s goal. A good passing move from Spurs shortly afterwards resulted in Wayne Burnett’s side having a fantastic chance to take the lead for the first time in the game. After a good passing move Kazaiah Sterling passed the ball to Georgiou on the left wing. The Cyprus international cleverly passed the ball back to Sterling inside the West Ham box where he was tripped from behind by Josh Pask who gave away a cheap penalty kick. The player who had won the penalty stood up to take it but Sterling’s casual and predictable effort was easily saved by Anang, who dived to his left to clutch Sterling’s curling effort on goal. Japhet Tanganga blocked Dan Kemp’s effort from long range shortly afterwards before Ben Johnson blazed over from 25 yards out from goal. And the home side were trying to punish Spurs for failing to take the lead from the penalty spot. After Kemp passed the ball to Hector-Ingram the West Ham striker managed to get around TJ Eyoma before chopping past Tanganga and forcing an excellent diving save out of Austin from his powerful low effort on the edge of the penalty area. However, the 20 year old almost undid his good work a matter of minutes later after he failed to deal with TJ Eyoma’s back pass appropriately, and he ended up being robbed of the ball by the high pressing Joe Powell who managed to run across the Spurs goalkeeper inside the box, before passing the ball back to Kemp on the edge of the penalty area. Kemp quickly laid the ball off to Alfie Lewis whose powerful low strike deflected off of the sliding Jamie Bowden before clipping Marsh, before somehow being magnificently tipped over the crossbar by the off balance Brandon Austin who had been diving the wrong way at the time of the shot. Austin was then able to palm away Joe Powell’s resulting corner kick to bring the first half to an end.

Spurs got the second half underway and goalkeeper Brandon Austin did well early on to claim Powell’s pacy cross into the danger zone. George Marsh did well to block Ben Johnson’s effort on goal after the fullback had cut inside from the left flank before letting fly. From the following corner kick the ball came out to Bowden on the edge of the penalty area and the Tottenham midfielder managed to play a pass to Janssen down the left flank. The Spurs centre forward did well to hold off Ben Johnson before turning around and managing to dart past Ajibola Alese before continuing forward and doing well to fire an effort on goal, which was well parried by Anang. Jack Roles skied an effort over  Anang’s crossbar from the edge of the West Ham penalty area after receiving Kazaiah Sterling’s pass, after he had done well to win the ball off of the West Ham goalkeeper in the first place. Brandon Austin did well to catch Ben Johnson’s cross a couple of minutes later. Vincent Janssen was replaced by Tashan Oakley-Boothe just after the hour mark as Kazaiah Sterling moved up top. Ngakia managed to pick out Jahmal Hector-Ingram with a pass over the top of the Tottenham defence but the West Ham strikers effort on goal was blocked by Eyoma. The West Ham centre forward then headed over from Dan Kemp’s cross. Spurs were then dealt a major blow after TJ Eyoma was sent ff after he received his second yellow card of the game after he had pulled Hector-Ingram after he had received Joe Powell’s pass on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. Powell’s resulting free kick was blocked by George Marsh in the Spurs wall before the same Spurs player managed to clear Jahmal Hector-Ingram’s cross. West Ham were piling the pressure on ten men Spurs and Tanganga had to be alert to clear West Ham substitute Amadou Diallo’s cross, before Dan Kemp fired wide at Brandon Austin’s near post after latching onto Joe Powell’s cross. Jack Roles was booked for a foul on Alfie Lewis before Rayan Clarke replaced Jamie Bowden. 

In all truth it had been an absolutely dour second half with so few clear cut chances for either side. Tashan Oakley-Boothe had a low cross gathered by Anang before Diallo almost managed to get to Dan Kemp’s cross at Brandon Austin’s back post, at the other end of the pitch. However, both sides had to settle for a point in the end after a scrappy London derby had ended 1-1. It was a good point for Wayne Burnett’s side who impressed during periods of the match and there will have been a number of positives that our lads will take from the game. Up next for Wayne Burnett’s development side is a trip to Norfolk to face Norwich city in the Premier League International Cup on Friday afternoon.

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: My motm, see below.
  • Japhet Tanganga: The skipper started out in the middle of a back three and although we would later switch to four at the back Tanganga played the majority of the game as part of a back three. The Spurs captain made some important blocks and challenges, and he certainly made up for giving away a penalty during the first half.
  • TJ Eyoma: The 18 year old operated on the left side of the back three during his time on the pitch. And while he did make some important interceptions and clearances Eyoma was dismissed in the 66th minute of the game after he was harshly shown a second yellow card for a pullback on Jahmal Hector-Ingram.
  • George Marsh: The hardworking 19 year old made a number of important blocks during his time on the pitch. Marsh played on the left side of the back three.
  • Tariq Hinds: The 18 year old put in a decent shift at right wing back and he managed to protect his side of the pitch well.
  • Dylan Duncan: The 19 year old midfielder kept things ticking in the centre of the park alongside Jamie Bowden. Duncan was tidy in possession and he did a good job at breaking up play and recycling possession.
  • Jamie Bowden: On his tenth appearance at this level 17 year old Jamie Bowden had another good game in central midfield for Wayne Burnett’s side. Like Dylan Duncan, Bowden was nice and tidy with the ball while also doing a job at winning balls and helping out the defence. It was a good all round performance from the second year scholar and what really impressed me about his performance against West Ham was his ambitious passing. Bowden made a number of nice long passes over the top of the West Ham and defence. One such impressive pass saw the Londoner pick out Vincent Janssen inside the West Ham box during the first half.
  • Anthony Georgiou: I thought that the Cyprus international was one of our best players on Sunday. Georgiou started the game as an LWB but he played a lot of the game as a left back. The winger showed good discipline to stay back and defend against West Ham’s Dan Kemp who he kept in check for the entirety of the game. Due to the sending off of TJ Eyoma in the second half Georgiou had virtually no attacking freedom down the left flank, and this was frustrating because he could have caused so many problems for West Ham right back Ben Johnson. However, under the circumstances I thought that Anthony put in a really good shift for the team and if you watched him closely like I did all game then you will appreciate that. Georgiou whipped some really nice balls into the box from corner kicks.
  • Jack Roles: Like Sterling, Jack Roles operated as an inside forward off the left flank. Roles was unable to make much of an impact and apart from a couple of good runs he was left pretty isolated out on that side of the pitch.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: The 20 year old played the majority of the game as an inside forward before playing as a nine after Janssen was brought off. Sterling did well to set up Janssen’s goal and to win our penalty soon afterwards. He worked his socks off as always.
  • Vincent Janssen: The 24 year old centre forward was one of our best players on Saturday. His quality really showed on his second consecutive appearance for our under 23’s. The Dutchman’s goal was an instinctive one to tap home Kazaiah Sterling’s pass and he came close on several occasions to adding to his tally. Janssen went on one excellent solo run during the second half and his off the ball work, hold up play and the timing of his runs was all very impressive.
  • Rayan Clarke: The second year scholar only made a fleeting cameo after coming onto replace Jamie Bowden late on in the game. Clarke didn’t see much of the ball during his time on the pitch.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: After coming on in the 62nd minute of the game Oakley-Boothe played out on the right wing. The 18 year old went on a couple of good forays down that side of the pitch.

My man of the match: Brandon Austin made four saves in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against West Ham and the 20 year old had yet another very good game in between the sticks. Austin made some superb stops against the ‘ Hammers ‘ and it wasn’t just his shot stopping that was so impressive. Austin did a fantastic job at dealing with corners and set pieces and there was a wonderful confidence about his game. The goalkeeper won Spurs the point yesterday, all four of his saves were top class but none more so than the one which saw him deny Alfie Lewis deflected strike late on in the game, and to somehow tip the ball over the crossbar. Brandon has been in absolutely superb form for Spurs this season.

West Ham: Anang, Johnson, Ngakia, Coventry (c), Pask, Alese, Kemp, Lewis (Rosa 78), Hector-Ingram, Powell, Holland (Diallo 45). Substitutes (not used): Barrett, Harness, Belic.

Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Eyoma, Marsh, Tanganga (c), Duncan, Roles, Bowden (Clarke 76), Janssen (Oakley-Boothe 62), Sterling, Georgiou. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Reynolds.

Goals: West Ham – Powell 26 (pen); Spurs – Janssen.

Yellow cards: West Ham – Alese 28; Spurs – Tanganga 25, Eyoma 36, 66, Roles 75.

Red card: Spurs – Eyoma 66.

Referee: Carl Brook.

Venue: Chigwell Construction Stadium.

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

Goals scored: Jack Roles – 5

Shayon Harrison – 5

Kazaiah Sterling – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Vincent Janssen – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 5

Kazaiah Sterling – 3

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

Jamie Bowden – 1

George Marsh – 1

Tariq Hinds – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

Spurs under 18’s 4-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 4-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

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For game week 13 of the under 18 league season Matt Wells unbeaten side traveled down to Lancing on the south coast, to face Brighton and Hove Albion at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre. Saturday mornings match was a lively affair and it certainly wasn’t a game without incident. Matt Wells side dominated the match and they ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over the ‘ Seagulls ‘ who posed a significant threat on the counter. Spurs played their usual passing game against Brighton and it proved to be effective. Paris Maghoma and Harvey White controlled the midfield and they were able to create chances for the forwards while also maintaining good defensive discipline. While the presence and leadership of Troy Parrott up top provided our wingers with a focal point which they made the most of. Matt Wells selected a strong side for the trip down to Lancing with the likes of Troy Parrott, Paris Maghoma and Rodel Richards all included in the starting 11. Although it was a fairly even start to the game Spurs took the lead after just nine minutes through Troy Parrott after the 16 year old headed home from Harvey White’s inviting cross. Brighton had a couple of chances to equalise and they managed to do so through Stefan Vukoje on 24 minutes. However, Matt Wells‘ high pressing side regained their lead shortly after the restart through Rodel Richards. Spurs controlled the game during the second half as Mark Beard’s side tired. J’Neil Bennett made it 3-1 on 64 minutes before Harvey White missed a penalty. Both sides ended the game with ten men after Julian Carre was shown a straight red card for a late sliding challenge on Dilan Markanday. Carre had injured Markanday and he was unable to continue, and with Matt Wells having already made all three of his substitutions, Spurs had to play the final minutes of the game with ten men. However, that didn’t affect Spurs who grabbed a fourth goal before the end through Troy Parrott to stay at the top of the under 18 southern league, two points above Arsenal who also won on Saturday.

Matt Wells went for the familiar 4-2-3–1 formation for our game against Brighton on Saturday morning. Joshua Oluwayemi started in goal while a back four of Tainio, Okedina, Lyons-Foster and Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and Paris Maghoma lined up in central midfield with Dilan Markanday and J’Neil Bennett playing either side of Rodel Richards, who played in the hole. Troy Parrott led the line for Spurs, and he started the game as captain for the first time at this level before returning the captains armband to Armando Shashoua after he came on just before halftime. The home side got the game underway on a chilly winters morning down by the south coast, and it didn’t take long before the game came to life. An early attack from the ‘ Seagulls ‘ resulted in midfielder Jack Spong passing the ball to Danny Cashman down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area. However, Cashman ended up blazing an effort well wide of Joshua Oluwayemi’s goal. Dennis Cirkin did well to clear a dangerous cross from the same player shortly afterwards, before Brooklyn Lyons-Foster managed to deal with Julian Carre’s whipped cross a couple of moments later as the ‘ Seagulls ‘ started to put some pressure on the Spurs defence. However, our lads responded well by taking the lead in fine fashion in the ninth minute of the game through Troy Parrott. It was a nicely worked move which started with Maghoma passing the ball to Harvey White on the left flank. After receiving the ball the midfielder looked up before picking out the unmarked Parrott inside the Brighton penalty area with a deftly accurate cross. It was still a difficult chance to convert for the 16 year, old but the young Dubliner made it look easy by getting into space and just glancing a header past the helpless Carl Rushworth, and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 1-0. Shortly after the restart Danny Cashman was able to pick out Stefan Vukoje down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area however, Vukoje’s attempt on goal was excellently blocked by the sliding Jubril Okedina. Joshua Oluwayemi didn’t deal well with Ben Wilson’s resulting corner kick.

The Northern Ireland youth internationals corner ended up coming to Laurent Tolaj whose header was blocked by Parrott, the ball then came out to Cashman whose shot was blocked by Okedina, the Brighton captains effort on the follow up was cleared off the line by Cirkin as Spurs somehow managed to survive. After Maximus Tainio passed the ball to Markanday down the right side of the Brighton box you fancied the Spurs winger to score but he took a heavy touch and Rushworth was able to get to the ball in the nick of time. Spurs were in control of the game but they desperately needed to get that second goal to take the game away from the home side. After Markanday won a free kick out on the right flank dead ball specialist Harvey White looked to deliver another promising ball into the danger zone. However, the 17 year olds curling delivery was well claimed by Rushworth who managed to hold the ball. However, a beautiful long range strike from the ‘ Seagulls ‘ Stefan Vukoje stunned Spurs in the 24th minute of time. After Danny Cashman had passed the ball out to Vukoje on the left flank the referee had let play go on after Rodel Richards had fouled the Brighton captain. Vukoje brought the ball inside onto his right foot before letting fly from 24 yards out from goal. The Brighton forwards powerful effort had plenty of dip and spin on it, and it totally caught Oluwayemi by surprise as it moved in the air and ended up nestling inside the top right hand corner of the Spurs goal, 1-1. However, Brighton’s celebrations didn’t last long and less than two minutes later Spurs had regained the lead. It was an instant response from Matt Wells‘ side whose sharp passing and quick movement had helped to carve open the Brighton defence. After Dennis Cirkin had played the ball down the line to the speedy J’Neil Bennett on the left wing. The 17 year old darted away from Brighton fullback Ayo Taminowo before whipping the ball into the danger zone. Bennett’s cross managed to pick out Richards who had made a run towards the back post before managing to acrobatically volley the ball into the back of the empty net, 2-1. A couple of minutes later Paris Maghoma’s excellent cross towards Dilan Markanday at the back post of Rushworth’s goal, was well cut out by the alert Luka Cocoracchio.

Spurs ended the half well, the potent J’Neil Bennett curled an effort narrowly wide from long range after receiving Dilan Markanday’s pass. Then at the opposite end of the pitch Dennis Cirkin had to be on hand to clear Cameron Tutt’s menacing cross, before Ben Wilson could convert at the back post. Markanday gave away a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the Spurs penalty area shortly afterwards. Danny Cashman managed to get his resulting effort up and over the Spurs wall before forcing Oluwayemi into palming the ball away from the goal at full stretch. The half picked up pace as it neared an end. After Markanday gave the ball to the influential Harvey White on the edge of the Brighton box the Spurs midfielder fired an effort narrowly wide of Carl Rushworth’s goal. However, Spurs were dealt quite a bad blow just before the end of the half when Rodel Richards picked up a nasty looking injury following a collision with Stefan Vukoje. Richards injury forced the 18 year old off the pitch and he was swiftly replaced by captain Armando Shashoua. Dennis Cirkin did well to clear Danny Cashman’s free kick after Tainio had conceded a foul out on the left flank, in what was the final piece of action from an action packed first half. Matt Wells side restarted the game and they looked to start the second half in positive fashion. After Lyons-Foster passed the ball up field to J’Neil Bennett the wide man ended up blazing an effort well wide of Rushworth’s goal from long range, Harvey White then had a free kick cleared by Cocoracchio. The ‘ Seagulls ‘ had started the half with a different energy about them and their high pressing was forcing Spurs to move the ball about quicker. Spurs continued to push for that all important third goal, after Markanday had won a free kick on the edge of the Brighton box Harvey White curled an effort over Rushworth’s crossbar. A couple of minutes later the ‘ Seagulls ‘ came desperately close to drawing level through Laurent Tolaj. Brighton had broke down the right flank through the pacy Tanimowo who darted forward after receiving Cashman’s pass. The Brighton fullback continued forward down the flank before squaring the ball to Tolaj who had made a good run into the middle of the Spurs box. The Brighton strikers first touch was good and you expected the net to bulge as Oluwayemi came rushing out of his goal to close Tolaj down. However, Spurs were let off the hook after the Swiss striker somehow ended up curling the ball wide of Oluwayemi’s goal from just eight yards out. 

After creating a couple of good little passages of play, midfielder Paris Maghoma had a powerful effort on goal blocked by Jack Spong on the edge of the Brighton box. Spurs went on another good move soon afterwards, Bennett passed the ball to Maghoma who passed it to Shashoua, who then gave it back to Bennett who ended up curling an effort wide of the Brighton goal. The Tottenham winger was given a yellow card shortly afterwards by the referee for a challenge on Tanimowo. Paris Maghoma had a powerful low effort saved by Rushworth after receiving Markanday’s pass down the right side of the Brighton box. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then made a crucial defensive intervention at the other end. After Ben Wilson passed the ball to Tolaj on the right wing the Brighton striker surged forward as he beat Tainio before darting into the Tottenham penalty area. However, Lyons-Foster had read the situation well and the 18 year old managed to get across Tolaj inside the box to poke the ball away from him. The Brighton players looked for a penalty after Tolaj had went to ground but the referee was having none of it. Joshua Oluwayemi punched Jack Spong’s resulting corner kick away. The Brighton midfielder then had a second corner kick blocked by Cirkin, with the Brighton players going in search of a penalty once again but to no such success. Spurs had managed to put some distance between themselves and Brighton after J’Neil Bennett made it 3-1 in the 64th minute. It was another good passing move from Spurs which started with Armando Shashoua’s pass into Parrott down the right side of the Brighton penalty area. Parrott’s first touch was good and he was able to sort his feet out before firing a low effort towards the far corner of Rushworth’s goal. However, the Brighton goalkeeper managed to get down in time to make an excellent diving save at full stretch, but he could only parry the ball into the feet of Bennett who was ghosting in at far post. And the alert winger made no mistake from close range and he clinically fired the ball home, 3-1.

The brave Troy Parrott did well to shrug off Carre’s reckless challenge shortly after the restart. The Irishman then won us a penalty a matter of minutes later after being pulled by Luka Cocoracchio inside the penalty area. It was another well worked move from Spurs which saw Okedina play a nice pass over the top of the Brighton defence to Markanday down the right side of the Brighton box. The tricky winger pulled a clever pass back to Parrott who had made the run into the middle of the box. However, the centre forward had his shirt cynically pulled by Cocoracchio before he could get his shot away, leaving the referee with no other option than to point to the spot. The usually prolific Harvey White was unable to extend Spurs’ lead from the spot and the 17 year olds curling effort towards the bottom left hand corner of the goal lacked power, and it was a relatively comfortable save for the diving Rushworth to make to deny the teenager his fifth goal of the season. England under 17 international Malachi Walcott replaced Maximus Tainio shortly afterwards to make his return from injury. Harvey White did well to clear Danny Cashman’s free kick at the other end. Before J’Neil Bennett came a matter of centre meters away from being able to turn home Troy Parrott’s curling effort from close range as it flew just wide of the Brighton goal. Spurs made their third and final change when they brought off Brooklyn Lyons-Foster for Luis Binks in the 75th minute this meant that Okedina had to move out to right back while Binks and Walcott operated as the two central defenders. Brighton were starting to run out of energy and Matt Wells super fit side were beginning to overwhelm them. Joshua Oluwayemi did well to catch Jack Spong’s free kick after it had been conceded by Bennett. After Jubril Okedina played another one of his passes over the top of the Brighton defence to Markanday down the right flank the tricky winger was able to work his way into the penalty area. The goalkeeper slipped just as Markanday squared the ball to who he thought was Troy Parrott in the middle of the penalty area, but no one in a Spurs shirt was there to meet it, and the ball ended up rolling across the face of the Brighton goal.

French teenager Julian Carre ended up receiving his marching orders after he was shown a straight red card for a sliding challenge on Dilan Markanday in the middle of the park, in the 83rd minute of the game. After receiving treatment from the Tottenham medical staff it was clear that Markanday would be unable to see out the final minutes of the game, and after Spurs had already made all three of their substitutions it meant that both teams would play the remainder of the game with ten men. However, Spurs’ dominance and urge to extend their lead resulted in them making it 4-1 in the 87th minute, and in some style too. A lovely passing move from the young Lilywhites resulted in Troy Parrott bagging his second goal of the game. Armando Shashoua played a clever one two with Maghoma on the edge of the Brighton penalty area before the Spurs captain managed to flick the ball onto Parrott who had made a run down the left side of the penalty area. The inform Dubliner steadied himself before dragging the ball across Rushworth and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 4-1. Paris Maghoma almost made it 5-1 shortly afterwards but Rushworth was able to make an excellent diving save to deny Maghoma’s powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area, after he had played a quick one two with Parrott. The Brighton goalkeeper then produced another fine stop, this time to save J’Neil Bennett’s powerful low shot across goal from out on the right side of the Brighton box. Spurs then had a penalty claim waved away after Kaspar Lopata looked to have obstructed the Irishman inside the Brighton box. Parrott was denied his hat-trick a couple of moments later after the same Brighton defender blocked his effort on goal on the edge of the penalty area. Harvey White almost managed to set J’Neil Bennett through on goal with a lovely lofted pass over the Brighton defence right at the end, but Sam Packham was able to cut the midfielders pass out. That was to be the final piece of action from what had been a pretty eventful game of football. Once again Matt Wells side played the opposition off the park with their own brand of sparkling attacking football. It was a good performance from the Spurs youngsters who worked so well as a team to overcome Mark Beard’s side. Up next for Spurs is a hugely important FA youth cup fourth round tie against Arsenal on Thursday. For so many of our scholars that game will be one of the biggest that they have been involved in so far in their short careers. Arsenal will also be extremely difficult to overcome.

Player reviews: 

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The 17 year old goalkeeper had a solid game in between the sticks for Spurs on Saturday. Oluwayemi made one save against the ‘ Seagulls ‘ which was an impressive one to deny Danny Cashman’s free kick during the first half. The second year scholar did a really good job at dealing with set pieces and crosses and he led his defence well throughout the match.
  • Maximus Tainio: The Finland under 19 international defended well against tricky Brighton winger Stefan Vukoje for the majority of the match. The right back completed 71 minutes of our 4-1 win over Brighton and he protected his side of the pitch well.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The 18 year old completed 75 minutes of the match where he played at LCB. Lyons-Foster put in a really strong performance alongside Jubril Okedina, and he made numerous important interceptions, blocks and clearances. Lyons-Foster made one particularly important and brave interception on Laurent Tolaj during the second half to end a dangerous Brighton attack. The North Londoner read the game well and he was always on hand to fill in for other Spurs defenders if they had strayed out of position. Lyons-Foster’s passing out from the back also impressed me.
  • Jubril Okedina: Like Lyons-Foster, Okedina had a really strong game at centre back on his tenth appearance of the season for Matt Wells’ side. The 18 year old defended extremely well and he timed his challenges to perfection. Apart from making some really important blocks and interceptions Okedina also played several clever passes over the top of the Brighton defence to set Markanday free down the right flank. He was good on the ball and he showed good awareness throughout the game. Okedina also filled in at right back for the latter stages of the match.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Cirkin was another player who I thought had a really strong game for Spurs. The Dublin born left back defended really well against Brighton winger Ben Wilson, and the 16 year old always seemed to be in the right place at the right time against Brighton. Cirkin made a fantastic goal line clearance early on in the game, and the disciplined fullback was excellent in the air and he always managed to pick up Wilson at the far post. 
  • Harvey White: I personally thought that the 17 year old had an excellent game in the middle of the park for Matt Wells side. White was the midfield orchestrator and it was lovely to see him spray the ball around the park with such precision. Good at breaking up play and filling in for the defenders, Harvey’s all round game helped Spurs out a lot and it allowed them to play their passing game to such great effect. White got the assist for Troy Parrott’s opener after picking the Irishman out in the danger zone with a pin point cross. And the first year scholar created many more good chances during the remainder of the game. He was strong in the challenge and good at tracking back after him.
  • Paris Maghoma: I thought that the England under 18 international played more of a combative role in Saturday’s 4-1 win. Maghoma played the entirety of the game in central midfield and the 17 year old did a good job at linking the defence with the attack. Maghoma stayed deeper than usual but he still made just as big of an impact on the game as he did against Swansea the previous week. He did the nitty gritty side of the game well and like White he did a good job at breaking up play and recycling possession. The silky midfielders passing was good and he created some good chances for the likes of Parrott and Bennett. As the game went on Paris seemed to play more of an advanced role and he got forward a lot more, and he made some good runs through the middle. He played some lovely one and two touch football with Parrott and Shashoua in particular and he played a big part in our final goal of the game. Maghoma also came close to finding the back of the net himself on a couple of occasions.
  • Dilan Markanday: The right winger grew into the game as it went on and he always looked dangerous when he was in possession. Impressing with his ball retention and work rate, the skilful winger caused problems for Brighton fullback Cameron Tutt with his jinking runs down the flank. He was unselfish and he created some good little chances for Spurs before being forced off late in the game due to injury.
  • Rodel Richards: Sadly Richards only completed 43 minutes of the game after he picked up a nasty looking injury following a collision with a Brighton player just before halftime. Richards had a good game as a CAM and he did well to find the back of the net from J’Neil Bennett’s cross midway through the first half. Unfortunately Richards could be seen using crutches after the final whistle, I wish him a speedy recovery.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The 17 year old had a good game out on the left wing and he chipped in with a goal and an assist. He was nice and direct in his play and although he was up against a good defender in Tanimowo Bennett’s skill and speed asked questions of him. Bennett did well to set up Rodel Richards goal during the first half before going onto find the back of the net himself.
  • Troy Parrott: My motm, see below.
  • Armando Shashoua: Our under 18’s captain fantastic came onto replace the injured Rodel Richards at the end of the first half, and the 18 year old did a superb job as a CAM during his time on the pitch. Energetic, hardworking and very good on the ball Shashoua’s intricate passing and clever attacking forays through the middle helped out Troy Parrott and he managed to set up the centre forwards second goal of the game.
  • Malachi Walcott: The 16 year old made his return from injury after coming on in the 71st minute, and he helped to bolster the Spurs defence.
  • Luis Binks: Like Walcott, Binks only made a fleeting cameo but he did a good job in central defence.

My man of the match: After yesterday’s match 16 year old centre forward Troy Parrott has now been directly involved in 23 goals from 22 appearances for Spurs at youth level this season. Parrott played a big part in our 4-1 win over Brighton on Saturday and he chipped in with a goal and an assist. The inform striker did well to get into space and to glance home Harvey White’s cross early on in the game. Parrott also got the assist for Bennett’s goal before netting his second of the game right at the end of the second half. Parrott was superb and everything from his work rate and coming deep to receive the ball to influence play, to his ability to create space for himself inside the box was top class. He also held the ball up extremely well and both of his finishes were smartly taken.  He is such a clever young man and once again on Saturday he was clinical in front of goal while also influencing the game in so many other ways.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Tainio (Walcott 71), Cirkin, White, Okedina, Lyons-Foster (Binks 75), Markanday, Maghoma, Parrott (c), Richards (A.Shashoua 43), Bennett.

Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Clarke.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 12

Dilan Markanday – 7

Rayan Clarke – 7

J’Neil Bennett – 7

Rodel Richards – 5

Armando Shashoua – 4

Harvey White – 4

Luis Binks – 3

Paris Maghoma – 3

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Jubril Okedina – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 11

Armando Shashoua – 10

Jamie Bowden – 5

Troy Parrott – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Rayan Clarke – 4

Dilan Markanday – 3

Rodel Richards – 3

J’Neil Bennett – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Maxwell Statham – 1

Jeremie Mukendi – 1

Elliot Thorpe – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 5

My interview with former Spurs man Jacques Maghoma:

My interview with former Spurs man Jacques Maghoma:

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Born in Lubumbashi, Zaire (modern day DR Congo) in 1987 Jacques Ilonda Maghoma grew up in Finchley, North London where he attended Finchley Catholic High School. A highly skilled winger who signed scholarship terms with Spurs back in 2003, Jacques rose up through the ranks at the North London club and he featured for their first team on several occasions during preseason friendlies as well as appearing on the bench in competitive matches for the Lilywhites. The eldest of three footballing brothers, Christian now of Arka Gdynia in Poland and current Spurs starlet Paris who is still only 17. Maghoma’s career so far is one of remarkable resilience and determination which has seen him fight back from some debilitating injuries in order to work his way up the English footballing pyramid, following his release from Spurs back in 2009. Jacques has worked incredibly hard to not only become a star player for Championship club Birmingham City where he plays today but also to earn his place in the richly talented DR Congo national side. I caught up with the boyhood Spurs fan and academy graduate who kindly made the time to speak with me about his footballing journey, and his time in the Spurs youth set up. Tottenham Hotspur is a club which remains close to his heart and it has helped him to achieve so many great things in his footballing career to date. It was an absolute privilege to get the opportunity to listen to the 31 year olds story and in case you weren’t already aware he is a wonderful man just like his two younger brothers, and we should all be proud to call him one of our own.

What are your earliest footballing memories?

Jacques: My earliest memory is probably my first training session at Spurs as a 13 year old back when they were still at Chigwell. Micky Hazard and David Kerslake were the coaches back then.

What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs and how did you come about joining the club?

Jacques: Funnily enough it was when I first went there on a two week trial when I ended up getting told that I wasn’t going to get signed! I went away and trained with a Sunday league team at the time called Winchmore Hill and I kept playing there until I was 15. There was actually a summer camp at White Hart Lane one particular summer and funnily enough David Kerslake was there and he had seen me play and obviously improve in the two years that I’d grown, and so when I was 15 I ended up joining them.

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

Jacques: It was brilliant because at the time I had probably two of the best coaches I could ever have had in my development. Micky Hazard was such a technical player while Dave Kerslake was a little bit more strict, so we had a good balance in them both at the time. They moulded me into becoming the player that I am today, especially Micky Hazard who I got really close to as he was really good to me.

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

Jacques: Not really because I didn’t really watch football to have those heroes, at the time I was just so focused on my own game that I never really had that idol.

Could you describe to me what type of player you are and what positions you played in, in the Spurs youth team?

Jacques: I actually started as a centre mid and then as time went by I moved to the wing, both on the right and left wing. However, I’d say that I’m more of a creative player and I like creating things, I like doing things that others can’t do. One of the people who I would always look to was Ronaldinho. His skills and how he ran past players and how he was able to manipulate the ball was just amazing, and at the time I used to look at a lot of things with him. We had a skills coach at the time at Spurs called Ricardo Moniz and I used to do a lot of skillsets with him which would help me a lot.

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

Jacques: It was a tough one back then because the old pros were tough. It wasn’t easy for young players to come into the first team, it’s a lot easier now for players to come into the first team and be within the group straight away, back then it was a lot tougher. So I didn’t really have any great influences but I did have good friends who I’m still friends with now like Chris Riley, Claude Seanla and Simon Dawkins as we grew up with each other at Spurs before going our separate ways. When John McDermott joined Spurs he was really good, as was Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe. They all sort of moulded me and tried to push me but unfortunately injuries ended my progress as such. The club was changing manager at the time but those three people and Chris Hughton and Martin Jol helped me. Martin Jol especially because he was the manager who really took me under his wing when I started training with the first team. Another great help was Ricardo Moniz who I spent a lot of time with doing one on ones which has helped me a lot in my career.

Were there any players at Spurs who you would watch closely to try and improve your game?

Jacques: There were a lot of players as there was so much talent at Spurs especially in my age group that had different qualities than I did, and I had different qualities to what they had. When I ended up training with the first team I got to watch players like Modric and Berbatov who have gone onto achieve great things in their careers, with Modric going onto win the Ballon d’Or and Berbatov playing for Man United. Then you had Gareth Bale who had different qualities however, I was especially close to Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore and Jermain Defoe and they were all people who you would try and look at to improve your game. Training with the first team helped me a lot to be able to see that, and I was fortunate enough to be in the group to improve my game.

Could you talk me through some of your favourite memories of your time at Spurs or ones which particularly standout within your memory?

Jacques: Probably the first time that I travelled with the first team and it was actually a home game and we stayed in a hotel. I used to get car sick so when we were on the team bus I had my head down because I thought that I was going to throw up when the bus was moving. I felt sick and all of the boys were taking the piss out of me thinking that I was nervous and scared because it was my first time travelling with the first team. That was a really good memory, and another was obviously being called up to train with the first team, and signing my first professional contract. The whole experience of being at such an amazing club which I had grown up supporting was just amazing. My whole time there was amazing.

You featured in a number of preseason friendlies for the Spurs first team including one against Irish side St Patrick’s Athletic. What was that experience like for you?

Jacques: Someone actually sent me a picture not long ago with me, Darren Bent and Gareth Bale. I remember that game and I did really well when I came on and everybody was really happy with me that day, so that was a good memory.

What has been the greatest moment of your footballing career so far?

Jacques: Just turning professional. A lot of people will look at that but what people don’t realise is that there’s millions of kids that are competing to play on one position. So for me to turn professional and stay in the game as long as I have and to still be doing well and working at my game is a big achievement. At the moment I’m at Birmingham and I’m really enjoying it and hopefully with Birmingham we will continue to push on until the end of the season, and hopefully achieve something amazing like reaching the play offs. But at the same time thinking about my journey from playing in the park to getting into a Sunday league team and then getting signed by Spurs and signing my pro contract. And then being involved in the first team and going onto play in league two for four seasons, and then going straight into the Championship at the age of 25 has been fantastic. I’ve enjoyed the whole journey and it has made me who I am today, all the good times and the lows is all part and parcel of life and I am still learning. The journey itself has probably been the best thing.

Who is the greatest player that you have had the pleasure of sharing a pitch with? 

Jacques: All of the players that I played with in the first team at Spurs were all great, players like Jermain Defoe as a striker who could score from any type of ball into the box. And then Berbatov who was amazing at what he did, then you had people like Tom Huddlestone who never gave the ball away, left foot or right foot he was just effortless. So I really don’t know it’s really hard to just pick one player and say that he’s the greatest that I’ve ever played with. If you asked me on the spot I’d probably have to think about it.

What prompted you to leave Spurs and could you talk me through your career after you left the Lilywhites?

Jacques: I got injured when I was 18 going on 19 and it was a big injury which put me out for ten months because I needed an operation. When I eventually came back I wasn’t the same because it took me probably another year and a half to really find my feet again, because it was a big knee injury. It took me a long time to get back into the flow of how I was, and by that time at such a big club you have other youngsters who are coming through and pushing to get into the first team after your time has gone by. I just wanted to play competitive football especially and not under 21’s or 23’s football as you weren’t really getting tested. So me and my dad made a decision at the time to leave Spurs and although I didn’t want to leave, at the same time I needed to go out and get games and play games. I ended up at Burton (in 2009) who had just been promoted to the football league. Paul Peschisolido was in charge at Burton and he was a great guy. I did ok in my first season at Burton as stepping down into league two was totally different football. It was actually an eye opener for me because coming from the academy of a club like Spurs a lot of things are done for you, but when you go down to league two it’s not the same. You have to grow up and mature really quickly. At that time I was 21/22 and I grew up really quickly, during the second season we almost got relegated and Paul Peschisolido got the sack which was unfortunate. His assistant Gary Rowett then took charge and he really brought a different side to me within my game. He not just wanted me to be a creative player but he wanted me to do both sides of the game. Where I was able to defend and attack, and obviously that meant that I had to be fitter to do that than what I was, to do it for 90 minutes. The third season at Burton was really good but then in the fourth season everything just clicked. I’d met some great friends such as Aaron Webster who was pretty much my brother when I was there, and Billy Kee and Robbie Weir. They are all people that I miss because we were such a tight group and it was a family club, because it’s a small town where everyone knows each other and where everyone’s friendly.

In the fourth season at Burton I ended up scoring 18 goals and getting 14 assists, I got in the team of the year and then after that season I ended up moving into the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday and then Birmingham City with Gary Rowett.

Who is the toughest fullback that you’ve come up against so far in your career?

Jacques: Probably Lee Peltier and Eric Lichaj who played for Nottingham Forest. We all had good battles because to beat him I knew that I had to be at 110% and the same for him to be able to stop me. At the end of the game we used to respect each other and I thought that Peltier and Lichaj were proper fullbacks. Those two players come to mind straight away. 

How has your time at Spurs prepared you for your subsequent career in the game?

Jacques: Just in my knowledge of the game really, it’s so important for young players to be at professional clubs like Spurs because you learn so much about the game and the technical sides of it. You can learn to play the game in your head and just being there with the coaches I had like Micky Hazard and David Kerslake I learnt so much from them, and all the other coaches. Such as Clive Allen who was a striker but I learnt from his movement and from how he explained it. You learn so much from those who have played at the highest level and it would have been stupid if I didn’t take that all in, and it’s helping me to this very day. 

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

Jacques: There’s one quote that stands out and I can remember Les Ferdinand telling me after I’d had a really good training session with the first team, that for me to take David Bentley’s place in the first team, you’ll have to work ten times harder than him. It took a while for me to process that but when I think about it it’s like saying I’m as good as him but why would the manager pick me over him if he can do what I can do and vice versa. He’s going to play because he has got more experience and more games than I have. So the thing that I would say to any young player who is looking to go into the first team, is that you’ve got to do more than the other players are doing at the training ground. You’ve got to do ten times what the first team players are doing, if Dele Alli is running 10 km a game then you have got to try and run 11 km in a game or even 12 km. If Son is scoring four goals a game then you need to try and score four goals or even more. And if Harry Kane is scoring 20 goals a season then try and aim to do the same, you can’t compare yourself with those players but you need to put yourself through that mindset of trying to do more than the other players in your position. And that will stand out in the managers head, always try and do better then the person ahead of you.

After all these years how do you look back on your time at the Lilywhites and is a Spurs a club that you’d like to return to in a coaching capacity at some point in the future?

Jacques: Yes I probably would but I don’t want to become a manager, I’d just want to coach from under 16’s to under 23’s to try and develop young players. And to pass my knowledge onto them and to tell them of the journey that I have taken. But that’s still far away!

Do you ever get back to watch many Spurs games nowadays?

Jacques: When they are on the television I still watch them but it’s hard to go to games with me still playing, so that’s not easy. I haven’t been to watch them since they were playing at White Hart Lane.

What was it like to play against your younger brother Christian in a preseason friendly involving Spurs and Birmingham back in 2015?

Jacques: To be fair I didn’t really think about it much I was just trying to do the best for my team. It would probably mean a lot more if we were to hopefully play with each other in the same team in the future, if that ever happens.

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

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

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After recording an impressive 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the PL2 last Monday Wayne Burnett’s development side find themselves back in league action on Sunday, when they make the short trip across London to face West Ham. Sunday’s London derby at the Chigwell Construction Stadium (the home of non league side Dagenham and Redbridge) is a game in which Burnett’s side will be desperate to win. After suffering a surprise 3-1 defeat to the ‘ Hammers ‘ on the opening day of the season, Spurs will be keen to get their own back on the East London club who sit one place below Spurs in the table in tenth place. That opening day defeat was a very strange game for Spurs who completely dominated the first half and they went into the break 1-0 ahead thanks to Samuel Shashoua’s impressive goal. However, Spurs seemed to fall apart as the game went on and the quality of West Ham’s attacking players proved to be too much for the young Spurs defence. Terry Westley’s West Ham side have struggled for consistency so far this campaign despite the fact that they have recorded some impressive results. In West Ham’s last two matches they have lost 4-2 at home to Brighton before then going up to Manchester and beating Man City 5-1 in their own back yard. Burnett will hoping that his side can continue their four match unbeaten run in the PL2 and climb further up the table with a win on Sunday. Some West Ham players to look out for are experienced central midfielder Moses Makasi (22), fullback and England youth international Ajibola Alese and young attacking midfielder Joe Powell who has scored six goals from 11 PL2 games this season. Sunday lunchtimes encounter will be a close and highly competitive affair and if it’s anything like last years 2-2 draw at the same venue then it promises to be an intriguing game of football. I will be reporting on Sundays big game before heading off to Wembley to watch our first team take on Manchester United. I wish all of Wayne Burnett’s side the very best of luck for the London derby.

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

Subs from: Whiteman, Walcott, Bowden, Tracey, Parrott. 

Injured/unavailable: Luke Amos and Jonathan Dinzeyi.

Doubtful: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Malachi Walcott, Phoenix Patterson, Shayon Harrison.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-3.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: At just 15 years of age 2003 born winger Amadou Diallo is a player who is being touted for big things. Diallo who primarily operates on the left hand side has scored two goals from two appearances for the ‘ Hammers ‘ development side so far this season, and the schoolboy is being touted to achieve great things at the East London club. Diallo is a tricky winger with an eye for goal and it will be interesting to see how he does against Wayne Burnett’s side on Sunday. 

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

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

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Our under 18’s will travel down to the south coast on Saturday morning to face Brighton & Hove Albion, in the under 18 southern division at the American Express Elite Football performance Centre. Matt Wells high flying side come into Saturday’s game on the back of a comprehensive 1-0 victory over Swansea. And table toppers Spurs will be hoping that they can record another win when they take on the ‘ Seagulls ‘ who sit in ninth place in the league. The reverse fixture at Hotspur Way back in August kicked off our under 18’s domestic season and in some style too. Matt Wells side put in a sparkling attacking performance against Brighton on that day, and after fighting back from being two goals down Spurs managed to win the game 6-4. In fact a lot of our meetings with Brighton at this level over recent seasons have been thoroughly entertaining affairs. The last time we faced Mark Beard’s side at their training ground we beat them 6-3, that was another crazy game which saw Phoenix Patterson net his first hat-trick at under 18 level. Beard’s side have  struggled for consistency so far this season and after only picking up three wins in the league this campaign they find themselves only three points away from bottom of the table Norwich City. Since achieving category one academy status Brighton have produced some bright young talents from their Lancing based training ground, and they currently have a host of England youth internationals in their under 18 side. Some of Brighton’s most talented youngsters include dynamic midfielder Tariq Shihab, central midfielder and England youth international Teddy Hoare and their top scorer this campaign Ryan Longman who usually operates out on the right wing. Attacking midfielder Dan Cashman is another player to watch out for, Cashman has put in several eye catching performances against our under 18 side over the last couple of seasons. Brighton’s last game was against another title contender in Arsenal, they lost that match 3-1 last Saturday and the struggling ‘ Seagulls ‘ have only won one of their last five league games.

Matt Wells side on the other hand will be hoping that they can overwhelm Brighton with their high tempo attacking football. Spurs have also got a hugely important FA youth cup fourth round tie on following Thursday to think about, so one would imagine that we may rest the likes of Troy Parrott and Paris Maghoma on Saturday to keep them fresh for the cup game. I am anticipating another entertaining match when these two teams face each other on Saturday and I am hoping that Spurs‘ high energy attacking football will prove too much for Mark Beard’s well organised Brighton side. I will be getting the train down to Lancing first thing on Saturday morning to report on our under 18’s 13th league game of this season, my match report will be out by the following day. I wish all of Matt Wells side the very best of luck for Saturday’s big game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Tainio, Okedina, Binks, Cirkin, White,  A.Shashoua (c), Markanday, Thorpe, Bennett, Richards.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Statham, Walcott, Cooper, Clarke.

Injured/unavailable: Enoch Asante, Jeremie Mukendi. 

Doubtful: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Malachi Walcott, Phoenix Patterson, Armando Shashoua.

Previous meeting: Spurs 6-4.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-1.

My one to watch: The ‘ Seagulls ‘ top scorer at under 18 level this campaign is winger and second year scholar Ryan Longman. The 18 year old has skippered Mark Beard’s side on numerous occasions so far this season and the forward has found the net on a regular basis for Brighton, scoring seven goals so far this campaign.

My interview with former Spurs youth player Peter McGillicuddy:

My interview with former Spurs youth player Peter McGillicuddy:

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“ I had a load of ability but I lacked in confidence. “ (Peter McGillicuddy)

I had the great pleasure of interviewing former Spurs youth player Peter McGillicuddy on Friday afternoon to talk about his time as a youth player at Spurs during the late 1960’s. The Irish Londoner played for Spurs for three years from 1967 to 1970 during a time when the club had one of its most talented ever youth sides. McGillicuddy primarily played out on the left wing and the former Arsenal schoolboy who would later go onto play for both Chelsea and Millwall following his release from Spurs in 1970, would go onto form a successful career in the non league. Where amongst a host of other clubs Peter played for Leatherhead and Enfield Town, and it was at Leatherhead where McGillicuddy had one of his best footballing memories, scoring against Leicester City in the fourth round of the FA cup. I met Peter in a pub in North London to discuss his time at Spurs during the late 1960’s, from his falling out with coach Eddie Baily to his admiration of Graeme Souness and playing with Harry Kane’s grandfather Eric Hogg, McGillicuddy was fascinating to listen to and to interview. 

What are your earliest footballing memories?

Peter: My earliest memory that I remember was kicking the ball up against the wall outside my mum and dads house when this big black car turned up. A fellow called Mr.Clarke (Ray Clarke’s dad) picked me up and took me to Highbury and then I walked up into the changing rooms. I then went out the back and started to train with Arsenal as an 11 year old. That was my earliest memory but another was when I played for the England Catholic schoolboys team for four years from age 11 to 15.

What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs and how did you come about joining the club?

Peter: Arsenal released me and after that I used to play on Regent’s Park and then one Sunday morning a Tottenham scout came over to me and took me to Tottenham, and I had three nice years there. Spurs were better to me than Arsenal were but I’m a loyal Arsenal fan I’m sorry to say. My earliest memory from my time at Spurs would have been fighting my way into the youth sides, where I played with some good players such as Steve Perryman, Graeme Souness and Jimmy Neighbour. I thought that Jimmy was a superb player and he was a better player than me but then again I didn’t think that Perryman was a better player than me but records show that he was. But if I had gotten the same attention that Perryman got then I probably would have made it as well, but sometimes it’s just a bit of luck in life. They built Perryman up to be something but I thought he was fortunate to get what he got and he proved it in the end when he only got half a cap for England. Yet he was the captain of England schoolboys and I was the captain of England Catholic schoolboys, and I didn’t get a look in. We were both decent players and there wasn’t much between us but he picked up the FA cup and I didn’t.

What was Graeme Souness like?

Peter: He was class, the best player that I’d ever played with and he was nice to me and all. People might think that he’s a bully but he gave me more time than Perryman ever did.

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

Peter: Enjoyable, but one person who I never got on with was Eddie Baily. I remember Joe Nixon (former teammate) was a good player and he (Baily) used to slaughter him, and if he ever came to me then I used to go round the other side. On this particular day we played Ipswich after I had just been promoted to the SECL division one, and it was my third or fourth game for them. I scored the winner against Ipswich on that day and after I came off Eddie Baily slaughtered me, so I had a go back at him and I never played again after that, simple as that. He never thought I was that good anyway but I never liked him to be truthful and there’s not many people I can say that about. Oh and Theo Foley who I disliked and all, he stopped me from being a pro as far as I’m concerned. I’m still a bit bitter after all these years but I do have to blame myself a little bit.

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

Peter: My favourite player of all time was an Arsenal player called George Eastham. George was in the 1966 World Cup winning English squad and he was a marvellous footballer, and how he did what he did do with his little skinny legs is beyond me. Another player who I liked to watch was Cliff Jones, he was an extremely good player who was very fast and brilliant in the air for such a little man, he also had that winning mentality. I remember playing against him at Cheshunt and he tackled me like a tiger even though he was only little. I also used to enjoy watching Jimmy Greaves and after we would play our morning matches on a Saturday we used to go to White Hart Lane and sit around the pitch on stools to watch the first team play. I can remember him scoring a goal against Man United where he must have went past 22 people including himself three times! He was an absolutely marvellous player.

Could you describe to me what type of player you were and what positions you used to played in, in the Spurs youth team?

Peter: Modesty forbids me to tell you how good I was, I was a left footer who had a sweet left foot. I was quick but I wasn’t one of the bravest people in the world, but I did stand up for myself. I was never taught anything at Spurs they just used to play me out wide on the left and that was how I took over that position as a left sided midfield player. However, I preferred to play in central midfield as everybody does. I used to work hard up and down the left wing but I never matured until it was a bit too late for me to turn professional at Spurs I think. However, looking back I think I did a lot more than any of the other boys that were at Tottenham at that time.

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

Peter: Graeme Souness was one and another was Jimmy Neighbour, but Steve Perryman was never helpful. He was a nice fellow but I can’t remember him ever saying well done to me or anything like that, we just got on with it. He was a serious type of player. Both Jimmy Neighbour and Barry Daines were quite nice fellows and so was Terry Lee who sadly passed away. Other than that our youth team manager Pat Welton was a nice man who was also encouraging.

During your time in the youth set up at Spurs you would have played regularly with the likes of future first team players such as Barry Daines and Jimmy Neighbour. What was that youth team that we had during the late 1960’s like to play in?

Peter: They were unbeatable, I know I was in the second side when they won the South Eastern Counties League but it was special to be a part of and it was an honour to play with those players. The sad thing is that I never made it and that still bites me a bit now but there’s nothing I can do about it. If I’d have had a bit more inner strength in them days and a bit of help then things could have been different.

Could you talk me through some of your favourite memories of your time at Spurs or ones which particularly standout within your memory?

Peter: Winning the SECL was a fond memory as was being promoted into the division one side with the likes of Souness, Perryman, Daines, Terry Lee, Ray Clarke and Les Charker. Also training with the first team when I was in the reserves and training with the likes of Jimmy Greaves and Alan Gilzean.

What if you could only pick one memory?

Peter: Probably winning the South Eastern counties league but another highlight was playing with Graeme Souness.

What was the coaching like for the Spurs youth players in your days?

Peter: It was very simple to be truthful it was nothing elaborate, they just used to let you get on with it. You used to have a game and then do some short and sharp drills to keep your fitness levels up. There was never anything really technical and that was the case for every club that I was at, I taught myself everything. I played for Spurs and it was an honour to do so and we were looked after as well. Bill Nicholson was a nice fellow and it was a privilege to meet him on a couple of occasions but he was a very quiet man. 

What was the greatest moment of your footballing career?

Peter: There were two things, first the tour of Japan and South Korea as a 22 year old playing for a Great Britain select side in front of massive crowds. However, the highlight was playing in the FA cup fourth round for Leatherhead against Leicester City. We were 2-0 up against Leicester with 20 minutes to go but we lost 3-2 because we’d ran out of steam, but it was a great honour because not many people get to play in the fourth round of the FA cup for a non league team. 

What was it like to brush shoulders with the many great first team players that Spurs had at the time and what were they like to speak to and be around?

Peter: They were all very funny people, you had John Pratt who was a lovely man and then you had players who didn’t have much time for you. I remember playing in a game for the reserves against the first team and Joe Kinnear was marking me and it was impossible to get around him and that’s when it made me realise that these players make it look easy. 

What prompted you to leave Spurs and could you talk me through your career after you left the Lilywhites?

Peter: After Eddie Baily sacked me I ended up going to Chelsea but I never wanted to leave Spurs because they were good to me. After leaving Chelsea I played for the likes of Wycombe, Millwall, Leatherhead and Enfield.

You spent time at Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea at youth team and reserve level. Were there many differences between the three clubs in your opinion?

Peter: Well I think that Spurs did more for me then any of the other two clubs even though Chelsea had promised they were going to to sign me, but there were a lot of differences between the three clubs. I can remember playing for Chelsea and scoring a hat-trick against Spurs with Eddie Baily standing on the sidelines and I was very happy with myself. 

Who was the toughest fullback that you ever came up against?

Peter: It was a bloke who I played football with at Enfield called Phil Fry, he’d give you a punch in the face if the referee wasn’t looking but when I used to play with him he used to look after me. Another one was Ray Evans who used to play at Spurs and he was a good fullback. 

What style of football did the youth team coaches have Spurs playing during your time at the club?

Peter: Honestly Lennon I can’t remember anything except that everybody used to play 4-4-2!

Were there any players at Spurs who you were particularly close to?

Peter: I always thought that I got on well with Jimmy Neighbour, he was a pleasant man who was easy to talk to and he always had a smile on his face. Graeme Souness was also nice to me along with Ray Evans.

After all these years how do you look back on your time at the Lilywhites and do you ever wish you’d have done anything differently?

Peter: I wish I’d have been more professional and worked harder and kept my gob shut, I might have made it then. I needed to have more inner strength but at the end of the day I enjoyed myself at Spurs and I thank them for giving me the opportunity.

Who was the greatest player that you ever had the pleasure of sharing a pitch with? 

Peter: It has to be Graeme Souness.

Finally are there any words you’d like to say about your former teammate Roy Woollcott who sadly passed away recently?

Peter: He was a lovely bloke who I remember working with outside of football and making his first team debut for Spurs against Ipswich.

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

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

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Our under 23’s first PL2 game of 2019 was a highly competitive encounter with Neil Critchley’s Liverpool at the Lamex stadium on Monday evening. Ending in a 1-1 draw after a thrilling second half, Wayne Burnett’s development side of which included a certain Vincent Janssen, will have been disappointed that they couldn’t have put Monday’s game to bed when they were 1-0 up. Liverpool were missing a number of their regular under 23 players due to their first teams FA cup tie against Wolves on the same night. Critchley essentially fielded a B team against us with players such as Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones all missing from the squad. After a fairly even first half of football which saw few clear cut chances at either end, Spurs really upped their tempo for the second half and Burnett’s side blew Liverpool away with the energy that they brought to the game. After pushing Cyprus international Anthony Georgiou further up the pitch the 21 year old ended up terrorising the Liverpool defence and this ultimately created a whole host of chances for the likes of Kazaiah Sterling and Jack Roles. Georgiou’s pace and trickery proved to be too much for Liverpool fullback Neco Williams, and after going on one of his darting runs down the left channel the South Londoner helped to create Kazaiah Sterling’s opener at the beginning of the second half. After Sterling put Spurs ahead we looked destined to add to our advantage and the many driving runs of Georgiou and pin point crosses which he was delivering into the box, were creating some glorious chances for Spurs. We dominated the game for much of the second half and had it not been for the heroics of former Spurs schoolboy Kai McKenzie-Lyle in the Liverpool goal, then the game would have been out of sight by the hour mark. However, Spurs were unable to put away the chances needed in order to make the game safe, and as the half went on Critchley’s side started to get back into the game. Burnett’s youngsters were dealt a bitter blow in the 65th minute after Liam Coyle drew Liverpool level with a superb curling effort from the edge of the penalty area.

Jack Roles tried his utmost to win the game for Spurs during the latter stages but in the end Spurs had to make do with a point against the Merseyside club. Wayne Burnett went for the usual 4-2-3-1 formation on Monday evening, with Alfie Whiteman starting in goal. A back four of Hinds, Tanganga (the skipper), Eyoma and Georgiou lined up in front of him, while George Marsh and Dylan Duncan teaming up in the centre of the park. Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Jack Roles operated out wide, either side of Kazaiah Sterling, and Netherlands international Vincent Janssen who led the line after returning from a long standing foot injury. There was a big crowd at the Lamex stadium on Monday and with the loan window having recently reopened it was interesting to see that there were over 70 scouts in attendance for Monday nights PL2 fixture. The ‘ Reds ‘ got the game underway in Stevenage on a chilly winters evening. After a fairly event start to the game Liverpool started to threaten the Tottenham defence. After George Marsh did well to cut out Liam Millar’s pass to Conor Masterson inside the Spurs penalty area, Juanma Garcia whipped a menacing ball across the face of Alfie Whiteman’s goal, after receiving Bobby Duncan’s pass out on the left wing. Neil Critchley’s Liverpool side were playing with a lot of width and they continued to try and cause problems for Spurs down the flanks. Bobby Duncan whipped a menacing cross across the face of the Spurs goal a couple of minutes later before the ‘ Reds ‘ won a free kick out on the left flank, after Tanganga had fouled Pedro Chirivella. The Spaniards resulting delivery came out to George Johnston at the back post, the Liverpool skipper headed the ball across the face of the Spurs goal but the alert Tariq Hinds managed to get a vital toe on the ball to get it clear. However, the ball ended up coming back out to Johnston who fired the ball over Whiteman’s crossbar on the half volley. Spurs then went on a good attacking move at the other end of the pitch after Dylan Duncan shifted the ball out to Georgiou on the left wing.

The left back darted forward down the flank before surging past Liverpool fullback Neco Williams and continuing towards the byline and picking out Jack Roles in the box from his whipped cross. Roles’ first time effort on the volley was well executed however, it was well blocked by Liverpool defender Corey Whelan. Roles almost managed to play Sterling through on goal with a nice pass through the middle but it was cutout in the nick of time by Whelan who made the challenge. Spurs continued to push forward and after Oakley-Boothe played a clever one two with Hinds down the right flank the former England under 18 international whipped a dangerous low cross right across the face of the Liverpool goal. A terrific corner kick from Anthony Georgiou shortly afterwards somehow managed to deceive every Spurs player inside the danger zone. Liverpool did come close to opening the scoring after going on a good move at the other end. After Johnston gave the ball to Liam Coyle the Liverpool defender found Garcia out on the left flank. The Spanish youngster was then able to pick out Bobby Duncan in the Spurs box with a pin point cross, and the nephew of Steven Gerrard headed the ball a fraction wide of Whiteman’s left hand post. Vincent Janssen was almost played through on goal at the other end of the pitch by Sterling, who after receiving Duncan’s pass attempted to feed Janssen through on goal with a pass through the Liverpool defence. However, Liverpool goalkeeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle was quick to react and he came rushing off his line to get to the ball before the Netherlands international to palm it away from under his feet. TJ Eyoma did well to clear George Johnston’s dangerous cross at the other end as the game started to develop into quite an end to end affair. Centre back Japhet Tanganga was posing a threat from corner kicks and the 19 year old came close to breaking the deadlock after he sent a looping header narrowly over McKenzie-Lyle’s crossbar after meeting Anthony Georgiou’s corner inside the box.

We finished the first half quite strongly and after George Marsh picked out Jack Roles down the left wing, the Cyprus under 21 international passed the ball to Janssen inside the penalty area. But the Dutchman’s resulting effort on goal was blocked behind for a corner kick by Liam Coyle. After making an excellent surging run to over lap Roles down the left wing, Georgiou whipped another of his teasing crosses across the face of the Liverpool goal all the way out to Oakley-Boothe on the opposite flank but the 18 year olds strike across goal was blocked by a Liverpool defender. Spurs continued to create some decent chances and after Oakley-Boothe passed the ball to Roles the midfielder managed to find Janssen inside the Liverpool box with a clever lofted pass. However, the Dutchman’s sliding effort was blocked behind for a corner by Conor Randall who appeared to be tugging at the 24 year olds shirt. The Dutchman had another effort on goal blocked a couple of moments later, this time by Liverpool captain George Johnston. Tariq Hinds made one important late defensive contribution to cut out Chirivella’s attempted through ball to Liam Millar in what happened to be the last piece of action of the half. Wayne Burnett made one substitution at halftime when he brought off Vincent Janssen    for Jamie Reynolds who played at left back while Georgiou switched to left wing. Meanwhile Kazaiah Sterling played up top with Jack Roles playing in the hole. Burnett’s side got the game back underway and the young Lilywhites started the half with a different energy about them. After Jamie Reynolds passed the ball to Roles he flicked the ball out to Georgiou on the left wing. The speedy winger whipped the ball into Sterling inside the danger zone but his first time effort was deflected behind for a corner kick by Liam Coyle. A couple of minutes later Roles managed to work the ball out to Georgiou on the left wing once again. The young Cypriot pumped the ball into the box and his menacing cross was attacked by Sterling whose bullet header was spectacularly saved by McKenzie-Lyle, who managed to palm the ball away. However, the ball ended up falling for Hinds on the right wing and he whipped the ball back into the danger zone. Once again it was attacked by Sterling who made no mistake this time round to power a header past McKenzie-Lyle and into the back of the net, 1-0.

Japhet Tanganga conceded a free kick in a dangerous position out on the left flank shortly after the restart. George Johnston’s delivery was cushioned down to Garcia in the middle of the Spurs box but the Spaniard ended up blazing the ball over Whiteman’s crossbar. Young Anthony Georgiou was causing Liverpool many problems out on the left wing, and after receiving Reynolds pass down the left flank, the winger was able to beat both Neco Williams and Conor Masterson before picking out Roles in the centre of the box from his low cross. The midfielder met Georgiou’s cross on the volley and his side footed effort was well saved by the alert McKenzie-Lyle. The ball came back to Roles who was unable to head home on the follow up, and instead headed the ball narrowly over. Spurs were dominating the game, after George Marsh picked out Georgiou on the left flank the winger whipped another teasing cross across the face of the Liverpool goal. The potent Jack Roles embarked on a weaving run into the Liverpool box after latching onto Anthony Georgiou’s deflected cross on the edge of the penalty area. Roles worked his way into the box with some exquisite skill. The attacking midfielder managed to skip past two Liverpool defenders before dragging the ball across the face of McKenzie-Lyle’s goal. TJ Eyoma did well to block Neco Williams effort at the other end after the Welshman had cut inside from the right flank. Japhet Tanganga then made an important block to thwart Pedro Chirivella’s shot on goal as Liverpool started to threaten once again. George Marsh bravely cleared Neco Williams cross as the ‘ Reds ‘ continue to put pressure on the Spurs defence. And their fight back paid off and in the 65th minute of time Liam Coyle stunned Alfie Whiteman by drawing Liverpool level. After receiving Conor Randall’s pass on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area the Liverpool defender opened up his body before curling an unstoppable effort around the Spurs defence and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 1-1.

Wayne Burnett’s side looked to respond and his players were constantly trying to get the ball to the speedy Georgiou out on the left flank. After Reynolds passed the ball down the line to the 21 year old, Georgiou managed to turn Neco Williams sublimely before sprinting forward and having a pop on goal however, his powerful effort was blocked by Conor Masterson. Sadly that was Georgiou’s last involvement of the game and he was brought off in place of Shilow Tracey shortly afterwards. Tracey would play out on the right flank while Oakley-Boothe switched onto the opposite flank. Shilow Tracey nodded Dylan Duncan’s corner kick wide shortly after coming on, before Tashan Oakley-Boothe had an effort kept out at McKenzie-Lyle’s near post after he latched onto Tracey’s cross. Sterling attempted to get to the loose ball and he succeeded in doing so however, McKenzie-Lyle had closed him down well and he was able to deny the Spurs man on the follow up with another smart stop. Japhet Tanganga’s header from Jack Roles‘ corner was also stopped by the Liverpool goalkeeper who was able to hold Tanganga’s powerful header. Burnett made one last attacking chance when he brought on young Troy Parrott for Dylan Duncan in the 89th minute of the game. Both sides really went for the win during the final stages of the game, Tanganga did well to block Conor Randall’s long range effort and Liverpool then came close to netting a late winner through Liam Millar. After the Canadian managed to control Bobby Duncan’s cross inside the Spurs box the Liverpool centre forward tried to beat Whiteman with a clever back heel but Marsh managed to block his effort. The ball then came back to Millar who tried to back heel the ball into the goal again, but this time Whiteman was able to make the save before Roles cleared the ball away from danger. Spurs were able to catch Liverpool on the break as Oakley-Boothe burst forward down the left wing before passing the ball to Parrott who cut the ball back to Sterling inside the danger zone. He then passed the ball to Roles on the edge of the area but his deflected effort on goal flashed narrowly wide of McKenzie-Lyle’s goal.

Jack Roles‘ effort was the last bit of action from what had been an enthralling second half. Spurs dominated the game during the second half and they created so many chances which they should have taken. In the end we were dealt a cruel blow by Liam Coyle however, I thought that it was another really positive and impressive performance from Wayne Burnett’s side who it’s worth noting are only eight points of table toppers Everton in division one. Up next for our under 23’s is a trip to Dagenham in East London, where they will face London rivals West Ham in the league on Sunday lunchtime.

 

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: The 20 year old wasn’t awfully busy on only his sixth appearance of the season for Wayne Burnett’s development side. The 20 year old goalkeeper only made one save on the night but I thought that the former England youth international impressed with his distribution and with how he dealt with set pieces.
  • Tariq Hinds: The 18 year old put in a really well rounded performance at right back for Wayne Burnett’s side. Hinds attacked well but he defended superbly against the talented Bobby Duncan. Hinds made a number of important interceptions and clearances and he read the game well while maintaining good positioning throughout.
  • Japhet Tanganga: The skipper operated at RCB against Liverpool and like his defensive partner TJ Eyoma, Tanganga put in a strong performance. The 19 year old lead the defence well and he helped to keep out the likes of Liam Millar and Bobby Duncan. Tanganga made a number of important blocks and interceptions and he came close to finding the back of the net from set pieces on a couple of occasions.
  • TJ Eyoma: Fresh from making his first team debut against Tranmere Rovers in the FA cup on Friday, TJ Eyoma put in an excellent shift at LCB against Liverpool. The 18 year old centre half defended solidly for the entirety of the match and he defended with a real assuredness about him. Eyoma made some really important defensive interventions and headed clearances, and the Londoners positioning was impeccable. I was also impressed with how he played out from the back.
  • Anthony Georgiou: My motm, see below.
  • George Marsh: Like TJ Eyoma, Marsh will have been feeling confident after making his first team debut for Spurs the previous Friday. And the tireless central midfielder put in a real shift for Burnett’s side on Monday, Marsh covered so much ground for Spurs and he did a good job at breaking up play and making sure that he got back to cover for our defenders. The 19 year old made a couple of really brave and important blocks and tackles.
  • Dylan Duncan: The slightly more advanced of the two central midfielders, Duncan moved the ball around the park well and he went on some promising attacking forays through the middle of the pitch.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The 18 year old operated out on the right wing for the majority of the game before switching onto the left flank for the final stages of the match. Oakley-Boothe worked exceptionally hard to try and influence the game and his off the ball work and tracking back was very impressive. He also went on some nice forward runs and he linked up well with fullback Tariq Hinds down the right wing. 
  • Kazaiah Sterling: The 20 year old played behind Janssen in the hole during the first half where he helped to create some good chances for the Dutchman. However, it was after Janssen was substituted that Sterling really started to flourish when he moved up top. Sterling worked tirelessly to create chances for his teammates and he also made sure that he got into some good goal scoring positions inside the danger zone. The hardworking centre forward took his goals well and he was unlucky not to have added to his account later on in the game.
  • Jack Roles: The Cyprus under 21 international played the first half out on the left wing and the second half in the hole, as a number ten. Once again Roles put in an outstanding performance for our development side, with his darting movement, trickery and late runs into the penalty area. The potent 19 year old used the ball so intelligently and the quality of his passing and ability to dictate play was hugely important for Spurs. Roles came desperately close to scoring on a number of occasions from inside the danger zone and once again his skill and agility caused problems for the oppositions defence. One particular mazy run from Roles during the second half which saw him beat two players inside the box before unselfishly cutting the ball back to Kazaiah Sterling was absolutely sublime.
  • Vincent Janssen: The 24 year old centre forward played 45 minutes of our under 23’s encounter with Liverpool on Monday night following a long injury lay off. The unsurprisingly rusty Janssen did an ok job for Wayne Burnett’s young side, the Netherlands international held the ball up well and he linked up well with CAM Kazaiah Sterling. Janssen had a couple of half chances but that was about it. It was good to see him back playing in a Spurs shirt again.
  • Jamie Reynolds: The 19 year old came on at halftime to replace Janssen where he slotted in at left back. Reynolds put in a good defensive shift during the second half, he linked up well with Georgiou down the flank and he did a sterling job at protecting his side of the pitch.
  • Shilow Tracey: The right winger played the last 23 minutes of the game after coming on for Anthony Georgiou. Tracey went on some positive runs down the right flank.
  • Troy Parrott: It was only a fleeting cameo for the 16 year old Dubliner who came onto replace Dylan Duncan in the 89th minute. Parrott made one impressive cut back to Sterling in the middle of the Liverpool box after picking the ball up on the left flank late on. Troy kindly took the time to pose for photographs with young fans while he was warming up.

My man of the match: Cyprus international Anthony Georgiou put in an outstanding performance against the ‘ Reds ‘ first at left back during the first half and then as a left winger in the second half. Georgiou looked really sharp against Liverpool and he was our best player on the night and he caused the oppositions defence a whole host of problems. The Londoner started the game at left back and throughout the first half he defended solidly, combining his defensive duties with some really promising attacking forays and driving runs down the flank, Georgiou gave a really good account in the first half. But it was after he switched onto the left wing for the second half that he really started to terrorise the Liverpool defence and their right back Neco Williams who he ran absolutely ragged, to the stage that the Welshman needed Conor Masterson to help him out every time that Georgiou ran at him. The 21 year old always managed to create space for himself out on the left flank and although he always remained defensively disciplined and he would track back well after him to help Reynolds out at left back, he was so, so positive in possession. Georgiou managed more successful take ons than any other player on the night and the quality of his runs and twists and turns was something which Liverpool just couldn’t deal with. Apart from his searing pace and fancy footwork Georgiou’s pacy crosses were just as good and after helping to create Kazaiah Sterling’s opener the Cyprus international whipped many more inviting crosses into the box. Furthermore, Georgiou’s corner kicks were just as good and effective. He was superb during his 70 minutes on the pitch everything from his work rate to his crossing was top class. It was a performance to admire!

Spurs: Whiteman, Hinds, Georgiou (Tracey 70), Marsh, Tanganga(c), Eyoma, Oakley-Boothe, Duncan (Parrott 89), Janssen (Reynolds 46), Sterling, Roles. Substitutes (not used): Austin, Bowden.

Liverpool: McKenzie-Lyle, Williams, Johnston (c), Masterson, Whelan, Coyle (William 84): Duncan (McAuley 68), Randall, Millar, Chirivella, Garcia. Substitutes (not used): Atherton, Glatzel.

Goals: Spurs – Sterling 49; Liverpool – Coyle 65.

Yellow card: Liverpool – Coyle 72.

Referee: Josh Smith.

Venue Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.

Attendance: 1,010.

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

Goals scored: Jack Roles – 5

Shayon Harrison – 5

Kazaiah Sterling – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jaden Brown – 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

George Marsh – 1

Tariq Hinds – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Hercules:

Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Hercules:

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Talented Spurs youngster Samuel Shashoua made his 16th competitive appearance of the season for his loan club Atlético Baleares, in their 2-0 home win over Hercules in the Spanish Segunda Division B on Sunday. Samuel completed 80 minutes of Sunday’s match at the Son Malferit, as Manix Mandiola’s side continued their excellent home form to move up to third in the league table. It was a dominant performance from the ‘ Balearicos ’ who were the much better team on the day. And Samuel certainly played his part in Atlético’s comprehensive win over fellow play off challengers Hercules. Shashoua made sure that he was always involved in the game and while things might not have always went his way, the Londoner worked hard for his teammates at both ends of the pitch. The 19 year old started the game out on the left wing as Mandiola opted to go for the familiar 4-4-2 formation. Hercules got the match underway in sunny Mallorca, and Samuel’s first involvement in the game came quite early on. After receiving the ball in the middle of the park Shashoua managed to pick out Atlético’s centre forward Nuha with a clever lofted pass however, the move ended up amounting to very little. Atlético and Samuel had started the game well and a couple of minutes after his clever pass to Nuha the Spurs youngster made an important defensive intervention to cut out a promising move for the visitors. Samuel had gone out of his way to track back down the left flank to cut out Candela’s pass to Nieto who had a clean passage down the channel. However, Samuel’s hard work resulted in him getting across the Hercules fullback in time, in order to poke the ball out of play. About five minutes later Nuha passed the ball down the left wing for Shashoua to run onto. After latching onto the strikers pass, Samuel cut inside onto his right foot before whipping a dangerous ball across the face of the Hercules goal, his cross just evaded Canario who had been lurking at the back post. Manix Mandiola’s side were playing some attractive attacking football and their dominance in the opening stages of the match was rewarded in the 13th minute after Nuha put the ‘ Balearicos ‘ ahead. The clinical centre forward netted his sixth goal of the campaign after he managed to prod home Francesc Fullana’s cut back from inside the penalty area.

Samuel’s team doubled their lead less than six minutes later through centre back Alberto Villapalos. After Samuel Shashoua played a short corner to Fullana, the Atlético captain picked out Villapalos in the middle of the danger zone with a peach of a cross, and the towering centre half was then able to power a header into the back of the goal to make it 2-0 to Atlético. Samuel was making some good runs down the left flank and he looked more involved in the game as Atlético started to dominate. After going on a nice little run down the channel Samuel cut inside from the left wing before travelling towards the Hercules penalty area however, he was cynically fouled by Pol Roigé. Samuel continued to be heavily involved in Atlético’s play in the final third. After showing off some his excellent skills Samuel managed to beat Nieto in sublime fashion out on the left wing before whipping another of his teasing crosses into the danger zone, but once again no Atlético player could manage to get a head on the ball. A couple of minutes later Samuel had a glorious chance to make it 3-0. After Fullana made a wonderful lofted pass over the Hercules defence to set Samuel free through the middle, the nimble footed youngster darted forward but he was unable to convert from close range. Shashoua’s side footed effort was closed down well by the Hercules goalkeeper Falcón, who produced a fine save with his feet to deny Samuel his fourth goal of the campaign. It is worth noting that Samuel did look quite off balance when he took his shot. Samuel was involved in one final attacking move before the first half came to an end. After cleverly skipping past Adrián Jiménez down the left wing Samuel sent a cross into the box. His deflected cross eventually fell down to Nuha who laid the ball off to Marcos De la Espada on the edge of the box. And the midfielders curling effort was only denied by a spectacular from the Hercules goalkeeper Falcón. Samuel started the second half in the same position as he had ended the first in. The Londoner went on a good darting run down the left wing early on in the half, and he was only stopped by Hercules defender Samuel on the byline to prevent him from getting one of his menacing crosses away.

A couple of minutes later Shashoua whipped a dangerous cross right across the face of the Hercules goal. Samuel was uninvolved in the game for quite a while after that, at least from an offensive perspective. His next involvement came from some hard work by Canario to win the ball off of Chechu Flores, before passing the ball out to Samuel on the left flank after coming inside from the right wing. Samuel tried his luck from the edge of the six yard box however, his powerful effort was well blocked by Fran Miranda. I did notice that Samuel switched flanks with Canario on several occasions during the second half. As the game slowed down, so did Samuel’s involvement in the final third. The teenager did however, have a another one of his teasing crosses cleared by Miranda, before he was substituted in the 80th minute of the game for Yelko. Although this isn’t one of my longest reports on Samuel, I was very impressed with Samuel Shashoua’s performance on Sunday morning. Once again he was so unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself, but his contribution to the game was as good as always. He was so difficult to get off the ball, and the timing of his jinking runs down the flank and through the middle were top class. Furthermore, his high pressing and off the ball work also didn’t go unnoticed and he went out of his way to track back and help out Rubén González at fullback. Samuel is doing ever so well for himself out in Mallorca, and this loan is providing him with such an invaluable experience of playing first team football on a weekly basis. Up next for Samuel and high flying Atlético Baleares is a trip to face relegation stricken Castellon next Sunday. Sadly I will be reporting on our under 23’s London Derby with West Ham while that game is taking place and I will therefore be unable to watch it.

Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: 

Appearances: 16

Goals: 3

Assists: 2