Spurs versus Manchester City: (match preview)

Spurs versus Manchester City: (match preview)

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Rarely has there been a team in the premier league era who are seen as unstoppable or unbeatable. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side may just be that team, the sky blues are unbeaten in the league this season, they sit 11 points clear at the top of the table with a staggering 49 points after 17 games. Probably the best team on the planet right now, City are on course to smash the premier league record book, with there being a general consensus among football fans that the league is already in the bag for the league leaders. Well that may be the case but it won’t stop teams such as ourselves bringing their A game to them. Man City are the club who we have the most away wins over in the premier league era, they are also a team who we haven’t lost to since 2015. The press are running out of superlatives to describe the attacking brilliance of Guardiola’s side, from the wizardry defence splitting passes of Kevin De Bruyne to the clinical finishing of Sergio Aguero, and the inform pairing of Raheem Sterling and David Silva, Guardiola’s team are devastating on the counter. As a Spurs fan all I’m hoping to see from Pochettino’s team is that they express themselves on the pitch, and play that trademark attacking football which has seen them overcome City in recent seasons. We’re expected to lose and anything else is a bonus, though one weakness of this great side is defending set pieces, something that I’m sure Pochettino will try and exploit this evening. COYS!

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lloris(c), Trippier, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies, Winks, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane.

Subs from: Vorm, Aurier, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Lamela, Llorente.

My score prediction: 2-1 to Spurs! Son to score a brace.

One to watch: One of the best players in the world right now, Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has the ability to win a game on his own. His footballing brain one of the best in the league, the Belgian is the creative force behind Man City’s attacking play. De Bruyne has recorded 5 goals and 8 assists in the league so far this season.

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Spurs 2-0 Brighton: (my post match thoughts)

Spurs 2-0 Brighton: (my post match thoughts)

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It was vital that Pochettino’s Spurs side continued their winning run when they welcomed Chris Hughton’s Brighton side to Wembley, on Wednesday night. And after a tough workmanlike like performance against the seagulls, Spurs found themselves up in fourth spot owing to points dropped from Liverpool and Arsenal. It may not have entertained the supporters on the terraces due to Brighton’s stifling defensive stance throughout the game, but it was one of those ‘job well done’ performances from Pochettino’s men. Brighton as predicted were incredibly resilient, the imposing Duffy and Dunk stopping any crosses that we tried to deliver in to their box. There was not a lot of fluid football during the game, Brighton hounded our forwards throughout and though they created little up top, Hughton’s side certainly tested Spurs’ resolve. Though Spurs dominated the possession in the first half, Pochettino’s side found it hard to break down the visitors especially inside the danger area, Son and Lamela both going close. Before a huge slice of luck gave Spurs the lead five minutes before the interval, Winks pass was picked up by Serge Aurier down the right flank he advanced past Bong who slid in just as he was about to deliver the ball into the box. This unbalanced the Ivorian though he managed to get the cross away, which much to his and Matthew Ryan’s surprise flew into the far top corner of his goal, 1-0.

Spurs continued to dominate play during the second half as they looked to extend their lead, with Brighton’s only threat coming from the mesmeric dribbling of Anthony Knockaert who Spurs players couldn’t seem to get off the ball when ever he advanced forward. Lamela hit the outside of Ryan’s post early on in the half as a dull spell for both sides followed. Then on 70 minutes Brighton ought to have equalised when Tomer Hemed received the ball inside the six yard box, the Israeli international squandered his chance which was comfortably gathered by Lloris. An excellent late Harry Kane free kick on the edge of the penalty area was only denied by the upright, before Spurs were awarded a late free kick down the right channel. Christian Eriksen’s pinpoint free kick being deftly flicked home by the head of Son to secure the points in a game in which Spurs thoroughly deserved to win. In all truth there weren’t too many standout performances during what for the most part was a dreadfully dull match for the neutral. Son’s energy once again reaped its rewards whilst Lamela’s first league start in well over a year was of fine quality, he was creative and looked sharp in the final third. Eriksen was forced out of the game by the rigid Brighton defence whilst the commanding presence of Eric Dier at centre back caught my eye. Ultimately it’s a brilliant result and one that will leave us in good stead for our visit to the Etihad on Saturday for what will prove to be our biggest test of the season so far. COYS

Anthony Knockaert: I don’t know about anyone else but I’d love to see Spurs go in for Brighton’s French winger over the winter transfer period. A player who I watched play extensively for the seagulls in the championship, whilst the tricky winger has yet to match that form in the premier league the former Leicester man is a player who likes to run at the defenders and with his mercurial skill he has the ability to leave them with ease.

 

 

 

 

 

This seasons statistics: Senior: goal scorers: Alli-6
Davies-2
Kane-18
Eriksen-5
Son-8
Sissoko-2
Llorente-1
Nkoudou-1
Aurier-1

Assists Eriksen-5
Trippier-7
Davies-3
Kane-4
Alli-6
Alderweireld-1
Sissoko-1
Son-4
Dier-1
Lamela-1
Llorente-1
Winks-1

My interview with former Spurs man Andy Keeley:

My interview with former Spurs man Andy Keeley:

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Once again, a big thank you to Andrew Scott for arranging this interview.

I was privileged enough to interview former Spurs player Andy Keeley, a member of the famous FA youth cup side of 1973-74. Keeley was an extremely talented young defender who went on to play six times for the senior side, before moving to Sheffield United in 1977, Keeley then went on to play for Scunthorpe United before retiring in 1983. I have had privileges of being able to interview three of our former players over the last month, all of whom played for us during the 1970’s. This is a long term project of mine and one for which I’ll be continuing with over the future, to collect the memories of our former players and youth players, those who may have only played for the senior team on a handful of occasions as well as those who never made the step up. Giving them the recognition they so deserve. I hope you enjoy the interview.

Questions:

What was your time at Spurs like?

Andy: In the main, amazingly good. I joined after playing in weekly trials at the old Cheshunt training ground. Out of hundreds of boys at the trials, the club signed just Martin Robinson and me. We then started to train with our team mates. I hated pre season almost as much as Steve Perryman. We trained with so many great players; Alan Gilzean, Martin Chivers, Jimmy Pearce and Pat Jennings to name just a few. At that time I was thinking how can I be anywhere near as good as them. As well as the great lifestyle and only having to work a few hours a day, I also made some fantastic friends in Noel Brotherston, Wayne Cegielski, Ian Smith, Neil McNab, Ralph Coates and many more. We had loads of fun and learnt how to enjoy the good times and deal with things when it didn’t go as planned.

What was your greatest memory from your time at Spurs?

Andy: Watching Jimmy Greaves train for his testimonial game (what a player) and being in the same club as Pat Jennings, who was not only the best goalkeeper of the era but also one of the nicest people you could ever meet.

As a young defender at the time which player in the game did you look up to?

Andy: I didn’t really look up to any other defenders in the game. You’d think that I would, but I preferred the more skillful players. Two of the players that I admired at Spurs for their ability were Jimmy Pearce and Neil McNab. Jimmy was so skillful even though he struggled with his knee injuries which cut short his career, and Neil joined from Morton at 15-16 Years old. I’ll never forget how he played in a friendly match; First team v Reserves. He controlled the game from start to finish. He was outstanding. He had a very good career but I never understood how he didn’t become a superstar.

How did it feel to make your debut for Spurs against Birmingham back in 1976

Andy: It was both scary and exciting. This is what you dream of doing and you want to do yourself justice. I remember, as most players do, how much of a jump up it was from  reserve team football to league football. The game is so much faster than you would expect.

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Andy: Playing for England under 18’s will always be in my best memories. Testing yourself against some of the best players from other countries, and adapting to their styles of play. We had a team that included Bryan Robson and Glenn Hoodle. In one match we played Spain, at Atletico Madrid with a 70,000 full capacity crowd. The noise from the crowd was so loud that it was difficult to hear each other. We had coins, seat cushions and a number of other things thrown at us from the crowd during the game. No stopping the game like today for bad crowd behaviour!! With this incredible atmosphere and the crowd intimidation we were even happier than normal to come off with a 1-0 victory.

What was it like to be an up and coming player at Spurs during that time?

Andy: I should write a book. A lot of memorable highs, and some not to nice lows. It was easier than now to break into the team as there was less pressure on the managers to win because of the financial down side of not being in the premiership. Without the money that is in the game today, managers relied more on youth players coming through, rather than being able to go into the transfer market and get an immediate player for the team.
On the bad side there was a sometimes healthy and sometimes a not too healthy competitive mentality; where there were a number of scraps and nasty tackles in training.

You went on to have a successful footballing career with Sheffield United and Scunthorpe,  who was the greatest player that you ever played with?

Andy: At Sheffield United it was Alan Woodward, who played over 500 games for the club. He was the best striker of a ball that I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. In one game I was standing behind him. He was 30 yards out from goal and he slightly mis-controlled the ball a little too far in front of himself. He decided to toe punt the ball, like an old fashioned rugby player. The ball flew into the top corner of the net before the keeper could move.
At Scunthorpe United I enjoyed Ian Botham (famous cricketer, pretend footballer). Not much of a footballer but a character that every dressing room should have.

What are your memories of the FA youth cup campaign of 1973/74?

Andy: I remember the semi final v Arsenal and the final v Huddersfield. They were close games. In the semi final we needed to play at our best to compete with a star studded Arsenal team. We were the underdogs but knew that we had the talent and tenacity to beat them. Against Huddersfield we travelled to their ground for an evening KO against a team that we expected to beat, but they were like most typical Northerners, tough and uncompromising. Fortunately we won and I believe that our successful cup campaign was because of the camaraderie in our team. We were great friends and were prepared to fight for each other.

Do you still follow/support Spurs?

Andy: I do and I attend the occasional game, when I can get tickets. I saw Gareth Bale play a couple of times a few seasons ago and was so impressed with his control, passing, dribbling and shooting. Let’s hope that he will return one day.

Are you still in contact with any of your former team mates at Spurs?

Andy: Unfortunately I’m not and would love a re union with them. Ian Cranstone, Ian Smith, Michael Stead, Wayne Cegielski, Gary Anderson, Noel Brotherston, Neil McNab, Chris Jones, Roger Gibbins and John Margerrison.

What was it like making the transition from Spurs to going up to Yorkshire to play for Sheffield United?

Andy: At the time I wanted it. Being an arrogant young player I believed that I should have been a regular in the first team at Spurs, and had a few run in’s with Keith Burkenshaw about why he wouldn’t keep me in the team. I should have knuckled down and fought for my place but instead asked for a transfer. When I joined and first played at Bramall Lane it felt like a big step down from the Spurs. A few months after joining Sheffield United I married Simone (we are still married), at Easter. Not the best of times to get married as we had 3 games to play in 4 days. This made the transition so much easier. During our time with Sheffield and Scunthorpe we made some great friends, who we see regularly even though we now live back in Basildon.

Spurs versus Brighton And Hove Albion: (match preview)

Spurs versus Brighton And Hove Albion: (match preview)

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Apologies about the late publication of this match preview, I’ve just arrived at Wembley. And to my great surprise I just met the Brighton team walking down the street, what a great experience to meet Brighton manager and Spurs legend Chris Hughton, he is a very nice guy! Regarding this evenings game, Spurs host newly promoted Brighton at the national stadium in what will be viewed by Pochettino as a must win game, bearing in mind that our next fixture is away to Man City. Chris Hughton’s Brighton team are one who I have a huge amount of respect for, they’ve adapted well to life in the premier league and have a fantastic work ethic and attitude both on and off the pitch. Their danger men include skilful winger Anthony Knockaert, creative force Pascal Gross and target man Glen Murray. Massively important game tonight! COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lloris(c), Aurier, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Sissoko, Winks, Lamela, Alli, Eriksen, Kane.

Subs from: Vorm, Trippier, Davies, Foyth, Son, Llorente, Nkoudou.

Absent: Alderweireld and Sanchez.

Doubtful: Wanyama.

My score prediction: 2-0.

One to watch: It’s quite rare that my ‘one to watch’ is a defender, but in this case I believe Brighton’s centre half Shane Duffy will provide the biggest threat to Pochettino’s side when these teams meet this evening. Chris Hughton’s side are built around their two big centre halves Dunk and Duffy. Duffy is a player who I have watched play for many years, a Derry man and Ireland international Duffy is an immensely talented centre half who is excellent in the air. He puts his body on the line and is also incredibly brave, I’d love to see him play for Spurs one day.

Spurs under 18’s 5-0 Preston North End: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 5-0 Preston North End: (match report)

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Much to my delight I managed to attend today’s FA youth cup third round tie at the training centre despite there being no fans allowed in (due to the late change of venue). I was thankfully granted access by the press office, meaning that I could report on the game. And what a game it was, as a strong Spurs side managed to sweep aside last seasons surprise package Preston with a wonderful attacking performance. The visitors tried to contain us early on but it was never going to work, our lads were too strong and incisive in their play for the lilywhites. They dictated the tempo of the game and managed to break through their defence early on despite their defensive stance, it was in all truth a victory that Spurs coasted to. Due to the amounts of snow on other pitches, the game was played on a pitch which the seniors use to train on at the back of the main reception. Spurs kicked the game off in what would have been tough conditions for the youngsters owing to the bitterly cold weather. Spurs showed early signs of confidence, passing the ball around well. De Bie dealt well with a Preston cross early on, whilst the presence of centre backs Eyoma and Lyons-Foster would have put his mind at ease. The visitors were sitting deep, desperate to not let Spurs break forward. Spurs upped their pace on 15 minutes and it almost paid off. After Richards found Patterson inside the box, though Patterson could only shin the ball wide. Soon afterwards Spurs took the lead following a lovely passage of play.

The move started with the prominent Lloyd-Bennett who surged forward down the left flank beating his man in the process. The young winger delivered a low cross into the area which was met first time by the advancing Maghoma, to cooly pass the ball beyond Cottam, 1-0. Adam O’Reilly tested De Bie soon after the restart before O’Neil rounded Skipp on the edge of the area, before forcing another decent save out of De Bie. Preston appeared to be upping their game. But Spurs soon reestablished their dominance on the game, Reo Griffiths having a penalty shout waved away before Richards flashed an effort wide of goal. Spurs then came desperately close to extending their lead, when Paris Maghoma’s brilliant dipping long range effort, came crashing off the crossbar. The game had gathered at a frantic pace it had really opened up, Jamie Reynolds was forced into making an important interception back in the Spurs end, whilst Spurs looked to catch Preston on the counter, it was a recurring theme. The lively Rodel Richards showed good foot work inside the box before forcing Cottam into making a fine save, Richards was involved again moments later. The young forward cutting inside from the right before laying the ball off to Patterson whose goal bound effort was blocked.

Parker’s side knew that they had to get that second goal, and the warning signs were there. Most notably when Oscar O’Neils effort flew just wide for the visitors. Spurs were piling the pressure on to the championship club as the half neared an end, Patterson seeing his flying volley blocked by a Preston defender. Before a key moment in the game occurred, when Spurs deservedly doubled their lead at the perfect time. It was another well worked move which led to the goal, instigated by Paris Maghoma. Who slid the ball down the right channel to Griffiths, the striker looked up at goal before whipping a low cross into the danger area. Rodel Richards was alert to it, managing to get to the ball before his opposite number, the 16 year old prodded the ball home, 2-0. Spurs almost added to their lead on the stroke of halftime, after Skipp embarked on a brilliant forward run, the experienced development squad player played a pass through to Griffiths inside the box. Though the strikers low effort was saved by the feet of Cottam. The first chance of the second half came to the visitors, Jonathan De Bie being called into action to deal with a thumping effort from distance. Preston’s resurgence wasn’t to last long, Oliver Skipp embarked on another great forward run shortly before Phoenix Patterson’s low effort was saved by James Cottam.

Spurs’ dominance on the game was duly rewarded on 52 minutes as Scott Parker’s team grabbed their third of the game. It was yet another lovely attacking move, it started off with Reynolds who clipped a low cross into the box which resulted in Griffith’s receiving the ball, his close range effort being well blocked by Cottam. With the loose ball being picked up by Patterson on the edge of the area, the midfielder showed great composure to calmly curl the ball home despite being hounded by Preston defenders, Preston were unable to cope with the pace of the game. Preston were gifted a rare chance on the hour mark after Eyoma conceded a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box. Michael Howards excellent free kick flying narrowly over De Bie’s crossbar. Spurs put the game to bed a couple of minutes later, the influential Lloyd-Bennett once again playing a big part in the goal. After some good build up play Lloyd-Bennett picked the ball up down the left before charging forward clipping in a nice cross to the far post, which was nodded home by Richards, 4-0. Parker’s side were being allowed time on the ball as the visitors tired it was all looking a bit too easy for his team. However they would have pulled a goal back through Adam O’Reilly were it not for the heroics of De Bie, who spectacularly saved the forwards dipping long range effort, which seemed certain to go inside the top corner.

Lloyd-Bennett forced a good stop out of Cottam soon after, before Spurs managed to put the icing on top of the cake with their fifth goal of the game. It was a goal to cherish from the hat trick hero, starting in midfield with Maghoma who produced a lovely pass to find substitute Markanday down the right. Markanday rolled the ball across to Richards inside the box, he then pulled of a series of Villaesque dribbles evading the defenders in the process. Before finally tucking the ball past Cottam and into the back of the net, 5-0! Markanday almost pulled off a late wonder goal after embarking on a jinking run, but Spurs would have just been happy with the five goals and a place in the fourth round. Where an away tie with Bournemouth awaits the lads. COYS

 

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Not too involved, due to our dominance on the game, but he was sound throughout especially in dealing with corners and set pieces, made a world class save during the second half.
– Tariq Hinds: Solid and good going forward, didn’t put a foot wrong.
– Jamie Reynolds: Another excellent performance from Reynolds at left back, made some important interceptions/clearances. As well as producing some really good passes and crosses. Very tidy player.
– Oliver Skipp: What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this young man! Dropping back down to the 18’s, Skipp’s exposure to the development squad was plain to see. He was an engine in the midfield, he also done very well going forward.
– TJ Eyoma: Another who dropped down a level today, Eyoma didn’t give the Preston forwards a sniff throughout the game. He was rock solid and decisive when it mattered. Also dominant in the air.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Similarly excellent, Lyons-Foster was cool and composed throughout. Decisive and intelligent in his play I don’t remember him making a single mistake.
– Rodel Richards: My motm (see below).
– P.Maghoma: Terrific display from the exciting midfielder, played a big part in three of our goals including his own well taken finish. He was excellent on the ball, his weight of pass second to none.
– Reo Griffiths: The Preston defenders couldn’t handle the Spurs strikers power and pace. He gave them a torrid time all game, held the ball up really well, looked sharp and made good runs in between the defenders. Also laid off two goals.
– J’neil Lloyd Bennett: Another start for the schoolboy and yet another terrific performance by the winger. He just wanted to run at the fullbacks, and quite simply they couldn’t cope with him. Created two of our goals. Beginning to look like a special talent.
– Phoenix Patterson: Put in a great shift in midfield, nimble footed and creative. Patterson carried the ball well and capped off a fine display with a well taken goal.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Great to see him back following a lay off with injury, impressed during his cameo.
– Dilan Markanday: Another player whose returning from injury, Markanday made a brilliant impression on the game during his short time on the pitch, showed excellent ball control, went on many weaving runs and also managed to set up Richards for his hat-trick. His late solo effort was top class.

My man of the match: Rodel Richards was once again unstoppable down the right flank, quickly making a name for himself amongst Spurs fans. The 16 year old forward put in another motm performance this afternoon, sharp and creative down the flank. Richards provided plenty of flare down the wing with his excellent close ballcontrol and skill. Constantly tracked back, looked to make space and most importantly of all he was clinical in front of goal. Bagging his second hat trick of the season, his last goal was truly special!

 

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-11
Phoenix Patterson-4
Dilan Markanday- 3
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-1
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-2
Rodel Richards-6
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson- 5
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-1
Reo Griffiths-5
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-4
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-1

Interesting stat: Schoolboy J’neil Lloyd Bennett has now featured 5 times for the under 18’s this campaign, playing a direct part in five goals!

Spurs: De Bie (c), Hinds (Dinzeyi 72), Reynolds, Skipp (Bowden 81), Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Richards, P Maghoma, Griffiths, Patterson (Markanday 66), Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, A Shashoua.

Preston North End: Cottam, Fensome (c), Campbell, Baxter, Stead, Lyons, Smart (Wood 56), O’Neil, Garstang (Walker 56), O’Reilly, Howard (Brannigan 81). Substitutes (not used): Lenton, Armer.

Goals: Spurs – Maghoma 19, Richards 39, 64, 84, Patterson 52.

Yellow cards: Preston – Lyons 63.

Referee: Ivan Gelov.

Attendance: 78

Spurs under 18’s versus Preston North End: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Preston North End: (match preview)

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Whilst it’s by no means certain that Spurs’ 3rd Round FA youth cup tie will go ahead on Tuesday evening, owing to the adverse weather conditions, I’ll write my preview regardless and then update it if needs be. I phoned Stevenage this afternoon and they told me that they were unsure whether the game will go ahead, there’ll be a pitch inspection at 1 pm which will decide whether or not the game will go ahead. Focusing on the game, Scott Parker’s side will have been relishing the chance to play in the FA youth cup ever since they signed their scholarships, the most prestigious youth competition in the country, they’ll need no history lessons about the importance of this competition and what it means to the club. Being played at Stevenage’s Lamex stadium, Spurs will be hoping to replicate the successes of last seasons under 18 team, who enjoyed a good cup run before being knocked out in the semis by Chelsea. Tomorrows game will see the Lilywhites take on the Lilywhites. And one thing that Parker’s side can’t be going into this game is complacent, Preston may have an academy ranking much lower than ours, whilst the championship club will have nothing like the resources that our club possesses. But one thing they are sure to have is spirit, Preston were one of the surprise packages of last seasons campaign, managing to reach the quarter finals where they were only narrowly beaten by Stoke, they also managed to be Everton en route to the last 8.

I’m really excited for tomorrows game and I’m sure our lads are too, it’s a special opportunity and it will also provide the youngsters with a rare chance of playing in front of a crowd, who no doubt will all be behind them. I’m predicting Parker to field a very strong side, there may even be space for some of our younger development squad players, I’m confident Samuel Shashoua and some of the other youngsters are all still eligible. COYS

My predicted lineup: De Bie(c), Hinds, Lyons-Foster, Statham, Reynolds, Bowden, P.Maghoma, Richards, A.Shashoua, P.Patterson, Griffiths.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Pochettino, Clarke, Markanday, Lloyd-Bennett.

Doubtful: Moroyin Omolabi, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Charlie Freeman, Elliot Thorpe and Matt Lock.

One to watch: Preston’s Liverpudlian forward, Darren Branigan.

My score prediction: 5-1 to Spurs.

An interesting read about a famous FA youth cup campaign that Spurs endured in the 1970’s : https://superhotspur.com/2017/11/19/the-forgotten-story-of-spurs-famous-fa-youth-cup-winning-side-of-1973-74/

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

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Tomorrows PL2 game involving Spurs and West Ham United is the third meeting between these two sides this season, the previous two games have been enthralling to say the least. Seeing 14 goals, including a memorable 7-2 victory over the hammers in the premier league international cup back in September. Both sides are in bad form, with neither managing to record a victory in there last 5 matches. Though it is Terry Westley’s hammers side who are doing better then Spurs in the league, currently occupying a healthy 5th place, whilst Burnett’s team languish in the relegation zone. Looking to change all that, Burnett’s side will hopefully take the game to the hammers like they so often do on away games, with there being added incentive on this occasion. Having already seen them twice this season, the players that I’d be most wary of are – striker Toni Martinez, talented goalkeeper Nathan Trott and hammers centre half Olatunji Akinola, whose a threat from corners. Though of course, there’s always the possibly that Westley will field a couple of fringe players from Moyes’ senior side. I will be reporting on tomorrow evenings game (kick off: 7:00pm) which will take place at Dagenham and Redbridge’s Chigwell construction stadium, weather permitting! Then the follow night (providing there are no postponements) I’ll be in Stevenage for our FA Youth cup third round tie against Preston. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Marsh, C.Maghoma, Tanganga, Bennetts, Pritchard(c), Amos, Edwards, Harrison, S.Shashoua, Sterling.

Subs from: Austin, Brown, Tracey, Loft, Skipp.

Doubtful: Dylan Duncan, Nick Tsaroulla and Jonathan Dinzeyi.

My score prediction: 3-2 to Spurs.

One to watch: Toni Martinez. The up and coming Spanish striker has been in fine form for the development squad this season, netting 8 goals in 11 league games. He has also made the bench for the senior team in recent weeks, Martinez is a strong and clinical target man.

Spurs u18’s 4-4 Chelsea: Thriller at Hotspur Way!

Spurs u18’s 4-4 Chelsea: Thriller at Hotspur Way!

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Our under 18’s were involved in a thrilling London Derby at Hotspur way this morning with rivals Chelsea. Unfortunately I was unable to make the game in the end, but I heard first hand how enthralling a game it was, particularly in the first half where Spurs put in a lovely attacking display. Despite leading 4-2 Spurs were pegged back by Chelsea resulting in a slightly frustrating draw, our goals came from – Griffiths x2, Eyoma and an own goal, all of this seasons statistics have been updated below. COYS

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Skipp, Eyoma, Lyons-Foster (Clarke 70), Richards, P Maghoma, Griffiths (A Shashoua 75), Patterson (Bowden 88), Llyod-Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Asante.

Statistics:

Under 18’s Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-11
Phoenix Patterson -3
Dilan Markanday- 3
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-1
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-1
Rodel Richards-3
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson- 5
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-1
Reo Griffiths-3
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-2
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1

Spurs 5-1 Stoke City: Son inspires Spurs to emphatic victory!

Spurs 5-1 Stoke City: Son inspires Spurs to emphatic victory!

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Any return of the Wembley curse was swept away today, as Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side overcame Stoke City with a sparkling display, to end there winless run of 6 league games. The first half at the national stadium was a fine performance from the lilywhites, though they lacked a cutting edge in the final third, Spurs led 1-0 at the interval courtesy of an own goal from Stoke’s captain Ryan Shawcross, following a cross from Son Heung-Min. Stoke did have their chances in the first half, various openings were created by Shaqiri though Dier and Vertonghen dealt well with the potters attacking threat. Spurs started the second half in emphatic fashion, they looked rejuvenated refreshed even. They were sharper in their passing more decisive in their play, and most importantly of all more clinical. A goalscoring rout ensued against a helpless Stoke side, courtesy of goals from Son, a brace from Harry Kane and a much needed goal from Christian Eriksen. The quality of play in the second half was second to none, the sheer energy and movement made by us was unstoppable. However, in this piece I’m going to focus on the most influential player on the pitch the terrific Son.

Son has been in excellent form over recent games he has been sharp, energetic and creative. And he showed all of those qualities against Stoke today, he was different class. He played a big part in four of our goals, his off the ball movement and ability to make promising runs gave us a different option throughout the game. Son looked fitter than any other player on the pitch, playing on the left wing he caused problems for Pieters with his searing pace and tendency to whip good crosses into the box. His positioning and awareness were both top notch, he got in to space made decisive decisions and ran at the potters defence. His goal was well taken and proved to be a decisive moment in the game, but it’s not just today where he’s been the difference. It’s been on countless occasions since he joined Spurs in the summer of 2015, where he has provided the spark in games lacking in quality, especially in the final third. Following his contribution to this afternoons game, the South Korean international has now been directly involved in 11 of Spurs’ goals this campaign. When you bear in mind the fact that he had no pre season (due to injury) as well as the fact that he had been given few starts towards the beginning of the season, it doesn’t make mean reading at all. His goal to game ratio is also one of the best in the side, but it’s Son or ‘Sonny’ as he is affectionately known who consistently provides energy to a team so lacking in pace.

He is now a player in his prime, one with consistency and end product to his game. His performance against Stoke today underlines just how pivotal a player he is to Spurs’ future success and with a busy schedule over the festive period, he could prove to be our most important player. COYS

There was an interesting article in today’s match day programme, the discussion panel which is a regular series, was all about Son. Academy starlet Samuel Shashoua had some particularly interesting things to say on him and his style of play, he sums the Spurs star up perfectly. The article features on pages 31 and 32: “Sonny offers you something different because he can play combination football but at the same time he can beat his man one-v-one either side because of how good he is on both feet. He can do a little trick or play a one-two, so that’s his main way of getting in against a deep block – he looks for little combinations, looks to try to beat his man, so he’s important and he adds another dimension. There are not many players in world football at the moment who can finish as well off both feet, so that’s a big plus for him and for the team.”

Statistics: Senior: goal scorers: Alli-6
Davies-2
Kane-18
Eriksen-5
Son-7
Sissoko-2
Llorente-1
Nkoudou-1

Assists: Eriksen-4
Trippier-7
Davies-3
Kane-4
Alli-6
Alderweireld-1
Sissoko-1
Son-4
Dier-1
Lamela-1
Llorente-1

Spurs u18’s versus Chelsea: (match preview)

Spurs u18’s versus Chelsea: (match preview)

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A busy week of youth football starts for our under 18’s on Saturday morning when they host high flying Chelsea at Hotspur Way, in the under 18 league. Although Parker’s side go into this game with some good recent form, his side will face no bigger challenge than to overcome the blues renowned youth team. Occupying top spot in the table, Chelsea have a lead of 7 points to second place Leicester. Having scored just the 31 goals from there opening 10 games, it’s fair to say that they know where the back of the net is. In addition to their goal scoring prowess including a 7-0 thrashing over West Ham last Saturday, Chelsea have conceded only 7 goals this season. With players such as Jonathan Panzo (u17 World Cup winner) the brilliant Dutchman Juan Castillo who was exceptional during last seasons youth cup, as well as the clinical Martell Taylor-Crossdsale it’s fair to say Chelsea have the best under 18 team in the country! That goes without mentioning a dozen or so other top class talents that could feature tomorrow. At the end of the day it will be a fantastic experience for Parker’s side and I wish them all the best. Due to attending the senior game at Stoke tomorrow, I will be unable to report on the whole of the game. Though I hope to be able to watch at least an hour of the game, before heading off to Wembley. COYS

Head2Heads:7-1 Chelsea
2-1 Chelsea
1-1
4-2 Chelsea

Doubtful: Omolabi, Lyons-Foster, Dinzeyi.

Some players could be rested owing to our important FA youth cup match with Preston in midweek.

My predicted lineup: De Bie(c), Clarke, Hinds, Statham, Reynolds, Bowden, P.Maghoma, Richards, A.Shashoua, Lloyd Bennett, Griffiths.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Tainio, Pochettino, P.Patterson, Markanday.

One to watch: Former Ajax Academy player Juan Castillo will likely cause problems down the wing with his blistering pace and skill.