Spurs under 18’s versus AFC Bournemouth: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus AFC Bournemouth: (match preview)

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Scott Parker’s under 18 side will be making the trip down to the south coast on Wednesday for their FA youth cup fourth round tie with AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality stadium. Parker will be hoping that his side can pull off a similar performance to the one that saw them beat Preston 5-0 in round three, with a game against either Chelsea or West Brom the reward in the fifth round. Like the Preston tie, there’s a massive gulf in class between the two side in regards to the training and facilities, and the obvious gulf in quality. And whilst Parker’s side tore apart Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool 4-0 in their last competitive game, there can’t be any underestimating their opposition for this one. This will be the biggest game of the young Bournemouth players careers so far, and there’ll give it their all. Due to the way the leagues work, I’ve never actually seen Bournemouth play so I don’t quite know what to expect from them. I’m really looking forward to this tie and I’m sure the players will also, I’ll be making the trip down to Bournemouth tomorrow (blocking out the fact that we could get Chelsea in round 5) to report on the game. I’m hoping for another great performance from our lads. COYS

My predicted lineup: De Bie(c), Hinds, Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Reynolds, Skipp, P.Maghoma, Richards, A.Shashoua, Bennett, Griffiths.

Subs from: J.Oluwayemi, Bowden, Tainio, P.Patterson, Markanday.

Doubtful: Moroyin Omolabi (injury), Charlie Freeman (injury), Elliot Thorpe (unknown).

My score prediction: Spurs 5-1.

One to watch: Forward Jaidon Anthony, the one time Arsenal youth player scored in the cherries 3-0 win over Hull in the third round.

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

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

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The visit of David Unsworth’s Everton under 23 side to the training centre earlier today, provided Spurs with an opportunity to move up to 11th in the league table above Manchester United. Sadly it was to be an opportunity missed, in a tightly contested game it was Burnett’s development side who were to be the ones that left the field empty handed. For all their hard work and tenacity at the back in what was an incredibly scrappy and dull game for the most part, Jack Roles opener on 68 minutes appeared to be an indication that a win was on the horizon for Burnett’s team. But a quick reply from the toffees, courtesy of a brace from Anthony Evans caused late disappointment for the lilywhites after a real workman like display in a game of very few chances. It should be noted that the conditions at Hotspur Way were quite atrocious, the pouring rain for the majority of the game hampered our lads creativity in the final third. Spurs got the game underway on a very wet pitch but it was the visitors who were to have the first attempt on goal, after Fraser Hornby squandered an opportunity inside the box. Matthew Foulds drilled an effort wide moments later, as both sides tried to get on the ball. At the other end, a crisp pass from Roles set Bennetts free down the left. The wingers dangerous cross flew across the face of Hewelt’s goal. Both teams were cancelling each other out and neither keeper was being tested. The lively Shayon Harrison had a long range effort deflected just wide of goal before Kazaiah Sterling nodded Jaden Brown’s cross inches wide of the goal.

There were a lot of high balls going on, owing to the fact that both sides quick passing was being hampered by the pouring rain. The game was becoming very scrappy indeed, Hornby’s header forced a comfortable save out of Whiteman whilst Bassala Sambou fired high and wide a couple of minutes later. Everton enjoyed a bit more of the ball but even they couldn’t really trouble the Spurs defence. Nathan Broadhead’s low effort just past the half hour mark was well parried by Whiteman into the path of Sambou whose tap in was ruled out for offside. Chances for Grant and Sambou went affray before Nathan Broadhead’s effort on the half volley flew just over Alfie Whiteman’s crossbar. The nifty footwork and pin point passing from Jack Roles had been Spurs’ only real creative outlet throughout a disappointing half. In an attempt to bolster Spurs’ attack, Burnett brought off Sterling for Georgiou at half time whilst shifting Shilow Tracey up top. Spurs defender Jonathan Dinzeyi made a crucial sliding challenge in the area soon after the restart, as both sides began to be more aggressive in their attacking play. Burnett’s side seemed to look revitalised after the rain stopped, Bennetts picking out Roles on the edge of the Spurs box before curling a low effort centre meters ajar of the right post. Some great skill from Bennetts down the right hand side saw the Spurs man cut inside before powering an effort just wide of goal, as Spurs really started to assert themselves in the game.

A game of pin ball inside the Spurs box resulted in Harrison’s sweetly struck volley being blocked by an Everton defender, as Unsworth’s resilient side continued to keep us out. However, after a frustrating period in the game Spurs took the lead in the 68th minute courtesy of a beauty from the influential Jack Roles. It was a good incisive move, Pritchard swiftly moving the ball to Roles from the right flank following his introduction. The Cypriot youth international tried his luck on the edge of the penalty area, with a glorious curler. That nestled so sweetly inside the bottom right hand corner of the helpless Hewelt’s goal, 1-0. But could Spurs hold on to their lead for the remainder of the game? Sadly the answer was no, they lacked the composure to do so. Three minutes after Roles’ opener the blues levelled through Antony Evans. It was a really good goal, Jose Baxter’s defence splitting pass put Evans through on goal. The forward managing to prod the ball past the out rushing Whiteman to level the scores. By this point, both sides had upped their tempo and were going frantically in search of the winner. A clever bit of play down the left by Evans minutes later resulted in the Englishman netting the winner after he switched the ball on to his favoured left before drilling the ball into the left hand side of Whiteman’s goal, it was a bitter late blow for Burnett’s side. Jack Roles had a late header cleared off the line as hope of an equaliser faded. Unsworth’s side managing to run down the clock, to record all three points.

Player reviews: – Alfie Whiteman: Made a couple of decent saves, was virtually a spectator until the second half. However, some of his distribution put us into danger on occasions.
– Anton Walkes: I was really impressed with Walkes performance today, which was his first in a Spurs shirt since his loan to MLS club Atlanta last year. The right back had a really good game, he was commanding and decisive, made some crucial interceptions.
– Christian Maghoma: Tenacious in the air and commanding in the challenge, playing some nice passes out from the back. The under 23 mainstay had a good game alongside Dinzeyi. They formed a solid partnership and kept Everton at bay until the latter went off injured towards the final 20 minutes.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Really impressive performance from Dinzeyi, worked really well with Maghoma. Looked assured and composed and made some really good sliding tackles. Soon after he went off through injury we conceded two goals! I really hope for Jonathan that this isn’t a serious injury, he has been so unlucky with them over the past year.
– Jaden Brown: Stayed deep and done a good job defensively.
– Luke Amos: Tough tackling and efficient performance from Amos. Done his job well as the midfield anchor man, mopped up well. His passing was also nice and crisp.
– Jack Roles: My motm, see below.
– Shilow Tracey: Had a good first half down the right but following his switch up top at half time, he failed to make much of an impact. Worked very hard and pressed throughout.
– Shayon Harrison: Was very lively, roaming across the pitch and influencing play as a number 10.
– Keanan Bennetts: Played on the right wing for the second consecutive game in a row. Bennetts enjoyed some good moments in the game (cutting inside from the right) but he rarely ran directly at his man.
– Kazaiah Sterling: Only played the first half, simply didn’t get the service.
– Anthony Georgiou: Positive second half performance, went on some blistering and productive runs down the left.
– Joe Pritchard: Filled in at right back following Dinzeyi’s injury. And done a fine job, he was a leader amongst the players. Pritchard went on to set up Roles for his goal.

My man of the match: Without a shadow of a doubt it has to be the influential central midfielder Jack Roles. Unbelievably this was the first time that Roles has started a league game this season and he certainly would have made a positive impression on Burnett with his performance against the blues. Roles was creative from the central areas playing some lovely and intricate passes to the strikers, he was also nimble footed and cool under pressure. And yet again he channeled his inner Frank Lampard with his ghosting runs towards the box, Roles finished his goal brilliantly past Hewelt. As you’ll all know I’m a massive fan of the midfielder and I’m really hoping that he gets a good run of games from now until the end of the season. Had he been starting all of our league games this season I feel as if he could have contributed with at least 10 goals.

Interesting fact: After his assist against Everton today, Joe Pritchard has now been involved in 8 of Spurs’ goals this season.

Spurs (4-2-3-1): Whiteman, Walkes, Maghoma, Dinzeyi (Pritchard 63), Brown, Amos (c), Roles, Tracey, Harrison, Bennetts, Sterling (Georgiou 46). Substitutes (not used): Austin (GK), Lock.

Everton (4-4-2): Hewelt, Markelo, Feeney (c), Gibson, Foulds, Evans, Adeniran, Grant, Broadhead (Dyson 69), Hornby (Bowler 79), Sambou (Baxter 62). Substitutes (not used): Hilton (GK), Denny.

Goals: Spurs – Roles 68; Everton – Evans 71, 80.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Maghoma; Everton – Evans.

Referee: Alan Dale.

U23’s 2017/18 statistics: Top scorers: Sterling-7
Loft-1
Duncan-2
Edwards-4
Tanganga-1
Pritchard-3
S.Shashoua-5
Bennetts: 2
Tracey-1
Harrison-4
C.Maghoma-2
Roles-1

Assists: Skipp-1
Miller-1
Sterling-1
Pritchard-5
Edwards-3
Tracey-3
Eyoma-1
S.Shashoua-1
Brown-1
Sterling-3
Bennetts-3
Marsh-1

My interview with former Spurs man Yannick Kamanan:

My interview with former Spurs man Yannick Kamanan:

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For those Spurs fans that the remember the 2000/01 season well, the name Yannick Kamanan will ring a bell. The young French striker started pre season in sparkling form with a hat-trick against Stevenage and continued to impress
Kamanan went on to appear on the bench a couple of times for Glenn Hoddle’s side during the remainder of the season (though never featuring) before departing the lilywhites for Strasbourg at the end of the season. Kamanan has gone on to have a successful career across Europe at the likes of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Sivasspor and Oostende. I caught up with Yannick to discuss his time at Spurs.

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

Yannick: My teammates and my 1st bench in the Premier League. I joined the club via a trial.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Yannick: Great experience. Happy everyday to go training.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Yannick: George Weah at 1st and then Ronaldo, the original one.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Yannick: George Weah at 1st and then Ronaldo, the original one.

Were there any other players at the club or outside, who you’d model your game around?

Yannick: As a french player who played in the UK, Thierry Henry.

What was the toughest thing about being a young up and coming player during that time?

Yannick: Breaking in to the 1st team.

Were there any youth players at Spurs who you were particularly close to and are you still in touch with any of your former team mates?

Yannick: Destin Makumbu, Jonny Jackson, Alton Thelwell and many more.

What was your greatest memory from your time at the lilywhites?

Yannick: The love from the fans.

Could you talk me through your career after you left Spurs?

Yannick: Basically I kept playing in the highest level in all the countries I played in. Except 2 years out of 3 in France where I played 2nd division .

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Yannick: French international or/and Champions league.

Who was the greatest player that you ever played alongside?

Yannick: Didier Drogba.

What would your advice be to the current Spurs academy players, as they look to make their way up the footballing pyramid?

Yannick: Believe in yourself and work harder than the day before cause nothing is guaranteed. The spot is expensive to get to the top so never give up and never think, u made it.

My interview with former Spurs academy player Michael Eade:

My interview with former Spurs academy player Michael Eade:

I had the great pleasure of interviewing former Spurs Academy player Michael Eade for my blog. Michael who played as a goalkeeper for the lilywhites, was a schoolboy at Spurs for four years during the late 90’s to early 2000’s. Appearing on the bench for the under 17’s on a couple of occasions, Michael Eade shared some of his memories with me about his time in the Spurs youth setup.

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

Michael: My earliest memories were training at Spurs Lodge in the evenings on the AstroTurf, and then at the weekends departing from white hart lane on the team coach for the away games and travelling to play the different academies. I use to love seeing all of the different training grounds of the top clubs we would play. I came to Spurs after being offered a trial and fortunately there was a need for a goalkeeper in my age group, I spent a season on trial Under Brian Stein and was signed at the end of the season.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Michael: It was a great experience, you are always on your toes and go into every training session and game with some fear that if you don’t perform you could be replaced. It was a very competitive environment that was enjoyable but initiating at the same time. I played alongside and against some great players and improved as a player and as a person during this time.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Michael: I was a big fan of David Seaman, as the England number 1 at the time I was inspired to be like him. I would try and emulate him as a young player.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Michael: The best team coach I worked under was David Kerslake he was a fantastic coach, and a great communicator, he would give unbelievable demonstrations in training and would give you feedback.

Were there any other players at the club or outside, who you’d model your game around?

Michael: I wanted to emulate Neil Sullivan, when I was at the club he was a great goalkeeper so I would watch him closely. We were always given two tickets to the home games at white hart lane so I would go and watch him warm up and play.

What was the toughest thing about being a young up and coming player during that time?

Michael: It was a very competitive position and still is, in the age above me Nicky Eyre played in goal, he represented England in the Victory Shield and was a highly rated young goalkeeper, David Button was younger than me and was a good goalkeeper. We would always have goalkeepers come on trial who would be looking to take your place, the toughest thing is that only one goalkeeper could play per team.

Were there any youth players at Spurs who you were particularly close to and are you still in touch with any of your former team mates?

Michael: Don’t stay in constant contact with anyone in particular, I am still Facebook friends with Charlie Lee who was a good lad and is having a good career in the game. I also was friendly with Tommy Welch who was a very good player and still pops up on Facebook. As well as the GK union of Nicky Eyre and Robert Burch.

What was your greatest memory from your time at the lilywhites?

Michael: My best memory was during a half term break when I was given the opportunity to train with the first team keepers under goalkeeping coach Hans Segers. Neil Sulivan and Kasey Keller were at the club at the time and it was a surreal experience. I remember during one activity all I wanted to do was score against Neil Sullivan, unfortunately that didn’t happen, but it was a great experience.

Could you talk me through your career after you left Spurs?

Michael: After I was released I went on a few trials and ended up signing as a YTS with Luton Town. At the time the club were in administration so I was given the opportunity to play a season with their U19s. During my second season the age groups shifted to U16 and U18, so I spent my last two seasons one as a true U18 and my last as a U19 playing down. At the end of the 2006 season I was not being offered a professional contract and was released by Mike Newell. My next step in my career was moving to the United States to pursue a soccer scholarship where I played for three seasons at Park University. During this time I obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management and got involved with the coaching side of the game. This was the best decision I made after being released.

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Michael: It was an unbelievable experience and although I never went on to become a professional footballer I enjoyed training and playing alongside some great players and coaches at the youth team level. My best moment was playing for Luton Town in the FA Youth Cup 3rd Round away at Yeovil. The game was played at Huish Park and we went down on a great team bus, which was equipped with satellite TV and leather seats. It was a glimpse in to the world of professional football and although we got knocked out that evening, it gave me motivation to kick on. Although professional football didn’t work out for me football has helped me to come over to America where I met my lovely wife Haley.

Who was the greatest player that you ever played alongside?

Michael: In my youth team at Spurs it would have to be Phil Ifil, he was exceptional and went on to play a few games for the first team. At Luton Town Curtis Davies played central defender during my season with the U19s and has gone on to have a great career, he is currently playing for Derby County.

What would your advice be to the current Spurs academy players, as they look to make their way up the footballing pyramid?

Michael: Enjoy every single day, stay humble and work hard to continuously improve. Don’t take for granted being a Spurs player because as quickly as it begins it can be taken away. Stay grounded enough to know that you may not achieve all your dreams as a professional footballer. Give everything to football but also do well at school and have a plan B if football doesn’t work out. Ultimately have no regrets and do everything in your power to succeed as a footballer, however if it doesn’t happen other opportunities will arise.

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

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

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Wayne Burnett’s development squad return to league action tomorrow, when they host Everton at the training centre (kick off-12pm). Burnett’s team who are in dire need of a win, will be looking to respond from their 6-1 thumping away to Leicester in their last league game. However, victory over David Unsworth’s blues team who currently occupy third place in the league will be easier said than done. Burnett has been missing several key players through injury of late, tied in with the fact that our under 18’s important FA youth cup game with Bournemouth is on Wednesday, it would appear that his options for this game are limited. The hosts who are managed by former Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth, are the reigning champions of the competition and we have been at the receiving end of some of their fast attacking football over recent meetings. Most recently our 4-1 defeat to the toffees at Goodison Park back in September. A side who play with some real attacking flair, some of the blues standout players are energetic midfielder Beni Baningime, former Fulham forward Dennis Adeniran and 18 year old Scottish striker Fraser Hornby. They are a free flowing side much like ourselves and I am expecting a very open game. I will be reporting on tomorrows game from the training centre, before heading off to Bournemouth the next day for our under 18’s FA youth cup fourth round game. And if we manage to beat the cherries I will make the trip to Aldershot for Chelsea’s youth cup game with West Brom on Wednesday (we have been drawn against the winners of that tie) to see what Scott Parker’s lads are up against. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, C.Maghoma, Brown, Bennetts, Pritchard, Amos(c), Tracey, Harrison, Georgiou, Sterling.

Subs from: O’Reilly, Dinzeyi, Roles, S.Shashoua, Loft.

Doubtful: Samuel Shashoua(injury), Japhet Tanganga(injury), Marcus Edwards (injury), Dylan Duncan (injury), Ryan Loft (Potential loan to Exeter) and Nick Tsaroulla (injury).

Suspended: Oliver Skipp and George Marsh.

My score prediction: 2-1 to Spurs!

One to watch: Unsworth’s side have a plethora of talent, but the one player for me who I’ve been really impressed with this season, is tenacious midfielder Beni Baningime. The 19 year old has already made several appearances for Sam Allardyce’s senior team.

 

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

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

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Our under 18’s put in their finest performance of the season on Wednesday morning when they took on Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool at a gloriously sunny Hotspur Way. The game, which was an important quarter final of this seasons inaugural under 18 premier league cup saw Spurs field a strong eleven which included the likes of Oliver Skipp and TJ Eyoma. Parker’s desire to progress to the semis was clear, but him and McDermott surely couldn’t have anticipated that their team would tear apart one of the best youth teams in the country, a team who until yesterday had been unbeaten in all competitions. What I witnessed at the training centre yesterday was a phenomenal all round performance from our under 18’s, they defended immaculately and were impeccable tactically. There decision making, counter attacking play and ability to initiate openings against the reds would have seen them beat any youth team on the planet, that is something I am sure about. Spurs got the game underway but it was Liverpool who were straight away looking to impose themselves on the game with their high pressing possession based football. Liam Miller’s wayward effort at goal was the first attempt of the game for the visitors in what had been a fairly even start to proceedings. A lovely lofted pass by Oliver Skipp saw the Spurs man pick out Reo Griffiths on the edge of the reds box, through on goal the striker lashed an effort just wide of Jaros’ left post. Parker’s side started to show more signs of confidence, Patterson’s deep swinging cross on 13 minutes was headed wide at the far post by Richards failed to make sufficient contact with the ball.

Whilst Edvard Tagseth headed inches wide of De Bie’s goal at the opposite end. Liverpool were starting to see more of the ball, Yasser Larouci’s effort was deflected wide by some good defending from Patterson. Whilst a mad scramble in the Spurs box came about after De Bie spilt the ball from the resulting corner kick, a sea of bodies attempted to prod the ball home but the Spurs keeper managed to recover well and smother the ball. Gerrard’s side were creating a flurry of chances, but our lads were containing them really well and weren’t letting them get any clean shots away. As the half hour mark passed Spurs managed to create a couple of good chances of their own, including Lyons-Foster curling effort on goal. Essentially both teams had managed to cancel each other out with their two very similar styles of play. However, Liverpool skipper Adam Lewis almost gave the reds the lead towards the latter stages of the half, when he bent an excellent free kick on to the top of De Bie’s crossbar, leaving him rooted to the spot. Then in a slightly unexpected turn of the events Spurs managed to take the lead in the 43rd minute. It was a goal created by a lovely weighted pass from the influential Oliver Skipp which found Griffiths down the right side of the Liverpool box. The Spurs striker managing to clip the ball past Jaros and into the bottom left hand corner of the net from a tight angle, it was a really good finish from Griffiths who had bagged his 12th goal of the season in the process, 1-0.

As the Spurs players went over to celebrate at the byline Skipp uttered clearly to his team mates to ‘get to half time’. Hardly had Spurs stopped celebrating when the reds missed a glaring chance to equalise straight from the restart. The Liverpool skipper Lewis who was surging down the left opted to fire an effort across goal managing to find Larouci at the back post. A couple of yards out and with an open goal at his mercy, the Liverpool fullback somehow managed to make an astonishing miss to put the ball over the frame of the goal as Spurs escaped. And the reds weren’t finished there, Curtis Jones had enough time to force a good low stop out of De Bie before the referee blew his whistle for halftime. Spurs started the second half with some good attacking play, Rodel Richards flashed a fine effort inches wide of Jaros’ goal as Spurs went in search of their second. The frantic end to end nature of the game did continue to pursue and Spurs had to defend well. De Bie dealt well with Jones’ effort before Eyoma made a superb block moments later, Parker’s side were trying to catch them on the counter. However, some brilliant pressure from Rodel Richards who pressed Jaros ferociously resulted in Spurs doubling their lead in the 54th minute. Richards eagerness had forced Jaros into making a mistake and as the Liverpool keeper went to clear the ball it came rebounding off of the Spurs man and into the bottom right hand corner of the net to leave Spurs in great stead. Since doubling their lead Spurs were showing great confidence in their play as Liverpool started to fade away and drop their high tempo.

Substitute Paris Maghoma went close with a low effort on goal before some more good play from Richards resulted in Spurs’ third of the game. It was a lovely goal which started with some brilliant work down the right from Hinds who impressively won a 50-50 on the half way line. The Spurs fullback drove forward before eventually helping the ball to Richards who continued in to the Liverpool area. The forwards initial effort was blocked but the inform Richards calmly managed to stroke the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal on his second asking, at which point I had lost my composure on the sidelines as I jumped up to celebrate with delight. Spurs were by now controlling the game, their crisp passing and inventiveness in the final third was just too much for Gerrard’s team. This was not to say that the opposition weren’t still troubling the Spurs goal, Jones sliced an effort well wide for the reds. Before Camacho’s effort dashed across the face of De Bie’s goal. You could tell by the Liverpool players body language that they had resigned to defeat and they were understandably taking more risks to go forward. As the game reached the last 15-20 minutes Spurs continued to have their wits tested. Lewis’ effort stung the palms of De Bie before a sumptuous long pass picked out Curtis Jones at the far post. The Liverpool forwards effort pinging against the bottom of De Bie’s left hand side. The game was still however in the palms of Spurs’ hands, a brilliant piece of play and tactical awareness from Richards saw him pick out Markanday down the left, the Spurs winger brought the ball forward before firing an effort straight down the throat of Jaros.

Jones fired wide for the faltering visitors, whilst Lyons-Foster produced an excellent piece of defending to get in front of his man. The tireless Oliver Skipp went on a typically excellent forward run, carrying the ball all the way into the Spurs box, before squaring the ball wonderfully to Griffiths who then found Patterson, who couldn’t cap the move off with a goal as he fired just over. Lewis’ free kick from long range went astray as the final minutes approached, and it was on the 90th minute that Spurs managed to put the icing on the cake with a fabulous forth. Tariq Hinds cross from the right found Markanday on the edge of the area and the skilful forward showed great composure before tucking the ball in to the back of Jaros’ net to cap off a remarkable Spurs performance. As Parker’s side go marching into the last four of the competition! COYS

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Surprisingly, the young Belgian goalkeeper didn’t have that many saves to make. Though the ones he did make were very good. His distribution was excellent as too was his anticipation of set pieces and corner kicks. De Bie is a very brave keeper and this season he has been really consistent. He has also showed great leadership skills as the skipper of the side.
– Tariq Hinds: Very strong display from the tenacious fullback. Hinds who was very good defensively, went on some brilliant attacking runs. Playing a big part in two of our goals, he is in my opinion ready to play under 23 football.
– Jamie Reynolds: Another terrific performance from the left back who I’ve really come around to appreciating how good a player he is, since he made the switch from central midfield earlier this season. Reynolds was solid at the back but excellent going forward. His lung bursting runs, good play in tight situations and his ability to whip in the perfect cross were all on show.
– Oliver Skipp: Sheer dominance in the central areas from the Spurs starlet. Skipp was one of the most influential players in the game. His crisp passing, tenaciousness and creativity in the final third to unlock the Liverpool defence were all top class. It’s obvious that the first year scholar is too good for under 18 football but in big matches he will provide the difference. What I liked particularly about his performance against the reds was his attacking play i.e: his lofted passes and intricate build up play. Skipp’s running and tremendous stamina was also of note, he would have made Gerrard proud!
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Along with fellow centre half TJ Eyoma, Lyons-Foster formed part of a flawless central defence. As I tweeted after the game, it was just like watching Jan and Toby play. Brooklyn’s athleticism and overall defending frustrated Gerrard’s side throughout. The way he just glides in front of the attacker and plays the ball out in an Alderweireldesque fashion is very special indeed. His footballing brain is like that of an experienced under 23 player!
– TJ Eyoma: My motm see below.
– Dilan Markanday: Markanday was the most fouled player on the pitch for a reason. The Spurs attacker was a key player in Spurs’ win. His nifty footwork and ability to carry the ball in tight situations were extremely impressive. He also gets into great positions and his goal was a testament to that.
– Phoenix Patterson: Due to the nature of the game he was less involved, but he still impressed. Whipped in some nice crosses and was tidy in his play.
– Reo Griffiths: Superb performance from the Spurs front man who worked tirelessly in front of goal. Powerful and energetic, Griffiths was always on the move as he looked to run either side of the defenders. Also finished his goal really well.
– Rodel Richards: Two more goals from the inform forward who once again had a great game. He loves to press and he caused great bother to the reds defence with his blistering pace and creativity down the right flank. There’s no such thing as a lost cause for the Spurs man.
– Rayan Clarke: Productive going forward, Clarke was also important at getting back and getting stuck in. Something that Lewis didn’t take too kindly to for the visitors.
– Paris Maghoma: Bolstered the midfield in the second half following his introduction.
– J’neil Bennett: N/A

My man of the match: TJ Eyoma. Eyoma was central to a terrific Spurs defence, the u17 World Cup winner was an imposing figure. He was excellent at snuffing out danger and winning headers in the air. Was never rash in making challenges and showed great strength and intelligence to deal with the Liverpool front line. ‘Flawless’ was an understatement!

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Skipp, Lyons-Foster, Eyoma, Markanday, Patterson, Griffiths, Richards, Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Bowden.

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-12
Phoenix Patterson -5
Dilan Markanday- 5
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-1
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-2
Rodel Richards-9
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-6
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-3
Reo Griffiths-5
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-4
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-1
Oliver Skipp- 1
Tariq Hinds- 1

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

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

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I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t looking forward to watching our under 18’s take on Liverpool tomorrow in the quarter finals of this seasons premier league under 18 cup, at the training centre. The competition which is in its inaugural season has so far seen Spurs beat both Aston Villa and Leicester en route to the quarters. Their reward is a tie against Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool side, the reds under 18’s who are unbeaten so far this season, have been playing some outstanding football under the reds legend. Top of the under 18’s northern section table. Gerrard’s youngsters have also put in some top class performances in a host of other competitions, they play with an attacking flare about their game, something that would have been instilled down on them by Klopp’s senior team. Whilst Spurs will still be recovering from that thrilling 4-4 draw with Leicester on Saturday, Parker’s side will need to be at the top of their game if they are to outwit the visitors. And I’ve a feeling that this game could be another goal fest. It’s an early start tomorrow with kick off being at 11:am but I’ll have my write up published by the evening. COYS

ICYMI: (my match report of the Leicester game) https://superhotspur.com/2018/01/08/spurs-under-18s-4-4-leicester-city-match-report/

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) De Bie(c), Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Lyons-Foster, Reynolds, P.Maghoma, P.Patterson, Lloyd-Bennett, A.Shashoua, Griffiths, Richards.

Subs from: J.Oluwayemi, Lock, Hinds, Bowden, Markanday.

Doubtful: Charlie Freeman, Moroyin Omolabi and Elliot Thorpe.

Suspended: Oliver Skipp.

My score prediction: 4-3 Spurs.

One to watch: The reds top scorer this campaign with 14 goals, Canadian youth international Liam Millar is my one to watch for tomorrows game.

 

 

 

My interview with former Spurs player Destin Makumbu:

My interview with former Spurs player Destin Makumbu:

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Destin Makumbu came through the youth set up as Spurs in the 1990’s before embarking on a fascinating career which saw him play in three different countries. The defender who is now semi retired from the game kindly agreed to doing an interview with me about his time at Spurs, Destin’s answers make fascinating reading.

What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs?

Destin: Well my early memories were that, Spurs a huge club across the country and globe. Lots of good players, well tuned, very fit and Spurs lodge the training ground where we had great footballing education. Astro turf field at WHL, went away with the youth team back in 1999 to Berne, Switzerland, won the tournament and scored in the final too. Training/playing against Crouch, Ledley King, Johnnie Jackson and making my reserve team debut at 16. Getting called up to the U19s after 2 games with the under 16s, it was a big learning curve and test.

What was your time as a youth player at Spurs like?

Destin: I’d say my time as a youth player at the club was good except for the long term groin muscle injury i had. I had thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, every time i had pulled the clubs jersey on. Great set up, lovely grass field to train/play on. I owe the club a lot because it is where i learnt my trade, became a better player, understood the game much better and where we given the opportunity to play the game at a higher level.

What were the facilities and coaching like compared to what the current Spurs youth players have now?

Destin: The facilities and coaching back then was very good i thought, i loved it at the Lodge, it was tight and neat. Great fields for everyone, well cut, lean and absolutely no bumps, so we were lucky and we had access to a nice gym.
The coaching was good too, we were coached at a higher level. I’d say our coaches had great knowledge of the game and passed tons of advise on.
But today with the current climate, it is more well advanced with the new set up at Enfield. Been there once to see what’s it like, totally blown away to be fair with the whole set up, the indoor astro, the gym, the recovery area after the game. I’d say everything is miles better and ahead compared to what we had.
It is the best in world i believe, if not certainly top 2 for sure.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Destin: Those were big Sol Campbell, Ledley King, Alton Thelwell, Narada Bernard, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand, Ian Walker, Luke Young, David Kersley and Ian Hillier.

You were a talented young centre half during your time at the club, were there any other defenders at Spurs or elsewhere who you modelled your game around?

Destin: Around that time i’d watched Sol, Led, Alton and Ramon a lot at training whenever i had the opportunity so that helped a lot. Played alongside some of them in the Reserve and plus one game with David Kersley. He talked me through the game well, learnt a lot from him. Outside the club it was usually big guns Desailly, Rio F, P Maldini and Canavarro.

Who were your coaches at Spurs?

Destin: Those were Bob arber, P Suddaby, P Holland, C Hughton, C Gross, G Graham.

How tough was it for a young player at Spurs back then, to break into the first team?

Destin: I think it is always tough for a younger to break through at any premier league these days even back then. You are expected to be superb and ahead of the pack which is not easy. I mean i had ahead of me, Sol C, Led K, Anthony Gardner, Luke young, Gary Doherty, Alton Thelwell and Ramon Vega.
All international players respectively. So younger players are not given time to flourish.

Were there any youth players at Spurs who you were particularly close to and are you still in touch with any of your former team mates?

Destin: I was particularly close to Johnnie Jackson, Paul Ellis, Charlie Mapes, Alton Thelwell, Narada Bernard, Yannick Kamanaman, Jamie Attwell, Blake Saker, Paul Tait and few others. Remained on good terms with most of the lads i had played with, exchange emails now and again.

Who was the greatest player that you’ve ever played with in your footballing career?

Destin: Without a shadow of doubt i would say Ledley King, i remember telling him as i was leaving the club, England Led, nothing less because i know you’re up there with the likes of Ferdinands Terrys etc or even technically better and faster too.

After leaving Spurs in 2001, you took a path less travelled by many young English players during that time. Signing for American side Milwaukee Rampage before having stints in Sweden and Norway. Could you tell me some of your memories of what must been an intriguing time for you?

Destin: Well in the A-league (USL) as it was known back, making my full debut at the old Swangard Stadium in Vancouver, BC. 90 minutes of pure abusive language from the home crowd so that really intimidating, a welcome to mens football at 19. On the main land US, playing right in the middle of the summer during the day, Milwaukee Rampage did not have the flood lights up, it was baking hot, 30-35 degrees, could not really breath. Our mouth would dry pretty quickly, we had drink breaks in between. In Sweden i’d say playing a friendly match in february in Kemi, i can not remember who were the opponent that evening but all i can remember was it was freezing cold, minus 34, we’d played on this hard sand filled with small stone field and it was indoors too. But that did not help at all, i had a diarrhea right after the game, my hands were frozen.
Beating AIK stockholm back in 2005 in Boden, that caused an upset in the league, they were expected to walk over everyone.Knockout Chicago fire in the US open cup in 2002, with Beasly and Josh Wolf on the field, two former US internationals whom had represented the nation in Japan/south Korea world cup 2002. Shut out Landon Donovan, basically it was my job not to let him score and he did not, my task was to stick with him the entire 90 minutes and not let him score and he did not. In Norway, since the population is around 5 millions, in certain areas or part of the country, i’d played in front of 20-30 people.

 

What (so far) has been the pinnacle of your career?

Destin: Winning the A-league playoff in 2002, tons of individual awards such A-league young Defender of the year, best starting 11 in the league that year, team of the week, player of the week. Defender of the year at Milwaukee Rampage 2002.In Sweden, Norrbotten SD 2007 player of the year, runner-up with Kuriren. In Norway, i’d say winning Ranablad 2009 and 2012 player of the year awards, top 3 players in the 3rd div in 2016, not a single yellow card in 2012 and played 24 games in div 2, i think it is a record in Norwegian Football, look it up.

What would your advice be to the current Spurs Academy players as they look to find their way in the game?

Destin: Well i’d say never doubt yourself, trust your instincts, listen to all the advises you are going to get from ex players, senior players, current coaches or even certain team mates. Enjoy the game, enjoy training on a regular basis because there are lots of kids would give an arm to swap places with you. Extra training on the field to work on your weaknesses, whether it is passing, shooting, long passes, speed, agility training, free kicks, corners the lot. Plus gym work to get yourself stronger but not so bulky, quickness and 1st 10 meters in football matters.In bed early, around 2100 or 2130 if you can, it help a lot, done myself and i know. Stay away from the nightlife, it serves you no good at all, it brings bad companies. Stay way from alcohol, eat healthy, do some yoga on your spare time and stretches and absolutely take good care of your body.

 

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

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

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The visit of Leicester City on Saturday morning to the training centre provided an absolute thriller of a game for Scott Parker’s under 18’s, as they drew 4-4 with foxes. It was an absolute belter of a game on a chilly winters morning in Enfield. Now two days later I sat down to reflect and write up my match report on a remarkable game of football even by youth standards, which saw Spurs throw away a three goal lead in a game which must have seen over 50 shots on goal. It was the away side who got the game started, an early penalty shout was waived away from the foxes in a high tempo and lively opening minutes. The early end to end nature of the game which was to last throughout, saw Spurs take an early lead when fullback Jamie Reynolds forced the opener. It was an impressive counter attacking move by Spurs who caught the foxes on the break. Left back Jamie Reynolds burst down the left before sending a nice low cross into the box, which was turned in to his own net by Leicester defender Husnek. A nasty two footed challenge on Reynolds shortly afterwards was very lucky to escape with a red card, as Spurs started to control the game. A bad mis kick from Leicester keeper Rhys Davies gifted Patterson with the ball in a dangerous central area of the pitch, the midfielders crisp pass setting Clarke free down the left. The wingers shot was stopped by Rhys Davies before he once again managed to block Griffiths attempt on the rebound. The game continued to be played at a very fast tempo, both sides only wanted to attack and this resulted in numerous openings for both sides.

Some decisive Spurs defending from both Lyons-Foster and Dinzeyi helped to prevent numerous goal scoring opportunities for the foxes. Then on 17 minutes another nice attacking move resulted in Spurs doubling their advantage. It was another incisive move which was initiated by Patterson, the midfielder cut the ball back to Markanday from the left. The forwards first time effort curled emphatically into the top corner of the helpless Davies’ goal. Leicester now trying to overturn a two goal deficit, were all on the offensive. Another brilliant intervention from Lyons-Foster thwarted a dangerous cross from the visitors, as Spurs continued to look really comfortable and assured in their defending. Parker’s side were showing no signs of lowering their high press and attacking style of play, a promising move resulted in Richards’ effort being blocked just in time. Whilst the influential Rayan Clarke should have had a penalty given to him for a blatant foul in the box. Spurs’ third of the game which came inside just 25 minutes was their best so far. The lively Rodel Richards picked up Dinzeyi’s pass on the half way line before advancing forward on a Messiesque run. The forward continued unopposed to the edge of the Leicester penalty area before sending a lovely low finish past Davies with his weaker right foot. This resulted in a furious exchange between one of Leicester’s defenders and his team mates who were on the verge of capitulating at Spurs’ expense. This had been sheer domination from Parker’s side who had totally overwhelmed a fine Leicester outfit with their quick attacking movement and sharp incisive play.

The rapid Edwards-John (who really impressed me throughout the game!) curled an effort well wide of De Bie’s goal before winning a penalty moments later. The pacy winger managing to get the wrong side of Dinzeyi in the area with the Spurs defenders challenge resulting in him missing the ball and catching the Leicester man. De Bie made a brilliant diving save to deny the Leicester forward from the penalty spot before the alert Brown was there to bury the rebound, 3-1. This was becoming a frustrating spell in the game for Parker’s team. A counter attacking move by Trevor Peake’s side caught Spurs out again a couple of minutes later. Leicester’s Brown went around Dinzeyi before slotting inside the bottom corner of De Bie’s goal. Parker’s side looked to respond, Richards’ effort was blocked whilst Jamie Bowden’s deep swinging free kick dashed just wide at the far post. It should have been 3-3 when Conor Tee’s deep cross was met by Elewa-Irpakwu at the back post who headed it narrowly over on to the roof of the net. The influential Dilan Markanday made a brilliant challenge early on in the second half to stop a Leicester counter attack. Whilst De Bie played Spurs into danger with a sloppy pass in which Tee got to, forcing De Bie into making a good low save. A superb curling effort from the potent Phoenix Patterson forced an excellent diving save out of Davies as Spurs looked to retain their control of the game. Tariq Hinds was then there at the other end to make a crucial block before Tee’s freekick went straight down the throat of the Spurs goalkeeper as Leicester continued to pepper the Spurs goal, in a thrilling end to end game.

Just when it looked as if the foxes were on the verge of finding an equaliser, Spurs made it 4-2! It was a brilliant goal which started with some great skill from Clarke down the left. Reynolds managed to the pick ball up and squirm past a congested defence before picking out Patterson inside the area. The midfielder bending a delicious effort into the far corner of Davies’ net, despite the best efforts of Leicester’s McLeod on the line who managed to make contact with the ball. Maxwell Statham replaced Dinzeyi as Spurs looked to protect their lead with some fresh legs. We were continuing to advance forwards, Patterson sumptuous cross was inches away from being tapped home by Griffiths. Whilst the man of the moment Patterson received the ball inside the area from Griffiths moments after. The Spurs man’s curling effort was stopped only by an excellent save from Davies. Then, Rodel Richards deflected effort flashed narrowly wide of the Welshman’s goal as Spurs looked to be running away with the game, whilst Clarke’s powerful effort was stopped shortly afterwards. However, the foxes still posed a real threat going forward. Rayan Clarke having to make a brilliant last ditch challenge inside the Spurs box to deny a clear chance. It appeared as if our lads were getting a little tired, Richards gave the ball away to 10 who advanced towards the Spurs goal before forcing a top save out of De Bie. The pressure was being piled on us by the visitors, substitute Statham making two important blocks in quick succession as Spurs looked to see out the remainder of the game.

A brilliant surging run from substitute Bennett resulted in the 16 year old whipping in a promising cross into the box. Before Patterson squandered a good goalscoring opportunity on the edge of the box, with a wayward effort. Some incisive passing by the foxes resulted in them pulling a goal back through Connor Tee who slotted home with a smart finish. Before the same player produced the unthinkable deep in stoppage time when he headed home a cross from the right side to deal a bitter late blow to Parker’s side. The final score Spurs 4-4 Leicester. Parkers side go again on Wednesday with an important premier league under 18 cup quarterfinal with Liverpool at hotspur way. Steven Gerrard’s side are yet to lose a game this season! COYS

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Made some very important stops, distribution was at times a little erratic. But once again the Belgian put in another fine performance.
– Tariq Hinds: Put in a strong and very defensive display, sat deep and made some important interventions.
– Jamie Reynolds: Excellent performance by the 18 year old left back, he was brilliant going forward and managed to chip in with two assists. He is starting to remind me a bit of Ben Davies in the way he gets forward.
– Jamie Bowden: Another good performance from the consistent Spurs anchorman. Tidy, efficient and subtly creative. Much like a young Michael Carrick.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: This was his first start for some time following a frustrating injury. And the powerful centre half really impressed me along with Lyons-Foster. Dinzeyi was strong in the tackle and composed in his overall play what I also like about the 18 year old. Is how he brings the ball out from the back in a very attacking Vertonghenesque way. Felt he was very unlucky with the two opening goals that Leicester scored.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: A superb display from the confident centre half, some of the challenges he made were top class and once again it was his reading of the game which proved so crucial for Spurs. I would be surprised if he wasn’t given another England call up in the spring.
– Rodel Richards: Scored a lovely goal and caused a lot of problems down the left with his weaving runs.
– Phoenix Patterson: My Motm, see below.
– Reo Griffiths: Worked very hard and put in a good shift up top.
– Dilan Markanday: Nice and creative, showed some brilliant skill and ball control. Works very hard. He also scored a lovely goal.
– Rayan Clarke: Very influential in the game with his powerful runs down the left, what I also like about Clarke is his eagerness to track back and get stuck in.
– Maxwell Statham: Made some important blocks.
– J’neil Lloyd-Bennett: Went on some good forward runs.

My man of the match: Attacking midfielder Phoenix Patterson has made the switch from the flanks to the central ‘number 8′ role over the past few weeks, and the 17 year old has excelled. Putting in some really productive performances. Patterson was the main source of Spurs’ creativity against Leicester, he was dare I say it an Özilesque force in the centre of midfield. He brought the ball forward, initiated many openings. And also got an all important goal and assist, I’ve been very impressed with the 17 year old since his been converted into an 8, he is a player with serious ability.

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Bowden, Dinzeyi (Statham 56), Lyons-Foster, Richards (P Maghoma 79), Patterson, Griffiths (Bennett 73), Markanday, Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Lock.

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-11
Phoenix Patterson -5
Dilan Markanday- 4
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-1
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-2
Rodel Richards-7
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-6
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-3
Reo Griffiths-5
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-4
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-1

My interview with former Spurs Academy player Mark Arber:

My interview with former Spurs Academy player Mark Arber:

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I had the great pleasure to interview former Spurs Academy player Mark Arber about his time at the club. The South African footballer who many will remember from his time at Dagenham and Redbridge and Barnet, went on to have a hugely successful career as a centre half after leaving the lilywhites.

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

Mark: I was playing as a striker for a local club in the Echo league called Lakeview. I was scouted by Len Cheesewright who took me in at 8. I remember the old ball court at white hart lane, training on Tues and ‪Thurs night‬ and picking up my £2 expenses.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Mark: Enjoyable, I could have left as a kid to join Man Utd or Arsenal but even though i supported one of them (won’t say which one) I was happy in the environment I was in. I signed as a 9 year old and left as a 21 year old so it was all in all a great time.

Were there any players at Spurs who you’d watch closely in training during your academy years?

Mark: Quinton Fortune early on was magnificent in the indoor ball court.
As a pro it was Jurgen Klinsmann, he trained as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen.

Who has the toughest opposition player that you ever came up against?

Mark: I had the very fortunate experience of playing against Dennis Bergkamp in a behind closed doors game at Highbury.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Mark: Paulo Maldini or Franco Baresi. I converted into a centre half and these 2 were all time greats

How did your years as a young player at Spurs serve you throughout your career as a professional footballer?

Mark: It was the perfect education, like being at school. Those early years set me up for life.

After leaving Spurs in 1998 you went on to enjoy a hugely successful footballing career with the likes of Barnet, Peterborough and Dagenham and Redbridge? Could you talk me through some your memories from that time?

Mark: I played over 650 career games which in the modern era is a hell of an achievement to be proud of. Captaining Dagenham and Redbridge to the league 2 play off final at Wembley ranks as my finest hour.

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

Mark: Yes loads. In the modern era with social media it’s easy to keep in touch. A lot are still in football in some capacity too and so we often cross paths.

Who were you greatest influences at the club?

Mark: My father was an obvious help. I’d often get accused of nepotism but in all honesty I was single minded and overcame many obstacles along the way. Player wise Sol Campbell and Gary Mabbutt gave me great encouragement when I was on the fringes of the first team.

Who in your eyes was the most talented player that you played with at Spurs?

Mark: David Ginola and Gazza are the obvious ones that spring to mind

As somebody that is still involved in the game what would your advice be to the current Spurs academy players as they look to find their way in the game?

Mark: Don’t take anything for granted, work hard everyday, continue to look to improve. Off the field stay humble, appreciate what you’ve got and play with a smile on your face.