Spurs under 18’s 0-2 West Ham United: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 0-2 West Ham United: (match report)

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Despite a heartened performance against London rivals West Ham, there was to be no back to back victory for Scott Parker’s side who fell to an unfortunate 2-0 defeat at Little Heath yesterday despite being the far better side for large chunks of the game. I couldn’t wait to get up and report on our u18’s latest outing, having attended a fairly drab international friendly involving Colombia and Australia the previous night, I was longing for more of the stuff that saw us thrash Aston Villa 5-0 at the weekend. That’s why it came as a nasty shock to me when I arrived at the hammers academy in Chadwell Heath, to find out that West Ham aren’t capable of hosting games their! From there I sprinted all the way back to the nearest station and managed to get a cab to Little Heath, a sports ground which contains just two pitches and is located on the grounds of a nearby primary school! I eventually arrived at Little Heath to see the rain drenched pitch where the game would take place, the conditions were awful and I feared that my notepad would not last the game. Spurs’ captain Jonathan De Bie was testing the bounce of the ball prior to kick off. Spurs lined up with a much different team to the one that thrashed Villa at the weekend. With an u17 tournament in Italy starting next week, first year scholars such as Paris Maghoma and Jamie Bowden were all being rested after their heroics at the weekend. It was a surprising selection by Parker who opted to play Skipp at centre half alongside Dinzeyi. Whilst also choosing to play Oakley-Boothe in the centre of the park. The home side got the game underway and went at us straight from kick off through Rosaire Longelo down the left hand side. The left back caught Spurs by surprise as he went gallivanting down the left flank before whipping an inviting cross into the danger zone, which the composed Jonathan Dinzeyi cleared.

Spurs were domination possession in what was a quiet opening couple of minutes of action. The hammers would have the first attempt at goal through Oddyseas Spyrides who fired narrowly wide at De Bie’s near post. Parker’s side were controlling the game but they were struggling to carve open a very defensive West Ham side, the pouring rain was hardly helping matters. Despite our dominance it was the hammers that would have the better chances in the half. A lovely move between Bernardo Rosa and Nkagia resulted in the fullback bursting forward down the right before rifling an effort wide of the mark. Shortly afterwards Spurs produced their first goal attempt of the game through lively left back Jamie Reynolds. Whose powerful effort from range flew across Anang’s goal. There was little in the game apart from a huge gulf in possession, Spurs were having to keep alert to the opportunistic hammers who were more than happy to go route one. The impressive Dinzeyi got back to make a vital block for Spurs who were intent on trying to play fluent attacking football in such dire conditions. After a quiet first half, Parker’s side got the action back underway and it would spell the start of much different half for the lilywhites. It didn’t take long for the half to gather pace. West Ham centre half Mingi spotted an opportunity when he played Spyridis through on goal with a defence splitting pass. One on one with De Bie he seemed destined to score, but the sheer decisiveness of Tottenham centre back Oliver Skipp proved otherwise. Skipp had managed to keep up with Spyridis and despite being the last man he had no hesitations in going in for the challenge. Skipp executed it perfectly and managed to prevent a certain goal for the home team.

Spurs were trying desperately hard to unlock West Ham’s defence, an excellent piece of skill from Patterson almost provided the breakthrough they needed when he burst into the box. Patterson left the ball for Griffiths to follow up but is low effort lacked conviction and it was comfortably saved by Anang. Then came the turning point in the game when the hammers took an unexpected lead through Spyridis on 55 minutes. The goal came about after a cross from Jeremy Ngakia was punched away by the alert De Bie straight into the feet of Spyridis who stood in waiting on the edge of the penalty area. Spyridis made no mistake from close range, and calmly slotted home to give the hammers an undeserved lead on the hour mark. Spurs responded soon afterwards through Reo Griffiths who fired narrowly wide of Anang’s goal. But it was the now resurgent hammers side who were playing with more fluency and creative freedom, the influential Jeremy Ngakia cut inside from the right wing before smashing an effort inches wide of De Bie’s goal. It didn’t take long before the newly introduced Dilan Markanday to make an impact for Parker’s side. After being picked out by a superb cross from Reynolds towards the far post. Markanday only had to tap home, but he got his angles wrong and ended up volleying the ball a fraction wide of the mark, it was a golden chance. And it wouldn’t be long before another golden chance came the lilywhites way, Markanday turned the creator this time. After threading a lovely through ball to Griffiths inside the area, but Spurs’ top scorer fired an effort narrowly wide of the mark.

Parker’s side were actually playing really well despite the abhorrent conditions, but the luck just wasn’t on our side. The usually clinical Griffiths headed a weak free header from Patterson’s corner straight down the throat of Anang. Whilst De Bie kept out Rosaire Longelo’s effort at the other end with a fine stop. The hammers then seized their chance with just over 15 minutes of the game remaining when they made it 2-0. Spyridis was once again causing the Spurs defence problems, this time as he twisted and turned his way past both Skipp and Dinzeyi before entering the penalty. Skipp tried to be the hero once again but this time he got his sliding challenge all wrong and ended up bringing Spyridis down for a blatant West Ham penalty. Up stepped the hammers top scorer Korrey Henry who calmly fired home from the penalty spot. Despite the two goal deficit Parker’s side continued to fight hard to try and break the deep lying West Ham defence. Apart from a powerful effort from Ngakia for the home side it was Spurs who would dominate the last 15 minutes of the game. The creative Reynolds managed to slip Griffiths in inside the danger zone, Griffiths took the ball past Anang before trying to slalom his way past a West Ham defender and then aiming a low effort at goal. However, his effort lacked pace and was easily cleared on the line by Mason Barrett. A flurry of late chances came Spurs’ way but still the West Ham defence would not budge. Oliver Skipp who had now been converted into the centre of midfield following the introduction of Maxwell Statham. Managed to pick out Griffiths inside the area with a lovely drilled pass. But despite a good first touch from the Spurs forward his effort managed to fall short of the target once more.

The hammers almost got their third of the game when substitute Sean Adarkwa volleyed centremetres wide of goal at De Bie’s near post. To Spurs’ credit thy continued to go for the game despite the risks of conceding a third. Reo Griffiths had his promisingly struck effort deflected behind for a corner. Whilst the final piece of action came from that corner kick, which was whipped in with venom by Reynolds who had managed to pick out the totally unmarked Statham at the back post. But what should have been a simple tap in for the Spurs defender turned out to be yet more agony. Statham’s volley was excellently blocked on the line by the feet of Longelo. Luck wasn’t on Spurs’ side for this frustrating encounter in east London. Our next league fixture is away to Fulham on Saturday 7 April. In the meantime a Spurs u17 side will compete in a short tournament in Italy next week. The tournament which is called the Torneo Mario Maggioni – Walter Rhigi. Begins tomorrow and will last until the third of April. Our group contains Juventus, Dynamo Kyiv and Borgaro Nobis. As for attending that next league game against Fulham I’m in a bit of a dilemma. Our under 23’s are hosting Derby at the training centre on the same day in an important relegation six pointer, but I obviously can’t attend both games. Though I am more inclined to report on the Derby County game due to the importance of it. COYS

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Despite conceding two goals De Bie had little else to deal with during the game apart from having to make a fine save in the second half. Was by no means at fault for either of those goals.
– Tariq Hinds: Stayed deep and all in all put in a solid showing at right back. Allowed the more attacking fullback in Reynolds to have creative freedom down the opposite side.
– Jamie Reynolds: Another fine performance from the flying left back who remained one of Spurs’ best players throughout the game. His promising attacking forays combined with his excellent close ball control and crossing ability made him one of our main attacking threats. Whilst also managing to give a good account of himself defensively. His crossing is absolutely perfect! Reynolds continues to impress me.
– Tashan Oakley-Boothe: I was a tad surprised to see Oakley-Boothe’s name on the team sheet for this one. He was played in the holding midfield role but in my eyes he didn’t make much of an impression on the game. Yes he was tidy with the ball but I didn’t feel that he impacted the game from both a creative and defensive aspect. He is not a steely defence minded player.
– Oliver Skipp: My motm, see below.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Yet another excellent and assured display from the imperious centre half. Dominant in the air and decisive on the ground making many an important intervention. Dinzeyi was so composed not eh ball and hardly put a foot wrong apart from the second West Ham goal.
– Jeremie Mukendi: The pacy winger struggled to make much of an impact down the right flank. His touch wasn’t the best at times and the imposing Longelo rarely allowed him to get past.
– Armando Shashoua: Very good on the ball. Kept things moving with his fast and deftly accurate passing in the middle of the park. Showed great movement and got forward on plenty of occasions, Shashoua does so much for the team. There was incident which summed up his ‘tough as nails’ attitude. It occurred during the second half, a West Ham player ended up blasting the ball from close range at a very sensitive part of his body. In absolute agony for some time, he still carried on regardless and covered the pitch like nobody else before eventually being brought off some 20 or so minutes later.
– Reo Griffiths: Not his day at all. Had four golden chances but failed to make them count could easily have been celebrating a hat-trick on another day. The ball just wouldn’t fall for him. Whilst he has been exceptional this season I think it’s worth remembering just how new he is to the position of centre forward.
– Phoenix Patterson: Showed good vision and awareness and managed to embark on a couple of promising attacking forays. But I felt that he went missing for large periods of the game.
– Rodel Richards: Gave a good account of himself out left, struggled to impact the game as much due to the wet conditions. Worked very hard as always.
– Dilan Markanday: Provided the spark we so desperately needed following his introduction to the game on the hour mark. His tricky little runs down the right flank managed to cause many problems for the hammers defence. His low centre of gravity and weaving techniques making him almost unflappable with the ball at his feet. One such attacking foray saw him totally embarrass Longelo with a lovely nutmeg. He also laid a lovely pass to Griffiths later on.
– Maxwell Statham: Decent cameo at centre half. Looked good on the ball, could/should have scored after receiving that late chance.

 

My man of the match: Oliver Skipp. I thought that the mature Oliver Skipp put in a really good display at centre half for the majority of the game. He read the game well and was quick at anticipating danger. Managed to also make a terrific last ditch challenge in the area during the first half. Yes, he may have conceded a penalty later on in the game but I thought that he looked really composed and intelligent in his play. Even after being moved to central midfield later on, he made a couple of really clever passes. He played with his arm out, constantly pointing out things to his team mates. His extraordinary reading of the game knows no bounds.

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Oakley-Boothe, Skipp, Dinzeyi, Mukendi (Markanday 60), A Shashoua (Statham 72), Griffiths, Patterson, Richards. Substitutes (not used): Freeman, Lock, Thorpe.

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-25
Phoenix Patterson -8
Dilan Markanday- 6
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-2
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-3
Rodel Richards-12
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-2
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-6
Reo Griffiths-8
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-6
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-3
Oliver Skipp-1
Tariq Hinds- 1
Paris Maghoma-5
Armando Shashoua-1
Maurizio Pochettino -1

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Spurs under 18’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)

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Our under 18’s are back in action on Wednesday for their second league game in just five days. As Scott Parker’s side travel to east London to face West Ham at their Little Heath training facility. Things are looking up for Spurs in the league, unbeaten in their last seven matches and on the back of an emphatic 5-0 win against Aston Villa at the weekend, Spurs will really fancy their chances against the hammers. A side who haven’t played a competitive game in over a month, it’s hard to know what to make of the hammers who were knocked out of the FA youth cup by Blackpool in the third round. And currently sit in 10th place in the table. I’m expecting a similar looking Spurs team to the one that thrashed Villa at the weekend. With players such as Rayan Clarke and Rodel Richards expected to start the game. My in depth match report of tomorrows London derby will be up on Wednesday evening. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) De Bie(c), Hinds, Statham, Dinzeyi, Reynolds, Bowden, A.Shashoua, Markanday, P.Maghoma, Clarke, Richards.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Tainio, Patterson, Bennett, Griffiths.

Doubtful: Jubril Okedina (leg) has resumed outdoor training.

Injured/unavailable: Jeremie Mukendi (arm), Brooklyn Lyons-Foster (ligaments), Elliot Thorpe (away with Wales u19’s), Troy Parrott (away with Ireland u17’s).

My score prediction: Spurs 4-1.

One to watch: West Ham’s top scorer in the league this season, Korrey Henry.

My interview with former Spurs academy graduate Cameron Lancaster:

My interview with former Spurs academy graduate Cameron Lancaster:

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Cameron Lancaster now of Louisville city in the USA, is a product of the Tottenham Hotspur academy. The 25 year old striker came through the ranks at Spurs before making a solemn first team appearance in the 2011/12 season. The promising centre forward was blighted by injuries during his time with the lilywhites and was released by the club in 2014 having stints at both Stevenage and St Albans before making the move across the pond to the USA. Now 25, Cameron is enjoying life in Kentucky and only last season he helped Louisville to the USL title. I caught up with Cameron to discuss his memories from his time at Spurs.

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

Cameron: Earliest memories are joining spurs after a 2 week trial from my Sunday league team. My dad and Sunday league manager had previously sent a letter in to a few clubs asking for a trial but Spurs were the only ones to reply and take me in!

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Cameron: Looking back, apart from the injuries it was great. I had really good coaches such as Les Ferdinand, Chris Ramsay and Tim Sherwood and got to play along side really great players. You see a lot of ex players from Spurs just want to see the team do well and I’m the same, that comes from how the club treats you so I have nothing but thanks to give.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Cameron: Brazilian Ronaldo for sure. His physicality mixed with his technique and skill was how I wanted to play, every opportunity I had I would try and watch him on the tv.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Cameron: John McDermott was always a big influence, he just wants the best for everyone and he really helped me at times. Also Chris Ramsay, Tim and Les as I got older really pushed me forward to the first team, I have to thank them a lot for me making my debut.

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

Cameron: When Eidur Gudjohnsen came in I would watch him a lot. I saw his composure and movement on and off the ball and tried to involve that in my game. Also Defoe’s finishing was always good to watch and learn from.

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

Cameron: Toughest part was probably the competition. We had a lot of players from abroad coming in, there wasn’t an average player out of the 20 or so of us.

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

Cameron: Greatest memory was definitely making my debut. We were 3-0 up and Redknapp called me over from the bench and told me I was going on and to enjoy it. I played for 20 mins and did pretty well, nearly got a goal too and then the next week I was on the bench at Liverpool too. As a kid you dream about playing in the prem so to even get 20 mins out there, I’m thankful.

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

Cameron: After my debut I got injured pretty badly and was out for a year and after coming back from that I had 6 months playing and did my ACL. My contract was coming to an end so we mutually agreed to call it a day. I went to stevenage for about 2 months and then had an opertunity to get to America so I took it. Unfortunately I did my other ACL 2 weeks after signing for Louisville City but I’m all good now and we won the league last season.

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

Cameron: Has to be either Modric or Bale, they were both playing when I made my debut and they were both world class however if Harry keeps this up it would have to be him!

Harry Kane. He was a man who you would have known well whilst playing in the academy. What was he like as a player coming up the youth ranks?

Cameron: First off he always scored, whatever age he’s been he has always scored goals. He’s never been the quickest or even the strongest but he’s always been very driven and he’s worked on his game a lot and that’s why he’s where he is now.

Who is the toughest defender that you have come up against thus far?

Cameron: That would be Woodgate. I remember training against him and he would block off my runs and somehow whenever I would shield the ball he would always get a toe on the ball and knock it away. Wasn’t the quickest or strongest but very smart.

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

Cameron: Play games wherever you can would be my advice. There’s never a guarantee that you’ll play for the first team so the more you get yourself out in the league and get seen, the better it will be for your career. Also, you have to be 100% focused and driven and make football your life, the more effort you put into the game the more you’ll get out of the game.

Spurs under 18’s 5-0 Aston Villa: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 5-0 Aston Villa: (match report)

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A spectacular attacking performance from our under 18’s saw us brush aside Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, in an enthralling league encounter at Bodymoor Heath. Scott Parker’s side dominated the game from start to finish, overwhelming the villains with their fast attacking football and high press. Villa were lax and their reluctance to press our players allowed them to play and create at ease, they just couldn’t deal with the creativity of the likes of Maghoma, Markanday and Bowden who were able to open the Villa defence all too easily. Not only was it a great response to our 2-0 league cup defeat to Chelsea last Sunday, but it also bolstered our position in the league. Our emphatic 5-0 victory over Villa saw us move up to sixth in the table, we are now the third highest scorers in the league with 41 goals. The strong smell of turf which was coming from the local farms of county Warwickshire, was in the air as the players made their way out on to the pitch. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Parker made changes from the defeat against Chelsea, bringing in the likes of Tainio and Oluwayemi for rare league starts, Jonathan Dinzeyi took the captains armband for this one. The home side got the game underway, and it didn’t take long before both sides got stuck in to the game. It was a fast paced opening couple of minutes, Paris Maghoma tried his luck from range with a powerful low effort. Whilst an alert Villa pounced on a loose ball at the other end, make shift centre back Tariq Hinds missing out to Odutayo on the edge of box, his effort flew just over Oluwayemi’s crossbar.

Spurs were eager to initiate attacking moves, playing some nice tiki taka football as they tried to open up the Villa defence. Spurs’ bright start to proceedings resulted in Parker’s side taking the lead only five minutes into the game. It was a lovely intricate move by Spurs which managed to totally outwit the Villa defence. Patterson passed the ball to Reynolds down the left wing, the fullback delivered a lovely cross into the danger zone which managed to pick out Maghoma. Maghoma hit the ball early and forced a good save out of the Villa goalkeeper Kieran Boucher, who parried. The alert Markanday pounced on to the loose ball and did well to slot home at the far post, 1-0. Villa responded through Colin Odutayo, who managed to force a good stop out of Oluwayemi at his near post after a thumping effort. But the sheer intent and intricacy by Spurs was proving far too much for the struggling villains, and only four minutes later Parker’s side doubled their lead. Our high pressing, attacking football was going down a treat. Armando Shashoua’s fine vision resulted in him sending a neat through ball into the feet of Maghoma inside the box. Maghoma weaved his way around Boucher before curling the ball against the inside of the post, luckily the ball rolled back across goal and into the feet of Griffiths to tap home. It should have been 3-0 to Spurs a couple of moments later, after Tainio’s low cross managed to pick out Griffiths who slipped in Markanday inside the area. But the winger couldn’t keep his composure in front of goal as he side footed the ball inches wide of Boucher’s goal.

Despite our excellent start to the game we were still vulnerable on the break, as proved by Vassilev who managed to cause all sorts of difficulties for Spurs after embarking on a surging run down the middle. He slipped the ball into Odutayo down the left, but Odutayo made the wrong choice in the end as he opted to drag the ball across the face of Oluwayemi’s goal. Spurs continued to hassle the Aston Villa goalkeeper, the prominent Jamie Reynolds’ free kick forced Boucher into punching clear. The ball was eventually picked up by Bowden who managed to pick out Griffiths inside the box with a sublime pin point pass. However, Griffiths didn’t have enough time to sort his feet out, and Boucher managed to smother the ball. The chances kept on coming Spurs’ way, Armando Shashoua missed a sitter after receiving Tainio’s cross at the back post, scuppering what should have been a tap in. But Spurs were relentless, it was sheer domination from Parker’s team. Who were totally outplaying this somewhat lazy Villa outfit. Reynolds had a teasing cross cleared in front of Boucher’s goal, before Paris Maghoma forced an error out of the Villa keeper with a powerful effort at goal. Boucher spilt the ball but did manage to get to it before the pouncing Griffiths, to palm it to safety. Dmitri Sea then forced a decent save out of Oluwayemi at the other end after a rare Villa attack. But the bulk of the action involved Boucher in the Villa goal. The tricky Markanday was causing major problems for Villa down the right hand side, a tricky run resulted in him crossing for Griffiths at the near post. Unmarked and in acres of space I expected our top scorer to gobble up such a chance, but not this time! Griffiths managed to get it all wrong and ended up heading the ball the wrong side of goal.

The prominent Markanday was at the centre of the action once again a couple of minutes later. After turning his man brilliantly down the right flank he then squared the ball to Maghoma on the edge of the box, but the midfielder ended up skying the ball over Boucher’s goal. Spurs’ further domination of the half saw them rewarded with a third shortly afterwards. Coming courtesy of another intricate move, Jamie Reynolds excellent cross from the left hand side managed to pick out Griffiths inside the danger zone. The striker snatched at the ball forcing an excellent save out of Boucher. The ball then came out to Maghoma whose well measured volley brushed the leg of Griffiths en route to finding the back of the net, 3-0. It was all too easy for Parker’s side who were being allowed to run rings around a tired looking villains side who were offering very little attacking threat. Chances were aplenty for Parker’s side, Markanday could easily have made it four were it not for a superb save from the feet of Boucher. By this point the Villa defenders were livid, I heard many a roar of ”it’s too f’ing easy!”. Despite our stranglehold on the game, the young lilywhites knew from previous experience that they mustn’t drop their heads. The tireless Armando Shashoua epitomised this urgency in the Spurs side, when he ran the length of the pitch before making a vital interception inside the Spurs box to prevent a goalscoring chance. Spurs got the second half back underway against a noticeably more defensive Villa team.

Spurs were continuing to dominate possession, knocking the ball around with ease as they thought about making their next attacking foray. Excellent throughout, Dilan Markanday almost grabbed a brace after getting on to the end of Patterson’s cross, but a fine block by Jake Walker prevented a simple tap in for the winger. Chances came and went for both sides, the commanding Dinzeyi made an important intervention inside the Spurs box. Whilst Jamie Bowden curled an effort a whisker wide of the Villa goal a couple of minutes later. I sensed that it was never going to be Villa’s day, after Mungo Bridge missed an absolute sitter at Oluwayemi’s far post, Villa were wasteful and despite a bit of a resurgence in the second half, they were proving little match for Parker’s energetic side. The creative Maghoma sliced an effort wide for the lilywhites, who would soon bring on fresh legs in striker Rodel Richards, who replaced Griffiths on the hour mark. Despite lowering their tempo Spurs continued to carve open a very sorry looking Villa defence. Some fine work from the dominant Dinzeyi to win the ball in the centre of the park resulted in the defender placing a lovely forward pass into the feet of Markanday, who advanced into the Villa box only having his powerful effort stopped by yet another fine piece of goalkeeping from Boucher. Then with less than 20 minutes left Spurs grabbed their fourth of the afternoon through substitute Rodel Richards. Parker’s side had killed the game off in style, the goal coming from yet another intricate attacking move.

The move started down the right with Tainio picking up the ball, the Finnish youth international managed to pick out Shashoua who was lurking at the far post, with a pin point cross. Shashoua battled with a much taller Villa defender for the ball, managing to send a delicate looping header across goal and into Richards who nodded home with ease. Spurs were passing the ball around for fun, Villa had capitulated and Parker’s young side were loving every moment of it. Playing with a smile on their faces Spurs were playing some lovely fluent stuff, the powerful Paris Maghoma and the diligent Dilan Markanday were at the forefront of this. And it was the great vision of Paris Maghoma which created our fifth of the game on 80 minutes. The midfielder who had dropped deeper in the second half, managed to send substitute Pochettino through on goal down the right channel, courtesy of a defence splitting pass from the half way line. Pochettino had only Boucher to beat down the right side of the penalty area, with the goal gaping Pochettino unleashed a powerful effort straight at the Villa goalkeeper. The ball came back out to Richards on the edge of the penalty area, the forward steadied himself before hitting the ball into the turf and over the unsteady Boucher. Despite Isaiah Bazeley Graham’s acrobatic effort to stop the ball on the line it evaded the Villa defender and crossed the line possibly with a touch from Clarke on the way in, 5-0. Villa had a golden chance to get a consolation goal soon after the restart, when Jamie Bowden was robbed of the ball on the edge of the Tottenham box by Lewis Brunt. Brunt continued into the box but somehow failed to beat Oluwayemi, as he fired wide of the left post.

Then came a slightly comedic moment after substitute Rayan Clarke blasted the ball at Villa defender Dominic Revan. Revan was on the floor wincing in pain, but the Spurs players weren’t having none of it, Paris Maghoma even telling him to grow up! The final score Spurs 5-0 Aston Villa. A performance of the highest quality from Parker’s side saw them completely dominate a really poor looking Villa side at a venue where they have struggled over recent seasons. It was a great response to the cup final defeat against Chelsea the previous weekend. Up next for Parker’s side is a trip to East London to face West Ham on Wednesday lunchtime. COYS

Player reviews: – Josh Oluwayemi: A good performance from the 17 year old GK on his first start for the u18’s. Didn’t have a lot to do, but what he did do he did well. Made one top save, gave a commanding performance in front of the back four and looked very comfortable with the ball at his feet.
– Maximus Tainio: Put in a competent performance at right back, was particularly impressive going forward. Whipped some delightful crosses into the danger zone. Played a big part in our fourth goal.
– Jamie Reynolds: Another terrific performance from the 18 year old. Who posed a major attacking threat down the left hand side, loved to burst forward and overlap Patterson. Whipping in many a delightful cross in the process. Reynolds was also sound defensively and good at getting back. He really is developing into a really promising fullback.
– Jamie Bowden: Proved once again that he is a real creative force from deep. Kept things nice and tidy and did his defensive duties well. But it was his accurate passing and clever little forward balls which were so influential. I can’t remember him misplacing a single pass in the game.
– Tariq Hinds: A very accomplished performance from the versatile Hinds, looked more than comfortable at centre half against Villa. Read the game well and liked to play the ball out from the back.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: A very impressive performance from the commanding Dinzeyi at centre half. The skipper was dominant and decisive, composed both on and off the ball. He had a terrific game and made many an important challenge.
– Dilan Markanday: The diligent winger was superb throughout and provide Spurs with one of their main creative outlets. Unshakeable down the right whenever he surged forward, Markanday’s trademark skill and clever twists and turns had the Villa defenders dizzy and dazed. Some of his attacking forays were sublime, he has really come to remind me of Edwards but with a higher work rate. Took his goal really well.
– Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below.
– Reo Griffiths: Despite the uncertainty regarding his future at the club, he isn’t letting the Leipzig links affect his form in front of goal. Had a good game against Villa scoring a deserved brace, though he knew little about his second. Despite this he could well have had four goals, squandered a lot of really good chances.
– Armando Shashoua: Drifted all over the park, but always made sure that he got back into his own half to make those important interceptions and tackles. Showed more of his attacking side against Villa picking out some nice passes. Shashoua also got his first assist of the campaign, setting up Richards for the fourth.
– Phoenix Patterson: Another player who remained a major creative force throughout the game, with his fine vision and creativity out left. Was always eager to make runs down the left hand side.
– Rodel Richards: Terrific half an hour cameo from Richards who couldn’t have had more of an influence on the game if he tried. Scored two really well taken goals.
– Maurizio Pochettino: Decent cameo down the right hand side, made a couple of good runs down that channel. Played a big part in our fifth of the game.
– Rayan Clarke: Had little time to make an impression, some may say that he got the final touch on Richards second of the game. I’ll leave that to the dubious goals committee!

My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. A player that had an immense impact on the game, midfielder Paris Maghoma (16) ran the show against Aston Villa. Operating primarily as a 10 in the first half, Maghoma overwhelmed the Villa defence with his powerful forward runs and excellent positioning in and around the six yard box. Maghoma set up one of our three goals in the first half and was desperately unlucky not to have got on the scoresheet. He dropped deeper in the second half but still had a major influence on proceedings with his defence splitting passes and played a big part in setting up our fifth of the game. Maghoma has such a wide ranging skillset, but there’s one trait in particular which is so effective. And that’s his ability to surge forward and just glide past opposition players with such ease. He was so unlucky not to get a goal for himself.

Spurs U18s: Oluwayemi, Tainio, Reynolds, Bowden, Hinds, Dinzeyi (c), Markanday (Pochettino 72), P Maghoma, Griffiths (Richards 61), A Shashoua, Patterson (Clarke 78). Substitutes (not used): Freeman, Statham.

 

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-25
Phoenix Patterson -8
Dilan Markanday-6
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-2
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-3
Rodel Richards-12
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-2
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock-2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-6
Reo Griffiths-8
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-6
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-3
Oliver Skipp-1
Tariq Hinds-1
Paris Maghoma-5
Armando Shashoua-1
Maurizio Pochettino -1

Spurs under 18’s versus Aston Villa: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Aston Villa: (match preview)

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Scott Parker’s Spurs under 18 side resume league action on Saturday lunchtime when they visit Bodymoor Heath for the rearranged league fixture against Aston Villa. Parker’s side will be looking to respond from their disappointing 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in last Sunday’s u18 premier league cup final. Now with only the league to focus their attentions on, Spurs will be looking to finish the season strongly. Tomorrows opposition Aston Villa sit just the one position below them in the table in eight, having played a game more than Spurs. A team who Spurs have had a historically poor record against at this level, the villains haven’t endured the most successful of seasons this time round. Villa have only picked up 19 points from 17 league games, including just the six at home. On top of this, they exited the FA youth cup in the fourth round to Bury. And were also eliminated in the group stages of the league cup, losing all three of their games including a 4-1 defeat to Parker’s side at Hotspur Way. Villa were particularly poor that day and there were very few players that caught my eye, in that comprehensive victory for our lads. However, Parker’s side did loose 1-0 to Villa in the reverse league fixture earlier on in the season. Spurs travel to Tamworth with a fair few players missing, owing both to the international break and a growing injury list which includes star player Brooklyn Lyons-Foster who succumbed to an injury in the cup final against Chelsea. I will be reporting from Bodymoor Heath on tomorrows game, as a rotated Spurs side look to respond to the heartbreak of last Sunday. My in depth match report will be published on Saturday night. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Hinds(c), Statham, Dinzeyi, Reynolds, Bowden, P.Maghoma, Clarke, A.Shashoua, Bennett, Richards.

Subs from: De Bie, Lock, Patterson, Markanday, Pochettino.

Doubtful: Charlie Freeman (arm), Griffiths (injury?), Tashan Oakley Boothe.

Injured/unavailable: Jeremie Mukendi (arm), Jubril Okedina (leg), Brooklyn Lyons-Foster(ligaments), Elliot Thorpe (away with Wales u19’s), Troy Parrott (away with Ireland u17’s), Maximus Tainio (away with Finland u17’s).

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

One to watch: Villas top scorer in the league this term with 5 goals, Dimitri Sea.

 

Spurs under 18’s 0-2 Chelsea: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 0-2 Chelsea: (match report)

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After getting a bus replacement service from Surbiton through the leafy villages of Surrey I eventually reached the small village of Cobham and Stoke d’abernon, which is home to Chelsea’s training ground. Filled with excitement I made my way towards the pitch where the u18 premier league cup final between Chelsea and Spurs was being held. It was all very official, there were separate stands for the Spurs and Chelsea supporting families, and there was even music being blasted out of large speakerphones that were placed by the pitch. It was the biggest game of Scott Parker’s sides career, after progressing past some of the finest teams in the country en route to the final, it was our lads time to show old foes Chelsea what they were capable. Unfortunately they never quite managed to make an impression on the game, which was controlled from start to finish by a dominant possession based Chelsea side whose physical and mental prowess proved too much for our lads. They controlled the game throughout, suffocating our creative supply lines and isolating the likes of Bennett and Markanday out wide. It was a very similar game to the one that saw Jody Morris’s side knock us out of the Youth cup earlier on in the season, we simply weren’t allowed to play. And that showed in front of goal, we only ever managed about two attempts on target and it even made me feel sorry for the blues goalkeeper Karlo Ziger who had so little to do that he had probably developed frost bite. Regarding the team selection for Spurs there was one big surprise, as Parker gave the nod to Troy Parrott to start up front for Spurs on their most important game of the season, despite only making his debut a couple of days before. The absence of top scorer Reo Griffiths from the squad will only fuel rumours of him leaving the club at the expiration of his contract in the summer. But he may just have been injured.

As for the rest of the team selection I was a little disappointed not to see Paris Maghoma and Rayan Clarke start the game. Maghoma for his superb driving runs from the midfield, and Clarke for his lung bursting runs down the right flank, but that is merely my opinion. Spurs got the cup final underway at Chelsea’s bitterly cold Cobham training centre. After a quiet opening couple of minutes Chelsea had the first attempt on goal of the game, after Tariq Uwakwe cut inside from the right before forcing De Bie into making a comfortable save. Spurs then had a penalty shout at the other end after Bennett’s low cross picked out Parrott inside the box. The Dubliner turned his man exquisitely before being brought down from behind, his claims for a penalty were waived away. Chelsea were now stamping their authority on the game, Castillo responded to the brief Spurs threat by whipping a dangerous ball across the face of De Bie’s goal. After a quiet opening 10 or so minutes the game was turned on its head all of a sudden after Daniel Austin (the referee) made a brave call. After a strangely poor back pass by Lyons-Foster allowed Uwakwe to sprint through on goal, De Bie sharply came out of his goal. Supposedly bringing down Uwakwe, who went to the ground as he attempted to get a hand on the ball. Up stepped Conor Gallagher whose powerful low effort was spectacularly saved low down by De Bie, who managed to collapse his body at the perfect time. It really was top class goalkeeping from the Belgian to keep out the usually clinical Gallagher. Spurs were now having to deal with a bit of a Chelsea onslaught.

After sustained pressure on the Spurs defence Chelsea’s patience was rewarded after they took the lead on 18 minutes. The goal came about after an in swinging cross from the right flank picked out Marc Guehi. The defenders acrobatic effort found its way to Charlie Brown, who lashed past De Bie from four yards out. Parker’s side had no way to respond as the blues tight defence prevented them from getting out of their own half. Chelsea almost made it 2-0 shortly afterwards, George McEachran’s brilliant through ball set Brown running through on goal. Brown glided past Lyons-Foster before unleashing a thunderbolt of a shot, which came cannoning off of De Bie’s post. The ball came back to Brown and it ended up rebounding off him and back towards the Belgians goal. De Bie’s razor sharp reaction save only preventing it from being 2-0. This was really poor from Parker’s side who were offering zero threat of a comeback, Parrott was working incredibly hard to make things happen up top. But he was getting no service from the wide men who had been totally isolated. An unfortunate injury occurred when Lyons-Foster pulled up injured, clearly in pain the defender knew that he couldn’t continue, and was duly replace by Jonathan Dinzeyi on the half hour mark. Tariq Hinds received a yellow after making a cynical foul on a Chelsea forward as the one traffic continued. The potent Tariq Lamptey drifted past Reynolds down that right hand side before hitting a powerful effort goal bound effort from an acute angle, which was well saved by De Bie. Gilmour’s volley from the resulting corner kick was well blocked by Bowden inside the Spurs box, but despite this the Chelsea players vehemently protested for a penalty.

Unfortunately it came as no surprise when Jody Morris’s side doubled their lead on the stroke of half time. The blues had managed to open up our defence once again, a clever through ball from Billy Gilmour played Brown through on goal. The centre forward making no mistake as he rifled the ball into the bottom corner of De Bie’s goal, 0-2. It was the least that Chelsea deserved, Spurs had not even managed to have one attempt on the Chelsea goal during the first half! Scott Parker gave Parrott a talking to on the pitch as the players emerged out of the dressing rooms, forward Phoenix Patterson would start the half in a deeper position. The opening couple of minutes of the second half was like a rerun of the first. An intricate Chelsea move saw Brown back heel the ball to McEachran whose effort was deflected narrowly wide. Marc Guehi headed wide from the resulting Chelsea corner kick. Chelsea were giving Spurs no time on the ball, Parker had to change things up. One such positive change occurred shortly before the hour mark after attack minded midfielder Paris Maghoma replaced Jamie Bowden in the centre of midfield. Meanwhile Troy Parrott nodded wide from a Phoenix Patterson free kick, he had been completely crowded out by Chelsea players. Chelsea continued to threaten the Tottenham goal, the only meaningful Spurs attacks were coming from counter attacks. Such as the one orchestrated by Hinds round the 70 minute mark. The right back embarked on a blistering run down the right wing, managing to beat a couple of Chelsea players before crossing towards Bennett at the far post. But the wingers effort was blocked by a Chelsea player as he went clattering to the ground, it was yet another piece of brilliant defending by Chelsea.

Though Chelsea were a lot happier just to the pass the ball around in this half, they could still open our defence at will. Tariq Lamptey beat Reynolds once again down the right hand side, before firing the ball agonisingly across the face of De Bie’s goal. The impressive Jonathan Dinzeyi managed to make two important pieces of defending. First to make a perfect sliding challenge to prevent Lamptey’s advances. And secondly to put Gilmour off inside the penalty area. The Chelsea bombardment continued when substitute Taylor-Crossdale tested De Bie from range. The final was already won, chances were limited to hopeful crosses by Spurs. Such as the delivery that Hinds whipped into the danger zone towards the latter stages of the game, despite Parrott’s best efforts he couldn’t quite reach it. To Spurs’ credit they were giving it a good old go as the game went on. And we almost managed to pull a goal back through Parrott. The striker forced a fine save out of Karlo Ziger, after managing to peal away from his man and connect with Patterson’s inviting cross inside the six yard box. Parrott’s effort was the last real effort Spurs could muster on goal, it was all Chelsea for the final 15 or so minutes of the final. Thanks to Jonathan De Bie in the Spurs goal, we managed to keep it to just being 2-0 down. The Belgian produced a fine stop to prevent Uwakwe’s effort, before making a blunder soon afterwards when he passed the ball straight out to McEachran who quickly squared the ball for Taylor-Crossdale inside the box. However, the strikers first time effort was deflected out for a corner by Tottenham.

Chelsea continued to go in search of goal number three, McEachran testing De Bie from range. Parker’s side didn’t stop trying until the final whistle despite the fact that they struggled to get the ball off of Chelsea. A sloppy pass from Gallagher did present Spurs with a chance in the dying moments of the game, after he passed the ball straight to substitute Rodel Richards. The forward drove at the Chelsea defence before slipping a nice pass into Parrott down the left hand side, but despite his best efforts he was crowded out by the resilient Chelsea defence. Parrott and Lamptey exchanged a few words after clattering into each other. The final score, a disappointing but not unexpected 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the final of the under 18 premier league cup. After a brilliant run in the competition Spurs eventually met their match in this outstanding Chelsea side, who even had the cheek of leaving out six of their best players at this age group! Next up for Parker’s lads is a trip up to the midlands to face Aston Villa next Saturday, as they resume league action.

 

 

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Had an excellent game in between the sticks, made three or four excellent saves. Including a stunning one to deny Gallagher from the penalty spot. He has been very good all season.
– Tariq Hinds: One of the few players who had a good game, Hinds protected the right flank from the potent threat of Castillo. He was defensively sound and dealt well with the flying Dutchman who is renowned for his lightning fast pace. Also gave a fairly good account of himself going forward.
– Jamie Reynolds: Decent performance, struggled to deal with the powerful Tariq Uwakwe who had the beating of him for pace. Reynolds did however do quite well whenever he managed to burst past the half way line.
– Jamie Bowden: Gave a good account of himself in the centre of the park despite being overpowered on occasions by the dominant Chelsea midfield. I didn’t think the game suited his or Skipp’s style of play. Worked tirelessly.
– TJ Eyoma: Decent performance up against some very tricky customers. Did well to keep up with the pace of the Chelsea forwards.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Did a fine job up until his unfortunate injury that he picked up on the half hour mark. Sadly it looks like he suffered ligament damage.
– Dilan Markanday: Worked hard down the right flank but he couldn’t really make an impact on the game, was isolated out wide.
– Oliver Skipp: Decent performance by the u23 starlet, but like Bowden he couldn’t really influence the game with his creative play.
– Troy Parrott: My motm, see below.
– Phoenix Patterson: Whipped a couple of nice deliveries into the Spurs box but apart from that he was anonymous for most of the game.
– J’neil Bennett: Another player whose hard work went unrewarded. Bennett was unable to make much of an impact down the left flank.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Had an excellent game after coming onto replace Lyons-Foster on the half hour mark. Held his own, showed good positioning and managed to make some vital interceptions and blocks.
– Paris Maghoma: Made a positive impression on the midfield after his second half introduction. It was very hard to break past the Chelsea defence, but he did go on a couple of nice attacking forays.
– Rodel Richards: Too short a cameo to make much of an impact on the game. Richards was played behind Parrott.

My man of the match: Troy Parrott. The schoolboy was my man of the match for many reasons, despite getting virtually no service he tried his utmost to create for himself. Pressed relentlessly and showed fire in his belly, getting stuck in against much more physical defenders. Once again he showed that Kane like ability to drift out wide and work for the team. Some of his movement such as the one where he turned his man inside the box was top draw. Shows great intelligence for a player so young. Parrott won’t be involved for the next two u18 games due to international involvement with Ireland under 17’s.

Chelsea U18s: Ziger, Lamptey, Lavinier, Guehi, Mola, Gallagher (c), Uwakwe, Gilmour, Brown (Taylor-Crossdale 70), McEachran, Castillo (Anjorin 82). Substitute (not used): Tie, Wakely, Redan.

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Bowden (P Maghoma 58), Eyoma, Lyons-Foster (Dinzeyi 30), Markanday, Skipp (Richards 76), Parrott, Patterson, Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, A Shashoua.

Goals: Chelsea – Brown 18, 45+1.

Yellow card: Spurs – Hinds 38.

Referee: Daniel Austin.

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

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

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After seven months of fiercely contested cup ties Scott Parker’s under 18’s will contest the final of the inaugural edition of the u18 premier league cup when they face Chelsea tomorrow afternoon. After recording some stunning victories over the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Aston Villa, Spurs will have the opportunity to win some silverware when they face the blues at their Cobham based training ground on Sunday. Old foes you could say, Chelsea are without doubt the finest side of this age group in Europe and their dominance of the u18 league and FA youth cup in recent years has been testament to that plethora of talent that the blues have managed to bring through time after time. Jody Morris’s side have already knocked us out of the FA youth cup this season, playing a possession based game. However, Parker’s side did manage to record a 4-4 league draw against the blues earlier on in the campaign. This Chelsea team are supremely talented and have taken the league and cups by storm so far this season, only succumbing to one defeat in 27 games. Blessed with a squad rich with talent, the likes of midfield technician Billy Gilmour, speedy Dutch forward Daishawn Redan and the prolific Martell Taylor-Crossdale are but a small few of their most talented players. And that’s not including the likes of Ampadu, Hudson-Odoi and Kyle Scott who despite all being eligible are unlikely to be involved tomorrow. Jody Morris has his team in excellent shape, they are technically mature beyond their years and can pass the ball around for fun whilst opening defences at their will. However, Scott Parker’s side are also extremely talented and if they can approach the game like they did in the semi final against Arsenal and the quarters against Liverpool, then we will have a fighting chance of lifting the trophy on Chelsea turf.

Don’t get me wrong this is the biggest game of their careers, but I’m hoping to see them play without fear and show Chelsea what they are capable of, especially going forward. It promises to be a cracker of a game and as somebody who has attended every single game in the run up to the final, there would be nothing more satisfying then watching our lads parade around Cobham with the trophy aloft. I will be reporting from Cobham on tomorrows cup final and will have my in depth match report up later on that night. As Spurs and Chelsea u18’s contest their very own cockney cup final! COYS

 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) De Bie (c), Eyoma, Skipp, Lyons-Foster, Hinds, P.Maghoma, Bowden, Dinzeyi, Bennett, Patterson, Richards, Griffiths.

Subs from: J.Oluwayemi, Reynolds, Dinzeyi, A.Shashoua, Clarke.

Doubtful: Charlie Freeman, Jeremie Mukendi and Jubril Okedina (all injured).

My score prediction: Spurs 1-0.

One to watch: I could pick every single player in their team, such is the plethora of talent that they posses. However, the one to watch for me is Scottish midfield maestro Billy Gilmour, the former Rangers play possesses a wide ranging skill set and has the ability to the run the show from midfield. Gilmour also has an eye for goal.

U18 midfielder Moroyin Omolabi has had his contract ended by mutual consent and has since left the club. (source: the FA website)

A short piece I wrote on how we reached the final: https://superhotspur.com/2018/03/16/the-story-of-spurs-journey-to-the-under-18-premier-league-cup-final/

The story of Spurs’ journey to the under 18 premier league cup final:

The story of Spurs’ journey to the under 18 premier league cup final:

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All of my in-depth match reports from each game in the run up to the final can be found on superhotspur.com !

I am delighted to confirm that I have been granted access to report on our under 18′ premier league cup final against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, a big thank you to all who made this possible! As a celebratory piece on top of my preview I thought I’d write a brief recap of how Scott Parker’s side made it to the final, chronicling our journey from the group stages right up until the semifinals. Drawn in a group containing Leicester, Fulham and Aston Villa where only the highest placed side was guaranteed progression into the quarters, Parker’s side had their work cut out if they wanted to get past the first hurdle. We started our journey with a visit to Leicester City’s Belvoir drive training ground back in September. This was already our second meeting with the foxes this season after suffering a 4-2 league defeat to Trevor Peake’s side only a couple of weeks previously. Two early goals from Dilan Markanday which were both assisted by Patterson gave Spurs a comfortable lead at half time. But after an impressive first half performance Spurs fell under the cosh to a resurgent foxes side, Leshabela pulling a goal back for the foxes shortly after the restart. Somehow and after about 15 attempts at De Bie’s goal Spurs managed to cling on to an underserved victory to take the three points back to north London. Our next group game took place at Hotspur Way in early November when we took on Fulham.

It was a drab and uninspiring game against the cottagers, the much rotated Tottenham side failing to get out of the blocks fast enough. Struggling to deal with the electric Sonny Hilton who took the lead for the west London club inside 4 minutes, Spurs struggled to play their attacking brand of football. However, the return of Rayan Clarke from a three month injury struggle managed to shake things up for Parker’s side. Clarke’s pace and exciting style of play quickly managed to caused Fulham problems and it didn’t take long for Spurs to draw level. The instinctive Clarke managing to power home Jamie Reynolds cross to give Spurs fresh hope of a comeback. Unfortunately no such comeback occurred, Fulham replied a mere 7 minutes later through Nico Santos who scored what turned out to be the winner. This severely dented our chances of making the knock out stages, meaning that we didn’t just have to win our final group game against Aston Villa, but that we had to win it by a healthy goal margin in order to stand any chance of progression. When the villains made the visit to Hotspur Way back in December Parker’s side had the odds stacked against them if they wanted to get one of the best runners up berths to progress to the knockout stages. Things started badly for Parker’s side who fell behind after just 5 minutes through Vassilev.

Almost destined for an early exit from the competition, Spurs produced a remarkable comeback. Levelling through Rodel Richards just 4 minutes later, the wide man would provide the inspiration behind our victory as he scored a further 2 more goals with the other coming from schoolboy J’neil Bennett who put in a similarly excellent performance to ensure that we beat the villains 4-1, ensuring our progression to the quarter finals. We were then drawn against Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool in the next round with the tie taking place at Hotspur Way in January. Unbeaten in all competitions I feared that the mighty reds would prove one hurdle too high for our lads. And after a difficult half an hour against a fluid Liverpool side I thought my predicament may come true, but thankfully Spurs changed the game on its head. Taking an unexpected lead through Reo Griffiths on the stroke of half time, Spurs dominated the second half. Completely out playing Liverpool at their own game. A brace from Richards and a late goal by Markanday capping off a spectacular performance as Spurs booked their place in the semis.

The semifinal tie against Arsenal would prove the sweetest of all as Spurs produced another spectacular display when it mattered. Things didn’t look positive when Parker’s side fell behind after just three minutes, but once again Spurs fought back and provided an inspired comeback. A well worked leveller from Paris Maghoma changed the flow of the game and a later hat-trick from Reo Griffiths capped off yet another spectacular victory over our old foes. Booking our place into the final of the inaugural competition which takes place on Sunday afternoon, against the high flying blues a side who have already inflicted so much hurt on our side over previous seasons. My match preview for that game will be out tomorrow. COYS

 

My interview with former Spurs player Steven Slade:

My interview with former Spurs player Steven Slade:

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Steven Slade was a rising star at Spurs during the mid 1990’s making over 20 appearances for the lilywhites after making the step up from the youth team. The promising striker who was capped at under 21 level for England, kindly caught up with me to talk about his time at the club and further career in the game.

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

Steven: Earliest memories was getting lifts in by razor and not cleaning balls and bibs in the morning lol. And I joined Spurs because I was at West Ham and all they did was running and I was scouted by Pat to come for a trial.

How tricky was the path from the Academy into the first team during the mid 1990’s?

Steven: Didn’t have academy then I missed that by a year and to be fair I didn’t really want to play football boxing was my favourite sport and to be fair none of the youth or reserve managers wanted to give me a contract but on the day of getting a contract I scored a Hatrick and Ozzie signed me right away, best manager for me at Spurs.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Steven: Gazza and Nayim.

Could you describe your senior debut for Spurs?

Steven: Think it was Southampton and was annoyed because Gerry wouldn’t let me wear moulds but it was the best feeling ever walking out onto the pitch at home, Spurs fans were always good to me and I got a standing ovation on my debut but came off with cramp, was the best feeling ever.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero?

Steven: I didn’t really have one but I guess I always wanted to be Ronaldo or Pele.

Who for you was the most talented player you’ve played with during your career?

Steven: Toss up between Gazza or Nayim, they would do things that were just amazing to watch in training but also take them on a pitch on match days they were the days when you could do tricks and express yourself but that died quickly after certain managers came about and wanted you to hold it up, pass it and get in the box which was not my game.

You played over 20 games for the lilywhites could you explain what it was like to represent the club and play in front of the home fans?

Steven: Representing the lilies is the best feeling I’ve ever had it’s really hard to explain but from when you turn up on match day they are amazing then when your getting ready to come out the tunnel you can hear them warming up. There voice from the stands and when they see you all come out they literally take the roof off and to me they are the best fans I’ve ever had at any club.

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

Steven: I speak to Chris Armstrong Dozzy and good friends with foxy. But Sol went a bit funny on everyone and I was doing Spurs legends for a bit but stopped that as certain people still wanna treat you like it’s 20 years ago and I wouldn’t have that then and certainly won’t now.

After leaving Spurs in 1996, you went on to play for a whole range of clubs including QPR, Cambridge United and Icelandic side Vikingur. What were some memorable moments from that time in your career?

Steven: My best time was at QPR not when Gerry came though but playing under Ray Harford and Connie Jones they were the only managers that let me play and express myself in games. Them and Ozzie were always the best managers ever got me to play under.

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Steven: I guess most would say playing for the u21’s with Beckham and them but I didn’t even want to play and was forced to go. And then had a massive falling out with the England camp over asking for McDonalds because Beckham wouldn’t and then having a little fight with one of the managers. Looking back now I would of handled things differently but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Do you still support/follow Spurs’ progress?

Steven: Of course I follow them but hardly know any of them anymore and even though we are doing great things in recent years they don’t give me that feeling of watching them when we had the likes of Gazza, Nayim, Armstrong, Teddy, Barmby and Wilson. But will always be a Spurs yid.

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

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

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A much rotated Spurs under 18’s side took on Swansea City this morning in an important league fixture at Hotspur Way. Scott Parker left some key players out for this one, with the u19 youth league occurring the previous day. Players such as Griffiths, Maghoma and Bennett were also being saved for our u18 premier league cup final against Chelsea at the weekend. This meant that players such as Rayan Clarke and Maxwell Statham were given a rare start. But the biggest news of all was the inclusion of Irish schoolboy Troy Parrott who after recently turning 16 was now eligible to represent Spurs at this level. The schoolboy who played up front would do so for the entirety of the game. Ending in an incredibly rare goalless draw (for u18 level) it was a fiercely contested game. Swansea were the more physical side by some distance, opting for long balls and crosses in to the target man as oppose to working it into box. On the other hand Parker’s side played the much for fluid football, dominating the central areas through the tireless duo of Shashoua and Patterson and later Bowden. The forwards were able to get up more and create and were given a lot of freedom. But despite our best efforts we just couldn’t break through the Swans defence in what was an even and end to end game which would ultimately end in a goalless draw. However, the sheer competitiveness and fast paced nature of the game ensured that it was no bore draw.

The strong winds came down hard on those in attendance, as Spurs got the game underway. After a quiet opening few minutes Swansea had the first attempt on goal of the game through Craig Davies. Whose jinking run across the Spurs penalty area ended in him hitting a low effort towards De Bie’s far post, which the Belgian keeper dealt with comfortably. Spurs were enjoying the lions share of possessions passing the ball about with real pace and intent. Our first chance of the game came down the left flank. Speedy winger Rayan Clarke managing to beat his man with ease before being tripped by Evans inside the penalty area, Clarke was adamant that it was a penalty. Unfortunately the referee didn’t share his view as he waved away his claim. Tom Price blasted an effort wide for the visitors shortly before Spurs almost took the lead at the other end. Parker’s side had come so close to breaking the deadlock. Rayan Clarke’s effort from out left was parried by the swans goalkeeper Alex Lang as Patterson was quickest to the loose ball. The Tottenham midfielder also saw his effort saved by Lang from close range, it was a great piece of goalkeeping. Without there being any clear cut chances for either side, Spurs had to be patient and were willing to the pass the ball about in an attempt to break down a rigid back line. The closest we came to scoring in the first half was through Jamie Bowden’s free kick from around 25 yards out from goal. The makeshift centre half curled a beautiful effort over the Swansea wall and onto the top of the cross bar, leaving Lang rooted to the spot.

A slightly odd moment followed after De Bie’s long goal kick came to Parrott up top, the Irishman thinking he was offside decided to leave it much to the fury of his team mates. It was only when u18 assistant coach Matt Wells roared ”you can’t be offside from a goal kick, that Parrott had realised his error. We were playing a lot more fluidly as the half progressed, and we were almost rewarded for it after yet another great run from Clarke down the left side. Surging past his man and continuing on to the byline, Clarke managed to pick out Markanday inside the box. The right wingers well improvised header being well kept out by Lang who made a fine reaction save. We continued to trouble the Swansea defence, a lovely piece of skill from Parrott to pick up Shashoua’s cross field pass resulted in a decent chance for Parrott. But with little time he tried to volley it towards goal but hardly connected with the ball as it rolled into the gloves of Lang. Dinzeyi was alert at the other end to get a good block in to stop Oliver Coopers effort. It had been a good first half for Spurs who just couldn’t quite cut through this Swansea defence. Whilst the Spurs players waited on the pitch for the second half to begin, the Swansea players were taking a long time in the dressing room. This prompted Richards to have a word with the referee. Eventually the game got back underway, and it didn’t take long for the Spurs players to create their first real chance. The tireless Markanday pounced inside the Swansea half after a defender slipped with the ball at his feet. Markanday drove forward, the ball glued to his foot he eventually slipped the ball into Parrott down the right side of the penalty area. But the strikers first time effort was aimed straight at Lang, who was there to make the save.

Ben Cabango came close to giving Swansea the lead after getting on the end of a free kick inside the box but he totally fluffed his chance with a poorly executed effort. Spurs got lucky shortly afterwards when centre half Dinzeyi completely missed out on the ball whilst trying to intercept a pass to Marc Walsh down the right wing. The Irishman left him trailing in his wake as he surged forward before squaring to Wynter-Coles, whose first touch let him down big time. We got caught out again a couple of minutes later when Lang’s long goal kick bounced over the head of Statham before falling for Wynter-Coles on the edge of the Spurs penalty area. The forwards first time volley was thwarted away by De Bie. De Bie then made another save a couple of moments later to keep out Tom Prices’ free kick. Then followed some excellent Harry Kane like off the ball work by Parrott. Who used his physical presence to win the ball down the right before holding off his man and passing to Markanday on the edge of the box. Markanday slipped the ball out to Clarke on the left hand side but his promising effort was closed down by a Swansea defender. The end to end nature of the game continued to flow and Swansea ought to have been 1-0 up after a golden chance came their way after the hour mark. Tricky winger Craig Davies managed to pick out substitute Jayden Reid, who found himself unmarked inside the box. The ball fell nicely for Reid but much to De Bie’s relief his side footed effort flew high over the crossbar. The impressive Phoenix Patterson replaced Maurizio Pochettino shortly afterwards presumably to save him for the cup final on Sunday.

Reid came close again a couple of minutes later with a shot at the near post which flew just wide. This was anyone’s to win, Spurs continued to play the better football but Swansea had gone more offensive and were causing Spurs numerous problems at the back. Parker’s side fought back through the determination of Markanday out wide, the mesmeric dribbler did some great initial work to evade Swansea players before passing to Pochettino down the right channel. Pochettino drove forward before delivering a lovely low cross into the feet of Parrot who was standing just inside the Swansea box. It was a good chance for the Irish starlet who found himself in a bit of space, but his low effort wasn’t enough to trouble Lang who gathered comfortably. Immediately after getting that chance Parrott was straight down the other end defending and getting stuck in. As much as both sides tried, neither could get that illusive goal. Parrott hit an effort from range into orbit, the wind playing a massive factor. Whilst Clarke had another penalty shout waived away. Matt Lock replaced Richards as Spurs switched Statham to centre half. Oliver Cooper fired an effort narrowly over the crossbar for the visitors before Spurs had a good half chance of there own in the dying stages of the game. When Armando Shashoua received the ball inside the box it looked as if he was going to slot home and he would have done were it not for a brilliant last ditch challenge by a Swansea defender. The final score from Hotspur Way was Spurs 0-0 Swansea. When I was leaving the game I happened to overhear an unhappy John McDermott having a word with the officials. The Spurs coach saying ”whatever you say is standard is where the game goes.” We now look forwards to the massively important cup final against Chelsea on Sunday. COYS

 

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Had a solid game in between the sticks, was good in the air and made a couple of decent stops.
– Maxwell Statham: It was a rare start for the 17 year old this morning, Statham started the game at right back and did a fine job making some really meaty challenges whilst keeping the talented Walsh at bay. Later switched to centre back where he also looked solid, he was dominant in the air.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: It was a rare outing at left back for the supremely talented Lyons-Foster against Swansea. The versatile defender putting in another fine display, dealing well with the threat down that side. He really is such a silky customer even for a defender. He played the latter part of the game at centre back.
– Jamie Bowden: My motm, see below.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: It was a good commanding performance from the 18 year old Dinzeyi at centre half. Dominant in the air and strong in the challenge. He read the game well.
– Armando Shashoua: There has not been one game this season where I haven’t walked away being so impressed by the tenacious midfielder. Today was another one of those such performances, operating in the slightly deeper CM role. Shashoua was combative in the central areas, aggressive and relentless as always. He kept things nice and simple when he needed to, but he also made some sublime passes to the forwards with such pin point accuracy. He also mopped up well in the defensive areas whilst knowing when to join the attack, has a perfect balance to his game. One thing which I just can’t get over is his ridiculous stamina, his constant chasing of opposition players for 90 minutes and off the ball movement is quite remarkable for that of a 17 year old, he is non stop. The only player that I can compare him with in regards to his stamina and work rate is the super fit James McClean. There’s no such thing as a lost cause!
– Dilan Markanday: Another player with a great work rate, Markanday put in an impressive performance against the swans. The right winger put in a fine shift down the right hand side, with his mesmeric dribbling and low centre of gravity he went on some really tricky runs. Also tracked back well.
– Phoenix Patterson: After being involved in the second half of the Porto game on Tuesday, Parker chose to start Patterson for this game. Operating as a CM, Patterson put in a lovely shift. He used the ball wisely and creatively and was a real force going forward with his constant twisting and turning and vision for a nice pass.
– Troy Parrott: This was the first time that I’d gotten to see Parrott play properly in the flesh apart from 15 minutes of an u16 game earlier in the season. I’ve seen him star for Ireland u16’s and u17’s on numerous occasions but I was absolutely thrilled to see him on the team sheet. A real grafter, the lone striker had a really impressive debut. With his thick Dublin accent and swagger you could tell that he wasn’t nervous. He was really eager, making great movement off the ball and pealing away from his man. Had a couple of half decent chances, but what was so striking was that almost Harry Kane like willingness to get stuck in. The tall striker was playing all over the shop, getting stuck in on the flanks and trying to win the ball. He was clearly very hungry on his debut, that constant need to be involved in play saw him track back on numerous occasions and start defending at the opposite end. There were some really clever pieces of skill and sudden off the ball movement which really caught the eye. He certainly has a tendency to pull off the unexpected. Eager to see more!
– Rodel Richards: Did ok behind Parrot, had some nice moments but he did fade away for big chunks of the game. A good performance nonetheless.
– Rayan Clarke: Produced some exciting stuff down the left wing, when he was in full flow he proved very difficult to stop.
– Maurizio Pochettino: Decent half an hour cameo from Poch Junior out wide. Made some intelligent passes and managed to find space.
– Matt Lock: N/A

My man of the match: Jamie Bowden. Rock solid as a centre half for the majority of the game, Bowden played the remainder in his more natural CDM role. Bowden was superb in both positions. With a coolness and a cleverness to his game, a quick thinking and intelligent performance from Bowden saw him dictate the tempo from deep. Playing some lovely intricate passes up the pitch whilst also managing to menace the Swansea forwards with his aggressive and well timed defending, showing great off the ball movement (something I watched closely) he kept things ticking and mopped up well after him as he made some decisive and well timed interceptions. He reminds me a bit of Winks but I think he is far more of a creative force, playing lovely over the top balls. His slick Pirloesque passing and immaculate reading of the game saw the 16 year old put in another motm performance. Hardly put a foot wrong.

 

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Statham, Lyons-Foster, Bowden, Dinzeyi, A Shashoua, Markanday, Patterson (Pochettino 61), Parrott, Richards (Lock 85), Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Thorpe.

Updated injury news: Mukendi, Okedina and Charlie Freeman are all currently out injured.

Other news: It looks as if we may have a young goalkeeper currently trialing with our u16’s/18’s. He was warming up with De Bie before today’s game. I have never seen him before.

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths- 23
Phoenix Patterson -8
Dilan Markanday- 5
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-2
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-3
Rodel Richards-10
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-2
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-6
Reo Griffiths-8
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-6
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-3
Oliver Skipp- 1
Tariq Hinds- 1
Paris Maghoma-2