Spurs under 21’s 0-1 EA Guingamp: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 0-1 EA Guingamp: (match report)

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Our under 21’s final game of this seasons Tournoi Europeen took place on Sunday morning in Ploufragan. Burnett’s side faced local team EA Guingamp in the fifth/sixth place play off on Sunday morning. There was torrential rainfall in Ploufragan for Spurs’ final game, the bad conditions would ultimately affect how they played. Burnett decided to change things up for Tottenham’s final game of the tournament. He picked a 4-2-3-1 formation which saw Spurs lineup with De Bie in goal, whist Duncan, Statham, Ogilvie (c) and Hinds made up the back four in place of Jonathan Dinzeyi who was sent off against Stade Rennais. It also turns out that the young centre halve is injured at this moment in time along with Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Shayon Harrison. Bowden and Roles played behind the attacking trio of Markanday, Samuel Shashoua and his younger brother Armando, 16 year old centre forward Troy Parrott lead the line for Spurs on his second start of the tournament, (I gather that Harrison has picked up an injury!). Spurs got the game underway at the Henri Guérin centre as the rain continued to pour down, after some decent early passes Guingamp took a surprise lead through Ryade Hachem in the seventh minute. Quite out of nowhere Mattias Phaeton burst down the left wing before forcing a brilliant save out of De Bie with a venomous effort from the edge of the penalty area. The Belgian could only palm the ball towards the feet of Hachem who managed to convert from close range, 0-1. Burnett’s side almost made an immediate response when they went on a promising attack a couple of moments later.

The lively Samuel Shashoua was able to weave his way into the Guingamp box before playing a quick one – two with Parrott before being brought down by an opposition player inside the box. The ball eventually rolled out to his younger brother Armando as the referee ignored any protests for a penalty. The younger Shashoua squared it for Parrott in the centre of the box but his first time effort was straight at Youfeigane who produced a good save to deny the Irishman a certain goal. Samuel Shashoua threaded a promising through ball into Parrott a couple of minutes later but the centre forwards touch let him down as Youfeigane came out to smother the ball. The prominent Jack Roles then curled an effort narrowly wide as Spurs began to really push for an equaliser. The slippery surface wasn’t helping either side, centre halve Connor Ogilvie had a bit of a scare when Phaeton robbed the ball off of him in the final third before sprinting towards the goal, dragging an effort across the face of De Bie’s goal. The lively Dilan Markanday was proving to be a tricky customer out on the right wing, the 16 year olds menacing free kick on 20 minutes was only narrowly poked wide by Duncan who was lurking at the back post. Spurs began to ask questions of the Guingamp defence, the spritely Parrott did well to win a free kick in promising area for Burnett’s side. The captain Connor Ogilvie stepped up to bend the ball narrowly wide of Youfeigane’s left hand post as the French side continued to keep Spurs at bay. The torrential weather conditions were beginning to really affect Spurs’ passing style and this began to frustrate them in the final third. There was an unpredictability about the game and both sides seemed vulnerable on the counter. Guingamp came close to doubling their lead after Ilan Radenac connected with Phaeton’s cross inside the danger zone, thankfully Radenac nodded the ball narrowly wide at the back post.

The impressive Jamie Bowden tried to play the lively Dilan Markanday through on goal with a lovely lofted pass. However, the speedy winger didn’t have enough time to open his body up as Youfeigane came rushing out to assertively clear the ball. Connor Ogilvie made an important block at the other end to prevent Aly Guedard from getting a clean shot away at goal, after the winger cut inside onto his right foot on the edge of the penalty area. Dilan Markanday then curled an effort well wide of the mark as Parrott exclaimed ’ Why didn’t you pass to me ! ’ Whilst Spurs were seeing a lot more of the ball in the central areas of the pitch neither they nor Guingamp could string that many passes together. The rain was coming down heavier and the conditions were worsening by the half. Burnett’s side had to remain alert at the back as the half progressed, Guedard tested Duncan down the left once again with a surging run. As the winger cut inside onto his right foot before hitting a venomous effort at the Tottenham goal from the edge of the penalty. Of which was brilliantly blocked behind for a corner by Maxwell Statham. Guingamp’s resulting corner kick was whipped in by Louis Carnot as Antoine Hequet flicked the ball into the arms of De Bie, in what was the last real piece of action from the first half. Guingamp got the second half back underway as Spurs went in desperate such of that all important equaliser. However, Burnett’s side found themselves in a spot of bother early on in the half as the newly introduced Es Sahal won the ball off of Bowden in the middle of the park. Es Sahal drove forwards down the middle before lashing an effort wide of De Bie’s goal. Dylan Duncan then made a good challenge inside the Tottenham penalty area to prevent an opening for the French side. Whilst Burnett’s side created a good move at the opposite end of the pitch which culminated in Roles having his shot blocked on the edge of the penalty area.

One of Tottenham’s main creative outlets was Samuel Shashoua and the tricky winger was constantly trying to work his way through the brick wall that was the Guingamp defence. After embarking on a mesmeric run Shashoua managed to take the ball into the Guingamp penalty area but with such limited space to aim at, the winger had his shot blocked at the last moment by a Guingamp defender. Spurs were beginning to play a lot more fluently and they were now able to dominate possession. The hardworking Parrott couldn’t create any openings of his own as Guingamp’s tight defence was strangling the Spurs forwards as they desperately tried to get into space. After conceding a supposed foul on Hachem out on the right wing the referee awarded a free kick against the Dubliner. Clearly unhappy at this decision Parrott asked the referee to open his eyes this resulted in him receiving a yellow card. The referee was getting a bit carried away with handing out yellow cards and only a couple of minutes later he put Spurs captain Connor Ogilvie in the book despite the fact that the 22 year old had won the ball. Spurs were working extremely hard to get back into the game, young defender Maxwell Statham could be heard urging his teammates to keep going as spurs reached a critical stage in the game. About ten minutes from the end the French club almost doubled their advantage through Yohann Baret. After Luc Heumel drilled a low free kick towards goal the ball ended up deflecting into the feet of Baret inside the Tottenham box. The youngster fired a powerful low effort at goal which was excellently saved low down by De Bie who did ever so well to collapse his body in time. Shortly afterwards Jamie Bowden became the third Spurs player to enter the book after a rash challenge on a Guingamp player. The 17 year old was quickly replaced by Paris Maghoma who was brought on in the hope of adding to Spurs’ attack.

Es Sahal tried to beat De Bie in the Spurs goal with an audacious effort from ridiculously far out as Spurs tried desperately hard to work the ball up the pitch. Burnett threw on Edwards and Tracey into the game in a final attempt to try and carve through that rigid Guingamp defence. The alert De Bie did well to snuff out a dangerous looking through ball towards Es Sahal. As Spurs were throwing everything at Guingamp as the clock ticked down, Parrott tried once again to test Youfeigane but was crowded out inside the box before having his shot blocked by a defender. Whilst at the other end Phaeton tore down the left wing before squaring the ball to Es Sahal inside the penalty area. The forward spun around before firing an effort narrowly over the top of De Bie’s goal. Spurs managed to get into a promising position during our last attack of the game but it was as if we were trying to score the perfect goal. Samuel Shashoua and Edwards linked up well before the former worked his way past a couple of defenders on the edge of the penalty area but once again he didn’t shoot. This greatly frustrated Maghoma who could be heard roaring at him on the final whistle, asking him why didn’t he pass the ball to him. The final score from the Henri Guérin centre on a tough morning for Burnett’s side was Spurs under 21’s 0-1 EA Guingamp, Spurs finish the tournament in sixth place. A lot of fans will come to the assumption that this wasn’t a particularly impressive tournament for the Spurs youngsters but I strongly disagree. We were only 25 minutes away from reaching the final during our final group game against Stade Rennais, throughout the group stage we put in three very impressive performances. We were the better team against the eventual winners of the tournament PSG in our opening game. We followed that up with two competent performances against Nice and Stade Rennais in our next two games.

Whilst it would have been nice to reach the final for a second consecutive season the primary objective about these tournaments is about testing the young players mettle. Burnett’s side have performed really well at this years Tournoi Europeen and I for one am extremely proud of their efforts. Young Paris Maghoma (17) was awarded the player of the tournament award after a string of impressive performances in the centre of the park. Whilst Tottenham manager Wayne Burnett was awarded the fair play award by the tournament officials. There have been a whole host of extremely impressive performances from the Spurs players. Those from Connor Ogilvie, Maxwell Statham, Tariq Hinds, Paris Maghoma, Jamie Bowden and Jonathan De Bie all come to mind but I’ve been impressed with all of our players performances throughout the entirety of the tournament. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reporting on our lads progress at the tournament and I would like to thank the Henri Guérin centre for putting on such a welcoming and enjoyable tournament. I would also like to extend my thanks to the Tottenham Hotspur players who kindly took the time to take photographs with me before yesterday’s game with Guingamp, they were all top, top lads. Our development sides first league game of the season is at home to West Ham on Monday the 13th of August.

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: My motm, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: The 19 year old put in a really competent performance in the unfamiliar role of right back. He was strong and flexible and read the game well.
– Tariq Hinds: Another extremely impressive defensive performance from the fullback this time at left back. Hinds remained solid throughout our encounter with Guingamp and hardly put a foot wrong. I can’t remember him getting beaten once down the wing.
– Connor Ogilvie: The commanding defender reverted into playing as a centre halve for our game with Guingamp. Ogilvie put in another strong defensive performance and despite his lack of pace he managed to form a really strong defensive partnership alongside Statham.
– Maxwell Statham: It was another excellent performance from the 17 year old centre back. Statham snuffed out danger throughout the match and managed to marshal the backline well whilst remaining dominant in the air. It was another performance of great maturity.
– Jack Roles: Somewhat of an orchestrator in the centre of the park the industrious midfielder initiated some good moves and made some promising runs in and around the six yard box.
– Jamie Bowden: Cool, calm and collected. The young midfielder capped off an excellent performance with another strong showing in the centre of the park against much older and more physical opposition. He also moved the ball around well.
– Dilan Markanday: Electric inside the first 30 minutes Markanday’s excellent balance and surging runs down the right wing caused a whole host of problems for the Guingamp defence. Whilst he had a quieter second half the 16 year olds strong performance was extremely impressive and effective.
– Armando Shashoua: Another energetic performance in the number 10 role, the intricate midfielder was key to us creating openings. He also linked up really well with his older brother out on the left wing.
– Samuel Shashoua: He made some really dangerous forays into the penalty area whilst constantly peeling into areas of space throughout the game. He was one of Spurs’ main attacking outlets.
– Troy Parrott: Worked incredibly hard up top whilst dropping deep and committing himself to the more defensive aspects of the game. He had one good chance but it was a real battle for the 16 year old agains some extremely well drilled and strong defenders.
– Paris Maghoma: Bright cameo. Maghoma linked up well with the forwards.
– Marcus Edwards: N/A.
– Shilow Tracey: N/A.

My man of the match: Jonathan De Bie: An excellent performance from De Bie saw the Belgian make a string of top class saves. Two of which could only be described as world class!

The Superhotspur player of the tournament: Connor Ogilvie. Strong, powerful and decisive at both ends of the pitch. 22 year old Connor Ogilvie had a magnificent tournament, the skipper lead the team by example and was without doubt our most effective player. He put in some heroic defensive performances whilst combing that with some lovely galavanting runs down the left wing. Please may Pochettino integrate him into the first team squad this season !!

Goals: EA Guingamp – Ryade Hachem (7 minutes).

Our under 23’s pre season stats during the 2018/19 season:

Goals: Marcus Edwards – 2
Connor Ogilvie – 1

Assists: Marcus Edwards – 2
Jamie Bowden – 1

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Spurs under 21’s 1-2 Stade Rennais: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 1-2 Stade Rennais: (match report)

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On our second day of the Tournoi Europeen Spurs started the day off in fist place in group A, knowing that a win in their final group game against Stade Rennais would book their place in Sunday’s final. Wayne Burnett’s development side appeared to be heading for the final for the second consecutive year, his side had totally controlled the first half against Stade Rennais. Spurs had passed the French side off the park creating a plethora of chances inside the opening 25 minutes of the game. Their slick passing and intricacy inside the final third caused no end of problems for ’ Les rouges et noir. ’ Burnett’s side lead 1-0 at the interval to Connor Ogilvie’s glorious long range strike in the fourth minute. The problem was Spurs should have been about 3-0 up inside the first 20 or so minutes, such was their stranglehold on the game. Less than two minutes into the second half and the game was thrown on its head after a lapse in concentration had seen Jonathan Dinzeyi sent off after giving away a cheap penalty. Nkada converted the spot kick and we never recovered after that, we were understandably disjointed and out of shape. Burnett’s side rarely ventured out of their own half as Rennais grew in confidence with an extra man at their disposal. They controlled the second half and ended up scoring what turned out to be the winning goal when Georginio Rutter netted 12 minutes before the end. That means that Spurs finish their group in third place after picking up four points from their three group games. Burnett’s side will face local team EA Guingamp on Sunday morning in a fifth versus sixth play off game involving both the teams who finished third in their group. That will be Spurs’ final game of the tournament before they jet back to Hotspur way ahead of the start of the domestic season.

Burnett opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for our final group game, giving Charlie Freeman his first start in goal. Whilst fielding a back line consisting of Hinds, Dinzeyi, Statham and the skipper Connor Ogilvie. Duncan and Maghoma sat in front of them whilst an attacking trio of Tracey, Armando Shashoua (his debut at this level) and Edwards all stood behind Troy Parrott who lead the line for Spurs. The team all huddled together before the start of the game (lead by Ogilvie) as they tried to book their place in the final. Stade Rennais got the game underway at an extremely gusty Ploufragan. After a fairly uneventful opening couple of minutes Spurs took the lead in extraordinary fashion through skipper Connor Ogilvie in the fourth minute. The fullbacks glorious opener came out of nowhere, after Tracey had attempted to take the ball into the penalty area he had the ball nicked off of him by a defender. The ball rolled back to the Stade Rennais goalkeeper Théo Louis who was quickly put under pressure by the charging Armando Shashoua. With little time to aim his clearance Louis’s pass ended up coming out to Ogilvie around 20-25 yards out from goal. The left back connected with it first time as the goalkeeper rushed back to try and get in position. Ogilvie’s side footed effort looped gloriously into the back of the net totally stunning the Stade Rennais players in the process. Ogilvie and his teammates celebrated wildly on the sidelines, 1-0. Spurs had totally controlled the game in the opening seven or so minutes, playing some lovely slick football in the process. Lilian Brassier had the French sides first goal attempt of the game after he blazed an effort over from distance. Spurs were quickly looking to add to their lead at the other end of the pitch.

A good attacking move saw Edwards shift the ball to Shashoua he flicked a clever pass into the feet of Tracey on the edge of the penalty area. The forward
let fly on his right foot but ended up seeing his effort blocked by a Stade Rennais defender, the game was being affected greatly by the wind. Spurs’ high line came at a cost after they were caught on the break by Stade Rennais as Billal Mehadji darted into the Tottenham penalty area before hitting a weak effort at goal which was easily gobbled up by Freeman. The so far quiet Marcus Edwards had his first shot on goal a couple of moments later as he tested the not so confident looking Louis with a powerful effort from range. Edwards fizzing effort had the goalkeeper flapping on his line as he managed to beat the ball away to safety. Spurs were almost caught napping at the other end after Mehadji was picked out inside the Tottenham box from a corner kick. The Stade Rennais forward wasn’t picked up by anyone inside the box as he headed an effort narrowly wide of Freeman’s left hand post. Connor Ogilvie was forced into making an important challenge inside the danger zone a couple of moments later, as the French club slowly creeped back into the game. Spurs continued to knock the ball around the park, Maghoma tested Louis with an effort from a tight angle as Spurs tried to extend their lead. Despite their many chances inside the first half Burnett’s side were severely lacking in end product. Only 25 minutes away from a place in the final Spurs got the second half back underway as Burnett brought off the energetic Armando Shashoua for the more tenacious Jamie Bowden. Burnett’s side were knocking the ball around with ease at the start of the second half that’s why it came as complete shock when Spurs gave away a needless penalty less than two minutes into the half. Jonathan Dinzeyi was overplaying the ball on the edge of his own box when Timothé Nkada chased him down. All Dinzeyi had to do was clear the ball but instead he tried to be too clever.

Nkada stole the ball off of the Tottenham defender before taking the ball into the box, the now panicked Tottenham defender was the last man. He sprinted back to Nkada before tripping him from behind leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty and give Dinzeyi a straight red card. Clearly distraught by his mistake the 18 year old had his head in his hands, he looked stunned. Nkada stepped up before drilling the ball inside the bottom right hand of corner of the Spurs goal despite Freeman almost managing to get a hand to it, 1-1. Wayne Burnett was going berserk on his touchline and he could be seen barking instructions at his players. Dylan Duncan went in the book a couple of minutes later as Spurs struggled to regain their shape after Dinzeyi’s dismissal. Stade Rennais were in total control, Mehadji fired an effort against the side netting of Freeman’s goal before Bernauer fired over from long range. Meanwhile Burnett’s side were struggling to even get out of their own half, this forced Burnett into bringing on Samuel Shashoua in place of Troy Parrott who had been starved of service. Stade Rennais were continuing to come at us, after latching onto Bernauer’s cross field pass Camavinga burst into the Tottenham penalty area before forcing Charlie Freeman into making an excellent save at his near post. Unfortunately however, the ball rolled out to Rutter who slotted home from close range, 1-2. By this point Spurs were a completely broken team and if anything it was Stadde Rennais who were going to add to their goal tally. The alert Charlie Freeman was called into action once again this time to stop Mehadji from getting on the score sheet. Maxwell Statham made two brilliant late pieces of defending as Spurs tried desperately hard to work the ball out of their own half. Unfortunately a moment of madness from Jonathan Dinzeyi had dealt Spurs a blow in which they couldn’t recover from. The final score from Ploufragan Spurs 1-2 Stade Rennais, Tottenham manager Wayne Burnett could be seen talking with the officials on the final whistle but it was to no avail as Spurs bowed out as third place finishers in group A.

Player reviews: – Charlie Freeman: It was a good performance from the 18 year old on his first start of the tournament. Freeman made a string of fine saves, remaining attentive throughout. The young goalkeeper also dealt well with crosses and set pieces. He was very commanding inside his box. I have a really good feeling that Freeman will go onto have a successful season.
– Tariq Hinds: Hinds was excellent once again, he protected Spurs down that right flank making many important interceptions throughout the game.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: He had a decent game up until the 46th minute when a lapse in concentration cost him dearly whilst trying to play it out from the back. Nkada punished him and darted into the Tottenham penalty area forcing Dinzeyi into making a challenge which ended up being a foul on the Stade Rennais forward. It wasn’t nice to see Dinzeyi in such as state as the referee awarded a penalty kick and pulled out his red card. It was a game changing moment.
– Maxwell Statham: It was another accomplished performance from Statham in the heart of the Tottenham defence. Once again he made a whole host of important blocks and challenges whilst using his physicality to deal with the Stade Rennais forwards. Following Dinzeyi’s dismissal Statham really upped his game and put in a really impressive performance in such difficult conditions. He was dominant and assertive and rarely put a foot wrong.
– Connor Ogilvie: My motm, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: He had a decent game he did however have a tendency to overplay the ball in the centre of the park which proved quite dangerous on a couple of occasions.
– Paris Maghoma: Despite not feeling 100% I thought Maghoma put in a dominant performance in the centre of the park against Stade Rennais. He did a job good and was tidy with the ball.
– Marcus Edwards: He still looked quite leggy but Edwards remained a potent threat whenever he received the ball in the final third.
– Armando Shashoua: He had a really good first half, linking up well with Parrott and Edwards. The number 10 was a live wire throughout the first half and his high pressing played a part in Ogilvie’s goal. He looked very sharp.
– Shilow Tracey: Decent cameo from Tracey who embarked on some promising runs down the left wing.
– Samuel Shashoua: Shashoua came on as a late sub and had a bright spell against Stade Rennais.
– Jamie Bowden: Kept things ticking in the centre of the park after coming on towards the latter stages of the game.

My man of the match: Connor Ogilvie. Not only did he score a fantastic goal for Burnett’s side, but once again Ogilvie had an excellent game at left back. Unstoppable in the first half Ogilvie caused havoc for the Stade Rennais defenders as he went on countless surging runs down the left wing. Although Stade Rennais managed to quell this threat during the second half, the commanding left back defended heroically and kept good positioning throughout. He also lead by example.

Spurs under 21’s 0-0 OGC Nice (Spurs win 3-2 on penalties): (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 0-0 OGC Nice (Spurs win 3-2 on penalties): (match report)

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Wayne Burnett’s development side played French club Nice in their second group game on day one of the Tournoi Europeen on Friday afternoon. After taking two points from PSG earlier in the day in an exciting end to end game of football. Our encounter with Nice was the complete opposite of that fluent game, whilst Burnett’s side played well against the French club they struggled to break them down. Nice played like Stoke City for the majority of the game they were extremely negative and were keen to hoof the ball 40 yards up the pitch whilst resorting to fouling and sandwiching our more intricate players. Burnett made a couple of tactical changes for our second game of the day, young centre halve Maxwell Statham came in for the injured Lyons-Foster. Whilst Samuel Shashoua and Jack Roles got their first starts of the tournament, Spurs lined up in the same 4-3-2-1 formation with Shayon Harrison leading the line. Spurs got the game underway as the rain started to fall down in Ploufragan, but it was Nice who were to have the first attempt on goal of the game. Thomas Valtriani testing De Bie with an early effort from range, the Belgian comfortably gathered his effort. Nice had started the game well and only a couple of moments later Paul Wade saw his free kick go wide of the Spurs goal. Tottenham skipper Connor Ogilvie was forced into making an important sliding challenge to prevent Alexandre Gameiro from entering the penalty area. Jonathan Dinzeyi then made an important block Gameiro’s shot on goal as Spurs struggled to contain the French side. Moustakim Assoumani headed wide of De Bie’s goal from the resulting corner kick as strange fake clapping sounds could be heard blasting out of the speakerphones behind from where I was standing!

Eventually Spurs managed to find their feet and Samuel Shashoua almost created the opener after some good aggressive pressing. Shashoua’s pressing had forced Remy Mestrallet into making an error out on the left flank, Shashoua won the ball off of him before darting into the penalty area. Shashoua jinked past a Nice defender before scooping the ball up to Harrison who was waiting in the centre of the box with his back to goal. The strikers acrobatic volley flew narrowly over Vicenzo Bezzina’s crossbar. Spurs had started to come into the game and only a couple of minutes later we almost took the lead after executing a clever passing move. Of which started at the feet of Bowden who passed the ball to Edwards who then quickly released it to the unmarked Shashoua out on the left side of the penalty area. However, the advancing forward was quickly closed down by the outrushing Bezzina who was there to make the save. Both sides were pushing for an opener as the rain came gushing down, after a quite spell Jonathan De Bie was called into action once again. This time the Belgian got a strong hand to the ball to prevent Valtriani’s long range thunderbolt from going into the Spurs goal. At the other end of the pitch Connor Ogilvie whipped another teasing cross into the danger zone, this time towards the head of Shayon Harrison. As the centre forward went to attack the ball Bezzina came rushing out to try and punch it clear. However, he ended up giving Harrison a painful looking whack to the head instead. It was turning out to be a really frantic end to end game, some panic in the Spurs box could have gifted an opening as Jonathan Dinzeyi made an important challenge. The ball came back out to Gameiro who fired the ball narrowly over De Bie’s goal, the Frenchman should have found the back of the net from such close range.

The impressive Maxwell Statham did well to make two excellent blocks to thwart Eddy Sylvestre’s shots on the edge of half time as both sides went into the interval with all still to play for. Nice got the game back underway as Wayne Burnett’s young men tried to break down their French counterparts. Such was the tenacity of the Nice defenders Spurs were struggling to create chances for Harrison to follow through on. We did however come close to breaking the deadlock after Edwards caught Nice on the break. The teenager sprinted forwards down the right before cutting inside and passing the ball to Harrison inside the box, the striker ended up firing the ball inches over the crossbar. Nice responded with Hamach lashing the ball over from range as the game continued to lack any real sort of quality, Spurs were beginning to become incredibly frustrated at their lack of chances. In an attempt to change Spurs’ fortunes Burnett decided to make a double substitution, bringing on Parrott and Markanday in place of Harrison and Tracey. Meanwhile Valtriani was resorting to desperate measures to try and beat the impressive De Bie, his attempt from 50 yards out from goal was audacious to say the least. It did however, fly well wide of the Tottenham goal. Nice were continuing to bombard the Tottenham defence after Jonathan Dinzeyi gave away a free kick on the edge of the penalty area for an alleged handball, Hicham Mahou wasted what was a good goalscoring opportunity for the French side as he smashed the ball into orbit from the resulting free kick. Burnett threw one last role of the dice when he decided to introduce Shilow Tracey to the game towards the latter stages.

Electric in our last game against PSG Marcus Edwards seemed extremely leggy during our encounter with Nice and he struggled to influence the game, Spurs were lacking that spark to their game as both sides went in search of a winner. Hamachi struck a venomous effort at goal which was well saved by De Bie whilst the referee didn’t take too kindly to Parrott’s high pressing at the other end. On this occasion the Irishman would receive a yellow card for a crunching sliding challenge on Nice goalkeeper Vicenzo Bezzina. Meanwhile a late flurry of chances at the other end forced De Bie into action on more than one occasion. The first important save from the Belgian came after he managed to keep out Assoumani’s deflected header from a resulting free kick. The 18 year old then managed to make another fine stop to thwart Valtriani’s powerful effort from long range. And he wasn’t done there as Nice continued to pester the young lilywhites as Hamach’s effort deflected off of Statham, and into the feet of Guessand inside the Tottenham penalty area. The newly introduced forward spun around before forcing De Bie into making a terrific low save to his left as Spurs managed to take the game to yet another penalty shootout. Maxime Pelican stepped up first for the eaglets but ended up firing his penalty well wide of the right post. Edwards then stepped up to give Spurs the lead as he calmly tucked the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. Nice responded by netting their next spot kick whilst Jack Roles reestablished Spurs’ lead with a calm finish to the goalkeepers right. Hamach made it 2-2 when he smashed the ball down the middle of the goal, meaning that young Troy Parrott had the chance to win it for Spurs. Nothing seemed to faze the 16 year old as he stepped up confidently to slot the ball into the bottom right hand corner to send Spurs top of Group A on four points, ahead of their final group game with Stade Rennais on Saturday.

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Easily one of Tottenham’s best players during our encounter with Nice. De Bie made at least a dozen fine stops, he was attentive and decisive. He read set pieces and corner kicks well whilst barking instructions at his defenders at the same time. It was that late flurry of attacks from Nice which could so easily have won them the game but for a trio of fine saves in close succession from the 18 year old.
– Tariq Hinds: Another impressive showing from the young right back, Hinds read the game incredibly well and managed to keep Mahou at bay out on the left wing. He is such an intelligent defender.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: It was a good solid performance from the centre halve against Nice. Dinzeyi marshalled the backline well and won many important aerial duels and made some equally important blocks/challenges and helped Spurs to achieve that clean sheet.
– Maxwell Statham: My motm, see below.
– Connor Ogilvie: A leader of men. Ogilvie was excellent once again with his powerful surging runs down the left wing, his ability to effortlessly get back into position and make those crucial defensive contributions, once again he was different class. Although Nice did manage to neutralise him from an attacking perspective in the second half he was still just as effective and just as good a leader too !
– Paris Maghoma: It was a good strong performance from the 17 year old in the middle of the park. He imposed himself well on the game and carried the ball well, combining his time getting stuck in with making promising runs towards the six yard box.
– Jack Roles: Kept things ticking and worked tirelessly to ensure that we were superior to Nice in the centre of the park.
– Jamie Bowden: Cool and calm on the ball and just as effective without it Bowden once again slotted in effortlessly to the central midfield, breaking up play and initiating moves throughout.
– Samuel Shashoua: Shashoua looked nice and sharp when he came up against the eaglets on Friday afternoon. Created some nice openings down the left wing whilst also getting himself in good goalscoring positions. He was unlucky not to find the back of the net.
– Marcus Edwards: His electric performance against PSG earlier in the day seemed to take its toll on his performance against Nice. He looked quite leggy and didn’t have that explosiveness about his game. Don’t get me wrong he still had a good game but he just wasn’t as effective and tended to drift out of it for large periods.
– Shayon Harrison: Despite not getting on the scoresheet I thought Harrison had a really productive game against Nice. With his silky skills and clever movement off the shoulders of defenders he worked some nice openings and had a few decent attempts at goal.
– Shilow Tracey: Didn’t really impact the game during his short cameo.
– Troy Parrott: Hardworking and crafty throughout his time on the pitch Parrott looked sharp and hungry to get in between the Nice defenders despite a lack of service. He was promising nonetheless.
– Dilan Markanday: Went on some nice attacking forays during his short time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Maxwell Statham. It was a really mature performance from the 17 year old centre halve against Nice. He was decisive and confident in his defending, he was dominant in the air and strong in the tackle. I thought he had an excellent game Nice I was impressed with how he read the game and how he kept such good positioning throughout. Statham also made a whole host of important blocks and sliding challenges, he throws his body on the line for his team. He reminds me a lot of how Christian Maghoma was at the same age.

Spurs under 21’s 1-1 PSG (Spurs win 4-3 on penalties) : (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 1-1 PSG (Spurs win 4-3 on penalties) : (match report)

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Spurs kicked off their defence of the Tournoi Europeen with a 4-3 win on penalties against French giants Paris Saint German this morning in Ploufragan in north west France. It was an excellent team performance from Burnett’s side who really took the game to the Parisians. We played some lovely attacking football and were the more potent side throughout the 50 minutes of normal time. Following on from their comprehensive 2-1 victory over Enfield town earlier in the week, Burnett’s young side expressed themselves more from an attacking perspective and it paid off for them. After an enthralling 50 minutes which was end to end, Spurs and PSG battled out a 1-1 draw with both teams earning a point in the process. This meant that the game would go to a penalty shootout to decide who would earn an extra point. Fortunately it was Burnett’s side who came out on top, winning the penalty shootout 4-3, with 17 year old Paris Maghoma cooly slotting home the winning penalty to give Spurs an important advantage over the best team in group A. What was particularly striking about Spurs’ performance was their intent at running at the PSG defence, they played intricate attacking football with the likes of Marcus Edwards and Connor Ogilvie playing a prominent part in this. But they were decisive and that’s what gave them that all important edge over what is by all accounts a top PSG side. Burnett opted to go for the unfamiliar 4-3-2-1 formation, with Jonathan De Bie starting in goal. Followed by a back four of Hinds, Dinzeyi, Lyons-Foster and Ogilvie (c). The combative Dylan Duncan (the more defensive of the three) partnered up with Maghoma and Bowden in the middle of the park. Whilst Marcus Edwards and Shayon Harrison started out on the wing with Shilow Tracey playing as an out and out centre forward.

Spurs got their first group game underway on the main pitch here at the Henri Guérin centre. Wayne Burnett’s side almost fell behind in the opening minute or so of proceedings after Sabri Hadadou decided to run at the Tottenham defence before unleashing a powerful low effort at goal which struck the base of De Bie’s post. Thankfully Connor Ogilvie was there to clear the loose ball behind for a corner kick, although Spurs were playing some decent football during the early stages of the game they were still vulnerable to being caught on the counter. The prominent Connor Ogilvie could often be seen galavanting down the left wing but he was also a force to be reckoned with defensively, and he made an important headed clearance in the opening couple of minutes. Paris Maghoma conceded a free kick in a dangerous position a couple of moments later after he brought down Haddadou on the edge of the penalty area. Abdallah Yaisien played the free kick short to Issac Hemans whose low effort was blocked by Bowden inside the Tottenham penalty area. However, the frantic nature of the game threw up an early surprise when Spurs took the lead from a set piece in the eight minute of the game. After Connor Ogilvie won a free kick out on the left wing, midfield craftsman Jamie Bowden elected to take it, he whipped in a peach of a cross deep into the box. The alert Jonathan Dinzeyi was lurking at the back post and the Tottenham defender leapt high in to the air to just nod the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Garrisone Innocent’s goal, 1-0. It was a terrific header from the young centre halve. Spurs grew in confidence after having taken an early lead and they fancied their chances of getting a second. Ogilvie was proving to be really useful for Burnett’s side out on the left. The 22 year old was constantly getting forwards at every opportunity, and his power and crossing ability was troubling the PSG defenders.

Only a couple of moments after taking the lead Connor Ogilvie won a free kick in an almost identical position out on the left wing. However, this time Bowden opted to play it short to Shilow Tracey. The centre forward powered his way into the box before forcing a save low down to his left from Innocent. Despite their good spell Burnett’s side couldn’t afford to lose focus against PSG. Junior Dina Ebimbe almost caught out De Bie with an effort from range but the Belgian managed to beat the ball away, the game was being played at a frantic pace as PSG went in search of an equaliser. Spurs were fortunate not to be punished when PSG caught us on the counter. After winning the ball off of Bowden, Lucas Bernadou sped towards a vulnerable looking Spurs defence, but Bowden did extremely well to get back and break up the attack. Soon afterwards Spurs almost doubled their lead in exquisite fashion, a wonderful cross field pass from Ogilvie found Hinds out on the edge of the penalty area. He delicately volleyed the ball into the feet of Edwards who darted into the penalty area, turning his man wonderfully before dancing past a further two PSG defenders inside the box. Less than four yards out from goal and one on one with the goalkeeper you would have expected Edwards to just tuck the ball home. However, his side footed effort was spectacularly saved by the foot of the PSG goalkeeper Garrisone Innocent, Spurs would rue to regret that missed chance. Spurs produced another good passing move a couple of minutes later, this time culminating in Dylan Duncan having a go on the edge of the penalty area. The Tottenham midfielders effort was however blocked by a PSG body. Then in the 21st minute of normal time PSG found an equaliser through Lucas Bernadou, Spurs had only dropped their heads for a fraction of a second. But it was enough for speedy fullback Arnaud Luzayadio to sprint down the right wing. Luzayadio continued all the way to byline before whipping a sumptuous cross into the area which was met by the unchallenged Lucas Bernadou inside the six yard box.

Bernadou found himself in a bit of space and he had no problems in rising to meet Luzayadio’s cross and planted a header inside the bottom left hand corner of De Bie’s goal. The ball came off the post before nestling into the back of the net leaving De Bie with no time to react, 1-1. The sides went into half time with all still to play for ahead of the second half. The French giants got the second half underway in the warm morning heat. Burnett made the one alteration at halftime deciding to switch Tracey out onto the left wing whilst putting Harrison in his natural position of centre forward. PSG’s Dina Embime fired a long range effort narrowly over the crossbar shortly after the restart as PSG looked to stamp their authority on the game. The Parisians had started the half well and shortly afterwards Dylan Duncan was forced into making a good block to prevent Bernadou’s powerful attempt at goal. Then out of nothing Marcus Edwards made a superb defence splitting pass which allowed Harrison with a route through to goal from around 40 yards out. However, Innocent had read the move incredibly well and was already out to make a crunching challenge on the Spurs forward to put an end to that attack. The beating heart of Burnett’s side Edwards was terrorising the PSG defence and they had resorted to fouling him to try and keep him out of the game. Since moving onto the left wing Shilow Tracey hadn’t been as involved as he was in the first half, he did however try his luck with an audacious effort from range. After cutting inside onto his right foot Tracey tried to catch Innocent out with a long range attempt, but his wild effort ended up going well wide of the mark. As the half progressed both teams went in search of the winner leaving their defence wide open in the process. On another occasion Paris Maghoma could have found himself on the end of a spectacular match winning goal. After receiving a pass from Edwards, Maghoma decided to try his luck from 25 yards out. The midfielders side footed effort ended up flying a fraction wide of the right hand post.

Then a couple of minutes later Spurs managed to catch PSG on the break after Jamie Bowden won the ball in the centre of the park. He passed the ball to Edwards out on the wing, Edwards continued into the PSG penalty area. Despite having some space to test Innocent at his near post the seemingly under confident teenager decided to square the ball for Harrison in the centre of the box. But the striker completely missed the ball and the chance went amiss, the lively centre forward was doing a good job up top but luck wasn’t on his side. After finding himself with a route through on goal a couple of minutes later the 21 year old was denied a clean route through on goal by Timothée Pembele who made a crunching challenge to thwart the attack, you couldn’t predict the outcome of this game. Marcus Edwards continued to cause trouble when he embarked on a mesmerising attacking foray as he tricked his way past two PSG defenders before threading a lovely pass through to Harrison who was cynically brought down from behind. The referee pointed to the spot without hesitation but the linesman had already flagged for an offside on the Tottenham Hotspur man. Shortly before that incident Burnett had made his first substitution of the game, brining off Shilow Tracey for midfielder Jack Roles. Spurs were looking the more likely side to nick a winner as we reached the final stages of the game. Another intricate move from the Lilywhites saw Bowden thread a perfectly weighted pass for Marcus Edwards to latch onto inside the box. Edwards was just about to pull the trigger when a PSG defender caught him from behind (supposedly winning the ball !) the Spurs players fervently claimed a penalty.

Then, the newly introduced Samuel Shashoua won a free kick in the dying moments of the game. Shashoua’s resulting delivery picked out Jack Roles inside the danger zone but as the Cypriot youth international went to attack the ball he clattered into the outrushing Innocent who went flying to the ground, this resulted in the referee awarding a free kick against the Spurs man. The referee then blew his whistle for full time meaning that the game would be decided by a penalty shootout to determine who would get the extra bonus point. Nathan Epaillard stood up first for PSG and the midfielder had no problems at converting his penalty into the bottom right hand corner to give the Parisians the lead. Shayon Harrison then walked to the spot to take Spurs’ first penalty of the shootout, the striker confidently went straight down the middle to make it 1-1. Turkish youth international Güçlü Metehan then made it 2-1 to PSG before Tottenham’s Jack Roles drew level with a composed penalty which nestled in the bottom left hand corner of the goal. An important diving save from Jonathan De Bie prevented Isaac Hemans from converting spot kick number three for the Parisians. But Burnett’s side couldn’t capitalise on this as Samuel Shashoua’s resulting spot kick was well saved by Innocent. Dina Embimbe then scored for PSG, whilst Marcus Edwards made it 3-3 for Spurs. PSG’s fifth and final penalty kick of the shootout would be the one that would cost them. Emmanuel Attah saw his effort brilliantly saved by De Bie before Paris Maghoma wrapped up the win for Spurs with a classy winning spot kick which saw him totally deceive Innocent with a really clever and confident effort. The final score from the Henri Guérin centre was Spurs 1-1 PSG with Spurs winning 4-3 on penalties to temporarily top group A before they took on Nice later in the afternoon. Burnett’s side had really raised their game against the best side in group A.

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: The Belgian didn’t actually have that busy a game (in normal time that is) he made a couple of fine stops but apart from PSG’s goal which he stood no chance in stopping. De Bie didn’t have an awful lot to do, but that all changed when the game went for penalties. Somewhat of an expert at saving penalties, De Bie rose to the occasion once again to produce two important saves which would eventually help Spurs to achieving that extra bonus point.
– Tariq Hinds: Unfazed by the threat posed by Sabri Hadadou on the left wing, once again Tariq Hinds put in a strong defensive performance and did his job incredibly well and effectively, he is such a smart and astute defender.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: It was the young centre halves first competitive game time since the Terborg tournament in May but the 17 year old slotted in with ease today and defended well against PSG. He had a such a calming influence on the game, he is so steady and composed at playing it out from the back. And like on so many occasions last season Lyons-Foster formed a formidable defensive partnership with Dinzeyi. It’s worth remembering that it has only been five or so months since Brooklyn suffered a bad ligament injury he appears to be making great progress ahead of the domestic campaign.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: A strong performance in the heart of the Tottenham defence which was capped off with a fine headed goal in the opening couple of minutes of the game. Jonathan Dinzeyi made a positive impression against PSG making multiple blocks, challenges and interceptions against the French side. He kept good positioning throughout and the 18 year old was dominant in the air
– Connor Ogilvie: It was a typically excellent performance from the experienced 22 year old today. Ogilvie was the defensive lynchpin of Burnett’s side. His experience and leadership proved pivotal in dealing with the French sides attacking prowess, our skipper was immense at both ends of the pitch. His lung bursting runs caused havoc down the left wing as did his crossing ability. Ogilvie was so composed with and without the ball, he defended impeccably and read the game to perfection. How he hasn’t played for the first team I’ll never know!
– Dylan Duncan: Good competent performance from the midfield powerhouse. Duncan did the dirty work and mopped up well in the centre of the park whilst providing protection for the back four. He is looking incredibly sharp so far this season.
– Paris Maghoma: Another good outing for Maghoma at this level, the 17 year old midfielder had a positive effect on Tottenham’s game. He was involved heavily in play and held his ground against much older and more physical opponents (the oldest player in PSG’s team was 24!). He also wasn’t afraid to have a go at goal and he came close to getting on the scoresheet.
– Jamie Bowden: Another game for Bowden, another masterful performance in the middle of the park. Bowden who only recently turned 17 was terrific once again for the development side. He was relentless throughout the entirety of the match, he’s such an intelligent reader of the game. The Carrick-esque midfielder kept things ticking whilst providing a solidity to the Tottenham midfield he also made some lovely passes.
– Shayon Harrison: Operating as both a centre forward and a left winger I felt that Harrison had a good game on the whole. He was a really tricky customer for PSG and he managed to hold the ball up well and influence play from a creative perspective.
– Marcus Edwards: My motm, see below.
– Shilow Tracey: The 20 year old had a good game. He was hardworking and positive with the ball at his feet particularly in the first half when he played up top.
– Jack Roles: N/A
– Samuel Shashoua: Came on late but wasn’t given enough time to make an impression.

My man of the match: Marcus Edwards. If only Pochettino was watching young Marcus take on PSG today. The wizardry winger tore PSG to shreds he was electric, at times mesmeric and quite frankly unstoppable going forward. Hardworking and good at tracking back Edwards was the beating heart of Burnett’s side and he was pivotal to us taking PSG all the way to penalties. The 19 year olds days at Spurs may be numbered but he had such a positive impression on the game and created a plethora of chances and initiated a whole host of attacking moves. The way he danced past players and twisted and turned his way out of tight spaces can only be likened to that of the great Lionel Messi !
Goals: Jonathan Dinzeyi (8) and Lucas Bernadou.

My preview of Spurs U21’s participation in the forthcoming Tournoi Europeen:

My preview of Spurs U21’s participation in the forthcoming Tournoi Europeen:

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Our development side will be traveling to north western France in the next day or so to compete in the annual Tournoi Europeen in Ploufragan, Britanny. Wayne Burnett’s side are defending the competition after winning it in a dramatic penalty shootout against Standard Liege back in 2017. However, due to the amount of development squad regulars that are out in the states with Mauricio Pochettino’s first team, Tottenham’s task will be a lot tougher this time around, with a lot more u18 players likely to travel. The majority of that cup winning side of last season have either left or are in America with the first team, Burnett will be missing several key players such as Oliver Skipp, Kazaiah Sterling and TJ Eyoma. However, this younger more inexperienced side are just as talented and they impressed me during our recent pre-season outing at Enfield Town on Monday evening in which they ran out 2-1 winners. Players such as Jonathan De Bie, Jamie Bowden (17), Dylan Duncan and Connor Ogilvie all stood out in that game. The inclusion of Ogilvie, Edwards and Harrison in this squad will greatly bolster our chances of topping our group as will the inclusion of players such as Samuel Shashoua and Japhet Tanganga. There are two groups in this tournament and we have been drawn in group A alongside three top French sides. PSG, OGC Nice and Stade Rennais will all be competing with Spurs to try and top the group. The Parisians have a renowned academy set up and have brought through players to the first team such as Adrien Rabiot and Timothy Weah in recent seasons. PSG will likely be our toughest test, they have some talented players on their books such as forward Metehan Güçlü, Kévin Rimane and midfielder Yacine Adli. Also in our group is local side Stade Rennais they are another team with a top class academy set up, Stade Rennais’s second team finished the France national 2 group D in 15th place last season.

The final team in our group is OGC Nice, once again they are another side with a world famous academy set up. Nice’s second team finished the France national group A in 11th place last season. Meanwhile group B contains Turkish giants Besiktas JK, French powerhouse AS Monaco and fellow French teams FC Lorient and EA Guingamp. I will be making the long trip down to Brittany by train tomorrow to report on the three day tournament which begins on Friday. As always it will provide our development side with a great experience against some top class opposition. It’s also being held at the world renowned Henri Guérin centre which I’m sure our lads will enjoy playing at. As for Spurs fans unable to make the tournament I don’t believe there are any live streams planned. However, when we reached the final last season a short highlights reel was uploaded on the CTB Henri Guérin Twitter account and Facebook page. As always I will do my absolute best to keep you all informed providing you with in-depth match reports of each Spurs game. I’m really looking forward to seeing how our lads get on at this years edition of the Tournoi Europeen and I wish them the very best of luck!

Our schedule:

Friday: (Both games will last 50 minutes, 2 x 25) At 11:15 Am CET we will face PSG.

At 16:30 PM CET we will play OGC Nice.

Saturday: There’s only the one game for Burnett’s side on the Saturday, they will take on local side Stade Rennais at 12:30 PM CET in their final group game.

Sunday: On Sunday we will be competing in a final play off game (hopefully the final!) that game will last 60 minutes (2 x 30).

The squad that I’m predicting will travel to France: (Estimation of 17 players)

Goalkeepers: Jonathan De Bie and Charlie Freeman.

Defenders: Tariq Hinds, Connor Ogilvie (c), Jonathan Dinzeyi, Japhet Tanganga and Jubril Okedina.

Midfielders: Dylan Duncan, Jack Roles, Jamie Bowden and Paris Maghoma.

Forwards: Samuel Shashoua, Marcus Edwards, Shilow Tracey, Shayon Harrison, Troy Parrott and Dilan Markanday.

Injured: Jamie Reynolds (knee injury)

Doubtful: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jaden Brown and Reo Griffiths.

The futures of Jaden Brown and Reo Griffiths remain unclear and I’d be surprised if either of them travel to France.

My message of support to the team: I wish all of our lads the very best of luck as they begin their defence of the Tournoi Europeen on Friday morning. I will be traveling down to France to report on our games but also to support our lads as they look to defend their cup. Burnett’s talented set of players can beat any side on their day with their exciting brand of attacking football, and I hope that they can implement that into their game over the next couple of days, I’m sure they will do the club and us fans proud! COYS

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

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

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Our under 23’s were involved in their first competitive game of pre-season on Monday evening as they made the short trip to Donkey Lane to face non league club Enfield Town. A crowd of over 700 fitted into the Queen Elizabeth II stadium to watch Wayne Burnett’s side take on the Ryman league club, owing to our first teams tour of the states many of our regular development squad players such as TJ Eyoma, George Marsh and Kazaiah Sterling were all missing. Meaning that Burnett was forced into giving many second year scholars their debut at this level, quite a step up from playing u18 football physically speaking. Burnett opted for the familiar 4-2-3-1 set up with Charlie Freeman starting off in goal. With the back four consisting of Hinds, Dinzeyi, Statham and our captain Connor Ogilvie. The more defensive Dylan Duncan and Jack Roles sat in front of the back four whilst the attacking trio of Edwards, Harrison and Samuel Shashoua stood behind makeshift centre forward Shilow Tracey who led the line. Spurs dominated large periods of the game, they were evidently the more skilful and better structured side. They played their usual passing game and enjoyed playing it out from the back, where as Enfield opted for a more direct approach to try and unsettle our young defenders. Spurs controlled the first half with little threat of a meaningful Enfield attack, and it took the young Lilywhites only 18 minutes before they took the lead through Marcus Edwards who won and converted a penalty kick. Spurs doubled their advantage shortly before the hour mark in almost identical circumstances, as Edwards won and converted his second penalty kick of the game.

The introduction of so many u18 players at half time unsettled us a little bit and we weren’t as dominant in the second half, this ultimately allowed Enfield a way back into the game. Brandon Adams pulled a glorious goal back for the hosts but despite a late flurry of attacks the young Spurs lads managed to hold on, to record a well earned victory. Enfield got the game underway on a ridiculously warm summers evening in north London, a menacing cross from Remi Sutton forced Tottenham goalkeeper Charlie Freeman into gathering the ball inside the opening couple of minutes. Spurs then created a decent move at the other end after Edwards found Shilow Tracey. The 20 year old powered forwards before slipping the ball into Harrison inside the box, the forward showed great feet but the Enfield keeper Joe Wright managed to smother the ball amidst a sea of defenders. Tracey won a free kick in a promising position a couple of moments later but Harrison’s resulting effort flew well over the crossbar. Burnett’s side were enjoying the lions share of possession, passing it around for fun in the middle of the park. The prominent Connor Ogilvie who had been excellent during the early stages of the game, did well to stop Bricknell from getting away from him on the right flank, early on. Spurs continued to dominate and the Tottenham players felt hard done by after the referee waved away a penalty claim from Shilow Tracey. Some lovey play from Spurs resulted in Duncan threading the ball into the makeshift centre forward inside the penalty area. The former Ebbsfleet man went flying to the ground after the most minimal of contact from an Enfield defender, without hesitation the referee waved away the Spurs man’s protests.

Spurs were playing some intricate tiki taka football but were lacking a bit of decisiveness in the final third. Spurs created a nice little opening when Duncan played a lovely pass into Shashoua on the left wing. The forward darted into the Enfield penalty area, playing a quick one – two with Roles before pulling off a sublime bit of skill inside the area which resulted in him being brought down by a town defender. He had a fair claim for a penalty! Spurs were slowly building up to that decisive attack, after all our defenders were not being tested in the slightest. That attack came from Marcus Edwards who took it on himself to run at the Enfield defence. Edwards the great penalty winner went on a tricky little run into the box showing nice feet and balance, before being brought down by Remi Sutton. Edwards stood up confidently to tuck the resulting spot kick into the bottom left hand corner of the net as Wright dived the wrong way, 1-0. Spurs were now growing in confidence and were eager to double their advantage. After Shashoua fed the ball into Ogilvie on the left wing the 22 year old sent an inch perfect cross into the box which frustratingly saw nobody in a blue shirt there to meet it, as Wright comfortably gobbled up the ball. It was all Spurs, and you could tell from their body language that they were extremely confident and relaxed playing against the non league side. Despite working hard up top Shilow Tracey kept on finding himself offside, the forward also had another penalty shout waived away on the half hour mark. Limited only to ambitious efforts from long range, Enfield were growing frustrated, Dan Rumens had a hopeful shot blocked by a Spurs defender. Whilst Matt Johnson let the heat get to him and decided to give the skilful Shashoua a little kick whilst on the floor after he couldn’t get the ball off of him.

Tottenham were temporarily troubled when a rare Enfield break down the left from Ryan Blackman resulted in the winger lashing the ball into the side netting of Freeman’s goal. After a short cooling break Spurs looked to catch Enfield out with a quick free kick from Marcus Edwards. The Londoner playing a quick pass to Tracey who darted into the Enfield box before passing the ball across to Shashoua on the edge of the box. However, the Tottenham wingers attempt was blocked by the body of an Enfield defender before it could trouble the goalkeeper. Charlie Freeman did well after being put under pressure by Tariq Hinds back pass, to smother the ball before Bricknell could get to it inside the area. The Essex born goalkeeper did well again a couple of moments later when he plucked Josh Davison’s pacy cross inside the Tottenham box. This late flurry of half chances for the home side continued when an Enfield player attempted to play Bricknell through on goal but for a good sliding challenge from Dinzeyi to prevent it. Spurs responded down the other end through Shashoua who did well after receiving Roles’ pass inside the box. He shimmied past an Enfield defender before unleashing a thumping effort which was deflected off of an Enfield defender and into the arms of Joe Wright. Billy Bricknell blazed an effort over the bar at the other end as the non league club struggled to match Tottenham’s high work rate. Spurs were look to exploit Enfield through the crossing ability of Ogilvie out on the left wing. After receiving a crisp pass from Shashoua Ogilvie whipped in a peach of a cross into the danger zone only narrowly evading Tracey who was diving in at the back post. Shortly afterwards Enfield came their closest yet to scoring, Matt Johnson’s well struck effort flying narrowly over from range.

A late corner kick caused a bit of mayhem in the Spurs box but a good piece of defending from Roles on the line, ensured that Spurs went into the interval with their lead intact, it had been a very comfortable half of football for Spurs. A plethora of changes occurred on half time as a whole host of younger players were brought into the frame. Players such as Bowden, Maghoma, Markanday and De Bie all came on, this forced Statham into playing at right back. Spurs started the second half the same way they had finished the first, with real attacking intent. Shortly after the game had got back underway the potent Shashoua caused the Enfield defence a bit of bother with another lovely bit of skill, but once again Taofiq Olomowewe got in front of him to block his attempt on goal. Spurs were continuing to dominate proceedings and they came close to doubling their advantage when Edwards slipped the ball into Maghoma on the right side of the penalty area. The midfielders powerfully struck effort was well saved by Wright who made a fine reflex save. However, Wright undone all that good work when he gave away a penalty on 57 minutes. Edwards had done well to win his second penalty of the game, after Markanday initiated the counter attack from Spurs, sprinting forwards down the middle. The 16 year old played in the advancing Edwards who managed to trick his way past a couple of Enfield defenders and into the box, only to be brought down by the outrushing Wright who took him out. Totally missing the ball in the process, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Edwards stepped up once again to cooly slot the ball straight down the middle of the goal, Spurs were playing some really intricate attacking football, 2-0.

However, Burnett’s side had a bit of an unnerving moment shortly after the restart when Dinzeyi misjudged a long ball, heading it back to Enfield’s Billy Bricknell who cut inside onto his right foot. The one time Spurs schoolboy fired an effort at goal from an acute angle, forcing a good save from the feet of De Bie. The Belgian made a comfortable save a couple of moments later to gather Olomowewe’s headed attempt at goal, meanwhile Dinzeyi had appeared to pick up an injury and was spotted limping about the park. 16 year old Irishman Troy Parrott replaced the somewhat ineffective Tracey on 64 minutes to add fresh legs to Spurs’ game. The presence and movement of 17 year Tottenham midfielder Jamie Bowden in the centre park was mightily impressive, and he was breaking up play really well. Spurs substitute Paris Maghoma was given the first yellow card of the game on 68 minutes after conceding a foul in a dangerous position, and then deciding to kick the ball away in anger. Fortunately Billy Bricknell’s resulting free kick flew straight into the Tottenham wall. By this time Enfield were now gambling with their defence by coming forward a lot more, after Dinzeyi made an important block to thwart Bricknell’s effort, the home side pulled a goal back through Brandon Adams. It was a goal from the substitute, an Enfield trialist passed the ball to Adams on the edge of the penalty area. Adams curled a wonderful first time effort into the top right hand corner of De Bie’s goal leaving the Belgian with no chance. Adams effort had dip, curl and pace on it, it was an excellent goal.

After Enfield pulled a goal back Burnett’s side appeared to drop their intensity and seemed to drop deeper in the process, preferring to pass the ball around the midfield. However, a fruitful attack from Edwards almost wrapped the game up in style for Spurs after he went on a brilliant attacking foray. Edwards cut inside onto his left foot before smashing an effort from about 20 yards out, onto the frame of the Enfield crossbar. A couple of minutes later a golden chance fell to Troy Parrott after a long ball was headed into the path of the Dubliner by an Enfield defender. Cool and composed as he darted into the penalty area I expected the net to bulge, but the Dubliners placed effort instead squirmed inches wide of the mark. Maghoma was then gifted with a chance after receiving the ball on the edge of the box, but his hurried effort ended up flying across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick. This late flurry of attacks from Burnett’s side was showing no signs of stopping. A well executed move saw Edwards pass to Parrott, the Ireland u17 international quickly shifted the ball into the feet of Markanday inside the penalty area. The winger forcing a good save from the goalkeeper low down. Parrott continued to make good runs off the shoulders of the Enfield defenders and once again he came desperately close to getting on the scoresheet. After Shashoua had picked up the ball in the centre of the park, he decided to drive forwards through the middle. The forward darted towards the penalty area, before passing the ball to Parrott on the left side of the area. Parrott’s powerful low effort flew inches wide of the goal much to the Enfield goalkeepers relief.

Spurs had a late scare in stoppage time after Ogilvie was caught out by an Enfield substitute (name unknown). Fortunately for Burnett’s side the trialist’s effort was spectacularly saved from close range by De Bie, as Spurs held onto record an impressive 2-1 victory over their local neighbours. It was a good first test of the season for Wayne Burnett’s side before they head off to Ploufragan for the Tournoi Europeen later in the week. It was a good performance from an incredibly young Spurs side, it exposed them to some good physical battles against a senior team. But it also gave them a taste of what men’s football is like and I think it was hugely beneficial for so many of them to experience that. Up next for Burnett’s side is a trip to Brittany in France, to defend the Tournoi Europeen which starts on Friday. I will be traveling down to France on Thursday to report on the three day youth tournament. Our first game kicks off at 12:15 (GBM) this Friday and it is against French giants PSG. Meanwhile, the PL2 fixtures are expected to be announced by the premier league later in the week. A talking point from last nights game was the absence of Reo Griffiths, unless he is injured then I fear he may too be on the way out sometime this transfer window, but let’s wait and see.

Player reviews: – Charlie Freeman: The 18 year old played the first half of last nights game and despite enduring a quiet 45 minutes of football, I felt he had a good game. Enfield didn’t manage to get an effort on target in the first half, but it was Freeman’s confidence and composure at dealing with set pieces and crosses which were so impressive. He didn’t put a foot wrong.
– Tariq Hinds: An excellent performance from Tottenham’s versatile right back. Hinds played the whole of the first half before being brought back on towards the dying stages of the game. He read the game well and was more than adept at coping with Enfield’s Ryan Blackman out on the left wing, not once did Blackman get the better of Hinds who defended with such ease. It’s such a shame that the Goodmayes born teenager isn’t out in America with the first team.
– Connor Ogilvie: My motm, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: It was an excellent performance from the deep lying central midfielder who played the first half. Duncan stayed further back then his midfield partner Roles but he had a positive effect on the game. Often filling in at centre half, the 19 year old kept things ticking and protected our young defenders. He was also extremely good on the ball almost Dembele like, I really hope he stays clear of injuries this season as he is a top player.
– Maxwell Statham: It was a good showing from the 17 year old defender against Enfield on Monday evening. He clocked up 74 minutes of playing time, starting out as a centre half before being switched to fullback at half time, I thought Statham did well overall. He made some important blocks and headed clearances.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: On the whole it was a good performance from the young centre half. Dinzeyi imposed himself well on the game and after a mostly comfortable first half which saw him make a couple of important interventions. The 18 year old got even more stuck in, in the second half and made some important challenges and blocks.
– Marcus Edwards: His days in north London might be numbered but Edwards would have left a positive impression on any scouts who were attending Monday nights game. Although quiet for large spells, Edwards was the difference between the two teams. He singlehandedly created and scored both of our goals, and was desperately unlucky not to cap that off with a spectacular solo effort late in the game. Whilst he did go missing for periods of the match you couldn’t question his influence on it.
– Jack Roles: Kept things simple and mopped up well after him, the Cypriot youth international had a calming presence on the first half which included an important goal line clearance. He gave a good account himself.
– Shilow Tracey: Tracey was hardworking but ultimately ineffective during his 64 minute spell on the pitch. The 20 year old who played as a make shift centre forward, put in plenty of graft and pressed the defenders well. However, his movement and timing of his runs was a bit erratic and he was caught offside on many an occasion.
– Shayon Harrison: The 21 year old played well as a CAM threading some nice passes into Tracey, but he would have wanted to be on the end of those passes himself. Altogether I think it was a frustrating evening for the forward as he struggled to really influence the game. Hopefully he’ll be used as a centre forward in the Tournoi Europeen later this week.
– Samuel Shashoua: The artist gave a really good account of himself out on the left wing. He worked incredibly hard to create space, he was slso skilful and productive. Initiating some clever moves with the forwards he remained one of our main attacking outlets. Shashoua also tracked back and committed himself defensively!
– Jonathan De Bie: Coming onto replace Freeman at half time, De Bie had an excellent game inbetween the sticks. Making a string of fine match winning saves, the 18 year old also dealt well with crosses and set pieces. It was a very impressive showing from the young man.
– Jubril Okedina: Okedina put in a good second half performance, he remained solid and composed throughout.
– Jamie Bowden: Still only 17 the young midfielder who entered the frame at half time, had a remarkable influence on the game. He put in a really mature and assured performance in the centre of the park. He made great movement and managed to find himself in space a lot of the time. But it was his tenacity and ability to break up play so well which was his most impressive quality. The second year scholar also made some fine passes throughout the second half.
– Paris Maghoma: Imposed himself well on the game after being introduced at half time. He gave was a good attacking outlet for Burnett’s side and he continuously found himself in good positions in and around the six yard box. Linking up well with the lively Marcus Edwards on several occasions, Maghoma was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself.
– Troy Parrott: The 16 year old had a good cameo up top after replacing Shilow Tracey in the 64th minute. Parrott made some excellent runs off the shoulders of defenders and he also timed those runs to perfection. He was desperately unlucky not to convert one of the two clear cut chances that came his way.
– Dilan Markanday: It was a good positive performance from Markanday in the number 10 role. He was productive and embarked on some fruitful runs through the middle.

My man of the match: Connor Ogilvie. By far our best player on the night, 22 year old fullback Connor Ogilvie put in an excellent shift at left back. The skipper was superb throughout, he read the game to perfection and put in a really assured defensive performance. He also impressed going forwards (particularly in the first half) and he went on some brilliant galavanting runs down the left wing, whipping in many positive crosses in the process. He kept Enfield’s danger man Billy Bricknell at bay and only one occasion did he get caught out on that left side. Ogilvie was terrifically consistent and I’m still holding out hope that Pochettino will recognise what a good left back he is.

Enfield Town: Wright, Purcell, Sutton, Johnson, Olomowewe, Rumens, Blackman (c), Taaffe, Bricknell, Davisnon, Sayoud. Substitutes: Jones, Youngs, Hope, Hockney, Mubiayi, Chaney, Empson, Adams, Tunbridge, Mclean, Gallagher.

Spurs U23s: Freeman (De Bie 46), Hinds (Okedina 46), Ogilvie (c), Duncan (Bowden 46), Statham (Hinds 74), Dinzeyi, Edwards, Roles (Maghoma 46), Tracey (Parrott 64), Harrison (Markanday 46), S Shashoua. Substitute (not used): Oluwayemi.

Goals: Enfield Town – Adams 79; Edwards 18 (pen), 57 (pen).

Yellow card: Spurs – Maghoma 68.

Referee: Chris Bodell.

Attendance: 732.

Spurs under 23’s versus Enfield Town: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Enfield Town: (match preview)

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After a long summer break football finally returns for our development side as they make the short trip to face non league side Enfield Town on Monday evening. Ahead of jetting off to France to compete in the annual Tournoi Europeen which starts on Friday. Wayne Burnett’s side minus the nine players who are with the first team out in the states. will be raring to go. It’s a chance to prove themselves to the Tottenham coaching staff in a competitive environment in front of nine hundred or so fans. Tomorrow’s game at the Queen Elizabeth II stadium goes beyond just football, non league Enfield (fan owned) are only a stones throw away from Hotspur way. We have historical links with them stretching back almost 60 years, tomorrows match will hopefully generate a good bit of revenue for the Bostik league side whilst providing our lads with a good competitive test at the same time. We actually faced Enfield in a friendly game back in 2011, Tim Sherwood was the boss then, we lost that game 2-1. Our links with Enfield stretch back to 1950 when we signed fullback Neville Shaw (former A team player) from the now defunct Enfield side. More recent links include two former Spurs youth players who we will face tomorrow, creative midfielder and Enfield’s assistant manager Mario Noto, and former Spurs schoolboy and forward Billy Bricknell. Andy Leese’s Enfield Town side finished last season in 17th place in the Bostik league and they’ll be no push overs for Burnett’s youngsters tomorrow evening. Physicality and experience counts for a lot and I’m sure it will be a very competitive pre-season friendly, with plenty of chances at both ends of the pitch. It will also give many of last seasons under 18 players a taste of development squad football, ahead of the tournament in Brittany which starts on Friday.

I will be reporting on tomorrows game before making the trip down to France to report on our development sides progress in the Tournoi Europeen on Thursday. It’s great to have Spurs back and I wish all of our young players the very best of luck for the forthcoming campaign. Let’s see what this season holds for our talented academy players.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) De Bie, Hinds, Dinzeyi, Ogilvie (c), Brown, Roles, Duncan, Tracey, Harrison, S.Shashoua, Griffiths.

Subs from: Freeman, Reynolds, Lyons-Foster, Maghoma, Richards, Parrott.

Injured/unavailable: Kazaiah Sterling (stateside), Anthony Georgiou (stateside), Oliver Skipp (stateside), George Marsh (stateside), TJ Eyoma (stateside), Alfie Whiteman (stateside), Brandon Austin (stateside), Luke Amos (stateside), Tashan Oakley-Boothe (stateside), Japhet Tanganga (away with England u19’s).

Doubtful: Tom Glover (As far as I’m aware he is still in Australia despite signing a new contract only last month.) Josh Onomah (His admission from the first team squad that traveled to the US on Sunday was a major surprise. However, there must be mitigating factors, I.E: An injury or planned transfer. I would highly doubt the 21 year old will play against Enfield tomorrow, it would be incredibly harsh on him.)

My score prediction: A competitive 2-1 win for the Lilywhites.

Previous meeting: Enfield 2-1.

One to watch: A former Spurs youth player who I had the great pleasure of interviewing earlier in the year. Enfield’s assistant manager Mario Noto is still registered as a player and remains an important player for the Bostik league club, he will pose a real attacking threat to Burnett’s side.

Your pre-match read: https://superhotspur.com/2018/02/04/my-interview-with-former-spurs-academy-player-mario-noto/

A piece on Spurs’ new first year scholars:

A piece on Spurs’ new first year scholars:

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The club recently announced their new intake of first year scholars for the 2018/19 season. There were ten players listed on the official site and apart from Rafferty Pedder who had spent the majority of last season on the sidelines, none of the names were a surprise to followers of the youth team. The new scholars were all involved with the under 16’s last season and all will be hoping to make their mark on Matt Wells under 18 side over the course of the coming season. As I do at this time every season I have written an informative piece detailing some information on our new first year scholars. There styles of play and footballing careers to date, etc. I have seen a fair amount of these lads over the course of the last year or so, some more so than others. Matt Wells under 18 side are currently on a week long training camp in Belgium.

Goalkeepers:

Kacper Kurylowicz: A talented and well rounded goalkeeper who hails from County Bedfordshire but is of Polish origin. Kacper Kurylowicz is a highly thought of goalkeeper who has represented Poland at u15 level, Kurylowicz was the first choice goalkeeper for the under 16’s last season. Kurylowicz also made the bench for Parker’s under 18 side on two occasions, I have seen the 16 year old play on a couple of occasions and I have been mightily impressed. He is like De Bie in some respects as you can’t really see any weaknesses about his game. He is a terrific shot stopper who impressed during our under 17’s involvement in the Torneo Internazionale last April. Kurylowicz will be competing with Joshua Oluwayemi and Charlie Freeman (overage gk) for a starting berth in the under 18 side this season.

Defenders:

Dennis Cirkin: An attack minded left back, Dennis Cirkin was one of the under 16’s key players throughout the 2017/18 campaign. The tricky fullback who has previously represented England at under 16 level and Latvia, is a really exciting prospect who reminds of former Spur Nick Tsaroulla. I haven’t seen a great deal of Cirkin but every time I have seen him I’ve been impressed. Cirkin was one of our best players when Spurs u16’s took on Ipswich in a showcase game at the end of last season, the fullback was directly involved in three of Spurs’ goals that afternoon. With exceptional close ball control and skill like Tsaroulla, Cirkin has a good burst of pace which makes him particularly potent going forwards. Cirkin terrorised the Ipswich fullbacks with his surging runs down the left flank, the nimble footed teenager caused a great nuisance to the Ipswich defence with his fine balance and clever twists and turns. He is also a sound defender and it speaks volumes that he has represented a talented pool of England players at under 16 level, I have a feeling that Cirkin will adapt really well to under 18 football over the course of this season.

Luis Binks: An exciting ball playing centre half who loves to ping Alderweireld like long balls to the wide men. England under 17 international Luis Binks is another of Tottenham’s young centre halves who loves bringing the ball out from the back. Binks who has previously represented Scotland at youth level is the son of Chatham Town legend Tom Binks. A cool and composed defender Binks shows extraordinary maturity for such a young defender, like Lyons-Foster he has a great passing range and manages to adapt well to pressure. He made his one and only appearance for the under 18’s in a league game against Aston Villa in 2017. Binks travelled to Qatar last season with the u17’s for the ALKAAS tournament putting in a strong showing. He also impressed in the two academy showcase games that our u16’s were involved in. He reminds me a bit of Lyons-Foster in his style of play, rarely does he make a rash challenges that put his teammates under pressure. Whilst his defending and trademark passing our impressive qualities to his game, another impressive aspect of his game is his aerial qualities. I would expect Binks to cement his place in the under 18 side this season and I am particularly looking forward to seeing him partner up with Lyons-Foster at the heart of the Tottenham defence.

Malachi Walcott: signed by the club in October 2015 from Norsemen youth, Malachi Walcott is a tall and tenacious central defender who has represented his country (England) at youth level. Walcott made two appearances for the under 18 side last season whilst still a schoolboy. Like his teammate Luis Binks he like to play out from the back, a strikingly composed figure Walcott also reads the game well and is quick at snuffing out danger. I first saw Walcott play for Spurs in an under 15 game against Millwall back in 2016, he impressed greatly against the lions. He was so calm on the ball and he had good balance bringing it out from the back. Most importantly he read the game so very well and effectively kept Millwalls lone striker out of the game on that day. Walcott continued to impress for Spurs and last season he became a key player for the under 16’s whilst also featuring prominently for Spurs in mid season tournaments. He is a defender with great ability and I look forward to seeing how he adapts to u18 football over the course of this season.

Midfielders:

Harvey White: An industrious almost Scott Parker like holding midfielder, Harvey White made the step up on two occasions last season to feature for Parker’s under 18 side. I really like the look of White, he is an effective player who like some of his older teammates such as Jamie Bowden has a calming influence on proceedings. White who has represented England at u16 level put in a really strong set of performances during our u17’s involvement in the Torneo Internazionale, towards the latter part of last season. He quickly found himself making his debut for the under 18’s and only a couple of weeks later he appeared in a league game against Norwich which he impressed in, he then made a further appearance for Spurs against Fulham. He breaks up play really well and is good both on and off the ball, he is also a deftly accurate passer. I am intrigued to see how he gets on this season.

Rafferty Pedder: An energetic CM/CAM who missed the majority of last season through injury. The former England youth international will be hoping to kick on after a difficult and frustrating season for the under 16’s. I must confess I haven’t seen a great deal of Pedder but from what I have seen he is very much a creative midfielder who initiates passages of play. Though he is small in stature Pedder has drawn comparisons with a certain Luka Modric for his style of play and passing ability. Having not seen him play since u15 level I won’t say much more but with the quality and depth of next seasons side I fear he may struggle for game time.

Forwards:

J’neill Bennett: A rapid Zaha-esque winger who is adept at playing on either wing, Camden lad J’neill Bennett was one of last seasons breakthrough stars into the under 18 side. Featuring on over 20 occasions for Parker’s side, Bennett chipped in with two goals and six assists after making his debut back in November 2017. Signed from fellow London club QPR in the summer of 2017, J’neil Bennett has been quite a hit for the young lilywhites. He put in an electric showing for our u16’s in a showcase game against Cambridge United back in October and from there he has seized his opportunity with both hands. After that impressive performance at the Abbey stadium the north Londoner quickly found himself in Scott Parker’s under 18 side, and it didn’t take long for him to make an impact. Bennett was superb for the 18’s last season he was often seen galavanting down the left wing with speed and craft, I often compared him to Zaha in my reports last season. Having already established himself in the u18 side Bennett now has an advantage over his fellow first years which will leave him in good stead. I would expect Bennett to become a key player for Matt Wells and he will be one of our main attacking outlets. I would also expect the former QPR teenager to feature for our u19’s in Europe at some point. He is a very exciting prospect indeed.

Chay Cooper: An intricate forward who primarily operates as a CAM, Chay Cooper was signed from Southend for a fee at the beginning of last season. Cooper featured heavily for the under 16’s last season and impressed me with his silky skills in the Torneo Internazionale last April. He is a clever almost Samuel Shashoua-esque forward with a fine eye for a pass, the former shrimper starred in our under 16’s end of season win against Ipswich at Portman road. Scoring a sublime goal after cutting inside on his left foot before burying the ball into the postage stamp of the goal. Whilst it was a massive loss to see Noni Madeuke sign for PSV it works both ways, as Spurs have been able to pick up both Chay and J’neill from lower league sides presumably for a small fee. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Cooper over the coming campaign.

Enoch Asante: A menacing and alert centre forward, Enoch Asante had a fine season for the under 16’s last term. Making his debut for the under 18’s as a substitute on their opening game of the 17/18 campaign, Asante cemented himself in the under 16 side scoring over 40 goals in all competitions. He is very much a ’ fox in the box ’ centre forward. He is always on the move, looking to slot into bits of space inside the danger zone. The former Riverhawks player is good in the air and is a clinical finisher, he is also good at holding up the ball. He stood out during our u16’s showcase games with Cambridge and Ipswich last season. The Londoner who is also eligible to represent Ghana also appeared in the ALKASS tournament, Asante will be competing with Troy Parrott and Rodel Richards for the centre forward role this season.

Troy Parrott: Just about every Spurs fan has heard of young Troy Parrott, the Dubliner made headlines when he joined Spurs as a 14 year old back in 2015. However, he had to wait until his 16th birthday last February before he could appear for our under 18 side. The Summerhill native appeared four times for our u18’s last season (featuring all across the frontline) finding the net on one occasion. The Ireland u17 international who won the player of the tournament at the Torneo Internazionale also featured for our u19’s during the annual post season tournament in Terborg. Parrott has the highest ceiling out of all the players in his age group. He has excelled for Ireland at youth level and was extremely impressive during the recent u17 Euros (where I travelled up to watch him play on two occasions). He has also impressed the coaches at Spurs who are lucky to have him on their books, as many top clubs were looking to secure the Irishman’s signature when he was banging goals in for fun, for Dublin side Belvedere. He trialled with Celtic and top clubs such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Southampton were all eager to sign him up.

He even played for the Saints in the Milk cup a couple of years ago. He is an excellent young centre forward who is able to adapt effortlessly to a whole range of situations. He has a sublime first touch, peels off defenders shoulders well and above all else he knows where the back of the net is. He is an extremely clinical finisher who scores all types of goals, from bullet headers to 30 yard free kicks, this lad is special! People have likened him to Kane and I would agree to an extent but he is more advanced then Kane was at the same age. He is stronger and better at holding up the ball, he is feisty and loves a sliding challenge. It is also worth mentioning that he doesn’t lack in confidence by any means. I reckon he’ll take like a duck to water to u18 football this season, making a couple of appearances for the u19’s in the process. And I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see him clock up half a dozen appearances for the u23’s, watch this space! If I was to compare him to one single centre forward I would have to say Robert Lewandowski.

My interview with former Spurs star Eddie Clayton:

My interview with former Spurs star Eddie Clayton:

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Born in London’s east end in 1937 Eddie Clayton used to watch the bombs fall down on London during the Second World War from from his parents home in Shoreditch. A budding young footballer at non league side Eton Manor, Eddie and the late Spurs player Bill Dodge were spotted by the legendary Alf Ramsey and taken to Spurs for trials during the 1950’s. Eddie and Bill signed for the lilywhites in 1955 as amateurs, Eddie combining his time at the club with his day job as an apprentice printer. Despite missing out on over two years of his footballing career due to national service where he was stationed in West Germany. Clayton finally got to make his first team debut for Spurs in April of 1958 against Everton at Goodison Park. The part timer made an immediate impact for Bill Nicholson’s side scoring twice in a 4-3 win over the toffees, Eddie then scored the winner in Spurs’ next game against West Brom only a couple of days later. Making over 120 appearances for Spurs during an 11 year stint at the club, Eddie experienced first hand the most successful period in the clubs history including that famous 1960-61 double winning season. Eddie was a great inside forward who managed to adapt his game later on in his career so he could slot in, in front of the back four. The versatile Clayton looked back fondly on his time at Spurs during our long interview last Friday. We would often get sidetracked talking about many aspects of the beautiful game, from Eddie’s hope of giving Harry Kane some advice on being a nastier striker to his experiences of growing up in war time London. One particular story involved the young Eddie picking up an unexploded WW2 bomb, totally unbeknownst to him he brought it into his family’s house to show his parents. Luckily his brother threw it out of the window!

After departing Spurs in 1967 Eddie went on to play for the likes of Southend United and Margate before turning his hand to teaching in the 1970’s. It was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to get the opportunity to interview Eddie Clayton about his memories of his time at Spurs. Like so many of the players from that era he is an absolute gentleman who has time for us Spurs fans. I hope you all enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed doing it, Eddie is a legend who served our club so well during such a successful period. His older brother Ronnie also served the club as a scout for a long period of time.

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

Eddie: I was probably 17 and playing for the under 18 youth side (at Eton Manor) Alf Ramsey used to do the coaching for us and when we played games he gave us advice. I was at Eton Manor and Alf took five of us to go for trials at Spurs, and we all went along and we all signed amateur forms. I played in the midweek league and the A team at the time, unfortunately I then went into the army and it spoilt 2-3 years of my life really in that way. But I did play in the army, I played with Gordon Banks and Eddie Colman who was tragically killed in the Munich air crash. Anyway, afterwards Jimmy Anderson was the Spurs manager and he said come and see us after you come out, so when I came out I went to the club. I got the 649 bus from Shoreditch and walked straight in through the Bill Nicholson gates and went inside. The first team were out training on the pitch, the manager Jimmy Anderson was there and I went up to him and said it’s taken a while but he couldn’t remember me from Adam. He said if you wait out there I’ll come over and chat with you, I got a bit upset and started walking out, I thought I’m going home. So I got to the end of the terrace and this voice called out ’ Eddie ’ and I turned around and it was Bill Nicholson. He’d remembered me from after two years and we had a chat about things. He said I should come and have a few games, see how I get on and that’s how it all happened. I played a few games in the midweek league and reserve league, I was an apprentice at the time (a printer) it was Bill Nich that signed me he signed me on as a part timer on £9 a week, I couldn’t wait to get out there.

I played half a dozen games in the reserves and then we went up to Everton and Bill said you’re playing today and I was astonished really. It was grand national day and all the stars were at our hotel. Anyway, I played and fortunately I got a couple of goals and had one disallowed for a foul and that was on the Easter Saturday. And on the Easter Monday we played West Brom, I scored the winner there. So in someways I started off too well because everybody expected great things of me. I think my fitness sort of let me down in the end but I finally joined full time about three years later, and Bill Dodge signed with me about the same time. The other two got bad injuries, Bill played a few games when Danny Blanchflower had a fall out with Bill Nicholson. That’s one of the earliest memories anyway joining them I was in awe of these great players. People like Bill Brown, Johnny White, Dave Mackay, Greavsie, Gilzean and Cliffie Jones. We had some great players and they were all British as well which was nice.

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

Eddie: Great, I was fortunate in a way because they were the good times it’s strange because in my second season we were very close to relegation and I wasn’t enjoying it all that much. I was part time and travelling a lot and I didn’t like that, I wasn’t fully fit compared to the other guys who were full time, I couldn’t wait for my apprenticeship to finish. When I look back I wish I’d signed full time straight away but there’s a lot of things you’d like to change but can’t. I had 11 seasons plus the time I played as an amateur were great times and I met some great players and great guys. I always think I was quite fortunate because we won the double, I don’t think I played in the league but I played in the European cup which was nice. I think I’m the only undefeated Spurs player in the European cup, I played one game at Feyernoord and Frankie Saul scored two. I was undefeated in the European cup and then of course we won the double, the cup the following year and European cup winners cup. Which everybody wanted to win in those days, it seems unnecessary for the players or the managers of today which is sad really. What’s sad about it is it’s all about the money, I find it sad.

We won the cup again in 1967 I was going to play that day as Alan Mullery was injured but he pulled through. The saddest part was leaving I could have stayed, Bill Nicholson said coach the reserves but I’m not sure if I had the right mentality. You had to be hard nosed and I don’t think I could be like that, I moved on sadly. But I spent almost 11 seasons there which was great, we had a lot of success. When you think of the guys I played with and against, you know the best in the world. We had a good side coming through when people like Joey Kinnear came through and Cyril and then Alan Mullery came and Gilzean. We had some great players which was a wonderful experience, people say to me wouldn’t you like all the money now and my one thing is I’d love to play on this surface. The pitches are so lovely, if the moneys there then they get it as long as they appreciate it. This is the problem they might be too young and they don’t appreciate it as much and the football. You’ve got to saviour that, you’ve got to take it all in. All those moments and embrace it all.

What do you think of the young players of today with all the money they are paid compared to your day?

Eddie: I’m frightened to say anything about that, there very very lucky and they’ve got to appreciate it. I remember I took a friend home one day from the golf at Wanstead and we drove into Chigwell. He pointed out this house, see that house he said (it seemed to go on forever) Tom Huddlestone (19) lives in there, he had a Bentley car. I thought good god he’s 19 years old and sometimes I think do they get things too quickly, and as I said before do they take that all in enough? Do they say how lucky I am? I thought I was ever so lucky playing for Spurs, I must admit in my early years I supported Arsenal but once I signed and put that white shirt on it was a great feeling. Bill Nicholson’s attitude wasn’t all about money it was about playing for Spurs, because Bill was through and through and through a Spurs man. He looked at you and said well this is how you should be, and I was. I loved playing for them though the crowd might have jeered me a couple of times but overall I did alright. I had a good career and I was very lucky.

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

Eddie: People you won’t even remember! I used to watch Jimmy Logan at Arsenal and he was such a wonderful footballer and Alf Ramsey. I used to watch him because I came to know him, there was lots around me, I thought what great players. Little Tommy Harmer was a wizard, an absolute little wizard. He had good players around him like Les Bennett and Eddie Baily they were the inside forwards as they called them in those days. I had so many, watching Johnny White keep the ball up in the changing room before games was incredible and Dave Mackay was a great inspiration. He trained as he played like all of us did he broke my nose once and just looked at me, he never said are you alright Eddie he just walked away. I was so lucky to have those players.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Eddie: Tottenham Hotspur really, playing at Tottenham Hotspur was a big influence when I’d go out I’d feel so good I could run one hundred yards in nine seconds and jump high. The players around me at that time Greavsie, Gilly, Mackay and Alan Mullery made you play which was great. I don’t think I could pick out one because there was so many of them but Dave Mackay was a big influence on the whole team. A great captain, a talker and a leader of men if I had to pick one out I’d pick Dave.

Being a young inside forward were there any other players at the club or outside who you would model your game around or seek inspiration from?

Eddie: I don’t think I ever modelled my game on anybody really I played as I wanted to play. I never played in the position I always wanted to play in I always played as an inside forward but I ended up playing centre forward or on either wing until 1965 when I played just in front of the back four, which I loved. I got about nine goals in about thirty games which is not bad for an enforcer as they call it these days.

On the 5th of April 1958 you made your Spurs debut in a league game against Everton at Goodison Park. Could you talk me through your memories of that special day and how it came about?

Eddie: I’d only been a part time professional for four months and I’d played a few reserve games. Anyway I was picked in the squad to go up to Liverpool to play Everton and we stayed in the Adelphi hotel in Liverpool. I was overwhelmed by it all really, I’d gone there and didn’t know the players so well because I was part time and never trained with them. I met all these stars (at the hotel) like Laurence Olivier and of course all the jockeys were there for the grand national, it was amazing there were so many people there. Anyway we had breakfast and Bill Nich said we’re going to have a meeting about the game and he came up to me and said your playing today, it shook me. It was all a dream when I look back I can remember going on the pitch and I just took it in my stride. As soon as I started playing that was it I’d never played in the first team before, I wasn’t as fit as the other guys. In the first half we went two up and I scored both the goals but they came back, we were 4-1 at one time and a corner came in and the fellow who was marking me I just gave him a little heave and nodded it in. I thought I’d got a hat-trick but he cancelled it because I fouled him, Everton was a great ground to play on they had a good side at that time as well I think we won 4-3 in the end.

So I get back and I can remember on the Sunday I went to see my aunt I don’t know why. I was on a bus and I was on one of those long seats facing each other and these two guys were sitting and they went “ how about this Eddie Clayton then. ” I thought there talking about me and my goals, he’s got to be some player they said, I didn’t say anything. My dad was really ill he was sort of on his last legs, I thought we were going to lose him but because he read the evening paper with me scoring two goals and that you know what he survived for another 15 years or so which was lovely. Then on the following Monday the Easter Monday, I scored against West Brom and people were talking about me. I think people expected too much too soon I’d got three goals in two games, then we played Man United the following Saturday that was after the Munich air crash and they had different players. I think it hit me and I found it difficult there was only five games until the end of the season so I played five games and never scored after the first two. That’s how it went but I wish I could have gone full time sooner because I think I could have trained hard and been much, much fitter.

How did your time at Spurs prepare you for your subsequent career in the game at the likes of Southend and Margate?

Eddie: Well I suppose it was disciplined training which was always very good, at times I was almost physically sick with the training but he stood no nonsense did Bill Nicholson, that was a good thing for the rest of my career. Unfortunately I had a bad time at Southend I wish I’d have stayed at Spurs and had a go with coaching the reserves. I could have gone to Luton who were top of the fourth division at the time, I wish I’d had an agent I’d rather have played somewhere in the first division but I don’t think Bill Nicholson wanted me to do that, he wanted players to get out of the way I think. But I went to Southend and it was strange really because they weren’t professional like at Spurs. It was so different and so poor that it was ridiculous, I don’t like having a go at them but the manager who took me there was weak. Unfortunately when I went there I caught tonsillitis and had quite a temperature I did still play a couple of games in April though I was quite ill. Then the following season I don’t know why but they made me captain and I had a really good season I played really well but about six games from the end I got a nasty tackle. Someone went over the ball and done my knee and I was out for about seven months because of that.

They treated me really badly they didn’t think there was anything wrong with me, I’d dislocated my knee but no one knew. I had treatment the following morning and the bloke that was doing it put it back because all the ligaments were torn. They kept pushing me and pushing me to play I think we ended up in the top five and I came runner up as player of the year. The guy that got it said to me you should of got this, I had a good season I’d scored a few goals from midfield, I thought I was a good captain but there you go. In the second season the manager didn’t want me I couldn’t play because my knee was still troubling me, he said to me I’m going to cancel your contract at the end of the season, fair enough I said. Onne of the players at Southend was going to Margate and I said give my name a mention and he did, that’s how I ended up at Margate. I went down to Margate and I had a great five years I really loved it there, I was captain and we had quite a good side. Never good enough to win anything but we got into the third round of the FA cup and who did we get drawn against… Spurs! So we played Spurs in the third round and it was an amazing experience, I tried to score but Pat Jennings saved a good one from me and we got hammered I won’t say how many but I think was about 6-0.

I spoke to Bill Nicholson before the game and had a chat with him, at the time I was training as a PE teacher and I was telling him about that because he was PE in the army and I said about the training I was doing. It was nice to talk him, I had a great five years at Margate I was 38 then and that was my lot because I’d finished my college exams. I got a teacher job in Abscross and Hornchurch school and I started there and I enjoyed my years, when I went to a school in Barking and Dagenham I used to take the under 16’s. My captain was Tony Adams, Tony was a terrific player and he loved the game he loved everything about it. When he was about 16 we played another school and Tony said I can’t play today I’ve hurt my toe, so I said never mind Tony. I’ll play in goal for you he said, well if you want to I said. So he played in goal and saved a penalty and we won 3-1. Then I went to a special needs school in my last ten years and I loved that. I retired nearly 22 years ago and I’ve played golf ever since, and got married again actually, I’ve had regrets but altogether I think I’ve had a good life especially in football. I was very lucky to be a professional footballer, getting paid for something I enjoyed and as I said before I hope the guys who are getting lots and lots of money now appreciate it all, and take it all in and understand how lucky they are.

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

Eddie: I suppose my debut would be one and signing for Spurs in Bill Nicholson’s room and also watching Tommy Harmer. We weren’t that professional like today and one game we were sitting in the changing rooms and Bill Nicholson is going through the game. How were going to do it, how were going to defend and attack and he said ’ Tommy ’ and Tommy wasn’t there. Where the hells Tommy? So I said he’s in the toilet having a fag Bill, he screamed! Tommy got rid of his fag and came out very sheepish. As for footballing memories, one of the goals we scored against Manchester United. Being involved in the move that involved Jimmy Greaves scoring this great goal. Me missing a sitter against them in the same game and then scoring later on Dave Mackay passed the free kick to me and I just hammered it from about 25 yards and it went in, so I was very lucky. Playing against Man United Charlton, Law and Best looking at you I thought gosh. They won the league that year but we beat them 5-1, the whole thing has great memories. For me I never thought I’d be a professional footballer, I never thought about being a professional until Alf Ramsey came up and said why don’t you come down to Spurs with me which was nice. He gave me a great compliment it wasn’t just to me, after he won the World Cup they sainted Bobby Moore and Alf at the Hilton and I was sitting there in the crowd with the Spurs boys and the Chelsea boys. Alf got up and started speaking and he said football is a strange game for instance it’s people like Eddie Clayton that allowed England to win the World Cup!

What he meant was when you think back now only the ones he picks are English there’s many more he can pick for. In them days he had loads of English players to pick from he was spoilt for choice in a way, but today you’re not you’re picking guys who don’t even play for their first team. He came out to me afterwards and said I didn’t embarrass you Eddie did I? I said well a little Alf and he explained the situation, so I got lots of bits of banter off of the Arsenal boys and the Chelsea team and my own players which was nice. Alf was a very personal person he didn’t mix, and he didn’t like the journalists. They could turn on you that was the problem they can be all over you one minute, but he didn’t like that just like the ones now, there all over them but you’ve only got to do something wrong and they change and Alf hated them, but he was a lovely guy.

Your development as a footballer at Spurs was greatly hindered when you had to go for national service in West Germany. What was that experience like for you and how did it affect your career in the game?

Eddie: I think it put me back a few years and I think I could have gone on a bit earlier in my career. By the time I got out I was 21 if I’d have signed at 17 then I think I would have adapted better, it’s difficult to adapt as a part timer. I played some football (in West Germany) we won the double in the team I played in and we won what they called the Rhine district league and cup, Gordon Banks was in the team he was an alert goalkeeper. I think it put me back a few years I think I could have been a lot fitter and a lot quicker, and got stronger. Although I played a couple of times a week in the army it wasn’t the same, I didn’t get in the army side. I went for trials and scored eight goals in three games but a fellow called Ray Poynton who played for Burnley and this guy said to me you won’t get in the team mate, Ray Poynton will be the centre forward he was a little bit older than me. I think the problem was that I didn’t get fit and I didn’t get to know the players and mix with them and train with them. Going full time was the best thing I did I got much fitter and it helped my career a lot more.

What was it like in West Germany at that time?

Eddie: It wasn’t a good time we were the occupied forces, going out to pubs and places like that they didn’t like us there was always one or two little fights which I didn’t get involved in, we were close to the Dutch border so we used to go into Holland quite a bit. I was what they called morse code I couldn’t lift a rifle never mind shoot one! It put me back a few years which I regret and I should have gone full time much earlier as I would have got better and stronger.

What was the pinnacle of your career?

Eddie: Playing in the first team I suppose it was 1965 when I played regularly I always felt I had a good season because I was fit and strong. I was getting on quite a bit for football, I was 29 and unfortunately they had bought someone called Terry Venables, I won’t say anything on that. I think I left in the Easter of 68 and that was the worst time of my career he (Sir Bill) wanted to keep me on but there you go, the pinnacle would probably be 1965. Signing first of all for Spurs was a great time and then the biggest was probably getting myself in the first team which was good.

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

Eddie: it’s so difficult when you look back Mike England was a great player, Dave Mackay was the best, Jimmy in full flow watching him go and Pat Jennings. I can remember watching the 67 cup final and this shot was going in the top corner and how Pat got to it I don’t know, he tipped it over the bar it was some save. It’s very very difficult, I’ve got to pin it down to Jimmy and Dave I suppose. The great goalscorer Jimmy and Dave Mackay the great inspiration, people in them days didn’t appreciate him for his skills not only was he a tough man, but he had great skills and was a great inspiration. So he probably edges it.

Sir Bill was the man who gave you your big break in the first team, I know he was a great influence on your career. Could you explain what it was like to play under him?

Eddie: Hard. Bill was a tough man who you didn’t dare argue with and that I think is why he fell out with Martin Chivers because Martin was his own man. If you worked hard and gave everything he’d be very happy, he used to say if you come of that pitch knackered then you’ve done your job. He felt you should have done something better and I got on the end of it on a couple of occasions, but as long as you gave 100% he was happy because most times we won. I can remember one game he left Greavsie and Alan Gilzean out and he put me and Frankie Saul in against Sheffield Wednesday. They went 1-0 up anyway the ball came out to me in the mud about 25 yards out and I got onto it and smashed it in. A bloody rocket! I couldn’t believe it, it was 1-1 and Bill was over the moon he patted me on the back I think he was relieved that we didn’t lose. He was a tough guy we’d train for hours on free kicks against and free kicks for and different corner kicks. When he was angry he’d get us altogether and have a go at us, I can remember one time (I don’t think we’d had a good game on the Saturday) on the Monday he sat us all down and he was slaughtering Jimmy Greaves, Dave Mackay and Gilly and he went ’ Eddie ’ that’s right and he pointed at me. You tell them Ed, I thought what do I say to Jimmy Greaves, Dave Mackay and Gilly. I went yes Bill and they were all looking at me, how can I tell Dave Mackay or Cliffie Jones so all I came out with was yes Bill but he was a tough man who demanded the best. He expected the best because he bought some great players they weren’t ordinary players.

People ask me about Cliffie Jones. Cliff and myself signed at the same time, Cliff was in the army still and he was stationed at St Johns Wood, he used to come training with me in the evenings before they let him out and he trained full time. He cost £35,000 and when I signed from Eton Manor they got a couple of dumbbells for the gym, I told Cliffie that story.

You were involved and scored in our remarkable 5-1 victory over George Best’s and Bobby Charlton’s Manchester United at the Lane. What are your memories of that game?

Eddie: As I said it was a big game and when I stood on the centre circle with Charlton, Law and Best looking at me I said my word I’ve got to try and deal with that lot. But we played so well, we played out of our skin we were 2-0 up in the first half and I was playing in front of the back four trying to track Best and Charlton back and forwards. They pushed up very quickly and I raced from the defence through them and shouted and little Neil Johnson clipped the ball over the top, the goalkeeper came out. I’ve knocked it past the keeper and I’m on the angle by the six yard line and I thought I’ll just knock it in with my left foot, and it went straight over the bar. I’m looking at it thinking how the hell did I miss that, it was an embarrassing time. Bill said to me at halftime perhaps you should have got it on your right foot I keep thinking about that. Anyway, in the second half I made up for it I got a screecher from about 25 yards and Jimmy got that great goal. It was an absolutely amazing game but when you played Man United it always was, but they got there own back five months later and I got rollicked in that game.

What was the atmosphere at the Lane like that day?

Eddie: Absolutely incredible coming out of that tunnel into the daylight and the noise, the noise you get used to as you take no notice. You look around at all the players Nobby Stiles, Bill Foulkes and Harry Gregg in goal they had some side. They took Best off at halftime as I played him out the game!

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

Eddie: I’ll be in touch with Martin Chivers quite a bit, Cliffie I see occasionally and I play once a year at a golf game against the Arsenal for the Bob Wilson willow foundation and we play against them for a cup. I went to Wembley last year in the European cup and I met up with Alan Mullery, Pat Jennings and Mark Falco. Mark, Micky Hazard and Ossis Ardilles go to our golf club so I meet them a bit, it would be nice to go to the games once a week and meet up. I used to go to the legends bar quite a bit.

After all these years could you tell me what Spurs still means to you?

Eddie: They are my club aren’t they I like watching their games, they were in a strange kind of way my life and I loved it there, it was sad going to other clubs. As a kid it meant the world to me as they were my club, I wasn’t as through and through as Bill but Spurs were my club and that’s it, there a grand old team to play for!

The five Spurs youngsters who I’m hoping to see make the pre-season tour of the USA later this month:

The five Spurs youngsters who I’m hoping to see make the pre-season tour of the USA later this month:

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We may be in the midst of one of the most exhilarating World Cup campaigns in recent memory, but it’s easy to forget that our beloved Spurs are back in action in just a couple of weeks time. Our first team kick off their pre-season tour of the USA on the 25th of this month, whilst our development side and under 18’s (some of whom have already resumed full training at Hotspur way) will travel to France to take part in the annual three day tournament in Brittany. I am hoping to report on that tournament. On top of that a Spurs youth side (u16’s) will take on non league team Bury town around that very same period. There has been a few interesting stories regarding the Tottenham academy since the 17/18 season came to an end. One of the most significant ones was the departure of under 18’s head coach Scott Parker who joined Fulham as a first team coach last week, a real shame for all at Spurs. Parker’s departure has resulted in experienced academy coach and former youth player Matt Wells taking over the reigns for the coming season. You may have also missed the news regarding talented Tottenham schoolboy Noni Madeuke who snubbed the offer of a two year scholarship at Spurs to join Dutch giants PSV. Madeuke is the latest in a line of young English players who are trying there luck on mainland Europe. On top of that, 19 year old fullback Jaden Brown was recently on trial with Dutch Eerste divisie side NEC Nijmegen, Brown only signed a new contract with Spurs the previous month. However, but the Dutch club have decided not pursue matters and after a week of training, the fullback has since returned to Hotspur way.

Due to the FIFA World Cup a whole clutch of first team players could be rested for our tour of the states later on this month. This would free up more spaces for our academy players to take up. As many as eleven of our youngsters could make the trip across the pond. Last season saw players such as Anthony Georgiou, Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Kyle Walker-Peters get pitch time over in the very same pre-season competition. Providing some invaluable experience with the first team in the process. In the following piece I have selected five of our academy hopefuls who I hope to see included in the squad which travels to America with the first team, in just over two weeks time. I haven’t listed youngsters who have already made numerous appearances for the first team. Players such as Onomah, Walker-Peters and Carter-Vickers.

Anthony Georgiou: It was at this time last year when Anthony Georgiou introduced himself to the Spurs faithful. The speedy young winger was brought on at half time by Pochettino during our chaotic ICC friendly with Roma in Minneapolis. After enduring an injury hit campaign the following season, Georgiou seized his chance with both hands, putting in an electric performance against Roma’s Bruno Peres out on the left wing. Direct and positive with a flare about his game, the young Georgiou won many plaudits off of fans for his bright performance. This resulted in him appearing in two more games for the first team before the start of the 17/18 campaign. Where he would go on to make his senior debut for Spurs in our UEFA champions league game against APOEL Nicosia. Anthony spent large chunks of the season training with the first team, whilst dividing his time playing matches for our development side. As you’ll all know from reading my reports over the last few seasons, I’m a massive fan of the Cypriot international. He is in my eyes the perfect winger. Strong, fast, incredibly hard working (tracks back) and to cap it all off he has a wand of a left boot. After enjoying a memorable 2017/18 season, Georgiou will be hoping to push on even more next season. With pre-season providing him with another brilliant opportunity to catch Pochettino’s eye, before he picks his squad for the forthcoming tour of the states. Georgiou who appeared 13 times for the under 23 side last season scoring once, was impressive throughout his time in the development side. That burning ambition and hunger to take players on from both LW and LWB, provided Burnetts side with an all too often creative spark down the left wing .

The oldest academy player that I have included on my list, I would be very surprised if the Lewisham born player doesn’t travel to the states once again this summer. Pochettino is a big fan, and I’m sure he’ll be keen to have another look at Anthony in a big game environment. The tour of the states will provide that perfect platform for Georgiou. Whether or not he will go out on loan this season is yet to be seen but I have seen a couple of rumours on twitter which have linked him with loans moves to both Leeds United and Millwall (I don’t know how reliable they are). Regardless, he thoroughly deserves his place in the squad.

Oliver Skipp: The domineering central midfielder (17) is one of our most exciting academy hopefuls. Skipp had a remarkable season during the 17/18 campaign, the then first year scholar cemented his place in the development side right from the offing. Putting in many a masterful performance against far older opposition. Skipp is the best (English) 17 year old midfielder in the country, with his wide ranging skill set and fine footballing brain, ‘ Skippy ‘ has the ability to dictate games from the centre of the park. He plays with eyes in the back of his head, he anticipates the game like nobody else in Burnetts side and he has an understanding which is light years ahead of anyone else in his age group. A key player for the under 23’s, Skipp also played starring roles in the Spurs u19 and u18 sides. Equally as adept at playing as a centre half (which he often filed in at for the 18’s) the teenager from Hertford made close to 40 appearances for the various youth sides last season. His calming and effective impact on the game is something which should all but guarantee him a place on the US tour. He is the complete midfielder who doesn’t play about with the ball. He is an accurate passer and a subtly creative midfielder, who likes to sit in front of the back four where he recycles possession and breaks up play. Skipp demonstrated his ability to perform consistently on the u23 stage last season and whilst it is unlikely that he will go onto break into the first team over the course of next season, he could still be blooded into the senior side our pre season tour. He would slot in seamlessly.

Samuel Shashoua: A tricky and astute forward who endured a frustrating, injury hit campaign last season. 19 year old Samuel Shashoua is another youngster who should be travelling with the first team squad to America. After a sparkling 16/17 season for the under 18’s, Shashoua initially struggled to get game time for Burnetts side during the early stages of last season. This, coupled in with a series of frustrating injuries throughout the season halted his progress. However, when Shashoua did play for the under 19’s and 23’s he played exceptionally well. Due to it being a more physical game Shashoua wasn’t able to run rings around opposing teams defenders as frequently as before. But I felt as if he had adapted his game. Hardworking and difficult to shrug off the ball, the highly intelligent forward reminded me more and more of Christian Eriksen as the season progressed. His weight of pass and off the ball and on the ball movements are all so similar to that of the Danish star. Samuel clocked up six goals and five assists at youth level last season despite his injury troubles, he also went onto win the player of the tournament at the Volksbank cup in Germany after the end of the domestic season. The immensely talented teenager who has already appeared on the bench for the first team (back in May of 2017 against Leicester) is more than ready to get his first real taste of first team football. If Marcus Edwards was able to adapt to it back in 2016 then Samuel is more then capable of following suit.

Tariq Hinds: A mainstay in Scott Parker’s under 18 side last season, Hinds was one of the teams most consistent performers, making more appearances than anybody else. The incredibly versatile right back played in a variety of positions throughout the campaign (LB, CDM and CB). Hinds is very much a defensive right back who rarely seems to stray past the halfway line despite his explosive pace and good close ball control. However, the 18 year old very rarely gets beaten by his man down the wing, two of his finest qualities are his positioning and concentration. Whilst I don’t expect Hinds to make a significant push for the first team next season, I do expect him to become an important player for the under 23 side. Hinds has only ever featured on two occasions for the development side. However, his impressive performances for the under 18’s and 19’s in a wide range of positions over the last couple of seasons will have caught the eye of Pochettino and his coaching staff. The former England u16 international is yet another exciting fullback and an accomplished centre half and central midfielder too. It would be great to see him involved in the ICC cup later this month. After all Kyle Walker-Peters made his first team debut around the same time.

Reo Griffiths: After a summer of speculation and many a cryptic instagram post, Tottenham’s prolific young forward appears to be staying at Spurs for another season at least. After signing a one year extension to his scholarship last month the 18 year old who scored a remarkable 34 goals last season, was strongly linked with a move to German club RB Leipzig. But with that now all behind him us Spurs fans can now look forward to seeing how he does for the under 23 side next season. Having only made a handful of appearances for them before. Will he translate that form into the development side? His physical prowess at u18 level allowed him to bully defenders and let him express himself as a centre forward. Take nothing away from the former Leyton Orient schoolboy though, who was exceptional for Parker’s side scoring a whole range of goals throughout the season. But despite being our most effective young forward his biggest test will be replicating that form at PL2 level next season. I hope that Griffiths travels with the first team to the states as not only will it be a great experience for him but it will also provide the young striker with a far more challenging platform to test his mettle. For somebody who used to be a centre half just over three years ago, Reo’s rapid development is extremely impressive.