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

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

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Our under 18’s will take a trip down to the south coast on Saturday to face Southampton in the under 18 southern league. It’s been an excellent start to the season for Matt Wells’s talented side, who have won their first three league games of the season, and sit joint top of the southern league along with Arsenal and West Ham on nine points. After another excellent performance to beat Chelsea 2-0 at Hotspur Way last Saturday, Wells’s side will be brimming with confidence ahead of our encounter with the Saints. We have enjoyed our time at Southampton’s Staplewood training ground during recent seasons. Last season we beat a richly talented Southampton side 2-1, the season before that we thrashed them 6-2 and the season before that we beat them 3-1! Hoping to carry that winning trend into Saturday’s game, Spurs will be hoping to produce more of the sparkling attacking football which saw them overcome Brighton, Swansea and Chelsea so comprehensively. Long famed for their academy set up, Southampton were one of the most impressive sides we played at under 18 level last season. Although we beat them 2-1 at Staplewood, they gave us a really tough game. Moving the ball around well, they were menacing going forwards. The attacking Irish duo of Michael Obafemi and Jonathan Afolabi were particularly troubling that day, thankfully they are no longer eligible to play at this level. Craig Fleming’s Southampton side haven’t started the new season in the best of form, having only picked up one point from their first three league games. That solemn point came in the Saints 2-2 draw with Fulham last Saturday. Southampton actually had a really good season in the league during the 2017/18 campaign. Finishing above us in third place, Fleming’s side finished the season with 42 points. Arguably not as strong as last season Southampton’s main danger men are Sean Brennan and Craig Norton. It’s also worth mentioning their 16 year old winger Rio Glean, Glean was a schoolboy with Spurs last season. However, they also have a particularly strong defence.

With the likes of Kameron Ledwidge, Pascal Kpohomouh and David Agbontohoma just some of their talented defenders. With the under 23 game against Arsenal occurring the night before the Southampton game, I wouldn’t be surprised if Parrott, Maghoma and possibly even Bennett are selected for that game. Hence, being unavailable for our encounter with the Saints the following morning, this could mean that the likes of Mukendi and Asante will start the game. On current form you’d have to fancy our lads making it four wins from four when these two teams meet on Saturday morning. However, a team of Southampton’s ilk can never be underestimated and if we let them play their own brand of attacking football then they will punish us for it. I’m sure it will be an entertaining game of football down on the south coast and as always I shall be there to report on it. After reporting on our under 23’s north London derby at the Emirates the previous night I’ll be heading straight down to Southampton ahead of Saturday mornings game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) De Bie (OG*), Tainio, Binks, Lyons-Foster, White, Bowden, A.Shashoua (c), Markanday, Patterson, Mukendi, Asante.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Walcott, Okedina, Thorpe, Pochettino.

Doubtful: Dennis Cirkin and Maxwell Statham.

Injured/unavailable: Rodel Richards and Rayan Clarke.

OG* = Overage goalkeeper.

Previous meeting: 1-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-0.

My one to watch: Southampton’s nimble footed forward Sean Brennan, adept at playing out wide or through the middle as a number ten. Brennan represented Ireland at the U17 Euros this summer and is another Irish teenager to have made the move to the south coast club. Brennan was particularly threatening during our 1-1 with Southampton at Hotspur Way last season. The 17 year olds trickery and speed down the left side caused major problems for Tottenham fullback Jamie Reynolds that day.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/08/27/spurs-under-18s-2-0-chelsea-match-report/

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

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

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Wayne Burnett’s development side will contest the first north London derby of the season on Friday evening, when they face arch rivals Arsenal at the Emirates, in their fourth PL2 game of the season. Still in search of their first win of the new campaign, Burnett’s side will be hoping to change that on Friday when they take on the reigning PL2 champions in their own back yard. After grinding out 1-1 draws against both Liverpool and Brighton respectively, in their last two games, our under 23’s have been much more positive in both of those games then in our disappointing season opener with West Ham on game week one. I’m writing this preview earlier then usual this week and with the EFL loan window still open until Friday evening I would expect a couple of our players to head out on loan to EFL clubs before then. One player who headed out on loan at the weekend was Samuel Shashoua, the technically gifted playmaker has joined Spanish segunda division B club Atlético Baleares. The Balearic club ply their trade in the third tier of Spanish football and compete in the same league as the likes of Barcelona B and Villarreal B. Whilst he will be a massive loss for our under 23 side, this is a great opportunity for Shashoua to develop his game in a league where they play cultured attacking football. Shashoua will also get to play regular first team football, something which will stand him in really good stead for next season once he returns to Spurs. Regardless of how many players head out on loan before Fridays game, I am sure Burnett will still field a very strong squad for the north London derby. The gunners who are now managed by former Arsenal star Freddie Ljunberg enjoyed an excellent 2017/18 campaign. Winning the PL2 division one, Arsenal’s development side also made the final of the premier league international cup where they lost to Porto B.

The gunners academy set up has always been star studded and the side which they had to choose from last season was rich with talent. The likes of Reiss Nelson (who is incidentally on the verge of a move to German club Hoffenheim), prolific centre forward Eddie Nketiah and playmaker Emile Smith Rowe where just some of those who played an instrumental part in the gunners title winning success. Despite Arsenal’s success on the domestic stage, Burnett’s relegation stricken side did manage to do the double over them last season. Beating them 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at Hotspur Way, Spurs then went and beat Arsenal 3-1 in the reverse fixture which was played at Boreham Wood’s ground. That particular game was our best performance of the season, as Burnett’s side fought back from an early Arsenal goal to put in a sparkling attacking performance which blew away the home team. Oliver Skipp netted a glorious volley on that day and the excellent Keanan Bennett’s scored the most glorious free kick from long range. Having said that however, it’s important to mention that the talented duo of Nelson and Nketiah were sat in the stands, they also missed the reverse fixture at Hotspur Way back in October. I fear Arsenal’s attacking might ahead of Fridays encounter, apart from the previously mentioned players, they also have potent attacking players such as Xavier Amaechi, Bukayo Saka and Tyreece John-Jules to choose from. However, on a more positive note they have already conceded eight goals from their opening three PL2 games this season. During their title winning season of 2017/18 they conceded 32 goals. Whilst I think it will be a tough game for our lads on Friday, If we play with the attacking intensity that we showed against the gunners last season then they we will trouble their defence and create chances.

In addition, the pitch at the Emirates stadium will provide our speedy players with the width needed to exploit the Arsenal defence. I would love to see the electric J’Neil Bennett make his under 23 debut on Friday, Bennett (16) has started the season in excellent form for our under 18’s. His incredible speed and skill would definitely ask questions of the Arsenal defence. It’s difficult to predict how Burnett will lineup on Friday evening, will young Troy Parrott lead the line once again? will we see more players from the under 18 side make the step up? And how will we approach the game? One things for sure and that is that it promises to be a fascinating evening and an incredible experience for our young lads. Playing at the Emirates stadium is one thing but to have 500 traveling Spurs supporters cheering them on is something that many of them won’t have experienced before, and will likely never forget. Let’s hope it will be a memorable evening in more than one way for Burnett’s side, and let’s hope we can pick up our first three points of the season against our bitter rivals from down the road. I will be reporting on Friday evenings game before jetting off to Southampton to cover our under 18’s league game with the saints the following morning.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Tanganga, Brown, Marsh (c), Skipp, Edwards, Maghoma, Harrison, Parrott.

Subs from: Freeman, Hinds, Duncan, Bennett, Roles.

Doubtful: Shilow Tracey and Brandon Austin.

Injured/unavailable: Jamie Reynolds (leg), Kazaiah Sterling (leg), Tom Glover (Glover has recently been trialing for other clubs), Samuel Shashoua (on loan to Spanish side Atlético Baleares for the remainder of the season).

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Arsenal’s teenage sensation Eddie Nketiah became an instant hit with the Arsenal fans after making his first team debut for the gunners in the league cup last season. Nketiah made an instant impact scoring twice against Norwich in the league cup. The 19 year old forward also made several more appearances for the gunners first team that season. Pacy, good in the air and clinical in front of goal, Nketiah scored 12 league goals from 13 games during the 2017/18 campaign.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/08/26/spurs-under-23s-1-1-brighton-match-report/

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

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

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Our under 18’s continued their 100% start to the new season with a hugely impressive 2-0 league victory over Chelsea on Saturday morning. Matt Wells side got one over on their own rivals as the spectators were treated to more sparkling attacking football. As I spoke about in my preview I mentioned the change that has occurred in the Chelsea academy over the summer, with longtime head coach Jody Morris having departed the club. This new look group of first year scholars are all very new to under 18 football and I always fancied our chances up against them. Wells opted to field a nice blend of first and second year players for the London derby. With 16 year old centre backs Malachi Walcott and Luis Binks starting in the heart of the Tottenham defence. Armando Shashoua retained the captains armband and lead by example in the middle of the park, whilst young J’Neil Bennett started up top for the second time this season. Spurs were excellent throughout the game, the whole team played out of their skin as they performed Tottenham’s attacking football to perfection. We used the ball well and after taking the lead in the ninth minute of the game after a fine finish from Paris Maghoma, Spurs passed Chelsea off the park for the remainder of the half. Dominating possession, the blues were unable to match our high intensity and they really struggled to create many chances of their own. However, despite our excellent first half performance we didn’t make our possession count as we squandered a couple of good chances, we could have been 3-0 up going into halftime. Our slender advantage put us under pressure during the second half as Alan Myers resurgent Chelsea side upped their intensity. They created a hell of a lot more chances in the second half and were it not for the heroic defending of Walcott and Binks who were absolutely sensational then they would have drawn level. Thankfully for Spurs captain Armando Shashoua tapped home from close range to double our advantage on 72 minutes to secure all three points for Wells’s side. I was so proud of how our lads played and I continue to believe that this could be shaping into a glorious season for Spurs at this level, on the domestic stage at least.

Played on a relatively sunny morning at Hotspur Way, Spurs lined up with the 4-2-3-1 formation for the visit of Chelsea. Matt Wells gave goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi his second start of the season, whilst a back four consisting of Tainio, Walcott, Binks and White stood in front of the 17 year old goalkeeper. In front of them was the highly effective midfield partnership of Jamie Bowden and captain Armando Shashoua. With the attacking trio of Markanday, Maghoma and Patterson all behind the potent J’Neil Bennett who lead the line. Chelsea were missing notable second years such as Hudson-Odoi and Gilmour but they still fielded a strong side with the likes of George Nunn and Clinton Mola starting for Alan Myers side. Ahead of the kick off the Spurs players all huddled together as the skipper Armando Shashoua urged his teammates to ’ come on ’ ahead of what was a hugely important league game for Matt Wells’s side. Spurs got the game underway with the first notable piece of action coming in the opening couple of minutes as the attentive Jamie Bowden cleared Clinton Mola’s menacing corner kick. Centre forward George Nunn headed over at the back post after going to meet Henry Lawrence’s cross, with Tainio allowing him a lot of space to get the header away. After a fairly even start the lively J’Neil Bennett embarked on his first testing run of the game after winning the ball in the middle of the park. The 16 year old darted forwards as he beat Jack Wakely with ease out on the left wing before squaring the ball to Patterson on the edge of the penalty area. Patterson controlled the ball before looking up and curling an effort narrowly wide of Karlo Ziger’s far post. After really taking the game by the scruff of the neck, Wells’s extremely energetic side continued to trouble the Chelsea defence, and they caught them off guard on nine minutes as Spurs took a surprise lead through Paris Maghoma.

It was an incredibly well worked goal, the lively Shashoua passed the ball to Bennett who was around 30 yards out from goal and in a central position. The makeshift centre forward spotted the darting run of Maghoma before quickly play a well weighted through ball into the attacking midfielder who had got in front of the Chelsea back line, he powered forwards as he found himself one on one with Ziger in the Chelsea goal. Maghoma steadied himself before just calmly skipping past the goalkeeper who had come running off of his line. With the composure of a seasoned pro Maghoma took his time before slotting the ball past the Chelsea defenders and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, as they defended frantically on the line, 1-0. It was such a cool finish from Maghoma who had made a difficult chance look like a training ground drill. Spurs had looked so comfortable in possession as they looked to build on their early lead and the young Lilywhites should have had a penalty after Chelsea defender Jon Russel had so blatantly brought down the advancing Shashoua in the Tottenham penalty area without getting anything on the ball. Chelsea were struggling to play as Spurs continued to dominate the game, I was surprised at how much time Chelsea were allowing our players on the ball. After having dominated the last ten or so minutes of the game Spurs had come close to extending their lead on more then one occasion. After Shashoua had passed the ball to Bowden the midfield craftsman played a clever through ball which Patterson had raced to meet down the right hand side of the penalty area. However, Karlo Ziger had read the situation well and came rushing out before doing just about enough to palm the ball away from the feet of the darting Patterson. One player who had been really threatening for Spurs in the early stages of the game was Dilan Markanday, and the speedy winger created a good chance for Maghoma.

After sprinting down the right wing, the strong winger cut inside onto his left before running across the face of the penalty area and laying the ball of to Maghoma in a central area. However, Maghoma’s first time curling effort was comfortably saved by Ziger in the Chelsea goal. The tigerish Jamie Bowden made a crucial interception shortly afterwards to win the ball off of Armando Broja on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. And the same player let fly at the other end only a couple of moments later. Bowden’s deflected low drive from the edge of the penalty area was however, gathered by the Croatian goalkeeper Karlo Ziger. Spurs were hogging possession and were looking so composed on the ball as they built out from the back. I spotted a certain red card which the Spurs players didn’t seem to protest after the high pressing skipper Shashoua had his shirt tugged by Chelsea defender Clinton Mola just as he was about to latch onto a poorly hit back pass to the Chelsea goalkeeper, he was the last man. The linesman on the near side should have picked up on this as he had such a clear view of it. Chelsea’s Henry had a deflected effort at goal go out for a corner kick, whilst Jon Russell lashed over from range as Spurs continued to control the game much to Chelsea’s frustration. The Tottenham goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi had yet to make a save. The so far solid Maximus Tainio made an excellent challenge on Nunn to prevent a Chelsea break down the left hand side. Matt Wells’s superb Tottenham side were pressing the Chelsea defenders into making mistakes and their intricate attacking football had completely unsettled Alan Myers side during the first half, as Spurs went into the break a goal to the good after a superb first half performance. However, they could easily have been 3-0 up.

Chelsea got the second half underway as Spurs looked to consolidate on their slender one goal advantage. The half had barely started and the resurgent were already putting our defence under extreme pressure. Wells side had been caught out down the right hand side as the potent Armando Broja had been allowed to sprint down the wing unchallenged, before squaring the ball to Ballo inside the penalty area. With the goal gaping Ballo decided to let the ball roll through his legs and onto Marcel Lewis who picked it up from about nine yards out from the goal. Everybody was expecting the net to bulge as the unbalanced Oluwayemi attempted to get back into the centre of the goal. However, the blues midfielders powerfully struck effort was somehow blocked on the line by the sliding Malachi Walcott. It was the most heroic block you’ll ever see, as the young English defender popped up out of nowhere to make a goal saving block on the line. Had that have been Vertonghen or Sanchez the whole world would be talking about it for weeks on end. Clearly spurred on the blues had upped their tempo and were out to test Oluwayemi in the Tottenham goal. And Myers side came close to drawing level again a couple of moments later. Marcel Lewis’s diagonal pass to Chelsea’s George Nunn was picked up the by the centre forward down the right side of the penalty. However, the former Crewe schoolboys powerful effort was stopped by Oluwayemi who saved it at his near post. The central defensive partnership of Walcott and Binks were really being forced into the action. And England youth international Malachi Walcott was everywhere across the backline. The 16 year old made an incredible sliding challenge on Broja on the edge of the penalty area. Clinton Mola let fly from range shortly afterwards forcing another good stop out of Oluwayemi, as Binks and Walcott continued to save Spurs.

Ball playing centre half Luis Binks made an excellent challenge on Thierno Ballo to break up a dangerous Chelsea attack. And at the other end Phoenix Patterson had an excellently worked goal ruled out for offside much to Spurs’ annoyance. Captain Armando Shashoua immediately went over to the linesman on the near side to question his decision which I feel was an incredibly tight one to say the least. Chelsea continued to be the far better attacking team in this half, Walcott hit a clearance out to Marcel Lewis on the edge of the Tottenham box. Thankfully the midfielders powerful low effort flew wide of Oluwayemi’s left hand post. A couple of moments later Spurs had to deal with Lewis’s dangerous free kick after the midfielder whipped the ball into the penalty area. Picking out Jack Wakely at the back post the Chelsea fullbacks header was well cleared out by the alert Bowden. A big 20 minutes remained as Spurs tried desperately hard to cling onto their narrow lead. Oluwayemi was certainly making up for his lack of activity in the first half, the Tottenham goalkeeper produced an incredible save when he stopped Lewis’s powerful effort with a diving save. Lewis had the ball laid off to him on the edge of the penalty area by Henry Lawrence. However, Spurs almost caught Chelsea out at the other end after launching a promising counter attack straight from Oluwayemi’s quick throw to Markanday out on the right. The skilful winger launched the ball up to Patterson who darted through the middle before spotting the run of Bennett out on the left and shifting the ball to the forward whose quick fire effort was blocked by a Chelsea defender. However, Bennett’s miss wasn’t to matter as only a couple of moments later Spurs doubled their advantage to essentially put the game to bed. After receiving Maghoma’s pass Bennett embarked on a jinking run to beat his man down the left side of the penalty. The tricky forward squared the ball to Patterson whose effort was stopped by the diving Ziger who could only palm it into the path of the onrushing Shashoua who was there to just drive the ball home from close range, at the far post, 2-0.

Spurs made their first tactical change of the game shortly afterwards as Wells bolstered the Tottenham defence, by bringing on Lyons-Foster for Tainio as Spurs reverted to a back three for the remaining 15 or so minutes of the game. And shortly after the young centre half’s introduction to the game there was a melee involving both sets of players. It occurred after Lyons-Foster had conceded a free kick out on the left wing after a foul on Lewis. After just kicking the ball away the Chelsea midfielder snapped and unwisely threw the Tottenham defender to the floor. Lyons-Foster reacted by pulling the Chelsea defender by the scruff of the neck which for a moment looked like the famous Mackay on Bremner photograph. Anyhow, after a bit of handbags between both sets of players the referee booked both Lyons-Foster and Lewis. It was shaping into a proper London derby and rightly so! Chelsea could easily have pulled a goal back when Ballo was allowed to sprint into the middle of the penalty area, unchallenged before dragging the ball across Oluwayemi’s goal at the final moment. The flawless Luis Binks then made an impressive clearance at the near post to clear Ballo’s menacing cross before Nunn dragged the ball wide of the Spurs goal a couple of moments later, as Chelsea continued to push for a late goal. The skilful Markanday had won a free kick in a promising position for Spurs at the other end. Harvey White’s resulting effort around the Chelsea wall was well saved by the diving Ziger. Chelsea head coach Alan Myers could be seen frantically urging his players on as we reached the final stages of the game. Wells introduced Enock Asante in the place of Patterson as Spurs continued to move the ball around the pitch well. Lyons-Foster made a vital clearance to get to the ball before the racing Lewis out on the right wing. The ever threatening Maghoma then forced a good save out of Ziger at the other end after meeting Markanday’s pass on the edge of the box.

The effective Lyons-Foster was helping to keep Spurs’ clean sheet intact as he got a vital head on the ball to divert Clark’s dangerous cross. There was a late flurry of action at both ends of the pitch as we entered stoppage time. Maghoma hit an effort well wide from range whilst Chelsea came close to pulling a goal back. After the newly introduced Lewis Bate fed the ball into Nunn inside the penalty area, the forward squared it for Ballo who found himself one on one with Oluwayemi. However, Lyons-Foster produced the most incredible piece of defending as he bolted towards Ballo before making an incredible sliding challenge as Oluwayemi smothered the loose ball. It was the most incredible and complete performance from Matt Wells’s side on Saturday morning and it just goes to show that Spurs can challenge for the title this season. I was extremely proud of how mature a performance it was from our lads as they continued their 100% start to the new season. Next up for Matt Wells side is a trip to the south coast as they face Southampton next Saturday morning at their Staplewood training ground. I shall be reporting on that game.

Player reviews: – Joshua Oluwayemi: It was a really impressive performance from the 17 year old goalkeeper on only his fourth appearance at this level. After a very quiet first half, Oluwayemi was called into action in the second half and remained busy throughout the half. Making a string of important saves including a terrific diving save to superbly deny Marcel Lewis’s powerful effort from the edge of the penalty, Oluwayemi had an excellent half. The 17 year old’s distribution was good and he was very cool and composed on the ball, almost Neuer-esque.
– Maximus Tainio: Another player who put in an excellent performance, the tenacious young Finn who has just been called up for Finland’s under 19 side, put in a really solid performance against Chelsea at right back. He protected that side of the pitch well from the potent Armando Broja. Making some excellent challenges and interceptions, the alert Tainio also made some promising attacking forays down the right wing. He has really cemented his place in the team.
– Malachi Walcott: My motm, see below.
– Luis Binks: It was such a tough decision between Binks and Walcott as to who I was going to give man of the match to. The English ball playing centre half who turns 17 next week was incredible against the blues. Flawless throughout the game he read the game so very well and defended with aplomb. Making many important sliding challenges and well timed interceptions, in and around the danger zone. Binks was dominant in the air and his lovely diagonal passes helped to contribute to the Spurs attack. He has taken to under 18 football so very well so far and I’m not surprised in the slightest, he is a real leader. And I would surprised if he wasn’t included in the England under 17’s squad for the next international break.
– Harvey White: White has certainly proved his versatility during this early stage of the season. The Maidstone born midfielder played at left back for the visit of Chelsea on Saturday. And once again he put in a really impressive and commanding performance against Chelsea’s right winger Henry Lawrence. White covered for other players a lot whilst defending tightly down that side of the pitch. He was incredibly impressive once again considering he wasn’t playing in his natural position of cdm.
– Jamie Bowden: A defensive rock in the centre of midfield, Bowden did what he does best and that is recycling possession and breaking up play, which he did so effectively once again. His passing was slick and accurate as always but I was particularly impressed with the way in which he served as a barrier to the defence and broke up play so decisively.
– Armando Shashoua: A leader of men in the centre of the park, the impressive Shashoua retained the captains armband for our London derby with Chelsea. He combined defence with attack, covering more of the pitch then anybody else as he kept the ball moving in the middle of the park. He was skilful and brave, adventurous also as he showed the tactical nous to peel off of the Chelsea defenders and make good runs into the danger zone. He was also committed and was very much a ball winning midfielder as he helped Bowden to dominate that part of the pitch. The goalscorer of our second goal which he showed great awareness to convert in the first place. Shashoua lead by example and I was incredibly impressed with how assertive he was at dealing with certain situations. I think he’d do an excellent job for Wayne Burnett’s development side!
– Dilan Markanday: The winger who only turned 17 this month put in another electric performance down the right. He was hard working and extremely strong on the ball. Causing the Chelsea defence with a whole host of problems with his zooming runs down the flank. Markanday mixed it up by cutting inside a lot and going on some promising runs through the middle. He was on of our main creative outlets.
– Paris Maghoma: Playing as a number ten for the visit of Chelsea, young Paris Maghoma put in a really effective role in the cam position. Creative and menacing as he traveled through the middle. Maghoma made some really intelligent runs through the middle and was able to create good pockets of space for himself in and around the danger zone. The timing of his run for our opening goal was superb as too was the way in which he just calmly shimmied away from the Chelsea goalkeeper before cooly slotting home. It was Zidane-esque. That’s two goals from two games for Maghoma this season, I hope that he’ll start for the under 23’s against Arsenal on Saturday as he is more then ready to make that permanent step up.
– Phoenix Patterson: Another major creative outlet for Spurs, Patterson put in a good shift out on the left wing. Subtly creative, Patterson danced his way around Chelsea full back Clark down that side of the pitch and managed to get into some good positions. His goal which was ruled out for offside in the second half should have stood!
– J’Neil Bennett: One of our best players on the day picking up one assist, the ridiculously quick forward started up top for the second consecutive game in a row after his heroics against Swansea the previous Saturday. The lightening quick forward caused havoc for the Chelsea defence, he was direct and powerful but hugely intricate and menacing with his mesmeric skill in the final third. Hardworking and good at tracking back, Bennett would often drift out to the left hand side and this allowed Maghoma to get into better positions around the penalty area. He gave James Clark a torrid time down that flank and tore him to shreds with his lightening quick pace and fine balance. I would love to see him start on the left wing against Arsenal on Friday, our under 23’s could desperately do with having him in the side. Especially with the width that there is at the Emirates stadium.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: A short but lively fifteen cameo from the young defender on Saturday. Slotting into a back three, Lyons-Foster made three vital pieces of defending during his time on the pitch and he read the game so well. His incredible last ditch challenge on Ballo inside the Tottenham penalty area was a work of art.
– Enock Asante: N/A.

My man of the match: Malachi Walcott. Ever present across the backline on only his fourth appearance at the this level, the 16 year old centre half put in a heroic performance against Chelsea. Walcott was superb against Chelsea as he put in the complete defensive performance alongside his teammate Luis Binks. The England youth international won everything in the air and made sure that he defended tightly up against the threatening George Nunn. He read the game well and above all else he was committed. Making many excellent sliding challenges, blocks and clearances Walcott showed his class both on and off the ball. And that incredible goal line block he made in the first half was just outstanding in every respect.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Tainio (Lyons-Foster 74), White, Bowden, Walcott, Binks, Markanday, A Shashoua (c), Bennett, Maghoma, Patterson (Asante 84).

Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Okedina, Mukendi.

Chelsea: Karlo Ziger; James Clark, Jack Wakely, Pierre Ekwah Elimby, Clinton Mola; Jon Russell (Lewis Bate 73), Henry Lawrence, Marcel Lewis, Thierno Ballo; George Nunn, Armando Broja (Dion Rankine 70)

Substitutes (not use) Dynel Simeu, Jake Askew, Jordan Aina.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: J’Neil Bennett – 4
Troy Parrott – 2
Paris Maghoma – 2
Dennis Cirkin – 2
Luis Binks – 1
Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 1
Armando Shashoua – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 4
Armando Shashoua – 3
Phoenix Patterson – 2
Paris Maghoma – 1
Jamie Bowden – 1
Maurizio Pochettino – 1
J’Neil Bennett -1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 1

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

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

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Our under 23’s played out a 1-1 draw with Brighton on Friday evening in their third PL2 game of the new season. Played on a rainy evening at Broadhall Way in Stevenage, Burnett’s surprisingly strong side were hoping to build on their impressive 1-1 draw against Liverpool up at Anfield the previous week. However, the extremely well organised and defence minded Brighton were always going to be a challenge to break down, despite Burnett’s side being bolstered by the inclusion of Josh Onomah and Luke Amos. Simon Rusk’s seagulls side defended tightly and didn’t allow our forwards to have much space in the final third. The occasional roar of lock him in could be heard as Brighton honed in on our most creative and potent players. After a fairly uneventful first half which saw few clear cut chances. Spurs were unable to make their possession count and on 42 minutes Brighton took the lead after catching us on the break, a fine finish from young Swede Viktor Gyokeres left us trailing at halftime. However, it was in the second half that Spurs started to play a little bit more directly as they went in search of an equaliser. We had been trying to score ’ the perfect goal ’ in the first half and it just wasn’t helping us break down the extremely solid Brighton defence. We played with a little bit more width in the second half and that certainly benefitted the tricky Shayon Harrison who got us level on 59 minutes, with a lovely curling effort from the edge of the penalty area. After getting the leveller Burnett’s side started to enjoy a really good spell in the game, but they were unable to create many clear cut chances and the notable absence of Samuel Shashoua through injury was felt strongly. And that cost us after the seagulls shut up shop, we were unable to break them down and despite our best efforts we were forced to settle for a point. Burnett’s much changed lineup from the previous game against Liverpool saw him opt for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation.

Alfie Whiteman started in goal for the third consecutive game this season whilst a back four of Eyoma, Ogilvie, Marsh (c) and Brown sat in front of him. In front of them was the central midfield partnership of Luke Amos and Oliver Skipp, both players were making their first appearance at this level this season after recent involvement with the first team. And in front of them was the attacking line of Edwards, Onomah (his first appearance at this level since April 2017) and Harrison, with 16 year old Troy Parrott leading the line for the second successive game. Brighton got the game underway as the rain continued to spit down, and it was a fairly uneventful opening couple of minutes. It was in fact the visitors who had looked the brightest of the two teams early on. After a group of Brighton players had claimed that Onomah had handled the ball before making a clearance inside his own penalty area, centre half Connor Ogilvie was forced into making a vital clearance from Alex Cochrane’s cross. Will Collar then tried his luck from range but his powerful effort was deflected off of Amos and onto the back of Ogilvie who was forced into making the block, as Brighton continued to see a fair bit of the ball. Spurs had their first attempt on goal of the game shortly afterwards when Edwards received the ball from Parrott out on the right. The skilful wide man worked his way across the edge of the penalty area before forcing Brighton goalkeeper Hugo Keto into making a decent save to deny Edwards low effort. Left wing back Jaden Brown won a free kick in a promising position for Spurs shortly after. Josh Onomah’s resulting free kick was headed away by Cochrane but only straight back into the feet of the Tottenham midfielder. Onomah’s resulting delivery into the danger zone only just evaded Parrott who was lurking about at the back post. Spurs started to show a bit more attacking quality as they tried to build out from the back.

Marcus Edwards whipped a dangerous ball into the box which managed to pick out Tottenham centre forward Troy Parrott at the back post. The Irishman steadied himself before pulling off an acrobatic volley which ended up trickling just wide as it went across Keto’s goal. Parrott showed great technique and confidence to attempt it in the first place, the Dubliner was showing good movement early on in the game. The assertive Josh Onomah won a corner for Burnett’s side after hitting a venomous effort on the turn, the resulting corner kick was delivered in by Skipp and headed over the crossbar by Harrison at the near post. The ever industrious Oliver Skipp then made a superb challenge to win the ball off of James Tilley in the middle of the park, whilst right wing back TJ Eyoma’s pacy delivery into the danger zone was missed only by a matter of inches by Parrott who was ghosting in at the back post. Spurs were now moving the ball around well and were starting to look like they were coming to close to breaking the deadlock. The ever threatening Onomah sprinted towards the edge of the Brighton penalty area to meet Jaden Brown’s cross, unfortunately the 21 year olds volley flew wide of the Brighton goal. And the midfielder tried his luck again a couple of moments later after chesting the ball down and volleying a speculative effort wide from some 20 yards out from goal. Spurs continued to create decent chances, Skipp’s attempted pass to Parrott inside the box ended up deflecting out to Onomah on the edge of the penalty area. His powerful thunderbolt was heroically blocked by Brighton defender Josh Kerr after the Scotsman threw his body in the way of the ball, as the seagulls continued to defend tightly. Rusk’s side did however look dangerous on the counter as shown by Galway man Aaron Connolly who picked the ball up on the left flank before cutting inside and curling an effort wide of Whiteman’s left hand post.

Parrott was working his socks off up top and wasn’t afraid to attempt the unthinkable. Jaden Brown’s cross into Parrott wasn’t controlled properly by the centre forward as he tried to turn his man inside the penalty area, but the idea and the imagination from Parrott was so refreshing to see. Spurs were continuing to attack the seagulls defence, Harrison and Brown combined well down the left before the latter sprinted into the box, before then firing the ball across goal. The fullbacks pass/shot was heading in but for a brilliant goal line clearance by Hayden Roberts. The domineering Luke Amos then tested young Finnish goalkeeper Hugo Keto from range with a swerving low effort which was just about palmed to safety by the former Arsenal youth player. Spurs were trying incredibly hard to score that aesthetically pleasing goal that they so craved, but they were just lacking that bit of spark. After a tricky weaving run from Edwards who cut inside from the right, the 19 year old left the ball to Skipp who traveled through the middle before firing the ball narrowly over from the edge of the penalty area. And it was from an attack by Spurs a couple of moments later which eventually lead to Brighton taking an unexpected lead on the stroke of halftime. Spurs had been caught on the break by Simon Rusk’s Brighton, Irishman Aaron Connolly sped down the left wing with Eyoma too high up the pitch to respond. Connolly continued unchallenged before cutting inside and coming up against Ogilvie and Marsh who were the only Spurs men back in the final third. The centre forward looked up before slipping a clever pass into the feet of Swedish youth international Viktor Gyokeres who had been allowed too much space on the right. The forward took a touch inside the penalty area before hitting an unstoppable strike into the top left hand corner of Alfie Whiteman’s goal, 0-1.

Spurs tried to make an immediate response after winning a corner in added time, but Onomah’s pacy delivery into the box was punched to safety by Keto as Spurs went in at halftime a goal down. Wayne Burnett’s side got the second half underway as they looked to find a way back into the game, Troy Parrott could be seen having a long tactical chat with Onomah before the start of the half. And it was Onomah who created the first real chance of the half after playing the ball into the feet of Edwards who found himself in space inside the danger zone. Edwards first time effort from eight yards out however was a waste and it ended up going high over the bar and straight into the building site behind the goal. Burnett’s side almost got punished moments later after Amos sloppily gave the ball away to Dreyer in the middle of the park. The Dane sprinted through the middle before slipping the ball into Connolly inside the right side of the box. However, the strikers effort was fired into the side netting from an acute angle as Spurs were spared further trouble. Then at the other end of the pitch the tireless Oliver Skipp won a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the Brighton penalty area. Josh Onomah stood up confidently to take it before curling a brilliant effort over the wall and onto the top of Keto’s crossbar as the crowd gasped in agony. Onomah’s superbly executed free kick was so very close to drawing Spurs level. The lively number 10 then had an effort blocked out for a corner by Normann a couple of minutes later. However, a defence splitting through ball from substitute Archie Davies set Connolly galavanting through on goal down the right hand side of the pitch. Connolly tried to get away from Marsh who had kept up the pace as he tried to to get into the Spurs box. But Marsh’s tight defending had limited Connolly’s options and he eventually dragged the ball across the face of the Spurs goal.

Spurs were using the left wing an awful lot, the attacking Jaden Brown forced Keto into making a clearance with his feet after whipping a menacing cross into the box. The left back caused problems for Brighton again after receiving the ball from Onomah out on the left wing. The 19 year continued to run down the left flank before squaring the ball into Edwards inside the box who once again found himself unmarked. But the teenagers first time strike flew high and wide from close range. However, Spurs’ persistence was rewarded in the 59th minute as Shayon Harrison drew Spurs level with a superb goal from the edge of the penalty area. Marsh’s long diagonal pass out to Brown on the left wing was controlled well by the fullback who quickly laid the ball off to Harrison who cut inside. The forward continued to run across the face of the goal ignoring an excellent darting run into the box by Parrott, as Harrison continued before curling a wonderful effort into the far corner of Keto’s goal from the edge of the box, 1-1. It was a wonderfully worked equaliser and an even better finish from the 21 year old forward. Brighton captain James Tilley tested Whiteman straight from the restart with a curling effort from range, but it was Spurs who were in the driving seat and they were showing no signs of slowing down. Josh Onomah forced a good save out of Keto after unleashing a thunderbolt of an effort from range. Before a well worked move from Spurs on the break saw Skipp roll the ball out to Parrott on the left wing. The 16 year old cut inside onto his right foot before delicately laying the ball off to Onomah on the edge of the penalty area, but the Englishman’s resulting effort was comfortably held by Keto. The increasingly attacking Jaden Brown pumped the ball into the area a couple of minutes later as Kerr was able to make an important headed clearance. Spurs were really going for it and they looked a lot more direct in their play.

A hopeful long range effort from Davies deflected off of Eyoma and narrowly over the crossbar at the other end. As the impressive George Marsh made a crucial goal saving block in the box only a couple of moments earlier. This little flurry of chances for the visitors continued when Whiteman was forced into stopping Gyokeres effort from the edge of the penalty area. And once again the seagulls attacked us after Connolly received the ball from Dreyer out on the right, the Irishman managed to work his way past Marsh in the Tottenham penalty area, before firing the ball into the side netting. The clock was ticking down as Burnett made his first change of the game in the 81st minute. Bringing on Tashan Oakley-Boothe for Marcus Edwards. However, Rusk’s side continued to look threatening and a well worked move from the seagulls almost resulted in them retaking the lead. After being picked out by Connolly on the right wing the newly introduced Jordan Davies whipped the ball into the Spurs box. His cross was met Dreyer at the near post as the young Dane volleyed it a fraction wide of Whiteman’s goal. Whiteman easily gathered Collar’s deflected effort a couple of moments later as Burnett brought on goalscoring midfielder Jack Roles for Parrott with less than six minutes left on the clock, Shayon Harrison was now playing up top. Jaden Brown made a vital block to keep out Jordan Davies’ effort inside the box before Spurs created one last chance at the other end. Eyoma passed the ball to the substitute Jack Roles on the edge of the penalty area, the Cypriot under 21 international looked up before firing the ball inches wide of Keto’s far post. Roles’s effort appeared to be heading in! Brighton’s solid defence continued to frustrate us during the last couple of minutes of the game, as they he.d on to record a 1-1 draw. Burnett’s combative team remain winless this season and at this early period in the season they sit just one place above the relegation zone. Burnett’s side will be hoping to produce a special performance in their next PL2 game when they travel to the Emirates to face arch rivals Arsenal next Friday evening in front of a bumper crowd.

Player reviews: – Alfie Whiteman: Whiteman was faultless against the seagulls as he put in a impressive showing between the sticks. His distribution was good as was his decision making and dealing with set pieces. However, Whiteman made a string of important saves throughout the game and remained alert throughout. It was a good performance from the 19 year old.
– TJ Eyoma: Eyoma played at right back for yesterday’s game and all in all he put in a strong defensive performance. Whilst he was nowhere to be seen down the right for the Brighton goal, it would be harsh to criticise him due to his offensive duties. Eyoma made some strong challenges and defended well against the Brighton skipper James Tilley out on the flank.
– George Marsh: After his heroics against Liverpool the previous Friday, Marsh started as a centre back for the encounter with Brighton. And he put in a fine performance. Making multiple blocks and tackles in and around the six yard box, I felt that Marsh formed a strong defensive partnership with Ogilvie. He read the game well and timed his challenges to perfection, the 19 year old was effective in that role and looked very mature.
– Connor Ogilvie: After missing the game against Liverpool through injury, 22 year old Connor Ogilvie returned to the side for our league game against Brighton but had to play at centre back due to the suspension of Japhet Tanganga. Like Marsh he put in a good defensive performance, reading the game well and winning the vast majority of aerial duels, Ogilvie’s experience showed once again. He was composed on the ball and suited our bring it out from the back style, making some nice passes in the process. It will be interesting to see if he heads out on another loan before the deadline shuts at the end of the month.
– Jaden Brown: Brown produced another good display as he combined defence with attack against the seagulls. He got up and down the left wing well and although he was nowhere to be seen for the Brighton goal. The former England youth international hardly put a foot wrong and protected that left side well. He overlapped Harrison on occasions and whipped some nice crosses into the danger zone.
– Oliver Skipp: After featuring prominently for the first team during pre-season this was the 17 year old midfielders first youth game of the new campaign and unsurprisingly he looked very comfortable alongside Amos in the centre of midfield. Strong and committed the industrious Skipp moved the ball around well with some slick passes. He also read the game incredibly well and broke up play effectively with some excellent sliding challenges in the middle of the park. He put in a very impressive performance.
– Luke Amos: My motm, see below.
– Marcus Edwards: He was at times a creative threat out on the right but I felt as if he just drifted away from the action on occasions. He worked hard and tracked back but apart from a couple of promising jinking runs on the right he struggled to really make much of an impact from a creative perspective, but he did his job relatively well regardless.
– Josh Onomah: playing as a number 10 behind Parrott, this was the 21 year olds first competitive game of football since the championship play off final involving Aston Villa and Fulham in May. By far our most creative player against Brighton, Onomah’s surging runs through the middle caused many problems for the Brighton defence. Onomah’s strength and sheer power overwhelmed the young Brighton defence, He looked quite sharp generally and often drifted into nice pockets of space. Apart from hitting the crossbar with a glorious free kick at the beginning of the second half, Onomah tested Keto more than any other Spurs player on the pitch. It is clear that he has outgrown this level but if he isn’t given the opportunities in the first team then surely he’ll have to go out on loan again before the loan window shuts at the end of the month.
– Shayon Harrison: A tricky customer throughout the game Harrison provided Spurs with a creative outlet out on the left wing. Working incredibly hard and tracking back after him, the nimble footed forward really worked Brighton fullback Owen Moore. To cap off a fine display Harrison netted our equaliser with a lovely curling effort from the edge of the penalty area.
– Troy Parrott: The 16 year old put in a really mature performance as he lead the line for the second PL2 game in a row on Friday evening. The Irishman’s movement was top notch in and around the danger zone. As too were the many darting runs he made into the box. He held the ball up well and came within a hairs length of being able to convert a couple of chances from close range. He was fearless going forward and the sheer audacity of his acrobatic volley in the first half spoke volumes. I just felt that his teammates didn’t capitalise on his excellent movement and they often failed to pick up on this. However, young Troy can hold his head high after another excellent performance. A call up to the Ireland under 21 side can surely not be top far away.
– Jack Roles: No matter how little pitch time Roles gets he always manages to make a positive impact on the game. And he did just that during his brave nine minute cameo against the seagulls on Friday night. During his short time on the pitch Roles managed to get into some good pockets of space around the edge of the penalty and he came within a whisker of scoring a dramatic late winner.
– Tashan Oakley-Boothe: N/A.

My man of the match: Luke Amos. It was a dominant performance from Amos in the centre of the park against Brighton, the ball winning midfielder broke up play successfully and managed to recycle possession well. A real engine in the middle of the park the 21 year old would often drop deep to cover for the centre half’s. After making his first team debut only a couple of weeks ago what was striking about Luke’s performance was how confident he was. He made some lovely diagonal passes out to the wingers and was also able to initiate some promising chances from deep inside his own half. I hope that he will continue to get more chances with the first team over the coming months.

Spurs: Whiteman, Eyoma, Brown, Amos, Marsh (c), Ogilvie, Edwards (Oakley-Boothe 81), Skipp, Parrott (Roles 84), Onomah, Harrison. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Duncan, Dinzeyi.

Brighton & Hove Albion: Keto, Moore (A Davies 38), Cochrane, Collar, Kerr, Roberts, Dreyer, Normann, Connolly (Ljubicic 90+3), Gyokeres, Tilley (c, J Davies 72). Substitutes (not used): Collings, Tomlinson.

Goals: Spurs – Harrison 59; Brighton – Gyokeres 43.

Yellow card: Brighton – A Davies 49 and Alex Cochrane 90+1.

Referee: Martin Woods.

Attendance: 391.

Venue: Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.

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

Goals scored: Samuel Shashoua – 1
Marcus Edwards – 1
Shayon Harrison – 1

Assists: Troy Parrott – 1
Jaden Brown – 1

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

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

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After a great start to the new season with two wins from their opening two league games under new head coach Matt Wells. Spurs will be hoping to keep up their 100% record when reigning champions Chelsea come to Hotspur Way on Saturday morning. Our old nemesis Chelsea have gone under a period of transition over the summer. The highly regarded Jody Morris left his role as the blues head coach to link up with Frank Lampard at Derby. In addition Chelsea lost talented centre half Jonathan Panzo to French club Monaco, with a whole host of talented players from that age group having made the step up to the blues development side. One could argue that this new crop of players won’t continue the trend of dominating youth football at least on the domestic stage. Chelsea won the premier league south last season, including the national final after they beat northern winners Manchester United. The blues also won the inaugural edition of the premier league cup (against us!) and the FA youth cup to cap off another season of domination from the west London club on the domestic stage. You know what you’re going to get when you play Chelsea and that is possession based attacking football. Chelsea under 18’s last league game against Leicester City, for example saw them have a remarkable 73% of the possession. During our four meetings with the blues last season there was a total of 15 goals scored as we contested some thrilling matches with our London rivals. They knocked us out of the FA youth cup and defeated us 2-0 in the final of the premier league cup. However, they didn’t manage to beat us in the league, and Spurs managed to beat Chelsea at Cobham 3-0. And in doing so became the first team to beat the blues under 18 side at their training ground in over three years.

The players Chelsea head coach Alan Myers has to choose from ahead of Saturdays game is quite frankly ridiculous. He could choose from any of the following: Hudson-Odoi, Ampadu and Gilmour. However, even if Chelsea do field that trio on Saturday even though I highly doubt they will, we can still easily match their quality. Our sparkling high intensity attacking football could beat any youth team in Europe on their day. And if Wells goes with a strong lineup for the London derby on Saturday then we’ll have a fighting chance of getting one over on our old rivals. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the talented Brooklyn Lyons-Foster start in defence, with Paris Maghoma and Jamie Bowden starting in midfield and Troy Parrott starting up top. Parrott was one wonder kid who Chelsea weren’t able to sign! It should be an enthralling game on Saturday morning and one in which should provide our young players (especially our first years) with a great experience. I wish our lads all the very best of luck ahead of this Saturday’s league game. My in-depth match report will be out on Sunday evening.

My predicted lineup: (4-3-3) De Bie (OG), Statham, Lyons-Foster (c), Binks, Cirkin, Bowden, A.Shashoua, Maghoma, Markanday, Parrott, Bennett.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Okedina, White, Mukendi, Asante.

OG* = Overage goalkeeper.

Doubtful: Rodel Richards and Rayan Clarke.

Injured/unavailable: None (as far as I am aware).

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Signed from Crewe Alexandra this summer for a fee believed to be around £300,000, centre forward George Nunn (16) attracted the attention of a whole host of top clubs including Spurs who were rumoured to have been in for him. The clinical finisher has already scored one goal from the two games that he has played for Chelsea’s under 18 side this season, that is despite the fact that he has been playing out wide. I look forward to seeing him in action, he is very highly rated.

My interview with former Spurs star Johnny Hills:

My interview with former Spurs star Johnny Hills:

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Last month I had the great pleasure of spending time with our former player Johnny Hills as I interviewed the former Spurs fullback about his time at the club in the 1950’s. A big thank you to Johnny and his family for making the interview possible, it was an absolute privilege.

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

Johnny: I was eight and I used to play in a park in Gravesend on a Sunday morning with a bunch of kids to start with. Then it began to get quite good and we managed to get one of the parents to organise it a bit more because we just turned up and put the coats down and played football on the field sort of thing. So we gradually got that going and then myself and another lad Alan Morris got a chance to go and play for Gravesend and Northfleet juniors. So we went over there and played for the juniors team which was in the southern league in those days. We played there for a year or two, Alan’s father was coaching and Cliff Edwards who happened to be the manager of West Brom had come to watch a southern league game and I was playing that day. He thought, maybe I should have a trial with Tottenham and the manager at the time was Arthur Rowe and he came and had a look at me and then invited me come down to the junior team at Tottenham. At the end of that season he offered me £20 a week to turn professional on the 1st of May 1956.

What were you earliest memories at Spurs?

Johnny: I was surprised as all the players were all nice and would speak to you even though you were a junior. I used to play cricket as well and Eddie Baily and some of the others formed a cricket team and we used to go and play during the off season. We’d go and play cricket against some of the clubs around Tottenham, Eddie was a great mate of mine and Danny Blanchflower was as well. All I remember really is just running around the side of the field for a bit of training and then going into the gym to play five aside football. The main thing was how friendly everybody was really. It was a good club as far as I was concerned, they used to muck around a lot and call you names and things like that. The main thing was how simple and how free it was, I used to live in Gravesend and I used to go up to London Liverpool Street station and then to the club out in Tottenham on my own, everyday. I’d go up there in the morning and come back in the afternoon.

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

Johnny: It was very, very nice. That’s why when I happened to go to Bristol Rovers I thought there’d be nothing wrong in doing it. But after I got there I wondered why I was there and then I decided I would quit, but maybe I didn’t have to quit. But altogether I had a very enjoyable time at Spurs.

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

Johnny: No, I don’t think so. I just got on with it!

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Johnny: Eddie Baily. He was a good lad and he enjoyed cricket as well, and Tommy Harmer. Tommy was a nice guy.

Did Danny Blanchflower have an influence on you?

Johnny: Yes, when we went away on tour I’d share a room with him and he’d talk about everything. ’ Do this, do that ’ he used to say. In that respect Danny did have an influence but I can’t say what influence.

What was he like to play with?

Johnny: He was good, he didn’t keep the ball too long he had the ball when he wanted it sort of thing. He would coach you during the game, but he didn’t say much after the football. I don’t know where he went anyway.

Being a young inside forward who was converted into playing as a fullback, were there any other players at the club or outside who you would model your game around or seek inspiration from?

Johnny: I was an outside forward at Gravesend and Northfleet when I was younger, but I was told to play at fullback by Arthur Rowe. He knew what he was doing I think. I remember going up and attacking a few times but I got told off, all the fullbacks now go up but I used to get told off for doing it. I always remember up at Everton, on that day particularly I went up with Danny at fullback. We both went up and was right in the middle of everything and then turned round and came back again. Then at halftime Jimmy Anderson who was the manager then got the needle on me, and said don’t you dare come out of the penalty area again. I think that was a bit of the reason I wanted to attack, because it was natural and because I’d played as a a forward for a long time.

On the 14th of December 1957 you made your Spurs debut in a league game against Blackpool. Could you talk me through your memories of that special day and how it came about?

Johnny: Stanley Matthews played that day!

How did you find out you were going to play?

Johnny: A bit of paper which was on the wall.

Do you remember much about the game itself?

Johnny: Yeah, it was quite good I can sort of see visions of some of the play and things like that. I saved a couple on the goal line.

Could you tell me what it was like to be a part of the F.A team which toured Ghana in the close season of 1958 and your memories of that tour?

Johnny: That was incredible, I remember all the sorts of things we did, we played a lot of football and it was very nice because the games weren’t difficult at all. It was just to try and keep you fit for the next season, it was some experience. I’d never been to Africa before.

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

Johnny: I just enjoyed all the football really but I was just disappointed at what happened at the end, when I didn’t have a manager to sort of tell them to get lost. When I came out of the airforce I went to teacher training college and after that I worked on HMS Worcester on the Thames. It was a naval training school for kids. I taught there and then I got the chance to go to Belgium and that’s where I’ve been ever since. But the football comes up all the time when you see something or think of something, I think I remember when or that sort of stuff.

What was it like in the airforce?

Johnny: It was alright, I was a teacher and that was it. I played for the airforce football team and they would let me come home and play for the reserves at Spurs, because I wasn’t there during the week. It wasn’t like army stuff or anything like that.

When you first joined Spurs as an amateur in 1950 you would have brushed shoulders with members of the famous push and run side of 1950-51. What do you remember of that hugely successful season for Spurs?

Johnny: I thought it was fantastic because it just continued and it was Arthur Rowe who started all that push and run stuff. It was very enjoyable.

You were involved in that thrilling 4-4 draw with Arsenal in 1958 what are your memories of that crazy game?

Johnny: It was very good and most enjoyable, I can’t remember how the score went but it finished 4-4 and that was not the only one!

What was the pinnacle of your career?

Johnny: Just playing in the first team really and joining the club, and being able to participate. It was a good bunch of people, there was no snobbishness like it appears there is today’s. They were a good bunch of guys.

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

Johnny: I suppose it would have to be Danny Blanchflower, he was a top notch footballer. He never did anything wrong or bad on the field, he’d help you and he used to whisper advice. He liked talking in Irish.

Could you talk me through your footballing career post Spurs and what prompted you to leave the lilywhites?

Johnny: I went to Bristol Rovers and then had another operation and after that I decided to retire. They didn’t tell me I had to retire or anything like that, I just didn’t enjoy it at all. It wasn’t a good club in those days, you played and did your best but it was never appreciated.

Since prematurely retiring from the game you have traveled extensively and have turned your hand to teaching PE. Could you talk me through your fascinating career post football?

Johnny: After I left Tottenham I became a PE teacher and I taught in Greenwich which was there that boat was, just for a couple of years and then I went to the international school in Brussels. I went there to organise the school for PE but I went to a lot of other international schools. In London, in Vienna and all over the place I used to circulate the different schools with games which we did and then we organised a tournament. Then I went to Sri Lanka to do the same job because Sri Lanka had an overseas children school and had a lot of kids there from all different nations.

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

Johnny: Have we been to the cemetery yet? No I haven’t, I’m living in Belgium.

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

Johnny: I always look up to see how they get on and I’m always interested in them. We went there for a trip to see White Hart Lane before it was renovated and took all the family. I’m hoping to get to the new stadium once it’s built.

What would your advice be to the young fullbacks of today as they look to make their way in the game?

Johnny: You’re not just a fullback you’re a player in the team and you should attack if you’ve got the chance. If I coached a team I wouldn’t put any restrictions on being a fullback or winger. You’ve got to do your own thing and do it the best you can.

Samuel Shashoua – The young artist:

Samuel Shashoua – The young artist:

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After his superb performance against West Ham’s development side on the opening weekend of the PL2 season. I thought I’d write a piece on one of Wayne Burnett’s and Tottenham’s most promising youngsters, Samuel Shashoua. The teenager from Chelsea in west London who is the older brother of our under 18 midfielder Armando, is one of my favourite ever Spurs youth players. He remains to this day the most technically gifted Spurs academy player that I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. A tricky right winger who is adept at playing on either flank or through the middle, the 19 year old made the permanent step up to the development side during the 2017/18 campaign. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the former England under 18 international who had been the jewel in the crown of our talented under 18 side the previous season. Shashoua had been scoring and assisting goals for fun during the 2016/17 season, during his second year of scholarship at the club he was unplayable. A pivotal part of the Spurs side which reached the semifinals of the FA youth cup that same season, Samuel was tearing it up in the under 18 league. He was ripping defences apart with his trademark weaving runs, searing pace and excellent balance. By the midpoint of that season under 18 football was essentially a stroll in the park for the 17 year old Spurs starlet. If he wasn’t scoring in one game he was laying off a couple of assists for his teammates in another, he was quite simply unstoppable. I can remember watching one game that season at Hotspur Way, it was a league game against Swansea on an incredibly windy winters afternoon. Shashoua was unplayable during our comprehensive 5-0 victory over the Swans, at times mesmeric. The teenager attacked the Swansea defence with a real ferocity, driving at them with real skill and agility. He was menacing both on and off the ball as he tracked back down the right wing throughout the match and though he was fouled on so many occasions not once did he react.

There were two scouts stood next to me on that day and one of them was waxing lyrical about Samuel the whole game. ” That kids absolutely incredible ” he said as Samuel went onto score two goals against the Welsh side. Hugely admiring of his skill and great balance he was also surprised at how strong Samuel was for such a small and slight player. There was one moment in the game when he cut inside from the right flank before taking on and beating two Swansea defenders with great ease, before smashing the ball against the frame of the goal, it was like watching a young Lionel Messi in full flow. Samuel got into double figures for both goals and assists that season and would end the campaign as our under 18’s second top scorer, whilst going onto make a string of appearances for the under 23’s before the end of that season. His rich vein of form was even rewarded with a place on the bench for our first teams penultimate premier league game of the season away to Leicester City. Although he never came on, it what was an incredible experience for the 17 year old to endure. It was a move from Pochettino which clearly showed how highly him and his coaching staff rated the skilful playmaker. However, the following season wasn’t as fruitful for the teenager who made the permanent step up to the development squad. It was an injury disrupted campaign for Shashoua who featured on 19 occasions for Burnett’s side. Unable to force his way into the side until the end of September, Shashoua picked up an injury just as he was getting into a good patch of form in the autumn time. This was one of a series of frustrating injury lay offs which halted Shashoua’s progress that season.

An artist in the mould of somebody such as Christian Eriksen or David Silva, Shashoua is a typical playmaker. Somebody who can initiate chances out of nothing, he is sharp and unpredictable. With his many twists and turns and well worked manoeuvres, the midfield craftsman enjoyed his best vein of form on the European stage, for our under 19’s last season. Directly involved in five of our goals in the UEFA youth league, Shashoua played a big part in Spurs reaching the quarter finals of the competition. And young Samuel was able to end the campaign on a positive note as he won the player of the tournament in the post season Volksbank cup in Stemwede, Germany. He even got to have his photograph taken with the tournament mascot, a giant mouse! As he received the prestigious award. After a good pre-season away with the development squad I have a really good feeling about this campaign for Samuel. He put in an excellent performance in our opening league game of the season against West Ham where he played as a central attacking midfielder. His sharp twists and turns, and strength whilst traveling with the ball at his feet caused great problems for the West Ham defence. His superb goal inside the opening 15 minutes drew gasps from the crowd, as the young playmaker continued to be Spurs’ most dangerous player throughout that half. With his tricky runs and incisive moves through the middle and his great vision for a pass, he was the shining light in what was a very flat Tottenham performance. However, he was forced off early on in the second half after picking up a knock which resulted in him missing our game against Liverpool later on in the week. With a bit of luck he can avoid those injuries this season and get a good run of games for the development side, something which will undoubtedly boost his confidence and strengthen his chances of being promoted to the first team. As stated earlier on in my article, Samuel is the most technically gifted youth player that I’ve ever seen at Spurs.

Many will be surprised that I haven’t said Marcus Edwards, and whilst both players are immensely talented and in someways very similar types of players, Samuel has always been the one who I’ve felt has the highest ceiling. With excellent close ball control, balance and pace over short distance. Shashoua is an exciting playmaker, I’ve long nicknamed him our very own David Silva due to his creativity. But the former England youth international who has represented the three lions up to under 18 level, is in my eyes the complete cam. He is incredibly skilful and quick, he is strong on the ball and has that rare ability of being able to ride challenges so very well. He has a real footballing brain and is such an unselfish team player who works incredibly hard for the team, tracking back and covering for other players who are out of position. And whilst he is a good finisher who scores an impressive number of goals, Shashoua is a real creative force as he has demonstrated so effectively at u18 and u23 level. He reads the game exceptionally well and has the vision and the intelligence needed to pick out forwards with deceptive Lamela-esque through balls. All of those qualities combined make him an extremely useful player for Pochettino. Apart from the superb Christian Eriksen we don’t really have that type of creative player who can open up a defence with a single pass or a clever jinking run. I’m not suggesting that Samuel is ready to make the step up to the first team at this moment in time however, if somebody like the talented Phil Foden can get significant game time off the bench for Man City, then so should Samuel. For anybody who saw him play during that 2016/17 season you’ll all know what I’m talking about. As with a lot of young players who play in a similar position to Samuel the fear amongst fans is that they won’t have the physicality to deal with men’s football due to being so small and slight.

Yet Shashoua’s small stature is deceptive and believe it or not he is actually one of the strongest players in the development side (on the ball). The 19 year old is a player who possesses great technique and skill. Like Edwards he has that flair about his game, that unpredictable almost Messi like ability to embarrass a defender with a single turn/trick. His high pressing and tracking back after him is a quality that Pochettino will greatly admire, and in so many ways he strikes me as the perfect Pochettino player. He has a long road ahead of him but if he can get a good run of games for Burnett’s side this season and make a positive contribution to the team then it will really help his development, and possibly even result in him making the bench for the first team in a domestic cup game. Last season there were strong rumours around January time linking Samuel with a loan move to Brad Friedel’s New England Revolution. And back in May a rumour from Turkey suggested that Turkish giants Fenerbache were looking to sign the 19 year old. A certain Damien Commoli is the footballing director at the Turkish club. Samuel is also eligible to represent a selection of national teams such as America, Spain and Venezuela. The teenager even has a forum dedicated to him on an American footballing site by fans who would no doubt love to see him in the red, white and blue of the United States National team. An exciting season is in the offing for the older of the two Shashoua brothers and I for one am really looking forward to seeing him get a lot of game time for the development side. His quality is as good as that of any young English player and with a with a bit of luck and a good run of form for the under 23’s this season, it could well be a breakthrough season for the young artist. I wish Samuel all the very best of luck for the remainder of the season. He is such a special talent who we are all so lucky to have at Spurs.

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

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

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After their heroics up in Anfield last Friday evening, Wayne Burnett’s development side will be hoping to carry some of the confidence from that performance into their home PL2 game against Brighton on Friday. Burnett’s youngsters put in an incredible performance against Liverpool last week, forced to play with ten men following the early dismissal of centre half Japhet Tanganga. Spurs not only managed to fight back from the reds taking the lead early on in the game, but they also managed to pull a goal back despite their limitations going forward. Not only that, Burnett’s side put in one of the most disciplined, mature and effective defensive performance your ever likely to see at this level, as they ground out an impressive 1-1 draw up on Merseyside. Next up for Burnett’s side is newly promoted Brighton who they will face in Stevenage on Friday evening. Originally scheduled to be played at the new Spurs stadium as the first public test event, it’s a shame for the youngsters that they’ll be unable to take part in such a historic event. However, all attention will be on Simon Rusk’s Brighton side, the seagulls have drawn their opening two games of the PL2 season against both Liverpool and Arsenal respectively. Brighton finished third in division two last season, and Rusk’s side were able to gain promotion to division one via the play offs. With the seagulls beating Middlesbrough and Aston Villa en route to gaining promotion to division one. Ironically Brighton’s last game was against our old foes Arsenal at the Emirates stadium, on Monday evening. Bolstered by the inclusion of first team players Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Jurgen Locadia, Biram Kayal (30) and Jason Steele Brighton could only manage a 1-1 draw against the reigning champions of the division.

Whilst the likes of Jahanbakhsh and Locadia won’t be coming up against our lads on Friday evening. There’s no reason why fringe first team players such as Jason Steele and Israeli international Biram Kayal won’t. Wayne Burnett will be desperate for his side to register their first win of the new season against Brighton on Friday. After a disappointing 3-1 loss to West Ham in their opening game, they showed their quality and character to come out of the encounter against Liverpool with a point. I’m expecting a different side to the one which drew to Liverpool last week, owing to our under 18’s important league fixture against Chelsea the following morning. I would assume that one of the stars of that Liverpool performance Troy Parrott (16) will be saved for the Chelsea game along with Paris Maghoma, another player who featured in that game. It is likely that Burnett will field a lot of the more experienced members of the squad, players such as Georgiou, Harrison and Ogilvie (if fit!). Just like their first team, Brighton’s development side have a strong defence and only conceded 25 goals in division two last season. As always I’m anticipating a tough game for Spurs, but with the absence of a couple of Brighton’s first team players. I feel that we’re a far better side than the south coast club, and if we can come flying out the blocks early on in the game, then I could see us dominating proceedings . Anyhow, it will be intriguing to see how we fair against the seagulls on Friday evening. There were many scouts at our opening game of the season against West Ham and there will likely be just as many if not more at the Brighton game on Friday. As the loan window for EFL clubs closes at the end of the month. I will be reporting on the game and I shall have my match report out by Saturday evening. It will be interesting to see if Shayon Harrison will lead the line following his excellent performance against Liverpool.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Ogilvie, Marsh (c), Roles, Edwards, S.Shashoua, Georgiou, Harrison.

Subs from: Whiteman, Brown, Duncan, Tracey.

Doubtful: Shilow Tracey, Samuel Shashoua, Connor Ogilvie, Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Tom Glover (Glover has been out on trial with other clubs such as Birmingham and Sporting Lisbon).

Injured/unavailable: Jamie Reynolds, Kazaiah Sterling and Japhet Tanganga (suspended).

My one to watch: The seagulls 20 year old forward and top scorer in the league last season with seven goals. Swedish youth international Viktor Gyokeres will be one of Brighton’s main danger men.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/08/20/spurs-under-23s-1-1-liverpool-match-report/

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

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

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It was a performance of great maturity from our under 23’s on Friday evening at Anfield. As Wayne Burnett’s young side battled back from a goal down to grind out an impressive 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the PL2, in front of a crowd of over 3000. To say I was proud of how our lads performed would be an understatement, they were phenomenal throughout the game. A young Spurs side which was missing key players such as Shilow Tracey and Samuel Shashoua through injury. Burnett was forced into fielding some of our under 18’s, with Paris Maghoma (17) and Troy Parrott (16) making the step up for the PL2 encounter with Liverpool. After being reduced to ten men inside the opening two minutes of the game after Japhet Tanganga was dismissed for blocking a goalscoring chance with his hand in the Tottenham box. Spurs looked disheveled as Liverpool’s Adam Lewis prepared to take the resulting spot kick. Fortunately for Spurs the fullback blasted the ball over Alfie Whiteman’s crossbar. Spurs were forced to reshape and quickly dropped significantly deeper, with the likes of Shayon Harrison forced into playing as a defensive midfielder. However, Neil Critchley’s Liverpool side took the lead on 14 minutes through Bobby Adekanye in controversial circumstances. Burnett’s extremely defensive team fought back however, and after weathering the storm for nine minutes they drew level through Marcus Edwards. After the winger had been found by a superb long pass by Parrott who did some great initial work to control the ball in the centre of the park. Critchley’s Liverpool side enjoyed 70% of the possession during the game, managing to have 23 attempts on goal. The most extraordinary and spirited of defensive performance from the young Lilywhites however, managed to somehow prevent Liverpool from regaining the lead despite having them having the advantage of an extra man.

Everyone single one of our lads threw their bodies on the line for the team, defending like veterans. They were mature and resistant to Liverpool’s typically explosive attacking football as Burnett’s excellent young side held on to record a hugely important point up at Anfield, as I watched on with great pride from the Kop. After suffering defeat to West Ham in their opening league game of the season Wayne Burnett opted to stick with the same 4-2-3-1 formation but with a number of changes in the starting eleven. Spurs lined up with Alfie Whiteman in goal, with a back four of Hinds, Eyoma, Tanganga and Brown. In front of them stood the midfield pairing of George Marsh and young Paris Maghoma. Whilst an attacking trio of Marcus Edwards, Shayon Harrison and Anthony Georgiou lined up behind 16 year old centre forward Troy Parrott who made his first start at this level. Spurs got the game underway on a cool summers evening at Anfield, but it was Critchley’s side who started the better. Immediately putting our defence under pressure with their high pressing, the lively Glen McAuley forced Whiteman into making a sloppy pass early on. After aggressively pressing the Tottenham keeper as he attempted to play it out from the back, Whiteman ended up passing the ball straight into the feet of Liverpool’s Curtis Jones on the edge of the penalty area. The wide man picked the ball up before surging forwards and hitting a powerful low effort at goal, which was well saved by Whiteman who got down at his near post to tip the ball behind for a corner kick. The resulting corner kick was whipped dangerously into the box as Parrott cleared it out to Jones on the left wing. The winger whipped the ball back into the danger zone as Whiteman came out to claim the ball. Unfortunately, the 19 year old spilled the ball as McAuley pounced to fire the ball towards the empty net, with Tanganga blocking it on the line. Unfortunately for Tanganga the referee was already reaching for his back pocket as he sent the young defender off for an adjudged handball on the line as he awarded the reds an early penalty.

After a devastating opening couple of minutes Alfie Whiteman had to try and prevent the penalty taker Adrian Lewis from opening the scoring. Fortunately for Burnett’s side the fullbacks wild effort went high and wide of the goal as Spurs survived a chaotic opening three minutes. Burnett’s lads were forced into reshaping, with the team reverting to an ultra defensive 4-4-1 formation as the skipper George Marsh filled in at centre half alongside Eyoma. Whilst Georgiou and Edwards were now effectively wingbacks who’s job was to protect the fullbacks. Attacking midfielder Shayon Harrison dropped into the centre of the park with Maghoma where he would effectively hold a defensive midfield role for the remainder of the game. After an awful start to the game Spurs then found themselves on the back of a dangerous Liverpool counter attack as Christie-Davies fed a lovely through ball into Adekanye out on the right wing. The Dutchman sprinted all the way into the Tottenham penalty area before firing his low effort inches wide of Whiteman’s goal. We looked vulnerable every time the home team went on the offensive. It had been a tough start to the game for our goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman who was continuing to put his defence under pressure with sloppy passes out from the back. Passing the ball about with ease as they attempted to break the deadlock, Neil Critchley’s side were looking increasingly dangerous by each passing minute. A well worked move from the reds saw McAuley and Adekanye combine well inside the box before the latter curled the ball narrowly over the top of the Spurs goal. Zipping the ball about with an air of confidence about their game it always seemed only a matter of time before our defence would crumble. And Critchley’s side made that all important breakthrough on 14 minutes when the potent Bobby Adekanye gave Liverpool the lead.

The ball was worked out to the winger on the right side of the penalty area, but just as Adekanye received the ball the linesman on the near side raised his flag. Many of the Spurs defenders froze thinking that Adekanye had been ruled offside. This caused great confusion in the Spurs team as Adekanye cut inside Eyoma in the box before rifling an effort at goal. The wingers low effort ended up outwitting Whiteman as it took a heavy deflection off of Marsh before nestling inside the bottom left hand corner of the Tottenham keepers goal, 0-1. Lead by the captain George Marsh the Spurs players crowed around the referee as he went to consult the linesman about the goal. Marsh was furious with the referee as he preceded to award the goal and the Tottenham captain was right to feel aggrieved with the referee. It had been a disastrous start all round for Burnett’s side. The reorganised Spurs defence now had to deal with an attacking onslaught from the reds. Centre half TJ Eyoma was forced into making a vital headed clearance inside the penalty area as Critchley’s side went in search of their second goal of the game. 20 minutes had past and as expected Liverpool were enjoying the lions share of possession, passing the ball around for fun as every Spurs player stayed back in their own half to try and prevent the home team from extending their advantage. Despite a few decent attacking forays from Marcus Edwards down the right wing, Spurs had offered nothing going forward and had yet to register a single attempt on goal. Our defence was under great pressure every time Liverpool entered our final third. Critchley’s side came close to doubling their advantage when Christie-Davies slipped the ball through to Adekanye inside the Tottenham penalty area. However, the alert Jaden Brown managed to read the situation well and was able to get in front of the Dutchman before making a superb sliding challenge to put the ball out for a corner kick.

We were defending superbly under the circumstances but our passing it out from the back was putting unnecessary pressure on the defenders as Whiteman’s distribution was often sloppy and inaccurate. A moment of magic from the centre forward Troy Parrott managed to create a totally unexpected leveller for Spurs on 23 minutes. Our equaliser which was against the run of play had managed to catch the Liverpool defence by total surprise. Brown’s long pass up to Parrott on the halfway line was excellently contested by the Irishman who was able to hold off two Liverpool defenders before controlling the ball with a sublime first touch. The centre forward immediately looked up to spot Edwards galavanting down the right flank, as Parrott managed to curl a lovely pass out to Edwards. The winger took on the Liverpool fullback Adam Lewis as he continued into the penalty area before turning Lewis as he rolled the ball away from him effortlessly and onto his right foot, before firing the ball past Kelleher who did manage to make contact with the ball, and into the far corner of the goal, 1-1. It was an excellently taken goal by Edwards and an absolute peach of a pass from Parrott to pick him out in the first place. Shortly after the restart the impressive Anthony Georgiou gave away a dangerous free kick on the edge of the penalty area after holding back Virtue-Thick. However, the referee felt it was necessary to take it further by handing out a harsh yellow card to the Cypriot international. Virtue-Thick’s powerful delivery into the box was headed away by Brown who recovered before making another important block to stop Adekanye’s cross a couple of moments later. Liverpool were continuing to pile on the pressure as the half progressed with the makeshift Spurs defence continuing to work their socks off in order to make it as difficult as possible for the Liverpool forwards.

TJ Eyoma had really stepped up since Tanganga’s early dismissal and the young centre half was demonstrating his aerial prowess as shown when he managed to divert Lewis’ dangerous cross away from danger. Continuing to press us aggressively Liverpool were coming closer and closer to regaining the lead. After makeshift midfielder Shayon Harrison gave the ball away to Adekanye the Dutchman quickly passed the ball to McAuley who laid it off to Christie-Davies, but the midfielders powerful low effort was held well by Whiteman in the Spurs goal. A flurry of chances continued to come Liverpool’s way. After Eyoma gave away a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, Adam Lewis’s resulting curler flew a whisker wide of Whiteman’s left hand post. A rare attacking move from Spurs at the other end ended in Jaden Brown seeing his cross into the danger zone cleared to safety by a Liverpool defender. A player who was holding his own in the centre of the park was the young Paris Maghoma and the midfielder did well to try and break down a dangerous looking attacking by the reds as he pulled back Jones who was sprinting dangerously through the middle. The referee waived play on as Jones shifted the ball out to Adekanye on the left side of the penalty area. The former Barcelona youngsters effort across goal flew narrowly wide of the mark as Spurs escaped once more. The referee then went back to Maghoma to give him a yellow card for his pull on Jones. An overhit back pass from Eyoma a couple of minutes later was the last thing Whiteman wanted to deal with, as the young goalkeeper stuck out a leg to make a vital block to steer the ball away from goal. An excellent block from Marsh on Adekanye in the box followed as Spurs continued to defend well. Burnett’s sides heroic first half performance ensured that Spurs went into the break level. The likes of Parrott whose defensive contribution was immense, Edwards and Harrison had all had unbelievable half’s.

Liverpool got the second half underway as they attacked the Kop end and it didn’t take Critchley’s side long before they found their feet again. Adekanye’s menacing cross into the danger zone was bravely defended by Brown who had managed to get to the ball in front of McAuley at the back post to head it clear. We were effectively playing with ten men behind the ball as the likes of Parrott and Harrison took it upon themselves to be combative defensive players as Liverpool upped their pace. After Georgiou had conceded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area after a foul on Adekanye. Adam Lewis’s resulting curling effort was well headed away by Brown inside the danger zone. Liverpool almost regained their lead a couple of minutes later through the ever threatening Bobby Adekanye. After bringing the ball forwards Jones laid the ball off to Adekanye down the right side of the penalty area. Adekanye managed to trick his way around Brown before firing the ball across goal, with Marsh there to get a vital flick on it to divert it out for a Liverpool corner. It was a heroic block from the skipper! The game was incredibly fast paced and one had to wonder how long our lads could keep up this most heroic of defensive performances for. Curtis Jones curled an effort well wide of goal from long range whilst Paris Maghoma won a free kick in a promising position at the other end of the pitch. Electing to take it himself Maghoma’s resulting delivery into the box went out for a goal kick. Anthony Georgiou had been exceptional throughout the second half and his excellent last ditch defending and searing pace was protecting Jaden Brown who stood behind him. The left wing back made a crucial block to prevent Whelan from whipping the ball into the danger zone. TJ Eyoma made a similarly important block when he was able to get in front of Whelan’s cross a couple of moments later.

The lively Curtis Jones was then gifted the ball by Maghoma before the winger tested Whiteman with a low drive from range which was easily gathered by the Tottenham goalkeeper, it was all Liverpool! Despite being under the cosh for the entirety of the second half Spurs had a rare golden chance which presented them with the opportunity to take the lead for the first time in the game. After Whiteman’s long kick up field was chased down by the tigerish Troy Parrott, what should have been a routine piece of defending for Johnston ended up being anything but that. As the Irishman pressed his man aggressively forcing the Liverpool defender into making an error. With Parrott managing to win the ball off of him before poking it out to Edwards who remained free out on the right wing. Edwards picked up the loose ball before surging into the penalty area. One on one with Kelleher you would have have expected Edwards to add to his account. However, the 19 year old tried to be to fancy with the ball and his eventual effort was low and weak, and was saved comfortably by the feet of Kelleher. It should have been 2-1 to Spurs. The ever impressive impressive Anthony Georgiou had helped to quell the threat of the speedy Bobby Adekanye in the second half. The Londoner was there again to make a brilliant interception off the Dutchman inside the penalty area. Troy Parrott then made a vital headed clearance at the back post as Liverpool upped their intensity as we reached the final stages of the game. Maghoma blazed over from range at the other end in a rare attempt at goal for Spurs. A well worked move from the Lilywhites followed as Harrison picked out Parrott with a long pass. The Dubliner controlled the ball before rolling it into the feet of Georgiou who zoomed across the penalty area before passing the ball to Edwards out on the right wing.

Edwards managed to trick his way into the penalty area before being brought down by Johnston who made an excellent crunching challenge to break up the attack. Roared on by the Kop, Liverpool were trying desperately hard to breakthrough the brick wall that was the Tottenham defence. Paris Maghoma made a hugely important block to stop Curtis Jones’s powerful shot on the edge of the penalty area. Burnett then made defensive reinforcements when he brought on Jonathan Dinzeyi for Jaden Brown four minutes before the end as Spurs continued to defend impeccably. However, a late pass over the top of Dinzeyi temporarily paralysed the Spurs defence as it allowed Adekanye to run through on goal with only Alfie Whiteman to beat. Fortunately for Spurs Whiteman had closed the winger down well and was able to make an important save to stop Adekanye’s low effort as Paris Maghoma applauded the Tottenham goalkeeper. Tottenham had to deal with another dangerous Liverpool attack a couple of moments later, as some brilliant goal line defending by Marsh saw him snuff out Adekanye’s dangerous effort across the face of goal. Marsh had managing to clear the ball just before McAuley could convert from close range. Burnett’s side were given another scare a couple of minutes later as Johnston fired the ball narrowly over the crossbar, after picking up the ball inside the Tottenham penalty area. Burnett brought Dylan Duncan on for Marcus Edwards as we entered stoppage time. It would take the 19 year old less then a minute to go into the referees book after committing a cynical foul on a Liverpool player. A late defensive blunder from Dinzeyi after he failed to deal with Jones’s cross into the box, allowed Virtue-Thick with an opportunity to get a shot away from close range. Fortunately for Dinzeyi the midfielders poorly struck effort ended up going straight down the throat of Whiteman who easily gathered it. Corey Whelan’s menacing cross drew a late gasp from the Kop as it flew agonisingly across the Spurs goal in the dying seconds of the game.

Thankfully the referee blew for the final whistle immediately after that chance and almost every Spurs players collapsed to the floor. They were exhausted, and after putting in the performance that they did it was unsurprising. To have to deal with having a man sent off at Anfield in the opening minutes of a game against a fast attacking team almost certainly spells defeat. However, Burnett’s young side were resilient and mature. They didn’t panic, they reorganised themselves well and were disciplined in defence. I was immensely proud of the whole teams performance against Liverpool on Friday. They fought like warriors under such difficult circumstances, the likes of Parrott, Marsh and Georgiou were excellent but for me the whole team was just superb. Hopefully Burnett’s side can go a step further in our next league game against Brighton on Friday by registering their first win of the campaign.

Player reviews: – Alfie Whiteman: After a difficult start to the game for Whiteman, which saw him contribute to Spurs giving away an early penalty after committing a bit of a blunder inside the box. Whiteman responded well and apart from his nervy looking distribution in the early stages of the game the 19 year old put in an excellent performance in the second half. Making a string of crucial saves in front of the Kop end, the one that stood out the most was his stop to deny Adekanye one on one towards the end of the game. Whiteman showed great character throughout the game.
– Tariq Hinds: It was another really mature performance from the 18 year old fullback on Friday. Following Tanganga’s sending off, Hinds never looked out of place whilst defending against Curtis Jones out on the right wing. He stayed deep and protected that side of the pitch with some really effective and tidy defending.
– Japhet Tanganga: After his early dismissal it would be unfair to review Tanganga’s short time on the pitch. He will miss our next game against Brighton on Friday.
– TJ Eyoma: Eyoma rose to the occasion following the dismissal of his fellow centre back in the second minute of the game. Forming a tenacious partnership with makeshift centre half George Marsh. Eyoma was flawless against Liverpool, he was excellent in the air and tight in his defending of the Liverpool forwards. He was astute and cautious, but not once did he allow the likes of McAuley to get into space inside the danger zone. Eyoma was also composed under pressure.
– Jaden Brown: It was Brown’s first appearance of the season for Burnett’s side following his unsuccessful trial with Dutch club NEC Nijmegen earlier on in the summer. I thought Brown had an excellent game at left back on Friday evening. He was up against a really tricky customer in Adekanye, and whilst he was helped out by Georgiou on that side. Brown defended superbly, making many important last ditch challenges, blocks and clearances in the box. He put in an extremely brave performance against the reds. Brown also played his part in our goal, with a long pass upfield to Parrott.
– George Marsh: A leader of men. George Marsh started off in the centre of the park alongside Maghoma, but Tanganga’s early sending off saw the skipper take Tanganga’s place at centre back. Marsh marshalled the backline to perfection, it was a really heroic performance from the 19 year old. Marsh threw himself in front of danger, I lost count at the amount of blocks and superb goal line clearances that he made. He was terrific!
– Paris Maghoma: I was extremely pleased to see the 17 year old in the starting lineup for the Liverpool game. Favoured by Burnett over the older and more experienced duo of Dylan Duncan and Jack Roles. The second year scholar lined up alongside Marsh in the centre of midfield. A box to box midfielder with a lot of attacking qualities, any license that he had had to go forward was extinguished once Tanganga was sent off. From then on he was essentially a defensive midfielder whose job was to protect the back four alongside Harrison who dropped back. Maghoma was extremely well disciplined and played his part in helping Spurs to come away with a point, making some important blocks in the process. There was one moment in the game where his maturity really showed. Whilst Spurs were defending a dangerous free kick on the edge of the penalty area, Maghoma took it upon him to order the wall as the defenders kept quiet. He was roaring at Whiteman as he barked instructions to his teammates. Hopefully Maghoma will start our next game against Brighton on Friday.
– Marcus Edwards: Another player who had an excellent game, the skilful Marcus Edwards put in a superb shift out on the right wing. Whilst his attacking freedom was limited from early on in the game, he provided Spurs with their main attacking outlet. As he went on some really impressive attacking forays down that side of the pitch. Edwards hard work at tracking back was equally as impressive. Everything about his excellently taken goal was just sublime, and the 19 year old may feel that he should have scored another in the second half after receiving the ball in a similar position.
– Shayon Harrison: Starting off as a number ten, Harrison was quickly reassigned to the unfamiliar role of central midfield. I was extremely impressed with the way that Harrison adapted to that defensive midfield role. He worked ridiculously hard throughout the entirety of the game, he worked as a shield to the defence and broke up play so effectively. Harrison’s numerous interceptions and blocks in and around the six yard box didn’t go unnoticed either.
– Anthony Georgiou: To say that Georgiou had an excellent game would be an understatement. The Cypriot internationals performance against Liverpool on Friday was immense. Despite starting out on the left wing, Anthony was soon forced into playing as a left wing back in front of Brown. He embraced that role with both hands and put in a heroic defensive performance. He helped Brown out massively whilst defending against the speedy Adekanye. He made some excellent tackles in and around the danger zone and was able to read the game and anticipate danger to perfection throughout the PL2 contest. Georgiou helped Spurs to counter attack Liverpool with some excellent lung bursting runs down that left hand side. He didn’t put a foot wrong and he demonstrated to the Tottenham coaching staff just how brilliant and effective a wing back he is. I was extremely proud with the 21 year olds performance.
– Troy Parrott: My motm, see below.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Fleeting eleven minute cameo from Dinzeyi who added steel to the Tottenham defence for the closing minutes of the game.
– Dylan Duncan: Fleeting cameo.

My man of the match: Troy Parrott. Most 16 year olds could only ever dream of playing at Anfield, but not young Troy. He not only lead the line for Spurs on his first PL2 appearance but he put in a performance which spoke volumes as to how ridiculously talented a centre forward the young Irishman is. The Dubliner put in a phenomenal performance against Liverpool, he lead the line to perfection and created Spurs’ only two key chances out of nothing. He held up the ball really well and moved around the park like a young Robbie Keane. However, it was the tigerish Parrott’s hunger and determination which stood out above all else. His ability to make such mature decisions was mightily impressive as was his combative defending in front of the back four. The strikers high pressing unsettled the Liverpool defence and forced them into making errors. However, the many blocks and clearances he made inside his own penalty area spoke volumes about what kind of player he is. Think Harry Kane!

Liverpool: Kelleher, Whelan (c), Lewis, Phillips, Johnston, Chirivella, Adekanye, Christie-Davies (Coyle 75), McAuley (Millar 65), Virtue, Jones. Substitutes (not used): Atherton, Gallacher, Masterson.

Spurs: Whiteman, Hinds, Brown (Dinzeyi 86), Marsh (c), Eyoma, Tanganga, Edwards (Duncan 90+1), Maghoma, Parrott, Harrison, Georgiou. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Roles.

Goals: Liverpool – Adekanye 14; Spurs – Edwards 23.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Georgiou 26, Maghoma 39, Duncan 90+2.

Red card: Spurs – Tanganga 2.

Referee: J Johnson.

Attendance: 3,114.

Venue: Anfield, Liverpool.

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

Goals scored: Samuel Shashoua – 1
Marcus Edwards – 1

Assists: Troy Parrott – 1

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

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

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Our under 23’s started the new PL2 season with a disappointing and frankly unexpected defeat at home to West Ham on Monday evening. Wayne Burnett’s experienced side were marginally the better side during the first half, they passed the ball around well and defended competently. However, a slight lapse in concentration allowed the similarly strong Hammers side to score an equaliser on the stroke of halftime. Portuguese forward Xande Silva’s quick fire brace to secure his hat-trick shortly after the restart wrecked Spurs’ confidence, and they were unable to recover from it. Hardly creating anything of note throughout the second half Spurs were totally shutdown by the resolute West Ham defence with the likes of Reece Oxford and Ben Johnson putting in really strong defensive performances for the Hammers. Our first away game of the new season will take place at the majestic Anfield stadium on Friday evening, as Spurs take on last years division one runners up, Liverpool. This will be the third time in three consecutive seasons that our under 23’s will take on Liverpool at Anfield. The previous two encounters have ended in defeat for Spurs (2-3 and 2-4). Last seasons game was a particularly enthralling one, after an explosive start from Neil Critchley’s Liverpool side, which saw them take the lead inside the first minute. Spurs looked like a fish out of water as the reds soon doubled their advantage through Harry Wilson who netted his second on 16 minutes. Seemingly heading for a thumping Burnett’s side upped their tempo and had a brilliant 15 minute spell which saw them score two goals to draw level. They were however, unable to keep that up and they were beaten comfortably by Liverpool in the end.

Tomorrow evening Wayne Burnett’s side will be hoping end that bad run with a positive result at Anfield. However, with a thousand or so Liverpool fans cheering on their team in the world renowned stadium, under the lights on a fine summers evening, it will be a tough ask for our youngsters. Critchley’s side got their PL2 season underway with a goalless draw against Brighton last Friday. They enjoyed an impressive 64% of the possession, making an impressive 507 passes in the process. Burnett’s side will have to be alert if they are to deal with the reds explosive attacking style of football. Jürgen Klopp’s footballing philosophy has clearly been passed down through the youth ranks at the Merseyside club, with fast attacking football such a big part of how Critchley’s side operate. Whilst they won’t be able to rely on the services of their top last seasons top scorer Harry Wilson (on loan at Derby) Critchley has players such as Solanke, Pedro Chirivella and the experienced attacking midfielder Sheyi Ojo to choose from. He may also be able to field fringe first team players such as Lazar Marković and Marko Grujić. It will be really interesting to see how Burnett approaches tomorrows game, whether he will go with an offensive or defensive formation is yet to be seen. But if we can involve our quality attacking players such as Georgiou, Shashoua and Edwards into the game then we could really trouble the Liverpool defence. I’m expecting us too see a much different team to the one that lost to West Ham earlier in the week, I could see us shifting Georgiou to left wing back, with Paris Maghoma making the step up from the under 18’s to feature in the middle of the park. Goalscoring midfielder Jack Roles could also featured in the middle of the park as Spurs look to break down the Liverpool defence.

I am anticipating an enthralling game of football tomorrow evening, and one in which should provide a real test for our young lads. I will be reporting on tomorrows game from Anfield but for those of you who want to watch the game live, it is being shown on Liverpool TV. Meanwhile our under 18’s travel to South Wales for their league fixture with Swansea on Saturday morning, they thrashed the Swans 5-2 in this fixture last season. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make that game as I will be at Wembley for the Fulham game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Dinzeyi, Tanganga (c), Georgiou, Marsh, Maghoma, Edwards, Roles, S.Shashoua, Harrison.

Subs from: Freeman, Brown, Eyoma, Duncan, Tracey.

Doubtful: Connor Ogilvie (leg), Shilow Tracey (leg), Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Samuel Shashoua (back).

Injured/unavailable: Kazaiah Sterling and Jamie Reynolds.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-0.

My score prediction: 3-3.

My one to watch: A player who was has been on the fringes of the first team squad since signing for Liverpool, from Chelsea back in the summer of 2017. Towering centre forward Dominic Solanke also featured for the reds development side on numerous occasions last season. We have been on the receiving end of some excellent performances from the centre forward since
his Chelsea days (the 2015 FA youth cup semifinal springs to mind!). A traditional centre forward in many ways, Solanke’s physical and aerial presence will cause trouble for the Spurs defenders.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/08/14/spurs-under-23s-1-3-west-ham-united-match-report/

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

Goals scored: Samuel Shashoua – 1

Assists: None.