Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Ontinyent:
Tottenham Hotspur starlet Samuel Shashoua (19) put in another match winning performance for his loan club Atlético Baleares at the weekend. As the Spanish segunda division B side overcame Ontinyent 2-1 at the Son Malferit on Sunday afternoon, as Samuel completed the full 90 minutes of the game. The Mallorca based club stretched their unbeaten run to four games as the young Shashoua scored what turned out to be the winner in Sunday’s league game against Ontinyent. Once again, Atlético dominated the game and were the far better side however, Ontinyent were compact and defensive and this resulted in Samuel having less space through the channels. However, the teenager from West London provided the spark that the Balearic side needed to see off Ontinyent, and despite the fact that this was only Samuel’s sixth appearance for Atlético. He has not only become an integral part of their side during his short time on the island but he has also gone onto become a fan favourite amongst their supporters. Once again I was able to watch Atlético’s 2-1 win over Ontinyent on Sunday thanks to the excellent live stream provided by Balearic television channel ib3. In the following analytical piece I will be going through Shashoua’s match winning performance against the club from Valencia. Shashoua started Sunday’s game out on the right wing and after a quite opening five or so minutes to the game, Shashoua’s first involvement came from a corner kick which he whipped in towards Atlético defender Rovirola in the box, but the centre half ended up getting clattered by an Ontinyent player with the referee giving the foul the opposite way. Atlético were dominating possession and although Samuel wasn’t seeing much of the ball in the opening stages, the Balearicos were doing well and after just eight minutes of time played they took the lead.
Atlético’s opener came from the skipper Francesc Fullana’s free kick which he delivered into the danger zone. Fullana’s delivery was met by Valorri who powered a header past Craviotto to put the Balearicos ahead. Samuel was involved in a promising counter attack shortly afterwards as Atlético continued to dominate the game. Shashoua started the attack before working the ball out to Kike López on the right, who then found the darting Shashoua in the box. However, the youngster was unable to get the right backs pass under control. Shashoua was involved in another move a couple of minutes later which resulted in him beating Albiol down the left wing but only after the Ontinyent fullback had pulled him to the ground. However, the referee waived play on as the nimble footed winger got back on his feet before continuing into the penalty area and then forcing Craviotto into making a save to deny his powerful strike. The more involved Shashoua almost managed to pull off a clever one – two with Adri Hernández on the edge of the Ontinyent penalty a couple of moments later as Atlético continued to put pressure on the oppositions defence. After Ontinyent came close to netting an equaliser but for an excellent reflex save from Carl, Shashoua was switched onto the left flank so as to enhance his attacking influence on the game. Atlético should have been awarded a penalty a couple of minutes later after a foul on Nuha from behind by Enrique, after he had gone around the goalkeeper, as Atlético continued to push for a second. Samuel went on a good jinking run from deep as he brought the ball forward down the left flank, before cutting inside onto his right as he continued to sprint forwards. However, he was cynically fouled from behind by Carbonell who ended up getting a yellow card from the referee.
Samuel managed to orchestrate another good attack after he picked out Hernández with a long and accurate pass shortly afterwards. Hernández then passed the ball to Fullana who threaded a nice pass into Shashoua down the left side of the box. Shashoua took an early shot as Craviotto came out to close him down. The ball managed to squeeze past the goalkeeper but Samuel couldn’t follow it up and his teammate Nuha could be seen asking him why he hadn’t squared the ball for the centre forward, who was in an excellent position in the centre of the box. Atlético could easily have been 3-0 up as the referee blew the whistle for a halftime a couple of minutes later. Shashoua remained on the left wing for the beginning of the second half and the teenager was involved in an early attacking move for Atlético after he received Canario’s pass inside the box. However, Shashoua couldn’t sort his feet out in time before he was intercepted by an Ontinyent defender. He was then found by Fullana down the left side of the penalty area a couple of moments later, Shashoua attempted to find the far corner of the goal from an acute angle, but an Ontinyent defender managed to block his effort with his back, as the away side survived once again. Then in the 64th minute of time came the decisive moment in the game for both Samuel and Atlético, after the Spurs loanee scored a wonderfully taken goal after he had linked up well with Nuha after the centre forward had picked the ball up near the edge of the penalty area. Nuha then poked the ball into the feet of Samuel on the edge of the six yard box. The nimble footed Shashoua took a good first touch before cleverly jinking away from Julen and clinically tucking the ball past Craviotto and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, to double Atlético’s advantage. All three of the goals in which Shashoua has been involved in for Atlético have been due to link up play with Nuha.
After celebrating wildly with the rest of his teammates the game was eventually restarted and after Nuha had conceded a penalty, Ontinyent’s David Torres pulled a goal back from the spot less than three minutes later. Shashoua managed to pick out López from a corner kick a couple of minutes later, but the fullback couldn’t get the ball under control. Samuel then whipped a cross into the danger zone which was cleared, as he continued to grow into the game. And moments later he whipped a teasing ball right across the face of the Ontinyent goal before being clattered by Ontinyent’s Albiol after attempting to win a header. Atlético continued to control the game and Shashoua’s last involvement came in stoppage time after had an effort on goal blocked by a defender on the edge of the penalty area. Although Shashoua didn’t have as much freedom down the channels as he had enjoyed in the last game against Olot due to the fact that Ontinyent were a better structured side. I thought that his positivity, graft and energy down both flanks provided the spark that the home side needed in order to overcome the opposition. Shashoua’s quick feet and willingness to take the Ontinyent fullbacks on, proved to be so crucial to the Balearicos picking up all three points as they continue their good run of form. The quick feet and balance in which he showed for his goal was excellent and the confidence he had to try that against big and experienced defenders was so refreshing to see. The teenager continues to reap the benefits of going out on loan, and with his name and picture plastered all across the local newspapers it’s safe to say that Samuel has already endeared himself to the Atlético faithful. Up next for Samuel and the Balearicos is an away game against Villarreal B, a side which Shashoua played against for Spurs’ development side last season. It is unlikely that I will be able to watch that game as I will be travelling to Derby that morning to report on our under 23’s game against the rams.
Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares: