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

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

 

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Our high flying under 18’s resume league action on Saturday when they host Aston Villa at Hotspur Way. Matt Wells side will be hoping to get the better of David Hughes side who have also started the season in good form, with four wins from their opening seven league matches. Top of the table Tottenham Hotspur tore Norwich City to shreds in their last game despite the fact that Wells had fielded a weakened side. And their ruthless, fast paced and downright attacking approach to the new season has resulted in them outplaying each of the eight teams who they have come up against, so far this campaign. The last time these two teams met was on a chilly spring morning at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training last season. That particular Spurs side totally embarrassed what was actually a strong Aston Villa team by beating them 5-0. Aston Villa did beat us in the reverse fixture at Hotspur Way earlier on in the season but on that particular day in the midlands they played as poorly as any under 18 team that I have ever seen. There defence in particular was atrocious and lacking in any sort of defensive cohesion. David Hughes side are yet to win on the road in the league this season and they’ll have their work cut out if they want to change that on Saturday. With our free scoring youngsters in such a rich vein form, with the likes of Clarke, Shashoua and White all chipping in with goals. Wells side have so many different ways from which they can hurt Aston Villa. Taking into consideration that our under 19’s are playing PSV in the UEFA youth league the following Wednesday, it would be safe to assume that Wells and McDermott will rest a couple of players for the Aston Villa game at the weekend. This could present a couple of our youngsters who haven’t featured much this season with an all important start. I’m particularly hoping to see centre half Jubril Okedina starting against Villa. Okedina has put in some strong performances off the bench in recent games.

Aston Villa have a number of attacking talents in their youth set up, some of which include in form French centre forward Dimitri Sea, American Indiana Vassilev and wide man Colin Odutayo. Despite having a poor historical record against Aston Villa over recent years, Spurs will be hoping to record their third straight win on the bounce against David Hughes side, when these teams meet on Saturday afternoon. I will be at Hotspur Way reporting on our league encounter with the Villains.

 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Tainio, Okedina, Statham, Cirkin, White, Bowden, Markanday, A.Shashoua (c), Clarke, Parrott.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Walcott, Thorpe, Patterson, Mukendi.

Injured/unavailable: Enock Asante.

Doubtful: Rodel Richards (possible involvement with the development side) and J’Neil Bennett (possible involvement with the development side) and Malachi Walcott (injury).

Previous meeting: Spurs 5-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: French teenager Dimitri Sea was one of the very few Villa players that caught my eye during our last meeting with Aston Villa at this level. The powerful centre forward scored seven league goals for the Villains last season. And the clinical Parisian has started this season in fine form and already has three league goals to his name.

 

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/10/07/spurs-under-18s-7-0-norwich-city-match-report/

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Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Olot:

Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Olot:

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Thanks to the wonderful live coverage provided by Balearic television channel ib3, I was able to watch our young loanee Samuel Shashoua in action for his loan club Atlético Baleares earlier today. Shashoua has settled in really well at the Balearicos since signing for them on a season long loan from Spurs in August. And the league game against Olot on Sunday afternoon was Shashoua’s fifth competitive appearance for the Segunda División B club. And after putting in impressive performances in his last two matches, Shashoua found himself in the starting eleven once again for their match against Catalan side Olot at the Son Malferit. The 19 year old started out on the left wing and he completed the entirety of Sunday’s match. Putting in another extremely impressive performance for the Mallorca based club, Shashoua proved instrumental in Atlético securing all three points, in a game in which the home side dominated from start to finish. The Spurs youngster put in a typically energetic performance out on the left flank, as always Shashoua was hardworking and would often track back and help out his teammates defensively. However, as he showed in Atlético’s games against Barcelona B and Conquense in recent weeks, Shashoua’s dribbling ability and willingness to take on players saw him create more chances for his teammates than anybody else in today’s game. He was sharp and crafty with the ball, and his alertness to pick out Nuha Marong for the strikers goal in the 52nd minute, resulted in Shashoua registering his first assist of the campaign. In the following article I will be going through Shashoua’s performance against Olot in chronological order. And can I just say that it was yet another pleasure to have been able to watch one of my favourite Spurs players in action for his loan club.

Shashoua started the game out on the left wing of what was essentially a 4-4-2 formation to start off with. The Balearicos started the game well in the afternoon sun, and Shashoua made a good early run in the opening couple of minutes of the game after Kike López received the ball out on the right side of the penalty area. The fullback continued inwards but the Olot goalkeeper Xavi Ginard was alert and was able to smother the ball before López could square for Shashoua to tap home, after the teenager had made a well timed darting run into the middle of the penalty area. A couple of minutes later, Shashoua linked up well with Nuha who he picked up the ball off some 30 yards out from goal, before going on a tricky driving run down the left flank. Samuel continued all the way to the edge of the Olot penalty area before jinking past defender Alan Baró and then testing the goalkeeper with a powerful low effort on his left foot. However, Ginard made a smart stop with his feet to prevent Shashoua from opening the scoring. Atlético were on the front foot and the home side were playing some decent football during the opening stages of the game, Samuel was often catching the eye with his impressive first time touch. The left winger was involved in another positive attacking move from Atlético after he embarked on a good run through the middle of the park before eventually squaring the ball to Fullana on the edge of the penalty area. However, the Atlético captains powerful effort was saved relatively comfortably by Ginard. And once again Samuel found himself in the thick of the action after he picked up the ball before skipping across the goal as he managed to turn his man in the process, before then passing the ball to Marcos de la Espada on the edge of the penalty area. The Spanish midfielders effort was well saved by Ginard as the Balearicos continued to dominate the game. Atlético Baleares were continuing to put pressure on the Catalan sides defence. 

After controlling the ball well out on the left flank after received a long diagonal pass, Shashoua looked up before picking out Canario with an inch perfect lofted pass, on the edge of the penalty area as he showcased his good vision. However, Canario’s resulting effort was saved comfortably by the Olot goalkeeper. Shashoua was the victim of a rather nasty sliding challenge from Blázquez shortly after, and the Olot fullback was given a yellow card by the referee, but only after Samuel had given Blázquez a gentle shove from behind. And the teenager from west London continued to be Atlético’s most potent player for the remainder of the half. After receiving a cross field pass out on the left flank, Shashoua showed off his fancy footwork in front of the Olot defenders before whipping a dangerous low cross into the danger zone, but no blue and white shirts were there to meet it. A couple of moments later he delivered another dangerous ball into the danger zone which caused the Olot defence to panic and frantically clear the ball away from danger. That was to be Samuel’s last involvement in what had been a positive first half from both him and his teammates. The away side got the second half underway at the Son Malferit and it didn’t take long for him to get back involved in the thick of the action. Eight minutes into the half, Shashoua received a pass from Canario out on the left wing. The winger cut inside before making a well weighed pass into the feet of Nuha inside the box. The Atlético centre forward cut inside Carles Mas before curling an excellent effort into the left hand corner of the goal to put the Balearicos ahead. However, joy was soon to turned to disappointment for young Samuel after he received a harsh yellow card for simulation. It was an incredibly harsh booking which came about after he received a pass down the left hand side of the penalty area.

The typically tricky Shashoua pulled off an exquisite Marseille turn on Olot defender Carles Mas which resulted in the fullback sticking out his leg. Mas made contact albeit not that much with Shashoua, and this resulted in him going to ground. However, Samuel is the type of player who always try’s to stay on his feet no matter where he is on the pitch. A bit of a quite patch for the Tottenham loanee followed as Atlético started to mould into a more defensive shape. Some 10-15 minutes later he turned around Blázquez on the edge of the penalty area before forcing Ginard into making a good save, to prevent his powerful curling effort from creeping into the back of the net. Shashoua lobbed a ball dangerously across the face of the Olot goal a couple of minutes later after being found down the left side of the box. Before then slipping the ball into an Atlético player who I couldn’t identify, down the same side of the penalty area. This particular Atlético players resulting effort was saved by Ginard who comfortably gathered the ball. Samuel whipped another one of his teasing crosses into the Olot penalty area moments later but it managed to evade every Atlético player in the box. Shashoua then embarked on another one of his jinking runs a couple of minutes after, as Atlético continued to dominate the game. Shashoua beat a man down the left before darting into the box and skipping past another Olot defender and then he unselfishly attempted to pass the ball for a teammate in the centre of the box. However, Shashoua’s pass/shot was blocked on the line Baró, as the Atlético fans loudly applauded Samuel. That was to be his final involvement in the game as the referee blew for time only a matter of minutes later as Atlético Baleares picked up their third win of the season. And a certain Tottenham loanee played a massive role in that win. His energy and hard work out on the left wing provided the Balearic club with an important attacking outlet which they made the very most of throughout the game. 

Shashoua’s guile and willingness to take people on down that side of the pitch helped to break down the Olot defence and create chance after chance for the home team. He was sharp and agile, and the 19 year old made many good passes throughout the game, including the one that led to Nuha’s goal at the beginning of the second half. Despite being one of the youngest players on the pitch, Shashoua was the most fearless of them all, and without doubt the most creative. Watching Shashoua play today really reminded me of watching him during his very best games for our under 18’s, where he was skipping past players for fun and always looking to feed inch perfect passes into his teammates, in and around the danger zone. He really is settling into life at his new club so well and they are playing the type of football which is going to really aid his development over the course of the season. That’s why it makes so much sense why he went out on loan to the Balearic club rather than an English lower league club that is going to kick the ball into orbit every couple of seconds. He was the star player against Olot today and he has already forced his way into Atlético’s starting eleven, where he his fast becoming a fan favourite. A whole group of young fans came running over to him at the end of today’s game looking for selfies of which he duly obliged. Next up for the confident youngster and his teammates is an away game against Badalona next Sunday. Providing that, that game will be on ib3 then I will most certainly be writing another analytical piece on the young artists performance.

Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares:

Appearances: 5

Goals: 1 

Assists: 1

My interview with former Tottenham Hotspur player Micky Dulin:

My interview with former Tottenham Hotspur player Micky Dulin:

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Born in London’s east end in the October of 1935, Michael Charles Dulin spent the majority of his childhood in Hertfordshire following the outbreak of the Second World War. Micky was an outside right who had signed for Spurs under their legendary former manager Arthur Rowe in the autumn of 1952. In total Dulin spent over six years at Spurs and whilst the majority of that time was spent playing for the reserves and the old A team, Dulin was a bright up and coming talent who went onto make eleven appearances for the first team, scoring on two occasions. The talented winger played under two Spurs managers and he was at the club during one of its most successful and revolutionary periods. The youngster from Stepney could well have gone onto become one of the legendary double winners but for an injury that he sustained in a league game against Birmingham in 1957. Dulin suffered a catastrophic injury to his leg in the dying moments of the game at St Andrew’s, and the Spurs man would never recover from it. After almost losing his leg, Dulin battled back to return to training at Spurs during the late 1950’s after spending two years in a splint. However, he was a shadow of the player he previously was and he ended up finding himself being released by the Lilywhites at the end of that year. Dulin spent the rest of his working years involved with sport, for many years he was a well liked PE teacher and he would later go onto work for Waltham Forest council where he again found himself involved in sport and leisure. However, outside of Spurs Dulin is well regarded by supporters of non league clubs Wingate and Finchley and Barking.

He managed both clubs following his retirement from playing and Dulin made such a positive impact at Wingate and Finchley, that he now serves as the clubs life vice honorary president. Micky kindly invited me into his home for our interview about his time at Spurs. And I couldn’t have been more grateful for the time that he so kindly gave me. Dulin is a gentleman who got to play with so many of our legendary former players. And Dulin himself is one of the few surviving Spurs players from that era and we as fans should be so very proud of him for his service to the club.

Questions:  

What are your earliest footballing memories?

Micky: My earliest football memory was going back to grammar school, I was at Hitchin grammar school where we had a superb squad of players where we used to win games like 21-0 and things like that. I remember that vividly and also when I was first picked up by Tottenham, I’d been picked to play for the south of England grammar schools against the north of England grammar schools. And in those days it was only the England schoolboys and secondary school players. Anyway, we were invited to Oxford University for a weeks coaching and playing but unfortunately I got taken ill with the flu just before I was about to go. When I finally got better I went on the following Thursday and they let me play in a game against Pegasus which was a combined university side. I played that particular game and there just happened to be a Tottenham scout there, and I must have done well because they invited me along for trials and training the following season.

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

Micky: I joined the club because of this scout who had picked me up and invited me down to the ground where I trained with Spurs, in the pre-season of which would have been 1952. I played a few games for them and after a few weeks they invited me to join the ground staff, but my father wouldn’t agree to it because I’d been to a grammar school and had a good education. He said to me that if he wanted me to sweep roads then I could have been in the council rather than the ground. Anyway I turned it down but the manager Arthur Rowe called me into his office, and he asked me to play in a match the following Thursday against QPR and then make a decision. In that game I played and I scored two goals and so they signed me the following day, I think it was on my 17th birthday that they signed me. That’s one of the recollections I have, the other one was when I first went down and lived in Baldock in Hertfordshire I signed for something like seven pounds a week in the winter and six in the summer. I remember them having a B team, an A team and a reserves and a first team, and I started in the B team. I came up from Baldock to London to travel to the eastern counties which was the league we were in. They used to take 15 or 16 players and there was no substitutes in those days, You didn’t know whether you were or weren’t playing until you stopped halfway round on the way to a game, at a transport cafe normally. If the manager said you can have chips then you knew that you weren’t playing. So you remember things like that.

Being a young lad from Hertfordshire what was it like adapting to life at Spurs and what were you earliest impressions of the club?

Micky: It was weird in the sense that if you were very young you were in awe of the likes of Alf Ramsey and Bill Nicholson. After training all the players used to go into a little room where they played cards and snooker, and they’d all smoke and drink and you couldn’t see through the clouds of smoke as everybody smoked. They’d hand you a cigarette and although I never smoked I used to take one and I’d occasionally feel dizzy. The point I’m making is that the difference between the athleticism and the way that they handle players now is chalk and cheese.

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

Micky: It was interesting, I suppose it was informative in a way but I don’t think we had the coaches in those days that you’ve got now to bring players on. And in a sense it was quite basic for a division one team as it was then. We used to train and play five a side in the car park, it was all a very basic venue. In the first team they were playing to crowds of 70 or 80,000 but it wasn’t as professional as it is now and obviously the money is phenomenally different. I went from getting seven pound a week in the winter to six in the summer, then the following season to eight and seven. But when I got into the first team I only got ten which was only two pounds more than in my contract, and that was the most that you could earn. However, the difference between eight and ten must have been quite substantial in those days. It was a different era, people didn’t have fancy cars, they got on the bus to go to training and things likes that.

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

Micky: I think Tom Finney, Stanley Matthews and people like that, while at Tottenham Tommy Harmer was somebody who I respected greatly for his ability, and Ronnie Burgess, people like that. Burgess was like a Dave Mackay type player. I also admired Bill Nicholson to a degree, he was a dour player but he was a good manager. And Arthur Rowe was somebody who I had a lot of respect for but unfortunately he was taken ill whilst he was with us, and we ended up with Jimmy Anderson who had no real coaching knowledge. He was just somebody who had experience of being in the game for a long time, that was all. All of the directors and everything were brewers, the whole sort of scenario was different to what it is now with multi billionaires holding the purse strings. But I think those were the types of players that I aspired to be like.

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

Micky: Probably in the early days it was Eddie Baily, he wasn’t the nicest of characters and when I played with him he didn’t have that drive that he had previously. Sometimes he’d get you to track back and pick up somebody who he should have picked up. But his skill with his first time passing was exceptional, he used to play one touch football in the car park and we were only allowed one touch and he was superb at anything like that. However, he was particularly influential for me because when I got in the first team I played on the right wing and he was the inside right as it was in those days. So he was an influence and he knew the game inside out.

What was it like to play with club legends such as Danny Blanchflower and Tommy Harmer?

Micky: Well they did sort of try and teach you things. Danny Blanchflower was a brilliant player but he was not anything you would call an athlete, he was really a skinny sort of lean guy. But he had the vision of seeing things quickly and he would always try and be helpful and tell you to make runs in certain positions and at certain times. And you did respond, when he told you you did it, whereas  with other people you might think well I know as much as they do, but Danny was probably a big influence on the whole team. He came down to Spurs for £30,000 which was the biggest transfer ever in those days. As for Tommy Harmer he wasn’t somebody who would offer advice in a sense because he was not a very intelligent person. I’m not saying that he was a dummy but he wasn’t somebody who took it upon himself to help people, but he’d help you with his play because he was another one who could see things and do things that other players couldn’t. Although he lacked the sort of stature and pace, his vision was superb and when he had the ball and you made a run you knew you were going to get the ball. He would guarantee you 19 times out of 20 that he would put the ball in a position where you could run onto it, and then you knew that the onus was going to be on what you did. So he was influential in the way that he played rather than what he said.

You made your first team debut for Spurs in a league game against Burnley on the 17th of December 1955. Could you talk me through your memories of that special day and how it came about?

Micky: It was a weird experience it really was because we’d left by coach and played Huddersfield on the Wednesday before that day, and I was part of the group. The job of the players who weren’t playing in the first team was to take the kit in a big wicker basket and hang it all up. We had no inkling of playing at all because there were no substitutes in those days, and we had been beaten quite badly that day by Huddersfield. After the Huddersfield game we went up to Manchester and stayed at the Queens hotel, and I had no indication that I was going to play and so I really didn’t prepare myself for the game in that sense. When we got to the ground I had helped hang the kit out and then when he (Jimmy Anderson) announced my name I started to get a bit shaky because although I’d played odd games before that, I’d never played in the league. But I did quite well that day I think because there was no major buildup to it and because I had only known in the dressing room 40-45 minutes before kick off, so I didn’t have enough time to get nervous. Burnley were a great side who had Jimmy McIlroy and Adamson and people like that and I think that that we lost the game that day, but I did quite well and I was pleased with myself. That’s when I had a little run in the side and I got into it on merit whereas previously I’d got in because someone was on international duty or something.

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

Micky: Some of the things that were weird that standout to me were some of the training things that we did. When we trained at the ground we used to run around the pitch a couple of times and they had a ball which was suspended from the rafters under the east stand. The ball in those days had thick laces and they were very heavy. And one of the routines that we had to go through involved them putting six or seven players at one end and six or seven at the other. And we used to head this ball and as it swung you had to run and time it, and head it again and if you headed it again it would literally knock you out. It was so difficult to do that everybody used to avoid heading it and miss it deliberately. I remember that vividly because to me it was a complete waste of time and if you headed the lace it would split your head open. We didn’t really do anything tactically, we just played and went out there and the manager would try and inspire you in a way, but he (Jimmy Anderson) wasn’t the greatest inspiration. So really you had to be backed up by the Blanchflower’s and people like that. The other thing I’ll always remember was when I got picked to play for Tottenham against the Arsenal, and the derby was the thing. Since childhood I had a perforated eardrum and so I didn’t hear all that well and I can remember playing against Arsenal and someone hit this long ball to me from the left hand side, right over to the right where I was. And someone in the crowd must have blown a whistle so I caught the ball and threw it back as I thought I was offside. That made me feel very low but there the type of things that I remember.

I can also remember scoring a goal against the Racing Club de Paris and I didn’t like heading those balls. I think a lot of the people who were centre backs ended up with Alzheimer’s and I did not ike heading the ball, I headed it when I had to. And this ball came to me from a corner on the left and I sort of ran around and the ball was coming straight at me and I had to head it. It knocked me down and I ended up on the floor with the ball flying into the back of the goal. So everybody all thought it was a wonderful header but I was trying to avoid it if I could have done. So there the sorts of things that I remember.

Jimmy Anderson was the manager who you spent the majority of your time at Spurs playing under. What he was like as a manager?

Micky: Jimmy Anderson wasn’t a coach at all he just happened to be the manager, but he had no skill in developing players or even probably selecting players. We had a guy who came down once, I think his name was Eddie or something and he was supposed to be our trainer. And he introduced different things like ballet training and things like that which didn’t really help. Once Bill Nicholson came in he began to involve himself in the development side, but I’m not so sure even in today’s terms that he was a coach like you would say Guardiola is. I’m not sure Wenger was such a great coach but he was a good man manager and the thing with Nicholson was he did it as it was, he didn’t sort of pussyfoot with you if he dropped you. He dropped you and if he picked you he picked you, and he told you what he thought about you, and you respected that because he played and was a knowledgeable person whereas Anderson only got the job because Arthur Rowe was taken ill. He broke down in front of us. He came into the dressing room one day to give the team talk and he broke down and cried, and I remember Alfie Stokes was with me at the time. And he said that’s what he thinks of you because he burst out crying, but I think that Nicholson was probably the start of the development of the better Tottenham days.

What for you was the greatest moment of your all too short footballing career?

Micky: Funnily enough it was probably a reserve game, I’m not sure who it was against but it was just before I got injured in the first team squad. And I had a day where whatever I did was perfection and I scored four goals and we won six something against Portsmouth I believe. On that particular day I had such vision of the game, it was all so easy to me that when I think back had I have not got injured and had I have developed or evolved the same way. Then I often wonder where my career would have taken me, and how I would have been able to go.

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

Micky: Probably Jimmy McIlroy at Burnley, I didn’t play many first team games but he was as good as anyone I can remember being. He was like a silky, smooth player and he never did anything wrong in the game against us. Every time he got the ball we used to think what’s going to happen here, so I think he was as good as anybody I could remember.

Your life changed forever on the 11th of September 1957 after you picked up a career ending injury in a league game against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s. Would you be alright talking me through the events of that day?

Micky: It poured and poured, and poured with rain and it was a 0-0 draw and we got right to the end of the match more or less, and it was a quite a good point at St Andrew’s. I can remember the ball coming to me wide on the left hand side which I happened to be on. Tommy Harmer was playing and he called for the ball so I instinctively kind of passed it into him but unfortunately there was a fella called Dick Neal who played for Birmingham, and he must have heard the call. He came forward and cut the pass out and made his way to the edge of the box and I sort of tracked him back because it was my mistake. As I put my foot out to tackle him he struck the ball against my foot towards goal, and this took the whole bottom half of my leg away from the top half. I didn’t know all this, but I went down and they carried me off and then the referee blew the whistle for time, and once I got to the dressing room they took me to the Birmingham accident hospital. I was there over night before they then transferred me to the royal orthopaedic in London, in Great Portland Street. The ligaments had been damaged and my cruciate ligaments had gone and in those days there was no operation where they could restore it. They put me in a sort of splint and I had an iron thing and so I was like that for nearly two years before it healed up. I think I started training again at Tottenham but they knew and I knew that I couldn’t play. I had no sort of power, I couldn’t run as fast and I couldn’t do anything but they kept me there for the rest of that season. Then the following year they released me and gave me £500 pounds in compensation which although it’s a pittance in today’s terms was a years money in those days, and that was the end of that. So a split second difference and I could have been in the team that did the double in 1960-61 if I had developed for the next two or three years, but that’s the way the world is. Something happened in that split second and your whole world is sort of turned upside down in a way.

How did you cope with the aftermath of learning that you would never kick a ball again?

Micky: Not very well unfortunately I don’t think, definitely financially because I had no work experience that I could fall back on, the only thing that I knew was ball. Once I was able to get around again I started to take coaching courses and things like that, and eventually I started teaching in the London education authority schools. I’d go around schools teaching and coaching them but it wasn’t very satisfying because they knew we were ex players, and that we were qualified in football so they’d give us groups of 40-50 kids to take away, with just two of us teachers there. So you might have 40 on your own and the other teacher might have had only ten kids and they would go somewhere else with the PE teacher. So there wasn’t a lot you could do but I always kept jobs in sports throughout my career. I also served as an officer for the London borough of Waltham Forest when I was in charge of various sport facilities for them.

You also entered the world of football management where you took charge of non league sides Wingate and Finchley as well as Barking. What was that experience like for you?

Micky: It was interesting because in those days I had access to a lot of the football division one sides. I knew them or had played against their reserves and so I knew players that I thought were quite useful and a lot of them had never made the grade in the first division. So I picked up players from Tottenham and Arsenal, I had quite a few good young players at Wingate and we had a good side. That football scene was very difficult because although they weren’t professional they were all getting money on the side, somebody was giving them whatever they were giving them, and if you gave a player ten pounds a week then another club would want him and they’d offer him 30. So you had to offer him 35 and so on. The person who was putting the money up couldn’t sustain it, you never played in front of big crowds and so you never got any gate income. So it was really going down a dead end street, you could never really acquire anything unless you’ve got a millionaire behind you and in those days I didn’t have any sort of thing. But it was interesting because you gave a bit of insight to some young players who were with pro clubs who didn’t make it for whatever reason. I managed to pick up some good players and over a long period I had Bill Dodge play for me, David Gillingwater and Cliff Jones after they had finished. And because I knew people and knew what they could do I was able to pick them up in those days, we even had an ex Spurs side where we had Alfie Stokes and Johnny Brooks and people like that, and we would play against various teams for charity and everybody would get a fiver for playing. A fiver in those days was a fair amount of money, I think if I’d have made a name for myself in football and not been injured then I think I’d have ended up in management afterwards.

Despite your all too short career in the game how do you look back on your time at the club that signed you as a teenager?

Micky: Well it was certainly an experience. The thing that disappoints me is all the years that I’ve been away from the club and don’t forget I finished before 1960. Anything that they have done to commemorate the ground or anything like that they’ve never, ever invited me there. They only gave me, I say only £500 pounds when I got injured and that in today’s terms is a pittance. What can you get with £500 pounds? So I haven’t got great feelings for Tottenham, I can understand that hundreds of players have passed through the system since I was there, but my life changed because of what happened playing for them. But they showed no desire to assist me in anyway, they gave me the 500 and that was the end of it. When they had their centenary they invited players going way back but they never invited me, and when they decided to close the ground they invited people like Ossis Ardilles and yes people wouldn’t have remembered me. I understand that, but the club could have invited me back, never had I ever been there as a guest of the club. The strange thing is that I got more assistance from the Arsenal then at Tottenham, because when I worked for the council, Arsenal wanted a training ground after they had moved to the Emirates. And I was in charge of leisure facilities at Waltham Forest particularly in football terms, and I managed to find them a ground, and they were very appreciative. Anytime that I wanted a ticket to the Arsenal I could phone up Liam Brady or David Court or anybody like that, but I couldn’t do that at Tottenham and I find that very strange. It’s strange that I felt more benefit from contact with Tottenham’s greatest rivals rather than the club I played for. In fact if my grandson turned out to be a player I’d send him to Arsenal, but that’s sour grapes.

After all these years what does Spurs still mean to you?

Micky: Unfortunately very little, I have no feeling of connection with them at all, in fact I couldn’t care less whether they win, lose or draw to be honest. The teams that I like to see play are Manchester City or years ago it would have been the Arsenal. But I have no feeling of connection with Spurs because connections are a two way street. I could have been a top player if I hadn’t have been injured and they didn’t help me in anyway after my injury. They didn’t contact me to see if there was anything they could help me with in terms of bettering my career. Goodbye your injured, you’ve got a life threatening injury and I nearly lost my leg and so they said goodbye. So I don’t feel any loyalty to them let’s put it that way.

Spurs under 21’s 4-0 Gillingham: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 4-0 Gillingham: (match report)

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Despite the fact that Wayne Burnett’s development side was somewhat depleted due to the ongoing international break, and the fact that they were missing several key players to injury. Spurs’ under 21 side put in a heroic, remarkably controlled and downright impressive performance to overcome league one side Gillingham 4-0, in their second group game of this seasons Checkatrade trophy, on Tuesday evening. Played at the Valley (Charlton Athletics ground) due to essential pitch work at Gillingham’s Priestfield stadium, Tuesday nights game had a bit of an odd feel to it. A rather low number of 308 spectators attended the game at the Valley but for those that did make the trip to south London they got to witness a more hungry, energetic and technical Spurs side play league one Gillingham off the park. Our young side which included the likes of Rodel Richards, Jamie Bowden and Paris Maghoma in the starting eleven, totally humiliated the Gills to move up to second place in the group. To put our win into context, Gillingham fielded a strong side which wasn’t that different to the one that had beaten Portsmouth 2-0 in league one, at the weekend. Burnett’s side went into Tuesday’s game with one point to their name, and a win in normal time against Gillingham was essential if they wanted to strengthen their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages. Our youngsters started the game positively much like they had done in the previous fixture against Crawley. We passed the ball around well and managed to hold our own against an experienced Gills side which included the likes of Max Ehmer and Tom Eaves in Steve Lovell’s starting eleven. After contesting a fairly close first half which had seen Burnett’s side have the better chances. His youngsters took the lead right on the stroke of half time courtesy of a goal from the ever impressive Jack Roles, following an incisive attacking move from the Spurs youngsters. Our back three of Jonathan Dinzeyi, Japhet Tanganga and George Marsh defended superbly well to thwart a Gillingham fight back at the beginning of the second half.

Burnett’s side doubled their lead in the 57th minute of time through Paris Maghoma after the 17 year old had played a clever one – two with Roles on the edge of the Gillingham box, before firing home from inside the penalty area with  a really composed finish. Spurs controlled the game for the final half an hour or so of proceedings. They humiliated what could only be described as a lacklustre Gillingham side which exhibited a serious lack of desire to mount a fight back against Spurs. Burnett’s teenagers made it 3-0 in the 82nd minute courtesy of a well deserved goal from left back Jaden Brown. And Spurs put the icing on the cake in the 93rd minute after substitute Dylan Duncan won a spot kick which he duly converted to round off a hugely impressive 4-0 victory for our development side. And in doing so they had created a bit of club history by becoming the first Spurs team to win a game in the Checkatrade trophy since its inception. The young Spurs lads from Bulls Cross now have the chance to qualify into the knockout stages of the competition in their final group game against Portsmouth. A win against the league one leaders next month would also result in them winning the group. Burnett was missing the likes of Luke Amos, Anthony Georgiou and Shayon Harrison for the trip to the Valley this resulted in him fielding a host of players from the clubs under 18 side. Alfie Whiteman returned to the development side to start in goal following his time with the first team. Burnett and Bracewell opted to go for the 3-5-2 formation for the Checkatrade trophy game against Gillingham. Although this would later revert into a 5-3-2 formation during the second half, the back five of Hinds, Marsh, Tanganga, Dinzeyi and Brown lined up in front of the Tottenham goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman. Whilst the central midfield trio of Paris Maghoma, captain Oliver Skipp and Jamie Bowden lined up in the centre of the park. And whilst the inform Jack Roles was more of a shadow striker, Spurs lined up with two out and out strikers in the Cypriot youth international and second year scholar Rodel Richards who made his first appearance for the development side.

The so called home side got the game underway at the Valley in front of the 308 enthusiastic supporters who had made the trip to the home of Gillingham’s arch rivals. After some good early passing moves by Burnett’s side, both teams were scrapping for possession in the opening stages of the game. However, the young Lilywhites looked the sharper of the two sides in the early periods of the game, and the ever present Oliver Skipp managed to play a perfectly weighted through ball to set Richards racing through on goal. However, the 18 year old was adjudged to have been in an offside position when the pass was made, by the linesman on the near side. Paris Maghoma volleyed wide shortly afterwards from inside the Gillingham box after his following corner kick had been headed away by a Gillingham defender. Elliot List poked wide Max Ehmer’s inviting cross narrowly ajar of the Tottenham goal at the near post shortly afterwards, as the Gills threatened the Spurs defence for the first time in the game. Alfie Whiteman then gathered Luke O’Neills fierce strike from range as both sides attempted to get a foothold on the game. The game had been played at quite a high tempo from both sides during the opening 15 or so minutes. Burnett’s 

lads then created two good chances in quick succession, first through left back Jaden Brown after he received Roles’ pass out on the left wing, before cutting inside and dragging an effort narrowly wide of Tom Hadler’s goal. And then through Jack Roles himself after the midfielder squandered a glorious chance for Spurs. Paris Maghoma shifted the ball out to Brown on the left wing and the Tottenham fullback whipped the ball into the danger zone. However, his cross was headed away by Gills defender Ben Chapman, but only into the path of Roles on the edge of the penalty area. Roles caught the ball on the half volley, and whilst he would usually gobble up chances of that nature, Roles hadn’t caught the ball as cleanly as he would have liked to, and it ended flashing narrowly wide of Hadler’s left hand post much to the Tottenham midfielders bewilderment.

Jamie Bowden curled an effort over from range a couple of moments later as Spurs continued to ask questions of the Gillingham defence. Alfie Whiteman dealt comfortably with Chapman’s ambitious volley from long range at the other end, as Spurs continued to control the flow of the game. Burnett’s side were seeing a lot more of the ball. The fast paced nature of the game continued, Maghoma almost managed to set Richards through on goal with a nicely weighted defence splitting pass before O’Neill fired an effort wide from long range a couple of moments after Gillingham captain Max Ehmer had caused a bit of panic amongst the Spurs defence with a menacing cross into the Spurs box. Thankfully Jaden Brown was on hand to clear the ball out for a corner kick. Brown had been exploiting Gillingham’s defensive weaknesses down the left flank and the potent teenager managed to cause more problems for their defence when he pumped a dangerous ball into the penalty area. Unable to clear it out properly the ball came out to Roles in the centre of the six yard box however, the 19 year old pulled out of taking a shot at the last moments, amidst a sea of Gillingham defenders. Roles was taken out from behind by a sliding challenge from Chapman a couple of minutes later which resulted in the Gillingham player going into the referees book. Rodel Richards did well to win a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the oppositions penalty area, right on the stroke of half time. Paris Maghoma’s resulting effort flew into the bottom of the Gillingham wall but the ball came back out to the 17 year old, whose following effort at goal was blocked by Ben Chapman. Burnett’s side finished the half strongly and a matter of moments after Maghoma had almost managed to pick out Richards inside the box, Spurs took a well deserved lead right on the stroke of halftime through Jack Roles. It was a sharp incisive move from the Spurs youngsters which had managed to carve open the Gillingham defence with such ease. A clever one – two between Maghoma and Richards resulted in the former travelling with the ball down the right hand side of the box. Despite the run of Roles who was ghosting in at the far post, the midfielder opted to go for goal.

Maghoma’s powerfully struck low effort stung the palms of the diving Hadler who was unable to get a hold of the ball. The razor sharp Roles was quickest to the loose ball and the alert midfielder managed to get to it before Hadler, to chip the ball into the roof of the goal. It was a really smart finish from the 19 year old, 1-0. Gillingham responded through Elliot List who met Luke O’Neills cross inside the Spurs box, but the centre forward ended up volleying the ball well wide of Whiteman’s goal, to bring to an end an extremely positive first half for Burnett’s side. Spurs got the second half back underway at the Valley as they looked to protect their slender 1-0 advantage over the league one side. Steve Lovell’s Gillingham started the half well and it didn’t take them long to test the Spurs defence. List forced Whiteman to tip his header over the crossbar after the Gillingham forward had connected with O’Neill’s cross in the six yard box. Japhet Tanganga made an important clearance at the back post to deal with another testing delivery from the Gillingham fullback a couple of minutes later before Marsh blocked Garmston’s cross, the former West Brom man then fired wide from the edge of the penalty area. Despite the home sides good start to the half, Burnett’s sharper and more incisive side were never far away from hurting the Gills. And that’s exactly what Burnett’s side managed to do in the 57th of minute of time through their most influential player on the park, Paris Maghoma. The goal had come from Tom Hadler’s long kick up field which Tanganga had won in the centre of the park. The Spurs defender headed the ball to Roles on the edge of the penalty area. Roles smartly swivelled round before unselfishly slipping the ball into Maghoma down the left side of the penalty area. Maghoma took a touch before calmly stepping inside and firing an unstoppable low effort past the Gillingham goalkeeper, and into the middle of the goal to make it 2-0 the young Lilywhites. 

Burnett’s side were in full control of the game and after doubling their advantage they seemed to grow in confidence. We produced another attacking move shortly after the restart when Hinds found Roles in the centre of midfield. Roles played a clever pass through to Richards who managed to trick his way into the penalty area before Tucker came across him to intercept the ball. Navid Nasseri responded for Gillingham by dragging an effort across the face of Whiteman’s goal. And the Tottenham goalkeeper who had, had very little to do during the game came out of his goal to get to the ball before substitute Brandon Hanlon could get to it, a couple of minutes later. Spurs had dropped deeper and the likes of Bowden and Maghoma were now playing in more defensive positions. The tireless George Marsh made a vital defensive intervention to prevent Eaves from being played through on goal down the left side of the penalty area. J’Neil Bennett replaced the highly influential Jack Roles shortly afterwards as Spurs continued to control the flow of the game. Whiteman made an easy save from Eaves deflected effort before Spurs caught the Kent club at the other end to make it 3-0. It was another well worked passing move from Burnett’s side which started with Maghoma inside Spurs’ own half after he passed the ball out to Marsh on the right wing. Marsh passed the ball to Skipp who travelled forwards with the ball before poking it through to the newly introduced J’Neil Bennett who had only the goalkeeper to beat. However, the 16 year olds tame effort was hit straight at Hadler who could only parry it into the feet of Brown down the left side of the penalty area. Brown took a touch before calmly slotting the ball past Hadler who had to managed to get back on his line in time, 3-0. Luis Binks came onto replace Jonathan Dinzeyi shortly afterwards to play against his boyhood club in what must have been an incredibly special occasion for the 17 year old and his family. Dylan Duncan also entered the frame when he replaced Tariq Hinds in the 85th minute. Nasseri flashed an effort wide of goal a couple of minutes later as Gillingham started to fade into the background as we entered the final stages of the game.

Paris Maghoma went on a good attacking foray into the Gillingham penalty area before being intercepted by a defender after he had latched onto Binks pass. And deep in stoppage time Spurs put the icing on the cake when they made it 4-0, the goal came from a penalty kick which had been won by Duncan after he had darted into the box to receive Bennett’s pass before being brought down by the sliding Jack Tucker. Without any hesitation the referee Antony Coggins pointed straight to the spot. Duncan elected to take the penalty and the 19 year old duly obliged by cooly tucking the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal as Hadler went the wrong way, 4-0. That was the final piece of action from a remarkable and hugely impressive game from Spurs’ perspective. Burnett’s team of teenagers managed to control the game against the league one side from start to finish, it was such a mature and well measured performance from our young lads. Our emphatic win over the Gills on Tuesday evening has now put us in an excellent position of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Checkatrade trophy. Our final group game will be against already qualified Portsmouth at Fratton Park, next month. Meanwhile, our under 23’s next PL2 game is against Leicester City on Friday the 19th of October.

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: Whiteman returned to action for Burnett’s side to put in a solid performance at the Valley on Tuesday evening. Whilst he didn’t have an awful lot to do, Whiteman produced some good saves and made some important decisions throughout the game.
  • George Marsh: Marsh was the beating heart of the Spurs defence in our Checkatrade trophy game against Gillingham. Marsh operated on the right hand side of the Tottenham back three, and the 19 year old put in a commanding performance and helped to neutralise the threat of Gillingham centre forward Tom Eaves. Marsh read the game well and made some hugely important defensive interventions and clearances.
  • Japhet Tanganga: Tanganga lined up in the centre of the Tottenham defence and like his teammate George Marsh, the 19 year old put in a really effective and mature performance. Dominant in the air and strong in the challenge, the centre half was rock solid for Spurs. He maintained good positioning throughout the game and he didn’t put a foot wrong as far as I could see. Tanganga also played a part in our second goal of the game.
  • Jonathan Dinzeyi: The 18 year old played on the left side of our ‘ back three ‘ and once again Dinzeyi looked really composed and made a positive contribution to the game. Dinzeyi made a number of important challenges and blocks and he helped to play it out from the back well.
  • Tariq Hinds: The right back was solid and did a good job at protecting that side of the pitch even though Gillingham didn’t play with a lot of width about their game. Hinds read the game well and defended tightly under pressure whilst also going on some nice attacking forays down the right wing.
  • Jamie Bowden: Once again the 17 year old central midfielder took like a duck to water to playing against men. Bowden played on the right side of our midfield three and his calming presence really helped Spurs out defensively. Naturally deep lying, Bowden operated in a very Winks-esque manner. He helped to dictate play from deep, Bowden scrapped for every ball that came within five meters of him and his hard work at breaking up play and recycling possession helped the likes of Maghoma and Skipp to express themselves going forwards. Because of his skinny frame the Gillingham players tried to rough him up and they went in quite hard on him on numerous occasions, but it didn’t unsettle him in the slightest. Bowden often got into good pockets of space and his deftly accurate passing was so, so good. He is such a wonderful midfielder who is well ahead of his years.
  • Oliver Skipp: Young Oliver Skipp put in a masterful midfield performance against Gillingham. Operating in the centre of a midfield three, Skipp was so influential to the way in which Spurs played. He was everywhere across the middle of the park. He controlled the game and put in a real shift at both ends of the pitch. He read the game to perfection and he dominated  in the centre of the park. His passing and vision were superb and I really liked how advanced a role he played against Gillingham particularly towards the latter stages of the game when he was essentially playing as a number ten.  Skipp would often go on driving runs through the middle.
  • Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below.
  • Jaden Brown: Brown put in an excellent shift at left back both defensively and offensively. Brown’s pace and many good crosses caused the Gillingham defence a whole host of problems. The 19 year old also got on the scoresheet courtesy of a really clinical finish towards the end of the game.
  • Jack Roles: It is little coincidence that our development sides best performances this season have all come with Roles on the pitch. The Cyprus under 21 international put in an outstanding performance against the Gills. Playing as a shadow striker to Rodel Richards, Roles’ guile, creativity and high work rate were all hugely impressive on the night. He opened the scoring for us with a typical poachers finish from close range before assisting Maghoma for the second after some great skill on the edge of the six yard box. He was so influential and his movement and razor sharp instincts could have resulted in him getting a couple of more goals on another day. Hopefully he will continue to start for Burnett’s side over the coming games.
  • Rodel Richards: The 18 year old made an impressive debut at this level, he lead the line well. Worked incredibly hard and tracked back in order to help out his teammates at the other end of the pitch. His movement in and behind the Gillingham defence was top class.
  • J’Neil Bennett: He put in a lively late cameo and went on some promising surging runs. The 16 year old also got the assist for Brown’s late goal.
  • Luis Binks: Binks replaced Dinzeyi at lcb late on in the game and in doing so he got to play against his boyhood club. Binks made some nice passes and won the vast majority of his aerial duels.
  • Dylan Duncan: It was an influential late cameo from the 19 year old central midfielder, who won a penalty in stoppage time which he cooly converted from the spot.

My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. Showcasing his midfield versatility throughout the game, Maghoma put in another match winning performance for Burnett’s side. Maghoma started the game off on the left side of our midfield trio. The 17 year old who astonishingly hasn’t been called up for England at youth level during the current international break, was immense against Gillingham. He was so hungry and determined to win the ball in the middle of the park and he often tracked back in order to help out our back three particularly towards the end of the game, when he was playing a much deeper role alongside Bowden. The 17 year old read the game so well against fully grown men, his passing was nice and slick and he constantly looked around whenever he had the ball at his feet. But for me the ever improving central midfielder reminded me a lot of Dele Alli in how he played in that central midfield role. Maghoma’s movement and desire to get into good positions in and around the six yard box was great to see. And it paid off once again with the teenager being directly involved in two of our four goals. His assist for Roles’ opener came about purely because he showed the intent to drive at the Gillingham defence after playing a quick one – two with Richards. Whilst his goal in the second half was taken really well and with such composure too after he had been played in by Roles inside the penalty area. He managed to combine flair and creativity with sheer grit and determination to win every ball which came his way, he was so mature and disciplined. Maghoma has now been directly involved in eight goals for Spurs this season.

Gillingham: Hadler, O’Neill, Ehmer (c), Tucker, Garmston, Parrett (Reilly 46), Rees, Chapman (Byrne 46), Nasseri, Eaves, List (Hanlan 66). Substitutes (not used): Holy, Huckle, Simpson, Stevenson.

Spurs: Whiteman, Hinds (Duncan 85), Brown, Marsh, Tanganga, Dinzeyi (Binks 83), Maghoma, Bowden, Roles (Bennett 76), Skipp (c), Richards. Substitutes (not used): Austin, Lyons-Foster.

Goals: Spurs – Roles 44, Maghoma 57, Brown 82, Duncan 90+3.

Yellow cards: Gillingham – Chapman 40, Byrne 62, Ehmer 89.

Referee: Antony Coggins.

Venue: The Valley, Charlton.

Attendance: 308.

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

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 3

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Jack Roles – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Spurs under 21’s versus Gillingham: (match preview)

Spurs under 21’s versus Gillingham: (match preview)

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Originally scheduled to take place at Gillingham’s Priestfield stadium, tomorrow nights Checkatrade trophy tie will be taking place at the home of Gillingham’s arch rivals Charlton Athletic. As Wayne Burnett’s development side take on the league once club in their second game of the group stages. In many ways it is a must win game for the young Spurs lads if they are to have any chance of qualifying from the group. After putting in an excellent performance with a very young side again Crawley Town in their opening game, Burnett’s side managed to grind out a 1-1 draw against the league two side. Despite this they ended up missing out on the extra bonus point on offer after they lost the resulting penalty shootout. With it being the international break, Burnett will be missing the likes of TJ Eyoma and Troy Parrott. However, what is more concerning is the fact that we are missing so many of our players to injury. Luke Amos picked up a horrible season ending injury against Blackburn in our last PL2 game. Whilst our top scorer this season Shayon Harrison also picked up an injury in that game, and the 21 year old had since undergone an operation. We will also have to do without the likes of Anthony Georgiou and Shilow Tracey. Though with this brings an invaluable experience for some of the members of high our flying under squad to step up, and they certainly didn’t let us down when called upon against Crawley Town. Burnett’s side have had a bit of an up and down start to the league season but their last game against Blackburn Rovers showed plenty of positives after we overcame them 3-1 up in Lancashire. Tomorrow’s game will provide our lads with another excellent opportunity to take on EFL opposition in front of a big crowd, and on this occasion it will be at a renowned stadium, in the Valley. When you think about the experience and the quality that Gillingham have in their side albeit a much weakened side for tomorrow nights game. You’re talking about the likes of DRC international Gabriel Zakuani, former Spurs midfielder Dean Parrett and consistent forward Tom Eaves.

Some fairly encouraging news for Spurs is that Steve Lovell’s Gillingham have endured a difficult start to the league one season. The Gills occupy 19th place in the league and the club from Kent have only picked up three wins in the league this season. Despite suffering a 4-0 defeat to Portsmouth in their opening group game of this competition, ironically Gillingham beat Pompey 2-0 at the weekend (in the league) something which will give them confidence going into this cup game. Steve Lovell’s side must beat us in 90 minutes to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages. One player who I could see causing us a few problems down the right hand side is former West Brom wing back Bradley Garmston. I would assume that Hinds will be tasked with dealing with the former Ireland under 21 international. It should be a really competitive game in south London tomorrow night and one that will provide Burnett’s youngsters with such a great experience of coming up against a men’s team. It will be a special night in particular for our young centre back Luis Binks (17) if he is involved. Binks is from Gillingham and he has supported the Gills all his life. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck for tomorrow’s game. And I shall be reporting from the Valley and will have my match report out by Wednesday evening. 

My predicted lineup: (3-4-2-1) Glover, Dinzeyi, Marsh (c), Lyons-Foster, Brown, Bowden, Skipp, Hinds, Maghoma, Bennett, Roles.

Subs from: Austin, Binks, Duncan, White, Markanday, Richards.

Injured/unavailable: Jonathan De Bie, Maximus Tainio, Timothy Eyoma, Malachi Walcott, Luke Amos, Anthony Georgiou, Shilow Tracey, Shayon Harrison and Troy Parrott.

Doubtful: Japhet Tanganga, Jamie Reynolds, Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Kazaiah Sterling.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Gills winger Josh Parker is a player who really impressed me when I went to watch Gillingham play Charlton last season, to watch our loanee Connor Ogilvie in action. The Antigua and Barbuda international was a constant goal threat for the Kent club throughout that game. Playing as an out and out striker against Charlton on that day, Parker usually plays out on the wing. The former Red Star Belgrade forward has two goals from nine appearances in league one this season. For those wondering about Connor Ogilvie who is on loan at Gillingham from Spurs, he is currently injured, although I’m sure he wouldn’t be eligible to play against us if he was fit.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/09/30/spurs-under-23s-3-1-blackburn-rovers-match-report/

Spurs under 18’s 7-0 Norwich City: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 7-0 Norwich City: (match report)

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It was just another day at the office for Matt Wells sparkling under 18 side on Saturday morning, when they overcame bottom of the table Norwich City 7-0 at Hotspur Way, to strengthen their place at the top of the southern division. Sharp, incisive and often shifting shape, Wells high flying side had to do without the likes of J’Neil Bennett, Jamie Bowden and Rodel Richards who were presumably being rested for Wednesdays Checkatrade trophy game against Gillingham in mind. However, we still started with a strong side of which included the likes of Troy Parrott, Dilan Markanday and Luis Binks in the starting eleven. Spurs’ attacking high intensity football blew what was an incredibly lacklustre Norwich side apart. Wells side bossed the game from start to finish against a canaries side who offered virtually nothing going forwards. David Wright’s side were woeful but we made them look that way. We didn’t even have to play at full capacity to tear the visitors apart with our exciting brand of attacking football. It was all one way traffic at Hotspur Way, and after starting the game brightly we took the lead in the 12th minute courtesy of a glorious free kick from Harvey White. From that moment onwards we dominated the game with our fluent attacking football, constant shape shifting and deftness in and around the six yard box. Rayan Clarke made it 2-0 on the half hour mark with an unstoppable strike before captain Armando Shashoua made it 3-0 on the stroke of half time. The second half was like men against boys, and as David Wright’s side tired we appeared to up our game. A four goal blitz in a high tempo second half saw goals from Markanday, Clarke, Parrott and Pochettino complete a stunning 7-0 win over Norwich. And we could so easily have hit double figures, such was our dominance on the game. Matt Wells decided to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Oluwayemi keeping his place in goal behind a strong back four which consisted of Tainio, Statham, Binks and Cirkin. A quick word of warning, my notepad got absolutely saturated in the pouring rain at Hotspur Way yesterday so if this report appears not to be as in-depth as the others I can only apologise!

Harvey White and the captain Armando Shashoua manned the centre of the park whilst the attacking trio of Markanday, Patterson and Clarke lined up behind Troy Parrott, who led the line for the third time this season for our under 18’s. The visitors got the game underway at a bitterly cold and cloudy Hotspur Way, which contained an interesting sea of advertising hoardings in Portuguese, around the pitch that the game was being played on. I believe that this was in preparation for the Brazil national team training here over the forthcoming international break. After starting the game well it took Wells side less than a couple of minutes before they created their first real chance of the game, which came from a corner kick. Shashoua decided to play it short to Patterson who picked the ball up on the right flank before cutting inside onto his left foot, and then firing a low effort wide of Daniel Barden’s near post, from the edge of the penalty area. Harvey White then made an important piece of defending to win the ball off of Aaron Ekumah, who went speeding dangerously down the right wing at the other end. But our very own Dilan Markanday went on an even better attacking foray a couple of moments later which caused him to unbalance several Norwich players, after he went on an excellent weaving run from the right flank. The 17 year old glided past several Norwich defenders like a young George Best before ignoring the likes of Patterson and Clarke as he tried to take the ball into the penalty area where he was intercepted by Denzelle Olopade. Phoenix Patterson then clipped the ball across the face of the Norwich goal after latching onto Clarke’s cross inside the box, a couple of moments after Markanday’s chance. And the early pressure which had been applied by Wells side paid off, when the young Lilywhites took the lead inside the 12th minute of the game. The goal came from a free kick which was excellently dispatched by the inform Harvey White after he stepped up to take it, after Armando Shashoua had won the free kick right on the edge of the Norwich penalty area.

The set piece specialist stood up confidently before bending the ball over the Norwich wall and into the top right hand side of the goal, leaving Daniel Barden helpless as he tried to get to the ball. It was a glorious effort from White which had such curl on the ball to get it over the Norwich wall from such close range, 1-0. The lively Phoenix Patterson had an effort on goal blocked by Andrew Omobamidele shortly after the restart as Spurs went in search of their second of the game. However, Norwich almost drew level after catching us on the break but for a superb goal line clearance by Maxwell Statham. The move from the so far quiet canaries had caught us by surprise after Ekumah threaded the ball through to Isak Thorvaldsson down the right. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Oluwayemi came rushing off of his goal line as Thorvaldsson entered the penalty area. However, the Norwich forward managed to jink past the Tottenham goalkeeper before then trying to clip the ball home from an acute angle, but Statham had done superbly well to get back to make an excellent sliding block on the line to keep Spurs’ 1-0 lead intact. And the 18 year old centre half made another important defensive contribution to the game a couple of minutes later when he cleared Thorvaldsson’s menacing cross inside the penalty area before Tyrese Omotoye could get to the ball. After going on a good powerful run at the other end Rayan Clarke had a cross gathered by Daniel Barden a couple of moments before Wells side hit the woodwork through the potent Shashoua. The Tottenham captain was lurking down the right hand side of the penalty area when Dennis Cirkin’s low deflected cross managed to trickle through to him. Shashoua looked up before smashing the ball against the crossbar from close range with a venemous effort. However, the linesman on the near side had raised his flag for offside. But none of that was to matter, as Rayan Clarke netted our second of the game a matter of minutes later and right on the half hour mark.

Clarke was picked out by a superb long pass from White to the the winger out on the left wing. And Clarke only had one thing on his mind after he cut inside onto his right foot on the edge of the penalty area before rifling an unstoppable Townsend-esque effort into the top right hand corner of Barden’s goal, 2-0. Joshua Oluwayemi made his first save of the game a couple of minutes later to deny former Spur Anis Mehmeti’s deflected low effort. Wells side maintained their high work rate and their creativity towards the end of the half was starting to really wear down the Norwich defence. After the energetic Dilan Markanday had won the ball off of Norwich’s Louis Lomas inside his own half, the Tottenham forward quickly fed the ball into the so far uninvolved Parrott down the right. Parrott tried to square the ball for Patterson inside the penalty area but he couldn’t quite pull it off. However, Spurs made it 3-0 on the 39th minute through Armando Shashoua. It was another very fast move from Spurs as Patterson passed the ball out to Cirkin on the left wing. The fullbacks low cross took a deflection off of Ekumah but the ball managed to squirm out to Shashoua down the right side of the penalty area. And the Tottenham captain made no mistake from close range as he managed to slot the ball past Barden and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. That was despite the fact that the Norwich goalkeeper had tried his best to close down the goal for Shashoua by spreading his body well, 3-0. A lively final couple of minutes to the half ensued, Patterson had a promising cross cleared by Omobamidele before Troy Parrott had his first shot on goal of the game. The 16 year old tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but his effort took a hefty deflection off of Lomas before Barden gathered the ball. Maximus Tainio then made an important block at the other end to thwart Matt Richardson’s effort to bring to an end, an excellent half of football from Matt Wells side.

Spurs got the second half underway as the gushing rain started to come down onto the pitch. And we started the half exceptionally well, Rayan Clarke came desperately close to scoring his second goal of the game after receiving the ball out on the left wing, before cutting inside and rattling Barden’s near hand post with a thumping effort on goal. And a couple of minutes later the 17 year old was involved in our fourth goal of the game after he found Patterson out on the right wing. The 18 year old sent a low cross into the penalty area which found Markanday in the centre of the box. The forward sorted his feet out quickly before forcing a good stop out of Barden. However, Markanday made no mistakes on the follow up as he got to the ball before the Norwich goalkeeper before slotting the ball home, 4-0. Harvey White did well to clear Louis Lomas’s cross shortly after the restart as Spurs looked to build out from the back and extend their already impressive lead. Norwich goalkeeper Daniel Barden did well to thwart Troy Parrott’s side footed effort from 20 yards out before the Dubliner came so close to meeting fellow Dubliner Dennis Cirkin’s cross inside the box a couple of moments later. However, Parrott finally managed to get on the scoresheet in the 60th minute courtesy of a wonderful pass from White. The midfielder managed to pick Parrott out in the centre of the box with a wonderfully weighted cross from the right wing. Parrott attacked it first time and the ball ended up hitting the post off of his knee, but the striker managed to get to the loose ball before Barden to tap home from close range, 5-0. Spurs were playing the game at a phenomenal speed and they managed to make it 6-0 less than a minute after Parrott’s goal. Another fluent passing move saw the Irishman shift the ball to Shashoua on the edge of the penalty area. The Spurs captain quickly released the ball to Clarke down the left side of the penalty area and the wide man clinically drilled the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal to make it 6-0 to Spurs.

Spurs continued to dominate the game and they had a chance to make it 7-0 after Dennis Cirkin had been brought down from behind down the left side of the penalty area by Denzelle Olopade, this resulted in the referee Stephen Bates pointing straight to the spot. The usual penalty taker Harvey White let Rayan Clarke take the penalty as he was on a hat-trick. However, Patterson went over to Clarke and clearly persuaded him to hand over the ball to him, but his powerful low spot kick was well saved to his left by the diving Barden. This didn’t effect Spurs in the slightest and they were back attacking the Norwich defence a matter of seconds later after Parrott played in Markanday down the right wing. The tricky winger cut inside onto his left before firing the ball onto the crossbar with a venomous effort from the edge of the penalty area. Phoenix Patterson and Dilan Markanday left the field shortly afterwards in place of Thorpe and Pochettino for the remaining 25 minutes of the game. And centre half Jubril Okedina entered the frame a couple of minutes later when he replaced Luis Binks at centre half. Troy Parrot had a volley from close range excellently blocked by Lomas after he went to meet Tainio’s cross inside the box before Joshua Oluwayemi made a comfortable catch to deal with Atli Barkarson’s cross. Spurs were still pushing for more goals and we came close to extending our lead after the newly introduced Elliot Thorpe played in Shashoua through the middle. The midfielder saw his initial effort saved by Barden before racing to meet the loose ball and then poking it onto the left post. And the influential captain made a defence splitting a couple of minutes later to set Parrott galavanting down the left side, with only Barden to beat. However, it seemed as if the young Irishman had too much time to think about where he was going to put the ball, and in the end he hit a rather tame low effort which was well saved by the feet of the Norwich goalkeeper.

The young centre forward made amends for his miss when he assisted Maurizio Pochettino for our seventh and final goal of the game in the 79th minute. Parrott played a nicely weighted pass through to Pochettino down the right hand side of the box. The Barcelona born winger steadied himself before finishing the move off with an excellent finish into the roof of the Norwich goal, 7-0. A flurry of late chances came the young Lilywhites way as they managed to maintain their high intensity after Oluwayemi made a decent save to stop substitute Jaden Thompson-Brissett’s effort from range. The electric Rayan Clarke fired narrowly wide for Wells side after Thorpe had picked him out on the left wing. Elliot Thorpe then forced an excellent save out of Barden with a thumping effort from close range before Clarke fired an effort wide of goal, but it was Troy Parrott who had the best late chance of the game. Once again it was Shashoua who played the striker through on goal with a clever pass, but Parrott lacked the composure needed to beat Barden and his effort was straight at the Norwich goalkeeper. Rayan Clarke blazed an effort wide deep in stoppage time in what was the final notable piece of action of the game, as Matt Wells free scoring side inflicted a humiliating 7-0 defeat over what was a very poor Norwich side on the day, but then again we seem to make every team that we face look poor. Our under 18’s next league game comes against Aston Villa on the 20th of October.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: Oluwayemi was a spectator for the vast majority of the game and the 17 year old had the great pleasure of watching his teammates tear apart the Norwich defence. Oluwayemi made two saves throughout the whole game, both of which were incredibly routine saves. Nevertheless, Oluwayemi managed to record his third clean sheet of the season. 
  • Maximus Tainio: The right back anticipated danger well and he put in a strong and very solid performance against Norwich’s Atil Barkarson, and he managed to keep the Norwich man in check. Tainio made a significant sliding block towards the end of the first half.
  • Maxwell Statham: The commanding centre back put in another excellent performance for Matt Wells side albeit against a not very threatening Norwich attack. Statham was so assured and composed in his defending and the 18 year old read the game exceptionally well. His passing was good, as was his positioning and aerial dominance. However, it was Statham’s superb goal saving block early on in the game from Thorvaldsson’s effort, which proved to be so important. He made a couple of good interceptions during that half and he certainly made the Norwich forwards aware of his presence. The centre half’s decision making was excellent on the day.
  • Luis Binks: Like his teammate Maxwell Statham, Luis Binks didn’t put a foot wrong at centre half. The 17 year old who was recently called up for Scotland under 18’s has started the season superbly. Even though the canaries were really poor going forwards, Binks impressed me with his decision making and positioning. In addition his trademark cross field diagonal balls were sublime once again. He was so mature in his play that it’s easy to forget that he’s still only a first year scholar. I would expect him to be involved against Gillingham in midweek.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The left back put in an excellent performance on Saturday morning, both defensively and offensively speaking. He read the game well and defended impeccably against his old teammate Anis Mehmeti. Cirkin maintained excellent balance throughout the game and he defended that side of the pitch tightly. He was also a real threat going forwards and he would often link up well with Clarke down the flank. Often overlapping his man, the 16 year old whipped some nice balls into the box and he managed to set up Shashoua’s goal on the stroke of halftime.
  • Harvey White: My motm, see below. 
  • Armando Shashoua: The skipper was a real live wire in the centre of midfield and he was one of our most creative players. Excellent at going forwards, Armando’s excellent link up play with the likes of Parrott and Patterson, and his movement in the six yard box was just superb. Shashoua  scored a well taken goal in the first half and the 17 year old could have had a couple more. The creative midfielder was so good on the ball and during the second half alone he managed to put Parrott through on goal on two separate occasions. Shashoua has now been directly involved in seven of our league goals this season.
  • Dilan Markanday: With his many weaving runs, high work rate and dazzling skills. The ever impressive winger danced around the park like a young George Best. His movement against the canaries was incredible and his ability to drive at the Norwich defence caused so many problems. The 17 year old was so creative down the right wing and his many menacing attacking forays (some of which were incredible to witness!) helped to create so many chances. Markanday scored a well taken goal in the second half and he went on to hit the woodwork later on in the game.
  • Phoenix Patterson: Patterson operated as a 10 for the Norwich game and all in all I thought he gave a good impression. He was involved in a lot of our attacking moves and he got an assist during the second half before he was brought off in place of Pochettino.
  • Rayan Clarke: The powerful left winger had a terrific game and he caused Norwich fullback Matt Richardson so many problems down that side of the pitch. Linking up well with teammate Dennis Cirkin down the left wing, Clarke posed a constant threat with his direct runs. And the 17 year old continued his fine start to the season by scoring a well deserved brace. It was a very Townsend-esque performance from the wide man who would often cut inside onto his right before testing the keeper with a typically powerful effort. Clarke took his two goals extremely well and on another day he could have added to that tally. Although at times he was a bit blinkered in the final third and instead of squaring for players in the box he would opt to go for glory himself. However, he was excellent throughout the game.
  • Troy Parrott: It was by no means the best game he’s ever had, the hardworking centre forward found himself slightly isolated for large periods of the game (particularly in the first half). Having said that he did chip in with another goal and assist and made many good runs through the middle, but he easily could have had a hat-trick against a really poor Norwich defence. The Dubliner missed two one on ones against the canaries. Parrott now heads off to Ireland for the international break and will be unable to play against Gillingham in midweek.
  • Elliot Thorpe: It was a really positive second half cameo from the superbly technical Welshman, who played just behind Parrott. His passing was crisp and he went on some nice little runs and came close to getting on the scoresheet but for an excellent save from Barden.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: The gaffers son had a lively cameo, and he topped of a good display with an excellently taken finish towards the end of the game.
  • Jubril Okedina: He slotted in seamlessly into the back four after replacing Binks and put in an assured performance.

My man of the match: Harvey White. For the second time in our last two under 18 matches, midfield anchorman Harvey White has had a profound impact on the way in which Matt Wells side have played. The central midfielder ran the show against Norwich with his creativity from deep. The 17 year old bossed the midfield against an incredibly lacklustre Norwich side and he could often be seen breaking up play and making important defensive interventions. Furthermore, the inform first year scholar had a hand in three of our seven goals. The scorer of a wonderfully taken free kick to open the scoring, White laid off a further two assists for his teammates. The first was a superb long diagonal pass to pick out Clarke on the left flank, and the second was an inch perfect cross to find Parrott inside the danger zone. His passing and vision is so good for such a young player, quite Shelvey-esque in many ways. He showed off his passing range with both feet against the canaries. Like Bowden, he scrapped for every ball and always looked so composed in what ever he did.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Tainio, Cirkin, White, Statham, Binks (Okedina 70), Markanday (Pochettino 64), A Shashoua (c), Parrott, Patterson (Thorpe 64), Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Mukendi.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19

Goals scored: J’Neil Bennett – 5

Troy Parrott – 5

Rayan Clarke – 4

Dilan Markanday – 4

Harvey White – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Armando Shashoua – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 7

Jamie Bowden – 5

Armando Shashoua – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Troy Parrott – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Rodel Richards – 1

Dilan Markanday -1

Rayan Clarke – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 3

Spurs under 18’s versus Norwich City: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Norwich City: (match preview)

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Matt Wells inform under 18 side resume league on Saturday when top of the table Spurs face bottom of the table Norwich City, at Hotspur Way. Two sides who have started the season in massively contrasting fashion, Wells high flying youngsters will really fancy their chances of consolidating their place at the top of the southern division with another win on Saturday morning. Norwich’s academy has gone through a period of great change over the last year or so and this has seen them lose a number of their hottest prospects. Most notable of which was the departure of highly rated winger Glenn Middleton who signed for Scottish side Rangers in January of this year. This significant change in the clubs youth set up has clearly affected the canaries form at under 18 level at least. Norwich have started the season with seven defeats from their opening seven matches and David Wright’s side albeit it without excellent Irish centre forward Adam Idah who has been promoted to the under 23’s, have only managed to score six goals so far this campaign, whilst conceding a total of 27. In addition to that Norwich haven’t won an away game in the league since September of 2017. After our under 19’s impressive 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the UEFA youth league in midweek, there’s a good possibility that Wells will rotate his side for Saturdays game. The likes of Rodel Richards, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and J’Neil Bennett could all find themselves being rested for our development sides Checkatrade trophy game against Gillingham next Wednesday. Especially as Burnett is missing a whole host of the more senior members of his side to injury. With Troy Parrott having not played a game for almost two weeks I would expect the Irishman to lead the line tomorrow before he heads off on international duty for Ireland. I’m also hoping to see the highly effective midfield partnership of Harvey White and Jamie Bowden start tomorrow, both players are an absolute joy to watch. I will be at Hotspur Way tomorrow reporting on the game and I shall have my report out by the following day.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Okedina, Statham, Binks, Cirkin, A.Shashoua (c), White, Patterson, Markanday, Clarke, Parrott.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Tainio, Thorpe, Mukendi, Cooper.

Injured/unavailable: Enock Asante and Malachi Walcott.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-5.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-0.

My one to watch: Former Spurs schoolboy Anis Mehmeti is a skilful attacking midfielder who signed scholarship terms with the canaries last summer upon leaving Spurs. Mehmeti impressed during Norwich’s 5-3 win over us last season and managed to get an assist during that game. He is a clever attacking player and the Spurs lads will know all too well of what he is capable of.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/10/02/spurs-under-18s-2-1-wolverhampton-wanderers-match-report/

 

Spurs under 19’s 1-1 Barcelona: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 1-1 Barcelona: (match report)

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Our under 19’s put in a highly commendable performance against the holders of the UEFA youth league Barcelona, on Wednesday afternoon at Hotspur Way, as Matt Wells under 19 side earned their second point of the campaign. It was important that Spurs got something out of their second group stage game of the competition after drawing their opener against Inter Milan by the same score line in game week one. Not only did our talented pool of players hold their own against one of the planets finest youth side but they were also the much better side. Wells lads were sharper and showed a lot more of attacking intent with the ball. Enjoying 53% of the possession Spurs managed four attempts on goal in what was a fiercely contested game of European football against a compact Barça side. Wells side included the likes of TJ Eyoma, Tashan Oakley-Boothe whilst the visitors also had their fair share of hot prospects. Most notable of which was the inclusion of Spain under 19 international Abel Ruiz who led the line for Denis Silva Puig’s side. Whilst it could be argued that we weren’t clinical enough in front of goal for all the chances that we created, I felt extremely proud and unsurprised by the fact that our lads had essentially outplayed one of the best sides in this competition, in front of the many thousands of those who were watching on television. We controlled the game in both half’s and injected an energy into the the game which the Catalans couldn’t match. After conceding a slightly disappointing goal from a set piece after Joan Rojas Castilla headed home in the 24th minute. The young Lilywhites responded well to going a goal down and after putting pressure on the Barcelona defence, Wells side drew level on the stroke of half time, courtesy of an excellent turn and finish from 18 year old centre forward Rodel Richards. Both sides pushed for a winner in the second half but both sets of players lacked that cutting edge as Spurs ended the game with a highly respectable point, to ensure that they are still in a great position to qualify from the group ahead of their next game against PSV later this month. I would like to thank Spurs for allowing me to report on yesterday’s game from the press area, it was a most enjoyable experience.

Played only a couple of hours before our first teams mouth watering champions league game against Barcelona at Wembley, Matt Wells side took on Barça in front of a fairly big crowd at Hotspur Way. With many thousands more watching the game on television. Unsurprisingly Matt Wells fielded a strong but much changed side to the one which drew with Inter Milan in game week one. Opting to go for the 4-3-3 formation, Wells side included Brandon Austin in goal as the skipper. Whilst a back four of Hinds, Eyoma, Lyons-Foster and Brown sat in front of him. Three Spurs players started in the centre of the park, they were Maghoma, Bowden and Oakley-Boothe as the attacking trio of Markanday, Richards and Bennett led the line for Spurs. Meanwhile, the visitors lined up in the same attacking way as Spurs. The Lilywhites got the game underway against a compact Barcelona outfit at Hotspur Way and it was the home side who looked the sharper of the two sides during the opening stages. After Maghoma embarked on a promising early run through the middle, wide man J’Neil Bennett cleverly tricked his way past Jaime down the left wing (Jaime was wearing a particularly distinctive protective face mask). However, Bennett couldn’t get his cross in as Comas made the block. Spurs were seeing a lot more of the ball during the opening minutes. Right winger Dilan Markanday went on a jinking run across the face of the Barcelona box before shifting the ball out to Bennett on the left. The 16 year old tested Arnau Urena Tenas with a powerful low effort which the Barcelona keeper spilled. Rodel Richards pounced on the loose ball before tapping home, but he was adjudged to have been offside by the linesman on the far side. Jamie Bowden then had a shot blocked by Comas after receiving a pass from Markanday on the edge of the penalty area as Spurs continued to hog possession. Jaden Brown then made an important interception at the other end to prevent De La Fuente from going  through on goal.

However, it was all Spurs and the one player who was really asking questions of the Barcelona defence was J’Neil Bennett. After latching onto TJ Eyoma’s pass down the left flank the forward sped past Jaime before seeing his shot blocked by Barcelona centre half Feixas Comas inside the box. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster glanced Paris Maghoma’s resulting corner kick across the face of the goal as Bennett raced to pick it up on the left wing before being fouled out wide. Paris Maghoma elected to take the following free kick however, his over hit delivery went out for a goal kick for Barcelona. Spurs continued to threaten Silva Puig’s side and they were dominating possession. After Jamie Bowden had cleared a Barcelona corner kick away from danger, Bennett picked up the ball out on the left wing before racing past Jaime before squaring the ball for Richards who had made a run into the box. The centre forward took a touch before he turned his man inside the penalty area before bending an effort a fraction wide of Tenas’ goal. J’Neil Bennett couldn’t believe that his team mate hadn’t put away the chance. Jaden Brown made an excellent block on Ruiz’s shot at the other end after Barça had caught us on the break. The Catalans were starting to grow into the game and it didn’t take them long before they managed to catch Wells side out. It was a frustrating goal to concede from Spurs’ point of view and a needless one at that. After Jaden Brown had given away a free kick on the right flank for a foul on Alex Collado, Jaime whipped an inviting ball into the penalty area as Austin opted not to come out to punch. Rojas Castilla rose the highest of anybody in the box to power the ball past Austin and into the back of the net, 0-1. Lyons-Foster produced a good block to thwart Alex Collado’s effort shortly after the restart, before Bennett blazed an effort wide at the other end after he had received Maghoma’s pass down the left before cutting inside on his right and firing over. The 16 year old winger was evidently frustrated out on that left hand side, Bennett was often finding himself in acres of space.

The tricky Dilan Markanday won a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the Barcelona penalty area a couple of moments later after he had been kicked by Sanz Catalan. Paris Maghoma fired the resulting free kick straight into the Barcelona wall as the ball came back out to the midfielder who then fired a low effort just wide on his left. Spurs had won a corner from Maghoma’s effort and the 17 year old had elected to take it. His ball into the danger zone was spilt by the slightly shaky looking Tenas. Eyoma was quickest to the loose ball but he couldn’t sort his feet out quick enough as he scuffed his effort wide of the goal. A comical exchange between Bennett and the linesman over water bottles followed after there had been a brief pause to play. The impressive TJ Eyoma managed to block Alex Collado’s dangerous through ball shortly after the restart. Spurs continued to push for an equaliser before the first half came to a close, a good exchange of passes between Markanday, Maghoma and Bennett resulted in Maghoma receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty area. However, the midfielder curled an effort over Tenas’ crossbar as Spurs let another chance go to waste.Then in the first minute of stoppage time came Wells sides well deserved equaliser, courtesy of an excellent finish from Rodel Richards. It was a well worked move from Spurs which had started out on the right wing after Hinds over hit cross had come out to Brown on the opposite flank. Brown passed the ball into the feet of Bowden who was on the edge of the penalty area, he looked up before feeding the ball into Richards inside the box. The tricky forward received the ball with his back to goal, he quickly turned his man before curing an excellent effort into top right hand corner of the goal, 1-1. It was a lovely finish from the 18 year old who had showed off his excellent movement in tight spaces to bring to an end a good half of football from Wells side.

The visitors got the second half underway as a new face entered the field for Wells side in Armando Shashoua, who had replaced the injured Oakley-Boothe on half time. Jaime picked up an early yellow card after he took one for the team when he tripped the surging De Vega through the middle of the pitch to break up a dangerous Barcelona attack. De Vega had made the most of Bowden’s foul and could be seen rolling about on the ground. Spurs had to deal with a bit of an attacking onslaught from Barça in the following minutes as Silva Puig’s side started to up their tempo. Dilan Markanday’s back pass had put Austin under pressure in the Spurs goal which had forced the 19 year old into making a rushed clearance. Austin then had to make a save albeit a comfortable one, from Abel Ruiz’s header after the forward had gone to meet Martinez Marsa‘s cross inside the box. Spurs went on a promising attack at the other end after Austin found Markanday out on the right flank, Markanday then passed to Richards who quickly switched the ball to Maghoma inside the penalty area. Maghoma showed good feet as he tried to travel with the ball, but Barcelona defender Rojas Castilla came sliding in to bring Maghoma to the floor. The referee ignored Maghoma’s penalty claims however, as far as I could see it was a stone wall penalty as Rojas Castilla had gotten absolutely nothing on the ball. The ever attentive TJ Eyoma cleared De La Fuente’s dangerous looking cross at the other end before the ever potent J’Neil Bennett skipped past Jaime down the left wing before seeing his cross cleared. And Spurs came desperately close to taking the lead a couple of minutes later after going on a wonderful move. Maghoma’s crisp pass found Richards on the edge of the Barcelona penalty area, Richards spotted the run of Markanday into the box before finding Markanday with a lovely lofted pass. The 17 year old went to attack the ball but his headed attempt was deflected off of Martinez Marsa before Tenas gathered the ball.

Tariq Hinds then made a good clearance to prevent De Vega from latching onto the ball inside the Spurs penalty area. Then came a bit of a nervy moment for the Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin after he flapped and missed a corner kick from Alex Collado. Collado then came a matter of inches away from being able to nod De Vega’s resulting corner kick home at the back post. Collado was causing Spurs quite a few problems. An effort from 20-25 yards out by De La Fuente stung the palms of Austin as Barcelona continued their resurgence. J’Neil Bennett won a free kick for Spurs out on the left wing a couple of minutes later as Maghoma’s resulting but what somewhat over hit delivery was headed out for a goal kick by Brown. Meanwhile Barça were continuing to threaten the Tottenham defence and they came desperately close to regaining their lead through Abel Ruiz. After the Spanish centre forward had gotten on the end of Jaime’s cross inside the penalty area, Ruiz managed to get to the ball before Eyoma and he prodded the ball against the base of Austin’s left hand post. Both sides were really going for the game as we reached the final stages. Young Harvey White was brought on to replace Bowden with 23 minutes remaining as he slotted into the midfield anchor man position as the sun started to come out. Barcelona forced a good stop out of Austin after a good move from the Catalans resulted in Mortimer passing the ball to Ruiz down the left side of the penalty area before forcing a good stop out of Austin at his near post from close range. Phoenix Patterson replaced Dilan Markanday shortly afterwards as Wells looked to introduce fresh legs into the game. De La Fuente had a massively deflected effort at goal comfortably saved by Austin. Before the quietly influential Harvey White almost managed to play Patterson through with an inch perfect lofted pass over the top of the Barcelona defence, a couple of moments later. 

Brandon Austin produced a vital stop with his feet as the clock ticked down, only a couple of moments after Eyoma had cleared Jaime’s free kick. Austin had to be alert to Alex Collado’s pacy corner kick which would have crept into the Spurs goal but for a clever block with Austin’s feet to divert the ball away from danger. The energetic Armando Shashoua played a clever pass through to Patterson in the Barcelona penalty area moments later however, Patterson was intercepted by substitute Gonzalez Iglesias who had managed to get across him in time. The game had developed into quite a frantic and end to end affair as both sides went in search of a winner. Lyons-Foster headed J’Neil Bennett’s free kick straight at the goalkeeper before the same player found himself making a good block to divert Ruiz’s shot out for a corner kick a mere minute or so later. But Barcelona were showing no signs of lowering their tempo and they went very close to netting a late winner through the newly introduced Anssumane Fati after a typically well worked move from the visitors. The move started with Jaime’s long ball up to Ruiz on the left wing, the nimble footed centre forward squared the ball for Fati who was in the centre of the penalty area. However, the winger connected poorly with the ball and his scuffed effort was easily gathered by the much relieved Brandon Austin. The Spurs goalkeeper then made a similarly comfortable save from Jaime’s ambitious effort from long range. I’m sure that Spurs would have been happy to take the point but to their great credit they were constantly looking to find a winner. Another intricate move from the young Lilywhites saw Shashoua play a quick one-two with Maghoma on the edge of the penalty before the former attempted to latch onto Maghoma’s clever pass inside the area, but Tenas came out to smother the ball.

Harvey White made an important late headed clearance from Alex Collado’s corner kick before then clearing the ball once again after it had found its way back into the penalty area. Wells made two late substitutions in stoppage time, when he brought off Maghoma and Brown in place of Roles and Binks as we entered four minutes of stoppage time. However, it was Barcelona who came the closest to finding a later winner. After Barça skipper Jaime picked out Alex Collado in the centre of the Spurs penalty area you’d have expected the net to bulge. However, Collado took the sting out of his header by heading it into the ground as Austin gathered the ball with relative ease. And the England and USA youth international could be heard roaring at his defence after Collado whipped a late corner kick dangerously across the face of the Spurs goal in what proved to be the final piece of action, of what was a pulsating game of European football. That draw sees Spurs remain in third place in the group and after putting in two very good performances in this seasons competition, they find themselves only two points off table toppers Barcelona. Next up for Matt Wells side is a trip to the Netherlands to take on highly regarded Dutch side, PSV towards the end of the month.

Player reviews: 

  • Brandon Austin: The Skipper didn’t have an awful lot to do throughout the game however, he did still make five saves in total and showcased his quick feet and good distribution against the Catalan side. The most important stop that Austin made was from Alex Collado’s corner in the second half. Yes, the 19 year old did flap and miss a pacy corner kick from Collado in the second half but so does every other keeper in the game of football! Austin had a really good game and it must be noted that he led by example. He was both encouraging and commanding towards his teammates. He should be very proud of how he played. I certainly was.
  • Tariq Hinds: The 18 year old put in another really strong performance at right back and it came against a very good young player in Mortimer before he was replaced by Fati in the second half. Hinds read the game well and rarely allowed his man to get the better of him down that side of the pitch. He also made a couple of really important defensive interventions.
  • TJ Eyoma: Eyoma was imperious at the back alongside his slightly younger teammate Lyons-Foster. The pair always form a strong defensive partnership and the game against Barcelona proved to be no different. Eyoma’s reading of the game was second to none, as was his positioning and dominance in the air throughout the game. Eyoma made many important blocks and interceptions against Barcelona and he dealt extremely well with Barcelona’s potent and highly rated centre forward Abel Ruiz.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: My motm, see below.
  • Jaden Brown: The 19 year old put in another strong performance at left back. Brown kept the speedy De La Fuente in check down the left wing, the fullback also went on some decent attacking forays of his own and he demonstrated good link up play with the forwards.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Oakley-Boothe played on the left side of a midfield three against Barcelona and the 18 year old put in quite a decent performance during his time on the pitch. He looked good on the ball and used it relatively resourcefully however, the England youth international was withdrawn at half time after picking up a knock towards the end of the first half. 
  • Jamie Bowden: This was Bowden’s first start in the UEFA youth league and the Tottenham lad put in another really positive display as he anchored the midfield. It was one of those games where he really provided that all important shield in front of the back four. Bowden scrapped for every ball and covered the pitch with a remarkable intensity and fight about his game. Bowden was ubiquitous across the central areas of the pitch and whilst he wasn’t playing in that creative role as he so usually does. The teenager did the bread and butter side of the game and kept things ticking. He also showed good awareness to pick out Richards for the strikers goal on the stroke of halftime, that was Bowden’s sixth assist of the campaign. In addition he also took one for the team which would ultimately see him come off quite early on in the game when he smartly took out De Vega, to break up a really dangerously looking Barcelona attack. This resulted in him picking up a yellow card but it’s those little things that prove to be so important.
  • Paris Maghoma: It was another strong and heavily involved performance from the ever improving central midfielder who lined up on the right side of the midfield three. Perhaps stifled somewhat by the decision to play three players in the middle of the pitch, I thought Maghoma adapted well to the flow of the game. He carried the ball well and made some nice crisp passes throughout the game. The 17 year old who should have had been awarded a stonewall penalty in the second half also went close to finding the back of the net on a couple of occasions. However, it was his excellent movement and perfectly timed runs towards the edge of the six yard box which impressed me the most. That awareness and understanding of the the game and of how to link up with his teammates is so very impressive.
  • Dilan Markanday: The 17 year old posed a constant threat down the right wing and whilst his lack of physicality made things slightly challenging for him up against Barcelona’s strong left back Martinez Marsa. I thought he did a good a job on the whole and he went on some nice weaving runs.
  • Rodel Richards: His movement and ability to wriggle away from defenders in tight spaces was superb. And the 18 year old centre forward continued his excellent start to the season with his third goal from three matches and he was unlucky not to have added to that tally against Barcelona. Richards put in a typically electric performance and he would often drift out wide to pick up the ball. He took his goal excellently and caused a very good Barcelona defence a whole host of issues with his pace and trickery.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The exciting left winger starred out on the left and he was one of Spurs’ best players on Wednesday. Tricky and unpredictable, the speedy winger caused so many problems for the Barcelona captain Jaime. He worked so hard and was constantly looking to beat his man and pick out players inside the six yard box. Bennett also came to close to finding the back of the net himself on a few occasions.
  • Armando Shashoua: Shashoua replaced Oakley-Boothe at half time when he slotted into the centre of the park, but in a slightly more advanced role than Oakley-Boothe had been playing in. Shashoua brought an energy and intensity which changed the flow of Spurs’ game. It may sound ironic but he played like a typical Barcelona midfielder in so many ways. He was subtly creative and so accurate in the many passes that he made. But it was that almost David Silva-esque moment which helped Spurs to play quicker and create more, he was constantly switching with different players. It was one of those performances where you’ve really got to watch him closely to appreciate how much of an impact he had on the game.
  • Harvey White: White came on in the 67th minute to replace Jamie Bowden in the centre of midfield. This was a big responsibility for one of our youngsters players on the pitch to man the midfield against top class opposition. And White delivered without fail and filled in extremely well for his slightly older teammate. He defended well and made two particularly important clearances during the final moments of the game. He was also assured and did a good job at breaking up play and recycling possession during his short time on the pitch. His excellent inch perfect, lofted pass over the top of the Barcelona defence to pick out Patterson was sublime to say the very least.
  • Phoenix Patterson: He made some good runs and looked lively during his late cameo.
  • Luis Binks: N/A.
  • Jack Roles: N/A.

My man of the match: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. The 17 year old centre half put in a really assured and confident performance alongside TJ Eyoma at centre back. Lyons-Foster read the game to perfection and his cautious but ultimately decisive defending and good positioning really helped Spurs to neutralise the real threat of the highly rated Spanish centre forward Abel Ruiz. The centre half was just so calm and collected in everything that he did, and he didn’t need to make crunching sliding challenges to show that. Like Eyoma he was dominant in the air and rarely allowed Ruiz to enjoy too much space inside the danger zone. Furthermore, Lyons-Foster’s passing was immaculate throughout the game and he posed a real aerial threat from set pieces.

Spurs: Austin (c), Hinds, Brown (Binks 90+1), Bowden (White 67), Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Markanday (Patterson 71), Oakley-Boothe (A Shashoua 46),  Richards, Maghoma (Roles 90+1), Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Cirkin.

Barcelona: Tenas, Jaime (c), Comas (Sola Villalba 76), Rojas Castilla, Martinez Marsa, Sanz Catalan (Gonzalez Iglesias 59), De La Fuente, De Vega (Canton Roman 71), Ruiz, Alex Collado, Mortimer (Fati 71). Substitutes (not used): Tristan Jimenez, Sergi Rosanas, Serrano Bernat.

Spurs under 19’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Jack Roles – 1

Rodel Richards – 1

Assists: Troy Parrott – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

Spurs under 19’s versus Barcelona: (match preview)

Spurs under 19’s versus Barcelona: (match preview)

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Our under 19’s will play their second group game of this seasons UEFA youth league tomorrow afternoon when they face the current holders of the competition in Barcelona, at Hotspur Way. After recording a hard fought 1-1 draw in their opener against Inter Milan two weeks ago, Matt Wells side will come up against one of the finest youth teams on the planet when they take on Barcelona’s next generation of stars. After a good performance away to Inter Milan in game week one, Wells will be hoping that his players can raise their game when Denis Silva Puig’s side come to town. Barça took the competition by storm last season and beat the likes of Atlético Madrid and Manchester City on route to the final where they overcame a very good Chelsea side 3-0. With their exciting brand of possession based attacking football, Barcelona’s intricate attacking football was something which the very best teams in Europe couldn’t deal with last season. The La Masia educated team started this seasons campaign with a comprehensive 2-1 victory over PSV in game week one. And with a wealth of attacking talent that includes the likes of De La Fuente, Ruiz and Ramon Monchu. The Catalan side will be travelling to London with the sole purpose of picking up three points. However, Matt Wells side are in my opinion within the top three best clubs who are competing in this competition and I doubt that his lads will fear tomorrow’s opposition in the slightest. Wells will be hoping that he can take the under 18’s excellent form into tomorrow’s UEFA youth league match. With the likes of Paris Maghoma, Jamie Bowden and Jack Roles all likely to be involved I really fancy our chances of causing an upset. And with our high intensity and talent I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see us beat them just like we did against Monaco, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund last season. Apologies for the slightly rushed and shorter than usual preview. I shall be in attendance reporting on tomorrow’s game before dashing off to Wembley for the first team game. For those unable to attend the game, it is being shown live on BT Sport 3. My in-depth match report will be out on Thursday.

My predicted lineup: (3-4-2-1) Austin (c), Lyons-Foster, Tanganga, Binks, Eyoma, Bowden, Oakley-Boothe, Brown, Maghoma, Roles, Richards.

Subs from: De Bie, Tainio, Dinzeyi, White, A.Shashoua, Markanday, Bennett.

Doubtful: Oliver Skipp (possible involvement with the first team). 

Injured/unavailable: Enock Asante, Malachi Walcott and Troy Parrott (serving a one game suspension).

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-1 (2012).

My score prediction: 2-2

My one to watch: Barcelona midfielder Ramon Monchu. Monchu played a big part in the Catalan side winning this competition last season and featured on six occasions for Puig’s side.

Spurs under 18’s 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers: (match report)

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Our under 18’s continued their excellent start to the season with a comprehensive 2-1 victory over northern division side Wolverhampton Wanderers, in the premier league cup on Saturday afternoon. Despite Matt Wells fielding a significantly weakened Spurs side which was missing the likes of Binks, Bowden and Markanday all of which are presumably being rested for our UEFA youth league game against Barcelona on Wednesday. His side coped well with the threat posed by the Wanderers and despite a late flurry of chances for the away team it was a fairly comfortable win for Spurs. Having reached the final of this competition last season the Tottenham coaches will be hoping that our youngsters can go one step further in this seasons competition. And after being drawn in a group which contains Wolves, Middlesbrough and Swansea, Wells will fancy his sides chances of topping the group and progressing to the knockout stages of the competition. After missing one of my train back from Lancashire the previous night I was forced into travelling to Preston before getting a night coach back to London to make sure that I would make Saturday’s cup tie, it was great fun as I’m sure you can imagine. Originally scheduled to take place at Wolverhampton’s training ground it was only changed to Hotspur Way less than a week before the game due to building work at the Wanderers training ground. Darren Ryan’s side had started the season in poor form in the under 18 northern division, a total contrast to the way that Wells side have started the season. After dominating possession during the early stages of the game, Spurs had a foot hold on the tie from the very start. And whilst they lacked a bit of sharpness at times they were far superior to Wolves when it came to technical ability. After a good start to the game Wells side took the lead in the 24th minute through the inform Harvey White who was able to convert from the spot after Lyons-Foster had won a penalty. We saw a lot more of the ball after taking the lead and see we managed to threaten Wolves goalkeeper Jamie Pardington on numerous occasions throughout the remainder of the half. We started the second half well and after upping our intensity and moving the ball around quicker we managed to double our lead in the 69th minute of time after Brooklyn Lyons-Foster powered home Patterson’s corner kick to give Spurs some leeway over the visitors.

Wolves forward Austin Samuels pulled a late goal back for Ryan’s side but despite their best efforts Spurs were able to survive a nervy final few minutes to the game, and pick up a well deserved and fairly straight forward three points against the Wanderers. Wells side was much changed to the team that faced West Ham in their previous fixture. With the likes of Troy Parrott, Dilan Markanday, Luis Binks and Jamie Bowden all missing for Saturday lunchtimes cup game. Spurs lined up with Joshua Oluwayemi in goal, whilst a back four of Tainio, Statham, Lyons-Foster and Cirkin sat in front of him. Harvey White and captain Armando Shashoua formed a central midfield partnership, as a front three of Pochettino, Patterson and Clarke lined up behind lone striker Rodel Richards who made his second start of the season. Wolves got the game underway at a rather sunny Hotspur Way but it was Matt Wells side who started the better of the two teams, and they came close to catching the Wanderers out in the opening couple of minutes. A typically slick attacking move resulted in Shashoua threading a perfectly weighted pass through to Richards, to set the forward through on goal. Richards showed off his pace as he rounded the Wolves goalkeeper before trying to tuck the ball into the back of the net. However, Wanderers defender Lewis Richards was on hand to make a vital clearance on the line. Spurs were moving the ball around quite well. After receiving the ball down the left wing Cirkin tried to find Richards in the box however, the fullbacks inviting cross was cleared by Wolves captain Aaron Crabtree. Spurs continued to hog possession against Darren Ryan’s nervous looking side. And we came desperately close to opening our account through midfield Harvey White after the midfielder sent a dipping cross into the danger zone which almost managed to creep into the top right hand corner of the goal, but for an excellent finger tip save by Pardington. The attacking onslaught continued when Rayan Clarke pumped the ball across the Wolves goal, which almost ending up being met by Pochettino who came ghosting into the box.

Spurs were continuing to pump balls into the Wolverhampton penalty area and the most eager player to do so was left back Dennis Cirkin. Wolves had their first attempt on goal of the game shortly afterwards when Taylor Perry’s low drive was deflected narrowly wide by Lyons-Foster, after the Spurs defender had given the ball away to Perry. Lewis Richards then nodded over from Perry’s resulting corner kick as Wolves started to find their footing in the game. Clarke almost managed to find Richards at the near post with a well timed cross but Wolves defender Lewis Richards managed to step in front of the Spurs forward at the vital time to make the clearance. Then came the major turning point in the game after Spurs were awarded a penalty in the 23rd minute. After Maurizio Pochettino picked the ball up out wide the 17 year old managed to find Lyons-Foster inside the penalty area with a low cross. The young centre half managed to get to the ball before Wolves defender Ray O’Sullivan. However, the Irish fullback ended up bringing Lyons-Foster to the floor without getting anything on the ball. This left the referee with no other choice than to point to the spot. Harvey White stood up to clinically slot the ball inside the bottom left hand corner of the goal to net his second of the campaign, as Pardington went the other way, 1-0. And the goal scorer turned creator a couple of moments later when he sent a wonderful ball into the penalty area from a free kick. White managed to pick out Richards inside the penalty area and the forward managed to meet it as he powered a header onto the base of Pardington’s left hand post. O’Sullivan blocked Rayan Clarke’s shot moments later after the winger had darted into the Wolves penalty area. Spurs had appeared to up their intensity after taking the lead and Wells side continued to put pressure on the Wolverhampton defence. Another incisive attacking move from the Lilywhites resulted in Cirkin slipping the ball into Shashoua down the left wing. The skipper squared the ball for Patterson inside the box but the Scotland youth internationals effort was blocked by Richards. Spurs were in full control against a Wolverhampton Wanderers side who could hardly manage to get out of their own half never mind being able to test Oluwayemi in the Spurs goal.

Wells’ side were often using the wings to try and break down the Wolves defence, the likes of Cirkin and Clarke were particularly involved down the left flank. Pardington easily gobbled up a Phoenix Patterson free kick inside the Wolves box whilst Clarke came close to doubling Spurs’ lead after latching onto a lovely pass from White which looped over the Wolverhampton defence. Clarke sprinted into the penalty area before taking on O’Sullivan who was the only Wolves defender back, and forcing a save out of Pardington at his near post after unleashing a powerful effort on goal. Maxwell Statham made a vital last ditch clearance inside the Spurs box to clear Taylor Townsend’s delivery. Before Phoenix Patterson embarked on a surging run through the middle of the park before shifting the ball out to Clarke down the left side of the penalty area. The winger cut inside onto his right before seeing his fizzing attempt on goal blocked by Aaron Crabtree who ended up being winded in the process. It had been a very comfortable half for Spurs who didn’t need to play at full capacity to get the better of Darren Ryan’s side. Spurs got the second half underway as they looked to put the cup tie out of sight. After starting the half with a bit of a bite about their game, Spurs created an early chance after Shashoua set Clarke racing down the left wing, the speedy winger went on a driving run before forcing an awkward looking stop out of Pardington from his powerful effort. The goalkeeper spilt the ball as it got worked out to Cirkin on the left wing. Cirkin quickly fed the ball into Patterson who had made a run towards the edge of the Wolverhampton penalty area. However, the forward ended up curling his effort wide of the mark. Matt Wells side had really upped their tempo at the beginning of this half and they were playing with a real attacking intent about their game. The lively Rodel Richards went close to extending Tottenham’s lead. After receiving Cirkin’s pass, Richards turned his man sublimely inside the penalty area before forcing Pardington into making an important stop to deny his curling effort. The frantic start to the half continued when Cirkin and Clarke played a clever one – two inside the Wolves box before the former saw his attempt on goal blocked by Crabtree.

A rare Wolves attack at the other end resulted in Austin Samuel’s narrowly missing Kevin Berkoe’s dangerous ball across the face of Oluwayemi’s goal. Tainio made a good recovery a couple of moments later to make an important block from Samuels effort on goal after the Finn had given the ball away to the Wolves striker in the first place. Harvey White then made an important block to thwart Luke Cundle’s effort on goal after Lyons-Foster had been caught out after playing out from the back. Wolves were starting to look a lot more potent going forward and they were starting to cause the Tottenham defence to sweat. The solid Maxwell Statham managed to make an excellent last ditch sliding challenge on Todd Parker inside the penalty area to break up a dangerous move from the visitors. And the 18 year old centre back made another excellent challenge to win the ball off of Townsend in the centre of the park to break up another dangerous attack. Maximus Tainio was replaced by defender Jubril Okedina a couple of minutes later whilst the slightly ineffective Maurizio Pochettino was brought off in place of Jeremie Mukendi. Rodel Richards forced a comfortable save out of Wolves goalkeeper Jamie Pardington with his looping header on goal after he met Cirkin’s cross inside the penalty area. A nice one – two between Patterson and Mukendi inside the box resulted in Mukendi’s effort being saved by Pardington before being cleared out for a corner. However, Patterson’s resulting corner kick was headed across the face of goal by Statham. It was quite clear to me that we were missing the focal point of Troy Parrott up top. Mukendi only just missed Clarke’s cross at the back post a couple of moments later as Wells side continued to push for that all important second goal. Rodel Richards then fired an effort wide of goal after picking the ball up on the edge of the Wolves penalty area. And then in the 69th minute of time Spurs made it 2-0 through centre back Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. The goal had come from a corner kick which was whipped in towards the near post by Patterson, Lyons-Foster made a good run across the face of the Wolves goal before planting a powerful header into the top right hand corner of the goal, 2-0. 

Chay Cooper replaced the creator Phoenix Patterson shortly afterwards to make his under 18 debut for Spurs. Wolves threatened the Tottenham defence moments later after substitute Conor Carty received Townsend’s pass. Carty tricked his way past Statham before forcing a good diving save out of Oluwayemi with his low effort towards the bottom right hand corner of the goal. That was Oluwayemi’s first save of the game. The game continued to be quite an end to end affair as we entered the last 15 or so minutes of action. After Rodel Richards had won a free kick on the edge of the Wolverhampton box after nutmegging Lewis Richards, the ever impressive Harvey White came desperately close to making it 3-0 to Spurs. The free kick specialists effort over the top of the wall was heading towards the top right hand corner of the goal but for a fine reflex save by the diving Pardington. White then delivered an inch perfect cross into the box which only narrowly deceived Mukendi. Spurs were then caught out by an incisive move from the visitors who managed to pull a goal back through Austin Samuels. After receiving the newly introduced He Zheung’s pass down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area Samuels sorted his feet out quickly before firing an unstoppable effort into the top left hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal, despite Oluwayemi managing to get a hand on the ball, 2-1. Spurs responded through Chay Cooper who forced a decent save out of Pardington with his curling effort on goal before Mukendi saw his effort blocked by Lewis Richards inside the box. Harvey White then came close to playing Clarke in, inside the penalty area with a lovely pass over the top of the Wolves defence, but Pardington came rushing out to take the Spurs man out. Unsurprisingly the Spurs players looked for a penalty from the referee Jonathan Hill. And despite a nerve racking final few minutes to the game which saw Harvey White make a vital headed clearance on Cundle’s cross inside the box, Matt Wells side held on to record a comprehensive 2-1 victory over the northern division side to maintain their unbeaten start to the season. Meanwhile in the other game in our group Middlesbrough thrashed Swansea 6-0 to go top of the group for now at least.

Player reviews: – Joshua Oluwayemi: A spectator for the most part of the game, Oluwayemi was only called into action late on. Making an impressive save to deny Conor Carty from close range, Oluwayemi could have done nothing to stop Austin Samuels strike shortly afterwards.

  • Maximus Tainio: It was another solid defensive performance from the right back who managed to defend well against Taylor Townsend down the right flank. Tainio was replaced by Okedina shortly before the hour mark.
  • Maxwell Statham: Statham put in an excellent performance at centre back and the 18 year olds many important challenges in the second half could well have won Tottenham the game. Statham managed to make some magnificent challenges and defensive interventions throughout the game, particularly in the second half when he made an excellent last ditch challenge on Wolves’ Todd Parker inside the penalty area. Statham was confident and assured in his defending and showed a real maturity and understanding about the game. After missing some of our under 18’s opening league games I’ve no doubts that Statham will go onto force himself into Wells side.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Scoring and assisting goals is becoming quite a trend to the young centre half’s game. After his involvement in two of our goals against Wolves including winning our penalty and scoring our second of the game. Lyons-Foster put in a typically efficient shift at centre half alongside Statham and managed to deal well with Samuels without looking unremarkable. I’m hoping he will start our UEFA youth league game against Barcelona on Wednesday.
  • Dennis Cirkin: I was extremely impressed with the 16 year old Dubliners performance at left back. Defending well against Wolverhampton’s Luke Cundle out on that side of the pitch, Cirkin got up and down the wing very well and he went onto whip dozens of promising crosses into the box. However, it was Cirkin’s reading of the game and well timed defending which proved to be so effective. He is such an intelligent and tricky fullback who is able to fulfil both sides of his game really well.
  • Harvey White: My motm, see below.
  • Armando Shashoua: The skipper continued his excellent start to the season with another fine performance in the centre of midfield. He used the ball intelligently and made some nice passes through to the forwards whilst buzzing around and helping to keep things moving in the middle of the park. He helped Spurs to control the game.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: Whilst looking good on the ball whenever he got on it, the right winger wasn’t heavily involved in the thick of the action. He did however, help Spurs to win their penalty after finding Lyons-Foster in the box.
  • Phoenix Patterson: Patterson operated as a ten for the premier league cup tie against Wolves. Energetic and willing to run at the opposition defence, Patterson was involved in a lot of our attacks and set up Lyons-Foster’s goal in the second half. Overall I thought he had quite a good impact on the game.
  • Rayan Clarke: Clarke asked a lot of questions out of the Wolves right back Ray O’Sullivan with his many surging runs down the left wing. Clarke was powerful and direct, and the 17 year old tested Pardington on numerous occasions. Furthermore, Clarke also whipped some decent crosses into the Wolverhampton penalty area.
  • Rodel Richards: The centre forward was one of our best players on Saturday. He led the line well and came close to finding the back of the net on a couple of occasions. His movement was good and so was his dribbling in and around the six yard box. The way that he moves his body and goes around defenders is so impressive. The energetic forward also made a number of good challenges throughout the game.
  • Jubril Okedina: Okedina replaced Tainio in the 57th minute at right back and the 17 year old impressed in that position on what was a rare appearance for the talented centre half. Okedina put in a strong performance and he defended well against Wolves winger Taylor Townsend. Hopefully Okedina will start against Norwich at the weekend.
  • Jeremie Mukendi: The 18 year old replaced Pochettino out on the right wing during the second half. And Mukendi went on some decent attacking forays down that side.
  • Chay Cooper: He looked lively during his late cameo on his u18 debut. Cooper showed good movement and managed to force a decent save out of Pardington late on.

My man of the match: Harvey White. The 17 year old midfielder continued his excellent start to the season with a superb performance against the Wanderers on Saturday afternoon, from the centre of midfield. White was the best player on the pitch by a country mile and I paid close attention to him throughout the game, as the versatile teenager started in his natural position of central midfield for the first time this season for the under 18’s. White was instrumental to the way that Spurs played and the tireless midfielder helped Spurs out at both ends of the pitch. Energetic and deep lying, the midfield anchorman broke up play extremely well and he was a combative almost Skipp-esque shield to the back four, as he maintained good positioning throughout the cup tie. He was strong on the ball and good at closing players down, and he also made some important blocks and challenges. But it was White’s superb passing range and vision which proved so critical to us getting the win. The Kent born teenager dictated play from deep and his laser like passing range was sublime to say the very least. White took Bowden’s place as the orchestrator of the side and the 17 year old created a ridiculous amount of chances for the likes of Richards and Clarke with his deftly accurate passes. The scorer of a well taken penalty in the first half, White also came close to scoring a free kick in the second half. The Maidstone born midfielder has now been directly involved in seven of our goals this season, a statistic which is made even more impressive by the fact that he has played across the back four for the vast majority of those games. On Saturday I saw a young midfielder who not only played the game well beyond years but was able to control the game, and I for one cannot recall him misplacing a single pass.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Tainio (Okedina 57), Cirkin, White, Statham, Lyons-Foster, Pochettino (Mukendi 57), A Shashoua (c), Richards, Patterson (Cooper 73), Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Thorpe.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19

Goals scored: J’Neil Bennett – 5

Troy Parrott – 4

Dilan Markanday – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Rayan Clarke – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Harvey White – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Armando Shashoua – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 5

Jamie Bowden – 5

Armando Shashoua – 4

Phoenix Patterson – 3

Troy Parrott – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Rodel Richards – 1

Dilan Markanday -1

Rayan Clarke – 1