My piece on Spurs’ versatile young midfielder and Cyprus under 21 international Jack Roles. A player who has been in red hot form for the clubs development side this season:

My piece on Spurs’ versatile young midfielder and Cyprus under 21 international Jack Roles. A player who has been in red hot form for the clubs development side this season:

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North Londoner Jack Roles has been in scintillating form for Spurs’ development side so far this season. The 19 year old midfielder from Enfield in North London has shone for Wayne Burnett’s side playing in a host of different positions so far this campaign. Jack Roles is a player that many Spurs fans will have heard of for his goal scoring exploits for our youth teams over the last couple of seasons. The versatile Cyprus under 21 international (Jack is of Cypriot origin) is a young player who can play virtually anywhere on a football pitch. Roles has played at centre half, central midfield, out on the wing, as a number ten and even as an out and out striker or as a false nine. After a slightly frustrating 2017/18 campaign which resulted in a lack of starts for Roles in the development side. Roles has now forced himself into Wayne Burnett’s team and he has become one of their most consistent performers. The midfielder has rediscovered that excellent goalscoring form which he had shown at under 18 level during the 2016/17 season, and his contribution to our development side so far this season has been on a similar scale. Jack Roles is a player who I have watched extensively since he joined the club full time in the summer of 2015. Roles is a tidy central midfielder/CAM who is a good passer of the ball. However, one of the skilful midfielders greatest attributes is his ability to find the back of the net on a regular basis. Whether that be from central midfield or as a number ten, the teenager has always shown a remarkable knack of getting into good goal scoring positions inside the six yard box and putting those chances away. Roles has been at the club since he was just six years of age but followers of the Tottenham Hotspur youth set up would have only started to hear about Roles during the 2014/15 season after he made two appearances for the under 18’s while still a schoolboy. That same season Jack Roles caught the attention of the media after he was caught on film scoring a glorious solo goal for our under 16 side, a run which started from inside his own box.

The following season Roles who is the younger brother of Enfield United player Daniel, started the first year of his two year scholarship at the club. Despite being out injured during the early stages of the 2015/16 campaign the midfielder still made 15 appearances for our under 18 side that season, scoring three goals and assisting another three. Jack also made the bench for our under 21’s for the first time in a league match against Sunderland at White Hart Lane. However, it was during the following campaign that Jack Roles started to really make a name for himself amongst the followers of Spurs. Roles flourished for our under 18 side that season and he played a big part in us reaching the semifinals of the FA youth cup. Roles played both as a ten and as a central midfielder, but the amount of goals that he was scoring that season for a midfielder was quite staggering. From 15 league appearances that season Roles scored 15 goals more than a certain Jaden Sancho managed for Manchester City in the same competition. Roles also scored a further three goals in the FA youth cup, and one for our under 19’s in the UEFA youth league which he made four appearances in. Jack also got four assists that same season. At times the second year scholar was unplayable during the 2016/17 campaign for our under 18’s. He wouldn’t always standout during matches especially when he was played in the middle of the park. However, Roles movement and ability to ghost into the box and score goals was the thing which was most impressive about his game. He was also hardworking and tenacious in the midfield, but it was the way in which he was always able to drop into little pockets of space in and around the danger zone, which along with his clinical finishing made him deadly in front of goal. So often Roles would make a late run in and behind or across the oppositions defence to tap home from a cross. He was always on the move and always looking to pick the ball up and to use it positively. He always played with a coolness and an urgency about him and although we had some incredible creative players in that side, such as Samuel Shashoua and Keanan Bennetts, Roles was right up there in terms of chances created. But what was so impressive was the many different kinds of goals that Roles was scoring that season. 

The following season the 2017/18 campaign wouldn’t turn out to be as big a success for Roles as it had been the previous season. After coming off the bench to impress for our development side in two pre-season friendlies against both Ebbsfleet and Cambridge United respectively I was looking forward to seeing Roles play regularly for our under 23’s in the PL2. However, the then 18 year old struggled for game time due to the emergence of young Oliver Skipp who was a regular starter in the middle of the park for Wayne Burnett’s side. Roles was also a member of the Spurs under 21 side which won the Tournoi Europeen during pre-season. Funnily enough I happened to watch him play an international friendly for Cyprus under 19’s in Dungannon, Northern Ireland before I got to see him make his PL2 debut for Spurs. Jack eventually made his competitive debut for our development side in a 4-1 defeat away to Everton in the PL2 in the September of 2017. There had actually been some reports from the local media down in Devon that league two club Exeter City had been interested in signing Jack along with his teammate Japhet Tanganga on loan, but nothing ever came of it. Roles only made nine appearances for Wayne Burnett’s side in the PL2 that season. He did however, make a number of appearances for our under 19’s in Europe. Played predominantly as a number ten as well as in his natural position of central midfield, Jack Roles finished the season with four goals and one assist to his name. Those four goals all came from four consecutive matches during the halfway point of the season. A series of excellent performances from Roles in the January of 2018 included a superb match winning performance at Old Trafford, in a memorable 3-1 win over Manchester United in the PL2. The teenagers progress during the 2017/18 was noticed by the Cypriot FA and before the season was up he would be capped at under 21 level for Cyprus. However, it has been during the current campaign that young Jack Roles has really started to flourish at this level and his contribution to the development side so far this season has been outstanding.

After an impressive pre-season Roles quickly made himself a regular starter in Wayne Burnett’s development side, and in Matt Wells under 19 side in Europe where he has played as an overage player. The 19 year old has played in many different positions this season and I for one have really noticed just how adaptable he is to games. He has played with so much confidence about him this season and from that confidence I have started to really appreciate just how skilful a player Jack is. His movement, ability to pick a pass and his clinical finishing in front of goal has resulted in him scoring seven goals and assisting a further seven this season. Roles has been directly involved in 14 goals from the 21 games that he has been involved in for Spurs this campaign. Roles is a fascinating player to watch for a number of reasons. Despite the fact that he is tall and skinny lad he moves around the park so well and to great effect. He has a real footballing brain and that has really showed this season. Jack has been excellent in every game that he has been involved in, often the shining light from particularly disappointing team performances. The midfielders positivity and willingness to receive the ball in the middle of the park and drive forward and initiate passages of play has often lifted the development side. So far this season Jack has played in a variety of positions, if my memory serves me well he has played as a central midfielder, a number ten, a right and left winger, an inside forward and on the rare occasion he has featured up top, as a false nine. Roles has slotted in so comfortably in all of those positions and wherever he plays he always remains a goal threat. I wrote an article on Jack Roles during the 2016/17 season where I compared him with a certain Dele Alli and Frank Lampard. I stand by those comparisons more than ever before. Whether Roles plays as a box to box midfielder he always manages to do a sterling job at breaking up play and protecting the defence. However, he also manages to get involved in the thick of the action at the other end of the pitch. He makes excellent long runs from deep into or on the edge of the penalty area. 

Jack is an artist in many respects for the way in which he is able to constantly create little pockets of space for himself in condensed areas. Everything about the Londoners game is so instinctive much like Dele Alli’s is in so many ways. It’s as if he knows exactly where his teammate is going to cross the ball or where and when his teammate is going to make a pass. I have previously said that Roles has a bit of a Berbatov like panache about his game. And I think that really shows when he connects with a cross or a pass. His first touch is always good and he shows good composure in high pressure situations. Roles reads the game like a veteran and his movement in and around the danger zone and from counter attacks is razor sharp. Again coming back to the Dele Alli/Frank Lampard, or even Harry Kane comparison there is a striking likeness about Roles game to those players. There’s been games where I have paid really close attention to his off the ball movement. The timing of his runs and the swiftness of thought that he shows is quite something. A lot of Jacks goals come from inside the penalty area and many are as a result of the way in which he just ghosts into the box, somehow managing to go undetected before pouncing on a loose ball to clinically convert. As a defender Jack is a difficult player to read when he is playing as a ten or out on the flank. He is a particularly skilful and silky player who is a good dribbler and an excellent mover of the ball. This season Roles has mixed up his game when playing in less natural positions. During our under 23’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea, Roles received the ball down the left side of the penalty area. He cut inside his man before somehow managing to tuck the ball past the goalkeeper from a tight angle with a smart finish. On another occasion he was able to follow up on a teammates shot on goal by making a darting run into the penalty area to get to the loose ball, before the goalkeeper did. In that scenario Roles managed to get the ball before calmly sorting his feet out and cleverly scooping the ball beyond the goalkeeper and into the roof of the goal.

The 19 year old is a really good finisher in front of goal and he has shown already this season that he can play up top. Although he is a right footer Roles is good on his left and he can finish with both feet. While he is quite a character on the field where he is often getting involved in arguments with the opposing teams players following a heavy challenge etc, he is such a cool customer in front of goal. He is very good at finishing from one on ones and from chances which come his way inside the six yard box. He is a poacher and an alert one at that, and while he has been known to score some spectacular goals over the years, a lot of those that he does score are typical poachers finishes from inside the six yard box. Roles is a dead ball specialist and he is particularly lethal from free kicks and penalty kicks where he has an impressive conversion rate from. Away from his offensive contribution Roles is an extremely hard worker off the ball regardless of what position he is playing in. He tracks back well after him and he closes down players well, Roles plays with a real bite and hunger about him. And he is a tough tackling midfielder who is good at breaking up play and recycling possession. As he has played in a much more advanced role this season I’ve come to see just how skilful and classy Roles is on the ball. He shows good balance and while he isn’t relatively quick he travels with the ball with a real elegance, and his close ball control is very good. Regardless of whether he is playing up front, or in the hole or even in the centre of the park Roles is a player who impacts the game. He is a very intelligent and versatile young player who is aware of his surroundings and constantly looking to initiate attacking moves. There are very few young players in academy football who are able to fill in at such a variety of positions and are able to impact the game to the same effect that Jack does. There is no denying that Roles is a richly talented young man who has a remarkable ability to score goals from all over the pitch. To have been directly involved in 15 goals for his club and country this season from just 22 games is a seriously impressive statistic for somebody who doesn’t play as an out and out striker.

As the season goes on I am sure that the midfielders goal involvement will only increase. And while I would love to see him appear on the bench for our first team when Son is away on international duty next month, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Jack join fellow Spurs man Anthony Georgiou in winning his first full international cap for Cyprus at some point in 2019. I am sure that the Cypriot FA will be keen to tie Jack down to Cyprus before England come calling later down the line. Former Spurs player Eddie Clayton has watched Jack play twice this season and Clayton was left particularly impressed with the Spurs youngsters quality on the field and also how polite he was when he met him after our under 23’s 1-0 win over Leicester City back in October. While I could write a book on Jacks off the ball movement and ability to ghost in at the back post and score goals, I am going to sign off this piece here. I would like to wish Jack all the very best of luck for the remainder of the season and I hope that he is ever so proud of how well he is doing for himself.

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My piece on Spurs’ young midfield mercurial talent Paris Maghoma and his excellent start to the 2018/19 season:

My piece on Spurs’ young midfield mercurial talent Paris Maghoma and his excellent start to the 2018/19 season:

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For those of you who regularly read my match reports you will all know how highly I rate our 17 year old academy midfielder Paris Maghoma. Paris comes from a real footballing family, and he is the younger brother of our former player and current Birmingham City star Jacques Maghoma, and our former academy played Christian Maghoma who plays for Polish Ekstraklasa side Arka Gdynia. The youngest of the Maghoma brothers has been in sensational form for our development side this season and he seems to have come on leaps and bounds after enjoying a successful pre-season. A skilful and adaptable central midfielder who is comfortable playing in the hole and out on the wing, Maghoma is a silky creative midfielder who loves to take players on, and drive at opposition defences. The Enfield born midfielder who has been at Spurs since a very young age was brought up in Finchley, North London where he attended Finchley Catholic High School. Maghoma has so often played above his age group over the years and during the 2016/17 season the then schoolboy stepped up on five occasions to play for our under 18’s. Directly involved in two goals from those five matches Maghoma was even included in our 19 side which competed in the end of the season Terborg tournament in the Netherlands. The midfielder joined Spurs full time in the summer of 2017 and it was during his first year of scholarship that Maghoma forced himself into the under 18 side. A mainstay in Scott Parker’s side that season, Maghoma put in a series of impressive performances for our under 18’s both in the league and in the domestic cup competitions, making 26 appearances for Parker’s side during the 2017/18 season. Maghoma found the back of the net on three occasions and he set up a further five. As well as helping our under 18’s to reach the final of the Premier League under 18 cup, Maghoma was also a regular for our under 19’s (making six appearances) in the UEFA youth league and he helped them to reach the quarterfinals of that competition. The first year scholar was by far the youngest member of the squad, but still he found himself being trusted to start our big quarterfinal against Porto ahead of older and more experienced players.

While I personally think that Maghoma had a very good 2017/18 campaign I have noticed a significant improvement in his all round game this season. After starring in our under 18’s 6-4 win over Brighton on the opening day of the season less than a week after he made his first team debut in a friendly against Girona, Maghoma was quickly drafted into Wayne Burnett’s development side. That same preseason Maghoma also won the prestigious player of the tournament award, for his performances in the Tournoi Europeen for our development side. The 17 year old made his debut for our under 23’s in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the PL2 up in Anfield in August. Since putting in a tenacious performance under testing conditions Maghoma has not only gone onto become a mainstay in Burnett’s side, but he has established himself as one of the under 23’s most important and consistent players. Along with Jack Roles, Maghoma has been our biggest goal threat and the second year scholars versatility has also proved to be useful for Wayne Burnett. Paris has clocked up over 1,630 minutes for Spurs at all levels this season. Further to that he has made 21 appearances for Spurs in all competitions so far this campaign, and from those 21 appearances Maghoma has scored seven goals and he has assisted on four occasions for his teammates. Maghoma has often been the star of the show for our development side, and he has put in several match winning performances already this campaign from both central midfield and in the hole. The North Londoners club form has also earned him a recall to the England international setup. During the last international break Maghoma was called up to the England under 18 side. That was Maghoma’s first England call up since under 16 level, he had also represented them at under 15 level. Despite playing for England at youth level he is also eligible to represent DR Congo and Belgium. Young Paris for those of you who have only seen him in fleeting glimpses is a silky and powerful creative central midfielder, who also regularly plays a number ten and as an inside forward. The skilful Maghoma is most accomplished in the middle of the park and he is a player in the mould of a player such as Paul Pogba or Ross Barkley. He is an expressive midfielder who links defence with attack so well.

Maghoma’s footballing hero is Ronaldinho and the Brazilian icon has clearly influenced the teenagers style of play. Paris is a very skilful midfielder who plays with a lot of flair about him, unlike many midfielders Maghoma is always looking to take on and beat players and drive forward with the ball. He is effective as a box to box midfielder and this season he has also shown that he can play as a midfield destroyer if needs be. He demonstrated this just the other week in our under 18’s FA youth cup third round tie against Millwall at the Den. In that particular game Spurs were unable to play their usual passing game to effect and the game needed somebody who could act as an enforcer in the middle of the park. Maghoma stepped up and he became that dominant midfield force, breaking up play and helping to recycle possession. The 17 year old also showed good leadership skills and he helped to organise the side and keep them motivated during difficult stages in the game. Like academy graduate Josh Onomah, Maghoma takes the game in his stride and he always shows good composure. He also carries the ball well and while he does like to take risks in dangerous positions, he is a player who always remains defensively disciplined and ready to fill in for players who are out of position. Every central midfielder needs to be a good passer of the ball and Maghoma is certainly that, he knows how to pick as pass and generally speaking he is a crisp passer of the ball and he never holds onto it for longer than he needs to. Like Ross Barkley, Maghoma’s awareness is impressive and he reads situations well. Although he is quite tall and slim, he is one of the strongest players in our academy side and he is often able to hold off bigger and more physical opponents. In my eyes he is the complete central midfielder and he is a player who has all the attributes needed to succeed in that role. However, Maghoma plays with an attacking flair which few English central midfielders play with. He is often the player who changes games providing our various youth teams with that all important spark.

What the second year scholar does so well in matches is picking the ball up in the middle of the pitch and driving forward at the oppositions defence. Maghoma’s trademark jinking runs through the middle of the park are always extremely effective. He has that rare ability to create chances from nothing and he attacks with a real intent. I have seen the tricky teenager pick the ball up and go on many slaloming runs through the middle of the park, beating four or five players with his dazzling skill. He is a young man who always gets spectators off of their seats, the way that he just glides past players seems so effortless but it is all done with such skill. As I have said previously he plays in a very Pogba-esque way and as a box to box midfielder he is one of the very best from his age group in the country. One such example of this occurred during our under 18’s opening day win over Brighton in the league. Maghoma was a class above any other player on the pitch that day, and there was a particular moment in the game when he took everybody’s breath away. After picking the ball up some 25 yards out from goal Paris pulled off two exquisite pieces of skill to work his way around two Brighton players, before continuing forwards and firing an unstoppable swerving effort past the helpless Brighton goalkeeper. Paris is an excellent striker of the ball and as he showed quite superbly during our under 19’s 2-2 draw against PSV in the UEFA youth league, that once he connects with the ball sweetly there is no stopping him. One young Englishman who I could compare Paris with is Wolverhampton Wanderers starlet Morgan Gibbs-White. Although he is slightly older than Maghoma the Wolves youngster is similar to Paris in how he operates as a central midfielder. Like the Spurs youngster Gibbs-White is a very confident player who loves to take on and beat players as he goes on promising little attacking forays through the middle of the pitch. Although I personally think that Maghoma is a better player than the Wolves midfielder, you cannot compare them due to the fact that Gibbs-White has played regular first team football over the last year.

My point however, is that both Maghoma and Gibbs-White aren’t your average young English central midfielder. So many young midfielders don’t hold onto the ball and instead they will try to influence the game with their passing. However, Maghoma not only oozes class, he also oozes confidence and he is willing to gamble by looking to create openings in other teams defences. He is brave and committed but he is also a refreshingly well rounded midfielder who can adapt his game to different situations and scenarios. Since the days of Paul Gascoigne England have never really produced the type of midfielder who will travel with the ball from deep. A player who can beat several players with ease before picking a defence splitting pass to set the centre forward through on goal. Maghoma can also do a sterling job as a holding midfielder, a role which he has played in on a number of occasions for our development side this season. Paris is a dead ball specialist and he is often on set piece duties for Wayne Burnett’s side. He is a good crosser of the ball and he also takes some really good dipping free kicks with his side foot. Although I have talked in length about Paris in his natural position I would also like to about Paris the CAM. So often throughout his career Maghoma has played in the hole as a number ten and this season has been no different for the Spurs youngster. Some of Maghoma’s best performances this season have come from him playing in a more advanced role on the pitch. Just a couple of weeks ago he tore apart German club Wolfsburg’s second teams defence to shreds in the premier league international cup. It was one of many examples of Maghoma excelling in that CAM position. Against Wolfsburg II he initiated many chances with some very intelligent play. He tricked his way past players and looked to take on the defenders which meant that Wolfsburg broke up, meaning that Spurs‘ centre forward Kazaiah Sterling was given more space. Maghoma tracked back well after him but he also worked tirelessly to create little pockets of space for himself in and around the danger zone.

Without waxing lyrical about Maghoma, he has put in some very Dele Alli like performances so far this season in the number ten role. A lot of his goals have come from him playing in that position. What reminds of Dele Alli in Maghoma’s game is the way in which he anticipates situations and understands his teammates. Dele Alli and Harry Kane link up very well and they compliment one another throughout matches. Meanwhile Maghoma and young Irish centre forward Troy Parrott have a very similar relationship at youth team level, and the pair have combined really well for our under 19 side this season in Europe. It’s that intelligence and understanding of the game which has impressed me so much this season as a Spurs fan. The 17 year old is unpredictable and he mixes up his play, sometimes opting to go for the spectacular and on other occasions looking to play more simply by playing clever one twos on the edge of the penalty area. Regardless of how good a game Paris has had, one thing which is always consistent is his razor sharp movement. He is just as much a joy to watch off the ball as he is on it, he is so lively on the edge of the box. Furthermore, the timing of Maghoma’s runs in and behind the defence are so well timed and they are very instinctive. Another impressive quality that he shows off the ball is his leadership. Maghoma has shown time and time again that he is a leader of men, and the charismatic midfielder won’t stand for any nonsense on the field. I like a lot of things about Maghoma’s style of play but amongst all the flicks and tricks and the mazy surging runs, what impresses me the most of all is how well rounded a footballer he is for such a young man, and just how adaptable he can be. Paris is a special talent who can do things with a football that many young players could only dream of. We are now at the midway point of the 2018/19 season and for me the teenager has been our development sides best player this campaign, and his statistics will back that up. Paris has been an absolute privilege to watch this season and he is one of the first names that I look for on the team sheet.

There is no doubting that Paris is a special talent after all he is an England under 18 international in an exceptionally talented age group. He is a mercurial talent who also has an excellent work rate. However, he is only 17 and he is an ever developing and ever improving footballer who shows such promise. Paris has been a privilege to watch so far this season and I would love to see him involved with the first team at some point in the season just like Oliver Skipp has been recently. I wish Paris all the very best of luck for the remainder of the 2018/19 season for both Spurs and England. Maghoma will be hoping to be involved in our under 23’s PL2 game against Liverpool on the 7th of January. In the meantime I hope that our young midfield maestro enjoys the rest of the Christmas holiday.

 

My interview with former Tottenham Hotspur youth player Terry Lloyd:

My interview with former Tottenham Hotspur youth player Terry Lloyd:

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Terry Lloyd was a lightning quick centre forward who was also adept at playing out wide on either flank during his time in Tottenham Hotspur’s youth team during the early 1960’s. Lloyd was a prolific scorer at youth level for Spurs at the time of the famous double winning side, and the promising teenager from East London was touted by many at Spurs to achieve great things in the game. Lloyd could also play as an outside left and he racked up some pretty impressive statistics during his time in the youth team and the A team. Lloyd was in the same age group as future first team players Philip Beal and Frank Saul and during one particular FA youth cup game against QPR, Lloyd scored five goals in a 7-0 win at Loftus road. Although Terry never made the grade at Spurs, after departing the club he joined his boyhood club West Ham where he played predominantly for their A team alongside a certain Harry Redknapp. He would later go onto play for a host of non league sides before quitting the game and eventually going onto forge a successful career out of being a London black cab driver. The season ticket holder at West Ham kindly agreed to doing an interview with me back in October, I met Terry in Biggleswade where he lives. And can I just say what a fantastic man he is and what an absolute privilege it was to interview him about his time at Tottenham Hotspur. Terry is pictured above and he is situated on the far left of the bottom row.

What are your earliest footballing memories?

Terry: My earliest memories of playing football were at school in East Ham when I played for the local schools and then for the borough and East Ham boys. We nearly won the best borough in the whole of England but drew away to Doncaster in the final, and then lost 1-0 at West Ham in front of a crowd of 17,000 at that game in West Ham. My earliest memory at Spurs was basically when I was offered the chance to go to Tottenham and I thought I was going to make it to the top, but nevertheless I didn’t. I didn’t put enough effort into it and now I realise that I didn’t and that you need to go back in the afternoon to training, as in them days you had an option and we all went home. All I can tell you is that I should have done more.

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

Terry: Bill Nicholson came to my house and knocked on my door and asked me if I would like to play for Spurs, after the scouts had told him about me. So he came around in his car and knocked on my door and met with my parents before asking them if it was ok to go to Spurs and they said yes. So that’s how it started and I enjoyed it.

What were you first impressions of life at Spurs?

Terry: At first I felt a bit lost because I’d come to Spurs straight from school, I hadn’t had a job. I used to come on the bus to Tottenham and it would take an hour and a half to get there and then back home afterwards. It was strange but exciting in the fact that you didn’t have to be in till 10 in the morning, so there was no madness. You trained for two hours in the day etc, and then you headed home at 12:30 on the bus to East Ham. So that was brilliant and you got paid for it, but when things didn’t go as good as they should have done you realised that you should have stayed on studying and if not I should have been dedicated at the time. You always think your going to be alright and that you’ll do your bit and then be in the first team, but it doesn’t work like that. You suddenly get to a point when if you’re not getting in quick enough then you think hold on there’s somebody else there that’s as good as me. And all of a sudden the club are saying that they don’t want you, and then you realise that you’re lovely today but tomorrow it’ll be I’ll speak to you later, the new boys in. It’s ruthless and don’t get me wrong I should have had my head on more but there we are, I hadn’t quite made it. Maybe I didn’t have the ability and didn’t study and train hard enough and like lots of things you need to do everything you need to do. Because in sport it’s a short period of time and in the beginning it’s not a problem but all of a sudden 2-3 years down the line and your not going to where you want to go. So you think oh dear, and as you start to slide that way down scouts start to think that your not good enough. So it was hard but I’m happy!

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

Terry: It was as good as gold. All of the first team players were great even though one or two players might not have got on as well with you as another player. I was happy and privileged to go to Spurs straight from school because I  didn’t have to go to work, instead I went to football.

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

Terry: The left winger at Spurs at the time was Cliff Jones and he was unbelievable, he was so fast and he could jump taller than anybody else despite being shorter than me, and he was lethal. I got on with both Cliff Jones and Terry Medwin but as a player he was something else. There was also the centre forward Bobby Smith who wouldn’t take no nonsense if defenders tried to mess him around and he was brilliant. However, the whole squad was and you could talk to all of the first team players and ask them questions. Although you may get the odd one who was a bit touchy, the rest of them were as good as gold. 

Could you describe to me what type of player you were and what positions you played in the Spurs youth team?

Terry: On the left wing, on the right wing and as a centre forward because I used to score a lot of goals as I realised my speed and my strength. Something I’ve got to tell you about is when we were doing something for BBC television and we (the youth team) were all training to be live on television. We were shooting and crossing the balls at the main stadium. We trained all morning and I was hitting every shot into the goal, it would come across to me and bang it was a goal. But then it came to five o’clock at night and it went live, they put the ball over to me and I must have been four feet away from the goal and I went and hit it straight over the bar! I didn’t know where to put my face because it was live and I couldn’t change it.

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

Terry: The most famous ones were Cliff Jones, Bobby Smith and Danny Blanchflower but the whole lot of them were good players. There wasn’t one of them you could pull out and say no, it was a whole team who all had their own abilities. We also had a Scottish winger called John White who was unbelievable in the respect that he was never physical as such, but he had it all in his head. Every time he moved he found space and when the ball came over he instinctively knew where the gaps were. It was actually his father in law Harry Evans who was the assistant manager who said at the time to me that he would have kept me at the club a bit longer, but that’s football.

During your time in the youth set up at Spurs, you would have played regularly with the likes of future first team players Frank Saul and Roy Low. What was that youth team that we had during the double winning era like to play in?

Terry: It was very good but like myself there were not many that made it through. I thought I wasn’t going to make it and the money wasn’t any good at the time. I ended up working in the office for the port of London in the docks and I worked there for 16 years. In the meantime I did the knowledge and I became a licensed black cab driver and I only retired two years ago after driving a cab for 42-43 years.

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

Terry: I liked the tours that we went on with the junior side because that was the first time I ever travelled abroad. We played in Switzerland one year and then Germany another where we lost a tournament which included Man United and clubs from all different countries. The first time I ever got on a plane was in 1959 and never did I think I’d ever be on an aeroplane as I was from a working background, and playing in a stadium in a different country was just wonderful, it was a great way of life. However, you must do your education first then you can carry on with your football! Because when you look back there are a lot of players who got into things like gambling because they had too much spare time.

Was playing abroad your favourite memory?

Terry: Yes, because playing abroad you thought that you were on another planet because I’d never travelled before.

What was the coaching you received at Spurs like?

Terry: I can’t really say much on that because basically they used to get us to be fit, if you were fast then you were fast and if you were slow then you were slow but the slow players were normally better up top. In training the coaches always wanted you to be in position and to connect with the ball that was being passed to you.

What was the greatest moment of your footballing career?

Terry: That was during my second year at Spurs when they said that they were going to keep me on, and I really thought then that I was going to be there forever. In those days at the end of each season you had to go to see the manager to see whether you were going to be kept on. 

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

Terry: In training I used to train with all the big players but not in the A team. There were people like me who got near it but didn’t get there, but in training they put you in the reserves.

What if you had to pick a player?

Terry: Cliff Jones. He had everything including speed even though he broke both of his legs. He was only about my size but no one could touch him with his speed, and Cliffie could out jump anyone, he used to just  glide up in the air. Even now he still looks fit!

You played at Spurs during that famous double winning season of 1960/61 and you would have got to have known the likes of Bill Nicholson and Danny Blanchflower. What was it like brushing shoulders with that group of players, and what were they like as a team?

Terry: The players were always friends as they got to know you from being there as juniors and they were helpful. Every now and again somebody was a bit touchy after you tackled them as they didn’t want to get injured, but everybody was good. The first team players were never rude or flash generally speaking.

What was Bill Nicholson like as a manager?

Terry: Like a lot of managers he would take to some players more than other players but he was good. He was hard and he wouldn’t take any messing about. You used to have to see Bill Nicholson every year to sign up again or whatever, he was typical Yorkshire and he would do things how he wanted to do them and he was very strict, and I liked that. He was the one who came to my house to ask me if I’d come to Spurs. However, if any of the players needed help then they would go to Danny Blanchflower.

What was the great Danny Blanchflower like?

Terry: He was a really nice fellow but he was never somebody who would hang around. After the matches he would go inside the changing room and have one drink but he would never stay beyond that. How can I put it, he was helpful and he knew everything but he didn’t hang around and play cards or things like that but then again his levels were a lot higher than the rest of us. 

What prompted you to leave Spurs and could you talk me through your career after you left the Lilywhites?

Terry: They didn’t want me anymore so after leaving Spurs I went back to West Ham and after being injured for six months I started playing again and I thought that I would be kept on. However, they ended up saying that they didn’t want me and in the end I went to play in the southern league with Brentwood and I was there for two years but in the end I thought that it was pointless. I’d just got married and we had a young child and it was pointless playing football because I wasn’t going to get enough money and so that’s when I went back into the city to work. After coming out I worked for the port of London and after 14 years working there I wanted to be self employed so I decided to do the knowledge. I ended up driving a cab for 24 years. 

After all these years how do you look back on your time at Spurs and despite being a West Ham fan what does the club still mean to you today?

Terry: Spurs and my local club West Ham are the two teams that I always want to do well. One is where you were born and the other was where you wanted to be successful. 

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

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

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Our under 18’s contested a hugely entertaining cup match up in Darlington on Saturday morning as Matt Wells side took on Middlesbrough at their Rockliffe Park training ground, in the Premier League under 18 cup. It was another important cup game for Matt Wells unbeaten under 18 side, who only needed a point to progress to the quarter finals of the competition as one of the two best placed runners up. And despite the fact that Spurs had made wholesale changes from their FA youth cup win against Millwall in midweek, Wells still put out a strong Tottenham team which was more than capable of defeating ‘ The Boro ’ who had conceded 12 goals from their last two matches in all competitions. Rotation made by Matt Wells and the Tottenham coaching staff resulted in Kacper Kurylowicz making his debut for the under 18 side between the sticks, while rare starts were also handed out to Chay Cooper and Maurizio Pochettino. Spurs dominated large periods of Saturdays 2-2 draw and they were unarguably the better side. However, Mark Tinkler’s Middlesbrough were extremely well organised and their Pulis-esque direct style of play did manage to unsettle our lads throughout the match. After a good start to the game Spurs managed to create a number of good chances to take the lead but it was ‘ The Boro’ who took the lead against the run of play through fullback Daniel Dodds. Spurs responded well and after showing good feet Rodel Richards slotted Spurs level before halftime. Middlesbrough improved during the second half and after enjoying a good spell in the game, they regained their lead courtesy of young Spaniard Alberto Balde’s sweetly struck volley. As a result of this Matt Wells made a double substitution, bringing on Paris Maghoma and Rayan Clarke in an attempt to draw Spurs level once again. And after battling hard to break down the rigid Middlesbrough defence, Spurs managed to find an equaliser through substitute Rayan Clarke’s delicious curling effort. The home side were reduced to ten men shortly afterwards when Cain Sykes was sent off off after picking up his second yellow card of the game. But despite the numerical advantage Spurs were unable to find the winner with Tinkler’s youngsters playing with nine men behind the ball at all times. 

It was another good performance from Spurs who managed to get that all important point to book their place in the quarterfinals of the competition. Potential opponents include Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton. Spurs lined up in the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation under the morning sun on Saturday. First year scholar and goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz made his first appearance for the under 18 side while a back four of Tainio, Okedina, Binks and Cirkin lined up in front of him. Captain Harvey White (his first time skippering the under 18 side) and Elliot Thorpe started in central midfield due to the absence of Armando Shashoua who suffered a studded thigh against Millwall earlier in the week. Maurizio Pochettino and Chay Cooper operated out on the flanks with Dilan Markanday either side of them playing in the hole. And 18 year old centre forward Rodel Richards led the line for the young Lilywhites. Middlesbrough were not giving out team sheets on Saturday so unfortunately a lot of the Middlesbrough players were unidentifiable and will have to be referred to by their numbers. Spurs got the game underway on a glorious sunny morning at Rockliffe Park. And Matt Wells side started the game really well, and they could have taken the lead inside the opening five minutes of the match. A perfect long pass from Luis Binks at the back managed to pick out Dilan Markanday on the right flank and the tricky 17 year old managed to beat Middlesbrough’s left back before crossing for Cooper who had made a run towards the back post. However, with the goal gaping the 17 year old couldn’t keep his header down and he ended up heading narrowly over. Middlesbrough responded at the other end through the speedy Alberto Balde who received Daniel Dodds pass down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area. However, the former Portadown schoolboys powerful low effort, was saved well by the feet of Kurylowicz. Middlesbrough were pumping the ball into the danger zone at every opportunity and Luis Binks managed to effectively clear Gabriel McGill’s cross from the right wing. 

The alert Kacper Kurylowicz did well a couple of minutes later to read number 3’s through ball to McGill which outwitted the Spurs defence, but the teenager from Milton Keynes came rushing out of his box to clear the ball. Middlesbrough were growing into the game and after the potent Balde went on a surging run down the left flank, the winger squared the ball to McGill inside the danger zone, but the the striker missed the ball and it was picked up by number 7 on the edge of the box. However, ‘ The Boro ’ wingers powerful strike was blocked by Elliot Thorpe who went down injured and had to receive treatment from the medical staff. After winning a corner kick Maurizio Pochettino played a short pass to Markanday who gave the ball back to the winger. Pochettino then passed the ball to Thorpe on the edge of the penalty area, but his first time curling effort flashed just wide of Solomon Brynn’s goal. And it was straight from the resulting Middlesbrough attack that the home side took a slightly unexpected lead. Mark Tinkler’s side had caught Spurs out down the left flank, as number 7 advanced on a galavanting run down the channel, before passing the ball to Daniel Dodds down the right side of the penalty area. The fullback managed to shift away from Okedina before firing a low effort across the diving Kurylowicz and into the far corner of the goal from a tight angle, 0-1. Spurs went on a good move shortly after the restart, White passed the ball to Thorpe who gave it to Richards and then Cooper out on the left wing. However, his whipped cross which was intended for Pochettino who was ghosting in at the back post was smothered by Brynn. Tinkler’s side went down the other end of the pitch, number 6 gave the ball to Balde on the left flank and he passed the ball down the line for number 3 who whipped a dangerous ball across the face of Kurylowicz’s goal. The Spurs goalkeeper comfortably gathered Daniel Dodds’ strike from long range a couple of minutes later. However, Matt Wells side always maintained their high intensity and they managed to draw level a couple of minutes later through Rodel Richards.

Captain Harvey White passed the ball to Thorpe who threaded a clever pass through to Richards on the edge of the Middlesbrough penalty area. The Spurs forward showed good feet as he entered the box, and he did well to jink away from Daniel Dodds and Middlesbrough’s number 5, before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Brynn’s goal, 1-1. Luis Binks could be seen claiming a penalty for Spurs shortly after the restart, after Harvey White’s corner kick appeared to be handled by Middlesbrough’s number 4 inside the penalty area. This had become a very open game of football despite the fact that Spurs were dominating possession. Daniel Dodds played a pass down the line to Cain Sykes on the right wing. Sykes cut inside onto his left foot on the edge of the penalty before firing over Kurylowicz’s crossbar. A laser like long pass from Luis Binks managed to pick out Pochettino on the right flank a couple of minutes later. However, Pochettino’s resulting ball into the penalty area ended up bouncing off of Richards who was unable to get the ball under control. Markanday managed to work ‘ The Boro ’ defence shortly afterwards when he received Tainio’s pass down the right hand side of the Middlesbrough penalty area. Markanday’s first touch was sublime but after cutting inside onto his left foot he ended up curling an effort well over Brynn’s crossbar. The defensively flawless Luis Binks made a crucial sliding challenge to thwart a dangerous Middlesbrough attack shortly afterwards. Middlesbrough’s left back had played a perfectly weighted defence splitting pass beyond the Tottenham back line to set number 10 racing through on goal. However, Binks did excellently well to get back before making a superb inch perfect sliding challenge on their number 10 inside the box, to win the ball off of him and and get it clear. Spurs went on a promising attack down the other end after Tainio passed the ball to Markanday, he beat two Middlesbrough players before surging towards the box and forcing a good stop from Brynn to deny his curling effort on goal. However, the Middlesbrough goalkeeper couldn’t hold the ball and it was pounced upon by Richards who quickly gave the ball to Pochettino, who was quickly closed down by number 5 who prevented him from getting his shot away.

Luis Binks conceded a free kick on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area right on the stroke of halftime following a supposed foul on McGill. However, Cain Sykes resulting effort deflected off of Tainio in the Spurs wall before Kurylowicz made the save. Middlesbrough got the second half underway and Mark Tinkler’s side had started the half well. Harvey White managed to clear number 3’s delivery from a free kick, before Middlesbrough defender number 6 went on a surging run through the middle of the pitch before firing an effort well wide of the mark. Kacper Kurylowicz did well to gather the same players cross a couple of moments later. And ‘ The Boro ’ player continued to cause Spurs problems after he took the ball off of Cooper on the right wing before whipping a danger ball across the face of the Tottenham goal, which Balde came close to meeting at the back post. And once again the Middlesbrough player threatened the Spurs defence this time after receiving number 3’s pass inside the Spurs box. However, his effort on the turn was well blocked by Cirkin who threw himself in front of the ball. Cirkin then managed to block the Middlesbrough’s defenders cross a couple of minutes later which was intended for McGill inside the box. Middlesbrough were enjoying a really good spell in the game and they continued to come at the Spurs defence. A fast attacking move resulted in number 3 passing the ball to McGill and then to number 10 who gave it to Balde on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. However, the wingers effort on the edge of the box was well saved by the diving Kurylowicz. Spurs responded down the other end through Dennis Cirkin who after receiving Rodel Richards pass blazed an effort over Solomon Brynn’s crossbar from long range. Alberto Balde came close to regaining the lead for Middlesbrough at the other end after he received number 3’s pass down the left side of the Tottenham box. Balde then cut inside Jubril Okedina before seeing his powerful effort on goal blocked behind for a corner kick by Tainio. And it was from the resulting corner kick that Middlesbrough regained the lead.

Number 7’s corner was played short to Daniel Dodds who crossed the ball for number 6 inside the penalty area. The Middlesbrough defenders header was blocked away by Cirkin but the ball ended up coming out to Balde on the edge of the box. The young Spaniard caught the ball so sweetly on the volley and his unstoppable thunderbolt flew past Kurylowicz and into the middle of the goal, 1-2. Captain Harvey White could be heard frantically urging his teammates on in the aftermath of the goal. Matt Wells responsed by sending on Rayan Clarke and Paris Maghoma who replaced Elliott Thorpe and Maurizio Pochettino. Harvey White had a corner kick cleared by number 6 at his near post before the Spurs captain got on the end of Rayan Clarke’s corner a couple of minutes later. White passed the ball to Richards inside the box but the Tottenham strikers resulting effort was blocked by Daniel Dodds. Dilan Markanday then had an effort blocked by number 4 as Spurs upped their tempo as they went in search of that all important equaliser, as the home side dropped deeper. Kacper Kurylowicz was called into action to deny Alberto Balde after the left winger darted into the Tottenham penalty area, after receiving number 6’s pass, before having his powerful low effort saved by the feet of the Spurs goalkeeper before Binks passed the loose ball back into the hands of Kurylowicz. This resulted in a number of Middlesbrough players protesting to the referee that Binks had made the back pass. After playing with a higher intensity following the introduction of Paris Maghoma and Rayan Clarke, Matt Wells side managed to score an all important leveller through Clarke. The goal had been created by Dilan Markanday who after picking the ball up inside his own half on the right flank, somehow managed to shrug off number 3’s flying challenge on him before continuing down the wing. Markanday travelled forward down the channel on one of his jinking runs before cutting inside and finding Clarke down the left side of the box with a good pass. Rayan Clarke did a couple of step overs before cutting inside and bending a powerful effort into the top right hand corner of Brynn’s goal, 2-2.

Maxwell Statham came on for Maximus Tainio at right back to bolster the Spurs defence for the final stages of the game. Spurs received a boost after Cain Sykes was dismissed after receiving his second yellow card of the game for a nasty challenge on Rayan Clarke down the left wing. Paris Maghoma then had a dangerous cross cut out by number 12 before Clarke could meet it at the back post inside the Middlesbrough box. Tinkler’s side were time wasting during the final moments of the game and in the end both sides were content to settle for a draw. It was a good performance from Matt Wells lads a number of whom haven’t been regular starters for the side this season. We defended well and had Cain Sykes have been sent off ten minutes earlier then we would have got the win. It was another positive result and performance from unbeaten Tottenham Hotspur to cap off an excellent 2018. I would like to wish Matt Wells and his under 18 side a very happy Christmas and I hope that they enjoy their winter break. Our under 18’s next game isn’t until Saturday the 5th of January, that is a league game against Swansea City at Hotspur Way.

  • Kacper Kurylowicz: The first year scholar had an excellent game on his debut for our under 18 side. Kurylowicz made five saves in total against Middlesbrough and he impressed with his shot stopping, distribution and vocalness on the pitch. The 17 year old made a string of important stops, two of which were made with his feet to deny ‘ The Boro ’ from close range including an excellent reaction save to deny Alberto Balde early on in the game. Kurylowicz dealt well with crosses and set pieces, and I thought that he read the game well.
  • Maximus Tainio: The Finland under 19 international defended solidly during his 80 minutes on the pitch. Tainio who operated at right back had the tough task of defending against Middlesbrough’s speedy winger Alberto Balde, but he dealt with the threat posed by Balde well. Tainio got up and down the flank well, and he linked up well with Pochettino down that side of the pitch. 
  • Jubril Okedina: Operating at RCB Jubril Okedina formed a particularly strong partnership with Luis Binks at centre back. The second year scholar put in another good performance for our under 18’s and he was impressive all round. Okedina was excellent in the air and calm under pressure, and the 18 year old dealt well with the threat of Middlesbrough centre forward Gabriel McGill.
  • Luis Binks: My motm, see below.
  • Dennis Cirkin: It was another strong defensive performance from the 16 year old left back who looked very assured against Middlesbrough on Saturday. Cirkin kept Middlesbrough’s number 7 in check for the majority of the match and he combined his defensive duties well with his many attacking forays down the right channel. The Dubliner made a number of important blocks and interceptions.
  • Harvey White: Captaining our under 18’s for the first time this season, central midfielder Harvey White was domineering in the middle of the park in Saturday’s 2-2 draw. White moved the ball around well and he made some nice passes from midfield. In addition the 17 year old helped to break up play and recycle possession. White motivated his team mates well and he was a good leader on the field.
  • Elliot Thorpe: Like White, Elliot Thorpe had a good game in central midfield and he used the ball well. Thorpe went on some nice runs through the middle of the park and he made some nice crisp passes. The 18 year old was neat and tidy but he was positive in possession and moved around well and tracked back after him. Thorpe set up Rodel Richards goal for our first of the game with a clever pass.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: The 17 year old started out on the right wing where he made a positive impression on the game. Pochettino whipped some good crosses into the danger zone.
  • Dilan Markanday: Despite starting the match in the hole Markanday played out on the right wing for the final 25 or so minutes of the game. Markanday was superb against Middlesbrough and he played a big part in helping us to secure that all important point. He dazzled with his clever runs through the middle and out on the flan, and he was by far our most potent attacking player. The 17 year old created numerous chances for his teammates and he whipped some delightful crosses into the Middlesbrough box. However, it was his excellent balance and intelligent weaving runs at the defence which were so effective. Markanday troubled the Middlesbrough defence for large period of the game and he would often look to test ‘ The Boro ’ goalkeeper Solomon Brynn. The second year scholar did ever so well to create substitute Rayan Clarke’s equaliser. Not only did Markanday do a fantastic job at staying on his feet after being challenged by the Middlesbrough left back he then went on a darting run down the right flank before cutting inside and showing the composure to pick out Clarke inside the box.
  • Chay Cooper: Cooper operated on the left flank for what was only his third appearance of the season for Matt Wells side. Cooper impressed out wide although he would later fill in at CM. He was tricky and direct and he was always looking to work Middlesbrough right back David Dodds. The 17 year old came so close to opening the scoring after heading Markanday’s cross narrowly over right at the beginning of the first half. 
  • Rodel Richards: The 18 year old forward led the line well for Spurs on Saturday and he made some good runs in and behind the Middlesbrough defence. Working hard to create space and to press the defenders Richards was rewarded with a well deserved goal which he took well to make it 1-1.
  • Rayan Clarke: After coming on in the 64th minute of the game to replace Pochettino, superb sub Rayan Clarke helped to sway the game in Spurs’ favour with his positive running and willingness to take players on. Clarke went on a number of searing runs down the left wing and he often had the beating of David Dodds. The 17 year netted our late leveller in superb style after he picked the up down the left side of the Middlesbrough penalty area before stepping inside and curling an unstoppable effort into the top right hand corner of Solomon Brynn’s goal. That was Clarke’s seventh goal of the campaign.
  • Paris Maghoma: The development squad regular came off the bench to help Spurs fightback to secure a point up in County Durham. Maghoma played as a CAM and he showed a willingness to drive at the Middlesbrough players which resulted in us opening up their defence. Maghoma worked hard and he made some nice passes and crosses. He was unselfish and always looking to create for the wide men Dilan Markanday and Rayan Clarke. The 17 year old brought a positive energy to the game.
  • Maxwell Statham: The 18 year old came on for the last ten minutes of the match to replace Tainio at right back, and Statham did a good job at strengthening the Spurs defence. Statham made a couple of good headed clearances during his time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Luis Binks. The elegant defender performed his duties diligently at centre half against Middlesbrough on Saturday. Binks operated at LCB alongside Okedina in a back four, and I for one thought that the England under 18 international was flawless. I paid particularly close attention to Binks throughout the match and I was so impressed by how he defended and how the 17 year old read the game and anticipated dangerous situations. It was a very commanding performance from Luis who never seemed to put a foot wrong. Binks was excellent in the air and while he was strong in the challenge the Alderweireld-esque teenager never made rash decisions. He effectively kept Middlesbrough’s centre forward Gabriel McGill out of the game and he prevented him from making runs in and behind the Spurs defence. Binks made some really important defensive interventions and he was so calm whenever he did so. The way he would stepped inside or across his man to make an interception was always done with such assuredness. The centre half helped to cut out some dangerous Middlesbrough attacks but his most impressive piece of defending was a perfectly timed sliding challenge inside the Tottenham penalty area to win the ball off of Middlesbrough’s number 10, after he had managed to go through on goal, the challenge was executed superbly by the Spurs man. Furthermore, Binks’ excellent laser like passes to Pochettino and Cooper out on the flanks was equally as impressive. He always looked so classy and so composed in what ever he was doing on the pitch.

Spurs: Kurylowicz, Tainio (Statham 80), Cirkin, White (c), Okedina, Binks, Pochettino (Clarke 64), Thorpe (Maghoma 64), Richards, Markanday, Cooper.

Substitute (not used): Oluwayemi.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 10

Dilan Markanday – 7

Rayan Clarke – 7

J’Neil Bennett – 6

Armando Shashoua – 4

Harvey White – 4

Rodel Richards – 4

Luis Binks – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Jubril Okedina – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 10

Armando Shashoua – 9

Jamie Bowden – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Rayan Clarke – 4

Troy Parrott – 4

Dilan Markanday – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Maxwell Statham – 1

Jeremie Mukendi – 1

Elliot Thorpe – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 4

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

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

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Our under 18’s will face Middlesbrough tomorrow up in Darlington as Matt Wells side prepare to play their last game of 2018. On a high from Monday’s dramatic FA youth cup third round win against Millwall at the Den, Matt Wells unbeaten side will be hoping that they can maintain their impressive record when they face Middlesbrough in the under 18 premier league cup tomorrow, by booking their place in the knockout stages of the competition. Saturday mornings match is the Group A decider, with both teams having already picked up six points from their first two matches, a draw would be enough to send both sides through to the next round. However, both managers will want their team to win this game and top the group. The possible scenarios for Spurs are getting the win tomorrow and topping the group, drawing the game and going through to the knockout stages, or even losing by a small margin would also see them go through as one of the two best placed runners up. However, if Spurs were to lose by a big scoreline to the Teeside club then it could open the door for other runners up Blackburn and Chelsea. Our under 18’s reached the final of this competition last season and on their current form they must be one of the favourites to win the cup. After winning our first two group games against both Wolves and Swansea respectively, Matt Wells side will want to put the icing on the cake by progressing from the group as group winners. Middlesbrough play in the Northern Division of the under 18 premier league and as a result of this both sides rarely meet one another. The last time we met ‘ The Boro ’ was back in the spring of 2017, that day Spurs ran out 3-1 winners at Rockliffe Park. Our captain Armando Shashoua appeared to be studded quite badly by one of the Millwall players on Monday and he could well miss out on Saturday’s cup match at Rockliffe Park. Middlesbrough who are managed by Mark Tinkler have enjoyed a mixed start to to the 2018/19 season.

After ten league matches Middlesbrough occupy sixth spot in the northern league and they have been leaking a lot of goals at the back. Tinkler’s side have conceded a staggering 18 goals from their last three matches in all competitions. ‘ The Boro ’ have produced some exciting young talents over the last couple of seasons and although I don’t know an awful lot about their current crop of players I know that they have some highly rated players in their side. Winger Alberto Balde who I have highlighted below is one player to keep an eye on however, centre forward and top scorer this campaign Gabriel McGill as well as midfielder Hayden Hackney is another of Tinkler’s talented lads. I would imagine that Matt Wells will put out a strong Tottenham team for tomorrow’s match. I will be traveling up to Darlington first thing on Saturday morning to report on what promises to be a really interesting match. My in-depth match report of the game will be out on Sunday.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Tainio, Statham, Binks (c), Cirkin, White, Cooper, Markanday, Thorpe, Bennett, Richards.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Okedina, A.Shashoua, Pochettino, Clarke. 

Injured/unavailable: Phoenix Patterson, Malachi Walcott, Enock Asante, Jeremie Mukendi.

Doubtful: Armando Shashoua.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-1 (April 2017).

My score prediction: Spurs 4-1.

My one to watch: Middlesbrough’s Spanish winger Alberto Balde formerly of Northern Irish club Portadown is a player who was linked with a whole host of English clubs while he was a schoolboy in Northern Ireland. The highly rated Balde is a tricky winger, and he has found the back of the net on three occasions for Middlesbrough’s under 18 side so far this season.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/12/20/spurs-under-18s-2-1-millwall-match-report/

Spurs under 21’s 0-3 Oxford United: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 0-3 Oxford United: (match report)

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Our development side crashed out of the Checkatrade trophy on Tuesday evening, after Wayne Burnett’s side were beaten 3-0 by league one club Oxford United at the Kassam stadium. It was one challenge to many for our development side who after achieving so much in order to progress from the group stages of the competition were unable to match the league one side on the night. Oxford United who are managed by Karl Robinson were superior to us on Tuesday evening. They were stronger, quicker and much more experienced than us and despite their best efforts Burnett’s side were unable to overcome the ‘ U’s ’ who unlike us put out their strongest available side. Burnett’s side on the other hand was without the likes of Anthony Georgiou, TJ Eyoma and Paris Maghoma and the trios absence was sorely felt. It was a disappointing end to what has been an extremely positive journey in the competition this campaign. However, when youngsters are coming up against league one players of the ilk of James Henry, Simon Eastwood and Ricky Holmes you know that you’re going to be up against it. Tuesdays match under the floodlights at the Kassam stadium would have been one of the biggest games that some of our lads have ever been involved in. Oxford played some attractive attacking football and it didn’t take the league one side long before they troubled our defence. All three of the  ‘ Yellows ’ goals came from crosses and this was something which Robinson would have been instructing his players to do, as it was extremely difficult for the young Spurs defence to deal with. Oxford took the lead after just 12 minutes through Charlie Raglan who headed home Tony McMahon’s free kick. The  ‘ Yellows ’ doubled their advantage less than four minutes later through Sam Smith as Robinson’s high pressing side took control of the game. Kazaiah Sterling squandered a fantastic chance to pull a goal back for Spurs before half time. Oxford made it 3-0 early on in the second half through Tony McMahon who essentially sealed the win for the home side. Spurs did improve in the second half and they created some good chances, with Jack Roles being their best and most potent attacking player on the day. However, in the end it proved to be one test too many for Spurs who bowed out of this seasons competition with their heads held high, after picking up some valuable experience on the way.

Wayne Burnett opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for our Checkatrade trophy second round game against Oxford United on Tuesday. Brandon Austin started in goal, while a back four of Hinds, Marsh, Tanganga (the captain) and Brown sat in front of him. Dylan Duncan and Jamie Bowden lined up in the centre of the park, with Oakley-Boothe, Roles and 17 year old Rayan Clarke starting behind Kazaiah Sterling who led the line for Spurs. Oxford got the game underway at the Kassam stadium on a wet winters night in county Oxfordshire. Young Jamie Bowden conceded a free kick in a dangerous position early on in the game after he fouled Cameron Brannagan on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. And the ‘ U’s ’ almost took the lead from the resulting free kick. Tony McMahon’s curling effort managed to get up and over the Spurs wall before flying into Brandon Austin’s side netting. Sam Smith looked to attack James Henry’s cross at the back post shortly afterwards but he ended up fouling Tariq Hinds as he attempted to get to the ball. Spurs were playing about with the ball at the back as Karl Robinson’s side pressed the Spurs players aggressively. Spurs looked to attack down the other end, Duncan shifted the ball out to Clarke on the left wing. The second year scholar played the ball down the line for the overlapping Jaden Brown whose whipped cross flashed across the face of the Oxford goal. The home side then created a good chance at the other end after Gavin Whyte received James Henry’s pass out on the right flank. Whyte managed to pick out Sam Smith in space, in the middle of the Tottenham penalty with a pin point cross. However, the Oxford strikers header went narrowly over Austin’s crossbar. Oxford continued to work the Spurs defenders and they took the lead in unsurprising fashion in the 12th minute of the game. Oxford were awarded a free kick out on the right wing after Jaden Brown had fouled James Henry. Tony McMahon stood up to deliver the ball into penalty area and he managed to pick out Charlie Raglan in space in the middle of the box. Raglan got above the Spurs defenders before planting a header into the bottom right hand corner of Austin’s goal, 0-1.

Jamie Bowden managed to clear Sam Smith’s menacing cross shortly after the restart before the home team managed to carve open our defence following a well worked move. Brannagan passed the ball to Armani Little out on the right wing and the forward cut inside onto to his left foot before entering the penalty area and blazing an effort across Austin’s goal. Robinson’s side were dominating the game and it was only a matter of time before they scored again and that second goal duly arrived in the 17th minute through the ‘ U’s ’ centre forward Sam Smith. The goal came from a corner kick which was whipped into the danger zone by Everton loanee Luke Garbutt and met by Smith, who darted across the Spurs defence to meet it at the near post and head it into the top right hand corner of Austin’s goal, 0-2. The Tottenham goalkeeper was livid that his defenders hadn’t picked up Smith and rightfully so. James Henry fired an effort wide from long range a couple of minutes later after Bowden had lost possession, as Spurs struggled to get into the game. Oxford were attacking down the flanks and their wide players were pumping the ball into the box at every opportunity. George Marsh managed to clear Armani Little’s cross but it came out to Brannagan on the edge of the penalty area, and the midfielders sweetly struck effort on the half volley was well saved by the diving Austin. The so far uninvolved Kazaiah Sterling managed to intercept Luke Garbutt’s pass before darting into the Oxford penalty area. However, the alert Curtis Nelson managed to get across Sterling to win the ball off of him before the Spurs man could pull the trigger. James Henry fired an effort over Austin’s crossbar shortly afterwards when he received Sam Smith’s pass on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. Spurs managed to go on a good attack at the other end as Oakley-Boothe passed the ball to Duncan who shifted the ball out to Clarke on the left flank. Clarke continued forward before cutting inside onto his right foot and firing an effort narrowly wide of Simon Eastwood’s goal. Jamie Bowden then created a glorious chance for Kazaiah Sterling a couple of minutes later.

The intelligent midfielder played one of his perfectly weighted defence splitting passes through the Oxford defence which Sterling ran onto. The Spurs striker had timed his run well and he travelled all the way into the Oxford penalty area where he was met by the outrushing Eastwood. The usually clinical Sterling took his time before trying to tuck the ball past the Oxford goalkeeper, but the Spurs mans effort lacked power and Eastwood was able to stop it with his left leg. The ‘ U’s ’ went straight down the other end as they tried to catch Spurs on the break. Henry passed the ball to Tony McMahon down the right side of the Tottenham penalty area, but his powerful effort was parried by the alert Brandon Austin. The Spurs goalkeeper accidentally gave the ball away to Armani Little shortly afterwards and the winger played a first time pass into Sam Smith inside the penalty area however, George Marsh managed to make an important interception to win the ball off the Oxford striker. Spurs were working hard in order to try and work the Oxford defence. A move from the young Lilywhites saw Bowden pass the ball to the creative Jack Roles who gave the ball to Clarke out on the left wing before cutting inside and having his effort on goal blocked by Charlie Raglan who put the ball behind for a corner. Jamie Bowden’s resulting delivery from the corner kick was only just missed by Tanganga at the back post. The final attack of the half came from the home side who almost extended their lead in first half stoppage time. Gavin Whyte passed the ball to Tony McMahon who managed to pick out Armani Little at the back post, but Little ended up flashing a header a matter of inches wide of Austin’s goal. Spurs got the second half underway after the break as Burnett’s side looked to shake things up to prevent going out of the competition. Oxford soon reestablished their strangle hold on the game, Luke Garbutt had an effort on goal blocked by Tanganga after he had received Armani Little’s pass.

The ‘ Yellows ’ effectively put the game to bed a couple of minutes later when Tony McMahon put Oxford 3-0 up. A corner kick by Luke Garbutt was not dealt with properly by the Spurs defence and the ball came out to Whyte on the opposite flank. His cross eventually came into the feet of McMahon who fired past Austin from inside the penalty area, 0-3. Oxford came close to making it 4-0 shortly after the restart when Gavin Whyte cut inside from the right wing before firing narrowly over on the edge of the penalty area. Sam Smith had a shot on goal blocked by Duncan a couple of moments later as the Spurs defence struggled to keep out the Oxford forwards. Jack Roles came mighty close to pulling a goal back for Spurs after he received Clarke’s pass on the edge of the Oxford penalty area before curling an effort onto Eastwood’s left hand post. The alert Dylan Duncan tried to pounce on the loose ball but Eastwood just beat him to it, to smother the ball. The potent Jack Roles was involved in another Spurs chance a couple of minutes later. After the forward had slipped the ball into Sterling inside the Oxford box, the Spurs striker gave the ball back to Roles who was waiting on the edge of the penalty area. However, Roles’ resulting effort was blocked by Jamie Hanson before Sterling hit a deflected effort wide of the mark. Spurs were enjoying a good spell in the game and that had a lot to do with Jack Roles. After winning a free kick on the edge of the Oxford penalty area following a foul from Raglan, Roles had a deflected effort put behind for a Spurs corner kick. After getting on the end of Jaden Brown’s cross inside the penalty area Sterling turned his man before having his shot blocked by Charlie Raglan a couple of moments later. Then a couple of minutes later Sterling found Oakley-Boothe who went on a driving forward run before passing the ball to Sterling whose effort was blocked once again by Raglan. Both defences had started to open up as both sides looked to attack at every opportunity. Japhet Tanganga did well to block substitute Marcus Browne’s effort on goal following a good passing move from Oxford. The West Ham loanee threatened the Spurs defence again a couple of moments later, this time he wrong footed Tariq Hinds down the left side of the penalty area before forcing Austin into making an impressive reflex save at his near post to stop his thumping effort on goal.

George Marsh blocked substitute Ricky Holmes’ effort shortly afterwards before the makeshift Tottenham defender did well to block Gavin Whyte’s cross a couple of moments later. Sam Smith won a free kick in a promising position for the ‘ U’s ’ soon after but his effort was blocked by Hinds before Tanganga made a superb block to deny Marcus Browne on the follow up. Hinds received treatment from the Tottenham medical staff after going down injured after being struck painfully by Sam Smith’s powerful free kick. Charlie Raglan managed to pick out Browne at Austin’s back post shortly afterwards. The West Ham loanee met Raglan’s cross with his head and the 21 year olds header seemed to strike Jaden Brown’s hand before Austin made the save. The Oxford players were looking for a penalty but the referee thought otherwise and play resumed. Cameron Brannagan fired an effort narrowly over Austin’s crossbar shortly afterwards after he received Sam Smith’s pass on the edge of the Spurs box. Shilow Tracey made his return to action from a long injury lay off when he replaced Jamie Bowden in the 73rd minute. The game had started to ebb away from Spurs and they were lacking the intensity that they had shown during the first half. Brandon Austin made another save this time to deny Ricky Holmes’ strike from 20 yards out. After Oakley-Boothe whipped a dangerous ball into the penalty area shortly afterwards the ball ended up coming out to Clarke on the left flank. The 17 year old managed to find Roles who gave the ball to Sterling in the middle of the box, but the strikers tame effort was easily saved by Eastwood. George Marsh conceded a free kick right on the edge of the Spurs penalty area at the other end. Substitute Ricky Holmes stood up to take it but the former Charlton man ended up curling the ball over Austin’s crossbar. Jack Roles tried to beat Eastwood at the other end with a cheeky chip on the edge of the Oxford penalty area after receiving Hinds‘ pass however, the Oxford goalkeeper knew what Roles was going to do and he made an easy save to deny the Spurs man.

Tariq Hinds was replaced by Jamie Reynolds in the 85th minute as Burnett made his second substitution of the game. After Dylan Duncan conceded a free kick out on the right flank Tony McMahon’s resulting delivery was headed wide by Jamie Hanson at the back post. Jack Roles came close to setting Kazaiah Sterling through on goal at the other end before Rayan Clarke was brought off in the place of Elliot Thorpe who came onto make his debut for the development side. Armani Little fired narrowly over after meeting Luke Garbutt’s cross inside the Tottenham penalty area. Sam Smith headed Tony McMahon’s cross narrowly over Austin’s crossbar shortly afterwards in what turned out to be the final piece of action from the game. It was a shame that Spurs got knocked out of the competition in such fashion but it’s worth remembering the quality of the opposition that we were playing. This competition has provided Spurs’ young players with the invaluable experience of playing against EFL clubs and I for one am extremely proud of all that our lads have achieved in the competition this season. Our development sides next game isn’t until the 7th of January when we will face Liverpool in the PL2.

 

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: One of our best players on the day was goalkeeper Brandon Austin who made five impressive stops against the ‘ U’s ’ to prevent the league one side from winning by a greater margin. Austin dealt well with corner kicks and his distribution was also good. Furthermore, I really admired Austin’s leadership skills and his passionate response to his defenders in the aftermath to all three goals that we conceded. Austin’s save to deny Marcus Browne’s powerful effort in the second half was the pick of the bunch. 
  • Tariq Hinds: I thought that the right back did quite a good job at protecting his side of the pitch against the speedy Armani Little. Hinds completed 85 minutes of the match before being replaced by Jamie Reynolds.
  • Japhet Tanganga: The skipper was busy throughout Tuesday nights cup tie and he made a number of important blocks, clearances and interceptions. Tanganga marshalled the defence well.
  • George Marsh: Like Tanganga the makeshift centre half defended to the best of his abilities and he made some really impressive blocks and defensive interventions.
  • Jaden Brown: I thought that the left back had an ok game. Brown was good at going forwards and he overlapped Rayan Clarke on several occasions throughout the match.
  • Dylan Duncan: The central midfielder was one of our best players on the day. Duncan carried the ball well in the centre of the park and he helped to link defence with attack. The 19 year old went on some really promising driving runs through the middle of the park and this helped to create chances for both Sterling and Roles. Duncan worked tirelessly in the midfield and he sprayed some lovely passes out to the wide men on the flanks. I’ve been really impressed with how the West Londoner has been playing for our development side this season.
  • Jamie Bowden: Karl Robinson and his coaching staff had clearly done their research on Tottenham’s young midfield craftsman. Robinson had the experienced James Henry pressing Bowden throughout the game, preventing him from getting into space and following his every move. The 17 year old did however, manage to have a very tidy game in the centre of the park. And the second year scholar also managed to play a superb defence splitting pass to set Sterling racing through on goal during the first half.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Operating out on the right wing, after a quiet first half Oakley-Boothe grew into the game and he went on some particularly promising attacking forays during the second half. He was also involved in a lot of nice passages of play.
  • Jack Roles: My motm, see below. 
  • Rayan Clarke: The 17 year old went on some positive runs down the left wing and he was confident in the way that he went about things. Clarke came close to scoring in the first half after he cut in onto his right foot before powering an effort narrowly wide of the Oxford goal.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: The centre forward worked hard throughout the game but things didn’t quite come off for the 20 year old from Enfield, on Tuesday. Sterling would have been bitterly disappointed that he had been unable to score from a one on one against Eastwood in the first half, and he also had a couple of decent half chances which he was unable to put away in the second half. However, you couldn’t fault his exceptional work rate.
  • Shilow Tracey: Tracey came onto replace Bowden in the 73rd minute of the game to make his first appearance for the club since August the 13th, following a long injury lay off. I was delighted to see Tracey back playing again and the former Ebbsfleet man went on some positive surging runs down the right flank during his time on the field.
  • Jamie Reynolds: The left back filled in for the injured Tariq Hinds at right back for the final couple of minutes of the game. Reynolds defended solidly during his time on the pitch.
  • Elliot Thorpe: It was only a very fleeting cameo for the Wales under 19 international who showed a real willingness to press during his short time on the pitch. On a side note I was delighted that the second year scholar got to make his debut for the development side in such a big game.

My man of the match: Jack Roles. I thought that the classy Cyprus under 21 international was our best player by a country mile on Tuesday night. Roles played in the hole for the majority of our 3-0 defeat to Oxford. He was the only Spurs player who ever looked like scoring and once again he put in a very silky performance for Burnett’s side. He travelled with the ball well and he played with an almost Berbatov-esque panache about him. He worked hard to create space for himself and he would always track back after him to help Spurs out in defence. However, it was the 19 year olds movement in and around the six yard box which caused problems for the Oxford defence. Roles came close to getting on the scoresheet in the second half after he hit the post with a clever curling effort from the edge of the six yard box. Everything from his awareness to his ability to get in and behind the Oxford defence was so impressive, he really was the shining light for Burnett’s side.

Oxford United: Eastwood (c), McMahon, Garbutt, Hanson, Nelson, Raglan, Brannagan (Heap 77), Little, Smith, Henry (Browne 58), Whyte (Holmes 58). Substitutes (not used): Stevens, Mousinho, Mackie, Long.

Spurs: Austin, Hinds (Reynolds 84), Brown, Bowden (Tracey 71), Tanganga (c), Marsh, Oakley-Boothe, Duncan, Sterling, Roles, Clarke (Thorpe 89). Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Cooper, Okedina.

Goals: Oxford – Raglan 13, Smith 16, McMahon 47.

Yellow card: Oxford – Smith 90.

Referee: Kevin Johnson.

Venue: Kassam Stadium, Oxford.

Attendance: 1,422.

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

Goals scored: Jack Roles – 5

Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Kazaiah Sterling – 4

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 5

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Kazaiah Sterling – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

George Marsh – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

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

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

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Our under 18’s had the battle of their lives on Monday evening at the Den, when Matt Wells side took on Millwall in the third round of the FA youth cup. Our lads have taken on and beaten some of the finest under 18 sides in the country so far this season however, it was category two academy side Millwall who came the closest to ending Spurs’ impressive unbeaten run. It was a proper cup tie and Millwall gave their all against Spurs, pressing aggressively and showing that hunger in their belly. This prestigious youth competition is the one that every team dreams of winning and as expected Spurs put out a strong team against Millwall, with Paris Maghoma and Troy Parrott all starting. Our lads never really got into full flow and it was an uncharacteristically nervous looking performance from Spurs for large parts of the game. That may have been down to the occasion or the fact that they were playing in an unfamiliar ground in front of a crowd of over 700 spectators. After a fairly disappointing opening half an hour of the match Spurs had been unable to muster any real goalscoring chances, and Millwall’s rough approach to the game had clearly unsettled them. Matt Wells side were stunned in the 34th minute when the ‘ Lions ’ took a surprise lead through their caption Billy Mitchell whose 25 yard thunderbolt caught our goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi by surprise. A scrappy second half ensued as the home team kept out Spurs’ potent attacking players. Chances came and went for both sides particularly Tottenham who just couldn’t seem to break down the Millwall defence. However, Spurs’ hard work and grit and determination, made sure that the Lilywhites weren’t on the end of a cup upset thanks to substitute J’Neil Bennett’s last gasp equaliser in the third minute of stoppage time, to take the game to extra time. Spurs were the better team in extra time as former Spurs man Chris Perry’s side began to tire. After some good work from Troy Parrott the Irishman set up Rodel Richards on 94 minutes to put us ahead. And despite the best efforts of the ‘ Lions ’ our heroic lads did enough to see out the game and book their place in the fourth round of the competition, where they will face Arsenal away.

Although we changed formation and shape several times throughout the game Spurs lined up in the familiar 4-3-2-1 formation, with Joshua Oluwayemi starting in goal for Matt Wells side. Maxwell Statham started the game at right back while Binks and Lyons-Foster started in the middle, with Cirkin playing at left back. Harvey White and our captain Armando Shashoua manned the midfield and the attacking line of Markanday, Maghoma and Richards all started behind the inform Troy Parrott who led the line. Spurs got the cup tie underway at the Den in front of a big crowd for youth football standards. After losing the ball early on in the game midfielder Harvey White was dispossessed by Millwall’s Samuel Skeffington inside his own half. The Millwall winger tried his luck from range with a powerful low effort which ended up deflecting off of Lyons-Foster and behind for a corner kick. The ‘ Lions ’ were making their mark on the game, making a number of strong crunching challenges on the Spurs players during the opening stages of the match. After advancing on a promising run down the left flank full back Dennis Cirkin had a low cross into the Millwall penalty area cleared by Hayden Muller. Shortly afterwards our captain Armando Shashoua was the victim of a painful challenge by Reuben Duncan. And a matter of moments later Shashoua was given a yellow card for a pull back on Jayden Davis. The home team weren’t afraid to run at Spurs as shown by fullback Junior Tiensa who was allowed to advance down the left flank unopposed before getting his shot away on the edge of the penalty area. Lyons-Foster managed to block Tiensa’s powerful effort meaning that it was an easy save for Oluwayemi to make as he held the ball. Spurs had a good chance at the other end after Rodel Richards darted into the oppositions penalty area, beating his man in the process. Richards kept good balance before passing the ball to Parrott in the centre of the box however, the Dubliners low effort was comfortably stopped by Millwall goalkeeper Joseph Wright. Spurs threatened again shortly afterwards this time through the skipper Armando Shashoua.

After receiving Dilan Markanday’s pass down the right flank Shashoua surged forward, holding off Duncan as he burst into the six yard box before seeing his pass towards Parrott cut out by Besart Toppalloj who put the ball out for a corner kick. Harvey White’s resulting delivery deceived everybody inside the danger zone as it flew across the face of the goal. Spurs managed their first shot on target of the game shortly afterwards through Paris Maghoma. After receiving the ball from Cirkin, Maghoma tried his luck from long range and his well struck stinging effort was held by Joseph Wright in the Millwall goal. The ‘ Lions ’ high pressing was causing us problems and it was preventing us from playing our usual passing game to effect. Makeshift right back Maxwell Statham did well to cut out George Alexander’s cross before it could get to Harry Taylor at the back post as Millwall started to pump the ball into the Tottenham penalty area a lot more frequently. Then in the 34th minute of the game the home team took a surprise lead through their captain Billy Mitchell whose long range thunderbolt had stunned Oluwayemi in the Spurs goal. It was a goal which came out of nowhere. After Statham had lost possession to Harry Taylor the attacking midfielder passed the ball to Mitchell who decided to have a pop some 25 yards out from goal. And the Millwall captain struck it so sweetly and it flew into the top left hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal, hitting the cross bar on its way in, 0-1. Paris Maghoma could be seen frantically urging on his teammates in the aftermath of the goal to try and get them to respond, and the 17 year old almost managed to do that himself straight from the restart. After playing a quick one two with Richards on the edge of the Millwall penalty area Maghoma curled an effort towards Wright’s right hand corner but the midfielders effort had too much curl on it, and it flew just wide. Luis Binks gave away a free kick right on the edge of the Spurs penalty area after fouling Samuel Skeffington. The resulting free kick was taken by Reuben Duncan whose well executed curling effort flashed inches wide of the Spurs goal.

The flawless Lyons-Foster cleared Jayden Taylor’s menacing cross a matter of moments later as the visitors continued to maintain their high press. In first half stoppage time Harvey White had to make an important block to prevent Hayden Muller’s header from going in, after the defender had attacked Skeffington’s corner kick in what was the last bit of action from the first half. The ‘ Lions ’ got the second half underway at the Den as Chris Perry’s side looked to protect their slender lead. However, the home team came close to doubling their advantage early on in the half through Junior Tiensia. A well worked move from Millwall stemmed from Markanday giving the ball to Jayden Davis who went on a surging run down the left flank before passing the ball to George Alexander, who cut the ball back for Tiensia inside the penalty area. However, the fullbacks first time effort was blocked by Cirkin before Oluwayemi punched clear Skeffington’s resulting corner kick. The Tottenham goalkeeper did well a couple of minutes later to claim an inviting ball into the box from Jayden Davis. Matt Wells side were starting to take more risks as the game progressed, after the tigerish Troy Parrott picked up Luis Binks’ pass down the left flank the striker whipped a low cross into the Millwall penalty area, in which Markanday was so close to making contact with before Wright smothered the ball. Troy Parrott had a shot on goal blocked by Muller shortly afterwards as Spurs continued to look for openings in the Millwall defence. Although Chris Perry’s side were playing with more caution they still created some good chances. Duncan’s hopeful long ball over the Spurs defence managed to pick out Alexander down the right flank however, Lyons-Foster produced a perfect sliding challenge on the Millwall centre forward before then blocking Skeffington’s resulting cross. However, the ball did come back out to Alexander who tried a speculative effort on the volley which ended up dipping just over Oluwayemi’s crossbar.

George Alexander came close to finding the back of the net again a couple of minutes later. This time the second year scholar tried his luck from long range with a powerful low effort at goal, which the diving Oluwayemi somehow managed to save and tip over the crossbar. The 17 year old then came out to confidently claim Reuben Duncan’s resulting corner kick. The young Lilywhites continued to put pressure on the Millwall defence as they went in search of a leveller. Dilan Markanday had a brilliant opportunity to draw Spurs level after he was picked out at Joseph Wright’s back post by Cirkin who whipped an inviting ball into the danger zone. However, the unmarked Markanday didn’t get his angles quite right and his header went wide. Maxwell Statham was brought off shortly afterwards for winger J’Neil Bennett who made his return from injury as Wells looked to inject some pace and trickery into the game. Shortly after coming on Binks found Bennett down the left flank and the 16 year old whipped a teasing ball into the danger zone which was cleared by Tiensia. The young winger was providing Spurs with an all important spark and only a couple of moments after he whipped a promising cross into the danger zone, Bennett was involved once again in another Spurs attack. White passed the ball to Bennett down the left wing and the substitute darted away from Millwall fullback Lewis West before finding Markanday in the box with a whipped cross. Markanday met Bennett’s cross on the volley but his well struck effort was well saved by Wright who managed to clutch the ball. Luis Binks blocked George Alexander’s cross at the other end and the Spurs players went in search of a penalty a couple of minutes later. White sprayed the ball to Bennett out on the left hand side and the wingers cross was handled by Billy Mitchell inside the Millwall penalty area before being tipped behind for a corner by Wright. However, the referee Ricky Adams waived away any claims that the Spurs players had for a penalty. The game had developed into a really competitive affair as Spurs upped their tempo and looked to outplay the category two academy side. Joshua Oluwayemi comfortably saved Reuben Duncan’s effort from long range, before Luis Binks went into the referees book for a foul on Samuel Skeffington.

Billy Mitchell blazed an effort wide from long range for the home side only a couple of moments before Hayden Muller headed Duncan’s cross wide of Oluwayemi’s goal. Spurs were becoming more desperate by each passing minute as Millwall continued to press and defend tightly. After being found inside the oppositions penalty area by Bennett, Parrott passed the ball to Maghoma on the edge of the box, but the midfielders effort went well wide of Wright’s goal. Spurs had another claim for a penalty after Richards was tripped inside the box by Muller, before Bennett whipped another teasing ball into the six yard box which this time only just deceived Markanday at the back post. Midfielder Harvey White lost possession to Mitchell who quickly shifted it out to Alexander on the right wing. The Millwall strikers resulting cross was volleyed a matter of inches wide of the Spurs goal by Jayden Davis at the back post. Dennis Cirkin cleared Reuben Duncan’s free kick shortly afterwards as the Spurs defence continued to hold. However, the young fullback gave the ball away to Duncan a couple of minutes later. Duncan passed the ball to Alexander who went on driving run through the middle of the park before being intercepted by Binks on the edge of the penalty area. Captain Armando Shashoua was brought off a couple of moments later for Maurizio Pochettino, as Troy Parrott took the captains armband. A clever long pass from Harvey White almost managed to set Paris Maghoma through on goal. Spurs made another substitution in the 85th minute when they brought off Brooklyn Lyons-Foster in place of Maximus Tainio. Matt Wells was frantically urging his young players on from the touch line as Spurs started to throw everything at the Millwall defence, as we reached the final stages of the game. The skipper Troy Parrott was a constant thorn in the Millwall defences side and the young Dubliner came close to netting a late equaliser after being slipped through inside the penalty area by Markanday. With his back to goal, Parrott did so well to hold off Besart Topalloj inside the area before turning away from his man and firing an effort at goal. However, Parrott’s powerful effort was spectacularly saved by the alert Joseph Wright.

Luis Binks forced a comfortable save out of Wright from a corner shortly afterwards when he went to meet Maghoma’s corner. However, Binks‘ header took a deflection off of a Millwall player and this made it a comfortable save for Wright to make. Harvey White delivered two corners into the penalty area successfully before he struck lucky the third time deep into second half stoppage time. Spurs had almost every player in the box as Harvey White whipped the ball into the danger zone. Richards attempted to attack the ball but he missed it, and it came out to Bennett at the back post who steadied himself before smashing the ball beyond Wright and into the back of the net, 1-1. This sparked jubilant scenes of celebration amongst the Spurs players and substitutes who celebrated right in front of the away end, it was a wonderful scene. However, Spurs did have one late scare after Luis Binks conceded a free kick out on the right flank following a foul on Alexander in the 95th minute. Luckily for Spurs, the newly introduced Sean O’Brien’s delivery was headed narrowly over Oluwayemi’s crossbar by Besart Topalloj, bringing normal time to an end. Matt Wells and his lads all huddled around in a circle on the pitch prior to the first half of extra time. Ryan Mason could be seen giving advice to midfielder Harvey White before Spurs got the first half underway. The fitness of both sides would play a telling part in this cup tie. Spurs had the first chance of the half when J’Neil Bennett received Markanday’s pass on the left wing, he surged past Lewis West before cutting inside and curling an effort wide of the goal from the edge of the penalty area. Maurizio Pochettino then saw his cross gathered by Joseph Wright shortly afterwards. However, just a matter of moments later Spurs took the lead for the first time in the game through Rodel Richards just four minutes into the half. Matt Wells side had started extra time brilliantly and the Spurs coach would have been delighted with the move leading up to our second goal of the game.

The move started with Maximus Tainio who passed the ball to Markanday who spotted the run of Parrott down the right hand side of the penalty area, before slipping the ball into the Irishman. Parrott kept his composure in the box and as Wright came rushing out to get to the ball, the Spurs striker rounded the Millwall goalkeeper before cutting the ball back for Richards to tap home in the centre of the box, 2-1. The ‘ Lions ’ had players going down with cramp and it was evident that they were struggling to keep up with the pace of the much fitter Spurs lads. However, the ‘ Lions ’ came desperately close to making an instant response straight from the restart. Harry Taylor’s curling effort from long range had Oluwayemi worried and although the Tottenham goalkeeper managed to make the save he wasn’t able to clutch the ball and it ended up hitting the post before he went to smother the ball. Markanday and Bennett were involved in a clever move a couple of minutes later. Markanday passed the ball to Bennett who ran down the left wing before crossing the ball back to Markanday who had made a run into the six yard box. However, the 17 year olds first time volley with the outside of his boot ended up going wide of the Millwall goal. Spurs then had another glorious chance to put the game to bed following another incisive attack. Maghoma passed the ball to Parrott who spotted and picked out Pochettino down the right hand side of the Millwall penalty. The winger found himself one on one with Wright but his powerful effort was saved by the Millwall goalkeeper who had closed Pochettino down well. Spurs were now in full control of the game. Another nice move from the Lilywhites resulted in Harvey White picking out Parrott with a nice pass on the edge of the Millwall box. Parrott chested the ball down for Markanday whose powerful low effort was well saved by the alert Joseph Wright. And the Millwall goalkeeper was called into action again, this time to deny Rodel Richards effort after the forward had received Bennett’s pass down the left side of the Millwall penalty area, bringing to an end the first half of extra time.

Millwall got the second half underway and we weren’t long into the half when Wells brought Jubril Okedina for Rodel Richards to bolster our defence. An early free kick for Millwall resulted in Lewis West picking out Skeffington inside the Spurs box however, the Millwall wingers effort on goal was blocked heroically by Paris Maghoma. Oluwayemi made a fabulous diving save a couple of moments later to deny Harry Taylor’s curling effort on goal, the Spurs goalkeeper hurt himself following that save and he had to receive some treatment from the Spurs physios. Billy Mitchell’s long ball up to substitute Sean O’Brien was then lobbed over Oluwayemi’s goal as the home team continued to put up a brave fight. The Tottenham goalkeeper then did well to gather Jay Barton’s teasing cross. The combative Paris Maghoma went down injured a couple of minutes later after he made an excellent sliding challenge on Lewis West out on the right wing. The Millwall players and fans were not happy with Maghoma for going to ground at such a later stage in the game and they let him know it. J’Neil Bennett continued to look lively down the left wing, the 16 year old played in Parrott who got away from Billy Mitchell before attempting to find Markanday at the back post with a sublime cross with the outside of his boot, it was however, cut out by Muller who subsequently made the clearance. Parrott then went straight down the other end to help out the Tottenham defence and to block Samuel Skeffington’s shot on goal. Spurs broke down the other end through Cirkin who passed the ball to Bennett down the left wing. The pacy winger beat Lewis West with ease as he continued on his galavanting run before picking out Markanday inside the danger zone. However, the 17 year olds low first time effort was saved once again by Joseph Wright. Dennis Cirkin blocked Harry Taylor’s shot at the other end of the pitch as the clock ticked down. It should have been 3-1 to Spurs after Markanday was played through on goal by Parrott before calmly tucking the ball past Wright and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. However, Markanday was cruelly denied his goal by the linesman on the far side who wrongly adjudged the Spurs winger to have been in an offside position when the pass from Parrott was made.

Finland under 19 international Maximus Tainio went into the book for a foul on Jay Barton in second half stoppage time in what was to be the final piece of action from a dramatic cup tie. Matt Wells side battled so hard to get the win, they were resilient and they showed great team spirit. Super sub J’Neil Bennett changed the game with his pace and trickery down the left wing, but it was a great team effort which saw us overcome the ‘ Lions ’ who despite their very best efforts were unable to keep up with Spurs in extra time. Spurs will contest a north London derby against Arsenal in the fourth round of this famous competition. A date for that game hasn’t been set yet, but I would be very surprised if it wasn’t played at the the Emirates stadium. Meanwhile our under 18’s will play their final game of 2018 this Saturday when they travel up to Darlington to face Middlesbrough in their final group game of this season premier league cup. A win for Spurs would send them through to the quarter finals as group winners.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The second year scholar had an excellent game between the sticks on Monday night. Oluwayemi made five important stops against Millwall in total and he had an excellent game all round against the South London club. Oluwayemi could have done absolutely nothing to deny Billy Mitchell’s stunning first half goal, but the 17 year old made a string of really impressive saves to deny Millwall from extending their lead. The most notable save was the one to deny Harry Taylor’s curling effort on goal. The second year scholar also impressed with how confidently he dealt with crosses and corner kicks. In addition, his distribution was good under pressure and he managed the game well, e.g falling to the floor with the ball during the latter stages of the game, as Spurs looked to hold onto their 2-1 lead.
  • Maxwell Statham: Operating at right back Statham completed 54 minutes of the match. The 18 year old made some nice strong challenges and he dealt well with the threat posed by both Jayden Davis and Junior Tiensia down the left hand side.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The ball playing centre half didn’t put a foot wrong on his first game back from injury for Matt Wells side. Lyons-Foster read the game to perfection alongside Luis Binks. His passing was nice and crisp and he looked very comfortable on the ball, especially in high pressure situations. However, Lyons-Foster read the game really well and he anticipated danger with precision. He made a superb sliding challenge to prevent George Alexander from being allowed a clean route through to goal during the second half. Lyons-Foster always made sure that he was in the right place at the right time and him and Binks complemented each other throughout the match.
  • Luis Binks: I thought that the England under 18 international who was operating at RCB on Monday night, put in a fantastic performance at the back. Binks‘ understanding of the game was top class, and the first year scholar was ever present across the back four. He made many important defensive interventions as well as clearances. And like Lyons-Foster he was always in position and this was really important for Spurs. The 17 year old was a leader of men against Millwall and without him I don’t think that we would have taken the game to extra time.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The left back who would later go onto fill in at centre half had a really good game at the Den. Cirkin got up and down the left flank well and he did a good at dealing with the threat posed by Millwall winger Samuel Skeffington down that side of the pitch. Cirkin went on some nice attacking forays of his own and he whipped some promising balls into the danger zone. It was a very well balanced performance from the 16 year old.
  • Harvey White: I thought that the 17 year old put in a very industrious performance in the centre of midfield. White kept the ball moving and made some clever passes as well as showing a real tenacity about his game. He made some important blocks and interceptions in and around the Tottenham penalty area and he filled in well for defenders who were out of position. The midfielder set up J’Neil Bennett’s dramatic late equaliser from his corner kick to get his tenth assist of the season. White showed just how versatile he is during our cup tie with Millwall. White made a particularly important block to prevent Hayden Muller’s header from going in, in the first half.
  • Armando Shashoua: Our under 18’s captain fantastic played alongside Harvey White in the centre of midfield. Shashoua who completed 78 minutes of the game was painfully studded early on in the match by Reuben Duncan. However, the 18 year old went onto put in a real shift for the team. The midfielder worked tirelessly to influence the game and he could often be seen drifting out onto the right flank where he combined well with winger Dilan Markanday. Armando went on some nice forward runs through the middle and he also impressed with his ball retention and hard work at tracking back, this drew rapturous applause from the Spurs fans in the away end.
  • Dilan Markanday: The in form right winger was one of our sides most creative players against Millwall and on another day he could have scored a hat-trick. Markanday made some good runs down the right channel and he constantly made himself available inside the six yard box. The 17 year old had a number of efforts saved by Joseph Wright and on the time that he did manage to beat the Millwall goalkeeper he was wrongly ruled offside. I thought that Millwall’s impressive fullback Junior Tiensia protected his side of the very well. Markanday also played at right back during the latter stages of the game.
  • Paris Maghoma: Maghoma managed to adapt to Monday’s cup tie really well in what was only his third appearance for the under 18 side this season. Maghoma started the game as a number ten but for large chunks of the match he was essentially playing as a holding midfielder. Maghoma adapted to the scrappy game in the same way a midfielder like Dele Alli does. He was defensively disciplined but he did make some promising runs through the middle and he impressed with his passing. Maghoma broke up play well in the centre of the park and he never stopped running. There were periods in the game when it looked as if he was playing at centre half. Like Harvey White put in a really industrious performance and he showed a real willingness to track back and help out the back four. He made a number of important blocks and interceptions and as a box to box midfielder he did a sterling job and he helped to link defence with attack. He also picked up cramp during extra time but he still maintained his excellent work rate.
  • Rodel Richards: The 18 year old started the game out on the left wing although he would often cut inside and look to play through the middle. Richards grew into the game during the second half and he went on some nice runs into the Millwall penalty area. And the South Londoner ended up netting the winner after he tapped home Troy Parrott’s pass in extra time.
  • Troy Parrott: My motm, see below.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The speedy winger changed the game after he was brought on in the 54th minute. On his first appearance since injury, Bennett looked incredibly sharp and he terrorised Millwall fullback Lewis West down the left flank. Bennett was the spark that Spurs were so desperately lacking during the first half and he made an almost instant impact after he was introduced to the game early on in the second half. West was unable to deal with the 16 year olds pace and trickery, and although Bennett was direct he did mix things up and this caused problems for the Millwall defence. Apart from his many searing runs down the left channel Bennett whipped some delightful crosses into the danger zone and he was very unselfish a lot of the time. He also tracked back well after him and he helped Cirkin out at the back. The former QPR schoolboys biggest contribution to the game was his dramatic late leveller to take the game to extra time. He showed good composure before beating Wright at his near post in second half stoppage time. It was a very positive performance from the talented 16 year old.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: Pochettino replaced Armando Shashoua in the 78th minute of the match and he played out on the right wing. Pochettino made some good runs down the channel as he looked to influence play. The 17 year old did have one good chance when he found himself one on one with Wright but he was unable to put the ball in the back of the net.
  • Maximus Tainio: The Finland under 19 international replaced Lyons-Foster in the 85th minute of the game and he helped to bolster the Spurs defence, providing much needed energy for us during extra time.
  • Jubril Okedina: The centre half came on in extra time to help Spurs see out the game.

My man of the match: Troy Parrott. The young Dubliner had yet another outstanding game for our under 18’s on Monday evening. Parrott proved pivotal to Spurs winning the cup tie, making an immense contribution to the game at both ends of the pitch. The tireless centre forward charged at the Millwall defence like a bull as he pressed relentlessly throughout the match. The 16 year old made some intelligent runs in and behind the Millwall defence but he also created some good chances for his teammates. It was quite incredible to see a 16 year old maintain such a high work rate even as we entered extra time. In the most Kane-esque way, Parrott covered every blade of grass and he was as good a defender as anybody else on the pitch. He would often track back 60 or so yards in order to help out the Spurs defenders at every opportunity. And as a result of this he made some really important blocks and interceptions. In addition to his outstanding defensive contribution Parrott also led the line well and the timing of his runs was equally as impressive. He had one decent chance in the first half which resulted in him forcing a relatively comfortable save out of Wright. However, it was during the second half that he started to grow into the game a lot more. He held the ball up well and he managed to be effective with his back towards goal. Parrott’s assist to set up Rodel Richards winner was well worked. He showed good composure and balance before rounding the Millwall goalkeeper inside the penalty area before unselfishly squaring the ball for Richards to tap home. That takes the first year scholars goal involvement to 20 from 20 games at youth level for Spurs this season.

Millwall: Wright, West, Tiensia, B Mitchell (c), Muller (Abdulmalik 98), Topalloj, Skeffington, Duncan (Barton 85), Alexander (A Mitchell 97), Taylor, Davis.

Substitutes (not used): Fanshawe.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Statham (Bennett 54), Cirkin, White, Lyons-Foster (Tainio 85), Binks, Markanday, A Shashoua (c) (Pochettino 78), Parrott, Maghoma, Richards (Okedina 105).

Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz.

Goals: Millwall – B Mitchell 34; Spurs – Bennett 90+3, Richards 94.

Yellow cards: Millwall – West 34, Muller 77, Alexander 78, Tiensia 90+2, Barton 108; Spurs – A Shashoua 11, Binks 67, Maghoma 109, Tainio 120+3.

Referee: Ricky Adams.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 10

Dilan Markanday – 7

Rayan Clarke – 6

J’Neil Bennett – 6

Armando Shashoua – 4

Harvey White – 4

Luis Binks – 3

Rodel Richards – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Jubril Okedina – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 10

Armando Shashoua – 9

Jamie Bowden – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Rayan Clarke – 4

Troy Parrott – 4

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Dilan Markanday – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Maxwell Statham – 1

Jeremie Mukendi – 1

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

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

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Tottenham Hotspur starlet Samuel Shashoua made his 13th appearance of the season for his loan club Atlético Baleares on Sunday, as the 19 year old completed the full 90 minutes of the Balearic clubs 1-0 league win over Badalona, at the Son Malferit. On Sunday morning I had the great privilege of attending the fan familiarisation event at the new Spurs stadium. I was absolutely taken aback by the magnificence of our new home and it brought back a lot of memories from the old stadium, it truly is a work of art. After leaving the new stadium I went to a cafe in Tottenham to tune in to Atlético’s home game against Badalona in the Spanish Segunda Division B courtesy of IB3. Manix Mandiola’s side have made the Son Malferit a fortress this season and their exceptional home record continued when Badalona came to the island. The ‘ Balearicos ’ won Sunday’s match 1-0 in what was a pretty comfortable win for Samuel’s team. It was by no means a memorable game but it was another win for Mandiola’s side who got the better of Badalona who had a man sent off during the second half. Once again the opposition’s defence was focusing a lot on our skilful young winger. Samuel started the match out on the left wing and he completed the full 90 minutes of what was a relatively  comfortable win for Mandiola’s side, this was helped by the fact that Badalona had a player sent off right at the start of the second half. The game started fairly evenly but Shashoua had very few touches during the early stages of the game with Atlético preferring to play down the right channel. Mandiola’s side got off to a great start when they took the lead in the ninth minute through Rubén González, after the centre half headed home Francesc Fullana’s free kick. Samuel’s first real contribution to the game was a lung bursting run down the left flank, which only came to an end when Badalona defender Moyano won the ball off of him with an inch perfect sliding challenge. The visitors started to threaten the Atlético defence as they grew into the game and started to play more fluently as Samuel was frustrated by his marker Albarrán.

Shashoua’s final notable involvement from a quiet first half was a positive attacking foray down his side of the pitch. Samuel did well to turn his man before advancing down the left flank and looking like he had the beating of Albarrán before the fullback made a cynical sliding challenge on the teenager with little attempt to get the ball, this sent Shashoua flying and it resulted in Albarrán going into the referees book. The second half was a very different game for both Samuel and his teammates owing to the dismissal of Badalona’s centre forward Chaco in the 51st minute of the game. This gave the wide men greater freedom going forward and it helped Samuel to really get into the game. His first bit of involvement in the second half came courtesy of some lovely footwork out on the left wing to get away from Albarrán, before then whipping a menacing cross into the danger zone. Shashoua’s cross ended up falling for Marcos De la Espada on the edge of the penalty area, but the midfielder fired over Morales‘ goal. The Spurs loanee was now a lot more involved in the game and Atlético were trying to pass the ball fo Shashoua at every opportunity. Shortly after De la Espada’s chance Samuel picked the ball up on the left flank before cutting inside onto his right foot and firing an effort straight at Badalona’s Marc Carbó on the edge of the six yard box. Samuel then harshly had a goal ruled out for offside a matter of moments later, after he had received Canario’s pass on the edge of the Badalona penalty area. After twisting and turning Shashoua calmly tucked the ball past Morales and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. However, the linesman was adamant that he had been in an offside position when the pass from Canario was made.  By this stage in the game Samuel was one of the most creative players on the pitch and he was making some really well timed runs into the box. After some good work from Canario out on the opposite wing the right winger whipped the ball into the six yard box. However, Canario’s delivery was met awkwardly by the teenager whose headed effort at goal was cleared away by the Badalona defence.

A couple of minutes later Samuel received a pass from Fullana on the edge of the oppositions box after a good attacking move. After taking a good first touch he unselfishly played the newly introduced Alberto Villapalos through on goal however, the substitutes effort was saved by Morales who had closed him down well inside the penalty area. Atletico were all over Badalona who were unable to get back into the game following the sending off of their main striker. Shashoua was working really hard down the left flank, he was tracking back well after him and was showing a real willingness to pick the ball up and drive at Albarrán. One such jinking run saw Samuel skip away from Robusté before darting past Albarrán with ease down the left channel before being closed down and intercepted by Moyano who read the situation well. Samuel’s final notable involvement in the game was a thumping effort from the edge of the Badalona penalty area, which was frustratingly blocked by Albarrán with the referee sounding for full time shortly afterwards as Atlético moved up to third place in the league table. It wasn’t Atletico’s finest game by any means however, the shining light from Mandiola’s side was the 19 year old Londoner. While he struggled to get involved down the left wing during the first half owing to both the tight marking of Albarrán and the lack of focus down that side of the pitch from the Atletico players. Samuel worked so hard in order to change that in the second half and he was by far the best player on the pitch after Badalona went down to ten men. He tracked back well after him and he made positive use of the ball. Constantly looking to outwit the oppositions impressive fullback and drive down the left flank. Shashoua was involved in the thick of the action during the second half and he linked up well with substitute Alberto Villapalos who played up top. On another day Samuel could have had an assist and a goal. He made some clever and unselfish passes throughout the match but he also got into some really good goal scoring positions. And the 19 year olds disallowed goal in the second half was such a shame as it looked as if he was in an onside position when the ball was played through to him. As the players tired towards the latter the stages of the game Samuel stood out for his energy and aggressive pressing. Despite being the youngest player on the pitch he looked the fittest.

Shashoua played a big part in Sunday’s victory as Atletico continue to do well in the league. Up next for Samuel and Atlético is a trip to face league leaders Lleida next Saturday evening. A win for Atlético could see them go top of the league.

Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: 

Appearances: 13

Goals: 3

Assists: 2

Spurs under 21’s versus Oxford United: (match preview)

Spurs under 21’s versus Oxford United: (match preview)

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After recording an impressive 2-1 win against Manchester City in the PL2 on Saturday afternoon, Wayne Burnett’s development side will be hoping for more of the same when they go toe to toe with league one side Oxford United on Tuesday in the second round of the Checkatrade trophy. The game against the league one club is without doubt their biggest game of the season so far. Our youngsters did ever so well to progress from the group stages of the competition and whatever happens next can only be a bonus for Burnett’s side. Our development side are on a good run at the moment and they are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions. Impressive wins over both Manchester City under 23’s and Wolfsburg II this month will give Spurs the belief and confidence that they can get the better of the league one club at the Kassam stadium on Tuesday. Oxford manager Karl Robinson recently took in a Spurs under 23 game (the 2-2 draw with Everton) and he and his coaching staff will have been doing a fair bit of research on Burnett’s side ahead of this game. The twice runners up of this competition are a side in good form in league one, after enduring a difficult start  to the campaign. The ‘ U’s ’ have won six of their last ten games in all competitions and they sit in a fairly comfortable 18th position in league one. Robinson’s sides home form is particularly impressive and the ‘ Yellows ’ have won five of their last six games at the Kassam stadium. Some of Oxford’s most influential players are goal scoring midfielder James Henry, West Ham loanee Marcus Browne who plays as a ten, and midfield orchestrator and former Liverpool man Cameron Brannagan. Other players that are worth keeping an eye on are experienced centre forward Jamie Mackie, captain John Mousinho, former Spurs forward Jon Obika and Everton loanee Luke Garbutt. Garbutt is a particularly attack minded left back who is an excellent crosser of the ball. We are now in the knockout stages of the competition and Oxford will want to progress to the third round. Karl Robinson’s attack minded side who have already beaten Fulham’s under 21’s in the competition this season, will not want to be embarrassed by Burnett’s side in their own back yard in front of their home fans.

Unbeaten in their last four games in all competitions Wayne Burnett’s side have performed excellently in this competition this season, and for them to progress from what was a tricky group is an achievement that shouldn’t be sniffed at. After fielding a weakened side for our match against Manchester City on Saturday, Burnett will most likely have key players TJ Eyoma, Anthony Georgiou and the in form Jack Roles back in the side for Tuesday nights game. I am extremely proud of all that our lads have achieved in the Checkatrade trophy so far this campaign and I would like nothing more than to see them beat Oxford under the floodlights at the Kassam stadium, to book a tie against Cheltenham in the next round of the competition. This will be a very challenging game for our young lads but I have every confidence and belief that they can cause an upset and progress to the next round of the competition. I will be reporting on Tuesday nights match and I would like to wish Wayne Burnett’s lads all the very best of luck for what is a massive game. 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Hinds, Eyoma, Tanganga (c), Brown, Marsh, Bowden, Oakley-Boothe, Roles, Georgiou, Sterling. 

Subs from: Austin, Reynolds, Duncan, Clarke, Richards.

Injured/unavailable: Luke Amos, Shayon Harrison, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Malachi Walcott, Phoenix Patterson, J’Neil Bennett.

Doubtful: Shilow Tracey.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: The ‘ U’s ’ experienced midfielder James Henry (29) the former Wolves man has been a key player for Karl Robinson’s side this season. The in form Henry has scored five goals from his last four appearances for Oxford United.

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

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

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On Monday evening our high flying under 18 side will face Millwall at the Den in the third round of the prestigious FA youth cup. This is arguably Matt Wells sides biggest game of the season so far. League leaders Tottenham Hotspur have one of their most talented under 18 sides in a generation and I truly believe that we can go all the way in the competition this season, and win it for the first time since 1990. Unbeaten in all competitions this season under head coach Matt Wells, our under 18’s have been in outstanding form since the domestic season started back in August. Monday nights game is their penultimate match of 2018 and it is one in which the club will be desperate to win. Our opponents on Monday are a category two academy side and they are not a team that we would ever meet at this level during the league season. Managed by our former player Chris Perry the ‘ Lions ’ under 18’s play their football in the under 18 professional development league south. And the south London club have been in good form this season and they occupy second spot in the league table. Of the 15 competitive games that Millwall’s under 18’s have played this season, Chris Perry’s side have won seven, drawn four and lost four. The ‘ Lions ’ have also scored more goals than any other side in the under 18 professional development league south (39). Whilst I haven’t seen Millwall play at this level before and don’t know an awful lot about their under 18’s, I have been doing my research. Millwall’s star player is centre forward George Alexander the son of their former first team player Graham. Alexander is the south London clubs top scorer at under 18 level this season and I have highlighted him below as their main danger man. In addition to the highly rated George Alexander, Millwall also have a former England under 16 international in their team in defender Rob Strachan. Other players to watch out for on Monday evening are midfielder Sam Skeffington and forward Jay Barton. In Millwall’s last match the ‘ Lions ’ defeated Colchester United 7-0 in a league game.

There is of course quite a big gulf in quality between the two sides, and on paper Matt Wells unbeaten Tottenham Hotspur should run out comfortable winners when these teams meet. However, this is a cup game which is being played at Millwall’s ground in front of what could be a decent number of people. Despite having home advantage Millwall are by all accounts a good under 18 team who have good history in this competition, and they’ll be looking to unsettle our young lads. In terms of technical ability our lads will have the upper hand. They will also be the fitter of the two teams and I’m sure that will show over the course of the 90 minutes. Matt Wells does however, have a number of players out injured, with the likes of J’Neil Bennett and Phoenix Patterson all missing for Monday’s big game. To put the FA youth cup into context it is the most important of all the youth competitions and it is one in which Spurs will always try their utmost to win. I would imagine that Matt Wells and his coaching staff will select a very strong team for our trip south of the river. Hopefully some of the more experienced players will feature such as Troy Parrott and Paris Maghoma. I said before the season started that this will be the season when we get our hands back on the famous trophy. We have a squad that is full of talent and on our day we can school the Chelsea’s and the Manchester City’s of this level and I still stand by my prediction. The winners of Monday’s tie will face Arsenal away in the fourth round. I will be reporting on Monday’s cup tie from the Den and my match report will be published by Wednesday at the very latest. I wish Matt Wells side all the very best of luck for our cup game against Millwall on Monday.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Tainio, Okedina, Binks, Cirkin, White, A.Shashoua (c), Markanday, Maghoma, Richards, Parrott.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Lyons-Foster, Cooper, Clarke, Thorpe.

Injured/unavailable: Phoenix Patterson, J’Neil Bennett, Malachi Walcott, Enock Asante, Jeremie Mukendi.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-1.

My one to watch: Millwall’s top scorer at under 18 level this season is centre forward George Alexander. The second year scholar has scored 13 goals for Millwall’s under 18’s this season. Alexander has also found the net on one occasion for the clubs under 23 side. The young Millwall striker scored 19 goals for Millwall’s under 18’s during his first year of scholarship. He is a player that the Spurs defence will have to be wary of.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/11/22/my-piece-on-our-under-18s-captain-fantastic-armando-shashoua-and-just-why-he-will-be-so-important-to-spurs-achieving-success-in-the-fa-youth-cup-this-season/

A message of support to our lads from 1974 FA youth cup winner and Tottenham fan Ian Cranstone: “ I wish the Spurs lads of 2018 all the best and I hope that they go far in the competition. Winning a cup stays with you for life so it’s always going to be memorable and it’s always something that you can look back on with pride. ”