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