Spurs under 23’s versus Athletic Bilbao B: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Athletic Bilbao B: (match preview)

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Our under 23’s will face Spanish side Athletic Bilbao B tomorrow night at the Lamex Stadium, in their final group game of this seasons Premier League Cup. After recording a hard fought 2-2 draw with Norwich last week in their second group game, Wayne Burnett’s side know that they’ll need to pick something up against the Basque club on Wednesday to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition. After putting in a good performance against Norwich last Thursday despite drawing the game, Burnett’s side will be feeling confident that they will be able to get a result against ‘ Los Leones ‘ tomorrow night. Aritz Solabarrieta’s side lost their opening group game against Wolfsburg II before then beating Norwich at their Colney training centre. Solabarrieta’s side will have to go for the win tomorrow if they want to qualify from the group. Bilbao’s B team ply their trade in the Spanish Segunda Division B group II (the third tier of Spanish football). Like a lot of the European teams in the competition they will have had the benefit of playing against men’s football teams on a weekly basis. And the team from the Basque Country have been doing well in their domestic division so far this season. Solabarrieta’s side currently sit in 19th place in the league after picking up nine wins from their first 21 games. They have also scored the joint most goals in the division this season although they do have quite a leaky defence. Furthermore, they currently have the divisions top scorer in Asier Villalibre. Unless we decided to play Vincent Janssen for the fourth consecutive under 23 game then I would imagine that Bilbao will field an older team than us tomorrow night. With 23 year old centre half Gorka Pérez and their captain and former Spain under 17 international Aitor Seguín also 23, two of their more experienced players to keep an eye on tomorrow night. If the Basque club play anything like Villarreal B did when they played us in this competition last season with their quick passing game, then we will be in for a really difficult evening. However, that is what is so great for our young lads to experience at this stage in their careers.

This is an important game for our development side and they’ll really want to make sure that they get at least a point tomorrow night. I would imagine that we will field a similar side to the one which drew 2-2 against Norwich on Thursday. However, I do wonder if Janssen will play against Athletic Bilbao! I will be reporting on tomorrow nights match before publishing my report on Thursday afternoon. I wish Wayne Burnett’s side all the very best of luck for what will be a tough and very competitive game of football.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Hinds, Tanganga (c), Eyoma, Reynolds, Marsh, Oakley-Boothe, Tracey, Roles, Georgiou, Janssen.

Subs from: Austin, Tainio, Duncan, Bowden, Harrison.

Injured/unavailable: Jonathan Dinzeyi, Luke Amos, Phoenix Patterson.

Doubtful: Kazaiah Sterling (Possible first team involvement against Chelsea on Thursday), Dilan Markanday, Rodel Richards.

Previous meeting: N/A

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: ‘ Los Leones ‘ top scorer this campaign is 21 year old centre forward Asier Villalibre who has scored 12 league goals for Bilbao so far this season. The Gernika born striker has played in Atletico’s two previous group games in this competition.

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

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

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Spurs youngster Samuel Shashoua made his 18th competitive appearance of the season for his parent club Atlético Baleares on Sunday morning, in their league game against Alcoyano in the Spanish Segunda Division B group III. Shashoua played the full match as Atlético drew 0-0 to Alcoyano on the Spanish mainland. It was, to be truthful not one of the most exhilarating games of football that I have ever watched, in fact it was quite a dour game for large periods. Alcoyano were well organised and they made it difficult for Samuel to create openings down the flanks although he did try his very best to break down the Alcoyano defence, and he came desperately close to scoring a late winner for Manix Mandiola’s side. The Balearic club wore their bright yellow away strip for Sunday’s match on a sunny morning in Valencia. After a fairly uneventful opening ten minutes which resulted in few touches of the ball for young Samuel, the Spurs loanees first involvement in the game came around the 15 minute mark. After the 19 year old attempted to play a clever lofted pass to Hugo Díaz inside the Alcoyano penalty however, their goalkeeper Bañuz was alert and he came out to claim the ball before Díaz could get to it. Although it appeared that Samuel had started the game as a number ten he was in fact operating as a left winger. Samuel teed off Díaz on the edge of the Alcoyano penalty shortly afterwards but the midfielders effort was blocked by an Alcoyano defender. Samuel was struggling to get involved in the game as the home side tried to prevent him from enjoying any sort of freedom down the left channel. After receiving the ball from Hugo Díaz down the left wing Samuel cut inside onto his right foot before quickly slipping the ball into the feet of Fullana on the edge of the Alcoyano penalty area but the Atletico captain curled an effort wide of goal courtesy of a deflection off an Alcoyano defender. A couple of minutes later Samuel had his first shot on goal of the game. It came from a Francesc Fullana’s corner kick which was headed towards Samuel on the edge of the penalty area by an Alcoyano player. The teenager set himself up well before volleying the ball narrowly over the Alcoyano crossbar. Samuel struck the ball so sweetly and he showed great technique to be able to strike the ball so cleanly and with such venom.

There continued to be very little to separate the two sides as the first half came to an end however, Samuel was involved in one more attacking move for the away side. After receiving the ball down the left flank Samuel cut inside onto his right foot before knocking the ball past Primi and then darting into the Alcoyano penalty area before being cut out by Tomás Ruso who slid in to win the ball off of him. Atlético came close to taking the lead shortly after the restart through Hugo Díaz who was only denied by a magnificent reflex save from Bañuz. A couple of minutes later Samuel went on a good run through the middle of the pitch before shifting ball out to Nuha down the left wing. The centre forward then passed the ball to Díaz inside the Alcoyano penalty area but he ended up snatching at the ball and firing wide. Samuel was becoming visibly frustrated down the left flank as the game started to slow down. After picking the ball up down the left channel Shashoua cut inside onto his right foot before forcing a decent save out of Bañuz from his powerful low effort on the edge of the penalty area. There were very few clear cut chances during the remainder of the game apart from one right at the very end which Samuel couldn’t convert. A good late move resulted in Fullana giving the ball to Samuel who surged forward through the middle before passing the ball to Nuha down the right as Atlético broke forward. Nuha unselfishly passed the ball back to Shashoua who had a made run down the left side of the Alcoyano box. With the goal gaping at his mercy Shashoua had only Bañuz to beat to net a dramatic later winner for Atlético. However, just as Samuel was about to shoot, the ball cruelly bobbled up and his lofted effort over Bañuz ended up grazing the crossbar before narrowly going over. Neither Samuel nor Nuha could believe that it hadn’t been a goal. It was such a shame for Samuel who was so, so unlucky with his late chance. In the end both sides had to settle for a 0-0 draw but even though the well organised Alcoyano defence frustrated Samuel at times throughout the match, the Spurs loanee gave another positive account of himself in a game which lacked that bit of creativity and sparkle which he tried so hard to provide.

He put some nice corners into the penalty area and he worked so hard to time his runs to perfection down the left flank. While at times unlucky due to the tenacity of the Alcoyano back line, Samuel worked tirelessly at both ends of the pitch and he tracked back well after him. He also initiated some nice little attacks for Atlético and he came the closest of any of their players to finding a winner. It was a performance that young Samuel can and should be proud of. Up next for Samuel’s parent club is a home game against Ejea next Sunday in the league, as Manix Mandiola’s look to get back to winning ways. I am hoping to watch that game.

Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: 

Appearances: 18

Goals: 3

Assists: 2

Spurs under 23’s 2-2 Norwich City: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 2-2 Norwich City: (match report)

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Our under 23’s took on division two side Norwich City at their Colney training centre on Friday afternoon, in the Premier League International Cup. It was Wayne Burnett’s sides second group game in this seasons competition and it was imperative that Spurs got something out of Friday’s game, before going to play Athletic Bilbao B the following Wednesday in their final group game. While it was disappointing that Spurs didn’t win Friday’s match after going ahead on two separate occasions, I thought that it was a very good team performance from Wayne Burnett’s side who did well to record a 2-2 draw in Norfolk under some challenging circumstances. Burnett’s side of which included Netherlands international Vincent Janssen for the third consecutive game, played some good football against the ‘ Canaries ‘ and it was a good all round performance from the team who were unlucky not to get all three points. After a fairly even first half it was Spurs who struck first through Tashan Oakley-Boothe who netted his first goal of the season ten minutes before halftime, after playing a clever one two with Janssen before slotting home from inside the Norwich box. However, David Wright’s Norwich side fought back and disappointingly for the Spurs defence they drew level less than three minutes later through Adam Idah. For large parts of the second half Spurs were the better side although there still wasn’t much between the two teams. And after Spurs regained the lead in the 70th minute through Jack Roles following another well worked move, Spurs looked as if they were going to go on and win the game. However, Burnett’s side allowed Norwich to get back into the game and the ‘ Canaries ‘ punished them for it. Isak Thorvaldsson made it 2-2 in the 81st minute of the game after he was able to turn home Josh Coley’s cross. However, attentions quickly turned to Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin after he had went down worryingly after attempting to get to the ball. Austin received some lengthy treatment from the medical staff before going off the pitch in a stretcher and heading straight off to hospital. As Spurs had already made all three of their substitutions 17 year old fullback Maximus Tainio volunteered to go in goal for ten men Spurs. And the Finland under 19 international on only his third appearance at this level made a couple of smart stops to help Spurs see out the remaining 14 minutes of the game. Spurs only need a point against Athletic Bilbao B on Wednesday to top group c and book their place in the knockout stages of the competition.

Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Brandon Austin starting in goal for Spurs, while a strong back four of Hinds, captain Tanganga, Eyoma and Reynolds lined up ahead of him. Jack Roles and Tashan Oakley-Boothe were the two central midfielders while Anthony Georgiou and Shilow Tracey operated out on the flanks. Meanwhile, 24 year old Dutchman Vincent Janssen led the line for Wayne Burnett’s side for the third game in a row. Norwich got the game underway on a bitterly cold afternoon in the Norfolk countryside, and after a quiet start to the game it was Spurs who created the first real chance of the match. After Tracey passed the ball to Oakley-Boothe down the right flank the midfielder pulled the ball back to Georgiou who had made a run into the middle of the Norwich box. The winger took a touch before having an effort blocked behind for a corner kick by Louis Thompson. Japhet Tanganga did well at the other end to cut out Josh Coley’s attempted through ball to Adam Idah. Vincent Janssen tested Norwich goalkeeper Aston Oxborough for the first time in the game shortly afterwards, from his powerful curling effort down the left side of the Norwich box which stung the palms of the Norwich goalkeeper who was just able to hold onto the ball. The Norwich City goalkeeper was called into action once again a couple of moments later to deny Janssen’s powerful low effort after he had the ball slipped into him down the left side of the Norwich box by Roles. It was quite an even start to the game with neither side really stamping their authority on the match. Brandon Austin did well to gather Josh Coley’s powerful effort from long range. Norwich came close to taking the lead a couple of minutes later after Bilal Kamal attempted to pick out Adam Idah at Austin’s back post with a whipped low cross. However, Idah was just unable to make contact with the ball and in the end Austin was able to claim the ball. Japhet Tanganga glanced Anthony Georgiou’s corner kick wide at the other end of the pitch before Isak Thorvaldsson became disgruntled with Spurs’ George Marsh.

And the Icelandic winger was right to be annoyed with Marsh who had barged him over the railings after winning the ball down the right flank, Marsh ended up escaping any punishment. The game continued to gather pace, Japhet Tanganga made a good interception on Louis Thompson inside the Tottenham penalty area before George Marsh headed Saul Milovanovic’s free kick away from danger. Spurs then broke down the left flank through Jamie Reynolds who played the ball down the line to Georgiou who whipped a dangerous ball across the face of Aston Oxborough’s goal. A couple of minutes later Jack Roles played a quick one two with Janssen down the left side of the Norwich penalty area, before opening up his body and trying to find the far corner of Oxborough’s goal with a curling low effort across goal. However, the Norwich goalkeeper got down quickly to make the save and to hold onto the ball. The ‘ Canaries ‘ threatened Spurs at the other end of the pitch soon afterwards through Josh Coley who burst down the left flank, before cutting the ball back to Anthony Spyrou inside the Tottenham penalty area. Spyrou’s resulting effort on goal took a hefty deflection off of Tanganga before being gathered by Austin, with the Norwich players claiming to the referee that Tanganga had handled the ball. Wayne Burnett’s side finally managed to break the deadlock in the 35th minute of the match through an unlikely source in Tashan Oakley-Boothe. The central midfielder finished off a good passing move from Spurs by playing a clever one two with Janssen on the edge of the Norwich penalty area. Oakley-Boothe then darted into the middle of the box before calmly tucking the ball into the the bottom right hand corner of Oxborough’s goal, 1-0. The 18 year old showed really good composure in front of goal to score his first goal of the season for Spurs. However, our lead wasn’t to last for long and a mere three minutes later the home side found themselves back level. Norwich centre half Saul Milovanovic caught Spurs out with a simple cross into the Tottenham penalty area from the right wing. Milovanovic’s pacy cross was met by the alert Adam Idah who managed to slot the ball past Brandon Austin at his back post, 1-1. Austin was visibly angry with his defence in the aftermath of the goal.

Vincent Janssen conceded a free kick in a dangerous position just before half time. However, Saul Milovanovic’s resulting delivery was gathered by Austin before Spurs were awarded a free kick in a promising position down the other end of the pitch, but Jack Roles’ delivery was cut out by Caleb Richards before Tanganga could head home at the back post. The referee blew for halftime a couple of moments later. Spurs got the second half underway but it was the ‘ Canaries ‘ who created the first real chance of the half after Bilal Kamal’s dangerous cross was headed away by Tanganga before being volleyed well wide by Spyrou on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. Spurs tried to respond down the left flank through Georgiou who went on a good surging forwards run before laying the ball off to Jack Roles in the Norwich box. But the Cyprus under 21 international didn’t quite get his angles right and he ended up curling an effort well wide of the Norwich goal. Spurs threatened again shortly afterwards when Tracey played the ball down the line to Oakley-Boothe on the right wing, but the midfielders pull back which had been intended for Janssen inside the box was easily gathered by Oxborough. There was a slightly worrying moment for Spurs a couple of minutes later after Anthony Georgiou had lost the ball to Louis Thompson down the left wing before going flying in on Thompson to try and win the ball back. Georgiou fell to the ground in some pain and it didn’t look good for the 21 year old who had only recently returned from injury. Thankfully Georgiou recovered and he was booked by the referee once he got to his feet for his sliding challenge on Thompson. Spurs had a penalty claim waived away by the referee Alan Young after a challenge from Milovanovic on Tracey inside the Norwich penalty area. The right winger was replaced shortly afterwards by Shayon Harrison who made his first appearance  for the development side since September after returning from injury. Spurs were playing with a lot more width during the second period and it had begun to cause the Norwich defence quite a few issues.

After Jamie Reynolds played the ball down the line to Georgiou on the left flank the speedy winger burst forward before passing the ball to Janssen inside the penalty area. The Dutchman tried to sort his feet out but his low effort was comfortably saved by Oxborough at the Norwich goalkeepers near post. Spurs continued to cause problems down the left hand side and after George Marsh sprayed the ball out to Georgiou on the the left wing, the young Cypriot pumped another pacy cross into the danger zone. However, Georgiou’s delivery was headed away by Louis Lomas. Tariq Hinds then had a dangerous low cross gathered by Oxborough before Spurs finally managed to break down the ‘ Canaries ‘ defence through the inform Jack Roles. Tariq Hinds found Georgiou out on the left wing with a long pass. Georgiou quickly gave the ball to Roles down the left side of the Norwich box and the midfielder played a one two with Janssen, before stroking the ball past Oxborough and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 2-1. However, Norwich almost made an immediate response through Isak Thorvaldsson straight from the restart. After Adam Idah had burst down the right wing he pulled the ball back to Thorvaldsson on the edge of the Spurs box. The Icelandic youngsters powerful side footed effort forced a great reaction save out of Austin before Eyoma managed to poke the ball behind for a corner kick before Spyrou could convert. Spurs made a double substitution shortly afterwards when they brought off Jamie Reynolds and Jack Roles for Maximus Tainio and Dylan Duncan as Hinds switched to left back. Once again Burnett’s side were unable to hold onto their lead and less than 11 minutes after Jack Roles‘ goal the ‘ Canaries ‘ managed to pull level for the second time in the game. The danger came from Josh Coley down the left wing after the wide man went on a darting forward run before crossing the ball into the danger zone. Unfortunately Austin was unable to hold the ball as Idah attacked it and the ball fell to Thorvaldsson who was able to poke the ball home from close range, 2-2.

Attentions quickly turned to the injured Brandon Austin who had fallen to the floor while attempting to catch Coley’s cross. The 20 year old received some lengthy treatment on the field by the medical staff before eventually being taken off in a stretcher and then going off in an ambulance. As Spurs had already made all three of their substitutions this meant that Spurs had to put an outfield player in goal. The recently introduced Maximus Tainio volunteered to go in goal and after being prepared by substitute goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie he put on the goalkeeping shirt and went in between the sticks. Due to Brandon Austin’s injury the fourth officials board signalled that there would be 14 minutes of additional time. Norwich quickly piled the pressure on the Tottenham defence and although Anthony Spyrou had been ruled offside Tainio made an impressive stop with his feet to deny the attacking midfielder. George Marsh managed to block the same players shot a couple of moments later before TJ Eyoma cleared Caleb Richards low cross. Norwich came close to finding a winner through the potent Spyrou a couple of minutes later after he had the ball fed into him by Idah down the right side of the Spurs box, before having his powerful strike thwarted by the alert Tainio. Norwich substitute Alfie Payne then fired an effort a fraction wide of Tainio’s goal before the Norwich players tried to bully the 17 year old from a corner kick a couple of moments later. Thorvaldsson’s corner came to Norwich substitute Tom Scully on the edge of the Spurs box, but his powerful effort flew narrowly wide of the Tottenham goal. Thankfully for Wayne Burnett’s side that was to be the final piece of action of the game as Spurs held onto record a valuable point under testing conditions in Norfolk. It was a good performance from our lads who now only need to record a point against Athletic Bilbao B in their final group game on Wednesday, to progress to the next round of the competition.

 

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: The 20 year old had another good game in goal for Wayne Burnett’s side. But before I talk about his performance it was great to hear that Austin is ok after picking up a worrying injury late on in the game, which forced him to go off to hospital. Austin played well during his time on the pitch and he put in a typically authoritative performance in the Spurs goal where he dealt well with crosses and set pieces. Austin made three saves in total and the pick of the bunch was his excellent reaction save to deny Isak Thorvaldsson’s powerful curling effort late on in the game.
  • Tariq Hinds: In my opinion the right back had an excellent game for Spurs on Friday afternoon. Although he would play the latter stages of the match at left back Hinds didn’t put a foot wrong against Norwich. The 18 year old read the game extremely well and he neutralised the attacking threat of Josh Coley during his time down the right hand side. Hinds also went on some promising attacking forays.
  • Japhet Tanganga: The Spurs captain put in a commanding performance at centre half alongside TJ Eyoma against Norwich. Tanganga was excellent in the air and he made some really important blocks, interceptions and clearances. The Londoner was also good with the ball at his feet.
  • TJ Eyoma: The 18 year old put in a solid performance at LCB where he dealt well with the threat of Norwich’s potent centre forward Adam Idah. Eyoma made some well timed interceptions and like Tanganga he was good in the air. I really like how good he is under pressure and how he plays out from the back.
  • Jamie Reynolds: The 19 year old made only his second appearance of the season for our development squad on Friday where he played at left back. Reynolds completed 79 minutes of our 2-2 draw with Norwich and the energetic fullback put in a really impressive shift for Spurs. Reynolds defended well against both Isak Thorvaldsson and Bilal Kamal down his side of the pitch and the teenager anticipated danger well. The Essex born defender also went on some good forward runs and he linked up well with Georgiou who he would overlap on occasions. It’s great to see him back playing regularly again after suffering such a bad injury at the same venue last April, while playing for our under 18’s.
  • George Marsh: The 19 year old had a good game as a holding midfielder for our under 23’s. Marsh did the nitty gritty side of the game well and he certainly stamped his authority on the match as a ball winning midfielder. Marsh sprayed some nice passes out to Georgiou and Tracey on the flanks.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The Lambeth born midfielder played in his natural position of central midfield against Norwich. And the talented midfielder had a good game for Spurs where he did a good job as a box to box midfielder for Wayne Burnett’s side. Oakley-Boothe was slick in midfield and he engineered some good attacks for Spurs. He topped off a fine individual performance by scoring a well taken goal during the first half, after playing a clever one two with Vincent Janssen.
  • Shilow Tracey: The winger worked tirelessly down the right flank and he went on some good attacking forays down that side of the pitch. Tracey also tracked back well after him.
  • Jack Roles: The Cyprus under 21 international is a young man who is in a rich vein form. And Jack Roles capped off another fine performance by netting his sixth goal for the development squad this season. The skilful midfielder was involved in some really good attacking moves and he always showed a real desire to create, and to link up with the centre forward Vincent Janssen. Roles scored what should have been the winner in the 70th minute of time after playing a clever one two with Janssen inside the Norwich penalty area.
  • Anthony Georgiou: My motm, see below. 
  • Vincent Janssen: The 24 year old played his third consecutive game for the development side as he works his way back from a foot injury which kept him out for most of last season. Janssen continues to look sharper by each game and although he missed a couple of decent chances to get on the score sheet I thought that he had a good game. He held the ball up exceptionally well and he played with a real awareness about him. The Netherlands international set up both of our goals on Friday.
  • Shayon Harrison: It was great to see the 21 year old return to action following a four month injury lay off. Harrison came on as a second half substitute to replace Shilow Tracey out on the right wing. He was involved in some intricate play during his time on the pitch.
  • Maximus Tainio: Friday’s game was one that will live long in the memory of young Maximus Tainio. The Finland under 19 international came on late in the second half to replace Jamie Reynolds but following Austin’s injury he elected to go in goal as Spurs had already made all three of their substitutions. And Tainio impressed by making two good stops to help Spurs see out the remainder of the game.
  • Dylan Duncan: The 19 year old midfielder only made a short cameo but he he looked nice and tidy in the middle of the park.

My man of the match: Cyprus international Anthony Georgiou is a traditional winger in so many ways and over the years his direct style of play has been something which has always impressed me. For me the 21 year old left winger was our best player against Norwich on Friday afternoon and it was his direct style of play down the left wing which caused so many problems for the Norwich defence. Georgiou was up against a talented young player in Bilal Kamal who operated at right back for the ‘ Canaries ‘ but it was Georgiou who came out on top. His powerful surging runs combined with some fancy foot work and sharp twists and turns proved to be too much for Kamal who couldn’t keep up with the speedy winger. Anthony worked extremely hard to create chances for his teammates and it was his trademark Bale-esque galavanting runs and pacy whipped crosses into the danger zone, which helped to force mistakes out of the Norwich defence. Georgiou created some fantastic chances for Spurs but he also defended well and he did a good job at covering for Jamie Reynolds who would often overlap him, and as I have said many times before it is that hunger in his game which reminds me so much of James McClean. He is looking sharper, fitter and more dangerous by each passing game and it is only a matter of time before he starts to get goals and assists. It is also worth noting that Georgiou played his part in Jack Roles’ second half goal. I am hoping that the Lewisham born winger will play against Athletic Bilbao B on Wednesday.

Norwich City: Oxborough, Kamal, Richards, Lomas, Jones (c), Milovanovic (Payne 59), Thorvaldsson, Thompson (Scully 59), Spyrou, Idah, Coley. Substitutes (not used): McCracken, Omobamidele.

Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Reynolds (Tainio 79), Marsh, Tanganga (c), Eyoma, Tracey (Harrison 60), Oakley-Boothe, Janssen, Roles (Duncan 79), Georgiou. Substitute (not used): De Bie.

Goals: Norwich – Idah 38, Thorvaldsson 81; Spurs – Oakley-Boothe 35, Roles 70.

Yellow cards: Norwich – Jones 9, Thorvaldsson 56; Spurs – Georgiou 50.

Referee: Alan Young.

Venue: Colney Training Centre, Norwich.

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

Goals scored: Jack Roles – 6

Shayon Harrison – 5

Kazaiah Sterling – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Vincent Janssen – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 5

Kazaiah Sterling – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Vincent Janssen – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

George Marsh – 1

Tariq Hinds – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

Spurs under 18’s 2-5 Arsenal (AET): (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 2-5 Arsenal (AET): (match report)

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Our high flying under 18’s suffered their first competitive defeat since April after they crashed out of this seasons FA youth cup on Thursday, after suffering a 5-2 defeat to bitter rivals Arsenal in the fourth round of the competition (after extra time). For Matt Wells’ side it will be an extremely difficult defeat to take for a whole number of reasons, but to put it quite frankly it was a game in which Spurs looked destined to triumph in after playing so well in the first half. After a bright start to the match the energetic Armando Shashoua gave Spurs the lead in the eighth minute of time after he tapped home Troy Parrott’s pass from inside the Arsenal penalty area. However, Arsenal drew level less than five minutes later through Ben Cottrell’s unstoppable strike on the edge of the Spurs penalty area. Matt Wells‘ team responded well to the ‘ Gunners ‘ leveller and although both sides created good chances it was Spurs who regained the lead in the 34th minute of time through J’Neil Bennett, after he was set up by the tireless Paris Maghoma inside the Arsenal box. Spurs did have further chances to extend their lead before the break but they were unable to take them. However, the second half was a much tighter affair and it didn’t start at all well for the young Lilywhites. Matters were not helped by the referee Robert Whitton who strangely awarded Arsenal a penalty kick from which they scored from, less than five minutes into the second period. It was a strange penalty to award because there wasn’t a single foul committed on an Arsenal player inside the Spurs box. The foul was given against our goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi for a supposed foul on Ben Cottrell inside the area. The remainder of the second half was closely fought however, Matt Wells‘ side had some golden opportunities to win the game which they did not take. After the tie couldn’t be settled in normal time it went onto extra time and it was during this period in the game that Spurs began to crumble, and this was down to Arsenal’s speedy front three. Ken Gillard’s side started extra time with an energy about them which Spurs just couldn’t match and three Arsenal goals in quick succession was enough to down Matt Wells’ youngsters. The ‘ Gunners ‘ three goals were scored by Folarin Balogun, Xavier Amaechi and Bukayo Saka respectively to end Spurs’ FA youth cup dreams for another season at least.

There were large periods of the game where Matt Wells‘ side were the better team however, a combination of putting themselves under unnecessary pressure while playing it out from back, and not being clinical enough on the day cost the wonder boys from Hotspur Way. Spurs lined up in their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for Thursday evenings game at non league side Boreham Wood’s Meadow Road ground. Joshua Oluwayemi started in goal for Spurs while a back four of Okedina, Lyons-Foster, Binks and Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and development squad regular Jamie Bowden teamed up in the centre of midfield with J’Neil Bennett, captain Armando Shashoua and Paris Maghoma forming an attacking line behind centre forward Troy Parrott. Spurs got the game underway on a bitterly cold Thursday evening under the floodlights at Meadow Road, Spurs had brought with them a sizeable and vocal away support. It was Matt Wells‘ side who got the game underway and it certainly didn’t take long for the game to gather pace. After Joshua Oluwayemi did well to hold Vontag Daley-Campbell’s cross, Spurs defender Luis Binks came close to getting a head on Harvey White’s curling free kick at the opposite end after the 17 year old had come ghosting in at the back post of Arthur Okonkwo’s goal. An uncharacteristically sloppy back pass from Lyons-Foster to Oluwayemi shortly afterwards had the Tottenham goalkeeper in a panic but he did well to race back and clear the ball on the line. Both sides had started the game brightly and with a real desire to attack and after just eight minutes into the game Spurs found themselves 1-0 up after captain Armando Shashoua finished off a well worked move. The goal stemmed from Paris Maghoma’s hard work out on the left flank to recycle possession and to then travel forward with the ball before passing it to Shashoua on the edge of the Arsenal box. He then laid the ball off to Parrott who was able to get around Arsenal defender Mark McGuinness after he had tried to challenge Parrott. The young Dubliner did well to continue forward down the left side of the box before unselfishly cutting the ball back for Shashoua to slot home at the back post. And the Spurs captain celebrated his fifth goal of the season wildly in front of the Spurs supporters, 1-0. Soon after the restart Brooklyn Lyons-Foster did well to cut out Zak Swanson’s pass to Bukayo Saka even though the Arsenal winger would have been offside.

Spurs’ lead only lasted five minutes and Arsenal drew level through Ben Cottrell after we had been caught cold after playing out from the back. It was a sloppy goal to concede for Spurs who had started the game so well. After Jubril Okedina had passed the ball to Cirkin inside Spurs’ half the left back tried to turn around Cottrell however, the Arsenal teenager robbed the ball off of him before advancing forward. Cottrell darted through the middle before unleashing an unstoppable strike which flew past the helpless Oluwayemi and into the roof of the Spurs goal, 1-1. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster did well to clear former Spurs schoolboy Jordan McEneff’s corner a couple of minutes later before Arsenal broke down the left flank through Zak Swanson after Bukayo Saka had played the ball down the line. Swanson continued forward down the flank before pumping the ball into the danger zone where Luis Binks was on hand to head it clear. However, Binks‘ headed clearance fell to Cottrell on the edge of the box but the Arsenal forwards scuffed volley was again headed away by the alert Luis Binks. Arsenal were putting pressure on the Spurs defence and the so far flawless Luis Binks had a nervy moment which resulted in the Arsenal players surrounding the referee as they looked for a penalty. Saka’s through ball to Folarin Balogun had set the Arsenal centre forward racing through the middle of the pitch before entering the Tottenham penalty area where he appeared to have the back of his shirt tugged by Luis Binks. However, no penalty kick was given and the referee only signalled for an Arsenal corner kick. That following corner kick was delivered in by McEneff who managed to pick out Xavier Amaechi at the back post, and the Arsenal wingers header on goal had to be cleared off the line by Shashoua at his near post. Bukayo Saka then fired an effort narrowly over from long range as the ‘ Gunners ‘ continued to threaten the Spurs defence. Spurs looked to respond to Arsenal’s high intensity attacking football. After Armando Shashoua won a free kick out on the left flank Paris Maghoma saw his resulting delivery cleared behind by McGuinness. 

Jamie Bowden played a quick one two with Shashoua from the following corner kick before whipping the ball into the danger zone but, Bowden’s delivery was gathered just in the nick of time by Okonkwo before Binks and Parrott could convert. The commanding Arsenal goalkeeper came out to claim Harvey White’s corner kick a couple of minutes later. Just over ten minutes before the end of the first half Spurs managed to find their rhythm once again to retake the lead with a brilliantly worked goal. The move started in defence from Luis Binks who passed the ball down the left flank to Cirkin who burst forward down the channel, before cutting the ball back to Maghoma on the edge of the Arsenal penalty. Instead of shooting, Maghoma unselfishly slipped the ball into the feet of Bennett who had made a run down the right side of the box. And the speedy winger made no mistake from six yards out and he clinically fired the ball into the bottom right hand corner of Okonwo’s goal, 2-1. Shortly after the restart Spurs came close to making it 3-1 after Bowden managed to set Maghoma racing through on goal after playing a defence splitting pass over the top of the Arsenal defence. Maghoma darted forward towards the Arsenal goal however, Mark McGuinness managed to get back to win the ball off the Spurs midfielder. J’Neil Bennett had a shot blocked by the same Arsenal defender a couple of moments later before Arsenal broke forward down the other end through Xavier Amaechi. The pacy right winger manager to go past White before going around Lyons-Foster down the right side of the Spurs box and forcing an impressive reflex save out of Oluwayemi who managed to parry the Arsenal mans powerful effort. Spurs were eager to extend their lead before the half was up, and after Bennett shifted the ball out to Shashoua the Spurs captain gave the ball to Maghoma on the edge of the penalty area. However, Maghoma had been leaning back and he ended up side footing the ball well over Okonkwo’s crossbar, bringing to an end an enthralling first half of football. Arsenal got the second half underway and the home side started the half well.

Daley-Campbell fired an effort over Oluwayemi’s crossbar from the edge of the Tottenham penalty area before Folarin Balogun tried his luck. Substitute James Olayinka managed to pick out Balogun from his long pass up field, and the Arsenal striker was then able to beat Luis Binks before continuing into the box and firing an effort against Lyons-Foster which was tipped behind by Oluwayemi. However, It was in the 50th minute of the game that the referee made the bizarre decision to award Arsenal a penalty kick. Bukayo Saka’s lofted pass over the top of the Spurs defence had caught out Dennis Cirkin who was back defending inside the penalty area and it ended bouncing to Balogun inside the box. Oluwayemi came rushing off his line to try and get to the ball and it was at this moment that the referee thought that Oluwayemi had made some sort of foul or obstruction, and it was to the crowds amazement that he pointed to the spot and he would not listen to Oluwayemi’s demonstrations. Bukayo Saka stood up to take the resulting spot kick and the confident 17 year old was slightly fortunate to score. Saka’s curling low effort came off the inside of Oluwayemi’s left hand post before bouncing across goal and into the opposite corner of the net, 2-2. Matt Wells‘ side were desperate to respond for the second time in the game and they came close to doing just that, shortly after the restart. A wonderful free flowing move saw Maghoma pass the ball to Parrott who then gave the ball to Bennett on the edge of the Arsenal box. Bennett quickly gave the ball back to Parrott down the left side of the penalty area but the strikers effort on goal was well blocked by Mazeed Ogungbo. Jubril Okedina nodded Jamie Bowden’s resulting corner kick wide of Okonkwo’s goal before Arsenal tried to catch Spurs out at the other end of the pitch. Arsenal captain Matthew Smith’s ball over the top of the Spurs defence was met by Balogun who sprinted into the penalty area where he weaved his way around Lyons-Foster before firing an effort on goal. However, the alert Oluwayemi made another excellent reflex save to parry Balogun’s fizzing strike.

A couple of minutes later the Tottenham goalkeeper was forced into action  again, this time he tipped behind Xavier Amaechi’s powerful low strike after the Arsenal winger had cut inside from the right flank. Ben Cottrell blazed an effort over the Spurs goalkeepers crossbar shortly afterwards on the half volley, from just outside the Spurs box. Spurs managed to go on a good move at the opposite end of the pitch after Shashoua played a one two with Bennett down the right wing. Bennett managed to get past Zak Swanson down the channel before giving the ball back to Shashoua who slipped the ball into Parrott inside the Arsenal box. However, the young Dubliner ended up getting his angles all wrong and his first time effort on the turn flew towards the corner flag on the near side. James Olayinka dragged an effort wide shortly afterwards from the edge of the Spurs penalty area. Spurs didn’t have many golden chances during the second period but they did create one late chance which they really should have put away. It was another quick passing move from Spurs which resulted in Parrott passing the ball to Shashoua who spotted the run of Paris Maghoma down the left side of the Arsenal box before slipping the ball into him. Maghoma had only Okonkwo to beat but instead of opening up his body and curling the ball across goal, the 17 year old held onto the ball for that split second too long and Okonkwo was able to come out and smother the ball from the under his feet. Arsenal tried to catch our defence out at the other end through Xavier Amaechi who broke down the right flank before entering the Spurs box and firing the ball narrowly over Oluwayemi’s crossbar. Luis Binks did well to head Bukayo Saka’s pacy cross clear shortly afterwards in what was the final piece of action from normal time. Ken Gillard’s Arsenal side got the first period of extra time underway after Matt Wells had tried to motivate the Spurs players on the pitch after the final whistle had gone. After the tireless Dennis Cirkin had won a free kick right on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area, dead ball specialist Harvey White stood up to take it. And the central midfielders curling effort over the Arsenal wall ended up going narrowly over Arthur Okonkwo’s crossbar.

A matter of minutes later the tie was turned on its head after the ‘ Gunners ‘ took the lead for the first time in the game. The Tottenham defence had been caught out by a simple ball over the top by Saka. Folarin Balogun raced to meet it down the left flank before dragging the ball across the face of Oluwayemi’s goal for Xavier Amaechi to tap home at the back post, 2-3. Matt Wells reacted by making a double substitution to bring off Luis Binks for Rayan Clarke and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster for Malachi Walcott as Spurs reverted to playing three at the back. Arsenal continued to cause Spurs bother, after Saka passed the ball to Balogun inside the Spurs box the Arsenal forward managed to sort his feet out before getting a shot away on goal. However, Balogun’s powerful effort was blocked by Walcott before being gathered by Oluwayemi. We couldn’t seem to match the ‘ Gunners ‘ energy levels and after Balogun broke through the middle of the pitch before shifting the ball down the left side of the Spurs box, the 17 year old had an effort on goal blocked behind by Okedina. Then in the 102nd minute of the game Ken Gillard’s side effectively put the tie to bed. It was another good attacking move from Arsenal which the Spurs defence just couldn’t deal with. After Balogun received Olayinka’s pass he gave the ball to Amaechi at the back post but his powerful shot was parried by Oluwayemi, but Balogun was on hand to fire home on the follow up, 2-4. Captain Armando Shashoua could be seen urging his players to play the game quicker. Jubril Okedina did well to clear Amaechi’s ball into the Spurs box shortly after the restart before the referee blew for half time. Spurs got the second half of extra time underway but it was quite clear that they had lost their shape. The potent Bukayo Saka netted his second and Arsenal’s fifth goal of the game in the 108th minute. Saka was set up by Olayinka who cut the ball back to the Arsenal winger inside the Arsenal box before Saka fired an unstoppable effort into the roof of Joshua Oluwayemi’s goal, 2-5. Chay Cooper came onto replace captain Armando Shashoua before Pochettino replaced Parrott shortly afterwards. In between both of those substitutions Folarin Balogun had blazed an effort wide of the Spurs goal from range.

We had a late penalty shout after substitute Sam Greenwood appeared to trip Paris Maghoma inside the Arsenal box, but no penalty kick was given by the referee. Arsenal did have one late chance to extend their lead after the newly introduced Trae Coyle pulled the ball back across the Spurs goal to Balogun in the centre of the box however, the Arsenal centre forward ended up poking the ball narrowly wide of Oluwayemi’s goal. The referee blew for full time a couple of moments later to end Spurs’ run in the FA youth cup this season. It was a devastating result for Matt Wells‘ side who suffered their first defeat of the season in such unfortunate circumstances. It was a crushing defeat for the young Lilywhites to suffer in a game in which they looked as if they were going to win after playing so well in the first half. However, we needed that two goal cushion and we just couldn’t get it, and that along with a bizarre Arsenal penalty cost us in the end. The players can be very proud of their efforts against Arsenal and it was a game in which they gave their very all in. After the final whistle you could see the disappointment etched across the faces of every single Spurs player, that in itself is a learning curve for the wonder boys from Hotspur Way who will be looking to bounce back next Friday when they face Derby County, in the quarter finals of the Premier League Cup. I was very proud of the players efforts on Thursday evening.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The 17 year old made five saves in our 5-2 defeat to Arsenal on Thursday evening and the commanding goalkeeper made a couple of really good reflex saves. Oluwayemi commanded his box well and  on the whole he dealt well with set pieces. The second year scholars save to deny Folarin Balogun’s powerful effort from close range in the second half, was top quality. After the end of the match the young goalkeeper took time out to shake Spurs supporters hands behind his goal.
  • Jubril Okedina: The 18 year old played the majority of the game at right back before later going onto play on the right side of a back three during extra time. I thought that Okedina put in a really good shift for Spurs at right back where he defended well against the speedy Bukayo Saka down that side of the pitch. The South Londoner was good on the ball and he held his position well. Okedina also made a number of important blocks and challenges against Arsenal.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The ball playing centre half operated at RCB against the ‘ Gunners ‘ where I thought he put in a decent shift for the young Lilywhites. Although Lyons-Foster was unlucky with his passing on the night, the elegant defender managed to cut out some dangerous Arsenal attacks and after he was brought off during extra time we looked more vulnerable at the back.
  • Luis Binks: The authoritative centre half operated at LCB against Arsenal and I personally thought that Binks had a good game. He was faultless in defence for Matt Wells‘ side and he was excellent in the air while also making some crucial defensive interventions with his feet. The England under 18 international was involved in our second goal of the game after he played a positive pass out to Dennis Cirkin on the left wing.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The left back was one of the Spurs players who had a very good game. From a defensive and attacking point of view the 16 year old put in an excellent shift and he did a good job at keeping the speedy Xavier Amaechi in check for large periods of the match. As always Cirkin was able to combine both roles well and while he did an excellent job at overlapping Maghoma down the left hand side and going on purposeful attacking runs down the channel, Cirkin also did his defensive duties diligently. Playing a big part in our second goal of the game after going on a good run down the channel the fullback also made some really important interceptions and challenges and he played with a real bite about him. His stamina was really impressive. Cirkin has been excellent for our under 18 side so far this season.
  • Jamie Bowden: The development squad regular dropped down to our under 18 side for Thursday nights important match. Bowden teamed up well with Harvey White in the middle of the park and he did a good job at breaking up play and creating chances for the forwards, with a number of fine passes over the top of the ‘ Gunners ‘ defence. Bowden and White’s task of patrolling the midfield was a difficult one considering the quality of the Arsenal midfield.
  • Harvey White: Like his slightly older midfield partner Bowden, Harvey White did a good job in central midfield where he helped to protect the back four. White broke up play to great effect and his distribution impressed me however, it was his hard work off the ball and his urge to drop deep and help out the defence which really caught my eye. The first year scholars corner kicks and free kicks were well taken.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The agile winger played out on the right wing where for periods of the match he looked really dangerous with his jinking forward runs. Bennett’s major contribution to the match was his goal to put us 2-1 up towards the end of the first half. It was a well taken goal by the 17 year old who clinically slotted home from Paris Maghoma’s pass inside the Arsenal penalty area.
  • Armando Shashoua: My motm, see below.
  • Paris Maghoma: The silky midfielder played as a left forward and even though he played out of position Maghoma still made a big impact on the game. With his ridiculously high work rate and willingness to track back after him Maghoma had a good balance about his game. And the England under 18 international really flourished down the left wing where he would look to pick the ball up and cut inside before dribbling at the Arsenal defence. Maghoma was involved in both of our goals, for our first goal he did well to recycle possession out wide before initiating the move which would lead to our opener. Whereas our second goal was created directly by Maghoma who kept a cool head before unselfishly picking out Bennett down the right side of the Arsenal penalty area. Maghoma created countless other goal scoring opportunities for his teammates, and he had a couple of chances of his own from which he would have hoped to have done better from.
  • Troy Parrott: The Ireland under 19 international led the line well for Spurs and he put in another really good shift up top. Parrot impressed with his exceptional work rate and defensive contribution to the game. The 16 year did well to set up Armando Shashoua’s opener and he made some really good runs through the middle.
  • Rayan Clarke: The winger came on in extra time but he was unable to make much of an impact on the game.
  • Malachi Walcott: Like Rayan Clarke, Walcott was introduced in the first half of extra time when he came onto play on the right side of the back three.
  • Chay Cooper: The 17 year old creative midfielder worked hard to try and influence the game after he was introduced in the second half of extra time. Cooper used the ball positively out on the left wing.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: It was only a very fleeting cameo for the Barcelona born wide man who didn’t see much of the ball during his time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Our under 18’s captain fantastic Armando Shashoua was  by far our most creative and effective player on Thursday night. The dynamic midfielder played as a number ten against Arsenal and it was his typically energetic performance in the hole which created so many good chances for the likes of Parrott and Maghoma. Shashoua put in a faultless display and there were so many positives which you could focus on from his game. Armando’s movement was electric and his ability to constantly create space for himself was something which the Arsenal defence just couldn’t deal with. Shashoua’s goal was well taken after he tapped home Troy Parrot’s pull back from close range early on in the game. However, it was the West Londoners link up play with the the wide men J’Neil Bennett and Paris Maghoma which helped to make Spurs such a force going forward. Shashoua worked tirelessly to help out his team at both ends of the pitch. From a creative point of view the Spurs captain created the most chances of anyone on the pitch. The creative midfielder used the ball intelligently and it was his vision, guile and unbelievable work rate which like so often this season has allowed Spurs to play the way that they do. Shashoua did well to clear Xavier Amaechi’s header off the line during the first half and his ball retention rate was as good as usual. Apart from his superb performance it is also worth noting that Armando led the team really well and he could constantly be seen telling players where to play and how to play E.g. encouraging the team to play quicker or with more energy. After Thursdays match the 18 year old has now been directly involved in 15 of our under 18’s goals this season.

Arsenal: Okonkwo, Daley-Campbell, Swanson (Lopez 90), Smith (c), McGuinness, Ogungbo, Amaechi, McEneff (Olayinka 46), Balogun (Coyle 113), Cottrell (Greenwood 116), Saka. Substitute (not used): Graczyk.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Okedina, Cirkin, White, Lyons-Foster (Walcott 98), Binks (Clarke 98), Bennett, Bowden, Parrott (Pochettino 112), A Shashoua (c, Cooper 109), Maghoma. Substitute (not used): Kurylowicz.

Goals: Arsenal – Cottrell 13, Saka 51 (pen), 108, Amaechi 95, Balogun 102; 

Spurs – A Shashoua 8, Bennett 34.

Yellow cards: Arsenal – McGuinness 68, Smith 80.

Referee: Robert Whitton.

Venue: Meadow Park, Boreham Wood FC.

Attendance: 946.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 12

J’Neil Bennett –  8

Dilan Markanday – 7

Rayan Clarke – 7

Rodel Richards – 5

Armando Shashoua – 5

Harvey White – 4

Luis Binks – 3

Paris Maghoma – 3

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Jubril Okedina – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 11

Armando Shashoua – 10

Troy Parrott – 6

Jamie Bowden – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Rayan Clarke – 4

Dilan Markanday – 3

Rodel Richards – 3

J’Neil Bennett – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Paris Maghoma – 2

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 – 5

Spurs under 23’s versus Norwich City: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Norwich City: (match preview)

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Our under 23’s return to action on Friday afternoon when they face second division side Norwich City at their Colney training ground, in their second group game of this seasons Premier League International Cup. Wayne Burnett’s side sit in second place in Group C after winning their opening game against Wolfsburg II back in December. A win against bottom of the group the ‘ Canaries ‘ tomorrow would leave Spurs in great stead to qualify from the group ahead of their final group game against Athletic Bilbao B next week. This is our development squads last chance of realistically winning some silverware this season, and I’m sure that Wayne Burnett and his coaching staff will be desperate for the lads to get to back to winning ways tomorrow afternoon. Spurs can progress to the knockout stages of the competition by finishing as one of two of the best group runners up. However, a win over David Wright’s Norwich who have a very slim chance of getting out of the group, would leave the young Lilywhites with a fantastic opportunity of topping the group. Tomorrow’s opponents have won only one of their last 14 matches in  all competitions and David Wright’s side currently languish in tenth place in division two. It’s been quite a long time since both of these clubs last met at this level. In fact our last meeting was in the old under 21 premier league when we lost 2-1 at White Hart Lane, a young Kyle Walker-Peters was sent off on that night. The current Norwich side have a number of talented players but the three who I thought have stood out over recent seasons are central midfielder Bilal Kamal, and forwards Anthony Spyrou and Adam Idah. Tomorrow’s match should be a really interesting and competitive affair and I will be intrigued to see if Wayne Burnett’s side will include Netherlands international Vincent Janssen after his impressive performance against West Ham in our last game. I shall be reporting on tomorrow’s game at Colney and I would like to wish all of our lads all the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Marsh, Tanganga (c), Reynolds, Roles, Oakley-Boothe, Tracey, Sterling, Georgiou, Janssen.

Subs from: De Bie, Statham, Duncan, Clarke, Thorpe.

Injured/unavailable: TJ Eyoma (Suspended), Jonathan Dinzeyi, Luke Amos, Phoenix Patterson.

Doubtful: Shayon Harrison.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-2 (U21 level).

My score prediction: Spurs 4-2.

My one to watch: Ireland under 19 international Adam Idah is a player who I have watched on many occasions for Ireland at youth level and on one occasion for the ‘ Canaries ‘ under 18 side. After making the permanent step up to under 23 level this season Idah has been in terrific form for David Wright’s development side. The pacy centre forward has found the back of the net on nine occasions from 12 league games. The second year scholar who has previously been linked with a move to Manchester United has excellent off the ball movement, and he is a clinical finisher. The Irishman is also very good at holding up the ball and creating chances for his teammates, he is a player who I am a big, big fan of and he is also a player who the Spurs defenders will have to be wary of.

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

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

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On Thursday evening two of the most talented under 18 sides in Europe will go toe to toe in the fourth round of this seasons FA youth cup. Few of our under 18’s will have ever been involved in a bigger game of football than our cup tie against Arsenal on Thursday. Matt Wells unbeaten under 18 side will make the short trip to Meadow Lane the home of non league side Boreham Wood on Thursday evening to face the home team the ‘ Gunners ’ who are only one place below Spurs in the league table in second place. Both teams are two of the favourites to win the worlds most prestigious youth competition this season,  and in so many ways it’s a great pity that we had to be drawn against our bitter rivals so early on in the competition. Fresh from their 4-1 league win over Brighton at the weekend Matt Wells table toppers have already beaten their arch rivals in the league this season. Although neither side fielded their strongest team for that game, Spurs still did well to beat Arsenal 3-2 at Hotspur Way in a typically dramatic and fiery North London Derby back in November. Tomorrow’s hugely important cup tie will likely see both sets of managers field very different sides. Especially Ken Gillard’s Arsenal side who I’m assuming will have England youth internationals Bukayo Saka, Xavier Amaechi and Tyreece John-Jules available for tomorrow’s match. The ‘ Gunners ‘ are one of the best sides that we have come up against this season and they are a team who like to play with a lot of width. Arsenal’s under 18’s have a very well rounded squad who have a solid defence, powerful midfield and a formidable front line. Their two towering centre half’s Mark McGuinness and former Spurs schoolboy Bayli Spencer-Adams form a very strong defensive partnership and then you’ve got midfielders such as Alfie Matthews and James Olayinka. However, Arsenal’s most talented players are their attackers and they have it in abundance. When at full strength the ‘ Gunners ‘ front line is frightening. With the pace and skill of Bukayo Saka and playmaker Xavier Amaechi Arsenal will look to test the Spurs fullbacks and try and to the clinical Tyreece John-Jules inside the danger zone.

In addition to their attacking trio of England youth internationals Arsenal also have prolific centre forward Folarin Balogun, former Sunderland schoolboy and attacking midfielder Sam Greenwood, and former Spurs schoolboy Jordan McEneff to choose from ahead of tomorrow’s cup tie. Overcoming Arsenal on Thursday evening will be a very difficult challenge for Matt Wells‘ side and they will need to be at the very top of their game to be able to beat the ‘ Gunners ’ inform side. I have no doubts that our lads can out class, out pass and out perform Arsenal when these two teams meet. While it is highly unlikely that Oliver Skipp will be available for tomorrow’s match we should still have a very strong side to choose from excluding any injuries that players have picked up since our last game against Brighton. I have interviewed a number of former Spurs youth players who have won the FA youth cup and so many of them have said to me that winning the famous cup had been one of the highlights of their footballing careers, and some of those players went onto play football at the very highest level. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck for tomorrow’s big game and I would like nothing more than too see the wonder boys of Hotspur Way beat Arsenal in their own back yard. I will be at tomorrow’s match and my in-depth match report will be out by the next day. COYS!

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Okedina, Lyons-Foster, Binks, Cirkin, White, Bowden, Maghoma, A.Shashoua (c), Bennett, Parrott.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Tainio, Walcott, Thorpe, Clarke.

Injured/unavailable: Enoch Asante, Jeremie Mukendi, Phoenix Patterson, Rafferty Pedder.

Doubtful: Rodel Richards, Dilan Markanday.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: Arsenal have many talented attacking players but winger Bukayo Saka is one of their very best prospects. The speedy left winger has already featured on a couple of occasions for Arsenal’s first team this season, and with his skill and frightening speed Saka will be looking to cause problems for Spurs down our right hand side.

Spurs under 23’s 1-1 West Ham United: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 1-1 West Ham United: (match report)

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Our under 23’s took on London rivals West Ham at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on Sunday in the PL2, as Wayne Burnett’s side looked to avenge their 3-1 defeat to the ‘ Hammers ‘ earlier on in the season. It was a typically scrappy and highly competitive match in East London on Sunday afternoon, as both sides went in search of all three points. Burnett’s side included Netherlands international Vincent Janssen (24) in the starting 11 for the second consecutive match along with Cyprus international Anthony Georgiou who played at left wing back. While Spurs had the stronger side on paper Liam Manning’s West Ham side were better and more sharper than us on the day. They played with a higher intensify than us and they worked well as a team, and although I thought that our lads had a good game yesterday I thought that West Ham dominated in the middle of the park and I think that’s what cost us in the end. Goalkeeper Brandon Austin had a fantastic game for Wayne Burnett’s side and his razor sharp reflexes may well have stopped Spurs from going home empty handed. The ‘ Hammers ‘ started the first half well and after coming close to taking the lead early on in the game they were awarded a penalty kick in the 25th minute of time, after Japhet Tanganga had fouled Jahmal Hector-Ingram inside the Tottenham penalty area. West Ham’s Joe Powell stood up to convert the resulting spot kick to give the home side the lead. However, Wayne Burnett’s side responded well and less than four minutes later Vincent Janssen drew Spurs level after he tapped home Kazaiah Sterling’s pass from close range. Spurs had a golden chance to take the lead before the half was up, after Kazaiah Sterling won a penalty kick for the Lilywhites. However, the 20 year olds resulting spot kick was tame and the West Ham goalkeeper Joseph Anang was able to comfortably deny Sterling’s effort. Unfortunately for Spurs they weren’t to have any such goal scoring opportunities in the second half and in all truth it was a dour half of football.  And it was West Ham who were the much better side during the second period. After TJ Eyoma was shown his second yellow card of the game in the 66th minute Spurs had to reshape for the latter stages of the match, this meant that they offered very little of a threat going forward. Burnett’s side did however, do well to prevent West Ham from scoring a winner and in the end they did well to record a point.

Wayne Burnett picked a similar side to the one which had drawn 1-1 with Liverpool the previous Monday. Lining up in a 3-4-2-1 formation Brandon Austin started in goal for Spurs, while a back three of Eyoma, Tanganga (the skipper) and Marsh lined up in front of him. Tariq Hinds and Anthony Georgiou started the game as wingbacks down their natural sides of the pitch while central midfielders Jamie Bowden and Dylan Duncan operated in the middle of the park. Meanwhile Cyprus under 21 international Jack Roles and Kazaiah Sterling essentially played as inside forwards behind 24 year old Vincent Janssen who led the line. The ‘ Hammers ‘ got the game underway on a cool day in East London and it was Liam Manning’s side who started the game the brighter of the two teams. West Ham started the game with a real intensity about them and they almost took an early lead after Ben Johnson was allowed to break forward down the right flank unopposed. Johnson was allowed to continue forward down the channel before picking out Jahmal Hector Ingram inside the Tottenham penalty area with a pin point cross. The West Ham centre forward jumped up well before testing Austin with a powerful header which the Spurs goalkeeper did well to palm away at full stretch. Japhet Tanganga did well to clear Joe Powell’s dangerous low cross shortly afterwards before Janssen tried to play Sterling through on goal at the other end. After the Dutchman has skipped past Alfie Lewis in the centre of the park the striker attempted play Sterling through on goal but Janssen’s pass had too much pace on it, and Anang was able to gather the ball before Sterling could get to it. West Ham almost caught us out a couple of minutes later after Joe Powell passed the ball over the Spurs defence to Hector-Ingram down the right side of the Spurs box. However, the alert Brandon Austin came out to close him down before making a smart stop to deny the West Ham forwards low effort on goal. Austin did hurt himself in the process but after a little bit of medical treatment the 20 year old was fine to carry on, before telling the referee that Hector-Ingram’s studs had touched him.

Austin did well to come out and claim Joe Powell’s resulting corner kick as Liam Manning’s tigerish side continued to dominate the game. Alfie Lewis ended up side footing an effort well wide of Austin’s goal from 25 yards out before Jamie Bowden managed to pick Janssen out down the right hand side of the West Ham penalty area. Young Jamie Bowden did well to find Janssen down the right hand side of the ‘ Hammers ‘ penalty area with a clever lofted pass over the West Ham defence. Janssen controlled the ball well before stinging the palms of Anang who could only parry his powerful effort on goal. However, Spurs still looked vulnerable whenever West Ham went forward and they were dealt a big blow in the 25th minute of time after Japhet Tanganga gave away a penalty. Joe Powell’s pass over the top of the Spurs defence had caught out Tanganga who was unable to keep up with Hector-Ingram who darted down the left side of the Spurs penalty area. The Tottenham captain knew that he was never going to be able to win the ball so he ended up cynically tugging the back of Hector-Ingram’s shirt, leaving the referee Carl Brook with no other option than to point to the spot and to give Tanganga a yellow card. Joe Powell stood up to take the resulting spot kick for West Ham and the midfielder made no mistake from seven yards out. Powell powerfully curled the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, despite the fact that Austin had guessed the right way and was only a matter of inches away from getting to the ball, 0-1. Burnett’s side looked to respond, Jamie Bowden played a corner kick short to Georgiou who gave the ball back to Bowden whose cross into the box was clawed away by West Ham goalkeeper Joseph Anang. A matter of minutes later Spurs unexpectedly netted an equaliser through Vincent Janssen. Spurs had managed to slice open the West Ham defence after TJ Eyoma had picked out Sterling with a lofted pass down the right side of the West Ham box. Sterling’s first touch was good and although Ajibola Alese attempted to get in front of the Spurs forward the 20 year old was able to get past Alese before passing the ball to Janssen who tapped home at the back post, 1-1.

TJ Eyoma did well to clear Joe Powell’s teasing cross shortly after the restart before Spurs threatened the West Ham defence once more. After Janssen had received Tariq Hinds pass down the right flank the Dutchman tried to cross the ball into the box, but Conor Coventry was able to put the ball behind for a corner kick. Anthony Georgiou’s resulting corner kick was headed wide by Japhet Tanganga who had gotten too much power behind the ball. TJ Eyoma was harshly given a yellow card shortly afterwards for a challenge on Joe Powell. The same players resulting free kick was headed up in the air by Tanganga before Austin came out to punch the ball clear. The ball then came out to Dan Kemp on the edge of the penalty area but he ended up volleying an effort well wide of Brandon Austin’s goal. A good passing move from Spurs shortly afterwards resulted in Wayne Burnett’s side having a fantastic chance to take the lead for the first time in the game. After a good passing move Kazaiah Sterling passed the ball to Georgiou on the left wing. The Cyprus international cleverly passed the ball back to Sterling inside the West Ham box where he was tripped from behind by Josh Pask who gave away a cheap penalty kick. The player who had won the penalty stood up to take it but Sterling’s casual and predictable effort was easily saved by Anang, who dived to his left to clutch Sterling’s curling effort on goal. Japhet Tanganga blocked Dan Kemp’s effort from long range shortly afterwards before Ben Johnson blazed over from 25 yards out from goal. And the home side were trying to punish Spurs for failing to take the lead from the penalty spot. After Kemp passed the ball to Hector-Ingram the West Ham striker managed to get around TJ Eyoma before chopping past Tanganga and forcing an excellent diving save out of Austin from his powerful low effort on the edge of the penalty area. However, the 20 year old almost undid his good work a matter of minutes later after he failed to deal with TJ Eyoma’s back pass appropriately, and he ended up being robbed of the ball by the high pressing Joe Powell who managed to run across the Spurs goalkeeper inside the box, before passing the ball back to Kemp on the edge of the penalty area. Kemp quickly laid the ball off to Alfie Lewis whose powerful low strike deflected off of the sliding Jamie Bowden before clipping Marsh, before somehow being magnificently tipped over the crossbar by the off balance Brandon Austin who had been diving the wrong way at the time of the shot. Austin was then able to palm away Joe Powell’s resulting corner kick to bring the first half to an end.

Spurs got the second half underway and goalkeeper Brandon Austin did well early on to claim Powell’s pacy cross into the danger zone. George Marsh did well to block Ben Johnson’s effort on goal after the fullback had cut inside from the left flank before letting fly. From the following corner kick the ball came out to Bowden on the edge of the penalty area and the Tottenham midfielder managed to play a pass to Janssen down the left flank. The Spurs centre forward did well to hold off Ben Johnson before turning around and managing to dart past Ajibola Alese before continuing forward and doing well to fire an effort on goal, which was well parried by Anang. Jack Roles skied an effort over  Anang’s crossbar from the edge of the West Ham penalty area after receiving Kazaiah Sterling’s pass, after he had done well to win the ball off of the West Ham goalkeeper in the first place. Brandon Austin did well to catch Ben Johnson’s cross a couple of minutes later. Vincent Janssen was replaced by Tashan Oakley-Boothe just after the hour mark as Kazaiah Sterling moved up top. Ngakia managed to pick out Jahmal Hector-Ingram with a pass over the top of the Tottenham defence but the West Ham strikers effort on goal was blocked by Eyoma. The West Ham centre forward then headed over from Dan Kemp’s cross. Spurs were then dealt a major blow after TJ Eyoma was sent ff after he received his second yellow card of the game after he had pulled Hector-Ingram after he had received Joe Powell’s pass on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. Powell’s resulting free kick was blocked by George Marsh in the Spurs wall before the same Spurs player managed to clear Jahmal Hector-Ingram’s cross. West Ham were piling the pressure on ten men Spurs and Tanganga had to be alert to clear West Ham substitute Amadou Diallo’s cross, before Dan Kemp fired wide at Brandon Austin’s near post after latching onto Joe Powell’s cross. Jack Roles was booked for a foul on Alfie Lewis before Rayan Clarke replaced Jamie Bowden. 

In all truth it had been an absolutely dour second half with so few clear cut chances for either side. Tashan Oakley-Boothe had a low cross gathered by Anang before Diallo almost managed to get to Dan Kemp’s cross at Brandon Austin’s back post, at the other end of the pitch. However, both sides had to settle for a point in the end after a scrappy London derby had ended 1-1. It was a good point for Wayne Burnett’s side who impressed during periods of the match and there will have been a number of positives that our lads will take from the game. Up next for Wayne Burnett’s development side is a trip to Norfolk to face Norwich city in the Premier League International Cup on Friday afternoon.

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: My motm, see below.
  • Japhet Tanganga: The skipper started out in the middle of a back three and although we would later switch to four at the back Tanganga played the majority of the game as part of a back three. The Spurs captain made some important blocks and challenges, and he certainly made up for giving away a penalty during the first half.
  • TJ Eyoma: The 18 year old operated on the left side of the back three during his time on the pitch. And while he did make some important interceptions and clearances Eyoma was dismissed in the 66th minute of the game after he was harshly shown a second yellow card for a pullback on Jahmal Hector-Ingram.
  • George Marsh: The hardworking 19 year old made a number of important blocks during his time on the pitch. Marsh played on the left side of the back three.
  • Tariq Hinds: The 18 year old put in a decent shift at right wing back and he managed to protect his side of the pitch well.
  • Dylan Duncan: The 19 year old midfielder kept things ticking in the centre of the park alongside Jamie Bowden. Duncan was tidy in possession and he did a good job at breaking up play and recycling possession.
  • Jamie Bowden: On his tenth appearance at this level 17 year old Jamie Bowden had another good game in central midfield for Wayne Burnett’s side. Like Dylan Duncan, Bowden was nice and tidy with the ball while also doing a job at winning balls and helping out the defence. It was a good all round performance from the second year scholar and what really impressed me about his performance against West Ham was his ambitious passing. Bowden made a number of nice long passes over the top of the West Ham and defence. One such impressive pass saw the Londoner pick out Vincent Janssen inside the West Ham box during the first half.
  • Anthony Georgiou: I thought that the Cyprus international was one of our best players on Sunday. Georgiou started the game as an LWB but he played a lot of the game as a left back. The winger showed good discipline to stay back and defend against West Ham’s Dan Kemp who he kept in check for the entirety of the game. Due to the sending off of TJ Eyoma in the second half Georgiou had virtually no attacking freedom down the left flank, and this was frustrating because he could have caused so many problems for West Ham right back Ben Johnson. However, under the circumstances I thought that Anthony put in a really good shift for the team and if you watched him closely like I did all game then you will appreciate that. Georgiou whipped some really nice balls into the box from corner kicks.
  • Jack Roles: Like Sterling, Jack Roles operated as an inside forward off the left flank. Roles was unable to make much of an impact and apart from a couple of good runs he was left pretty isolated out on that side of the pitch.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: The 20 year old played the majority of the game as an inside forward before playing as a nine after Janssen was brought off. Sterling did well to set up Janssen’s goal and to win our penalty soon afterwards. He worked his socks off as always.
  • Vincent Janssen: The 24 year old centre forward was one of our best players on Saturday. His quality really showed on his second consecutive appearance for our under 23’s. The Dutchman’s goal was an instinctive one to tap home Kazaiah Sterling’s pass and he came close on several occasions to adding to his tally. Janssen went on one excellent solo run during the second half and his off the ball work, hold up play and the timing of his runs was all very impressive.
  • Rayan Clarke: The second year scholar only made a fleeting cameo after coming onto replace Jamie Bowden late on in the game. Clarke didn’t see much of the ball during his time on the pitch.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: After coming on in the 62nd minute of the game Oakley-Boothe played out on the right wing. The 18 year old went on a couple of good forays down that side of the pitch.

My man of the match: Brandon Austin made four saves in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against West Ham and the 20 year old had yet another very good game in between the sticks. Austin made some superb stops against the ‘ Hammers ‘ and it wasn’t just his shot stopping that was so impressive. Austin did a fantastic job at dealing with corners and set pieces and there was a wonderful confidence about his game. The goalkeeper won Spurs the point yesterday, all four of his saves were top class but none more so than the one which saw him deny Alfie Lewis deflected strike late on in the game, and to somehow tip the ball over the crossbar. Brandon has been in absolutely superb form for Spurs this season.

West Ham: Anang, Johnson, Ngakia, Coventry (c), Pask, Alese, Kemp, Lewis (Rosa 78), Hector-Ingram, Powell, Holland (Diallo 45). Substitutes (not used): Barrett, Harness, Belic.

Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Eyoma, Marsh, Tanganga (c), Duncan, Roles, Bowden (Clarke 76), Janssen (Oakley-Boothe 62), Sterling, Georgiou. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Reynolds.

Goals: West Ham – Powell 26 (pen); Spurs – Janssen.

Yellow cards: West Ham – Alese 28; Spurs – Tanganga 25, Eyoma 36, 66, Roles 75.

Red card: Spurs – Eyoma 66.

Referee: Carl Brook.

Venue: Chigwell Construction Stadium.

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

Goals scored: Jack Roles – 5

Shayon Harrison – 5

Kazaiah Sterling – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Vincent Janssen – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 5

Kazaiah Sterling – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

George Marsh – 1

Tariq Hinds – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

Spurs under 18’s 4-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 4-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

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For game week 13 of the under 18 league season Matt Wells unbeaten side traveled down to Lancing on the south coast, to face Brighton and Hove Albion at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre. Saturday mornings match was a lively affair and it certainly wasn’t a game without incident. Matt Wells side dominated the match and they ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over the ‘ Seagulls ‘ who posed a significant threat on the counter. Spurs played their usual passing game against Brighton and it proved to be effective. Paris Maghoma and Harvey White controlled the midfield and they were able to create chances for the forwards while also maintaining good defensive discipline. While the presence and leadership of Troy Parrott up top provided our wingers with a focal point which they made the most of. Matt Wells selected a strong side for the trip down to Lancing with the likes of Troy Parrott, Paris Maghoma and Rodel Richards all included in the starting 11. Although it was a fairly even start to the game Spurs took the lead after just nine minutes through Troy Parrott after the 16 year old headed home from Harvey White’s inviting cross. Brighton had a couple of chances to equalise and they managed to do so through Stefan Vukoje on 24 minutes. However, Matt Wells‘ high pressing side regained their lead shortly after the restart through Rodel Richards. Spurs controlled the game during the second half as Mark Beard’s side tired. J’Neil Bennett made it 3-1 on 64 minutes before Harvey White missed a penalty. Both sides ended the game with ten men after Julian Carre was shown a straight red card for a late sliding challenge on Dilan Markanday. Carre had injured Markanday and he was unable to continue, and with Matt Wells having already made all three of his substitutions, Spurs had to play the final minutes of the game with ten men. However, that didn’t affect Spurs who grabbed a fourth goal before the end through Troy Parrott to stay at the top of the under 18 southern league, two points above Arsenal who also won on Saturday.

Matt Wells went for the familiar 4-2-3–1 formation for our game against Brighton on Saturday morning. Joshua Oluwayemi started in goal while a back four of Tainio, Okedina, Lyons-Foster and Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and Paris Maghoma lined up in central midfield with Dilan Markanday and J’Neil Bennett playing either side of Rodel Richards, who played in the hole. Troy Parrott led the line for Spurs, and he started the game as captain for the first time at this level before returning the captains armband to Armando Shashoua after he came on just before halftime. The home side got the game underway on a chilly winters morning down by the south coast, and it didn’t take long before the game came to life. An early attack from the ‘ Seagulls ‘ resulted in midfielder Jack Spong passing the ball to Danny Cashman down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area. However, Cashman ended up blazing an effort well wide of Joshua Oluwayemi’s goal. Dennis Cirkin did well to clear a dangerous cross from the same player shortly afterwards, before Brooklyn Lyons-Foster managed to deal with Julian Carre’s whipped cross a couple of moments later as the ‘ Seagulls ‘ started to put some pressure on the Spurs defence. However, our lads responded well by taking the lead in fine fashion in the ninth minute of the game through Troy Parrott. It was a nicely worked move which started with Maghoma passing the ball to Harvey White on the left flank. After receiving the ball the midfielder looked up before picking out the unmarked Parrott inside the Brighton penalty area with a deftly accurate cross. It was still a difficult chance to convert for the 16 year, old but the young Dubliner made it look easy by getting into space and just glancing a header past the helpless Carl Rushworth, and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 1-0. Shortly after the restart Danny Cashman was able to pick out Stefan Vukoje down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area however, Vukoje’s attempt on goal was excellently blocked by the sliding Jubril Okedina. Joshua Oluwayemi didn’t deal well with Ben Wilson’s resulting corner kick.

The Northern Ireland youth internationals corner ended up coming to Laurent Tolaj whose header was blocked by Parrott, the ball then came out to Cashman whose shot was blocked by Okedina, the Brighton captains effort on the follow up was cleared off the line by Cirkin as Spurs somehow managed to survive. After Maximus Tainio passed the ball to Markanday down the right side of the Brighton box you fancied the Spurs winger to score but he took a heavy touch and Rushworth was able to get to the ball in the nick of time. Spurs were in control of the game but they desperately needed to get that second goal to take the game away from the home side. After Markanday won a free kick out on the right flank dead ball specialist Harvey White looked to deliver another promising ball into the danger zone. However, the 17 year olds curling delivery was well claimed by Rushworth who managed to hold the ball. However, a beautiful long range strike from the ‘ Seagulls ‘ Stefan Vukoje stunned Spurs in the 24th minute of time. After Danny Cashman had passed the ball out to Vukoje on the left flank the referee had let play go on after Rodel Richards had fouled the Brighton captain. Vukoje brought the ball inside onto his right foot before letting fly from 24 yards out from goal. The Brighton forwards powerful effort had plenty of dip and spin on it, and it totally caught Oluwayemi by surprise as it moved in the air and ended up nestling inside the top right hand corner of the Spurs goal, 1-1. However, Brighton’s celebrations didn’t last long and less than two minutes later Spurs had regained the lead. It was an instant response from Matt Wells‘ side whose sharp passing and quick movement had helped to carve open the Brighton defence. After Dennis Cirkin had played the ball down the line to the speedy J’Neil Bennett on the left wing. The 17 year old darted away from Brighton fullback Ayo Taminowo before whipping the ball into the danger zone. Bennett’s cross managed to pick out Richards who had made a run towards the back post before managing to acrobatically volley the ball into the back of the empty net, 2-1. A couple of minutes later Paris Maghoma’s excellent cross towards Dilan Markanday at the back post of Rushworth’s goal, was well cut out by the alert Luka Cocoracchio.

Spurs ended the half well, the potent J’Neil Bennett curled an effort narrowly wide from long range after receiving Dilan Markanday’s pass. Then at the opposite end of the pitch Dennis Cirkin had to be on hand to clear Cameron Tutt’s menacing cross, before Ben Wilson could convert at the back post. Markanday gave away a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the Spurs penalty area shortly afterwards. Danny Cashman managed to get his resulting effort up and over the Spurs wall before forcing Oluwayemi into palming the ball away from the goal at full stretch. The half picked up pace as it neared an end. After Markanday gave the ball to the influential Harvey White on the edge of the Brighton box the Spurs midfielder fired an effort narrowly wide of Carl Rushworth’s goal. However, Spurs were dealt quite a bad blow just before the end of the half when Rodel Richards picked up a nasty looking injury following a collision with Stefan Vukoje. Richards injury forced the 18 year old off the pitch and he was swiftly replaced by captain Armando Shashoua. Dennis Cirkin did well to clear Danny Cashman’s free kick after Tainio had conceded a foul out on the left flank, in what was the final piece of action from an action packed first half. Matt Wells side restarted the game and they looked to start the second half in positive fashion. After Lyons-Foster passed the ball up field to J’Neil Bennett the wide man ended up blazing an effort well wide of Rushworth’s goal from long range, Harvey White then had a free kick cleared by Cocoracchio. The ‘ Seagulls ‘ had started the half with a different energy about them and their high pressing was forcing Spurs to move the ball about quicker. Spurs continued to push for that all important third goal, after Markanday had won a free kick on the edge of the Brighton box Harvey White curled an effort over Rushworth’s crossbar. A couple of minutes later the ‘ Seagulls ‘ came desperately close to drawing level through Laurent Tolaj. Brighton had broke down the right flank through the pacy Tanimowo who darted forward after receiving Cashman’s pass. The Brighton fullback continued forward down the flank before squaring the ball to Tolaj who had made a good run into the middle of the Spurs box. The Brighton strikers first touch was good and you expected the net to bulge as Oluwayemi came rushing out of his goal to close Tolaj down. However, Spurs were let off the hook after the Swiss striker somehow ended up curling the ball wide of Oluwayemi’s goal from just eight yards out. 

After creating a couple of good little passages of play, midfielder Paris Maghoma had a powerful effort on goal blocked by Jack Spong on the edge of the Brighton box. Spurs went on another good move soon afterwards, Bennett passed the ball to Maghoma who passed it to Shashoua, who then gave it back to Bennett who ended up curling an effort wide of the Brighton goal. The Tottenham winger was given a yellow card shortly afterwards by the referee for a challenge on Tanimowo. Paris Maghoma had a powerful low effort saved by Rushworth after receiving Markanday’s pass down the right side of the Brighton box. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then made a crucial defensive intervention at the other end. After Ben Wilson passed the ball to Tolaj on the right wing the Brighton striker surged forward as he beat Tainio before darting into the Tottenham penalty area. However, Lyons-Foster had read the situation well and the 18 year old managed to get across Tolaj inside the box to poke the ball away from him. The Brighton players looked for a penalty after Tolaj had went to ground but the referee was having none of it. Joshua Oluwayemi punched Jack Spong’s resulting corner kick away. The Brighton midfielder then had a second corner kick blocked by Cirkin, with the Brighton players going in search of a penalty once again but to no such success. Spurs had managed to put some distance between themselves and Brighton after J’Neil Bennett made it 3-1 in the 64th minute. It was another good passing move from Spurs which started with Armando Shashoua’s pass into Parrott down the right side of the Brighton penalty area. Parrott’s first touch was good and he was able to sort his feet out before firing a low effort towards the far corner of Rushworth’s goal. However, the Brighton goalkeeper managed to get down in time to make an excellent diving save at full stretch, but he could only parry the ball into the feet of Bennett who was ghosting in at far post. And the alert winger made no mistake from close range and he clinically fired the ball home, 3-1.

The brave Troy Parrott did well to shrug off Carre’s reckless challenge shortly after the restart. The Irishman then won us a penalty a matter of minutes later after being pulled by Luka Cocoracchio inside the penalty area. It was another well worked move from Spurs which saw Okedina play a nice pass over the top of the Brighton defence to Markanday down the right side of the Brighton box. The tricky winger pulled a clever pass back to Parrott who had made the run into the middle of the box. However, the centre forward had his shirt cynically pulled by Cocoracchio before he could get his shot away, leaving the referee with no other option than to point to the spot. The usually prolific Harvey White was unable to extend Spurs’ lead from the spot and the 17 year olds curling effort towards the bottom left hand corner of the goal lacked power, and it was a relatively comfortable save for the diving Rushworth to make to deny the teenager his fifth goal of the season. England under 17 international Malachi Walcott replaced Maximus Tainio shortly afterwards to make his return from injury. Harvey White did well to clear Danny Cashman’s free kick at the other end. Before J’Neil Bennett came a matter of centre meters away from being able to turn home Troy Parrott’s curling effort from close range as it flew just wide of the Brighton goal. Spurs made their third and final change when they brought off Brooklyn Lyons-Foster for Luis Binks in the 75th minute this meant that Okedina had to move out to right back while Binks and Walcott operated as the two central defenders. Brighton were starting to run out of energy and Matt Wells super fit side were beginning to overwhelm them. Joshua Oluwayemi did well to catch Jack Spong’s free kick after it had been conceded by Bennett. After Jubril Okedina played another one of his passes over the top of the Brighton defence to Markanday down the right flank the tricky winger was able to work his way into the penalty area. The goalkeeper slipped just as Markanday squared the ball to who he thought was Troy Parrott in the middle of the penalty area, but no one in a Spurs shirt was there to meet it, and the ball ended up rolling across the face of the Brighton goal.

French teenager Julian Carre ended up receiving his marching orders after he was shown a straight red card for a sliding challenge on Dilan Markanday in the middle of the park, in the 83rd minute of the game. After receiving treatment from the Tottenham medical staff it was clear that Markanday would be unable to see out the final minutes of the game, and after Spurs had already made all three of their substitutions it meant that both teams would play the remainder of the game with ten men. However, Spurs’ dominance and urge to extend their lead resulted in them making it 4-1 in the 87th minute, and in some style too. A lovely passing move from the young Lilywhites resulted in Troy Parrott bagging his second goal of the game. Armando Shashoua played a clever one two with Maghoma on the edge of the Brighton penalty area before the Spurs captain managed to flick the ball onto Parrott who had made a run down the left side of the penalty area. The inform Dubliner steadied himself before dragging the ball across Rushworth and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 4-1. Paris Maghoma almost made it 5-1 shortly afterwards but Rushworth was able to make an excellent diving save to deny Maghoma’s powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area, after he had played a quick one two with Parrott. The Brighton goalkeeper then produced another fine stop, this time to save J’Neil Bennett’s powerful low shot across goal from out on the right side of the Brighton box. Spurs then had a penalty claim waved away after Kaspar Lopata looked to have obstructed the Irishman inside the Brighton box. Parrott was denied his hat-trick a couple of moments later after the same Brighton defender blocked his effort on goal on the edge of the penalty area. Harvey White almost managed to set J’Neil Bennett through on goal with a lovely lofted pass over the Brighton defence right at the end, but Sam Packham was able to cut the midfielders pass out. That was to be the final piece of action from what had been a pretty eventful game of football. Once again Matt Wells side played the opposition off the park with their own brand of sparkling attacking football. It was a good performance from the Spurs youngsters who worked so well as a team to overcome Mark Beard’s side. Up next for Spurs is a hugely important FA youth cup fourth round tie against Arsenal on Thursday. For so many of our scholars that game will be one of the biggest that they have been involved in so far in their short careers. Arsenal will also be extremely difficult to overcome.

Player reviews: 

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The 17 year old goalkeeper had a solid game in between the sticks for Spurs on Saturday. Oluwayemi made one save against the ‘ Seagulls ‘ which was an impressive one to deny Danny Cashman’s free kick during the first half. The second year scholar did a really good job at dealing with set pieces and crosses and he led his defence well throughout the match.
  • Maximus Tainio: The Finland under 19 international defended well against tricky Brighton winger Stefan Vukoje for the majority of the match. The right back completed 71 minutes of our 4-1 win over Brighton and he protected his side of the pitch well.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The 18 year old completed 75 minutes of the match where he played at LCB. Lyons-Foster put in a really strong performance alongside Jubril Okedina, and he made numerous important interceptions, blocks and clearances. Lyons-Foster made one particularly important and brave interception on Laurent Tolaj during the second half to end a dangerous Brighton attack. The North Londoner read the game well and he was always on hand to fill in for other Spurs defenders if they had strayed out of position. Lyons-Foster’s passing out from the back also impressed me.
  • Jubril Okedina: Like Lyons-Foster, Okedina had a really strong game at centre back on his tenth appearance of the season for Matt Wells’ side. The 18 year old defended extremely well and he timed his challenges to perfection. Apart from making some really important blocks and interceptions Okedina also played several clever passes over the top of the Brighton defence to set Markanday free down the right flank. He was good on the ball and he showed good awareness throughout the game. Okedina also filled in at right back for the latter stages of the match.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Cirkin was another player who I thought had a really strong game for Spurs. The Dublin born left back defended really well against Brighton winger Ben Wilson, and the 16 year old always seemed to be in the right place at the right time against Brighton. Cirkin made a fantastic goal line clearance early on in the game, and the disciplined fullback was excellent in the air and he always managed to pick up Wilson at the far post. 
  • Harvey White: I personally thought that the 17 year old had an excellent game in the middle of the park for Matt Wells side. White was the midfield orchestrator and it was lovely to see him spray the ball around the park with such precision. Good at breaking up play and filling in for the defenders, Harvey’s all round game helped Spurs out a lot and it allowed them to play their passing game to such great effect. White got the assist for Troy Parrott’s opener after picking the Irishman out in the danger zone with a pin point cross. And the first year scholar created many more good chances during the remainder of the game. He was strong in the challenge and good at tracking back after him.
  • Paris Maghoma: I thought that the England under 18 international played more of a combative role in Saturday’s 4-1 win. Maghoma played the entirety of the game in central midfield and the 17 year old did a good job at linking the defence with the attack. Maghoma stayed deeper than usual but he still made just as big of an impact on the game as he did against Swansea the previous week. He did the nitty gritty side of the game well and like White he did a good job at breaking up play and recycling possession. The silky midfielders passing was good and he created some good chances for the likes of Parrott and Bennett. As the game went on Paris seemed to play more of an advanced role and he got forward a lot more, and he made some good runs through the middle. He played some lovely one and two touch football with Parrott and Shashoua in particular and he played a big part in our final goal of the game. Maghoma also came close to finding the back of the net himself on a couple of occasions.
  • Dilan Markanday: The right winger grew into the game as it went on and he always looked dangerous when he was in possession. Impressing with his ball retention and work rate, the skilful winger caused problems for Brighton fullback Cameron Tutt with his jinking runs down the flank. He was unselfish and he created some good little chances for Spurs before being forced off late in the game due to injury.
  • Rodel Richards: Sadly Richards only completed 43 minutes of the game after he picked up a nasty looking injury following a collision with a Brighton player just before halftime. Richards had a good game as a CAM and he did well to find the back of the net from J’Neil Bennett’s cross midway through the first half. Unfortunately Richards could be seen using crutches after the final whistle, I wish him a speedy recovery.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The 17 year old had a good game out on the left wing and he chipped in with a goal and an assist. He was nice and direct in his play and although he was up against a good defender in Tanimowo Bennett’s skill and speed asked questions of him. Bennett did well to set up Rodel Richards goal during the first half before going onto find the back of the net himself.
  • Troy Parrott: My motm, see below.
  • Armando Shashoua: Our under 18’s captain fantastic came onto replace the injured Rodel Richards at the end of the first half, and the 18 year old did a superb job as a CAM during his time on the pitch. Energetic, hardworking and very good on the ball Shashoua’s intricate passing and clever attacking forays through the middle helped out Troy Parrott and he managed to set up the centre forwards second goal of the game.
  • Malachi Walcott: The 16 year old made his return from injury after coming on in the 71st minute, and he helped to bolster the Spurs defence.
  • Luis Binks: Like Walcott, Binks only made a fleeting cameo but he did a good job in central defence.

My man of the match: After yesterday’s match 16 year old centre forward Troy Parrott has now been directly involved in 23 goals from 22 appearances for Spurs at youth level this season. Parrott played a big part in our 4-1 win over Brighton on Saturday and he chipped in with a goal and an assist. The inform striker did well to get into space and to glance home Harvey White’s cross early on in the game. Parrott also got the assist for Bennett’s goal before netting his second of the game right at the end of the second half. Parrott was superb and everything from his work rate and coming deep to receive the ball to influence play, to his ability to create space for himself inside the box was top class. He also held the ball up extremely well and both of his finishes were smartly taken.  He is such a clever young man and once again on Saturday he was clinical in front of goal while also influencing the game in so many other ways.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Tainio (Walcott 71), Cirkin, White, Okedina, Lyons-Foster (Binks 75), Markanday, Maghoma, Parrott (c), Richards (A.Shashoua 43), Bennett.

Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Clarke.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 12

Dilan Markanday – 7

Rayan Clarke – 7

J’Neil Bennett – 7

Rodel Richards – 5

Armando Shashoua – 4

Harvey White – 4

Luis Binks – 3

Paris Maghoma – 3

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Jubril Okedina – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 11

Armando Shashoua – 10

Jamie Bowden – 5

Troy Parrott – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Rayan Clarke – 4

Dilan Markanday – 3

Rodel Richards – 3

J’Neil Bennett – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 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 – 5

My interview with former Spurs man Jacques Maghoma:

My interview with former Spurs man Jacques Maghoma:

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Born in Lubumbashi, Zaire (modern day DR Congo) in 1987 Jacques Ilonda Maghoma grew up in Finchley, North London where he attended Finchley Catholic High School. A highly skilled winger who signed scholarship terms with Spurs back in 2003, Jacques rose up through the ranks at the North London club and he featured for their first team on several occasions during preseason friendlies as well as appearing on the bench in competitive matches for the Lilywhites. The eldest of three footballing brothers, Christian now of Arka Gdynia in Poland and current Spurs starlet Paris who is still only 17. Maghoma’s career so far is one of remarkable resilience and determination which has seen him fight back from some debilitating injuries in order to work his way up the English footballing pyramid, following his release from Spurs back in 2009. Jacques has worked incredibly hard to not only become a star player for Championship club Birmingham City where he plays today but also to earn his place in the richly talented DR Congo national side. I caught up with the boyhood Spurs fan and academy graduate who kindly made the time to speak with me about his footballing journey, and his time in the Spurs youth set up. Tottenham Hotspur is a club which remains close to his heart and it has helped him to achieve so many great things in his footballing career to date. It was an absolute privilege to get the opportunity to listen to the 31 year olds story and in case you weren’t already aware he is a wonderful man just like his two younger brothers, and we should all be proud to call him one of our own.

What are your earliest footballing memories?

Jacques: My earliest memory is probably my first training session at Spurs as a 13 year old back when they were still at Chigwell. Micky Hazard and David Kerslake were the coaches back then.

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

Jacques: Funnily enough it was when I first went there on a two week trial when I ended up getting told that I wasn’t going to get signed! I went away and trained with a Sunday league team at the time called Winchmore Hill and I kept playing there until I was 15. There was actually a summer camp at White Hart Lane one particular summer and funnily enough David Kerslake was there and he had seen me play and obviously improve in the two years that I’d grown, and so when I was 15 I ended up joining them.

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

Jacques: It was brilliant because at the time I had probably two of the best coaches I could ever have had in my development. Micky Hazard was such a technical player while Dave Kerslake was a little bit more strict, so we had a good balance in them both at the time. They moulded me into becoming the player that I am today, especially Micky Hazard who I got really close to as he was really good to me.

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

Jacques: Not really because I didn’t really watch football to have those heroes, at the time I was just so focused on my own game that I never really had that idol.

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

Jacques: I actually started as a centre mid and then as time went by I moved to the wing, both on the right and left wing. However, I’d say that I’m more of a creative player and I like creating things, I like doing things that others can’t do. One of the people who I would always look to was Ronaldinho. His skills and how he ran past players and how he was able to manipulate the ball was just amazing, and at the time I used to look at a lot of things with him. We had a skills coach at the time at Spurs called Ricardo Moniz and I used to do a lot of skillsets with him which would help me a lot.

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

Jacques: It was a tough one back then because the old pros were tough. It wasn’t easy for young players to come into the first team, it’s a lot easier now for players to come into the first team and be within the group straight away, back then it was a lot tougher. So I didn’t really have any great influences but I did have good friends who I’m still friends with now like Chris Riley, Claude Seanla and Simon Dawkins as we grew up with each other at Spurs before going our separate ways. When John McDermott joined Spurs he was really good, as was Clive Allen and Alex Inglethorpe. They all sort of moulded me and tried to push me but unfortunately injuries ended my progress as such. The club was changing manager at the time but those three people and Chris Hughton and Martin Jol helped me. Martin Jol especially because he was the manager who really took me under his wing when I started training with the first team. Another great help was Ricardo Moniz who I spent a lot of time with doing one on ones which has helped me a lot in my career.

Were there any players at Spurs who you would watch closely to try and improve your game?

Jacques: There were a lot of players as there was so much talent at Spurs especially in my age group that had different qualities than I did, and I had different qualities to what they had. When I ended up training with the first team I got to watch players like Modric and Berbatov who have gone onto achieve great things in their careers, with Modric going onto win the Ballon d’Or and Berbatov playing for Man United. Then you had Gareth Bale who had different qualities however, I was especially close to Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore and Jermain Defoe and they were all people who you would try and look at to improve your game. Training with the first team helped me a lot to be able to see that, and I was fortunate enough to be in the group to improve my game.

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

Jacques: Probably the first time that I travelled with the first team and it was actually a home game and we stayed in a hotel. I used to get car sick so when we were on the team bus I had my head down because I thought that I was going to throw up when the bus was moving. I felt sick and all of the boys were taking the piss out of me thinking that I was nervous and scared because it was my first time travelling with the first team. That was a really good memory, and another was obviously being called up to train with the first team, and signing my first professional contract. The whole experience of being at such an amazing club which I had grown up supporting was just amazing. My whole time there was amazing.

You featured in a number of preseason friendlies for the Spurs first team including one against Irish side St Patrick’s Athletic. What was that experience like for you?

Jacques: Someone actually sent me a picture not long ago with me, Darren Bent and Gareth Bale. I remember that game and I did really well when I came on and everybody was really happy with me that day, so that was a good memory.

What has been the greatest moment of your footballing career so far?

Jacques: Just turning professional. A lot of people will look at that but what people don’t realise is that there’s millions of kids that are competing to play on one position. So for me to turn professional and stay in the game as long as I have and to still be doing well and working at my game is a big achievement. At the moment I’m at Birmingham and I’m really enjoying it and hopefully with Birmingham we will continue to push on until the end of the season, and hopefully achieve something amazing like reaching the play offs. But at the same time thinking about my journey from playing in the park to getting into a Sunday league team and then getting signed by Spurs and signing my pro contract. And then being involved in the first team and going onto play in league two for four seasons, and then going straight into the Championship at the age of 25 has been fantastic. I’ve enjoyed the whole journey and it has made me who I am today, all the good times and the lows is all part and parcel of life and I am still learning. The journey itself has probably been the best thing.

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

Jacques: All of the players that I played with in the first team at Spurs were all great, players like Jermain Defoe as a striker who could score from any type of ball into the box. And then Berbatov who was amazing at what he did, then you had people like Tom Huddlestone who never gave the ball away, left foot or right foot he was just effortless. So I really don’t know it’s really hard to just pick one player and say that he’s the greatest that I’ve ever played with. If you asked me on the spot I’d probably have to think about it.

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

Jacques: I got injured when I was 18 going on 19 and it was a big injury which put me out for ten months because I needed an operation. When I eventually came back I wasn’t the same because it took me probably another year and a half to really find my feet again, because it was a big knee injury. It took me a long time to get back into the flow of how I was, and by that time at such a big club you have other youngsters who are coming through and pushing to get into the first team after your time has gone by. I just wanted to play competitive football especially and not under 21’s or 23’s football as you weren’t really getting tested. So me and my dad made a decision at the time to leave Spurs and although I didn’t want to leave, at the same time I needed to go out and get games and play games. I ended up at Burton (in 2009) who had just been promoted to the football league. Paul Peschisolido was in charge at Burton and he was a great guy. I did ok in my first season at Burton as stepping down into league two was totally different football. It was actually an eye opener for me because coming from the academy of a club like Spurs a lot of things are done for you, but when you go down to league two it’s not the same. You have to grow up and mature really quickly. At that time I was 21/22 and I grew up really quickly, during the second season we almost got relegated and Paul Peschisolido got the sack which was unfortunate. His assistant Gary Rowett then took charge and he really brought a different side to me within my game. He not just wanted me to be a creative player but he wanted me to do both sides of the game. Where I was able to defend and attack, and obviously that meant that I had to be fitter to do that than what I was, to do it for 90 minutes. The third season at Burton was really good but then in the fourth season everything just clicked. I’d met some great friends such as Aaron Webster who was pretty much my brother when I was there, and Billy Kee and Robbie Weir. They are all people that I miss because we were such a tight group and it was a family club, because it’s a small town where everyone knows each other and where everyone’s friendly.

In the fourth season at Burton I ended up scoring 18 goals and getting 14 assists, I got in the team of the year and then after that season I ended up moving into the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday and then Birmingham City with Gary Rowett.

Who is the toughest fullback that you’ve come up against so far in your career?

Jacques: Probably Lee Peltier and Eric Lichaj who played for Nottingham Forest. We all had good battles because to beat him I knew that I had to be at 110% and the same for him to be able to stop me. At the end of the game we used to respect each other and I thought that Peltier and Lichaj were proper fullbacks. Those two players come to mind straight away. 

How has your time at Spurs prepared you for your subsequent career in the game?

Jacques: Just in my knowledge of the game really, it’s so important for young players to be at professional clubs like Spurs because you learn so much about the game and the technical sides of it. You can learn to play the game in your head and just being there with the coaches I had like Micky Hazard and David Kerslake I learnt so much from them, and all the other coaches. Such as Clive Allen who was a striker but I learnt from his movement and from how he explained it. You learn so much from those who have played at the highest level and it would have been stupid if I didn’t take that all in, and it’s helping me to this very day. 

What would your advice be to the young wingers at Spurs today as they look to make it in the game?

Jacques: There’s one quote that stands out and I can remember Les Ferdinand telling me after I’d had a really good training session with the first team, that for me to take David Bentley’s place in the first team, you’ll have to work ten times harder than him. It took a while for me to process that but when I think about it it’s like saying I’m as good as him but why would the manager pick me over him if he can do what I can do and vice versa. He’s going to play because he has got more experience and more games than I have. So the thing that I would say to any young player who is looking to go into the first team, is that you’ve got to do more than the other players are doing at the training ground. You’ve got to do ten times what the first team players are doing, if Dele Alli is running 10 km a game then you have got to try and run 11 km in a game or even 12 km. If Son is scoring four goals a game then you need to try and score four goals or even more. And if Harry Kane is scoring 20 goals a season then try and aim to do the same, you can’t compare yourself with those players but you need to put yourself through that mindset of trying to do more than the other players in your position. And that will stand out in the managers head, always try and do better then the person ahead of you.

After all these years how do you look back on your time at the Lilywhites and is a Spurs a club that you’d like to return to in a coaching capacity at some point in the future?

Jacques: Yes I probably would but I don’t want to become a manager, I’d just want to coach from under 16’s to under 23’s to try and develop young players. And to pass my knowledge onto them and to tell them of the journey that I have taken. But that’s still far away!

Do you ever get back to watch many Spurs games nowadays?

Jacques: When they are on the television I still watch them but it’s hard to go to games with me still playing, so that’s not easy. I haven’t been to watch them since they were playing at White Hart Lane.

What was it like to play against your younger brother Christian in a preseason friendly involving Spurs and Birmingham back in 2015?

Jacques: To be fair I didn’t really think about it much I was just trying to do the best for my team. It would probably mean a lot more if we were to hopefully play with each other in the same team in the future, if that ever happens.

Spurs under 23’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)

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After recording an impressive 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the PL2 last Monday Wayne Burnett’s development side find themselves back in league action on Sunday, when they make the short trip across London to face West Ham. Sunday’s London derby at the Chigwell Construction Stadium (the home of non league side Dagenham and Redbridge) is a game in which Burnett’s side will be desperate to win. After suffering a surprise 3-1 defeat to the ‘ Hammers ‘ on the opening day of the season, Spurs will be keen to get their own back on the East London club who sit one place below Spurs in the table in tenth place. That opening day defeat was a very strange game for Spurs who completely dominated the first half and they went into the break 1-0 ahead thanks to Samuel Shashoua’s impressive goal. However, Spurs seemed to fall apart as the game went on and the quality of West Ham’s attacking players proved to be too much for the young Spurs defence. Terry Westley’s West Ham side have struggled for consistency so far this campaign despite the fact that they have recorded some impressive results. In West Ham’s last two matches they have lost 4-2 at home to Brighton before then going up to Manchester and beating Man City 5-1 in their own back yard. Burnett will hoping that his side can continue their four match unbeaten run in the PL2 and climb further up the table with a win on Sunday. Some West Ham players to look out for are experienced central midfielder Moses Makasi (22), fullback and England youth international Ajibola Alese and young attacking midfielder Joe Powell who has scored six goals from 11 PL2 games this season. Sunday lunchtimes encounter will be a close and highly competitive affair and if it’s anything like last years 2-2 draw at the same venue then it promises to be an intriguing game of football. I will be reporting on Sundays big game before heading off to Wembley to watch our first team take on Manchester United. I wish all of Wayne Burnett’s side the very best of luck for the London derby.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Tanganga (c), Eyoma, Reynolds, Marsh, Maghoma, Oakley-Boothe, Roles, Georgiou, Sterling.

Subs from: Whiteman, Walcott, Bowden, Tracey, Parrott. 

Injured/unavailable: Luke Amos and Jonathan Dinzeyi.

Doubtful: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Malachi Walcott, Phoenix Patterson, Shayon Harrison.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-3.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: At just 15 years of age 2003 born winger Amadou Diallo is a player who is being touted for big things. Diallo who primarily operates on the left hand side has scored two goals from two appearances for the ‘ Hammers ‘ development side so far this season, and the schoolboy is being touted to achieve great things at the East London club. Diallo is a tricky winger with an eye for goal and it will be interesting to see how he does against Wayne Burnett’s side on Sunday.