Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Hercules:
Talented Spurs youngster Samuel Shashoua made his 16th competitive appearance of the season for his loan club Atlético Baleares, in their 2-0 home win over Hercules in the Spanish Segunda Division B on Sunday. Samuel completed 80 minutes of Sunday’s match at the Son Malferit, as Manix Mandiola’s side continued their excellent home form to move up to third in the league table. It was a dominant performance from the ‘ Balearicos ’ who were the much better team on the day. And Samuel certainly played his part in Atlético’s comprehensive win over fellow play off challengers Hercules. Shashoua made sure that he was always involved in the game and while things might not have always went his way, the Londoner worked hard for his teammates at both ends of the pitch. The 19 year old started the game out on the left wing as Mandiola opted to go for the familiar 4-4-2 formation. Hercules got the match underway in sunny Mallorca, and Samuel’s first involvement in the game came quite early on. After receiving the ball in the middle of the park Shashoua managed to pick out Atlético’s centre forward Nuha with a clever lofted pass however, the move ended up amounting to very little. Atlético and Samuel had started the game well and a couple of minutes after his clever pass to Nuha the Spurs youngster made an important defensive intervention to cut out a promising move for the visitors. Samuel had gone out of his way to track back down the left flank to cut out Candela’s pass to Nieto who had a clean passage down the channel. However, Samuel’s hard work resulted in him getting across the Hercules fullback in time, in order to poke the ball out of play. About five minutes later Nuha passed the ball down the left wing for Shashoua to run onto. After latching onto the strikers pass, Samuel cut inside onto his right foot before whipping a dangerous ball across the face of the Hercules goal, his cross just evaded Canario who had been lurking at the back post. Manix Mandiola’s side were playing some attractive attacking football and their dominance in the opening stages of the match was rewarded in the 13th minute after Nuha put the ‘ Balearicos ‘ ahead. The clinical centre forward netted his sixth goal of the campaign after he managed to prod home Francesc Fullana’s cut back from inside the penalty area.
Samuel’s team doubled their lead less than six minutes later through centre back Alberto Villapalos. After Samuel Shashoua played a short corner to Fullana, the Atlético captain picked out Villapalos in the middle of the danger zone with a peach of a cross, and the towering centre half was then able to power a header into the back of the goal to make it 2-0 to Atlético. Samuel was making some good runs down the left flank and he looked more involved in the game as Atlético started to dominate. After going on a nice little run down the channel Samuel cut inside from the left wing before travelling towards the Hercules penalty area however, he was cynically fouled by Pol Roigé. Samuel continued to be heavily involved in Atlético’s play in the final third. After showing off some his excellent skills Samuel managed to beat Nieto in sublime fashion out on the left wing before whipping another of his teasing crosses into the danger zone, but once again no Atlético player could manage to get a head on the ball. A couple of minutes later Samuel had a glorious chance to make it 3-0. After Fullana made a wonderful lofted pass over the Hercules defence to set Samuel free through the middle, the nimble footed youngster darted forward but he was unable to convert from close range. Shashoua’s side footed effort was closed down well by the Hercules goalkeeper Falcón, who produced a fine save with his feet to deny Samuel his fourth goal of the campaign. It is worth noting that Samuel did look quite off balance when he took his shot. Samuel was involved in one final attacking move before the first half came to an end. After cleverly skipping past Adrián Jiménez down the left wing Samuel sent a cross into the box. His deflected cross eventually fell down to Nuha who laid the ball off to Marcos De la Espada on the edge of the box. And the midfielders curling effort was only denied by a spectacular from the Hercules goalkeeper Falcón. Samuel started the second half in the same position as he had ended the first in. The Londoner went on a good darting run down the left wing early on in the half, and he was only stopped by Hercules defender Samuel on the byline to prevent him from getting one of his menacing crosses away.
A couple of minutes later Shashoua whipped a dangerous cross right across the face of the Hercules goal. Samuel was uninvolved in the game for quite a while after that, at least from an offensive perspective. His next involvement came from some hard work by Canario to win the ball off of Chechu Flores, before passing the ball out to Samuel on the left flank after coming inside from the right wing. Samuel tried his luck from the edge of the six yard box however, his powerful effort was well blocked by Fran Miranda. I did notice that Samuel switched flanks with Canario on several occasions during the second half. As the game slowed down, so did Samuel’s involvement in the final third. The teenager did however, have a another one of his teasing crosses cleared by Miranda, before he was substituted in the 80th minute of the game for Yelko. Although this isn’t one of my longest reports on Samuel, I was very impressed with Samuel Shashoua’s performance on Sunday morning. Once again he was so unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself, but his contribution to the game was as good as always. He was so difficult to get off the ball, and the timing of his jinking runs down the flank and through the middle were top class. Furthermore, his high pressing and off the ball work also didn’t go unnoticed and he went out of his way to track back and help out Rubén González at fullback. Samuel is doing ever so well for himself out in Mallorca, and this loan is providing him with such an invaluable experience of playing first team football on a weekly basis. Up next for Samuel and high flying Atlético Baleares is a trip to face relegation stricken Castellon next Sunday. Sadly I will be reporting on our under 23’s London Derby with West Ham while that game is taking place and I will therefore be unable to watch it.
Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: