Why I’m hoping that the 2019/20 season can be Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou’s breakthrough season at the Lilywhites:

Why I’m hoping that the 2019/20 season can be Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou’s breakthrough season at the Lilywhites:

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Now a fully fledged member of the Cyprus national team at the age of just 22, Spurs youngster Anthony Michael Georgiou has achieved a lot in his short career. Ever since I first saw the Lewisham born winger at the Milk cup in 2012 in County Derry (Castlerock) I’ve always been a massive fan, and it is somewhat appropriate that I am currently writing this piece in the place where I first saw Anthony play all those years ago. Almost seven years on from being a member of the Spurs side which competed at that tournament, Anthony is one of the few players remaining at Spurs who competed in that competition. The Cypriot international has overcome two frustrating injuries including one which almost kept him out for the whole of the 2016/17 season. Anthony also missed the opportunity to play in an FA youth cup semifinal due to a burst appendix. A semifinal for which he helped Spurs to reach. Georgiou is a pacy wide man who is direct and forward thinking. Georgiou can also fill in at left back where he has played at on several occasions over the last couple of seasons. He is versatile and I do believe that he could go onto follow Danny Rose’s path into the first team by transitioning into a top class modern  fullback as I alluded to in great detail in a piece in which I wrote about Anthony last summer. The season just gone may not have went as smoothly or as well as the promising young winger would have liked. Carrying on from an impressive 2017/18 season which saw Anthony make his competitive first team debut for Spurs in a UEFA champions league game against APOEL Nicosia. During Georgiou’s first two games of the 2018/19 season he put in two very impressive performances at both left back and on the left wing against Liverpool and West Ham at under 23 level. However, any possible loan moves which may have been in the offing for Anthony that summer failed to come to fruition due to an injury in which the youngster picked up shortly after the Liverpool game. This frustrating injury would keep the former Watford schoolboy out until mid December. It was only then that Anthony got a good run of games under his belt for Wayne Burnett’s development side. Putting in a series of strong and typically direct Bale-esque performances out on the left flank. Anthony impressed against the likes of Wolfsburg II, Norwich City, Athletic Bilbao B and Liverpool. During the Liverpool game Anthony tore the ‘ Reds ‘ defence to shreds, and by the end of the game he had two Liverpool players man marking him.

Anthony caught the eye of Spanish side Levante who he joined on loan the following month. Although he would only play for Levante’s B team who ply their trade in the third tier of Spanish football, the loan move which was Anthony’s first, would have been an eye opener for the youngster who impressed on every occasion that I saw him play for the ‘ Granotas ‘. That’s why I was puzzled as to why he was constantly being subbed so early on in games for Luis Tevenet’s side. Georgiou returned to London before linking up with the Cyprus national team. He won two more caps for them, playing in Euro 2020 qualifiers against Scotland and Russia. During the Scotland game Anthony set up Cyprus’ only goal of the game. In the following piece I will be going into great detail on Anthony’s style of play and why I believe that the 2019/20 campaign could be his breakthrough season at Spurs. Anthony is in many ways a traditional left winger. He loves to run at defences and beat players, he is confident and direct, he takes risks but he is extremely unselfish. With blistering pace and good skill about him, Georgiou is a flair player to a certain extent. Some of his standout qualities include his extremely high work rate, and his ability to track back for the full 90 minutes of a game. He also has excellent off the ball movement and he is an intelligent player who reads the game well and has a wealth of footballing knowledge and good vision. Furthermore Georgiou is a good tackler which along with his pace makes him well suited to playing at left back. He is also good at creating space for himself and at whipping in high quality crosses. From that brief summary of Anthony’s style of play you get a feel for what type of player he is and what his qualities as a winger are. Having now mastered under 23 football Georgiou is still relatively untested at senior level. However, when I look at Spurs’ first team particularly at the depth of our squad we have very few impact players to bring off the bench in games that aren’t going our way. With the exception of both Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura, Georgiou is very much an impact player who offers pace, skill and intensity to games. He also thrives under pressure.

A championship loan this season or an EFL loan could well massively help Anthony’s development as a player. However, I’d love to see this exciting and persistent young talent get a run of games for Spurs’ first team. Having been on the previous two pre-season tours, Anthony will be hoping to feature for Mauricio Pochettino’s first team during this pre-season, with five games to look forward to. The experience of his loan to Levante as well as the invaluable experience of getting to play for the Cyprus national team will have helped Georgiou loads. There are two players who I would like to compare Georgiou to, one is of a similar age to Anthony while the other is 30 years of age. Those players are recent Manchester United signing Daniel James and Stoke City and Republic of Ireland international James McClean. James is a player who played a full season of football for the Swansea City in the Championship last season. He is a remarkably similar player to Georgiou in the sense that he is like a young Gareth Bale. Frighteningly quick, skilful and good at tracking back I believe with a full season of Championship football under his belt that Georgiou could emulate what the slightly younger Welshman has achieved. In regards to James McClean who I have previously likened Georgiou to, the Irishman is very similar to the Spurs youngster as both a left winger and as a left wing back. Georgiou and McClean are both pacy wide men who have a real talent at crossing a ball. They also have a pile-driver of a left foot and both like to test the keeper with low drilled efforts on goal. Furthermore like McClean, Anthony is defensively very well disciplined and he has a non stop high energy work rate. He is a selfless team player who is constantly looking to link up with other attacking players on the field. Drawing back to my comparisons with James McClean, in my time of watching football the pair of them are amongst the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. Georgiou is a fitness fanatic who is constantly testing himself both on and off the pitch. He is both determined and resilient, unaffected by his injury setbacks and fully focused on his future in the game.

Georgiou can be like an Aaron Lennon for Pochettino’s senior side during the dying moments of difficult games. A speedster who also has a good footballing brain, Anthony’s list of qualities are endless but it is his adaptability to games which is perhaps his best one. Whenever I have seen Georgiou slot in at left back he has done a sterling job, defensively well disciplined but also not shy to express himself down the left flank. There is a nice balance to the ever improving 22 year olds game. And it is that balance and versatility as well as a desire to make an impact on games which, will take Anthony a long, long way in the game. The youngster who was released by Watford as a schoolboy could in my opinion become a Gareth Bale like player for Pochettino’s Spurs in the future and I could really see the 2019/20 season being a breakthrough season for Georgiou at Spurs, whether that be at the ‘ Lilywhites ‘ or on loan at another English club. With his blistering pace and quick feet, he has the ability to terrorise oppositions defences as he has shown on countless occasions over the last couple of seasons for our under 23’s. He also has the stamina needed to do that in the Premier League. There are few players as fast as Anthony is on Spurs’ books, he really is rapid over 100 metres and it is that type of traditional out and out winger which Spurs have lacked since the great Gareth Bale departed us back in 2013. Georgiou is a relentless presser whose hunger for work is inspiring and I would love more than anything to see him get a run of games for the Spurs first team once the new season has begun. He is a very useful young player who can be brought on as an impact player or as a defender. He is a polite young man whose on the field passion and admirable work rate is something which will appeal to Mauricio Pochettino who is a fan of the 22 year old. Anthony is a credit to Spurs and to the Cyprus national team and the exciting young winger has such a bright future for both Spurs and for his country. I look forward to hopefully seeing our number 42 back in action for the first team during pre-season and I also look forward to seeing what the 2019/20 season has in hold for him and for Spurs. He is an inspiring and tremendously talented young man who could well go onto become like a new signing for Mauricio Pochettino’s side during the 2019/20 season. 

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My piece on Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – Tottenham’s classy and highly decisive young central defender:

My piece on Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – Tottenham’s classy and highly decisive young central defender: 

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In the latest of my series on some of Spurs’ most promising Academy players I will be focusing on 18 year old, ball playing centre half Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. The Archway born defender who was seen training with the first team last month, overcame a number of frustrating injury problems during the 2018/19 season to enjoy another fine campaign for the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘. A player who I have previously written about, Lyons-Foster along with the slightly younger Luis Binks is one of the most promising young central defenders in English football at this present moment in time. For those of you who have had the pleasure of watching Brooklyn play then you will remember him for his Alderweireld-esque reading of the game, his ice cool composure in high pressure situations, and his John Stones like ability to bring the ball out from the back so effectively. Lyons-Foster has been at Spurs since he was an under 10 having previously been on Watford’s books. The second year scholar has made great strides since he signed scholarship forms back in the summer of 2017 and with the exception of a couple of unfortunate injuries the 18 year olds two years of scholarship have been highly positive on a developmental level for the defender from Islington, in North London. Not too dissimilar to a defender such as Matthijs de Ligt, Lyons-Foster plays the game as if he has been schooled at the Sportpark De Toekomst, such is the way in which he operates as a ball playing centre half. A player who loves to make positive forward passes, Brooklyn is more than just an excellent defender who reads the game so well. He is also very creative from deep and his adventurous surging forward runs make him adept at playing at CDM which he has played at on a couple of occasions last season. The 18 year old is a very mature defender who sees the danger which is in front of him. Commanding, decisive and unfazed by bullish target men despite his slim build, as I wrote last season he is another wonderful young talent who I will be going into detail on in the following piece. Despite a couple of injury problems throughout the campaign Lyons-Foster managed to make 30 competitive appearances for Spurs across all levels last season and it has meant that he has been able to get a lot of valuable playing time under his belt.

Born in Islington North London, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster has been at Spurs since the age of nine after joining us from Watford as an under 10. Having worked his way up the ranks, Lyons-Foster has often played ahead of his age group at youth level for both club and country. The highly rated defender made his debut for our under 18’s as a schoolboy in a league game against Aston Villa during the 2016/17 season, he would go onto make an additional appearance for John McDermott’s side that season to cap off a fine campaign which had also seen him represent England at under 17 level in the annual Algarve Cup. That summer Brooklyn signed his two year apprenticeship with the ‘ Lilywhites ‘. During his first year of scholarship Lyons-Foster became a key member of our under 18’s side. Often playing at LCB the classy ball playing centre half oozed both confidence and class during the first half of the season where he was easily Scott Parker’s sides best and most influential player. A mainstay in Parker’s side, Lyons-Foster’s season was prematurely ended in the March of that season after he picked up an ankle injury in the Premier League Cup final at Chelsea’s Cobham training centre. Just before he was about to link up with the England under 18 side for international duty. During the season just gone Lyons-Foster featured prominently for our under 18’s, 19’s and 23’s and the second year scholar managed to overcome a serious of frustrating injury problems early on in the season to become an important player for all three of those teams. The North Londoner would also go onto feature in a wide variety of positions during the 2018/19 campaign of which included RB, RCB, LCB and CDM. Impressing greatly across all levels for Spurs, the second year scholar put in some fantastic defensive performances against the likes of Swansea, Barcelona and Chelsea. Consistent and excellent at playing under pressure, Lyons-Foster showed over the course of the campaign that he had improved and become more mature than the 2017/18 season, and he was unlucky not to have received an England call up. In addition to his defensive contribution last season, Lyons-Foster also chipped in with a healthy three goals and two assists.

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster is an adventurous and confident ball playing centre half who looks up to the likes of Sergio Ramos and Toby Alderweireld, is like the slightly younger Luis Binks, a fantastically well rounded centre half. The former Watford schoolboy is a very attacking defender in the sense that he loves to bring the ball out from the back and even take on opposition players in the process inside his own half. He is cool, composed and elegant in his duties, always looking up and making positive forward passes something which statistically helped our under 23’s to avoid relegation to the PL2 division two last season. Defending is all about the decisive moment for Brooklyn who, always manages to time his interceptions well. He reads the game like a seasoned pro and he manages to see and anticipate danger, often waiting until the last moment before he slides in. Such decisive interceptions and challenges saved us last season in very big games. Another one of Lyons-Foster’s finest attributes is his near impeccable positioning which he manages to maintain throughout matches. The 18 year old is also good at making blocks and he is dominant in the air, always impressing me with his lovely deft and accurate cushioned headers. Furthermore, despite his slender frame the teenager is very strong in his defending and he doesn’t let bullish target men get the better of him for strength. Once again drawing comparisons with Luis Binks who he really is similar to as a centre half, Lyons-Foster is relatively two footed and as one on one defending goes he is one of the best in the business at youth level in England. To summarise him as a player he is a wonderfully well rounded centre half who has all the raw ingredients needed to become a world class modern centre back. The Islington born defender is a remarkably assured player who is fiercely intelligent and very combative. Strong in the challenge and unafraid to make big calls in big moments in games, the 18 year old who is a fantastic tackler and reader of situations is one of the coolest young centre halves in English football as I alluded to in greater detail in a piece which I wrote on Brooklyn during the 2017/18 season.

Without waxing lyrical about the young defenders qualities, he is a player who I have always been a very big fan of for the exciting, fearless and decisive nature of his defending. Brooklyn has shown time and time again that he has mastered under 18 football, now his next step is to master under 23/reserve level football for which I don’t think he is far away from doing if his performances for Wayne Burnett’s side last season are anything to go by. The pacy centre half who trained with the Tottenham first team in the run up to last seasons UEFA Champions League final, will be hoping to impress Mauricio Pochettino when the Spurs players report back to training on the 1st of July. It would be fantastic to see Lyons-Foster get a run of games with the first team in pre-season either in the ICC cup or in the Audi cup. I cannot wait to see how this hugely promising young defender gets on next season, we truly are so lucky to have him and the likes of Luis Binks on our books. Who in my humble opinion are two of England’s finest young centre halves! 

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

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

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Spurs youngster Samuel Shashoua helped Majorcan club Atlético Baleares reach the final of the promotion play offs to the La Liga 123 last weekend, when the Chelsea born winger completed 77 minutes of the ‘ Balearicos ‘ slender 1-0 win over UD Melilla in front of a bumper crowd at the Son Malferit. Samuel operated out on the left wing for what proved to be a desperately tight game of football. After tracking back well and showing good defensive discipline during the early stages of the game, Shashoua’s first involvement in the game occurred around the 15 minute mark after he received Marcos De la Espada’s pass, before embarking on a driving run through the middle of the pitch and then giving the ball to Nuha on the left wing. The Gambia international then recycled possession. A couple of minutes later Shashoua went on another good driving run through the middle of the park, from deep. As he surged forward towards the Melilla penalty area, Samuel did well to hold off Otegui before shifting the ball out to De la Espada on the left flank. Nuha Marong gave Manix Mandiola’s side the lead a couple of moments later with a composed finish past the Melilla goalkeeper Dani Barrio. Samuel continued to have a positive effect on the game and he was showing good energy out on the left flank where he was running up and down, nonstop throughout the first half. Nuha Marong attempted to play Shashoua through on goal with a clever lobbed pass however, Melilla defender Chakla managed to get in front of Samuel on the edge of the danger zone to get the ball clear. A couple of minutes later, Samuel received a pass from Rúben González around 20-25 yards out from goal, he then turned before firing an effort over Dani Barrio’s crossbar. Both Óscar Garcia and Moha Traoré came close to finding an equaliser for the visitors before halftime however, Mandiola’s tenacious side held strong and they went into the break with a slender advantage. Samuel hurt himself early on in the second half after he was caught late by Richi however, he was ok to carry on. Continuing to show good movement both inside and out on the left flank, Shashoua was constantly getting himself into good positions to receive the ball but he was also selfless in how he defended and helped out Rúben González down the left flank.

After pulling off an exquisite Marseille turn to beat Moha Traoré in the middle of the park Samuel darted forward before being dispossessed by Alfonso on the edge of the Melilla penalty area. Samuel then came close to picking out Nuha Marong with a cross deep into the oppositions danger zone before he was replaced on 77 minutes for Hugo Díaz, capping off another excellent and selfless performance from the energetic 20 year old. 

Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: 

Appearances: 36

Goals: 6

Assists: 4

My interview with former Spurs player Andy Rollock:

My interview with former Spurs player Andy Rollock: 

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I caught up with former Spurs player Andy Rollock today to talk about his time as a youth and reserve team player at the ‘ Lilywhites ‘ during the early 1980’s. A left sided forward, Rollock would go onto become a prolific scorer for Spurs at youth team and reserve level and he would also feature for England at schoolboy level. Andy kindly agreed to doing an interview with me about his time at the world famous Tottenham Hotspur. 

What are your earliest footballing memories?

Andy: Probably starting about under 10’s I started playing for a team called Craig Park and then I went to play for another team about 11 or 12 in the local league. I then went to play for Eversley, managed by Don Ball who was a great influence on my football career. From there I got scouted to go to quite a few clubs, so at one point I was at Tottenham, QPR and Fulham training pretty much everyday of the week.

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

Andy: My earliest memory is probably training on a Tuesday and Thursday night at White Hart Lane. They had two gyms there, one was a smaller gym downstairs and the other was a big gym upstairs. You’d start off in the little gym and then once you got older and better you sort of progressed up to the top floor gym which was the bigger one. I got to join Spurs by being scouted through my Sunday club by Bill Nicholson who was the chief scout at Tottenham at the time, and he scouted me and took me to Spurs. He used to pick me up from school on a Tuesday and a Thursday and take me down to training.

What was the great Bill Nicholson like?

Andy: Bill Nicholson was unbelievable, you’d never think that he had been the manager who’d won the league and the cup for Tottenham and done the double. He was really down to earth and a really decent man and to be honest with you if it wasn’t for Bill I probably wouldn’t have gone to Spurs, but he had a lot of faith in me and made me join the club even though there were other clubs that wanted to sign me. Bill was like a father figure really and he pushed me to go to Tottenham which is where I ended up.

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

Andy: I can’t say it was a bad experience because it was probably one of the best experiences of my life. There’s not many kids that get to sign for a club like Tottenham and I’d been there since I was 12 so I was lucky. 

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

Andy: I think at Spurs I’d say Glen Hoddle because he was just an unbelievable player to watch, and to play with him was just second to none really. Also Garth Crooks was somebody who I spent quite a bit of time with and he’d give hints and tips, so I looked up to both Glen and Garth Crooks as well. 

Could you describe to me what type of player you were and what positions you played in for Spurs during your time there?

Andy: I was a forward and I used to play on the left wing, I was pretty quick back in the day and I always had an eye for goal, and I used to score quite a few goals. That was the only position I ever played for Tottenham.

What was it like to brush shoulders with some of the legendary players that were around at Spurs at the time?

Andy: It was an unbelievable experience, at the time you don’t realise it but as you get older and move on through the game you realise that you’ve rubbed shoulders with some of the greats, such as Glen Hoddle, Garth Crooks, Steve Archibald and Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles, two players who had just won the World Cup. However, back then they were just two players at Tottenham but when you look back now and look at the things that they’ve done in the game you think to yourself that you’ve been in the presence of two legends.

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

Andy: I’d say Bill Nicholson because he always had faith in me, and I’d also say youth team coach Peter Shreeves because he always used to look out for me and give me some hints and tips, and he used to try to drive me forward.

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

Andy: Yeah I’d say obviously Glen Hoddle and Ricky Villa who used to play in a similar position to me. So I would watch him in training and I was lucky enough to train with him as well. I’d also say Garth Crooks as well because he was a natural finisher so as far as finishing was concerned I used to learn quite a lot from Garth, so I’d say them two. 

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

Andy: I’d say probably the night they won the FA cup against Manchester City, we’d been to Wembley on the Saturday and seen them draw and then we’d seen them on the Wednesday night at Wembley, where Ricky Villa scored a wonder goal. So that was a great memory for me. Personal memory for me was coming off the subs bench against Charlton, I think there was 20 minutes to go and we were losing 2-0, and I scored a hat trick and we won the game so personally that was a good memory for me. Another one was actually training with the first team a couple of times, being on the same pitch as some of the other guys who I’d mentioned before was really special.

What was the greatest moment of your footballing career?

Andy: I’d say when I played for England schoolboys at Wembley against Germany. That game was televised and I scored a goal that day at Wembley, so for me that’s probably the greatest memory for me.

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

Andy: There’s been a few but I would say just for his pure goalscoring ability it was Terry Gibson. He was an absolute goal machine and I was lucky enough to play with him both in the youth team and the reserves and he was probably one of the best players I ever played with on a pitch to be honest.

Could you talk me through some of your favourite memories of your time in the Tottenham youth team?

Andy: I think the year that we got into the FA youth cup final against West Ham where we played the first leg at Upton Park and the second leg at Tottenham which we won, so I got an FA youth cup medal which was the highlight for me. And also playing at Old Trafford in the FA youth cup against Manchester United was another one and I can still remember it vividly. I’ve played at Wembley three times, but you walk out at Old Trafford and to be fair it’s just something special, it’s an unbelievable stadium. 

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

Andy: Spurs offered me a contract to stay on for a year but I turned it down because I wanted a better contract. I then went to Arsenal for six months and played in their youth team and reserve team but I left them after about six months. After leaving Arsenal I went to Wolves before playing out in Finland for a year and a bit. I then went into non league football where I kind of dropped out of the professional game and I played for Enfield Town and Walthamstow Avenue and I did the non league circuit to be honest.

Who was the toughest player that you ever came up against?

Andy: I would say there’s two players, Nigel Winterburn when he was at Wimbledon and a lad called Keith Stevens who was at Millwall. They were two tough fullbacks who I didn’t get a lot of change out of!

Were there any players at Spurs who you were particularly close to?

Andy: I was close with Allan Cockram and we kind of went through the ranks together and it’s a shame that we lost contact. There was also another lad from Enfield called Steve Cox who I was pretty close with, we used to go to training together because we lived literally round the corner from each other,  so I would say that Allan and Steve were the two players who I was closest to at Spurs.

What would your advice be to the young Spurs players of today as they look to break into the first team?

Andy: I would say to them to not take it for granted and to listen to every piece of advice that they are given from coaches and senior players in the game. What got me is that I wanted it too soon and too quick, I thought that I should have been in the first team when I was competing with players who were World Cup winners!  Players should believe in their talent but they must listen to people because if you push yourself too far the chances are that you’re going to end up out of the game.

After all these years how do you look back on your time at the Lilywhites and is Spurs a club who you still hold close to your heart?

Andy: Yeah definitely even though I’m not a Spurs supporter but I do hold the club in high esteem, and they’ll always have a piece of my heart. I’m actually proud to say that I played for Tottenham because back then they were one of the big clubs in English football and they are still a big club. So I’m extremely proud that I was able to represent the club and be a part of their history.

My interview with former Spurs player Glen Alzapiedi:

My interview with former Spurs player Glen Alzapiedi:

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In the latest in my series of interviews with former Spurs youth team players from the 1980’s I caught up with tough tackling midfielder Glen Alzapiedi, to talk about his time as a youth player at Spurs during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Alzapiedi who is now the assistant manager at St Albans, played in a richly talented Spurs youth team before going onto depart for Birmingham City and later Stevenage amongst other clubs, after doing the knowledge and becoming a London black taxi driver. Alzapieidi would also turn his hand to coaching where he coached the likes of Ware Town and Concord Rangers. I had the great pleasure of talking to Glen about his time at the ‘ Lilywhites ‘ more than 40 years ago. Glen (pictured in the centre above) might just be the only ever Spurs player to wear an Arsenal shirt to training!

What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs?

Glen: The earliest memories I’ve got are getting an invite to go up to Tottenham to train. I’d been playing for Abbey youth under 12’s and Mike Varney (the Spurs physio) did a presentation evening for us and I suppose I got recommended to him, and that set the wheels in motion. So that’s how I got to train at Tottenham.

How did you come about joining the club?

Glen: Well the previous answer sort of tells that. I got the invite to go and train at Spurs and I must of impressed during the training and in the games that I played, so I got invited to train there every Tuesday and Thursday I think it was. 

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

Glen: The first couple of seasons I was there I think I did quite well although I did spend practically a whole season out injured around the age of 14 going onto 15. Then the last season I was there I played a lot of football but ultimately I got released, so most of the time there was good.

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

Glen: My favourite player was Liam Brady who was at Arsenal so there weren’t any Tottenham players I’m afraid! 

Could you describe to me what type of player you were and what positions you played in for Spurs during your time there?

Glen: I was a central midfield player who was very tenacious and an aggressive tackler and in all honesty that was my main strength. I was reasonably good at everything else but my outstanding strength was obviously my tackling.

What was it like to brush shoulders with some of the legendary players that were around at Spurs at the time?

Glen: I only ever had contact with first team players at Tottenham once and that was in pre-season just before I turned 16 in 1980. I went in for two or three weeks during the summer holidays and trained and I remember the warm up was with the first team players. I can remember Glen Hoddle and I can also remember Terry Naylor as well as Chris Hughton and Graham Roberts. I had contact with Roberts once or twice because I had an injury playing for my school and I was treated by Mike Varney, and Graham was getting treated at the same time as me. I can also remember Terry Yorath saying to me who are you and I replied with my name and then he said again who are you, rather flippantly for a 15 year old boy. But like I said I was an Arsenal fan so I wasn’t star struck by Tottenham players. 

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

Glen: Well to be honest with you I thought that I was really treated well at Tottenham by the coaches there such as Robbie Stepney and Peter Shreeves. And in particular by a coach called Dave Lister who was very supportive of me during a difficult time for me, because I had real problems off the field in my personal life. However, I can’t complain about how I was treated by Tottenham.

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

Glen: Only youth team players really and the players who played in the same position as me who I had contact with were Allan Cockram and Ian Crook. And I can remember Ian Crook used to play a lot of one touch football which impressed me and I tried to improve my game in that way, but they were both very technical players whereas I was a rat who got around the pitch and kicked people. I suppose in terms of who I tried to aspire to be it would have been someone who was an out and out defensive midfield player. There was no one I ever tried to model my game on, I just tried to improve my game and with all the things that were going wrong for me at the time it was difficult.

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

Glen: Well in terms of playing experiences I can remember playing at White Hart Lane in the league cup semi final against Swindon in the second leg. The stadium was empty but it did seem huge and I enjoyed playing there. I can also remember scoring a few goals for Tottenham such as scoring against West Ham that season in a 1-0 win, I think that George Parish was marking me on that day. Most of the time at Tottenham I enjoyed but I practically had a whole season where I was out when I needed to get treatment. And in the last season I had a strong start to the season and a poor second half to the season and ultimately I didn’t get an apprenticeship because of that. Basically what happened during my second last year of school my mum had died at the beginning of the year so by the time I got to my last year at school my life had unravelled. She had been the discipline in the family and held everything together and I subsequently became a bit of a loose cannon at school. I became ill disciplined and that carried over into my football because I became petulant and over aggressive, and although the coaches at Tottenham did their best to try and reign me in and help me, I didn’t listen to anyone at that time. And during the second half of the season things just went from week to week, worse to worse and my attitude was absolutely awful and it cost me an apprenticeship there. So it wasn’t a good time for me in my last year but I can’t blame Tottenham for any of that because they did their best for me. It was purely down to attitude and there have been better players than me who didn’t make it because of poor attitude. So it’s one of those things and I accept that, and it’s not something that I hold any grudges about. 

What was the greatest moment of your footballing career?

Glen: As a coach the best moment I had was helping Concord Rangers get promoted to the National League South along with Danny Cowley (now of Lincoln), because they were such a small club. Another great moment was getting Ware Town to the first round proper of the FA Cup so that was really good as well. As a player I had a really bittersweet experience at Stevenage Borough where I helped the club get promoted to the national conference. However, I snapped my cruciate ligaments a couple of months before the end of the season and that was that really. I regret not getting the chance to play in the conference for Stevenage because by the time I’d got to my late 20’s my attitude had changed and I had become a much more effective and professional player than I had been throughout my younger years. For three years I didn’t really play because at the age of 19 when I didn’t get a contract anywhere I finished playing for three years and did the knowledge, and it was only friends dragging me back into semi professional football that got me involved and I’ve been involved ever since as a player, coach and as a manager.

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

Glen: When I was at Birmingham City as an apprentice I played in training games against the first team. And the first team then had Frankie Worthington and Archie Gemmill playing for them so I would have to say Archie Gemmill who I ended up cleaning his boots. He was an excellent player who really stands out as a star for me.

Did you play abroad at any youth tournaments for Spurs and if so what was that experience like for you?

Glen: No but I can remember playing against foreign teams for Spurs but I can’t remember going abroad with Tottenham. 

Who was the toughest player that you ever came up against?

Glen: In all honesty there’s two and there for totally different reasons. I played for Birmingham City’s youth team against Nottingham Forest’s youth team and their player manager at the time was a man called Liam O’Kane who was an Irish international. I was marking him and I never got a kick because he was playing one touch football all around me all day and I couldn’t get near him even though I was a 17 year old boy full of running and he was well in his 30’s. I also played against Paul Allen for Birmingham City when he was at West Ham and I had a bit of a running battle with him. But the hardest player I played against was in non league football and his name was Paul Hobbs and he played for Hemel Hempstead. He was as hard as nails and we just spent the whole game kicking lumps out of each other, but I respected him because he didn’t give me any verbal. So he was my toughest opponent.

Were there any players at Spurs who you were particularly close to?

Glen: Robert Brace was a friend of mine who stayed at Tottenham and got an apprenticeship for them. We were very close and I was also close with Gary Rudkin who joined us from Crystal Palace and he was my best mate but he sadly past away a long while ago, but they were the players who I was closest to.

As a coach what would your advice be to the young Spurs players of today as they look to break into the first team?

Glen: Work hard, listen to your coaches then go and work even harder!

Could you tell me about the time you wore an Arsenal shirt to training?

Glen: Well when we used to train on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the training ground behind the West stand. I can remember Ron Henry taking training once (the former left back in the double winning season) and I had an Arsenal away shirt on. Ron said to me what are you doing wearing that shirt and I said what do you mean. And he replied by saying you can’t wear this shirt here and I said I can wear it because I’m an Arsenal fan, anyway he said that I don’t think you should wear it here and I had a big smug grin on my face. However, I cannot remember Ron Henry speaking to me at all after that! 

After all these years how do you look back on your time at the Lilywhites and is Spurs a club who you still hold close to your heart?

Glen: Like I said I enjoyed most of my time at Tottenham and the fact that I failed to progress there was down to me not them. However, I cannot say that I hold them close to my heart because I am an Arsenal fan but I do have a healthy respect for the achievements of Tottenham and how the present coach is managing them. Any team that gets to the Champions league final is a good team coached by a good manager and I acknowledge that with gritted teeth.

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My end of season player reviews of our under 18 side:

My end of season player reviews of our under 18 side:

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It is exceptionally difficult to put our under 18’s 2018/19 rollercoaster ride of a season into words. It was an incredible season for the wonder boys of Hotspur Way but for one reason or another it ended without them winning any silverware. Playing superb free flowing attacking football, with a high press and intensity about them, under the tutelage first of Matt Wells and then John McDermott and Ryan Mason were, absolutely outstanding as a team. 95% of the teams in which we played, we played them off the park. Such was our excellent fitness levels and high intensity style of play, along with the sheer fluidity of our fast attacking football. Matt Wells deserves great credit for the way in which he managed the boys before departing them in February to link up with former Spurs man Scott Parker at Fulham, before academy chief John McDermott took the reigns along with Ryan Mason for the latter parts of the season. In my eyes the wonder boys of Hotspur Way were the best team in England this season regardless of the fact that we finished four points behind Arsenal in second place in the Premier League South. Although we were ahead of Arsenal for large parts of the season it was our controversial meeting with the ‘ Gunners ‘ back in April when we lost 3-2, which effectively ended our title charge. Regardless of what went on at Arsenal’s training centre, the season as a whole has been a roaring success. And the experience for which it has provided for our young developing scholars has been invaluable. I have never seen an under 18 team as good as the class of 2018/19. They were an absolute pleasure to watch and report on. Apart from finishing in second place in the Premier League South, McDermott and Mason’s side reached the quarter finals of the Premier League Cup where they were knocked out by Derby County. They also reached the fourth round of the FA youth cup where once again they were outdone in controversial circumstances by their bitter rivals Arsenal. A number of our under 18’s also played in the UEFA youth league. We reached the last 16 of Europe’s most prestigious youth competition.

From the goalscoring exploits of Troy Parrott, to the leadership and craft of captain fantastic Armando Shashoua, to the defensive solidity of the likes of Malachi Walcott, Luis Binks and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. The 2018/19 season is one in which I and many Spurs fans will look back on with great fondness, and from the bottom of my heart I can’t say how very proud I am of our under 18’s for all that they have achieved over the course of this long and at times gruelling season. In the following piece I will be going into great detail about each of our under 18’s players seasons. 

Goalkeepers: 

Joshua Oluwayemi: After only playing two games for our under 18’s during the 2017/18 season the following season was a breakthrough season for Oluwayemi who, made 21 appearances for our under 18’s as he enjoyed an excellent campaign for John McDermott and Ryan Mason’s side. Oluwayemi was a key player for our under 18’s and he was one of their most consistent players. The former England under 15 international who is also eligible to represent Nigeria and Grenada was, an extremely reliable presence in between the sticks and it was the sheer consistency of his performances which impressed me the most this season. An excellent shot stopper who made some absolutely outstanding reflex saves throughout the campaign, from the second year scholars 21 competitive appearances for our under 18’s he kept an impressive seven clean sheets. Oluwayemi also became somewhat of a penalty saving specialist during the 2018/19 season by keeping out an impressive five penalties last season, something which really saved us in big games. Joshua has made great strides as a player and he has become a lot well rounded as a goalkeeper. Not only is he an excellent shot stopper, despite his relatively short size for a goalkeeper Joshua was authoritative inside his box last season. Claiming almost every ball which came into his box, the 18 year old also impressed me with his distribution and calmness and composure in which he showed, when he had the ball at his feet. Some of Oluwayemi’s games of the season include our 4-0 league defeat of Leicester City in December, our 2-0 Premier League Cup defeat to Derby County where he made a string of impressive saves, a 2-0 league win over Chelsea, and our under 18’s infamous 3-2 defeat to Arsenal where he made one of the saves of the season to keep out an excellent strike from Arsenal’s Trae Coyle. Oluwayemi has enjoyed a superb season but, now one of our under 18’s most important players will have to adapt to under 23 football next season, that is something which will be a big step up for Oluwayemi as he continues to develop as a goalkeeper. 

Kacper Kurylowicz: The Luton born Polish youth international was our under 18’s second choice goalkeeper this season. Kurylowicz only made three competitive appearances for our under 18’s during the 2018/19 season but he did have an interesting season and he impressed when called upon. After spending some of the early parts of the season on loan at Barnet’s youth team, Kurylowicz who was often on the bench for our under 18’s during the first part of the season, made his competitive debut for them in a Premier League Cup group stage match against Middlesbrough around Christmas time. After making a number of impressive stops in that 2-2 draw up in County Durham, Kurylowicz would go onto make a further two competitive appearances for our under 18’s that season. One of which came as a substitute in a 5-3 league win over West Ham, and our final day 4-3 league defeat to Leicester City in late April. Very much a sweeper keeper who likes to stand on the edge of his penalty area, Kurylowicz is like Oluwayemi in the sense that he is an excellent shot stopper and good all round goalkeeper. The first year scholar also made two appearances (which he impressed in) for our under 19’s at the end of the season Terborg tournament. Next season Kurylowicz will likely be our under 18’s number one goalkeeper.

Defenders: 

Maximus Tainio: The Finland under 19 international made 14 appearances for our under 18’s during the 2018/19 campaign. Primarily featuring at right back, the son of our former player Teemu put in some sterling defensive performances in big games including against the likes of Chelsea and West Ham. The Auxerre born defender also showed improvement from last season and he impressed with his reading of games and his anticipation of danger. Tainio also made two appearances for our under 23’s and in one of those games he ended up going in goal after goalkeeper Brandon Austin had sustained an injury late on in a game, and Spurs had already used all three of their substitutions. Unfortunately after enjoying a good first half of the season Maximus missed much of the second part of the 2018/19 campaign through injury and he recently had an operation, so hopefully he’ll be fit again for the start of next season where he’ll be competing with Tariq Hinds and Jubril Okedina for a right back spot in our under 23’s. However, the versatile former HJK Helsinki schoolboy can also fill in at CDM if required. I like Tainio’s aggression and commitment on the field and I was impressed with how he played during the 2018/19 season.

Jubril Okedina: Tainio’s injury problems opened the door to the under 18 side to a player who had had his own injury problems the previous season. Centre half Jubril Okedina only made two appearances for our under 18’s during the 2017/18 season and after not starting the campaign as a regular for Matt Wells’ side, Tainio’s early injury problems meant that the RCB got given the opportunity to fill in for the Finn at right back. And Okedina did an absolutely outstanding job in Tainio’s absence, really making that right back spot his own the South London born defender made 21 competitive appearances for our under 18’s this season, most of which he played in as a right back. Okedina who is of Nigerian descent impressed greatly with his tight defending and solidity down the right flank. Good at locking in wingers and marking players out of the game. The second year scholar who also featured on one occasion for both our under 19’s and 23’s is a player who loves to be on the ball. And it is his comfortableness on the ball and his ability to turn at pace which has helped him to excel at right back for our under 18’s. The Greenwich born defender has been consistently excellent for the under 18’s this season and it has been the quality of his performances as well as the guile for which he has shown while operating at both fullback and centre half which has made him so effective. A calming presence in the side, Okedina is a very well rounded defender who has good pace and skill. However, he is a highly intelligent defender who isn’t rash in the challenge and he doesn’t panic when he is under pressure. What I like about Jubril is that he is a very skilful player who is comfortable at bringing the ball out from the back, but most of all he is an excellent defender. After enjoying a fine season on the domestic stage in his newfound position of right back. Okedina also performed well at the recent Terborg tournament in the Netherlands where he played all five games at right back. Next season Jubril will be hoping to become the first choice right back for our under 23’s however, his versatility will stand him in good stead over the course of the campaign.

Dennis Cirkin: One of our under 18’s best players this season has been Dublin born left back Dennis Cirkin. A wonderfully talented attacking fullback who loves to embark on jinking forward runs down the left flank. Cirkin was a mainstay in our under 18 side last season while in his first year of scholarship and the England under 17 international was consistently excellent for McDermott and Mason’s side. Young Dennis is a combative left back who gets up and down the flank excellently well. Cirkin is a young player who is constantly improving at left back, the former left winger was a mainstay in our title challenging under 18 side this season, and the quality of his performances have been just as good as anybody else’s. Putting in a string of superb performances against the likes of Leicester City, Fulham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona across the various age levels this campaign. Cirkin made 19 appearances for our under 18’s, four for our under 19’s and a further six for our under 23’s, he also featured at two post season tournaments (the Future Cup and the Terborg tournament) as well as being a member of the under 17 side which won the Euro Youth Cup in Germany at the beginning of the campaign. A skilful player who likes to take players on, Cirkin is also a very aggressive and tough tackling defender who is assertive and committed in his defending. Physically adept at playing under 23 football Cirkin has looked very good whenever he has made that step up this season, and the same can be said about his performances in the UEFA Youth League for our under 19’s. Cirkin has enjoyed an excellent season as a first year scholar and due to a lack of competition for the left back spot I could see him establishing himself as our under 23’s main left back for the 2019/20 season.

Malachi Walcott: A tall and skilful centre half who is excellent at making last ditch challenges and blocks. England under 17 international Malachi Walcott who featured for the Three Lions at the European under 17 championships in Ireland this year, has been an important player for our under 18’s over the course of the campaign. Walcott featured on 16 occasions for our under 18’s last season and him and Luis Binks would often form a strong partnership in central defence. Walcott also featured on two occasions for our under 23’s, and on three occasions for our under 19’s. It has been a very positive campaign for the centre half despite having a couple of injury problems throughout the season. Solid and consistent whenever he was called upon, the 17 year old first year scholar who chipped in with one goal has been an extremely reliable player for McDermott’s and Mason’s side. Making many an important block, last ditch challenge and clearance over the course of the campaign. Walcott is also very good in the air and like Lyons-Foster and Binks he manages to maintain impeccable positioning throughout games. Some of the first year scholars best game this season came against the likes of Chelsea, PSV, Crawley Town and Arsenal. Next season I would imagine that Walcott would play quite a few more games for the under 23’s. Malachi was a member of the 17 sides which competed in the Future Cup and the Euro Youth Cup.

Maxwell Statham: After enjoying an excellent pre-season with our development squad where the commanding centre half impressed greatly away in France at the annual Tournoi Europeen. However, after some injury problems early on in the campaign meant that it was hard for Statham to get himself back into our under 18 side. This meant that he had to show his versatility right from early on in the season, and for much of this campaign Statham has been playing at fullback (both right and left). However, the second year scholar slotted in seamlessly to his new positions and during his 17 appearances for the under 18’s he did a sterling job, putting in some excellent performances at both left back and right back, and the son of our former player had definitely improved from last season. One of his best performances came up against tricky Irish winger Shane Flynn when we played Leicester City in a league game back in December. On that day the aggressive Statham marked Flynn out of the game. All in all it has been a very positive season for the Southend born defender who will now be looking to break into the development side for the 2019/20 season. It is worth noting that the 18 year old did spend a short time on a youth loan at Norwich City this season. Statham completed the full 90 minutes for the ‘ Canaries ‘ under 23 side of a 4-0 PL2 defeat to Wolves back in February. 

Luis Binks: Gillingham born LCB Luis Binks enjoyed a marvellous first year of scholarship at Spurs during the 2018/19 season where he made 21 appearances for our under 18’s. Ball playing centre half Binks was one of our under 18’s most integral and consistent players and the quality of his defending in big games was unrivalled by anybody else. The son of the legendary former Chatham Town player Tom Binks, has oozed class whenever he has played for Spurs this season. Putting in match winning performances against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Fulham and Leicester City to name but a few clubs. Binks’ outstanding anticipation, reading of the game and the commanding nature of his defending has made him one of our under 18’s most important players during the title challenging season. Binks who also featured on four occasions for our under 23’s, and five for our under 19’s was at times unplayable at the back. Mature beyond his years young Binks along with Armando Shashoua and Dilan Markanday was one of our most important players. A member of the Euro youth cup winning side, Binks was a regular for England under 18’s, and he also featured for our under 19’s at the post season Terborg tournament. With a wand of a left foot and a wonderful understanding of the game, Binks’ consistent performances have greatly impressed me this season and from a physical point of view he could well establish himself as a regular for our under 23’s during the 2019/20 campaign. However, he should be very proud of all that he has achieved this season.

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Ball playing centre half Brooklyn Lyons-Foster overcame a number of injury problems during the first part of the season to enjoy another season of great personal development. The Islington born defender who also featured at CDM and fullback on a number of occasions throughout the season, divided his time playing under 18 and 23 football. Making 21 appearances for both our under 18’s and 19’s, Lyons-Foster also made nine appearances for our development side. The second year scholar was a highly influential player for both our under 18’s and 23’s. The rock solid centre half who chipped in with an impressive three goals and two assists is not too dissimilar to a defender such as Matthijs de Ligt, Lyons-Foster plays the game as if he has been schooled at the Sportpark De Toekomst, such is the way in which he operates as a ball playing centre half. A player who loves to make positive forward passes, Brooklyn is more than just an excellent defender who reads the game so well. He is also very creative from deep and his adventurous surging forward runs make him adept at playing at CDM. The 18 year old is a very mature defender who sees the danger which is in front of him. Commanding, decisive and unfazed by bullish target men despite his slim build, as I wrote last season he is another wonderful young talent. Despite a couple of injury problems throughout the campaign Lyons-Foster managed to make 30 competitive appearances for Spurs across all levels this season and it has meant that he has been able to get a lot of valuable playing time under his belt. Lyons-Foster played a big part in us reaching the last 16 round of the UEFA youth league and whenever he was involved for our under 23’s we were statistically a lot better as a team such is the attacking and defensive influence which Brooklyn has on games. Two performances from last season come to mind when I think of Lyons-Foster’s 2018/19 season. Those were against both West Ham and Barcelona and you can refer back to my match reports from last season to find out why. Next season I would be surprised if the highly promising centre back wasn’t a mainstay in our development squad. Look out for an in-depth piece which I am currently writing on Brooklyn. I recently named him as Spurs’ best player at this years recent Terborg tournament in the Netherlands.

Midfielders: 

Armando Shashoua: A skilful and ridiculously determined midfield craftsman whose high work rate and on the field intelligence made him our under 18’s man to go to last season. Our under 18’s captain fantastic operated at both CAM and CM during his 34 competitive appearances for our under 18’s, 19’s and 23’s during the recent season. Shashoua chipped in with an impressive seven goals and 12 assists (a great improvement from last seasons goal involvement tally of three) but they only tell half the story. Captain fantastic literally carried our under 18’s at times during the season. Demonstrating great leadership qualities, Armando was the beating heart of John McDermott’s team. Impressing with his passing ability, jinking forward runs, vision and razor sharp movement and ability to get to loose balls in and around the danger zone. Shashoua captained our side in every game that he played in apart from one (our opening day victory over Brighton) and the West Londoner did so with great aplomb on every occasion. So often the man to initiate chances and thwart dangerous attacks, Shashoua’s all round game was on completely another level this season. He could run at full pelt for 90 minutes of a game regardless of the score or how it was going and it was his sheer desire to get on the ball which impressed me so much, amongst other things. Shashoua starred in big games throughout the season and to be quite honest with you he never had a bad game. He was a constant source of encouragement on the field as he gave out instructions and barked out orders. Along with Dilan Markanday he was one of Spurs’ most fouled players last season but despite his small stature he was one of the strongest players on the ball in the team. He fought for every ball, tracked back relentlessly after him and he always made himself available to receive the ball as he constantly managed to drop into little pockets of space. Our under 18’s captain fantastic showed in his second year of scholarship that he was far, far too good for under 18 football. He had mastered every aspect of it, and his incredible footballing intelligence and guile meant that he always looked so comfortable and adept whenever he made the step up to play for our under 19’s and 23’s. It really does amaze me that neither England, Spain, Venezuela, America or Egypt haven’t called the technically gifted central midfielder up to represent their youth teams.

Harvey White: Another player who enjoyed a remarkable season was first year scholar Harvey White. The Maidstone born CDM was involved in 21 goals from 33 appearances across all levels for Spurs last season, the now England under 18 international put in many a dominant performance in central midfield for our under 18’s, 19’s and 23’s. White enjoyed an excellent first part of the season for both our under 18’s and 19’s where he was one of Matt Wells’ most creative players. During the early parts of the season White was an important part of the Spurs under 17 side which won the Euro youth cup and it was he who netted Spurs’ winning goal in the final against Anderlecht. An industrious and hardworking midfielder (formerly an AM) who would also fill in at left back throughout the campaign, White would later go onto cement his place in the development side. The 17 year old who is a set piece specialist, did an excellent job at breaking up play and recycling possession throughout the season, and the excellent passer created many good chances for the forwards in the games that he played in. The well rounded and valiant midfielder enjoyed an excellent season for his club and it was recognised by his country (England) who he won his first competitive caps for at the under 18 Slovakia Cup last month. Next season I would imagine that White would spend the vast majority of his time playing for our development side. He will also be an important player for our under 19’s in the UEFA Youth League. White’s performance of the season (in my opinion) came in a league game against Norwich City.

Elliot Thorpe: Welsh attacking midfielder Elliot Thorpe made 11 appearances for our under 18’s last season, most of which came during the second half of the season. CAM/CM Thorpe who is a technically gifted and skilful midfielder put in some impressive performances for our under 18’s in both the hole, and in central midfield. The Cambridgeshire born midfielder who also featured once for our development side put in his best performance of the season in our Premier League Cup game against Swansea City in November which was on his first ever competitive start for our under 18’s. Thorpe would go onto score his first goal for our under 18’s in a 4-0 home league win over Fulham. Next season the Wales under 19 international who is a wonderful passer of the ball, will be looking to break into Wayne Burnett’s development side.

Rafferty Pedder: The first year scholar made only six appearances for our under 18’s last season but the Maidstone born midfielder impressed during all six of those games. Pedder, who also featured at the Euro Youth Cup, the Terborg tournament and the Future Cup is a very technical central midfielder/number ten. Pedder is a seriously pacy player who is skilful and intelligent both in and out of possession. Furthermore, one of the youngest of our first year scholars the midfielder has good vision and a good weight of pass. Next season Pedder will be hoping to be a lot more involved with our under 18’s. Pedder chipped in with one assist last season.

Phoenix Patterson: The skilful winger started the season well and in good form, and after he put in an excellent performance against Portsmouth on his first ever start for the development side, things were looking up for Patterson. However, a fractured fibula set the former Wycombe Wanderers youth player back. And he had to wait until April before he could make his return. On his return Patterson made four appearances for our under 18’s before then going onto feature for our under 19’s out in the Netherlands at the annual Terborg tournament. The 18 year old played in a whole variety of positions this season, including CDM, CAM and out in his natural position of LW. The Scotland under 18 international made 22 competitive appearances for Spurs last season, chipping in with three goals and four assists. The second year scholars outstanding performance against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade trophy was his best of the season, and Patterson will be hoping to put in more performances like that when he represents our development side again next season. Phoenix is a sharp and pacy player who has a fantastic understanding of the game for somebody so young.

Chay Cooper: The silky attacking midfielder/left winger made ten appearances for our under 18’s last season while in his first year of scholarship with the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘. The former Southend United schoolboy put in some bright performances last season, and in a variety of positions. Cooper impressed at CM, CAM and in particular out on the left wing where his good spurts of pace, first touch and lovely skill caused problems for teams. Since making his competitive debut for our under 18’s in a Premier League Cup game against Wolves in September, Cooper chipped in with three assists. Next season the attacking midfielder will likely get a lot more playing time for our under 18’s and he will hopefully feature for our under 19’s in Europe. It is worth noting that Cooper scored a stunning goal in the final of this seasons Euro Youth Cup in Germany against Anderlecht, back in the early stages of the season. I am a big fan of the Harlow born player and I have been impressed whenever I have seen him play. 

Forwards: 

Maurizio Pochettino: The technically gifted right winger made 21 appearances for our under 18’s and two for our under 23’s this season. The gaffers son chipped in with three goals and one assist from those matches and he showed great improvement from the 2017/18 campaign. Pochettino was consistent in his performances and he put in a number of impressive ones over the course of the season. The 18 year old impressed me with his passing/crossing and his close ball control. Next season Pochettino will be hoping to get a good number of games for our under 19’s and 23’s. He should be proud of all that he has achieved this season.

Dilan Markanday: With his many weaving runs and sensational close ball control 17 year old starlet Dilan Markanday was one of the stars of the season for our under 18 side. Chipping in with an impressive 12 goals and six assists from 24 appearances for our under 18’s. Markanday also featured on a number of occasions for our under 19’s and 23’s. The North London winger played in a variety of positions last season but it was out on the right wing where he was most effective. A good reader of the game, Markanday has a sharp footballing brain and his off the ball movement is something to be admired. He is good at creating space for himself down the flanks and the timing of his runs down the channels is quite impressive. As much of a creative force as Dilan is with his darting runs and attacking forays, and good weight of pass Markanday is also a real goal threat. He is particularly dangerous on the edge of the penalty area where he will often look to test the goalkeeper with a curling low effort towards the far corner of the goal. The winger is also very quick to loose balls inside the danger zone and he is often the first to efforts which have been parried by the goalkeeper. While Markanday is a good finisher who scores a good amount of goals per season, he was one of John McDermott’s most influential players during the 2018/19 campaign. Markanday impressed greatly with his skills and mazy driving runs, as well as his tireless tracking back and defensive work (he is an excellent tackler!). Next season Markanday will likely be an important player for our under 23 side out on the right wing. 

Jeremie Mukendi: The pacy and direct winger started the season well and after finding the back of the net twice in a league game against Southampton in September, things were looking up for Mukendi, who had struggled for game time during the previous season. He made eight appearances in total for Spurs this season, playing eight games for our under 18’s and making the bench on one occasion for our under 23’s. However, Mukendi’s season sadly came to an end in December after he sustained a season ending injury in a league game against Leicester City.

Rayan Clarke: The direct winger had a Keanan Bennetts-esque season as a second year scholar chipping in with eight goals and nine assists from 23 games for our under 18’s. Clarke also featured on five occasions for our under 23’s and on two for our under 19’s. Clarke would often go on long surging runs down the flank before cutting inside and looking to test the goalkeeper with a thumping effort at goal. Clarke had some great games for the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘ and he would also go onto fill in at right back and at centre forward on a couple of occasions last season. The positive wide mans best performances of the season came against both Norwich and Leicester. The aim next season for Clarke will be to replicate some of those performances for our under 23’s who he has played well for so far whenever he has been selected. Clarke reminds me a lot of Andros Townsend in the way that he operates as a winger and overall I thought that he enjoyed a very positive 2018/19 season.

J’Neil Bennett: Fancy wide man/forward J’Neil Bennett had a very positive season for Spurs during the 2018/19 campaign, featuring heavily for both our under 18’s and 23’s the skilful and pacy Bennett had some great games down both the right and left flank. The Zaha-esque former QPR schoolboy scored ten goals and assisted a further seven last season. Difficult to defend against due to his blistering pace and dazzling skill, the first year scholar put in some fantastic performances for both our under 18’s and 23’s and what I liked about him this season was his unpredictably in games and that he wasn’t afraid to try FIFA Street like skills in big moments in games. Bennett is a hardworking player who tracks back well after him down the flank. As well as featuring for our under 19’s in the UEFA youth league the 17 year old also featured at the post season Terborg tournament in the Netherlands.

Enoch Asante: Unfortunately the centre forwards season was plagued by injuries and he only made two competitive for our under 18’s during the early parts of the season. Next season Asante will be competing with Kion Etete, Troy Parrott and Tarrell Whittaker for a starting berth in our under 18 side.

Troy Parrott: It has been an excellent season for the highly rated young Irishman, who excelled at under 18 level during the 2018/19 campaign. Tall and physical centre forward Troy Parrott scored an impressive 15 goals for our under 18’s from just 12 appearances and he laid off a further six. Parrott has made great strides this season, putting in big performances for both our under 18’s and 23’s in big games. Not only was he a prolific goalscorer who had a Kane-esque influence on games. Parrott also worked tirelessly for his teammates across the park and it was that sheer grit and determination which really shone through especially when he came up against very physical defenders in games our under 23’s. The Dubliner was directly involved in a remarkable 29 goals from 29 games across all levels for Spurs last season and in my opinion he isn’t that far away from playing for the first team! See my in-depth piece on Parrott for a greater understanding of the Irishman’s style of play and traits.

My goal of the season: Paris Maghoma’s wonderful solo goal on the opening day of the season has to win it for me. After receiving a pass from Armando Shashoua, Maghoma shimmied his way around two Brighton defenders on the edge of the ‘ Seagulls ‘ penalty area before then firing an unstoppable effort into the top right hand corner of the goal.

My save of the season: Joshua Oluwayemi’s magnificent stop to prevent Arsenal’s Trae Coyle from finding the top left hand corner of the Spurs mans goal after he cut inside from the left flank, in our 3-2 defeat to the ‘ Gunners ‘ has to win it. Coyle’s effort couldn’t have been anymore in the top corner of the goal but still Oluwayemi was able to get a hand on it to push it away from danger.

My game of the season: There were many superb performances over the course of the campaign however, for me, my game/performance of the season came when we faced Chelsea in game week three of the league season. On that day Matt Wells’ side were simply flawless from the back four right up to the makeshift centre forward J’Neil Bennett who ran the Chelsea defence ragged. We defended imperiously and played some beautiful attacking football in a game that we won 2-0 against a strong Chelsea side. 

My under 18’s player of the season: Our under 18’s captain fantastic Armando Shashoua was in my opinion our best and most influential player last season. The beating heart of the side, Shashoua led by example in every game that he played in. Furthermore, the Londoner was one of our most creative players but his goal involvement tally of 19 tells only half the story. For it was the skilful midfielders sheer desire to influence games and initiate chances which for me put him head and shoulders above anyone else in the team. He is one of my favourite ever youth players and I have no doubts at all that he has all it takes to become a premier league footballer in the future.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 15

Dilan Markanday – 12

J’Neil Bennett –  10

Rayan Clarke – 8

Armando Shashoua – 7

Rodel Richards – 7

Harvey White – 6

Paris Maghoma – 4

Luis Binks – 3

Maurizio Pochettino – 3

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Kion Etete – 2

Jubril Okedina – 1

Tarrell Whittaker – 1

Elliot Thorpe – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 12

Armando Shashoua – 12

Rayan Clarke – 9

Troy Parrott – 6

Dilan Markanday – 6

Jamie Bowden – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

J’Neil Bennett – 4

Rodel Richards – 3

Chay Cooper – 3

Paris Maghoma – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Luis Binks – 2

Elliot Thorpe – 2

Malachi Walcott – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Maxwell Statham – 1

Jeremie Mukendi – 1

Nile John – 1

Kion Etete – 1

Tarrell Whittaker – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 7

Jonathan De Bie – 2

Some notes on Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou’s performance against Scotland:

Some notes on Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou’s performance against Scotland:

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Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou was in action for the Cyprus national team on Saturday night when they took on Scotland at Hampden Park, in a Euro 2020 qualifier. I traveled up to Scotland’s national stadium to see how our speedy left winger got on for his country, on what was his fifth cap for Ran Ben Shimon’s team. Georgiou came on in the 66th minute of Saturday’s game after he replaced 18 year old Michalis Ioannou out on the left wing with the scores at 1-0 to Scotland. Georgiou was back defending and helping out left back Margaca during the first few minutes of his time on the pitch. Anthony’s first involvement of the game came from a corner kick which he delivered. The 22 year old drove the ball into the Scotland box but it was cleared away by defender Charlie Mulgrew. The Lewisham born winger continued to track back well after him and press the Scotland players well. Then in the 86th minute of the game the Spurs man managed to latch onto goalkeeper Urko Pardo’s long kick up field. Georgiou then darted forwards down the left flank and into the Scotland box where he hit the ball off of Stephen O’Donnell to win a corner kick, a corner kick which he would take. Georgiou sprayed the ball into the box and he managed to pick out the head of Ioannis Kousoulos who directed the ball into the far right hand corner of David Marshall’s goal to make the scores level. Following Cyprus’ equaliser Georgiou was now playing at left wing back and I noticed that he was barking out instructions to his teammates. Unfortunately for Georgiou and his teammates Scotland regained the lead less than two minutes later through Oliver Burke who cruelly scored the winning goal in the 89th minute of the game. Cyprus tried to respond and after Georgiou was given the ball by Efrem the Spurs man sped away from his man before winning a corner kick after hitting the ball off of Stephen O’Donnell. However, Anthony’s resulting corner kick failed to pick out any Cyprus players in the box and it eventually came to nothing. Once again the animated Georgiou could be seen giving out instructions to his teammates during the final moments of the game as Scotland held on to record a lucky 2-1 win over Cyprus. During his 28 minutes on the pitch Georgiou’s pace and directness caused Scotland’s Stephen O’Donnell a number of problems down the left hand side of the pitch and had he have started the game then Cyprus would have offered far more of an offensive threat. Next up for Georgiou and Cyprus is a Euro qualifier against Russia on Tuesday. I would be very surprised if Anthony didn’t start that game. In my opinion the 22 year old is Cyprus’ best player!

Farewell and good luck Charlie Freeman:

Farewell and good luck Charlie Freeman:

Tottenham Hotspur Portrait Shoot

Spurs announced today that a number of Academy players have left the club upon the expiration of their contracts. One of those players who has left the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘ is 19 year old Charlie Freeman. The talented goalkeeper who once went on a training camp with England (he is also eligible to represent Denmark) at under 16 level, leaves the club who he has been with since he was a boy. An excellent shot stopper and sweeper keeper, Freeman signed scholarship terms with the club in 2016 after enjoying an excellent 2015/16 campaign for our under 16’s. That summer Charlie would go on a youth loan to Newcastle United who he would represent at the prestigious Super Cup in Northern Ireland, where he impressed the local media by putting in a string of solid performances. However, having previously been on the bench for our under 18’s during the 2015/16 season, Charlie would have to wait until December of 2016 before he made his competitive debut for our under 18’s. That came in a 3-2 league defeat to Norwich City. Freeman would go onto play one more competitive game that season, a 2-1 league defeat to Aston Villa. It was extremely difficult for the then first year scholar to get game time that season as he was competing with Brandon Austin, Alfie Whiteman and Jonathan De Bie for a starting berth in our under 18 side. Freeman would finish the season out in Germany with our development side where he played two games in the post season Stemwede tournament. The next season (2017/18) started well for Freeman who helped our development side to win the Tournoi Europeen out in France, having previously been involved in a pre season friendly against Ebbsfleet United however, it would prove to be a nightmare campaign for the Goodmayes born goalkeeper who would be tormented by injuries for most of the season. After missing large parts of the season with an arm injury, Freeman would go onto make only one competitive appearance for our under 18’s that season. That appearance came in an unfortunate 5-3 league defeat to Norwich City. Despite not playing a competitive game of football in over a year Freeman still managed to make some important saves in that game, under difficult conditions. Freeman would finish the 2017/18 season by competing out in Germany with Wayne Burnett’s development side. 

The recent campaign (the 2018/19 season) started with Freeman playing a half for our development side against Enfield Town in a pre season friendly. Freeman would then travel out to France with our development side as they looked to retain the Tournoi Europeen. Charlie played one game, a 2-1 win over French side Nice. The first year professional then played a number of games for  a Spurs under 19 side out in Germany at the Oberndorf tournament. However, Freeman would not make a single competitive appearance for Spurs during that season and he only made the bench for our development side on four occasions last season, his only game time came in behind closed doors friendlies. The former West Hatch High School pupil is a very talented and highly rated young goalkeeper who despite his injury problems has a very bright future in front of him in football and in whatever else he wants to do. As a goalkeeper he is commanding, composed and charismatic. And as shot stoppers go he was in my opinion one of the best in the Academy. It also should be noted that Charlie is a really nice lad and he would always make a point of saying hello and speaking to me whenever I saw him at youth matches. That was something I greatly appreciated. It’s always a sad time of the year when some of our young players depart the club but as I say to all of them, I wish them all the very best of luck for the future. And for Charlie I wish him all the very best for the future. I am sure that him and Spurs will cross paths again at some point in the future as he progresses as a goalkeeper.

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Spurs under 19’s 0-3 Flamengo: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 0-3 Flamengo: (match report)

066505C4-157A-4886-AEF4-490DB4CCF0FBOur under 19’s final game of the 2019 Terborg tournament ended in a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Brazilian club Flamengo in the third/fourth place play off. Wayne Burnett’s side struggled to get their passing game going in the boiling summer heat in eastern Holland, and Flamengo were able to pick a lacklustre Spurs side apart by playing some good passing football of their own. Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Kacper Kurylowicz started in goal while a back four of Jubril Okedina, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Armando Shashoua and Harvey White lined up in central midfield while Rayan Clarke and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks either side of CAM and captain Jack Roles. 17 year old striker Kion Etete led the line for Spurs. Flamengo got the game underway and after a quiet start the Brazilian club managed the first goal attempt of the game through their number 18, who after going on a promising run down the left flank forced a save out of Kurylowicz from his powerful low effort. Spurs attacked down the other end of the pitch through the tigerish Shashoua who gave the ball to J’Neil Bennett down the left flank however, the wingers resulting cross just evaded Kion Etete inside the penalty area. A corner kick from Harvey White was met by Etete shortly afterwards but he headed the ball against a Flamengo defender. Luis Binks was on hand to clear number 11’s cross at the other end of the pitch as Spurs continued their fine start to the game. 16 fired wide from long range for the Brazilians before Brooklyn Lyons-Foster managed to clear number sixes cross into the Spurs penalty area. Goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz then managed to get a finger tip on number tens powerful effort from long range to force the ball behind for a Flamengo corner kick. From the resulting corner kick number three tested Kurylowicz after he connected with number tens corner kick. Kurylowicz was called into action again a matter of moments later this time to save number fours header after he had connected with a corner kick from number ten. Flamengo continued to threaten the Spurs goal. Number tens powerful low effort was parried by the Spurs goalkeeper and ten latched back onto the ball inside the Spurs box before laying it off to number 18 whose low sidefooted effort was superbly cleared on the line by Lyons-Foster.

Number ten fired a low effort wide from the edge of the Spurs box before Harvey White whipped a free kick narrowly over the Flamengo goalkeepers crossbar before number four flicked over twos corner kick at the other end of the pitch, before the referee sounded his whistle for halftime. Spurs got the second half underway but it started in the worst possible way for Wayne Burnett’s side who conceded soon after kick off. After Harvey White had been dispossessed by number ten he gave the ball to number 11 on the edge of the Spurs box and his powerful low drive at goal took a hefty deflection off of Lyons-Foster before beating Kurylowicz and going into the back of the net,  0-1. 11 blasted an effort over Kurylowicz’s crossbar after going on a surging run down the right wing before Burnett made a double change as he brought off both Rayan Clarke and Jack Roles for Phoenix Patterson (who took the armband) and Dilan Markanday. Flamengo doubled their lead shortly afterwards, after Dennis Cirkin had cleared number tens cross the ball came to 11 on the edge of the Spurs box, and he curled an unstoppable effort into the top right hand corner of Kurylowicz’s goal, 0-2. Spurs tried to respond and they came close to pulling a goal back after Dennis Cirkin found Markanday down the right hand side of the Flamengo penalty area however, the Spurs winger squeezed the ball a fraction wide of the goal. Flamengo settled the game a couple of minutes later after their goalkeepers long kick up field bounced over the Tottenham defence and into the path of number 11 down the right hand side of the Spurs box. And the Flamengo winger made no mistake as he calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Kurylowicz’s goal, 0-3. A cross from Phoenix Patterson stung the palms of the Flamengo goalkeeper shortly after the restart before he managed to gather a cross from Harvey White. Kion Etete dragged an effort wide of the Flamengo goal before Harvey White powered a low effort a fraction wide of the mark. After being stepped on by a Flamengo player Brooklyn Lyons-Foster had to be replaced by Jamie Bowden for the final moments of the game. Spurs did manage two late goal attempts, first through winger J’Neil Bennett who tested the goalkeeper with a low effort from the left flank, and then through Dennis Cirkin who nodded J’Neil Bennett’s cross wide.

It was a sad end to the tournament for a tired looking Spurs side, thankfully the lads will get the rest of the month off before they report back to training at the start of next month for the beginning of the 2019/20 season.

My man of the match: Goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz made five saves in total on Sunday afternoon as the 17 year old put in a strong performance for Wayne Burnett’s side by making a string of good saves. The goalkeeper from County Bedfordshire  also dealt well with crosses and set pieces, and his distribution was impressive on the day.

The Superhotspur player of the tournament: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. For his five solid performances at RCB I am going to give this award to the 18 year old who I thought was our best player at the tournament. The Islington born defender put in a number of very impressive and solid performances in the four games in which he played. He saw the danger, kept good positioning throughout and he impacted games with his positive forward passing. In addition he made many important defensive interventions and he was not at fault for a single goal that Spurs conceded. It has been a great season for the second year scholar who overcame injury problems during the first part of the season to enjoy a very solid campaign for both our under 18’s and 23’s.

Spurs under 19’s 0-4 FC Midtjylland: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 0-4 FC Midtjylland: (match report)

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Our under 19’s took on technically gifted Danish side FC Midtjylland in the semifinals of this years Terborg tournament this morning. Unfortunately for Wayne Burnett’s side they were unable to match their Danish counterparts who were far superior to Spurs in every aspect of the game, Spurs looked off the pace and tired and they were unable to cope with the energy that the ` Ulvene ‘ brought to the game. After falling behind early on in the game Spurs never seemed to recover and they ended the first half two goals down. The second half was very much the same story and Tottenham just didn’t have the stamina to deal with the Danish club and in the end they lost 4-0. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation for Sunday’s semifinal. Jonathan De Bie started in goal while a back four of Jubril Okedina, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jonathan Dinzeyi and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and Jamie Bowden anchored the midfield and Dilan Markanday and Rayan Clarke operated out on the flanks either side of CAM Phoenix Patterson. Jack Roles led the line for Spurs on what was a sweltering hot summers day. The game got off to the worst possible start for Spurs after Midtjylland took the lead less than five minutes into the game through their number 13, after he’d latched onto number tens pass he sprinted forward past Jonathan Dinzeyi down the right hand side of the Spurs penalty area before firing the ball into the bottom left hand corner of De Bie’s goal, 0-1. Harvey White responded by testing the Midtjylland goalkeeper from long range after the ball had been laid off to him by Jack Roles. Spurs came again this time through Rayan Clarke who after receiving Jamie Bowden’s pass cut inside from the left flank before shooting on goal however, his shot was blocked by Midtjylland’s number five. Midtjylland attacked us straight down the other end of the pitch and the move ended in number ten firing a low effort wide of De Bie’s goal from the edge of the penalty area. Dilan Markanday then saw his shot hit off his own player Phoenix Patterson at the other end of the pitch. Jonathan De Bie then had to deal with a curling effort from number 13 as Midtjylland continued to test our defence. 13 fired over De Bie’s crossbar from range a couple of minutes later before the Danes managed to work another intricate attacking move. After number ten passed the ball to 13 down the right flank 13 whipped a low cross into number nine in the middle of the Spurs box and the Midtjylland forwards resulting low effort was saved excellently by the feet of Jonathan De Bie.

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster was on hand to clear number 24’s cross before number two forced a comfortable save out of De Bie with a header from a corner kick. Midtjylland then made it 2-0 after the racing number 13 managed to latch onto number tens long defence splitting pass before poking the ball over the outrushing Jonathan De Bie on the edge of the penalty area and into the back of the goal, 0-2. Midtjylland had a penalty shout waived away shortly afterwards after Rayan Clarke appeared to handle the ball inside the Spurs box before number two nodded over number 11’s corner. After suffering what appeared to be a concussion Jonathan Dinzeyi left the field to be replaced by Luis Binks at LCB. Soon after coming on Binks was forced straight into the action after number ten played a lofted pass through to 13 who got away from the Spurs defender down the right hand side of the pitch and into the box before eventually firing the ball over De Bie’s crossbar in what was the final bit of action from the first half. Spurs made a substitute at halftime as they brought on striker Kion Etete for Harvey White. Soon after the restart Bowden laid a nice pass off to Roles on the edge of the Midtjylland box and he forced a good save out of their goalkeeper with a low drive at goal before number six curled over at the other end of the pitch. Midtjylland made it 3-0 after 13 picked the ball up some 25 yards out from goal before firing an unstoppable effort into the top left hand corner of De Bie’s goal, 0-3. Luis Binks then made a brilliant crunching challenge on number 11 before Rayan Clarke came in from the left flank and tested the Midtjylland goalkeeper with a thumping effort on goal, at the other end. Things got even worse for Spurs after number 15 made it 4-0 to Midtjylland after he fired home an unstoppable effort from the edge of the Spurs penalty area which despite getting a hand on, De Bie couldn’t keep out, 0-4. Spurs tried to respond and after Okedina gave the ball to Roles down the right flank he managed to pick out Bowden in the middle of the Spurs box but the midfielder completely missed the ball and the goalkeeper managed to gobble it up.  A long kick up field from the Midtjylland goalkeeper managed to bounce over everyone at the back and into the path of 14 who forced a good save out of De Bie with a side footed effort on goal.

Jonathan De Bie managed to claim number tens late cross before the referee blew his whistle for full time.

My man of the match: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. The LCB (18) had another good game for Spurs despite the score line suggesting otherwise. The centre half defended well against Midtjylland who he kept impeccable positioning against and made some really important defensive interventions. He could of done nothing to prevent any of Midtjylland’s goals today. Furthermore, the Londoner demonstrated good leadership skills throughout the game and he could often be seen giving out instructions to right back Jubril Okedina.