Some notes on Spurs loanee Jack Clarke’s performance against Salford City:
(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC)
Spurs loanee and recent signing Jack Clarke (18) was in action for Leeds United on Tuesday evening when they took on league two club Salford City, in the second round of the Carabao Cup. This was young Clarke’s first competitive appearance of the season for Marcelo Bielsa’s side and he looked nice and sharp. It was a good performance from the winger who would often switch flanks with Helder Costa throughout the game. In the following piece I will be going through Clarke’s 70 minutes on the pitch in chronological order. The York born winger started out on the right wing as Leeds played in a 4-1-4-1 formation. After tracking back well during the opening stages of the match Clarke cut inside from the right flank early on in the game before attempting to thread a pass through to Eddie Nketiah in the Salford penalty area however, a defender managed to cut Clarke’s pass out. It was quite noticeable that there always seemed to be two defenders on Clarke during the early periods of the game. The 18 year olds next involvement in the game occurred a couple of minutes later after he had a cross cleared away by Salford defender Carl Piergianni. Clarke then turned defender after he cleared Richie Towell’s volley on the line, from a Salford corner kick. The teenager continued to impress me as the game progressed and I was particularly impressed with the many intelligent runs in which he was making down the right flank. After receiving the ball out on the right flank Clarke managed to dribble his way into the Salford penalty area before he had a shot blocked by defender Carl Piergianni. The ever impressive Kalvin Phillips then sprayed a nice pass out to Clarke on the right flank. Clarke controlled the ball before he whipped a nice cross into the danger zone but it was cleared away by the dominant Piergianni. A clever run into the Salford box from the Spurs loanee shortly afterwards almost resulted in him meeting Egzijan Alioski’s cross in the centre of the penalty area. Clarke switched flanks with Helder Costa a couple of minutes later.
Jack Clarke was creating a number of good chances from out wide such as in the 34th minute when he cut inside onto his right foot from the left flank, before dribbling into the Salford penalty area but instead of shooting he elected to pass the ball to a teammate who was in a more central position. A couple of minutes later Clarke received a pass from Egzijan Alioski on the edge of the Salford penalty area. Clarke opened up his body before testing the Salford goalkeeper Chris Neal with a curling effort which took a slight deflection off of Lois Maynard. However, it was eventually beaten away by Neal. Constantly looking to receiving the ball, since moving out onto the left flank Clarke was roaming around the park more freely and he was drifting into more central positions more regularly. After managing to find Egzijan Alioski with a low pass on the edge of the Salford box the North Macedonian international fired an effort over Carl Neal’s crossbar. Leeds took the lead shortly afterwards through Eddie Nketiah right on the stroke of halftime. Clarke started the second half out on the left flank. Leeds doubled their lead in the 50th minute of the game through Gaetano Berardi before Mateusz Klich further extended the visitors advantage just under eight minutes later. Unfortunately Leeds didn’t focus a lot of their attention down the left flank during Clarke’s remaining minutes of the game and hence Clarke didn’t see a lot of the ball. After Kalvin Phillips picked out the Spurs youngster down the right hand side of the Salford box Clarke attempted to head the ball back across goal for Eddie Nketiah but once again Carl Piergianni was on hand to cut it out. Clarke switched back onto the right flank before he was replaced by Alfie McCalmont in the 70th minute of the game. I was really impressed with how Clarke conducted himself on the field last night, he tracked back excellently during his time on the pitch and his movement and many intelligent runs down the flanks really caught my eye. Clarke was also tidy with the ball and he liked to receive the ball and take players on as well as dribbling with it. Furthermore, the 18 year old created a number of decent chances.
I will be hoping to write a number of such loan reports on Jack Clarke this season and I am hoping to be able to see him in the flesh, when Leeds play a game in London.