Spurs under 18’s versus Aston Villa: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Aston Villa: (match preview)

Our under 18’s will take on seventh place Aston Villa in the Premier League South on Saturday lunchtime. Spurs come into this game on the back of an impressive 6-1 win over Southampton and they’ll be hoping to make it two wins from two. Spurs have won at Aston Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground in two of the last three seasons, and last season they won 3-2. Some of Aston Villa’s danger men include top scorer Jaden Philogene-Bidace and Aaron Ramsey who had a particularly good game in the reverse fixture at Hotspur Way earlier in the season when the ‘ Villains ’ won 4-2, in a game in which they dominated for large periods. I shall be travelling up to Tamworth to report on Saturday’s game and I would like to wish the lads all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Lusala, Muir, Skinner, Hackett, Matthew Craig, John, Bennett, Robson, Cooper, Etete (c).

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, Kyezu, Santiago, Pedder, Whittaker.

Injured/unavailable: Dennis Cirkin, Michael Craig.

Doubtful: Enock Asante, Dane Scarlett. 

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-4.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: The ‘ Villains ’ top scorer this season with seven goals from ten league games Jaden Philogene-Bidace.

Spurs under 23’s versus Arsenal: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Arsenal: (match preview)


Our under 23’s are preparing to face bitter north London rivals Arsenal on Friday evening, at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Lane stadium. Wayne Burnett’s side come into this game off the back of a crucial 3-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers the previous week, and Spurs who are now six points clear of the relegation zone will be fancying their chances against sixth place Arsenal. The ‘ Gunners ’ have picked up 25 points from 18 games in the league and they recently recorded an impressive 4-3 win over Monaco II in the Premier League International Cup. Spurs put in a good performance against Wolves in their last game and having Troy Parrott for the first half of it really helped the team out. However, it is unknown whether the Ireland international will be available for Friday’s game. Arsenal’s main danger man is striker Folarin Balogun who has scored an impressive 10 goals from 15 appearances in the PL2 this season. The Englishman is quick and clinical in front of goal. Another player to look out for on Friday is skilful winger Trae Coyle. This will undoubtedly be a fiercely contested London derby and one which should make fascinating viewing. I would like to wish Wayne Burnett’s side all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Okedina, Fagan-Walcott, Lyons-Foster, Hinds, White, Bowden (c), Pochettino, Mukendi, Markanday, Richards.

Subs from: De Bie, Dinzeyi, Patterson, R.Clarke, Etete.

Injured/unavailable: Dennis Cirkin.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-3.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Arsenal’s clinical 18 year old centre forward Folarin Balogun who has scored 10 goals from 15 appearances in the PL2 this season.

My interview with former Spurs player John Sainty:

My interview with former Spurs player John Sainty:


Born in Poplar, East London, John Albert Sainty played for Spurs throughout the majority of the 1960’s. The former England schoolboys player would play for the Spurs youth team, A team and reserves where he established himself as a physical and prolific centre forward. After leaving Spurs in 1967, Sainty who never actually played for Spurs’ first team would later go on to have a good career at the likes of Reading, AFC Bournemouth, Mansfield Town and Aldershot, before later going on to have a good career as a coach with the likes of Manchester City and Norwich City. I caught up with John earlier in the week to look back on his time at the Lilywhites in what was a glorious time in the clubs history. And can I just say it was an absolute privilege and a pleasure to interview the former Spurs man.

What are your earliest footballing memories?

John: Actually it was playing in a game at a holiday camp when I was away on holiday with my mum and dad when I was only 12 at the time, and it was an adult game. One holiday camp would play another holiday camp down the road and I had to get permission from my parents to play in that game, but that was the start of things (I was a big lad!). 

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

John: I was playing for Barking boys in a good schoolboy game and there was a scout on the line watching us play, and his name was Dickie Walker who used to play for West Ham. So, my dad being my dad who used to push me here there and everywhere, asked Dick Walker if he was interested in the lad playing out there and if he could take him to West Ham, as that was my local club. Dickie Walker then said that I was really interested in him and that he worked for Spurs at the time. So that’s how I ended up at Spurs and not West Ham, so that was that. My earliest memories of my time at Spurs were difficult because when I was at school I was head and shoulders above most of the boys that I played with. However, when I went to Spurs I was never top of the list sort of thing. Spurs was difficult because they mainly concentrated on groups which was the first team and if you weren’t in the first team there was a reserve group and a schoolboy group which was taken by a lad called Johnny Wallis. He was a rather bulky lad who had never really played football in his life so he would tell you to clean the dressing rooms out and sweep the toilets and god knows what if you didn’t do what you were told. There was as much work off the field at the time as there was on the field.

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

John: It was a learning curve but at the time I was very disappointed when I left because I would have given my arm and a leg for one game in the first team squad as such, but that just wasn’t going to be. At the time I think it was 1961, the Spurs squad was really big and the players were all international sort of type of players. The best player out of the lot of them who I ever saw play was Dave Mackay. However, John White was another lad as well and Ron Henry and Peter Baker. So whatever position you played in there was always international class players ahead of you as such, so it would have taken a long, long time to get in to the first team. One year I was particularly disappointed as I was playing in the youth team and then in the A team which was in the Metropolitan league in midweek. I sort of used to play on a Saturday or on a Wednesday, and anyway one season in 1966 I scored 33 goals and I still never ever got a look in, in the first team squad. I then basically left Spurs in 1967 but as I said previously my dad was a bit disappointed when I signed for Spurs as West Ham was my local team and because Dickie Walker had played for West Ham I assumed that I would have got a trial there. However, in the local paper at the time it mentioned that I had failed to impress West Ham, which I wasn’t very happy about. However, had I have had the choice I would have went to West Ham because they were local to me, but I went to Spurs and I was lucky to be able to go to somebody like that.

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

John: Dave Mackay was my best hero ever because he could do anything! He used to do tricks with coins, where he’d kick them up on his head and flip them back onto his head again. Mackay could pass a ball, he could go around people and he was an encouragement to everybody else, he wouldn’t let anyone slack. I actually went to his funeral in Scotland, that’s how much I admired the man. In all my years of football he was the best footballer that I had ever seen. However, he wasn’t your Danny Blanchflower type player who was a wizard at passing but he didn’t really tackle, instead he used to let everybody else do his tackling (such as player like Mackay who was a great tackler).

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

John: When I was at school I was initially very big for my age and so they always put me at the back as a central defender. However, when I moved on to other teams higher up the level, the players were a similar size to me so I went into midfield and then eventually as a centre forward.

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

John: When you say brush shoulders you had to be within 20 yards of them, that was the nearest that you got because when we trained at Cheshunt, the first team players all used to arrive by car. Whereas when we used to get to the ground early in the morning, we used to have to get all of the kit ready and then go on a coach. So it was very, very rare that we would mix with the first team players unless we had to get the balls. It was a learning curve whereas some kids now a days think that they have made it by the time they are 17/18 and they’re getting good money, but in them days you had a lot of hard work that you had to do. 

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

John: Again it’s the same person Dave Mackay. However, Bill Nicholson was another one and whenever he said anything to you which was very rare, you knew that he had noticed you. So if he didn’t say anything to you from one week to the next then you knew that he hadn’t noticed you as he had enough on his plate with managing the first team. So Bill Nicholson was a big influence on my career and whenever he said something I listened. 

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

John: As I said before Dave Mackay was my favourite player ever because he was so hard however, another lad who tragically died young was John White. Centre forward Bobby Smith was another player, and if you lined those three players up in a line you would get the complete footballer. However, the only time we had any chance of watching those players was in a match because we never had the opportunity to watch them train at Cheshunt as we would all be training at the same time so we would never ever mix in that respect. The only other chance that we’d have of watching them was if we were injured when we’d able to watch them training as such but it was difficult to learn things from them unless we watched them in a game. Nowadays youth teams and youth set ups are a big thing, whereas in those days they weren’t unless you pushed your way into the top half of the reserves, otherwise you just weren’t considered. 

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

John: Basically I was getting on to 21 and I just didn’t want to be a 21/22 year old and still be in somebody’s reserve side, so I wanted to play somewhere a bit higher than that. And so in 1967 I left Spurs because I asked for a transfer and surprise surprise they didn’t stand in my way. Then the next surprise came up that they wanted 12,000 pounds for me which was in 1967. So anyway Reading paid that fee for me which was a record at the time. So why did they not rate me that much but still want a record fee for me? (in my last season at Spurs I scored 33 goals). It was difficult for me to leave and go into somebody’s first team and then after Reading I went to Bournemouth which was where I stayed for quite a while. Then from Bournemouth I went to Aldershot and that was the end of my playing career before I went into coaching. I used to coach at Spurs on a Tuesday and Thursday night when I used to take the schoolboys, so they thought that I was a good coach but they didn’t think I was that good a player. I’d got my badges and eventually I took training three times a week at Spurs before taking sessions at a secondary school in East Ham. I then did sessions for Barking under 13’s as well. I think that I was a very good coach but maybe not as good a footballer. I loved coaching and couldn’t have spent my life without being a coach.

What was the greatest moment of your footballing career?

John: Playing for England schoolboys on my birthday at the Vetch Field, Swansea on March the 24th 1961. So that was the best birthday present that I ever had apart from marrying my wife of course!

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

John: Personally it would have to be Martin Peters who was here, there and everywhere. However, Dave Mackay was different and John White was different. So I’d have given my right arm to play one game with any of those, but life goes on and it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. However, I think that the standard of football now is a lot higher then when I was playing but I was quite happy to play then.

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

John: The games that used to stand out to me were the South East Counties League and then in the A team it was the Metropolitan League. In the South East Counties League I used to score on average 30-40 goals a season in the midweek games. In one season I lost four goals because Barnet reserves resigned from the league! 

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

John: It was more for when I played for Reading but I couldn’t name one player as such (I was a physical player myself). 

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

John: There was a set of twins from Barking called Bill and Ben Embery who were a year older than me however, my closest one was Keith Weller. When I got married the first time he was my best man and when he got married I was his best man, and he was a good friend of mine. Keith was another player who missed out on opportunities at Spurs but I think that we all did in them days because they didn’t let youngsters push through.

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

John: Listen and learn, because if you’ve come this far don’t ever believe that, that is as far as you are going to come because that is not the peak of your career. Otherwise there is no point in playing football. You must do your job the best that you can do.

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?

John: Spurs are one of three teams whose results I look at and when they are on television I’d always watch them play because that is my history, and they (Spurs) are a big part of my history. And if anyone says what did you do, I can say that I played for Spurs!

Spurs under 23’s 3-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 3-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers: (match report)


Our under 23’s returned to PL2 action when they took on bottom of the league Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday evening at the Lamex Stadium. Wayne Burnett’s side of which included Republic Of Ireland international Troy Parrott started the game strongly and they played some good football during the first half. Spurs went into the halftime break three goals to the good however, in the second half Wolverhampton Wanderers were much better and Spurs missed the potency of Parrott who went off at halftime. The final score was Spurs three Wolves two. Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Jonathan De Bie started in goal. A back four consisting of Jubril Okedina, Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Tariq Hinds lined up in front of him. Harvey White and captain Jamie Bowden anchored the midfield while Maurizio Pochettino and Dilan Markanday operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jeremie Mukendi. Troy Parrott led the line for Spurs. After the Spurs lads huddled together prior to kick off, Wolves got the game underway on a bitterly cold night in Stevenage. Early on in the game Jamie Bowden nodded wide Maurizio Pochettino’s cross before Troy Parrott raced into the Wolves box before cutting the ball back to Dilan Markanday who shot wide. Then in the eighth minute of the game Spurs took a deserved lead through Troy Parrott. After Jubril Okedina found Maurizio Pochettino down the right wing with a splendid pass, the Barcelona born winger whipped the ball into the Wolves box where it was met by the alert Parrott who jabbed the ball past Andreas Sondergaard and into the back of the net, 1-0.

After latching onto Hugo Bueno’s pass Renat Dadashov spun around sharply in the Spurs box before forcing a save out of Jonathan De Bie. Tariq Hinds then blocked Morgan Gibb-White’s cross before Owen Otasowie nodded Taylor Perry’s free kick wide of the Spurs goal. A couple of minutes later Wolves had a glorious chance to draw level. Bruno Jordao’s forward pass ran past Malachi Fagan-Walcott and into the path of Renat Dadashov who darted into the Spurs box where he was met by De Bie who slid in however, Dadashov had slipped the ball into the path of Morgan Gibbs-White who somehow shot wide of the goal. At the other end of the pitch Jeremie Mukendi shot wide from the edge of the Wolves box. Spurs continued to come at Wolves and after White passed the ball to Bowden whose shot was blocked by Christian Marques before Maurizio Pochettino fired the ball over Andreas Sondergaard’s goal. At the other end of the pitch and after latching onto Hugo Bueno’s pass Renat Dadashov spun around inside the Spurs box before firing an effort on goal but his shot was tipped well onto the post by De Bie. Morgan Gibbs-White then whipped the ball dangerously across the face of De Bie’s goal before at the other end of the pitch Troy Parrott tapped wide Maurizio Pochettino’s cross. Then in the 27th minute Spurs doubled their lead through Jeremie Mukendi. After Parrott had won a free kick out on the left flank the Irishman opted to take it quickly and pass it to Harvey White who passed to Mukendi who continued forward before firing the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the Wolves goal from the edge of the penalty area, 2-0.

Malachi Fagan-Walcott did well to clear away Chem Campbell’s corner kick before Bowden received White’s pass before blazing an effort over from distance. Spurs were fully on top as Mukendi came desperately close to slipping Parrott through on goal. Maurizio Pochettino then had a cross cleared away by Christian Marques before Renat Dadashov tapped Taylor Perry’s cross into the arms of De Bie. Wolves came at us again, this time Bueno passed it to Perry who passed it to Dadashov whose effort on goal was tipped over the crossbar by De Bie. Tariq Hinds then cleared away Taylor Perry’s cross before the Spurs fullback passed the ball to Parrott who went on an excellent long lung bursting forward run through the middle of the park. After speeding into the Wolves half, Parrott passed the ball to Pochettino who played a one two with Mukendi inside the Wolves box before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 3-0. The referee sounded his whistle for halftime shortly afterwards. Rodel Richards came onto replace Troy Parrott at the break as Spurs got the second half underway. Malachi Fagan-Walcott cleared away Hugo Bueno’s cross before Brooklyn Lyons-Foster blocked the same players shot in the box. Rodel Richards then had a curling effort from distance saved by Sondergaard. Fagan-Walcott then cleared away Taylor Terry’s free kick before Mukendi had a shot saved by Sondergaard after receiving Markanday’s pass down the left flank. After Bueno had passed the ball to Dadashov down the left side of the Spurs box the Azerbaijani youngster shot, but his effort was well saved and gathered by De Bie.

After turning inside the Spurs box Dadashov shot wide of De Bie’s goal from close range before Fagan-Walcott made a good challenge on Dadashov in the Spurs box. Phoenix Patterson came onto replace Maurizio Pochettino out on the right flank before Spurs conceded a penalty after Malachi Fagan-Walcott brought down Dadashov from behind. Dadashov stepped up to fire the ball down the left of the goal, 3-1. Jamie Bowden was shown a yellow card for fouling Taylor Perry. Phoenix Patterson then had a shot blocked by Christian Marques inside the Wolves box. Andreas Sondergaard’s long kick up field came to Renat Dadashov who darted past the outrushing De Bie and slotted the ball into the empty net. Bruno Jordao hit the bar with a thumping effort from the edge of the Spurs box before Harvey White blocked the same players shot. After Oskar Buur passed the ball to Jordao the Portuguese youngsters shot was saved well by De Bie. Rayan Clarke then came onto replace the influential Jeremie Mukendi. After breaking forward well Clarke passed the ball to Markanday who skied a shot over the crossbar. Dadashov blazed an effort over at the other end of the pitch before De Bie gathered Enzo Loiodice’s cross, before the referee brought the game to an end.

Player reviews:

  • Jonathan De Bie: The Belgian goalkeeper made half a dozen good saves last night and he also dealt well with set pieces.
  • Jubril Okedina: The right back had a very good game for Wayne Burnett’s side. Okedina got up and down the right flank well and he made some good and clever passes. The 19 year old also defended solidly down his side of the pitch. 
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: The RCB defended well and he cut out some dangerous chances. The penalty that Fagan-Walcott conceded was a harsh one.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The centre half along with Fagan-Walcott had a good game. Lyons-Foster was sharp and attentive, and aware of his surroundings. The 19 year old also made some good passes and he read the game well. 
  • Tariq Hinds: The left back got up and down the flank well and he defended with real maturity. 
  • Jamie Bowden: The Spurs captain played with real bite in the middle of the park and he made some good forward passes. Bowden also took some good set pieces. 
  • Harvey White: Like Bowden, fellow central midfielder Harvey White was good on the ball and he used it intelligently.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: The right winger made a big impact on the game last night and he went on some good surging runs down the right flank. Pochettino also whipped in some delightful crosses and he registered a goal and an assist.
  • Jeremie Mukendi: Operating as a CAM, Mukendi linked the play really well and he traveled forward with the ball well. Mukendi took his goal well and he created some good chances for Spurs.
  • Dilan Markanday: The skilful left winger made some good darting forward runs and he linked up well with Parrott during his time on the pitch.
  • Troy Parrott: My man of the match, see below.
  • Rodel Richards: The second half substitute worked hard up top and he pressed well.
  • Phoenix Patterson: The right winger worked hard and he tracked back well. 
  • Rayan Clarke: The fast winger was involved in one good Spurs break away towards the end of the game. 

My man of the match: Ireland international Troy Parrott (18) came off the bench to play against Wolves’ first team at the weekend. On Monday evening the Dubliner started against their under 23’s. Parrott really was the difference between the two sides last night and his sheer presence on the pitch helped to galvanise the team. Parrott played a part in all three of our goals and his off the ball movement, work rate, aggression and decision making was top class. Despite only playing 45 minutes, Parrott influence on the game was massive.

Spurs: De Bie, Okedina, Hinds, Bowden (c), Fagan-Walcott, Lyons-Foster, Pochettino (Patterson 72), White, Parrott (Richards 46), Mukendi (R Clarke 90), Markanday. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Dinzeyi.

Wolves: Sondergaard, Buur, Otasowie, Marques (c), Mayounga Ngolou, Bueno (Loiodice 90+1), Gibbs-White (Taylor 36), Perry, Dadashov, Jordao, Campbell (He 82). Substitutes (not used): Nya, Cundle.

Goals: Spurs – Parrott 8, Mukendi 27, Pochettino 45+2; Wolves – Dadashov 77 (pen), 85.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Pochettino 61, Bowden 79; Wolves – Buur 73.

Referee: Gary Parsons.

Venue: Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.

Attendance: 464.

Spurs under 23’s statistics: 

Goals: Armando Shashoua – 5

Harvey White – 3

Rodel Richards – 3

Jamie Bowden – 3

Dilan Markanday – 3

Troy Parrott – 3

Kazaiah Sterling – 2

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 2

Shilow Tracey – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Elliot Thorpe – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Malachi Fagan-Walcott – 1

Jubril Okedina – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Jeremie Mukendi – 1

Assists: Shilow Tracey – 5

Dilan Markanday – 5

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 3

Armando Shashoua – 3

Rodel Richards – 3

Harvey White – 3

Tariq Hinds – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 2

Jamie Bowden – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

TJ Eyoma – 1

Jeremie Mukendi – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 1

Josh Oluwayemi – 1

Spurs under 23’s versus Wolverhampton Wanderers: (match preview)


Spurs under 23’s versus Wolverhampton Wanderers: (match preview)


Our under 23’s return to PL2 action tomorrow evening when they face Wolverhampton Wanderers in an important game. Wayne Burnett’s side need to win tomorrow to help distance themselves from the relegation zone (Spurs are only three points from the drop zone). Spurs face a Wolves side who they defeated 2-1 at their Jack Hayward training centre earlier on in the campaign. Wolves are rock bottom of the league table with 11 points from 17 matches. This really is a must win game for the club from the Midlands. Spurs are on a five game winless run in the league but after putting in an encouraging performance against Leicester City in their last game things could be looking up for Spurs. Wolves have a number of players who Spurs will have to be wary off at the Lamex Stadium tomorrow evening. 20 year old Azerbaijani centre forward Renat Dadashov is one player to look out for (Dadashov has experience playing senior football in Portugal). Another player to look out for is Portuguese forward Hugo Bueno and English winger Taylor Perry. This will be another tough game for Spurs as Wolves are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table and they’ll be desperate to win. However, it should be a good competitive game of football. 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Okedina, Fagan-Walcott, Lyons-Foster, Hinds, White, Bowden (c), Pochettino, Patterson, Markanday, Richards.

Subs from: De Bie, Dinzeyi, Thorpe, Clarke, Mukendi. 

Injured/unavailable: Dennis Cirkin.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Wolves’ Azerbaijani centre forward Renat Dadashov (20) who has experience playing mens football with Portuguese club Estoril.