Spurs Under 21’s 2-2 Leicester City: (match report)

In the Spurs Under 21’s first Premier League 2 fixture of the new 2022/23 season, Wayne Burnett’s side played against Leicester City, at their new training ground. The game finished in a 2-2 draw. It was quite a close and end to end match, and in the end I thought that a draw was probably the fair result. Spurs lined-up with Josh Keeley in goal, with Tyrell Ashcroft, Matthew Craig, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Charlie Sayers starting in defence. Captain Jamie Bowden and Kallum Cesay started in central midfield, as Yago Santiago and Romaine Mundle started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Alfie Devine. Nile John led the line for Spurs, who got the game underway. Early on in the match a through-ball pass from Ethan Fitzhugh to Tawanda Maswanhise resulted in the Leicester forward receiving the ball inside the Spurs box, but his low effort was saved by Josh Keeley. Kallum Cesay blocked Kasey McAteer’s effort inside the Spurs penalty area, before Leicester took the lead shortly after. The impressive Sammy Braybrooke’s lofted pass to Tawanda Maswanhise on the right side of the Spurs box, resulted in the Leicester player heading the ball across goal. However, unfortunately Charlie Sayers’ attempted headed clearance saw the ball go into the goal off of the underside of the crossbar, 0-1.

Less than six minutes after conceding the opening goal of the match, Spurs managed to score an equalising goal. Romaine Mundle’s corner-kick found Malachi Fagan-Walcott inside the Leicester box, and his volleyed effort on goal bounced into the goal and past Chituru Odunze in the Leicester goal, 1-1. After receiving Kasey McAteer’s cross inside the Spurs penalty area, Ethan Fitzhugh’s headed effort on goal was saved by Josh Keeley. A good free-kick from Romaine Mundle deflected wide of the Leicester goal, from the left side of the pitch. Then a couple of minutes later Josh Keeley did well to save Ethan Fitzhugh’s low effort from the edge of the Spurs penalty area. After latching onto a loose pass, Romaine Mundle tested the Leicester goalkeeper Chituru Odunze with an effort from distance, but the goalkeeper saved well, before Alfie Devine hit an effort wide of the goal. After receiving Alfie Devine’s pass on the edge of the Leicester penalty area, Tyrell Ashcroft hit an effort over the Leicester goal.

Jamie Bowden had an effort from the edge of the Leicester penalty area blocked, after receiving the ball from Romaine Mundle’s corner-kick. After winning the ball, Romaine Mundle went forward with the ball at pace, before having a low effort saved from the right side of the Leicester penalty area. Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Tyrell Ashcroft were both shown yellow cards during the remaining minutes of the first half, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time. Leicester got the second half underway. A low cross from Kasey McAteer on the right side of the pitch, resulted in Tawanda Maswanhise meeting the ball in the centre of the Spurs box, and he tapped the ball past Josh Keeley to put Leicester in to the lead again, 1-2. Josh Keeley did well to get the ball off of Kasey McAteer on the right side of the Spurs box, and he then made a good and important challenge on Ethan Fitzhugh, outside of his penalty area. Spurs made two substitutions in less than three minutes, with Jamie Donley firstly replacing Charlie Sayers, before Roshaun Mathurin replaced Yago Santiago.

Spurs managed to score an equalising goal on 66 minutes, after Jamie Bowden met Romaine Mundle’s corner-kick on the edge of the Leicester box. Bowden’s powerful effort was well saved by Chituru Odunze, but the ball came to Nile John inside the Leicester box, and he was able to finish into the goal, 2-2. Soon after Spurs’ equalising goal, Jamie Bowden had an effort from the edge of the Leicester City penalty area saved by Chituru Odunze, before Marqes Muir came on to replace Jamie Bowden. Very late on in the match Alfie Devine headed an effort just wide from Romaine Mundle’s corner-kick towards the near post of the Leicester goal. The referee sounded his whistle for full-time shortly after. Spurs’ next Premier League 2 fixture is at home to Everton, at Stevenage’s Lamex Stadium on Friday evening.

My Spurs player of the match – Romaine Mundle. Starting the match out on the left flank as a winger, in my opinion Romaine Mundle had a good game, and was arguably Spurs’ best player on the day. The 19 year old used the ball well, went on some good forward runs with it, and he got the assist for Malachi Fagan-Walcott’s goal. Romaine’s set-pieces were consistently good against Leicester City.

Spurs Under 21’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

Spurs’ newly named Under 21 side start their Premier League 2 season on Monday evening (the game starts at 19:00pm), when they face Leicester City at their new training ground. Spurs won 4-1 (away) and 3-1 (at home) against Leicester City last season, in the Premier League 2. Wayne Burnett’s Spurs side competed in the annual Tournoi Européen pre-season tournament in France, recently. They finished in seventh place in that tournament. The pre-season friendly matches will definitely have been very important for the Spurs Under 21 side, ahead of their first fixture of the new season. Leicester City are always a difficult side to play against in the Premier League 2, and with forwards like Chris Popov (Wales Under 21 international), Tawanda Maswanhise, Shane Flynn and Portugal Under 20 international Wanya Marçal-Madivadua, the Spurs defence will have to be in good form to keep a clean-sheet this evening. Summer signings Tyrell Ashcroft and Josh Keeley could possibly make their Premier League 2 debuts for Spurs this evening, as could first year professional Roshaun Mathurin. This is a great match to start the season for the Spurs Under 21 side, and I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Keeley, Cesay, Fagan-Walcott, Muir, Lavinier, Craig, Bowden (c), Mundle, John, Santiago, Devine.

Subs from: Maguire, Paskotši, Mathurin, Robson, Donley.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Chris Popov (17). The second year scholar and Wales Under 21 international is a player who was in great form for Leicester City’s Under 18 side last season, scoring a lot of goals. He also stepped up to represent the Leicester City Under 23 side, scoring one goal from five Premier League 2 matches. Chris Popov impressed very much in an Under 18 Premier League South fixture against Spurs last season, with his very good pace and skill on the ball. He was also very clinical in front of goal in that Premier League South fixture, last season.

My piece on highly skilful goalscoring Spurs Academy midfielder Rio Kyerematen:

Now in his second season of scholarship with Spurs, midfielder Rio Kyerematen (17) had a very good season in 2021/22, in my opinion. Born in London, Rio has been at Spurs as an Academy player for many years, and he made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side before he signed scholarship forms with the club, in 2020/21, in a Premier League South win against Southampton. Kyerematen is an England youth international, who was in my opinion one of the Spurs Under 18 sides’ best players last season, scoring seven goals and providing six assists for the side, from 28 competitive appearances. He also stepped up to play for the Spurs Under 23 side on one occasion last season. A versatile midfield player who can play as a defensive-midfielder, a central-midfielder and as a CAM, Rio Kyerematen is highly skilful on the ball. The player who signed his first professional contract last season, is very capable of going past players with great skill, and he likes to go on surging and skilful forward runs with the ball from midfield.

A very promising player, Rio Kyerematen impressed in a really good number of games last season as a first year scholar, in my opinion. He impressed greatly in many of the games that he was involved in (Rio hardly missed a game for the Spurs Under 18 side last season), and his statistics regarding goals and assists were also impressive. Kyerematen had some very good games against Crystal Palace (at home) when he captained the side, West Ham United (at home), and in both Premier League South fixtures with Norwich City. Always looking to make decisive forward passes, Rio is a very good passer of a football, and he has a good range of passing. In addition, he is also very reliable on the ball, is very good at dribbling with the ball and at turning with it, and he uses the ball really well. I was impressed with how Rio would link the play in games last season for Stuart Lewis’ side, and he had a really good balance to his game, regardless of which position he would start matches in.

A good defensive-midfielder, as Rio showed in a couple of games last season, the second year scholar is tenacious and good at winning the ball in midfield, on the occasions that he has played in that position. A clinical finisher with the ball on the edge of the penalty area, Rio Kyerematen can strike a football really well, and it resulted in him finishing last season as the third highest top scorer for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2021/22. I’m sure that the 2022/23 season will be another season that Rio does really well in, for Spurs and England, and I would not be surprised if he went on to feature quite a lot for the Spurs Under 21 side at times this season. I would like to wish Rio all the very best of luck for the 2022/23 season.

Where are they now? Former Spurs Academy player Armando Shashoua:

London born professional footballer Armando Shashoua was a player who excelled for Spurs at Academy level, during his time at the club. The younger brother of another former Spurs Academy player – Samuel Shashoua. With his low centre of gravity, skill, excellent close ball control and outstanding work off the ball, Armando is also a leader on the pitch, as he showed for Spurs at Academy level so often over the years. After joining Spurs on a full-time basis in the summer of 2017, Armando worked his way up the ranks at the club, at Academy level. He was a regular and important player for the Spurs Under 18 side, during his two seasons as a scholar at the club, and during his second season of scholarship at Spurs, Armando was the captain of the Spurs Under 18 side. He would later progress to the Spurs Under 23 side, and he finished the 2019/20 season as the top scorer of the Spurs Under 23 side, despite leaving the club in the January of that season, to join Spanish third tier side Atlético Baleares, on loan to the end of that season. After making some appearances for Atlético Baleares during that 2019/20 season, Armando would leave Spurs to join the team from Mallorca, in the summer of 2020 on a permanent transfer. Following in his brother Samuel’s footsteps, after he had already played for Atlético Baleares.

Armando did really well, in my opinion during the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons for Atlético Baleares, and he has improved even further in his all-round game. He made 51 competitive appearances for Atlético Baleares during his time in Mallorca, scoring four goals from those appearances. Armando played in a number of different roles on the pitch, during his time at Atlético Baleares. Impressing with Atlético Baleares over the past two seasons, Armando impressed with his ability to bring the ball forward at pace and with great skill from midfield, while starting matches in that position. Armando also played in the CAM role, where once again he linked the play really well, showed his ability to glide past players, as well as working really hard off the ball. He has always been a very clever player, who never stops running and impressing with his movement off the ball, and at Spurs he was a player who I always thought would achieve great things in the game. 

During the 2021/22 season the former Spurs Academy player was a very important player for Atlético Baleares, as they achieved great things in the Spanish Copa del Rey, with Atlético Baleares reaching the round of 16 of the competition that season, having entered it at the first round stage. Armando started his former club’s round of 16 game against Valencia, completing 90 minutes of their 1-0 home loss to Valencia. After two seasons of good strides with Atlético Baleares in the league and cup, the 21 year old midfielder signed for Spanish LaLiga 2 side UD Ibiza last month, on a contract for the next three seasons with Ibiza. Ibiza finished in 15th place in LaLiga 2 last season, and I am sure that Armando will help to improve the side further, as he steps up to play second tier football in Spain, in a very competitive league. I still watch a lot of Armando’s matches, since he left Spurs, and it has been great to see him get better and better in his all-round game. Armando played for UD Ibiza yesterday, against his brother Samuel’s side CD Tenerife, although I don’t believe that Samuel featured in that game. However, hopefully both brothers will feature in the two fixtures involving Ibiza and Tenerife in LaLiga2, this season (2022/23).

I would like to wish the very consistent Armando Shashoua a very successful season, in 2022/23, with Ibiza. He should already be very proud of all that he has achieved in the game, so far.