Some notes on our under 18’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City:

Some notes on our under 18’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City:

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Our under 18’s traveled up to County Norfolk on Saturday to face Norwich City in the Premier League South (apologies I left my notebook at home for this game!). The game, which was played at the ‘ Canaries ’ Colney training centre was a difficult one for Matt Taylor’s side owing to the extremely blustery conditions. However, it was a fairly close game and after a quiet first half in which Spurs struggled to test the Norwich goalkeeper, Spurs grew into the game more in the second half. J’Neil Bennett scored a fine goal in the 88th minute of the game and that appeared to be the winner. However, deep in second half stoppage time the ‘ Canaries ’ managed to find an equaliser, right at the death. It was a frustrating draw and late goal for Spurs to concede, yet in all truth it was probably the fair result. Spurs lined up with Kacper Kurylowicz in goal, while a back four made up of Kallum Cesay, captain Marqes Muir, Aaron Skinner and Jeremy Kyezu lined up in front of him. Max Robson and Nile John teamed up in central midfield, while Romaine Mundle and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Rafferty Pedder. First year scholar Tarrelle Whittaker led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway and early on in the contest Tarrelle Whittaker had a shot saved by Sam Blair. Marqes Muir did well to block behind Thomas Dickson-Peters effort on goal at the other end of the pitch before Max Robson was forced off through injury, Matthew Craig replaced him in central midfield.

The game was a fairly even one although the home side did look that little bit more threatening on the ball and they also saw more of it. Tarrelle Whittaker had a shot blocked by Jaden Warner inside the Norwich box from a corner kick, in what was a rare Spurs chance. Just before halftime and after Nile John had conceded a free kick on the edge of the Spurs box, Thomas Dickson Peters’ whipped effort was tipped over his crossbar well by the alert Kacper Kurylowicz, in what was the final piece of action of the half. The second half (Carrington came onto replace the injured Mundle) was once again, a closely fought contest. Marqes Muir did well to put off Tyrese Omoteye who shot wide from inside the Spurs box. Before Aaron Skinner went into the book after making a late challenge on Zachary Dronfield. A quiet spell in the game followed before J’Neil Bennett latched onto the ball in the middle of the park before bursting forward, catching Norwich on the break. Bennett surged all the way into the Norwich box before smashing the ball against Sam Blair’s right hand post. Marqes Muir then blocked Josh Giurgi’s effort at the other end before Yago Santiago came onto replace Rafferty Pedder in the number ten position. Reece McAlear thumped an effort from distance onto Kurylowicz’s right hand post before Spurs manage to find the breakthrough in the 88th minute of time. After receiving Eddie Carrington’s pass down the left side of the Norwich box, Bennett pondered before skilfully working the ball onto his right foot and whipping an effort into the bottom right hand corner of Sam Blair’s goal, 1-0. 

Norwich however, responded through Zachary Dronfield (he wasn’t picked up) who volleyed home Tony Springett’s free kick in stoppage time, 1-1. Spurs did manage to create two late chances which should have finished the game off. After going on a surging run down the left flank J’Neil Bennett drilled a low effort against the bottom of Sam Blair’s right hand post. Tarrelle Whittaker then managed to latch onto Aaron Skinner’s fine pass which set him through on goal. Blair came rushing out of his goal and Whittaker’s powerful effort was straight at the Norwich goalkeeper who saved it. The referee Jordan Marin blew his whistle for full time a couple of moments later.

Player reviews:

  • Kacper Kurylowicz: The Spurs goalkeeper made two saves on the day, one a very good one to deny Thomas Dickson-Peters’ free kick from finding the back of the net. Kurylowicz organised the defence really well and he made sure that they kept alert at all times.
  • Kallum Cesay: This was a steady defensive performance from Cesay, who stayed deep for the most part of the game.
  • Marqes Muir: My man of the match, see below. 
  • Aaron Skinner: Playing back at LCB today after a couple of excellent performances in central midfield, Skinner formed a strong partnership alongside Marqes Muir. Skinner kept good positioning and he made some good blocks, clearances and interceptions. 
  • Jeremy Kyezu: The left back made his first competitive start for our under 18’s of the season on Saturday. Kyezu made one important interception in the first half, and he was generally solid all game.
  • Nile John: Playing as a four, John stayed deep and helped out the back four.
  • Max Robson: The midfielder took players on during his short time on the pitch before he went off injured early on in the game.
  • Romaine Mundle: The right winger kept the ball well out on the right flank although I felt that he was a little isolated at times due to Spurs not playing with great width. 
  • Rafferty Pedder: Affected by the strong winds, attacking midfielder Rafferty Pedder couldn’t play the way he wanted to and was therefore unable to make his usual impact on the game. Pedder worked extremely hard and he covered a lot of ground. The 17 year old would also drop deep a lot, to try and link the play. Pedder was replaced by Yago Santiago during the second half.
  • J’Neil Bennett: Although Bennett may not have enjoyed great success down the left flank against strong Norwich fullback Harry Pitcher, he was Spurs’ most dangerous player on the day. Bennett hit the post twice and he also scored a finely taken goal. 
  • Tarrelle Whittaker: The first year scholar made some clever darting runs and he worked hard up top, and was unlucky not to score a late goal for Spurs.
  • Matthew Craig: The 16 year old slotted in well to central midfield after coming onto replace the injured Max Robson, and he was constantly looking to make that forward pass.
  • Eddie Carrington: The speedy right winger had a good touch about him and he made some intelligent runs down the right flank. Carrington also did well to assist J’Neil Bennett for his goal.
  • Yago Santiago: The second half substitute came onto replace Rafferty Pedder in the CAM role.

My man of the match: RCB Marqes Muir dealt really well with Norwich centre forward Tyrese Omoteye and he put in a very good defensive performance. The Spurs captain made countless blocks, interceptions and clearances and he was very strong on the ball (his passing was also good). The Lambeth born defender hardly put a foot wrong on the day and he put in a very intelligent performance for Matt Taylor’s side.

Spurs: Kurylowicz, Cesay, Kyezu, John, Muir (c), Skinner, Mundle (Carrington 46), Robson (Matthew Craig 22), Whittaker, Pedder (Santiago 70), Bennett. Substitute (not used): Lo-Tutala.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:

Goals: 

Tarrelle Whittaker – 7

J’Neil Bennett – 6

Max Robson – 5

Kion Etete –  5

Chay Cooper – 4

Enock Asante – 3

Harvey White – 3

Kallum Cesay – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Dane Scarlett – 1

Romaine Mundle – 1

Nile John – 1

Assists:

Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 5

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Tarrelle Whittaker – 3

Dermi Lusala –  3

Romaine Mundle – 3

Kion Etete – 3

Troy Parrott – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Harvey White – 2

Enock Asante – 2

Eddie Carrington – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Kallum Cesay – 1

Marqes Muir –  1

Yago Santiago – 1

Jordan Hackett – 1

Aaron Skinner – 1

Clean sheets: 

Kacper Kurylowicz – 4

Josh Oluwayemi – 1

Some notes on Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou’s loan move to Bolton Wanderers:

Some notes on Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou’s loan move to Bolton Wanderers:

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On Friday afternoon  it was officially announced that Spurs youngster Anthony Georgiou had joined league one side Bolton Wanderers on loan until the end of the season. Georgiou (22) had previously been on loan at Ipswich Town where he had made 13 appearances for the ‘ Tractor Boys ’ in all competitions. Frustratingly for Anthony he wasn’t handed many starts, despite doing well when he had played for Paul Lambert’s side. Anthony joins a Bolton side who have had a very difficult season owing to a points deduction at the beginning of the campaign. The Lancashire based club currently occupy 24th place in the league one table and are very likely to be relegated to league two. However, with a good manager in charge of the club (Keith Hill) and some talented players on their books they could still finish the season strongly despite their recent poor form. Cyprus international Georgiou, is for those Bolton fans wondering, a traditional left winger who has great pace. Georgiou loves to take players on, and with his searing pace, good dribbling rate and high work rate he usually enjoys good success down the left flank. This is the 22 year olds third loan move after spells at Atlético Levante and Ipswich Town, and I think this is the perfect opportunity and platform for him to impress. Bolton don’t have the biggest of squads and this should help Anthony get consistent playing time, which is what the talented youngster so desperately needs.

The former Watford schoolboy who is from Lewisham in South London, is my favourite ever Spurs youth player. This is down to his exceptional work rate, and exciting and unpredictable style of play. Georgiou is in many ways a very traditional winger as I had previously alluded to however, he is very well disciplined and can drop back to LB if he needs to, as he showed for Spurs’ first team in pre-season and on countless other occasions for our development side over the years. However, I would hope that like with his spell with Ipswich, that he will play in his natural position which is out on the left wing. Apart from his excellent pace, good dribbling ability and high work rate. Georgiou also has a very good left foot on him and he whips a wicked cross into the oppositions penalty area. This is something which could really help veteran Bolton striker and Irishman Daryl Murphy (36) who is very good in the air. I remember at under 18 level Georgiou had a great relationship with striker Shayon Harrison on the field, assisting him on numerous occasions throughout the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons. Anthony will be competing with fellow left wingers Joe Dodoo (24) and Dennis Politic (19) for a place in the Bolton starting eleven and I have no doubts what so ever that he has the ability to become a key player for Bolton from now until the end of the season. This is a wonderful loan move for Anthony who becomes one of many players to play for both Spurs and Bolton (the legendary George Hunt is the player who first comes to mind). I would like to wish Anthony all the very best of luck for this loan move, and I look forward to following his progress closely at the league one club during the remainder of the season.

Spurs under 18’s versus Norwich City: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Norwich City: (match preview)

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Our under 18’s return to league action after a two week break, when Matt Taylor’s side take on Norwich City at their Colney based training centre on Saturday morning. Spurs will be looking to make it five league wins in a row, against a ‘ Canaries ’ side who sit in 11th place in the Premier League South table. Norwich have struggled for form this season in the league at least, and they have only picked up eight points from 13 games, conceding 42 goals in that time. Spurs on the other hand have been in strong form of late in the league and after recording impressive victories against Fulham and Brighton, they will be feeling confident going into this game. Norwich have a number of attacking players that Spurs will have to be wary of tomorrow. They include Belgian youngster and top scorer for the ‘ Canaries ‘ this season with ten goals Tyrese Omoteye. Another player to look out for is Scottish forward Thomas Dickson-Peters who has scored seven league goals so far this season. This will be an interesting game for Spurs who are coming ever closer to moving into the top four of the league. I would like to wish the lads all the very best of luck for tomorrow’s encounter with Norwich.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Cesay, Muir, Lusala, Hackett, Skinner, John, Mundle, Robson, Pedder, Etete (c).

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, Cassanova, Matthew Craig, Mathurin, Asante.

Injured/unavailable: Michael Craig, Chay Cooper.

Doubtful: Enock Asante, Dane Scarlett, Tarrelle Whittaker.

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-2.

My one to watch: Norwich’s Belgian forward Tyrese Omoteye (first year scholar) who has scored ten goals so far this season for the ‘ Canaries ’ under 18’s.

Some notes on young Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin’s loan move to Danish side Viborg FF:

Some notes on young Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin’s loan move to Danish side Viborg FF:

FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Youth League

On Monday morning it was announced that young Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin (21) (Austin has been named on the bench for our first team on six occasions this season) had joined Danish first division side Viborg FF on loan until the end of the season. The team, who ply their trade in the second tier of Danish football had previously had Brentford’s Ellery Balcombe (fellow England under 21 international) as their first choice goalkeeper until he had picked up an injury and had to return to the West London club. Austin who was born and raised in Hemel Hempstead, is a superb shot stopper and, a commanding and charismatic young goalkeeper who has enjoyed almost three good seasons with our development side. This is Austin’s first loan and it will give him the opportunity to test and challenge himself in the men’s games. Viborg, who currently occupy third place in division one, have a good history about them and this in many ways is the perfect club for Austin to continue to develop at for the next six months. Brandon has been the given the number one shirt at Viborg so one would imagine that he will be their first choice goalkeeper, although he will be still competing with Can Dursun and Lucas Lund Pedersen (Pedersen, I believe is currently injured).

The former Chelsea schoolboy is very charismatic on the pitch, and he is a commanding figure inside his penalty area. Austin as I wrote about in great detail in a piece that I wrote in October 2018, is also an outstanding shot stopper. And the young man who is also eligible to represent the US Virgin Islands, often pulls off superb reflex saves in games. Arguably our under 23’s best and most consistent performer over the past three seasons, Austin made the transition from under 18 to under 23 football with great ease. The quality of his performances evident from the amount and quality of saves that he makes in games. However, Brandon is also a very authoritative goalkeeper who likes to make sure that the opposing teams forwards know whose boss. Furthermore, the 21 year old who recently signed a new contract with Spurs up until 2022, is also a highly effective communicator and organiser of the back four. He has also improved this season with his distribution and on other aspects of his game. I’m really looking forward to seeing Brandon in action for Viborg over the next six months and I have no doubts that he will do really well at the Danish club. Brandon has been an absolute pleasure to watch over the past three seasons for our development side and I would like to wish him all the very best of luck for this loan move to Viborg FF (hopefully their matches will be streamed!).

My piece on our under 18’s exciting and skilful winger – Chay Cooper:

My piece on our under 18’s exciting and skilful winger – Chay Cooper:

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool: FA Youth Cup

In the latest of my pieces on our second year scholars, I shall be focusing on our under 18’s exciting and skilful winger Chay Cooper, in the following article. Chay Cooper may not be a name that many Spurs supporters know or are aware of however, the 18 year old has been one of our under 18’s best, most productive and most consistent performers so far this campaign. Currently out injured over the last month, I am writing this piece to give Spurs fans a feel for what type of player the second year scholar is. I will also talk about Cooper’s attributes and style of play in the following piece. Born and raised in Harlow, Essex, Chay Cooper attended the Mark Hall Academy where he was a 200m and 800m champion at county level. Cooper played for football league club Southend United at schoolboy level before joining Tottenham Hotspur towards the end of the 2016/17 season as an under 15. Followers of the Tottenham Hotspur academy set up would have first been made aware of Cooper at the beginning of the 2018/19 season when he was announced as one of Spurs’ new first year scholars. Cooper made his under 18 debut in September of 2018, coming off the bench in an under 18 Premier League Cup game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The then first year scholar who scored 16 goals the previous season for the under 16’s, made ten competitive appearances for our under 18’s that season, playing in a variety of positions (Cooper was also named on the bench for our development side in their EFL Trophy game against Oxford United). The teenager whose footballing role model is Lionel Messi, started the current campaign well and by the end of 2019 he had chipped in with four goals and five assists from 13 appearances for Matt Taylor’s side, before injury struck. Meaning that the teenager who had helped us progress to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup by scoring an important goal against Liverpool in round three, had to sit out our game against Wigan Athletic in round four, Spurs missed him massively. Chay is a versatile player who can operate out on either flank (owing to being good with both feet), in CAM and as a central midfielder. The stylish young player as a winger, is an exciting and direct player who loves to run at opposing defenders. Cooper will get you up off your seat with his pace (he seems to have got quicker this season), direct running and skill on the ball. The highly skilful lad from County Essex, is not only direct, but also unpredictable.

Cooper, who is often involved in Spurs under 18’s intricate attacking play, is a good crosser of the ball and his whipped deliveries often have a lot of pace on them. Furthermore, he is a fine dribbler who likes to weave his way past opponents however, he does mix up his game and will often cut inside before looking to take on further players, pick a pass or test the goalkeeper. Since first watching Chay play I have been hugely impressed by some of his Nathan Oduwa like (former Spurs youth player) skill moves that he pulls off. Oduwa was a highly skilful winger who did and tried things with a ball that would leave you questioning what you had just seen. Cooper does also like to pull off outrageous skill moves. One example of this came in our under 18’s 2-2 draw to Arsenal earlier in the season. In that game with the scores at 1-2 in second half stoppage time, Cooper knocked the ball over an Arsenal player before then deftly putting the ball through the legs of another player. Cooper then skilfully turned away from another Arsenal man as he continued forward before finding Kion Etete who finished it off after brining down Cooper’s nice and accurate lofted pass. As a central midfielder Cooper is silky, tidy and difficult to dispossess whereas, as a CAM he drops into good pockets of space, makes clever runs and helps to link the play.

The promising young player who has more often than not been played out wide this season, has so much for you to admire about his game. Having earlier drawn some small comparisons with Nathan Oduwa, another winger who reminds me a little bit of him in his style of play is 22 year old Anthony Georgiou. Like Georgiou, he is quick and has a good first touch however, although he is quite small and slight it is Cooper’s defensive work I.E: his tracking back, aggression and all round hard work which reminds me quite a bit of Georgiou. Cooper who, is also a good and effective communicator on the pitch, is a player who excites, creates chances and works hard for the team. One would assume that he is going to be developed primarily as a winger due to where he has been played for the majority of this season. And with performances of the quality of the one away to Aston Villa last season when he absolutely tormented their right back Brad Burton, by going on many an unpredictable surging run, hopefully he will continue to develop as a winger. Cooper is a player who will score and create goals for us at under 18 level and hopefully at under 23 level in the future, and for that he is a name that Spurs fans should remember. Cooper should be proud of how he has performed so far this season and I would like to wish Chay a successful recovery from his current injury, and I look forward to seeing him back in action for our under 18’s.

Some notes on Armando Shashoua’s loan move to Spanish side Atlético Baleares:

Some notes on Armando Shashoua’s loan move to Spanish side Atlético Baleares:

Millwall v Tottenham Hotspur - FA Youth Cup Third Round

On Sunday it was announced via Atlético Baleares’ official Twitter account that young Spurs midfielder Armando Shashoua had joined the Spanish club, on loan until the end of June. Shashoua follows in his older brother Samuels (Samuel is also on loan at Atlético from Tenerife) footsteps in joining the Balearic club on loan. As you will all know from reading my many match reports and player reviews, Armando is one of my favourite ever Spurs youth players. A very technical and highly skilful player who can operate either as a central midfielder or as a CAM (Armando has been playing much more as a CAM for Spurs’ development side this season). Shashoua has the ability to glide gracefully past much bigger opponents, owing to his great balance and dribbling ability. So far this season the attacking midfielder has been directly involved in eight goals for Spurs’ development side (five goals and three assists) from 14 appearances. The 19 year old who was our under 18’s captain last season, has adapted really well to life in under 23 football and he has put in some match winning performances from the number ten position. Single handedly winning our under 23’s games against the likes of Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Shashoua will have undoubtedly impressed clubs who had been monitoring him.

 The Englishman who is also eligible to represent Spain, Venezuela, America and Egypt, is a very hot prospect at Spurs and his season so far has been one of great personal progress for the teenager from West London. Atlético Baleares ply their trade in the third tier of Spanish football (the Segunda Division B – Group 1) and Manix Mandiola’s side are currently situated in second place in the 20 team league, after coming so close last season to being promoted to the second tier. In terms of competition for the CM/CAM role, Armando will be competing with Scottish youngster Jordan Holsgrove (on loan from Reading) as well as Gorka Iturraspe, Marc Rovirola and Alberto Villapalos. I would imagine that Shashoua will play as an eight or more likely as a ten however, he has the on the ball strength and the tenacity to play as a four/holding midfielder in the men’s game. The Spanish third tier for those who aren’t aware isn’t exactly all Tiki-taka and smooth attacking play. It is in fact a very physical league and it can also be quite scrappy as I found out from last season, when I watched Samuel Shashoua and Anthony Georgiou in action on a regular basis. Armando will offer this talented and inform Atlético team a lot. As a midfield craftsman he will create numerous chances for the Atlético forwards (their top scorer this season is striker Toni Gabarré).

Shashoua is a forward passer who has a lovely weight of pass, and more importantly he knows when to make it. In addition, he is very adaptable to games and situations, and despite his small stature he imposes himself well on games and rarely gives away the ball. Constantly pressing the oppositions players, Armando is a real grafter who as well as being creative is very combative. Providing brains with brawn the highly intelligent footballer who was educated at Harrow School, often drops deep to link the play and keep the ball moving. Furthermore, the 19 year old has excellent off the ball movement and on the ball he will show off his lovely dribbling ability, which he can do at speed. Shashoua reminds me quite a bit of Brighton & Hove Albion first teamer and Colombia international Steven Alzate in his style of play. Both players have lovely balance, passing ability and both ooze class on the ball. Like Shashoua, Alzate has a real footballing brain and he is also versatile and adaptable. In addition both players do a very good job at linking the play. Another thing that Armando can offer this Atlético team is goals. As he has shown over the past two seasons is that he is a goal scorer. He is a poacher, and a number of his goals are tap ins owing to his fine positioning and movement in and around the danger zone.

I am delighted that Armando will get the opportunity to test himself against senior footballers on a regular basis, and I am sure that it will really aid his development in the game and make him a better player for when he returns to Spurs. The strides that Shashoua has made over the last year and a half have been remarkable and he certainly isn’t finished yet. This fantastic loan move will challenge him and also test him just like it did with Samuel last season I.E: adapting to a new culture. I have no doubts that Armando will make this loan move a success and force his way into this Atlético team. He should be extremely proud of himself for the way that he has played and developed over the past two and a half seasons. Watching him grow as a footballer has been wonderful and it will be just as great watching him take his first steps into the senior game. I would like to wish Armando all the very best of luck for this loan move and I look forward to following his games.

Some notes on young Spurs striker Kion Etete following his summer switch from Notts County:

Some notes on young Spurs striker Kion Etete following his summer switch from Notts County:

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Having now watched Spurs’ young centre forward Kion Reece Etete on over 20 occasions, I thought that I’d write a short piece on the second year scholar, to give Spurs fans a feel for what type of player the 18 year old is. Etete who is from Derby in the East Midlands, where he attended the Chellaston Academy, is a tall and physical striker. After going on trial with Spurs in the spring of the 2018/19 season from then league two club Notts County, Etete signed terms with Spurs in June ahead of the start of the 2019/20 season. The second year scholar who was a consistent performer for Notts County’s under 18’s and under 23’s (he also featured on six occasions for the ‘ Magpies ’ first team), impressed greatly on his under 18 debut for Spurs against West Ham when on trial last March. In the game against the ‘ Hammers ’ Etete scored two goals. However, Etete soon returned to Notts County although a number of big clubs were still trying to sign him. Etete returned to Spurs in May to travel with an under 19 side that competed in the end of season Terborg tournament in the Netherlands, where he was involved in four of the five matches that Spurs played.

Etete’s first involvement for Spurs as a permanent signing was at the pre-season Tournoi Europeen in France, at the start of the current campaign. Etete did well in the matches that he was involved in for Wayne Burnett’s development side, and he also scored a goal in the group game against French side SM Caen. Kion however, would start the 2019/20 season with our under 18’s. He started games against the likes of Fulham, Brighton, Swansea and West Ham at the beginning of the campaign. Where he led the line for Matt Taylor’s side in the absence of Troy Parrott who had been promoted to the first team squad. In fact Etete has been a regular and consistent performer for our under 18 side for the most part of this season, with the exception of a spell on the sidelines and some involvement with the development side where he hasn’t looked out of place (Etete impressed greatly on his full PL2 debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers back in October, where he led the line well). To describe Etete as a player, he is a tall and very physical centre forward. Not too unlike a young Peter Crouch to an extent (a player who also came through the youth ranks at Spurs) Etete is excellent in the air and is a good header of the ball, hence why a lot of his goals are scored with his head.

In addition, the second year scholar whose first team experience with Notts County shows in his play, is a skilful player who has quick feet. Again drawing back to my earlier comparisons with Peter Crouch who was a very skilful player in his own right. Etete has shown really good close ball control and skill in the games that he has been involved in for Spurs this season. Furthermore, the 18 year olds hold up play is another of his best attributes, and it is something which he is very good at. Being able to shield the ball with his strength and being able to bring others into the game, is a great asset of Etete’s. Kion tends to lean into opposing teams defenders and he makes himself a real handful. A prime example of this was in our under 18’s FA Youth Cup fourth round game against Wigan Athletic earlier in the month, where Etete really bothered the Wigan defenders by leaning into, and bullying them for large periods of the game. He also did a good job at winding them up and frustrating them by being relentless in his role as a target man. Etete also did well at laying the ball off for his teammates, and this is something that he is usually very good at. Apart from using his physicality to good effect, the former Notts County man is also a real grafter for the team, and he is also a good presser. 

I have been impressed so far this season with Etete’s attitude on the pitch and his willingness to press the opposing teams defenders into making errors. He also likes to made strong slide tackles and he certainly isn’t afraid to get stuck in. The young centre forward who is also eligible to represent Nigeria at international level, is essentially a target man however, let’s talk about his finishing and striking ability. Etete has a venomous right foot as he has shown on numerous occasions since I first started watching him play, and he also has a tendency to shoot from range. While the 18 year old may lack the pace of the slightly younger Troy Parrott, he is still very good in front of goal. Etete shows good composure in front of goal, he also takes up intelligent positions in and around the danger zone, and he also times his runs well. So far this season Etete has been involved in nine goals from 17 competitive appearances (six goals and three assists) for Spurs this season at under 18, 19 and 23 level. That’s quite an impressive return from the young man who also found the back of the net in a behind closed doors friendly against Beijing Renhe, yesterday. As I bring this short article to a close I’d just like to focus on two games that Etete has been involved in for our under 18’s this season, those games were against Leicester City and Swansea City. 

In the game against Leicester City back in December 2019, Etete led the line with aplomb. He worked hard throughout the game, he pressed the ‘ Foxes ’ defenders relentlessly and he scrapped well for the ball. Etete also held the ball up really well and he netted a fine goal. After receiving the ball with his back to goal inside the Leicester penalty area in the first half, Etete turned sharply onto his right foot before rifling the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. It was an excellent all round performance from the Spurs striker. In addition, in Etete’s most recent game for our under 18’s (last Saturday’s game against Swansea City) Etete put in arguably his best performance of the season thus far for Spurs. Once again he held the ball up brilliantly against the ‘ Swans ’ as well as linking up well with the two Spurs wingers and the CAM (Max Robson) who he helped to bring into the game. However, Etete also took up intelligent positions and he made some good runs in behind the Swansea defenders. He was also dominant in the air and he scored a good headed goal during the early part of the game. Etete also hit a wicked effort from around 25 yards out from goal a whisker wide of the Swansea goalkeepers near post. He gave a great account of himself. Etete is clearly a promising young talent and I look forward to following his progress for Spurs over the next couple of seasons. Kion should be proud of how he has adapted to life at Spurs and I would like to wish him all the very best of luck for the remainder of the season.

Spurs under 18’s 3-0 Swansea City: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 3-0 Swansea City: (match report)

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Matt Taylor’s Tottenham Hotspur under 18 side welcomed the Premier League South’s basement club Swansea City to Hotspur Way on Saturday morning, for a league clash. Spurs comprehensively defeated the Welsh club by three goals to nil, to make it four league wins in a row for Matt Taylor’s boys. This was another hugely satisfying performance from Spurs who, showed great character and a real togetherness as a team. We created a lot of chances (Etete, John and Bennett got our goals) but we also won the midfield battle, and we defended really well. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as Kacper Kurylowicz started in goal. A back four made up of Kallum Cesay, captain Marqes Muir, Dermi Lusala and Jordan Hackett lined up in front of him. Nile John (returning from a spell on the sidelines) and Aaron Skinner partnered up in central midfield, while Rafferty Pedder and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Max Robson. 18 year old striker Kion Etete led the line for Spurs. Swansea got the game underway on a bitterly cold January morning. Spurs started the game quite brightly and after Kion Etete played an early one two with Max Robson on the edge of the Swansea box, the Spurs centre forward had a shot on goal which was blocked behind by Swansea’s Luke McKendry. Kallum Cesay then blazed an effort wide from long range before Kacper Kurylowicz gathered Kiam Williams’ cross, before Luke Motruk managed to set Josh Thomas through on goal, after playing a clever forward pass.

Thomas shot early however, his effort was well saved and then gathered by Kurylowicz who had come out to meet the Swansea striker. Nile John then had a shot blocked by Luke McKendry before J’Neil Bennett received Dermi Lusala’s pass down the left flank. Bennett advanced forward before whipping the ball across the face of the Swansea goal. After Kiam Williams managed to thread a pass through to Josh Thomas inside the Spurs box, we looked as if we were in trouble. However, Marqes Muir managed to catch up with Thomas before getting a vital toe on the ball to take it away from the Swansea man. After going past William Rickard and Erick Kenko-Djoudie, Max Robson whipped a low effort just wide of the Swansea goal. Then a couple of moments later J’Neil Bennett had a shot blocked by Morgan Clark before Spurs took the lead in the 20th minute of the game. After Kion Etete passed the ball to J’Neil Bennett on the left flank, the Spurs winger clipped a cross into the Swansea box. Etete jumped up and attacked it, and while his header may have lacked pace it still managed to creep into the bottom left hand corner of Tyler Evans’ goal, 1-0. Shortly after the restart Kacper Kurylowicz punched clear Kiam Williams’ free kick before Spurs came desperately close to doubling their lead. After Kallum Cesay passed the ball to Nile John, the skilful Spurs midfielder burst into the Swansea box before managing to sidestep his way past Luke McKendry. John then had a poked effort on goal saved by Tyler Evans before his second effort was cleared off the line by McKendry.

Spurs did manage to double their lead a couple of minutes later and it was Nile John who managed to get on the scoresheet. After receiving Max Robson’s pass down the right hand side of the Swansea penalty area, he squared the ball to John who had made a run into the box before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 2-0. A couple of minutes later J’Neil Bennett whipped an effort a fraction wide of the Swansea goal after cutting inside from the left flank. After Cameron Congreve managed to play the ball to Josh Thomas down the left hand side of the Swansea box, Kurylowicz came out to make a good stop to prevent the Swansea strikers effort from going in. After William Rickard managed to surge past Jordan Hackett down the right flank, he whipped in a low cross which was gathered by Kurylowicz. A good Spurs move then resulted in Pedder passing the ball to John who gave it to Robson, who then gave it to Etete on the edge of the Swansea box but his first time effort was saved by Tyler Evans. Max Robson then had an effort cleared away by McKendry before Cesay had an effort on goal blocked by the same player. Cesay won a free kick in a promising position on the edge of the Swansea box however, J’Neil Bennett’s resulting whipped effort was saved by Tyler Evans in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway. After Kiam Williams passed the ball to Luke Motruck the Swansea winger whipped the ball into the Spurs box. Motruck’s cross was palmed away by Kurylowicz before William Rickard picked up the ball however, his shot on goal was well saved by Kurylowicz.

J’Neil Bennett forced a low save out of Tyler Evans with an effort from distance before Kion Etete received Max Robson’s pass before looking up (he was some 25 yards out from goal) and whipping a wicked, powerful effort a fraction wide of the Swansea goal. After a Swansea attack broke down Luke Motruck picked up the ball down the left side of the Spurs box before he hit Kurylowicz’s right hand post with a powerful effort. Dante Cassanova came onto replace Nile John shortly afterwards as Cassanova filled in at right back, while Cesay moved into central midfield. Dermi Lusala did well to clear Cameron Congreve’s cross before J’Neil Bennett showed some great skill down the left flank, before passing the ball to Etete down the right side of the Swansea box however, his clipped effort went wide of the Swansea goal. Romaine Mundle came onto replace Rafferty Pedder shortly afterwards before Dante Cassanova managed to block Joel Cotterill’s effort on goal after Josh Thomas had surged into the Spurs box. A good Spurs move at the other end of the pitch then saw Bennett pass the ball to Mundle who gave it to Robson in the Swansea box. Robson flicked the ball up before having an acrobatic effort cleared behind by Luke McKendry. Kallum Cesay then managed to set Romaine Mundle through on goal with a good pass however, his effort on goal was saved by Tyler Evans who came rushing out. Mundle then had an effort blocked by Scott Butler. A couple of minutes later and after skinning Kai Ludvigsen down the left flank, J’Neil Bennett crossed the ball for Romaine Mundle who headed wide. Yago Santiago came onto replace Jordan Hackett before Spurs netted their third goal of the game. After Aaron Skinner did well to find J’Neil Bennett out on the left flank, the skilful winger cut inside onto his right foot before whipping a delightful effort into the top right hand corner of Tyler Evans’ goal, 3-0.

Kion Etete nodded wide Dante Cassanova’s cross before Etete then headed wide J’Neil Bennett’s delivery into the Spurs box, in what was the final piece of action of the game. Spurs’ next league game is away to Norwich City on the first of February.

Player reviews:

  • Kacper Kurylowicz: The Tottenham goalkeeper made three important saves on the day and once again he dealt well with crosses and set pieces, while also doing a good job at organising and talking the back four through the game.
  • Kallum Cesay: After putting in a good, solid performance at right back, Kallum Cesay got forward well and he made some good passes. In addition he slotted in well to central midfield for the latter part of the game.
  • Marqes Muir: The first year scholar took the captains armband for today’s game and he was absolutely immense at the back. Muir was faultless, making several important defensive interventions including a hugely important one on Josh Thomas in the first half to stop what would have been a certain Swansea goal. Muir was also good in the air and he brought the ball out well from the back.
  • Dermi Lusala: Alongside Muir was LCB Dermi Lusala who had a good game and he read it well.
  • Jordan Hackett: The left back knew when to attack and when to stay deep, and he made some intelligent decisions throughout the game.
  • Aaron Skinner: My man of the match, see below. 
  • Nile John: On his return from injury the highly skilful John put in a good performance in central midfield. The 16 year old showed good skill on the ball and he took his goal well and was unluckily not to have netted another one in the first half.
  • Rafferty Pedder: Playing out on the right wing for this fixture, Pedder did well when he got on the ball and he was invoked in some intricate attacking play although he did tend to get isolated a little bit.
  • Max Robson: It was a quite fantastic performance from the aggressive and high pressing Max Robson, who excelled in the CAM role. Robson was always the first to the ball and he created some good chances for Spurs. Robson’s great dribbling ability and close ball control made him a very difficult player to defend against. He was also unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The speedy left winger caused a lot of problems for the Swansea right back and he went on some great galavanting forward runs. Bennett was unpredictable and he took his goal very well indeed.
  • Kion Etete: The tall centre forward had an excellent game for Spurs against the ‘ Swans ’. Etete held the ball up excellently, he worked extremely hard for the team, and he was creative. Etete set up one goal and scored another, and he came desperately close to scoring another in the second half. This was a very good performance from the second year scholar.
  • Dante Cassanova: The schoolboy put in a solid performance at right back.
  • Romaine Mundle: The right winger came on in the second half and he showed some good skill and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Mundle took up some intelligent positions on the pitch.
  • Yago Santiago: The late substitute hardly touched the ball during his short time on the pitch. 

My man of the match: This was a very difficult decision to make as Marqes Muir, Max Robson and Kion Etete were all very, very good on the day. However, I’m going to give it to the reliable and hardworking teenager from Salford -Aaron Skinner. For the second time in seven days I thought that Skinner was our under 18’s best player. His sheer reading of the game and tenacity in the middle of the pitch helped Spurs to win the midfield battle. Making countless strong challenges and well timed interceptions, the 17 year old mopped up well in the middle of the park and once again he put in a very George Marsh like performance for Spurs. Skinner also did well to set up J’Neil Bennett for his late goal which really was the icing on the cake, of what was a very good performance from the central midfielder.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:

Goals: 

Tarrelle Whittaker – 7

Max Robson – 5

Kion Etete –  5

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Chay Cooper – 4

Enock Asante – 3

Harvey White – 3

Kallum Cesay – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Dane Scarlett – 1

Romaine Mundle – 1

Nile John – 1

Assists:

Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 5

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Tarrelle Whittaker – 3

Dermi Lusala –  3

Romaine Mundle – 3

Kion Etete – 3

Troy Parrott – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Harvey White – 2

Enock Asante – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Eddie Carrington – 1

Kallum Cesay – 1

Marqes Muir –  1

Yago Santiago – 1

Jordan Hackett – 1

Aaron Skinner – 1

Clean sheets: 

Kacper Kurylowicz – 4

Josh Oluwayemi – 1

Spurs under 18’s versus Swansea City: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Swansea City: (match preview)

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Our under 18’s will welcome the Premier League South’s basement side Swansea City to Hotspur Way on Saturday morning, for a league clash. Matt Taylor’s side have won their last three league matches in a row and they’ll be looking to make it four when they take on Anthony Wright’s and Alan Tate’s Swansea City side, who have only picked up five points from 11 league games this season. In the reverse fixture back in August, Spurs comprehensively beat the ‘ Swans ’ by four goals to nil after a close first half which finished goalless. Goals from Chay Cooper, Kion Etete, and an own goal from Scott Buttler secured the win for Spurs in the second half, in what was a good and dominant performance. Swansea lost 8-0 to Chelsea in their last league game, and they have struggled defensively this season, conceding 46 goals. However, this will still be a tough game for Spurs as Swansea have some good players. Physical centre forward Ali Al-Hamadi is one to watch, as is the ‘ Swans ’ top scorer this season Josh Thomas. Also defender Tivonge Rushesha put in quite a good performance in the reverse fixture. As there is no under 23 game until next month it is quite possible that Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Luis Binks and Harvey White might drop down to the under 18’s for tomorrow’s game. My in-depth match report will be out by tomorrow evening. I would like to wish the lads all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Muir, Fagan-Walcott, Binks (c), Lusala, White, Skinner, Whittaker, Pedder, Bennett, Etete.

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, Hackett, Matthew Craig, John, Mundle.

Injured/unavailable: Michael Craig. 

Doubtful: Max Robson, Enock Asante, Chay Cooper, Nile John.

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 6-1.

My one to watch: First year scholar and forward Josh Thomas, who has scored six goals for the ‘ Swans ’ under 18 side so far this season. 

Farewell and good luck Paris Maghoma:

Farewell and good luck Paris Maghoma:

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On Thursday it was announced (via Paris Maghoma’s Instagram page) that young Spurs midfielder Paris Maghoma (18) had left the club to join fellow London side Brentford on a permanent transfer (he will likely link up with the West London clubs B team for the time being). Maghoma is a skilful, attack minded midfielder who has a wide ranging skill set, and who has been at Spurs since a very young age. The teenager who was born in Enfield but brought up in Finchley where he attended Finchley Catholic High School, is an England under 19 international and has been on the radar of Spurs youth followers for quite some time. The youngest of three brothers (all footballers) Christian and Jacques. Paris had often played above his age group at schoolboy level, and he made his competitive debut for our under 18’s as a 15 year old against West Ham back in the August of 2016. Paris, who is also eligible to represent the Democratic Republic Of Congo and Belgium at international level, would go onto feature on four more occasions for our under 18’s that season before signing his scholarship forms in the summer of 2017. In the North Londoner’s first year of scholarship at Spurs, he was a mainstay in the clubs under 18 and under 19 side, putting in a string of very impressive performances for both sides. 

Maghoma also impressed greatly at that seasons ALKASS Cup where he put in some really dominant performances in central midfield. However, in the following season (2018/19) Maghoma excelled even further for his club side. After winning the prestigious player of the tournament award at the Tournoi Europeen in the summer of 2018, before then featuring for the first team in a pre-season friendly against Spanish side Girona. Maghoma soon found himself playing as a regular for Spurs’ development side, where he became an important member of Wayne Burnett’s team. Regularly playing in the CAM role or out wide on the flanks, Maghoma was in good goal scoring form and he put in some excellent and memorable performances against the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Gillingham, Wolfsburg II and Swansea City. The midfielder who cites Brazilian legend Ronaldinho as his footballing inspiration, was directly involved in significantly more goals than the previous season and he had improved in his all round footballing ability, and he had reached double figures for goals that he was involved in. Maghoma started this current campaign with our development side, once again playing in the Tournoi Europeen before helping a Spurs under 19 side reach the final of the 2019 Oberndorf tournament. In competitive competitions Paris played 16 times for Spurs at youth level this season, scoring two goals and assisting on one occasion.

The technically gifted midfielder who loves to drive forward at oppositions defences, is a player who is improving all of the time. I have had some great memories of watching Paris play for Spurs at youth level over the last couple of seasons. A player who I have watched extensively, Maghoma is a very talented young man who has such a great future in the game. He is technically superb, and with his lovely slaloming forward runs, incisive passing, confidence and ability to influence a game and beat a man, gets you up off your seat. Maghoma is one of those players who his new clubs fans will really enjoy watching for their B team, and eventually for their first team. He is a brave and committed midfielder who is good at taking set pieces, but also at taking attacking gambles. Reminding me a bit of a young Ross Barkley, Maghoma was so often the difference maker for our development side with his attacking flair and good Dele-esque off the ball movement. He is also a very hard worker who has a high work rate, is strong on the ball, and he also shows good concentration throughout matches. There is so much to admire about Paris Maghoma’s style of play as I went into great detail about last season, when I wrote an in-depth piece on the then second year scholar. He is one of those exciting but very well disciplined players who can adapt to the flow of matches.

Spurs’ loss is Brentford’s gain and I sincerely hope that Paris excels at the ‘ Bees ’ over the next couple of seasons. He is in my eyes a player who will without doubt play in the Premier League at some point in his career, and by playing for Brentford’s B team who play against some well established B teams as well as some big European clubs, this will undoubtedly aid his development as a player. Paris is the first of our very talented group of first year pros to leave and I am sad to see him go as I had such high hopes for him at Spurs, but also because he is a very polite young man who would always make an effort to say hello to me at matches. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the skilful midfielder all the very best of luck for the future at his new club, and to thank him for his great service to Spurs’ under 18’s and development side. I look forward to following his progress in the game !