Spurs under 15/16’s 6-1 Ipswich Town: (match report)

Spurs under 15/16’s 6-1 Ipswich Town: (match report)

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A Spurs under 15/16’s side put in a sparkling performance at Portman road this afternoon to brush aside Ipswich town 6-1 in the annual academy showcase game, in front of a crowd of over 560 spectators. The game was held in memory of Ipswich’s Dick Parker who was an ardent Spurs supporter, the game was held as the Dick Parker trophy. The young Spurs lads shone throughout the game, totally overwhelming and out playing the tractor boys. Spurs were the stronger and more energetic side, they passed the ball around well and managed to carve open the Ipswich defence with intricate attacking football. Kieron Dyer’s side were unable to match the lilywhites high intensity, they also struggled to make much of an impact in the Tottenham half. This wasn’t helped by the fact that they were missing their star player Ben Knight, who missed out through injury. Mehmet Ali’s Spurs side included some of our brightest young talents, under 18 regular J’neil Bennett started the game on the right wing whilst highly thought of midfielder Harvey White started in the middle. Spurs lined up with Timi Lo Tutala in goal, Luis Binks and Marqes Muir as the centre backs with Kallum Cisse and Dennis Cirkin as the fullbacks. White and Aird Munn formed a tenacious pairing in the centre of the park whilst J’neil Bennett, Chay Cooper and Max Robson played behind the prolific Enoch Asante who was up top. It was an excellent team performance from the young Spurs lads who deserved to win by five goals at the very, very least. I was able to get a team sheet prior to kick off however, there were quite a few mistakes on the sheet, several players numbers were missing and incorrect. Whilst the most noticeable mistake was the listing of Arjunah Crighton who was in fact J’neil Bennett!

The home side got the game underway as they attacked the Sir Alf Ramsey stand. Spurs were passing the ball around well in the opening couple of minutes and it wasn’t long before they started to initiate some promising moves. The lively Chay Cooper passed the ball out to Cirkin on the left wing, the fullback crossed for Bennett in the box, his resulting effort on the turn flew narrowly over the crossbar. Cirkin did well a couple of moments later to make an important block at the other end to stop Zak Brown’s effort. The young lilywhites were looking very comfortable on the ball and were really taking the game to Ipswich. Chay Cooper managed to pick out Enoch Asante at the back post with a pin point delivery, but the Spurs strikers looping header went just wide of the mark. Spurs continued to impress going forwards and they were rewarded a couple of minutes later when they opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Harvey White did well to win possession in the centre of the park following Jake Alley’s free kick. The Industrious midfielder found Cirkin with a well timed through ball, the Tottenham fullback sprinted forward into the box before rifling an effort at goal. Cirkin’s powerful low effort forced Alley into making a fine save, but the Ipswich keeper could do nothing to prevent J’neil Bennett from tapping the loose ball home at the back post, 1-0. Spurs had been dominant in the opening stages and they were showing no signs of slowing down following their early opener. Cirkin continued to cause problems for the Ipswich defence when he whipped a menacing cross agonisingly wide of the approaching Asante who was ghosting in at the back post.

Despite their stranglehold on the game Spurs almost threw away their lead in the most unfortunate of circumstances. Luis Binks pacy back pass towards Lo Tutala almost caught out the Spurs keeper, who desperately scurried back to clear the ball off of the line. Sashon Aird Munn’s cross forced a panicked last minute clearance by Kabongolo. Whilst Zak Brown’s saw his deflected effort easily gathered by Lo Tutala at the opposite end of the pitch. Continuing to dominate possession Spurs were beginning to really pile the pressure on what was looking like an increasingly lightweight Ipswich defence. Ali’s side doubled their advantage on 27 minutes after capping off an intricate piece of attacking play. Spurs managed to work the ball out to Bennett on the right wing, the wide man whipped a deflected cross into the danger zone. Managing to pick out Asante at the back post, the Tottenham striker cooly volleyed the ball into the back of the empty net, 2-0. J’neil Bennett had an effort blocked shortly after the restart, before the potent Max Robson forced a good save out of Alley with a powerful driving effort from range. It had been sheer domination from Spurs who were showing no signs of lowering their attacking tempo. J’neil Bennett continued to cause problems for the tractor boys, Bennett managed to round his man sublimely before darting forwards through the middle. He eventually slipped the ball out to Cooper on the left, the former Southend lad pinged the ball into the danger zone towards Kallum Cisse, (also known as Cesay Kallum) but the fullbacks header across goal was well intercepted by the Ipswich keeper, who gratefully clutched the ball. Spurs were intent on extending their lead before half time, Bennett showed some lovely foot work before sliding the ball into Cisse inside the penalty area. However, the right back dragged his effort wide of the mark as Ipswich escaped danger once more.

The game was briefly paused by the referee after Asante and and Kabongolo clashed in the centre of the park. Soon after the game was back underway Spurs were back at it again. Cooper and Asante almost managed to cap off a sublime move after combing in and around the danger zone. And that illusive third goal was never far away from Spurs, who extended their lead moments later courtesy of a wonderful Pochettino-esque move. Cooper passed the ball to Cirkin who burst into the box from the left wing, the England u16 international wrong footed Harry Knock with a sublime piece of skill, before squaring it for Asante to tap home from close range, 3-0. After a dominant first half Spurs got the second half underway, hoping to build on what was an already impressive lead against a fine Ipswich outfit. However, it was the home side who came close to pulling a goal back shortly after the restart when Teddy Baker managed to put Dylan Ruffles through on goal with a clever defence splitting pass. Ruffles sprinted forward down the right before dragging an effort across Lo Tutala’s goal in what had been yet another missed opportunity for the home side. Soon afterwards, Dennis Cirkin sent a teasing cross into the danger zone which was well snuffed out by Jake Alley. It was soon back to business for Spurs who netted their fourth of the game on 49 minutes through J’neil Bennett. The move started with Robson whose through the eye of a needle pass set Asante racing through on goal, but the Tottenham striker was closed down by Alley who came rushing off his line before making a decent stop from Asante’s effort. Thankfully for Spurs Bennett was there to pick up the loose ball on the edge of the danger zone. The winger steadied himself before calmly tucking the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, to put Spurs 4-0 up.

Shortly afterwards Mehmet Ali’s rampant Spurs side netted their fifth of the game through Chay Cooper. After receiving Robson’s pass, Cooper embarked on a jinking run before sharply cutting onto his left foot and curling a beautiful effort into the top left hand corner of the goal, forcing jubilant reactions from his teammates. We made our first substitution of the game shortly afterwards, as Aird Munn replaced number 15 (not on the team sheet!). The game was quickly becoming a training game for the Spurs lads, who were continuing to open up the increasingly faltering Ipswich defence. Spurs made it 6-0 on 56 minutes courtesy of a stunning strike from the impressive Cirkin. Harvey White’s long forward pass was headed away by Kabongolo, but only straight into the path of Cirkin on the edge of the box. The fullback let fly with a first time effort that rifled into the bottom right hand corner of Alley’s goal via a slight deflection off an Ipswich defender on the way in. Harvey White had a free kick saved a couple of minutes later as Spurs looked to extend their lead. Something which was striking from the game was Spurs’ ridiculously high pressing, every time Ipswich were on the ball you’d have two Spurs players chasing them down, this ultimately led to some costly errors from the tractor boys. Despite our overwhelming stranglehold on the game we conceded a penalty during the midpoint of the half. Tyreece Simpson had managed to get the wrong side of the Spurs right back Kallum Cisse who pulled the Ipswich forward back as he surged past him in the box. Zak Brown stood up to take the resulting penalty kick, the brother of Chelsea’s Charlie Brown struck a powerful low effort at goal which was excellently saved down to his left by Lo Tutala. Unfortunately the ball came straight back to Brown who tapped home for Ipswich, 6-1. Lo Tutala was furious that he had conceded a goal.

Ipswich almost pulled another goal back shortly afterwards, Tommy Smith’s long ball was excellently brought down by Brown inside the box. Brown opened up his body before forcing the Tottenham keeper into making a fine reflex save. The ball came back out to the Brown on the left wing, he whipped the ball into the danger zone towards Simpson, who controlled it before poking it inches wide of the Spurs goal. Following a double substitution Spurs winger Chay Cooper had now been reverted into playing as a right wing back. After a short blip Spurs began to reassert their authority on the game, Cirkin sent a lovely pass to Bennett down the right side of the box. The 16 year old forced a fine diving save out of Alley with a thumping effort. Harvey White’s resulting corner kick was beaten away by the Ipswich keeper but only into the feet of Asante whose quick fire effort was blocked by Brown. The lively Bennett forced another good save out of Alley soon afterwards as the game drew to a close. Then the former QPR schoolboy was able to find White in the box with a sublime rabona cross. There was a late flurry of action for both sides, White saw his free kick deflected wide after Bennett had won it in a dangerous area. Tottenham’s number 16 (u14) gave the ball away to Knock who fed it through to Brown, who then tested Lo Tutala with a strong effort at his near post. Luis Binks wanted to get on the scoresheet, the young centre forced a good stop out of Alley with an effort from over 30 yards out. It was becoming an end to end game, Ipswich’s Liam Gibbs doing well to round our number 17 before forcing Binks into making an important clearance inside the box.

Spurs saw out the game with a flurry of meaningless passes across the park the last notable piece of action came from a J’neil Bennett free kick, which was hit straight at the wall. The young Spurs lads held on to record a hugely impressive 6-1 victory over Ipswich at Portman road. It was an excellent team performance from Spurs whose attacking prowess managed to totally overwhelm the tractor boys over the course of 80 minutes. After the game an Ipswich official gave a moving speech about the late Dick Parker before awarding Spurs with the trophy. Tottenham fullback Dennis Cirkin was also given the Spurs player of the match award for his excellent performance. It was a real pleasure to report on the game and I look forward to following this group of players progress over the next few seasons.

Player reviews: – Timi Lo Tutala: After a quiet first half the Tottenham goalie put in a magnificent second half performance. Lo Tutala who appeared on the bench for our u18’s back in January, made many a fine save. Most notably his diving save to prevent Zak Brown’s penalty going in, but also from a wide range of situations. He was alert and showed good reflexes, Lo Tutala remained vocal throughout the game.
– Kallum Cisse: The former West Ham teenager put in a fine performance at right back, he was powerful going forward but managed to maintain good defensive discipline with the exception of conceding a penalty in the second half. Cisse also showed good positioning throughout.
– Marqes Muir: The 15 year old put in an impressive showing at centre half, cool and composed on the ball Muir read the game well and like Binks he loved to play it out from the back. Whilst he is still quite small Muir looked at home in his role, his anticipation second to none. He remained ice cool during moments of great pressure.
– Luis Binks: Assertive, intelligent and good at passing the ball out from the back. Once again I was left extremely impressed with England u17 international Luis Binks who skippered Spurs today. Binks was flawless and decisive in the challenge and assertive across the back line leaving Brown with little space to run through. His eye catching long forward passes were on show throughout, Binks showed that he is more than ready to make the step up to under 18 football.
– Dennis Cirkin: My motm, see below.
– Sashon Aird Munn: Aird Munn did a good job in the centre of midfield, he looked good on the ball and embarked on some eye catching weaving runs but it was his neat passing and tidy play which were so effective.
– Harvey White: The tenacious Harvey White put in an excellent performance in the midfield. Industrious as always, White impacted play from the very start with his deftly accurate passing. He was everywhere, chasing players down and getting back to cover for the more adventurous defenders. His challenge lead to the opening goal for Spurs. White also shows good two footedness. I like him a lot!
– J’neil Bennett: Our number 14 certainly wasn’t Arjunah Crighton as the team sheet suggested, it was u18 regular J’neil Bennett. Bennett played the entirety of the game out on the right wing and my word was he influential. He oozed quality and confidence, he caused mayhem for the Ipswich defence with his weaving and menacing runs down the flank. But it was the 16 year olds decision making which proved most effective, he didn’t even have to run at full power to trouble the Ipswich defence (he appeared to be carrying an injury to his left arm). He showed exceptional ball control and balance and was able to produce some magical moments throughout the game. Bennett chipped in with two goals and an assist.
– Max Robson: I liked the look of the cam, Robson linked up well with the forwards combining well with Asante, he also showed good movement.
– Chay Cooper: It was my first look of Cooper in the flesh and I was left mightily impressed with the former Southend United teenagers performance. Cooper was tricky and intricate and showed plenty of flair out on the wing. Cooper filled in well at right wing back for the latter stages of the game and worked hard for the team. The winger scored a terrific and well deserved goal during the second half.
– Enoch Asante: Asante put in a top performance up top, clinical and hardworking the centre forward held the ball up well and showed good movement in and around the danger zone. Asante was rewarded with two goals in the first half, he is very much a fox in the box kind of striker.

 

My man of the match: Dennis Cirkin. It was a day in which the young fullback won’t forget in a hurry, awarded the official Spurs man of the match in a presentation after the game, Cirkin has also been awarded the slightly less prestigious Superhotspur man of the match, for his performance against Ipswich. An England u16 international, Cirkin wowed the crowds from left wing back with his perfectly timed surging runs. He was able to get back and put in a fine performance at the other end. But it was Cirkin’s offensive qualities that really caught the eye, he was nimble footed and quick thinking. Like a young Nick Tsaroulla he burst forward down the left causing multiple problems for the Ipswich defence with his trickery and pin point crossing ability. Cirkin claimed two assists and also netted our sixth of the game courtesy of a thunderbolt from the edge of the penalty area.

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Spurs under 23’s 0-5 Manchester City: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 0-5 Manchester City: (match report)

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A surprisingly strong Manchester City side ended our under 23’s eight match unbeaten run on Wednesday evening, with a dominant display at Broadhall Way. Wayne Burnett’s side were played off the park by the sky blues, whose sharp possession based football managed to overwhelm the Spurs players. City’s excellent regrouping, movement and counter attacking football proved to be one challenge too many for our development squad who ended the PL2 campaign with a 5-0 thumping from the technically much better Man City. I feared the worst after looking at the team sheet prior to kick off, the likes of Phil Foden, Brahim Diaz and Lukas Nmecha all started for City. And from their performances against Spurs it was easy to see why all three have been involved with Pep Guardiola’s senior side this season, the trio managed to cause major problems for the Spurs defence. Burnett’s side saw the inclusion of under 18 full back Tariq Hinds in the starting lineup whilst first year scholar Dilan Markanday was named on the bench. Also included in the starting 11 was Samuel Shashoua who has recently recovered from injury. Spurs got the game underway at a sunny Broadhall Way for our development squads final game of the season. Almost immediately after getting the game underway, George Marsh ran over to Nmecha to prevent him from running forward. However, he ended up looking a little startled after the Man City striker forced him to the ground with his sheer strength. The visitors would have the first attempt on goal of the game, after Ian Poveda surged forward after pouncing on a loose ball. The winger continued on to the edge of the box before curling an effort narrowly wide of the Spurs goal.

City were enjoying a bright start to proceedings, soon after Poveda’s effort Man City threatened the Spurs defence again. Brahim Diaz managed to trick his way across the Tottenham penalty area before sliding the ball out to Luke Bolton on the left. The wide man swept a low ball into the danger zone which Nmecha decided to leave (due to being in an offside position) it ended up squirming agonisingly wide of Whiteman’s left post. Head coach Wayne Burnett could be heard roaring to Anthony Georgiou “Where are you going?” As Spurs struggled to adapt to the high intensity start from the visitors. The dominant Manchester City were knocking the ball about for fun as they continued to unsettle the Spurs defence with their Guardiola-esque attacking football. Shortly after forcing Oliver Skipp into making an important block inside the penalty area, the visitors took a deserved lead through Lukas Nmecha. The Man City forward had managed to cap off a wonderful attacking move from Simon Davies’ side. A move which started from the heart of the city defence, Adarabioyo passing the ball forward to Nmecha who combined well with Foden before rifling a low effort into the back of Whiteman’s net from an acute angle, on the edge of the Tottenham penalty. Although it was a fine strike from Nmecha, Whiteman’s chances of saving it were severely hampered by a massive deflection off of the sliding Dinzeyi which caught out the Spurs keeper. Man City almost doubled their lead a couple of moments later through Brahim Diaz. Ed Francis sent a lovely ball over the top of the Spurs defence to Diaz inside the penalty area. Diaz tried to catch Whiteman out with a thumping effort on the half volley, but the Spurs keeper reacted well with an excellent save at his near post. Spurs were being totally outplayed in the opening stages!

Stifled by the high pressing of the Manchester City players, Spurs were prevented from launching any meaningful attacks on the City defence. Continuing to blossom under the evening sun, City produced another fine move when Adarabioyo picked out Bolton on the right wing with a lovely lofted pass. Bolton sent in a dangerous looping cross towards the far post which in all reality wasn’t a million miles away from totally embarrassing Whiteman and nestling inside the far corner of the goal. City continued to dominate and there was little that Spurs could do to prevent it. Jonathan Dinzeyi managed to prevent Nmecha’s effort with an important goal line block. However, Burnett’s side could produce no such heroics to stop City from doubling their lead only a couple of moments later. City punished us after being allowed to break forward through a sloppy pass from George Marsh which gave the ball straight to Diaz in the centre of the park. The Spaniard drove at the Spurs defence before shifting the ball out to Bolton on the right. He swept the ball into the box which the pacy Diaz managed to get forward and meet, flicking the ball past Whiteman to cap off a sparkling move. Spurs managed their first attempt on goal of the game shortly afterwards through Kazaiah Sterling, who fired wide of Muric’s goal after receiving Tracey’s pass. The latter forced a comfortable save out of Muric a couple of moments later after hitting a weak effort on his left. Samuel Shashoua conceded a free kick on the edge of the Spurs box after bringing down Nmecha, as Spurs continued to be frustrated.

Nmecha’s resulting under the wall effort flew wide of the mark as Spurs managed to escape further embarrassment, in what was turning out to be an all too easy game for the away side. With three on two City burst forward towards Whiteman’s goal before Nmecha’s over hit through ball narrowly deceived Foden inside the box. We then managed to produce our finest chance of the half, Tariq Hinds lovely floated cross from the left was well attacked in the air by Sterling. Muric spilt the ball which came out to Oliver Skipp on the edge of the box, but he fired the ball straight at the chest of the Montenegrin keeper. Anthony Georgiou had a promising effort blocked shortly afterwards. Burnett’s side were showing more positive signs going forward as the half came to a close, Georgiou had a menacing cross cleared by Ed Francis. Whilst Samuel Shashoua did well to win a dangerous free kick on the edge of the penalty area. The same player stood up to test Muric with a fine effort over the Man City wall, which was heading into the top left hand corner but for a fine acrobatic stop from Muric to tip the ball over. Burnett desperately needed to shake things up during the interval. Man City got the game back underway, but it was Burnett’s side who were able to create the first chance of the half. Samuel Shashoua managed to turn his man brilliantly before floating in a cross from the right. The ball eventually came out to Georgiou on the edge of the box, the Cypriots powerful low effort flew inches wide of the goal after taking a nick off of a City defender. Despite improving their attacking play danger was never far away for Burnett’s side.

The impressive Dinzeyi was forced into making an important block before the newly introduced Dele-Bashiru saw his low effort deflected out for a corner kick by Skipp. Thankfully Tanganga was on hand to prevent Bolton from the finding the danger man inside the box. Manchester City’s dominance on the game continued and they reflected this when they managed to find their third of the game on 52 minutes. Once again it had been all too easy for Davies’ side to carve open the Tottenham defence, Diaz’s precise through ball managed to pick out Luke Bolton down the right hand side. He continued into the Spurs box before calmly tucking the ball past Whiteman and inside his near post despite Dinzeyi’s desperate lunge, 0-3. Straight from the Spurs kick off came another golden chance for the visitors who came so close to making it 4-0. Diaz caught the Spurs defence by surprise, threading a nice pass through to Nmecha inside the box. The tall centre forwards first time effort came off of the underside of the crossbar before bouncing high enough for Whiteman to claim, goal line technology would have come in handy! Spurs responded down the other end through Kazaiah Sterling who ended up getting his ambitious effort all wrong soon afterwards. Frustrated by a lack of openings in the City defence Spurs needed to use the ball wisely, that’s why it came as a great waste when Shashoua chose not to play Georgiou through on goal, after embarking on a good attacking foray of his own, instead opting to shoot. His effort would go out for a Tottenham corner kick. Sterling rose well to nod the resulting corner wide at Muric’s near post.

A flurry of chances came the visitors way, first through Luke Bolton who breezed past Hinds down the right before whipping a menacing ball in to the box, thankfully Tanganga was on hand to make a timely clearance. Brahim Diaz bent an effort inches wide of the mark a couple of moments later, before Phil Foden sliced an effort well wide after going on a promising forward run. Wayne Burnett made an attacking double substitution to change things up for his struggling side, when he brought on Bennetts and Markanday (u23 debut) for Georgiou and Shashoua. Georgiou looked particularly sad as he made his way into the dugout. Man City were showing no signs of lowering their high energy tempo as the clock ticked down, Latibeaudiere squared the ball to Foden inside the box but the England under 18 internationals improvised back heel was somehow cleared on the line by Dinzeyi, much to the relief of Whiteman. Then the Tottenham goalkeeper did well to come out of his box and get to the ball before the advancing Nmecha could punish him. Burnett’s team couldn’t seem to string a couple of passes together, they were sloppy and overwhelmed by the dominant possession based football being played by the visitors, it wasn’t nice to watch. In a rare attacking move from the lilywhites Shilow Tracey fired an effort narrowly over the Man City goal. However, Man City would go at our defence again a couple of moments later. The sky blues punished Spurs for losing possession, Nmecha was slipped in down the left channel. The leagues top scorer forced Whiteman into making an important save with his feet after unleashing a ferocious strike. Somehow Brahim Diaz was unable to tap home the rebound, instead blasting it high into the Austin stand behind the goal.

One thing which was striking from City’s performance was their regrouping, for a side so young they were just as organised and well drilled as Guardiola’s seniors, it was quite remarkable to watch a team of teenagers play football in such a way. Once again Manchester City threatened the Spurs goal, Foden managing to find Nmecha inside the box. Somehow Nmecha couldn’t sort his feet out in time and Whiteman was able to gather the ball from under his feet. Phil Foden embarked on a surging run down the left hand side a couple of moments later before forcing Whiteman into making an important stop with his legs. The frustration with in the side was plain to see, Sterling was evidently annoyed that he wasn’t being given support up top as he singlehandedly pressed the City defenders, he could be heard shouting “why aren’t you there?” To his team mates. Alfie Whiteman was alert to make an important save down to his left to prevent Luke Bolton’s thunderbolt as Man City pushed for a fourth goal. Limited to long range efforts such as Oliver Skipp’s ambitious volley on 85 minutes, Spurs looked flat and lethargic. City’s fourth goal of the game duly arrived in the 88th minute, another incisive attacking move had undone the Tottenham defence. The creative spark which was Phil Foden saw the starlet from Stockport thread a peach of a through ball in to Lukas Nmecha who was allowed to run through on goal. Whiteman made the decision to come running off of his line but soon regretted it as the pacy centre forward rounded him with ease before calmly slotting the ball into the empty net, 0-4. Spurs had hardly been given enough time to get back in position before City rounded the game off with a fifth deep in stoppage time.

After being allowed to carve open our defence with ease Phil Foden was able to get a well deserved goal of his own. Ed Francis passed the ball to Nmecha who drove forward before slipping the ball out to Foden on the left wing. Foden continued into the box before powering an effort past Whiteman and into the top left corner of the net, the Spurs goalkeepers touch on the ball was not enough to thwart the ferocity of the strike. The final score from Stevenage Spurs under 23’s 0-5 Manchester City, it was a disappointing end to what has been an excellent season on the whole. We were missing quite a few players for the final league game of the season whilst City went full strength. The quality of Diaz, Nmecha and Foden was a class above any of our lads. We end the season in ninth place with 26 points, I will be doing an end of season review in due course of which will include a detailed review of every players season. COYS

Player reviews: – Alfie Whiteman: It was a decent performance from the 19 year old in between the sticks. Whiteman made a string of fine stops to ensure that the scoreline wasn’t by a far greater marginfor the visitors. Although he will have been disappointed to have been outdone by Nmecha, for the citizens fifth goal of the game. He must have made at least nine saves.
– Tariq Hinds: He did ok on his first u23 game of the season, playing at left back Hinds looked solid for the most part. However, Bolton was allowed to beat him for pace and guile on many occasions and did give him a tough game.
– George Marsh: Not his finest game by any means, the midfielder was overwhelmed by the likes of Diaz and Foden, struggling to assert his authority on the game Marsh looked sloppy and out of place, such was the energy provided by the sky blues front line.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: My motm, see below.
– Japhet Tanganga: It was a very tough game for the skipper but all in all he gave a decent account of himself. Tanganga made a couple of really timely interventions and also did a good job in the air. However, he did struggle to marshal his defence,
– Shilow Tracey: Struggled to make much of an impact going forward, remained pretty anonymous throughout the game.
– Oliver Skipp: Like Marsh, Skipp struggled to contain the attacking threat of City’s central players and was unable to get forward. He did however make a couple of really important blocks.
– Kazaiah Sterling: It would be unfair to judge Sterling’s performance up top as he was living off hardly any support from the wide men. He pressed the City defenders very well.
– Samuel Shashoua: It was great to see our very own David Silva back on the pitch after enduring an injury hit campaign. Shashoua impressed on the ball and went on some fine forays through the middle. Came within an inch of scoring from a free kick on the stroke of halftime.
– Anthony Georgiou: He was one of the players who was eager to run at the City defence despite the risks involved. He was positive and direct and managed to go close to finding a goal of his own on a couple of occasions. Georgiou made some intelligent runs down the left hand side.
– Keanan Bennetts: He gave a good account of himself out on the right wing during his 25 minute cameo, Bennetts was tricky and direct.
– Dilan Markanday: A positive cameo from the u23 debutant who looked bright going forwards.
– Jaden Brown: N/A

My man of the match: Jonathan Dinzeyi. No one from the Spurs team really stood out but my man of the match has to go to 18 year old centre half Jonathan Dinzeyi on his sixth league appearance of the season. He was by no means perfect nor was his partner Tanganga, but it was Dinzeyi’s persistence which really impressed me. His positioning throughout the game wasn’t excellent but it was his committed defending which proved so effective. He was always on his toes, alert to danger and quick in to making a challenge. His excellent goal line clearances saved us on a couple of occasions. In a sense he is still quite raw, he is a risky but exciting centre half who loves to play it out from the back, it’s also worth considering that he is still a relatively recent convert to CB. Soon after coming off late on in the second half Spurs conceded two goals!

Spurs: Whiteman, Eyoma, Hinds, Marsh, Dinzeyi (Brown 83), Tanganga (c), Tracey, Skipp, Sterling, S Shashoua (Markanday 65), Georgiou (Bennetts 66). Substitutes (not used): Austin, Duncan.

Manchester City: Muric, Humphreys (Dele-Bashiru 46), Adarabioyo, Latibeaudiere, Francis, Smith, Poveda (Garre 46), Diaz, Nmecha (c), Foden, Bolton (Gonzalez 83). Substitutes (not used): Scott, Kigbu.

Goals: City – Nmecha 19, 88, Diaz 30, Bolton 52, Foden 90+1.

Referee: David Rock.

Attendance: 411.

Spurs under 23/21’s statistics 2017/18:

U23’s 2017/18 statistics: Top scorers: Sterling-11
Loft-1
Duncan-2
Edwards-4
Tanganga-1
Pritchard-4
S.Shashoua-5
Bennetts-7
Tracey-3
Harrison-4
C.Maghoma-2
Roles-4
Walkes-1
Eyoma-1
Skipp-1
Georgiou-1

Assists: Skipp-1
Miller-1
Sterling-2
Pritchard-7
Edwards-3
Tracey-7
Eyoma-1
S.Shashoua-1
Brown-1
Sterling-4
Bennetts-8
Marsh-1
Harrison-1
Roles-1
Tanganga-1

Spurs under 23’s 0-0 Sunderland: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 0-0 Sunderland: (match report)

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Our under 23’s league meeting with Sunderland on Tuesday evening at the Lamex stadium, was by youth football standards a dull affair. As Wayne Burnett’s development side drew 0-0 with the black cats, to record their first league point in over five matches. Burnett would have been slightly disappointed that his side hadn’t picked up all three points, considering we were the better team, especially during the second half. When we bombarded the Sunderland defence, it seemed inevitable that Spurs would break the deadlock. However, that was not to be the case as a sturdy (albeit it quite negative) Sunderland side managed to hold on to the point, despite missing their best youth players who were all left at home. The Spurs team included promising young winger Anthony Georgiou who I assume was returning to action from injury following a spell of no game time. And the young winger turned wingback for this occasion certainly made an impact on the game. The first chance of what was an incredibly dour first half fell to Ethan Robson inside the opening minutes when he tried his luck on the turn. The visitors effort being comfortably gathered by Austin in the Spurs goal. Some good early play from Sunderland culminated in Andrew Nelson volleying over Denver Hume’s pin point cross as Spurs struggled to get a hold of the ball. A good move from Spurs at the other end followed, when Pritchard set Harrison racing through on goal down the right channel, the Spurs striker showing good feet before failing to really test Stryjek with his low effort, which was easily met by the former Polish youth international.

Sunderland were pressing high as Spurs struggled to keep possession during the early stages of the game. An of balance Kazaiah Sterling couldn’t trouble Stryjek from range, a player who he forced a howler out of during this fixture last season. A lucky break for the visitors saw the ball fall kindly to Kimpioka on the edge of the Spurs box, the forwards powerful low effort being spectacularly palmed away from goal by Austin. Both sides were cancelling each other out as few clear cut chances ensued, Burnett had his team really well structured at the back with the tenacious pairing of Eyoma and Maghoma at centre half. Spurs then created their best chance so far through the surging Sterling down the right, his low cross was received by Harrison inside the penalty area as the strikers low deflected effort squirmed inches wide of Stryjek’s left post. Though the game lacked creativity and continued to be a scrappy affair, Spurs were giving more of a go at getting forward. The lively Sterling flashed an effort wide of goal before the centre forward headed Georgiou’s cross well wide a couple of minutes later, as Sunderland continued to sit deep. Burnett’s team started the second half with a more attacking approach, Georgiou in particular seemed to be getting up more. Shortly after the restart the young winger burst past Josh Robson down the left hand side before whipping in a dangerous cross, which frustratingly for the youngster wasn’t met by any Spurs player inside the box. Spurs had now started to stamp their authority on the game a shift in the flow of the game swiftly followed. Whilst Ethan Robson fired over a rare Sunderland attempt shortly afterwards, Spurs were soon back in the driving seat.

Shayon Harrison’s decent effort from range stung the palms of Stryjek before another opportunity followed for Spurs. It was a nice quick attacking move which saw Harrison pass to the unmarked Georgiou down the left channel, he surged forward with the ball before hitting an effort straight at Stryjek who could only parry, Georgiou’s follow up was again stopped by the alert keeper who made a fine reaction save. Spurs were really pushing for that winner, and their sudden creativity had a lot to do with the recent introduction of young magician Samuel Shashoua, who was starting to initiate some nice passages of play. Pritchard saw his long range effort fly over before another golden opportunity fell for Burnett’s team. It was another incisive attacking move as Harrison passed the ball out to Shashoua down the left side, his well measured cross was narrowly missed by the in sliding Tracey inside the box, as a Sunderland defender managed to scramble the ball away for a Spurs corner. Another goal scoring opportunity arose from the corner kick as Harrison volleyed the ball over the cross bar from close range, after receiving a nice cushion header from Maghoma. Harrison then saw his effort blocked after receiving a cross from out left, unfortunately he hadn’t left it for substitute Jack Roles who was ghosting into a nice pocket of space.

Our lads were desperately looking for that illusive goal, Luke Amos blasted an effort over the crossbar from range, whilst Georgiou delivered yet another promising cross into the danger area. Pace was injected into the game through the newly introduced Keanan Bennetts, and it didn’t take him long to make an impact. The wide man trying his luck at goal with a nice curling effort which was met low down by Stryjek. Despite the additional five minutes of added time which was shown by the fourth official, I just got this feeling that for all Spurs’ huff and puff and creativity, that we just weren’t going to see the net bulge. Well, at least not officially there was still time for some late drama after Stryjek went down inside the area defending a cross. Stryjek who was lying on the floor injured didn’t take to kindly to Harrison kicking the ball into the back of the net, the towering goalkeeper quickly sprung to his feet before squaring up to the Spurs man. Harrison saying to Stryjek “are you stupid?” before the matter was quickly resolved. It may be a slightly disappointing result for Burnett’s side but they enjoyed a really good second half and showed great character throughout. Next up for Burnett’s side is an away trip to Leicester’s Holmes park stadium in the new year, as always I will be attending that one. COYS

Player reviews: – Brandon Austin: Had very few saves to make apart from one good one in the first half. Was very comfortable in dealing with crosses.
– George Marsh: Solid and efficient done a fine job, but wasn’t really tested much.
– Christian Maghoma: A really good commanding performance from Christian Maghoma last night. The centre half had a flawless game in central defence, solid and tidy throughout. Maghoma was also a very vocal figure in the team.
– TJ Eyoma: Not to dissimilar to Maghoma, u17 World Cup winner Eyoma had a terrific game against a Sunderland team which lacked potency up top. Strong in the challenge and dominant in the air.
– Anthony Georgiou: My motm, see below.
– Oliver Skipp: Yet another top display from Oliver Skipp or ‘Skippy’ as he is known to his teammates. Dominant in the central areas, Skipp dictated play showing good movement and tactical awareness both on and off the ball. Also made some nice crunching challenges and ambitious forward passes.
– Joe Pritchard: An engine in the midfield, Pritchard was slick and tidy in his play. Initiated numerous good moves for Spurs.
– Luke Amos: Sheer dominance from the skipper overwhelmed the Sunderland players who he gave no time on the ball to!
– Kazaiah Sterling: Great movement throughout, tracked back and made good runs. But didn’t really get the service to convert.
– Shayon Harrison: Operated as a 10 for the majority of the game and looked good throughout. Showed nice ball control and skill under pressure and had a fair few attempts on goal, was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.
– Shilow Tracey: Had very few touches of the ball down the wing, made more of an impact in the second half but was never really in the game.
– Samuel Shashoua: Was the creative spark we so desperately lacked, following his introduction in the second half. Shashoua changed the pattern of the game and became Spurs’ main creative outlet, with his good movement, awareness and fine decision making in the final third. He has adapted really well to u23 football this season.
– Keanan Bennetts: Bright cameo.
– Jack Roles: Brief but impressive cameo, got into good positions.

My man of the match: After a lay off with injury Anthony Georgiou showed exactly why he’s been in the first team fold this season, as he put in an motm display at Stevenage on Tuesday evening. The young winger who operated at left back for the visit of Sunderland put in a really good shift. Whilst he was defensively sound, Georgiou showcased his attacking qualities as a winger. With his searing pace and determination to beat his man, Georgiou really troubled Robson during the game, the defender unable to prevent his lung bursting runs. Georgiou was really positive throughout and was one of the few players on the pitch who actually wanted to run at players and take them on. Georgiou’s high pressing and attacking intent resulted in him getting into some really promising positions, and he whipped in some delightful crosses into the danger zone. In my opinion he is exactly the type of player that Pochettino’s squad is currently lacking. An old fashioned out and out winger who constantly wants to take people on and whip crosses into the box, all that combined with a work rate that few could match, I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing Anthony playing for the senior team again this season!

Side notes: Development squad striker Ryan Loft was not involved in the squad for the Sunderland game, he was sat a couple of rows in front of me in the stands, I’m unsure if he was injured. In addition midfielder Dylan Duncan was involved in the pre match warm ups as he continues to recover from injury. And finally long term absentee, Nick Tsaroulla was once again observing the teams in the warm up from the touchline, I would doubt he’ll be back anytime soon which is a big shame.

Spurs: Austin, Marsh, Georgiou, Skipp, C Maghoma, Eyoma, Pritchard (Roles 82), Amos (c), Sterling (S Shashoua 63), Harrison, Tracey (Bennetts 80). Substitutes (not used): Whiteman, Brown.

Sunderland: Stryjek, J Robson, Hume, Beadling (c), Taylor, Storey, Kimpioka (Diamond 61), E Robson, Nelson (Hacket 76), Embleton (Gamble 82), Allan. Substitutes (not used): Woud, Wright.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Georgiou 90, Harrison 90+5; Sunderland – Nelson 19, Taylor 77.

Referee: Gary Parsons.

Attendance: 482.

Spurs 1-4 Manchester City: (my post match thoughts)

Spurs 1-4 Manchester City: (my post match thoughts)

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I think it’s fair to say that there weren’t too many Spurs fans who thought we’d come back from our game with Manchester City at the weekend, with anything other than a defeat. The brilliance of Pep Guardiola’s jaw dropping team which includes some of the most inform players on the planet, has captivated the imaginations of football fans with their fast attacking brand of football, breathtaking passages of play and their ability to tear apart the most sturdy of defences on the counter attack, the sky blues have become the most feared team in Europe. Was fear a factor in our 4-1 walloping at the hands of Guardiola’s side in Manchester yesterday evening? Probably not, but of course many fans will draw theories as to why Pochettino’s team were ripped apart so brutally, over the course of 90 minutes by the league leaders. Some may argue that Pochettino got his tactics wrong, that certain players weren’t up to scratch including Moussa Dembele whose name I have seen plastered across social media. However, in my eyes the factor behind Manchester City’s triumphant win over our lads, wasn’t down to tactical blunders by Pochettino or poor performances from his players. It was down to the individual brilliance of Guardiola and his incredible side that he has assembled, some of the football that his team are playing rival that off any produced in the premier league era. The fast incisive, counter attacking play that we saw yesterday would have beaten any side in Europe, the master creator Kevin De Bruyne the architect behind City’s superb forward play.

The game was an incredibly one sided one in which the home side controlled from the minute go, though the possession stats may not suggest that. Spurs were out run and outplayed over the 90 minutes unable to get many meaningful shots away, City attacked our four man defence with such ferocity and intent. That when they took the lead on 14 minutes following Ilkay Gundogan’s bullet header from the resulting corner, though the German was unmarked, it had come as no surprise. City had already peppered our defence in the opening minutes, their first of the game had come as no surprise. By some miracle we found ourselves just the one goal down at the break, Guardiola’s team had battered us, they were too sharp and extravagant for Pochettino’s team who had struggled to create at the other end. Whilst we started off the second period with much more intensity and creativity about our game, we still couldn’t stop the monumental attacking force of the citizens. We played with pride for a good 20 minutes but City’s second was always going to come. Kevin De Bruyne angered by a quite terrible challenge by Dele, took his frustrations out on the ball when he doubled City’s lead on 70 minutes. Two more followed as Spurs began to be carved open with devastating results. Substitute Gabriel Jesus missed a penalty before Raheem Sterling made it 3-0. And then 4-0 a couple of minutes later, what the fans were witnessing inside the Etihad was nothing short of a masterpiece. Whilst Christian Eriksen’s late consolation goal (which happened to be a fine strike) happened to bring a bit of late joy to the travelling fans.

It done little to shift the attention away from a Manchester City side who continue to defy expectation, their 16th league win on the bounce quite possibly their best yet. As for our lads, I can’t imagine there would have been many words said in the dressing room afterwards. There would have been nothing much to say other than that we had been the victims of a side who may just go on to achieve the quadruple this season! We certainly didn’t raise our game for the occasion but did he really play that bad? No is my answer to that, against any other team we probably would have got something out of that game. Yes, we were dominated in the central areas, Dembele and Winks struggling to cope. But that wasn’t there faults, nor was it the fault of our attacking players that they couldn’t carry the ball forward, and neither was it our defences fault that we took such an almighty battering. We are no longer used to as fans, to being outplayed like Man City done to us yesterday, we have come so far under Pochettino as a club then we have come under any manager in a generation, that the Tottenham of old has become a distant memory. Seldom though yesterday’s result was for us, as a fan all I can do is to take my hat off to Guardiola’s Man City. Their champagne football some of the best I’ve seen in many a year, their performance and in particular that of midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne was quite simply out of this world! Some positives I did take away from yesterday’s game, was the superb shot stopping of Hugo Lloris. As well as the performance of the powerful Danny Rose at left back, who I thought had a fine game. Ultimately we lacked pace during yesterday’s encounter, and that is something I am sure Pochettino and Levy will be discussing ahead of the January transfer window.

We still find ourselves in a good position in the league and have some favourable fixtures coming up. Our next game away to Burnley on the 23rd, is definitely one that we can get back to winning ways. Champions league qualification is still with in our realms! COYS

 

Spurs 2-0 Brighton: (my post match thoughts)

Spurs 2-0 Brighton: (my post match thoughts)

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It was vital that Pochettino’s Spurs side continued their winning run when they welcomed Chris Hughton’s Brighton side to Wembley, on Wednesday night. And after a tough workmanlike like performance against the seagulls, Spurs found themselves up in fourth spot owing to points dropped from Liverpool and Arsenal. It may not have entertained the supporters on the terraces due to Brighton’s stifling defensive stance throughout the game, but it was one of those ‘job well done’ performances from Pochettino’s men. Brighton as predicted were incredibly resilient, the imposing Duffy and Dunk stopping any crosses that we tried to deliver in to their box. There was not a lot of fluid football during the game, Brighton hounded our forwards throughout and though they created little up top, Hughton’s side certainly tested Spurs’ resolve. Though Spurs dominated the possession in the first half, Pochettino’s side found it hard to break down the visitors especially inside the danger area, Son and Lamela both going close. Before a huge slice of luck gave Spurs the lead five minutes before the interval, Winks pass was picked up by Serge Aurier down the right flank he advanced past Bong who slid in just as he was about to deliver the ball into the box. This unbalanced the Ivorian though he managed to get the cross away, which much to his and Matthew Ryan’s surprise flew into the far top corner of his goal, 1-0.

Spurs continued to dominate play during the second half as they looked to extend their lead, with Brighton’s only threat coming from the mesmeric dribbling of Anthony Knockaert who Spurs players couldn’t seem to get off the ball when ever he advanced forward. Lamela hit the outside of Ryan’s post early on in the half as a dull spell for both sides followed. Then on 70 minutes Brighton ought to have equalised when Tomer Hemed received the ball inside the six yard box, the Israeli international squandered his chance which was comfortably gathered by Lloris. An excellent late Harry Kane free kick on the edge of the penalty area was only denied by the upright, before Spurs were awarded a late free kick down the right channel. Christian Eriksen’s pinpoint free kick being deftly flicked home by the head of Son to secure the points in a game in which Spurs thoroughly deserved to win. In all truth there weren’t too many standout performances during what for the most part was a dreadfully dull match for the neutral. Son’s energy once again reaped its rewards whilst Lamela’s first league start in well over a year was of fine quality, he was creative and looked sharp in the final third. Eriksen was forced out of the game by the rigid Brighton defence whilst the commanding presence of Eric Dier at centre back caught my eye. Ultimately it’s a brilliant result and one that will leave us in good stead for our visit to the Etihad on Saturday for what will prove to be our biggest test of the season so far. COYS

Anthony Knockaert: I don’t know about anyone else but I’d love to see Spurs go in for Brighton’s French winger over the winter transfer period. A player who I watched play extensively for the seagulls in the championship, whilst the tricky winger has yet to match that form in the premier league the former Leicester man is a player who likes to run at the defenders and with his mercurial skill he has the ability to leave them with ease.

 

 

 

 

 

This seasons statistics: Senior: goal scorers: Alli-6
Davies-2
Kane-18
Eriksen-5
Son-8
Sissoko-2
Llorente-1
Nkoudou-1
Aurier-1

Assists Eriksen-5
Trippier-7
Davies-3
Kane-4
Alli-6
Alderweireld-1
Sissoko-1
Son-4
Dier-1
Lamela-1
Llorente-1
Winks-1

Spurs under 18’s 5-0 Preston North End: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 5-0 Preston North End: (match report)

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Much to my delight I managed to attend today’s FA youth cup third round tie at the training centre despite there being no fans allowed in (due to the late change of venue). I was thankfully granted access by the press office, meaning that I could report on the game. And what a game it was, as a strong Spurs side managed to sweep aside last seasons surprise package Preston with a wonderful attacking performance. The visitors tried to contain us early on but it was never going to work, our lads were too strong and incisive in their play for the lilywhites. They dictated the tempo of the game and managed to break through their defence early on despite their defensive stance, it was in all truth a victory that Spurs coasted to. Due to the amounts of snow on other pitches, the game was played on a pitch which the seniors use to train on at the back of the main reception. Spurs kicked the game off in what would have been tough conditions for the youngsters owing to the bitterly cold weather. Spurs showed early signs of confidence, passing the ball around well. De Bie dealt well with a Preston cross early on, whilst the presence of centre backs Eyoma and Lyons-Foster would have put his mind at ease. The visitors were sitting deep, desperate to not let Spurs break forward. Spurs upped their pace on 15 minutes and it almost paid off. After Richards found Patterson inside the box, though Patterson could only shin the ball wide. Soon afterwards Spurs took the lead following a lovely passage of play.

The move started with the prominent Lloyd-Bennett who surged forward down the left flank beating his man in the process. The young winger delivered a low cross into the area which was met first time by the advancing Maghoma, to cooly pass the ball beyond Cottam, 1-0. Adam O’Reilly tested De Bie soon after the restart before O’Neil rounded Skipp on the edge of the area, before forcing another decent save out of De Bie. Preston appeared to be upping their game. But Spurs soon reestablished their dominance on the game, Reo Griffiths having a penalty shout waved away before Richards flashed an effort wide of goal. Spurs then came desperately close to extending their lead, when Paris Maghoma’s brilliant dipping long range effort, came crashing off the crossbar. The game had gathered at a frantic pace it had really opened up, Jamie Reynolds was forced into making an important interception back in the Spurs end, whilst Spurs looked to catch Preston on the counter, it was a recurring theme. The lively Rodel Richards showed good foot work inside the box before forcing Cottam into making a fine save, Richards was involved again moments later. The young forward cutting inside from the right before laying the ball off to Patterson whose goal bound effort was blocked.

Parker’s side knew that they had to get that second goal, and the warning signs were there. Most notably when Oscar O’Neils effort flew just wide for the visitors. Spurs were piling the pressure on to the championship club as the half neared an end, Patterson seeing his flying volley blocked by a Preston defender. Before a key moment in the game occurred, when Spurs deservedly doubled their lead at the perfect time. It was another well worked move which led to the goal, instigated by Paris Maghoma. Who slid the ball down the right channel to Griffiths, the striker looked up at goal before whipping a low cross into the danger area. Rodel Richards was alert to it, managing to get to the ball before his opposite number, the 16 year old prodded the ball home, 2-0. Spurs almost added to their lead on the stroke of halftime, after Skipp embarked on a brilliant forward run, the experienced development squad player played a pass through to Griffiths inside the box. Though the strikers low effort was saved by the feet of Cottam. The first chance of the second half came to the visitors, Jonathan De Bie being called into action to deal with a thumping effort from distance. Preston’s resurgence wasn’t to last long, Oliver Skipp embarked on another great forward run shortly before Phoenix Patterson’s low effort was saved by James Cottam.

Spurs’ dominance on the game was duly rewarded on 52 minutes as Scott Parker’s team grabbed their third of the game. It was yet another lovely attacking move, it started off with Reynolds who clipped a low cross into the box which resulted in Griffith’s receiving the ball, his close range effort being well blocked by Cottam. With the loose ball being picked up by Patterson on the edge of the area, the midfielder showed great composure to calmly curl the ball home despite being hounded by Preston defenders, Preston were unable to cope with the pace of the game. Preston were gifted a rare chance on the hour mark after Eyoma conceded a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box. Michael Howards excellent free kick flying narrowly over De Bie’s crossbar. Spurs put the game to bed a couple of minutes later, the influential Lloyd-Bennett once again playing a big part in the goal. After some good build up play Lloyd-Bennett picked the ball up down the left before charging forward clipping in a nice cross to the far post, which was nodded home by Richards, 4-0. Parker’s side were being allowed time on the ball as the visitors tired it was all looking a bit too easy for his team. However they would have pulled a goal back through Adam O’Reilly were it not for the heroics of De Bie, who spectacularly saved the forwards dipping long range effort, which seemed certain to go inside the top corner.

Lloyd-Bennett forced a good stop out of Cottam soon after, before Spurs managed to put the icing on top of the cake with their fifth goal of the game. It was a goal to cherish from the hat trick hero, starting in midfield with Maghoma who produced a lovely pass to find substitute Markanday down the right. Markanday rolled the ball across to Richards inside the box, he then pulled of a series of Villaesque dribbles evading the defenders in the process. Before finally tucking the ball past Cottam and into the back of the net, 5-0! Markanday almost pulled off a late wonder goal after embarking on a jinking run, but Spurs would have just been happy with the five goals and a place in the fourth round. Where an away tie with Bournemouth awaits the lads. COYS

 

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Not too involved, due to our dominance on the game, but he was sound throughout especially in dealing with corners and set pieces, made a world class save during the second half.
– Tariq Hinds: Solid and good going forward, didn’t put a foot wrong.
– Jamie Reynolds: Another excellent performance from Reynolds at left back, made some important interceptions/clearances. As well as producing some really good passes and crosses. Very tidy player.
– Oliver Skipp: What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this young man! Dropping back down to the 18’s, Skipp’s exposure to the development squad was plain to see. He was an engine in the midfield, he also done very well going forward.
– TJ Eyoma: Another who dropped down a level today, Eyoma didn’t give the Preston forwards a sniff throughout the game. He was rock solid and decisive when it mattered. Also dominant in the air.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Similarly excellent, Lyons-Foster was cool and composed throughout. Decisive and intelligent in his play I don’t remember him making a single mistake.
– Rodel Richards: My motm (see below).
– P.Maghoma: Terrific display from the exciting midfielder, played a big part in three of our goals including his own well taken finish. He was excellent on the ball, his weight of pass second to none.
– Reo Griffiths: The Preston defenders couldn’t handle the Spurs strikers power and pace. He gave them a torrid time all game, held the ball up really well, looked sharp and made good runs in between the defenders. Also laid off two goals.
– J’neil Lloyd Bennett: Another start for the schoolboy and yet another terrific performance by the winger. He just wanted to run at the fullbacks, and quite simply they couldn’t cope with him. Created two of our goals. Beginning to look like a special talent.
– Phoenix Patterson: Put in a great shift in midfield, nimble footed and creative. Patterson carried the ball well and capped off a fine display with a well taken goal.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Great to see him back following a lay off with injury, impressed during his cameo.
– Dilan Markanday: Another player whose returning from injury, Markanday made a brilliant impression on the game during his short time on the pitch, showed excellent ball control, went on many weaving runs and also managed to set up Richards for his hat-trick. His late solo effort was top class.

My man of the match: Rodel Richards was once again unstoppable down the right flank, quickly making a name for himself amongst Spurs fans. The 16 year old forward put in another motm performance this afternoon, sharp and creative down the flank. Richards provided plenty of flare down the wing with his excellent close ballcontrol and skill. Constantly tracked back, looked to make space and most importantly of all he was clinical in front of goal. Bagging his second hat trick of the season, his last goal was truly special!

 

Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-11
Phoenix Patterson-4
Dilan Markanday- 3
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-1
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-2
Rodel Richards-6
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson- 5
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-1
Reo Griffiths-5
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-4
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-1

Interesting stat: Schoolboy J’neil Lloyd Bennett has now featured 5 times for the under 18’s this campaign, playing a direct part in five goals!

Spurs: De Bie (c), Hinds (Dinzeyi 72), Reynolds, Skipp (Bowden 81), Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Richards, P Maghoma, Griffiths, Patterson (Markanday 66), Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, A Shashoua.

Preston North End: Cottam, Fensome (c), Campbell, Baxter, Stead, Lyons, Smart (Wood 56), O’Neil, Garstang (Walker 56), O’Reilly, Howard (Brannigan 81). Substitutes (not used): Lenton, Armer.

Goals: Spurs – Maghoma 19, Richards 39, 64, 84, Patterson 52.

Yellow cards: Preston – Lyons 63.

Referee: Ivan Gelov.

Attendance: 78

Spurs 3-0 APOEL Nicosia. A Job well done!: (My post match thoughts)

Spurs 3-0 APOEL Nicosia. A Job well done!: (My post match thoughts)

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In our final champions league group game of the campaign, there was on paper little that Pochettino’s side had to gain, having already secured top spot in the group. Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia were the visitors at Wembley, with over 6,000 fans supporting them it created a nice atmosphere inside the national stadium. In all truth it wasn’t the most memorable game, nor did it see a lot of fast tempo football. None of that mattered, as Spurs took a hold of the game early on dominating possession and managing 11 shots on goal to APOEL’s 0. After going close on a couple of occasions inside the opening stages of the game, a much rotated Spurs side took a deserved lead when Fernando Llorente netted his first goal for Spurs on 20 minutes. Aurier’s fine crossed was received inside the box by Llorente, who with his back to goal managed to turn his man and slot inside Perez’s goal much to the delight of the Spurs faithful. Pochettino’s sides dominance on the game didn’t stop, Son soon made it 2-0 with a sumptuous finish on the edge of the penalty area. Whilst the hosts gave little to threaten a comeback, the defensive pairing of Sanchez and Foyth were for the most part spectators. The second half was far less entertaining, Spurs still controlled the game but didn’t create as many chances. Aurier went close soon after the restart, whilst Spurs played the possession game.

Capping things off with a third ten minutes from time when the lively Nkoudou netted his first for the club courtesy of a slight deflection from an APOEL defender. And in a night of firsts, young Kazaiah Sterling came off of the bench to make his first appearance for Spurs after waiting by the sidelines for what seemed like an eternity, it was a great moment to see! There were few other majors talking points from the game, a much rotated Spurs team got the job done with a fine performance and a much needed morale boost of a win. Juan Foyth looked nice and composed in defence, whilst Rose put in a terrific display at left back. Nkoudou had one of his best games in a Spurs shirt, carrying the ball extremely well down the left flank. But the plaudits for me, go to Fernando Llorente and Son. Llorente chipping in with a goal and assist whilst, Son provided the creativity for most of our attacking moves and also scored a lovely goal. Who do we want in the last 16 draw which takes place on Monday? Well that’s down to personal opinion, though I’d quite like us to get Porto. Attention turns to Saturday now with a crucial league game at home to Stoke, let’s hope the lads can carry the momentum into that game! COYS

 

Statistics 2017/18:

Senior: goal scorers: Alli-6
Davies-2
Kane-16
Eriksen-4
Son-6
Sissoko-2
Llorente-1
Nkoudou-1

Assists Eriksen-4
Trippier-7
Davies-2
Kane-4
Alli-5
Alderweireld-1
Sissoko-1
Son-2
Dier-1
Lamela-1
Llorente-1

 

Spurs under 18’s 4-1 Aston Villa: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 4-1 Aston Villa: (match report)

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It was our under 18’s best performance of the season which saw them see off a talented Aston Villa side, at Hotspur Way this afternoon. It was a display of the highest quality as Scott Parker’s highly attacking side totally out played the villains with slick and fast attacking football, played at a high intensity. It really was champagne football from the Spurs lads as Parker’s side secured their second win in the final group game of this seasons u18 premier league cup, and in doing so have managed to secure one of two runner up berths to make the knockout stages. Parker’s side which included talented school boy J’neil Lloyd Bennett, started with a real zip about their game. They passed the ball around with pace and were instantly looking to attack. Villa were trying to play us on the counterattack and it worked early on. After Graham burst down the left channel before forcing De Bie into making a good save at his far post. With the ball then deflecting off Reynolds and then on to the post, before eventually falling to Indiana Vasillev who slotted home, 0-1. Having looked the better team in the opening stages it was of no surprise to me when we equalised just minutes later courtesy of a stunner from Rodel Richards. It was the youngsters first of the season, after a move was started by Shashoua the ball came to Griffiths who passed to Richards, he turned on the edge of the area before firing a low effort inside the bottom corner of Idem’s net, 1-1.

The prominent Lloyd-Bennett surged down the left soon after the restart, picking out Clarke at the far post, though the wingback missed timed his header and Idem was easily able to gather. Villa looked for a response but Colin Odutayo could only force De Bie into making a routine save. Parker’s side had got a real grip on the game, they were dictating play across all areas. Villa were being reduced to long range efforts, as demonstrated by Dmitri Sea on 15 minutes, when he dragged an effort wide of goal. Spurs soon continued their attacking forays down the flanks, Patterson’s cross was glanced just over by Clarke. Before Griffiths turned and fired just wide, we then threatened through the potent Lloyd-Bennett whose searing pace resulted in him whipping an inviting cross into the area, which was duly cleared by a Villa defender. Reo Griffiths tested the defence soon afterwards, when he ran across the length of the box before firing into the side netting. Whilst De Bie had to be alert at the other end as Villa broke forward, the Belgian making a fine stop to keep the danger at bay. Another lively player was Phoenix Patterson, playing in the centre of the park, he managed to cut in and fire an effort straight at the keeper as Spurs continued their domination on the game. Perhaps Parker’s side weren’t having enough efforts on goal considering there possession but they were really impressing, especially with the the pace and crosses of Lloyd Bennett and Clarke.

Rodel Richards had a goal ruled out for offside, whilst Patterson tested Idem from range, as Spurs continued to outplay the villains. However, Parker’s lads were almost caught out by a long ball from Villa which put Odutayo through on goal. The wingers powerful effort being superbly tipped over the crossbar by De Bie. Spurs then took a deserved lead towards the end of the half through the lively J’neil Lloyd Bennett who manage to get on the end of Clarke’s deep cross. Before sweetly catching it on the half volley, to power it inside the far corner of the goal, to give Spurs the lead. Spurs weren’t content with just a one goal lead as Griffiths proved soon afterwards, when his effort flew inches wide of the goal. The half could have ended very differently for Spurs when Statham was beaten for strength by Sea in a dangerous part of the pitch. Thankfully for Spurs the forwards low effort was well saved by the alert De Bie. Shashoua tested Ide towards the dying stages of the half with a powerful effort, whilst Griffiths went close with a bicycle kick. Spurs were looking much the fitter side. We started the second half even brighter, Lloyd Bennett showing great pace early on to whip in a dangerous cross, which was only inches away from being met by Clarke. Then a fine move saw the wingback test Idem once again. Spurs had limited Villa’s options to only long range efforts as demonstrated by Graham on the hour mark, the defenders effort being easily caught by De Bie.

Another good chance for Clarke followed before Spurs managed to extend their lead on 66 minutes courtesy of a brilliant goal. Bowden’s delicate chip played Richards through on goal, showing remarkable skill inside the area before being intercepted, Patterson then tried his luck. Before the ball eventually fell back into Richards feet to see him squeeze it home, 3-1. The passing and fluid attacking play from Spurs was truly breathtaking. And things got even better when Richards secured his hat trick to put the game beyond doubt, bolstering our goal difference in the process. Rayan Clarke’s powerful drive was thwarted by Idem straight into the path of Richards who buried his chance, 4-1. It was champagne football from the young lilywhites! However, the visitors seemed to up their game after conceding the fourth, Lewis Brunt came very close to pulling a goal back. Whilst a crucial save from Oluwayemi and a goal line block by Reynolds ensured a fantastic result for our lads! COYS

Player reviews:
– Jonathan De Bie: Had a fine game, made some really important stops including a stunning reflex save in the first half.
– Rayan Clarke: Adapted really well to the right wing back role, powerful and creative going forward. Managed to set up two goals.
– Jamie Reynolds: Put in an excellent shift at left back, very decisive and solid.
– Jamie Bowden: Dictated play in the central areas, playing in a deep lying role the 16 year old holding midfielder. Was Winkseque in his play, neat and tidy with a crisp pass. He anticipated the game well and played a big part in Richards second of the game.
– Maxwell Statham: Had a decent game, strong in the challenge.
– Tariq Hinds: The versatile Hinds managed to slot in well at LCB today, he formed a good partnership with Statham.
– Rodel Richards: Absolutely phenomenal performance from the promising striker. Playing on the right flank today Richards got a rare start and he seized his opportunity. All three of his finishes were classy, but it was his intelligent runs and energy that were so impressive, I really like his style of play and his willingness to track back.
– Phoenix Patterson: One of his best performances of the season, operating on the right side of central midfield. Patterson put in a brilliant display, he was so creative in his play. His decision making second to none, the forward was instrumental throughout the game, I’ve started to think of he reminds of a bit. And it’s Brighton’s Izzy Brown when he was the same age. Patterson was so involved in today’s game.
– Reo Griffiths: Had a decent game up top though he didn’t manage to test Idem much in goal. He did however, get the assist for our first of the game.
– Armando Shashoua: Another great performance from young Shashoua, done his job perfectly. Operating as a 10 he dropped back, created space for others and instigated some good attacking moves, he has been excellent for us this season.
– Josh Oluwayemi: Came on as a late substitute (only his second appearance of the season) but done a good job, made one very good reflex save.
– Maurizio Pochettino: N/A
– Dilan Markanday: N/A

My man of the match: I feel really bad not giving it to the hat-trick hero Rodel Richards who was absolutely phenomenal out wide. But I’m going to award it to the school boy J’neil Lloyd-Bennett, the wide man who I first saw play at the under 16 game in Cambridge a couple of months back, appears to be making rapid progress since joining our Academy from QPR. This was his third consecutive under 18 game in a row, and I’m sure it will have been his best. This kids got incredible ability, he had Aston Villa defenders on the floor during todays game, they just couldn’t cope with his speed, power and decision making especially in the final third. He took his goal so well, but it was his eagerness to just run at defenders with sublime pieces of skill (think Zaha) he also delivers a mean cross. I know it’s only the second time that I’ve seen him live but I really like how he plays. Something I liked in particular was the way he played with a smile on his face, he appeared to be loving the game, buoyant and determined throughout the 90 minutes.

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c, Oluwayemi 76), Clarke, Reynolds, Bowden, Statham, Hinds, Richards (Markanday 79), Patterson, Griffiths (Pochettino 76), A Shashoua, Lloyd-Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Tainio, Mukendi.

Updated statistics:

Under 18’s Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-9
Phoenix Patterson -3
Dilan Markanday- 3
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-1
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-1
Rodel Richards-3
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1

 

Assists: Phoenix Patterson- 4
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-1
Reo Griffiths-2
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
Rayan Clarke-2

Spurs under 21’s 1-2 Barnet: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 1-2 Barnet: (match report)

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”We’ve come up against two League Two teams and one League One team in this competition and at times we’ve competed well, we’ve played some decent football but we’ve come up short. Yes, the players are still developing but part of their development is understanding how to win and we haven’t done that again. We’ve very disappointed in the goals conceded but we have to learn from that. We understand mistakes might happen but we have to learn and that’s the key thing for these young players.“ (Wayne Burnett)

After taking my seat at Barnets new stadium ‘the hive’ I looked around in awe at the stadium, it’s a lovely little ground with a pristine and modern feel about it, I also noticed whilst walking in, that the training ground is right next to the stadium. Enough of that, the reason I was there was to see our under 21’s final Checkatrade trophy game of the season, on paper it was a dead rubber with both sides unable to advance to the knockout stages, this game was all about playing for pride. And Burnett’s lads done just that, they put in a spirited display really taking the game to Barnet in the first half, leading deservedly at the interval. However, the bees experience shone through in the second half, they took control of the game and managed to put two past our defence to comfortably see out the tie on a bitterly cold evening. Former Spurs man Shaq Coulthirst embraced Spurs’ head of Academy development John McDermott prior to kick off, and the former Academy player had the first chance of the game. When the forward had a go from range, his effort sailing high above Whiteman’s goal. Barnet fired narrowly wide moments later as they looked to put a foothold on the game. The bees fine start to the game continued a couple of minutes later, goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman managing to palm a dangerous cross away, but it fell right to veteran defender Michael Nelson who smashed the ball against the upright.

Shayon Harrison tested Ross with a thumping effort from range as Spurs looked to get into the game. Moments after our first goal attempt of the game, we took the lead courtesy of a stunning strike from Harrison. Edwards started the move off, showing some good feet before picking out Bennetts down the left channel, he surged forward before putting in a delicious cross into the box which was met on the half volley by Harrison, whose emphatic finished hit the roof of the net, 1-0. Jack Roles was a calming presence in the midfield, almost pulling off a brilliant through ball shortly after the restart. Whiteman did well to gather Kyei’s cross before Maghoma threw himself in the way of Fonguck’s effort to prevent a goalscoring opportunity. Barnet should have levelled from the resulting corner, Nelson’s bullet header darting inches wide of Whiteman’s far post. Barnet were looking dangerous on the break, Whiteman had to be alert to stop a powerful low effort on 23 minutes as Barnet continued to threaten our defence. Alex Nicholls 20 yard thunderbolt was only stopped by a heroic fingertip save from Whiteman, as Spurs continued to cling on. Spurs continued their impressive forward play, Harrison bending an effort wide on the half hour mark. Ryan Watson almost caught Whiteman out with his dipping free kick which struck the cross bar as Spurs continued to defend well. Marsh marking a vital block soon afterwards inside the area.

The lively Marcus Edwards was proving to be Spurs’ most creative player, one such promising run saw the starlet pick out Eyoma down the right, the fullbacks cross being met by no one inside the box. The second half saw a more clinical Barnet team, who took there chance to equalise just after the restart. The prominent Vilhete’s dangerous cross was most unfortunately turned into his own net by Maghoma who tried to clear. The young centre half was clearly distraught as he looked to the sky. Barnet went on the offensive, testing Whiteman with a thumping effort soon afterwards before forcing Maghoma into making a good block. Barnet had taken control of the game whilst Spurs struggled to get the ball out of their half. However, we did manage to create a good chance after Roles won the ball in the central area of midfield. He played in Edwards who embarked on a promising run before slipping in Harrison inside the box, his effort from a tight angle hitting the side netting. Then came a disappointing goal to concede after Nicholls put Barnet ahead on 57 minutes. It was a poor goal to concede Whiteman was caught napping with the ball at his feet, being pressed by Nicholls he panicked smashing the ball off the Barnet man, with it rebounding into the back of his net, 1-2. Barnet were in the ascendancy, Coulthirst firing narrowly over moments later. Then a bees man managed to cut in from the left before firing an effort straight at the Spurs keeper. The prominent George Marsh made a brilliant sliding challenge to halt the home team who then fired the ball across the face of the Spurs goal.

A rare Spurs attack saw Harrison and Bennetts combine well on the edge of the Barnet box, the former being tripped inside the area upon receiving the ball (should have been a penalty). The newly introduced Samuel Shashoua brought some much needed energy into the game his intricate play giving Spurs another option going forward. Barnet could well have got their third after firing over from close range, as George Marsh managed to get a good block in soon after. Roles showed good late vision to put Sterling through on goal in a golden late chance for Spurs. The strikers effort being blocked by a combination of Ross and Barnet defenders who scrambled the ball clear. But the ball managed to come straight back into the danger area, Shashoua received the ball 10 or so yards out from goal, he tried placing his effort which was well met by Ross. The final score Spurs under 21’s 1-2 Barnet. COYS

 

Player reviews:
– Alfie Whiteman: Made some decent stops and dealt with crosses well, he will however be disappointed at conceding the winner.
– TJ Eyoma: Composed and efficient dealt with danger coming down the right flank well.
– Keanan Bennetts: Produced a brilliant assist for the opener, embarked on some lovely forward runs down the left, and also done his defensive shift well.
– George Marsh: Had a great game, made some terrific blocks/challenges.
– Christian Maghoma: Done a good job, defended well and made some important blocks.
– Japhet Tanganga: Commanding performance, very composed from the skipper.
– Jack Roles: Brilliant display from Roles, on a rare start the central midfielder showcased his talents. Breaking up play really well, showing great vision and creativity. And using his ability to find pockets of space to relieve the Spurs lads of pressure on occasions.
– Luke Amos: Efficient and tidy.
– Shayon Harrison: My motm see below.
– Ryan Loft: Worked his socks off, held up the ball really well.
– Marcus Edwards: Lively throughout the game created a string of fine chances.
– Samuel Shashoua: Bright cameo, brought energy to the game and worked some good forward moves. Pressed relentlessly.

My man of the match: Shayon Harrison. This was a close one between Harrison and Roles, but I’m going to give it to the 20 year old centre forward who put in an excellent shift up top. Harrison looked very sharp (bearing in mind he had a long injury lay off) he pressed the defenders well and oozed with confidence. I’ve long been a fan of the striker since his under 18 days. Harrison made some intelligent runs against Barnet, he was lively and didn’t hesitate to try his luck from range. He took his goal brilliantly and was unlucky not to have got another. That’s four goals from seven games for the youngster since returning from a lengthy injury lay off, I really hope to see him in the first team fold again soon.

 

Barnet: Ross, Taylor, Blackman, Watson, Santos, Nelson (c), Nicholls, Fonguck (Coker 82), Coulthirst (Amaluzor 78), Vilhete, Kyei (Tutonda 78). Substitutes (not used): McKenzie-Lyle, Payne, Aghadiuno, Pascal.

Spurs U21s: Whiteman, Eyoma, Bennetts, Marsh, C Maghoma, Tanganga (c), Roles, Amos (S Shashoua 72), Harrison, Edwards (Sterling 81), Loft (Tracey 63). Substitutes (not used): O’Reilly, Skipp, Pritchard.

Goals: Barnet – Maghoma (OG) 48, Nicholls 57; Spurs – Harrison 16.

Referee: Lee Collins.

Attendance: 445.

U23’s 2017/18 statistics: Top scorers: Sterling-7
Loft-1
Duncan-2
Edwards-4
Tanganga-1
Pritchard-3
S.Shashoua-5
Bennetts: 1
Tracey-1
Harrison-4

Assists: Skipp-1
Miller-1
Sterling-
Pritchard-4
Edwards-3
Tracey-3
Eyoma-1
S.Shashoua-1
Brown-1
Sterling-3
Bennetts-3
Marsh-1

Some highlights from the game: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=If1MPbEh6pE&feature=youtu.be

 

Spurs 1-1 West Brom: (My post match thoughts)

Spurs 1-1 West Brom: (My post match thoughts)

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Spurs and West Brom, two teams with two completely different footballing ideologies, many thought our quality would outwit the struggling visitors who were without a win in there previous 11 games. That however, was not to be the case, Pochettino’s side didn’t produce an energetic attacking performance much like the one that saw us beat Dortmund away in midweek. Instead it was a slow and at times lethargic display, Spurs looked tired our players running out of options to carve through an impeccable West Brom defence. West Brom’s long ball game is something that were used to, it’s seen us come unstuck in recent seasons. Even though West Brom sacked their long term manager Tony Pulis last week, Gary Megson took temporary charge of the baggies though the tactics seemed identical to those of Pulis, long ball with a particularly defensive stance. That’s why it was such a big blow to our lads when West Brom took a surprise lead four minutes into the game. Spurs got caught in possession in there own half, former Spurs man Jake Livermore’s long ball setting the powerful Rondon through on goal, the Venezuelan internationals strength saw him shrug off Sanchez to advance into the box, before placing a shot inside the far corner of Lloris’ net, 0-1. West Brom had struck early and weren’t going to look for a second, they sat deep as Spurs looked to stamp their authority on the game but it was to no avail. Our attacking forays and crosses into the baggies area were meat and drink to the visitors, Jonny Evans and Ahmed Hegazy frustrating our forwards with their defensive prowess (especially in the air).

Eric Dier tested Ben Foster with a decent header late on in the half, but the intensity from Spurs was not there going into the interval. The second half saw a rejuvenated Spurs side take the game more to Megson’s side. We were dominating possession against a very deep lying side, we started to pass the ball around with a bit of zip and started to test Foster. But West Brom continued to hold firm, Trippier’s testing effort was blocked. Before Spurs produced a defence splitting move to finally breakthrough the baggies brick wall, Alli winning the ball off McClean before advancing down the right and whipping the ball across the face of goal. It was a fine cross which was met by Harry Kane to prod home, giving Spurs faith that they could get the winner in the remaining minutes. Sadly that winner never came, Spurs pushed the visitors far but still Pochettino’s team were just lacking a bit of creativity in front of goal. Kane and Alli came close to finding that winner towards the latter stages of the game, but it was the baggies who were to have two more golden opportunities of their own. First through substitute Hal Robson-Kanu’s powerful effort across the face of the goal. And then through the influential Salomon Rondon in the 95th minute after he met a promising cross, inside the Spurs penalty area but the striker could only hit the ball inches wide of Lloris’ goal, it should have been the winner!

I’m sure Mauricio Pochettino will be bitterly disappointed with how today’s game panned out, especially with all the possession (73%) his side had during the game and the gulf in class. As a fan sat high up in the stands at Wembley it was without doubt a hugely disappointing result for a number of reasons, big players such as Eriksen had an off day and didn’t manage to influence the game. We lacked a sharpness in our play especially in the final third which let us down on a number of occasions. Winks also had a bit of an off day, and the midfield partnership of him and Dier didn’t seem to propel us going forward, we lacked the physicality and skill of Dembele in the midfield areas. In all truth we looked tired, maybe the exertions of our performance against Dortmund in midweek took its toll. Anyhow we weren’t at the races today, but no one can expect us to grind out these results all the time even against struggling sides, our players gave there absolute all, but it just wasn’t to be on this occasion. Kudos to West Brom, who I thought were very good against us, they were well structured and defended brilliantly throughout the game, they were deserving of there point and I’ve no doubt they’ll stay up this season with performances like the one today. We go again on Tuesday with a league fixture away to Leicester, a similarly tricky game but one that I’m sure Pochettino’s lads will perform well in. COYS

 

2017/18 statistics:
Senior goal scorers: Alli-6
Davies-2
Kane-15
Eriksen-4
Son-4
Sissoko-2

Assists Eriksen-3
Trippier-7
Davies-2
Kane-4
Alli-5
Alderweireld-1
Sissoko-1
Son-2
Dier-1