Spurs under 21’s 0-1 EA Guingamp: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 0-1 EA Guingamp: (match report)

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Our under 21’s final game of this seasons Tournoi Europeen took place on Sunday morning in Ploufragan. Burnett’s side faced local team EA Guingamp in the fifth/sixth place play off on Sunday morning. There was torrential rainfall in Ploufragan for Spurs’ final game, the bad conditions would ultimately affect how they played. Burnett decided to change things up for Tottenham’s final game of the tournament. He picked a 4-2-3-1 formation which saw Spurs lineup with De Bie in goal, whist Duncan, Statham, Ogilvie (c) and Hinds made up the back four in place of Jonathan Dinzeyi who was sent off against Stade Rennais. It also turns out that the young centre halve is injured at this moment in time along with Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Shayon Harrison. Bowden and Roles played behind the attacking trio of Markanday, Samuel Shashoua and his younger brother Armando, 16 year old centre forward Troy Parrott lead the line for Spurs on his second start of the tournament, (I gather that Harrison has picked up an injury!). Spurs got the game underway at the Henri Guérin centre as the rain continued to pour down, after some decent early passes Guingamp took a surprise lead through Ryade Hachem in the seventh minute. Quite out of nowhere Mattias Phaeton burst down the left wing before forcing a brilliant save out of De Bie with a venomous effort from the edge of the penalty area. The Belgian could only palm the ball towards the feet of Hachem who managed to convert from close range, 0-1. Burnett’s side almost made an immediate response when they went on a promising attack a couple of moments later.

The lively Samuel Shashoua was able to weave his way into the Guingamp box before playing a quick one – two with Parrott before being brought down by an opposition player inside the box. The ball eventually rolled out to his younger brother Armando as the referee ignored any protests for a penalty. The younger Shashoua squared it for Parrott in the centre of the box but his first time effort was straight at Youfeigane who produced a good save to deny the Irishman a certain goal. Samuel Shashoua threaded a promising through ball into Parrott a couple of minutes later but the centre forwards touch let him down as Youfeigane came out to smother the ball. The prominent Jack Roles then curled an effort narrowly wide as Spurs began to really push for an equaliser. The slippery surface wasn’t helping either side, centre halve Connor Ogilvie had a bit of a scare when Phaeton robbed the ball off of him in the final third before sprinting towards the goal, dragging an effort across the face of De Bie’s goal. The lively Dilan Markanday was proving to be a tricky customer out on the right wing, the 16 year olds menacing free kick on 20 minutes was only narrowly poked wide by Duncan who was lurking at the back post. Spurs began to ask questions of the Guingamp defence, the spritely Parrott did well to win a free kick in promising area for Burnett’s side. The captain Connor Ogilvie stepped up to bend the ball narrowly wide of Youfeigane’s left hand post as the French side continued to keep Spurs at bay. The torrential weather conditions were beginning to really affect Spurs’ passing style and this began to frustrate them in the final third. There was an unpredictability about the game and both sides seemed vulnerable on the counter. Guingamp came close to doubling their lead after Ilan Radenac connected with Phaeton’s cross inside the danger zone, thankfully Radenac nodded the ball narrowly wide at the back post.

The impressive Jamie Bowden tried to play the lively Dilan Markanday through on goal with a lovely lofted pass. However, the speedy winger didn’t have enough time to open his body up as Youfeigane came rushing out to assertively clear the ball. Connor Ogilvie made an important block at the other end to prevent Aly Guedard from getting a clean shot away at goal, after the winger cut inside onto his right foot on the edge of the penalty area. Dilan Markanday then curled an effort well wide of the mark as Parrott exclaimed ’ Why didn’t you pass to me ! ’ Whilst Spurs were seeing a lot more of the ball in the central areas of the pitch neither they nor Guingamp could string that many passes together. The rain was coming down heavier and the conditions were worsening by the half. Burnett’s side had to remain alert at the back as the half progressed, Guedard tested Duncan down the left once again with a surging run. As the winger cut inside onto his right foot before hitting a venomous effort at the Tottenham goal from the edge of the penalty. Of which was brilliantly blocked behind for a corner by Maxwell Statham. Guingamp’s resulting corner kick was whipped in by Louis Carnot as Antoine Hequet flicked the ball into the arms of De Bie, in what was the last real piece of action from the first half. Guingamp got the second half back underway as Spurs went in desperate such of that all important equaliser. However, Burnett’s side found themselves in a spot of bother early on in the half as the newly introduced Es Sahal won the ball off of Bowden in the middle of the park. Es Sahal drove forwards down the middle before lashing an effort wide of De Bie’s goal. Dylan Duncan then made a good challenge inside the Tottenham penalty area to prevent an opening for the French side. Whilst Burnett’s side created a good move at the opposite end of the pitch which culminated in Roles having his shot blocked on the edge of the penalty area.

One of Tottenham’s main creative outlets was Samuel Shashoua and the tricky winger was constantly trying to work his way through the brick wall that was the Guingamp defence. After embarking on a mesmeric run Shashoua managed to take the ball into the Guingamp penalty area but with such limited space to aim at, the winger had his shot blocked at the last moment by a Guingamp defender. Spurs were beginning to play a lot more fluently and they were now able to dominate possession. The hardworking Parrott couldn’t create any openings of his own as Guingamp’s tight defence was strangling the Spurs forwards as they desperately tried to get into space. After conceding a supposed foul on Hachem out on the right wing the referee awarded a free kick against the Dubliner. Clearly unhappy at this decision Parrott asked the referee to open his eyes this resulted in him receiving a yellow card. The referee was getting a bit carried away with handing out yellow cards and only a couple of minutes later he put Spurs captain Connor Ogilvie in the book despite the fact that the 22 year old had won the ball. Spurs were working extremely hard to get back into the game, young defender Maxwell Statham could be heard urging his teammates to keep going as spurs reached a critical stage in the game. About ten minutes from the end the French club almost doubled their advantage through Yohann Baret. After Luc Heumel drilled a low free kick towards goal the ball ended up deflecting into the feet of Baret inside the Tottenham box. The youngster fired a powerful low effort at goal which was excellently saved low down by De Bie who did ever so well to collapse his body in time. Shortly afterwards Jamie Bowden became the third Spurs player to enter the book after a rash challenge on a Guingamp player. The 17 year old was quickly replaced by Paris Maghoma who was brought on in the hope of adding to Spurs’ attack.

Es Sahal tried to beat De Bie in the Spurs goal with an audacious effort from ridiculously far out as Spurs tried desperately hard to work the ball up the pitch. Burnett threw on Edwards and Tracey into the game in a final attempt to try and carve through that rigid Guingamp defence. The alert De Bie did well to snuff out a dangerous looking through ball towards Es Sahal. As Spurs were throwing everything at Guingamp as the clock ticked down, Parrott tried once again to test Youfeigane but was crowded out inside the box before having his shot blocked by a defender. Whilst at the other end Phaeton tore down the left wing before squaring the ball to Es Sahal inside the penalty area. The forward spun around before firing an effort narrowly over the top of De Bie’s goal. Spurs managed to get into a promising position during our last attack of the game but it was as if we were trying to score the perfect goal. Samuel Shashoua and Edwards linked up well before the former worked his way past a couple of defenders on the edge of the penalty area but once again he didn’t shoot. This greatly frustrated Maghoma who could be heard roaring at him on the final whistle, asking him why didn’t he pass the ball to him. The final score from the Henri Guérin centre on a tough morning for Burnett’s side was Spurs under 21’s 0-1 EA Guingamp, Spurs finish the tournament in sixth place. A lot of fans will come to the assumption that this wasn’t a particularly impressive tournament for the Spurs youngsters but I strongly disagree. We were only 25 minutes away from reaching the final during our final group game against Stade Rennais, throughout the group stage we put in three very impressive performances. We were the better team against the eventual winners of the tournament PSG in our opening game. We followed that up with two competent performances against Nice and Stade Rennais in our next two games.

Whilst it would have been nice to reach the final for a second consecutive season the primary objective about these tournaments is about testing the young players mettle. Burnett’s side have performed really well at this years Tournoi Europeen and I for one am extremely proud of their efforts. Young Paris Maghoma (17) was awarded the player of the tournament award after a string of impressive performances in the centre of the park. Whilst Tottenham manager Wayne Burnett was awarded the fair play award by the tournament officials. There have been a whole host of extremely impressive performances from the Spurs players. Those from Connor Ogilvie, Maxwell Statham, Tariq Hinds, Paris Maghoma, Jamie Bowden and Jonathan De Bie all come to mind but I’ve been impressed with all of our players performances throughout the entirety of the tournament. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reporting on our lads progress at the tournament and I would like to thank the Henri Guérin centre for putting on such a welcoming and enjoyable tournament. I would also like to extend my thanks to the Tottenham Hotspur players who kindly took the time to take photographs with me before yesterday’s game with Guingamp, they were all top, top lads. Our development sides first league game of the season is at home to West Ham on Monday the 13th of August.

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: My motm, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: The 19 year old put in a really competent performance in the unfamiliar role of right back. He was strong and flexible and read the game well.
– Tariq Hinds: Another extremely impressive defensive performance from the fullback this time at left back. Hinds remained solid throughout our encounter with Guingamp and hardly put a foot wrong. I can’t remember him getting beaten once down the wing.
– Connor Ogilvie: The commanding defender reverted into playing as a centre halve for our game with Guingamp. Ogilvie put in another strong defensive performance and despite his lack of pace he managed to form a really strong defensive partnership alongside Statham.
– Maxwell Statham: It was another excellent performance from the 17 year old centre back. Statham snuffed out danger throughout the match and managed to marshal the backline well whilst remaining dominant in the air. It was another performance of great maturity.
– Jack Roles: Somewhat of an orchestrator in the centre of the park the industrious midfielder initiated some good moves and made some promising runs in and around the six yard box.
– Jamie Bowden: Cool, calm and collected. The young midfielder capped off an excellent performance with another strong showing in the centre of the park against much older and more physical opposition. He also moved the ball around well.
– Dilan Markanday: Electric inside the first 30 minutes Markanday’s excellent balance and surging runs down the right wing caused a whole host of problems for the Guingamp defence. Whilst he had a quieter second half the 16 year olds strong performance was extremely impressive and effective.
– Armando Shashoua: Another energetic performance in the number 10 role, the intricate midfielder was key to us creating openings. He also linked up really well with his older brother out on the left wing.
– Samuel Shashoua: He made some really dangerous forays into the penalty area whilst constantly peeling into areas of space throughout the game. He was one of Spurs’ main attacking outlets.
– Troy Parrott: Worked incredibly hard up top whilst dropping deep and committing himself to the more defensive aspects of the game. He had one good chance but it was a real battle for the 16 year old agains some extremely well drilled and strong defenders.
– Paris Maghoma: Bright cameo. Maghoma linked up well with the forwards.
– Marcus Edwards: N/A.
– Shilow Tracey: N/A.

My man of the match: Jonathan De Bie: An excellent performance from De Bie saw the Belgian make a string of top class saves. Two of which could only be described as world class!

The Superhotspur player of the tournament: Connor Ogilvie. Strong, powerful and decisive at both ends of the pitch. 22 year old Connor Ogilvie had a magnificent tournament, the skipper lead the team by example and was without doubt our most effective player. He put in some heroic defensive performances whilst combing that with some lovely galavanting runs down the left wing. Please may Pochettino integrate him into the first team squad this season !!

Goals: EA Guingamp – Ryade Hachem (7 minutes).

Our under 23’s pre season stats during the 2018/19 season:

Goals: Marcus Edwards – 2
Connor Ogilvie – 1

Assists: Marcus Edwards – 2
Jamie Bowden – 1

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

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

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On our second day of the Tournoi Europeen Spurs started the day off in fist place in group A, knowing that a win in their final group game against Stade Rennais would book their place in Sunday’s final. Wayne Burnett’s development side appeared to be heading for the final for the second consecutive year, his side had totally controlled the first half against Stade Rennais. Spurs had passed the French side off the park creating a plethora of chances inside the opening 25 minutes of the game. Their slick passing and intricacy inside the final third caused no end of problems for ’ Les rouges et noir. ’ Burnett’s side lead 1-0 at the interval to Connor Ogilvie’s glorious long range strike in the fourth minute. The problem was Spurs should have been about 3-0 up inside the first 20 or so minutes, such was their stranglehold on the game. Less than two minutes into the second half and the game was thrown on its head after a lapse in concentration had seen Jonathan Dinzeyi sent off after giving away a cheap penalty. Nkada converted the spot kick and we never recovered after that, we were understandably disjointed and out of shape. Burnett’s side rarely ventured out of their own half as Rennais grew in confidence with an extra man at their disposal. They controlled the second half and ended up scoring what turned out to be the winning goal when Georginio Rutter netted 12 minutes before the end. That means that Spurs finish their group in third place after picking up four points from their three group games. Burnett’s side will face local team EA Guingamp on Sunday morning in a fifth versus sixth play off game involving both the teams who finished third in their group. That will be Spurs’ final game of the tournament before they jet back to Hotspur way ahead of the start of the domestic season.

Burnett opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for our final group game, giving Charlie Freeman his first start in goal. Whilst fielding a back line consisting of Hinds, Dinzeyi, Statham and the skipper Connor Ogilvie. Duncan and Maghoma sat in front of them whilst an attacking trio of Tracey, Armando Shashoua (his debut at this level) and Edwards all stood behind Troy Parrott who lead the line for Spurs. The team all huddled together before the start of the game (lead by Ogilvie) as they tried to book their place in the final. Stade Rennais got the game underway at an extremely gusty Ploufragan. After a fairly uneventful opening couple of minutes Spurs took the lead in extraordinary fashion through skipper Connor Ogilvie in the fourth minute. The fullbacks glorious opener came out of nowhere, after Tracey had attempted to take the ball into the penalty area he had the ball nicked off of him by a defender. The ball rolled back to the Stade Rennais goalkeeper Théo Louis who was quickly put under pressure by the charging Armando Shashoua. With little time to aim his clearance Louis’s pass ended up coming out to Ogilvie around 20-25 yards out from goal. The left back connected with it first time as the goalkeeper rushed back to try and get in position. Ogilvie’s side footed effort looped gloriously into the back of the net totally stunning the Stade Rennais players in the process. Ogilvie and his teammates celebrated wildly on the sidelines, 1-0. Spurs had totally controlled the game in the opening seven or so minutes, playing some lovely slick football in the process. Lilian Brassier had the French sides first goal attempt of the game after he blazed an effort over from distance. Spurs were quickly looking to add to their lead at the other end of the pitch.

A good attacking move saw Edwards shift the ball to Shashoua he flicked a clever pass into the feet of Tracey on the edge of the penalty area. The forward
let fly on his right foot but ended up seeing his effort blocked by a Stade Rennais defender, the game was being affected greatly by the wind. Spurs’ high line came at a cost after they were caught on the break by Stade Rennais as Billal Mehadji darted into the Tottenham penalty area before hitting a weak effort at goal which was easily gobbled up by Freeman. The so far quiet Marcus Edwards had his first shot on goal a couple of moments later as he tested the not so confident looking Louis with a powerful effort from range. Edwards fizzing effort had the goalkeeper flapping on his line as he managed to beat the ball away to safety. Spurs were almost caught napping at the other end after Mehadji was picked out inside the Tottenham box from a corner kick. The Stade Rennais forward wasn’t picked up by anyone inside the box as he headed an effort narrowly wide of Freeman’s left hand post. Connor Ogilvie was forced into making an important challenge inside the danger zone a couple of moments later, as the French club slowly creeped back into the game. Spurs continued to knock the ball around the park, Maghoma tested Louis with an effort from a tight angle as Spurs tried to extend their lead. Despite their many chances inside the first half Burnett’s side were severely lacking in end product. Only 25 minutes away from a place in the final Spurs got the second half back underway as Burnett brought off the energetic Armando Shashoua for the more tenacious Jamie Bowden. Burnett’s side were knocking the ball around with ease at the start of the second half that’s why it came as complete shock when Spurs gave away a needless penalty less than two minutes into the half. Jonathan Dinzeyi was overplaying the ball on the edge of his own box when Timothé Nkada chased him down. All Dinzeyi had to do was clear the ball but instead he tried to be too clever.

Nkada stole the ball off of the Tottenham defender before taking the ball into the box, the now panicked Tottenham defender was the last man. He sprinted back to Nkada before tripping him from behind leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty and give Dinzeyi a straight red card. Clearly distraught by his mistake the 18 year old had his head in his hands, he looked stunned. Nkada stepped up before drilling the ball inside the bottom right hand of corner of the Spurs goal despite Freeman almost managing to get a hand to it, 1-1. Wayne Burnett was going berserk on his touchline and he could be seen barking instructions at his players. Dylan Duncan went in the book a couple of minutes later as Spurs struggled to regain their shape after Dinzeyi’s dismissal. Stade Rennais were in total control, Mehadji fired an effort against the side netting of Freeman’s goal before Bernauer fired over from long range. Meanwhile Burnett’s side were struggling to even get out of their own half, this forced Burnett into bringing on Samuel Shashoua in place of Troy Parrott who had been starved of service. Stade Rennais were continuing to come at us, after latching onto Bernauer’s cross field pass Camavinga burst into the Tottenham penalty area before forcing Charlie Freeman into making an excellent save at his near post. Unfortunately however, the ball rolled out to Rutter who slotted home from close range, 1-2. By this point Spurs were a completely broken team and if anything it was Stadde Rennais who were going to add to their goal tally. The alert Charlie Freeman was called into action once again this time to stop Mehadji from getting on the score sheet. Maxwell Statham made two brilliant late pieces of defending as Spurs tried desperately hard to work the ball out of their own half. Unfortunately a moment of madness from Jonathan Dinzeyi had dealt Spurs a blow in which they couldn’t recover from. The final score from Ploufragan Spurs 1-2 Stade Rennais, Tottenham manager Wayne Burnett could be seen talking with the officials on the final whistle but it was to no avail as Spurs bowed out as third place finishers in group A.

Player reviews: – Charlie Freeman: It was a good performance from the 18 year old on his first start of the tournament. Freeman made a string of fine saves, remaining attentive throughout. The young goalkeeper also dealt well with crosses and set pieces. He was very commanding inside his box. I have a really good feeling that Freeman will go onto have a successful season.
– Tariq Hinds: Hinds was excellent once again, he protected Spurs down that right flank making many important interceptions throughout the game.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: He had a decent game up until the 46th minute when a lapse in concentration cost him dearly whilst trying to play it out from the back. Nkada punished him and darted into the Tottenham penalty area forcing Dinzeyi into making a challenge which ended up being a foul on the Stade Rennais forward. It wasn’t nice to see Dinzeyi in such as state as the referee awarded a penalty kick and pulled out his red card. It was a game changing moment.
– Maxwell Statham: It was another accomplished performance from Statham in the heart of the Tottenham defence. Once again he made a whole host of important blocks and challenges whilst using his physicality to deal with the Stade Rennais forwards. Following Dinzeyi’s dismissal Statham really upped his game and put in a really impressive performance in such difficult conditions. He was dominant and assertive and rarely put a foot wrong.
– Connor Ogilvie: My motm, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: He had a decent game he did however have a tendency to overplay the ball in the centre of the park which proved quite dangerous on a couple of occasions.
– Paris Maghoma: Despite not feeling 100% I thought Maghoma put in a dominant performance in the centre of the park against Stade Rennais. He did a job good and was tidy with the ball.
– Marcus Edwards: He still looked quite leggy but Edwards remained a potent threat whenever he received the ball in the final third.
– Armando Shashoua: He had a really good first half, linking up well with Parrott and Edwards. The number 10 was a live wire throughout the first half and his high pressing played a part in Ogilvie’s goal. He looked very sharp.
– Shilow Tracey: Decent cameo from Tracey who embarked on some promising runs down the left wing.
– Samuel Shashoua: Shashoua came on as a late sub and had a bright spell against Stade Rennais.
– Jamie Bowden: Kept things ticking in the centre of the park after coming on towards the latter stages of the game.

My man of the match: Connor Ogilvie. Not only did he score a fantastic goal for Burnett’s side, but once again Ogilvie had an excellent game at left back. Unstoppable in the first half Ogilvie caused havoc for the Stade Rennais defenders as he went on countless surging runs down the left wing. Although Stade Rennais managed to quell this threat during the second half, the commanding left back defended heroically and kept good positioning throughout. He also lead by example.

Spurs under 21’s 0-0 OGC Nice (Spurs win 3-2 on penalties): (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 0-0 OGC Nice (Spurs win 3-2 on penalties): (match report)

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Wayne Burnett’s development side played French club Nice in their second group game on day one of the Tournoi Europeen on Friday afternoon. After taking two points from PSG earlier in the day in an exciting end to end game of football. Our encounter with Nice was the complete opposite of that fluent game, whilst Burnett’s side played well against the French club they struggled to break them down. Nice played like Stoke City for the majority of the game they were extremely negative and were keen to hoof the ball 40 yards up the pitch whilst resorting to fouling and sandwiching our more intricate players. Burnett made a couple of tactical changes for our second game of the day, young centre halve Maxwell Statham came in for the injured Lyons-Foster. Whilst Samuel Shashoua and Jack Roles got their first starts of the tournament, Spurs lined up in the same 4-3-2-1 formation with Shayon Harrison leading the line. Spurs got the game underway as the rain started to fall down in Ploufragan, but it was Nice who were to have the first attempt on goal of the game. Thomas Valtriani testing De Bie with an early effort from range, the Belgian comfortably gathered his effort. Nice had started the game well and only a couple of moments later Paul Wade saw his free kick go wide of the Spurs goal. Tottenham skipper Connor Ogilvie was forced into making an important sliding challenge to prevent Alexandre Gameiro from entering the penalty area. Jonathan Dinzeyi then made an important block Gameiro’s shot on goal as Spurs struggled to contain the French side. Moustakim Assoumani headed wide of De Bie’s goal from the resulting corner kick as strange fake clapping sounds could be heard blasting out of the speakerphones behind from where I was standing!

Eventually Spurs managed to find their feet and Samuel Shashoua almost created the opener after some good aggressive pressing. Shashoua’s pressing had forced Remy Mestrallet into making an error out on the left flank, Shashoua won the ball off of him before darting into the penalty area. Shashoua jinked past a Nice defender before scooping the ball up to Harrison who was waiting in the centre of the box with his back to goal. The strikers acrobatic volley flew narrowly over Vicenzo Bezzina’s crossbar. Spurs had started to come into the game and only a couple of minutes later we almost took the lead after executing a clever passing move. Of which started at the feet of Bowden who passed the ball to Edwards who then quickly released it to the unmarked Shashoua out on the left side of the penalty area. However, the advancing forward was quickly closed down by the outrushing Bezzina who was there to make the save. Both sides were pushing for an opener as the rain came gushing down, after a quite spell Jonathan De Bie was called into action once again. This time the Belgian got a strong hand to the ball to prevent Valtriani’s long range thunderbolt from going into the Spurs goal. At the other end of the pitch Connor Ogilvie whipped another teasing cross into the danger zone, this time towards the head of Shayon Harrison. As the centre forward went to attack the ball Bezzina came rushing out to try and punch it clear. However, he ended up giving Harrison a painful looking whack to the head instead. It was turning out to be a really frantic end to end game, some panic in the Spurs box could have gifted an opening as Jonathan Dinzeyi made an important challenge. The ball came back out to Gameiro who fired the ball narrowly over De Bie’s goal, the Frenchman should have found the back of the net from such close range.

The impressive Maxwell Statham did well to make two excellent blocks to thwart Eddy Sylvestre’s shots on the edge of half time as both sides went into the interval with all still to play for. Nice got the game back underway as Wayne Burnett’s young men tried to break down their French counterparts. Such was the tenacity of the Nice defenders Spurs were struggling to create chances for Harrison to follow through on. We did however come close to breaking the deadlock after Edwards caught Nice on the break. The teenager sprinted forwards down the right before cutting inside and passing the ball to Harrison inside the box, the striker ended up firing the ball inches over the crossbar. Nice responded with Hamach lashing the ball over from range as the game continued to lack any real sort of quality, Spurs were beginning to become incredibly frustrated at their lack of chances. In an attempt to change Spurs’ fortunes Burnett decided to make a double substitution, bringing on Parrott and Markanday in place of Harrison and Tracey. Meanwhile Valtriani was resorting to desperate measures to try and beat the impressive De Bie, his attempt from 50 yards out from goal was audacious to say the least. It did however, fly well wide of the Tottenham goal. Nice were continuing to bombard the Tottenham defence after Jonathan Dinzeyi gave away a free kick on the edge of the penalty area for an alleged handball, Hicham Mahou wasted what was a good goalscoring opportunity for the French side as he smashed the ball into orbit from the resulting free kick. Burnett threw one last role of the dice when he decided to introduce Shilow Tracey to the game towards the latter stages.

Electric in our last game against PSG Marcus Edwards seemed extremely leggy during our encounter with Nice and he struggled to influence the game, Spurs were lacking that spark to their game as both sides went in search of a winner. Hamachi struck a venomous effort at goal which was well saved by De Bie whilst the referee didn’t take too kindly to Parrott’s high pressing at the other end. On this occasion the Irishman would receive a yellow card for a crunching sliding challenge on Nice goalkeeper Vicenzo Bezzina. Meanwhile a late flurry of chances at the other end forced De Bie into action on more than one occasion. The first important save from the Belgian came after he managed to keep out Assoumani’s deflected header from a resulting free kick. The 18 year old then managed to make another fine stop to thwart Valtriani’s powerful effort from long range. And he wasn’t done there as Nice continued to pester the young lilywhites as Hamach’s effort deflected off of Statham, and into the feet of Guessand inside the Tottenham penalty area. The newly introduced forward spun around before forcing De Bie into making a terrific low save to his left as Spurs managed to take the game to yet another penalty shootout. Maxime Pelican stepped up first for the eaglets but ended up firing his penalty well wide of the right post. Edwards then stepped up to give Spurs the lead as he calmly tucked the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. Nice responded by netting their next spot kick whilst Jack Roles reestablished Spurs’ lead with a calm finish to the goalkeepers right. Hamach made it 2-2 when he smashed the ball down the middle of the goal, meaning that young Troy Parrott had the chance to win it for Spurs. Nothing seemed to faze the 16 year old as he stepped up confidently to slot the ball into the bottom right hand corner to send Spurs top of Group A on four points, ahead of their final group game with Stade Rennais on Saturday.

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Easily one of Tottenham’s best players during our encounter with Nice. De Bie made at least a dozen fine stops, he was attentive and decisive. He read set pieces and corner kicks well whilst barking instructions at his defenders at the same time. It was that late flurry of attacks from Nice which could so easily have won them the game but for a trio of fine saves in close succession from the 18 year old.
– Tariq Hinds: Another impressive showing from the young right back, Hinds read the game incredibly well and managed to keep Mahou at bay out on the left wing. He is such an intelligent defender.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: It was a good solid performance from the centre halve against Nice. Dinzeyi marshalled the backline well and won many important aerial duels and made some equally important blocks/challenges and helped Spurs to achieve that clean sheet.
– Maxwell Statham: My motm, see below.
– Connor Ogilvie: A leader of men. Ogilvie was excellent once again with his powerful surging runs down the left wing, his ability to effortlessly get back into position and make those crucial defensive contributions, once again he was different class. Although Nice did manage to neutralise him from an attacking perspective in the second half he was still just as effective and just as good a leader too !
– Paris Maghoma: It was a good strong performance from the 17 year old in the middle of the park. He imposed himself well on the game and carried the ball well, combining his time getting stuck in with making promising runs towards the six yard box.
– Jack Roles: Kept things ticking and worked tirelessly to ensure that we were superior to Nice in the centre of the park.
– Jamie Bowden: Cool and calm on the ball and just as effective without it Bowden once again slotted in effortlessly to the central midfield, breaking up play and initiating moves throughout.
– Samuel Shashoua: Shashoua looked nice and sharp when he came up against the eaglets on Friday afternoon. Created some nice openings down the left wing whilst also getting himself in good goalscoring positions. He was unlucky not to find the back of the net.
– Marcus Edwards: His electric performance against PSG earlier in the day seemed to take its toll on his performance against Nice. He looked quite leggy and didn’t have that explosiveness about his game. Don’t get me wrong he still had a good game but he just wasn’t as effective and tended to drift out of it for large periods.
– Shayon Harrison: Despite not getting on the scoresheet I thought Harrison had a really productive game against Nice. With his silky skills and clever movement off the shoulders of defenders he worked some nice openings and had a few decent attempts at goal.
– Shilow Tracey: Didn’t really impact the game during his short cameo.
– Troy Parrott: Hardworking and crafty throughout his time on the pitch Parrott looked sharp and hungry to get in between the Nice defenders despite a lack of service. He was promising nonetheless.
– Dilan Markanday: Went on some nice attacking forays during his short time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Maxwell Statham. It was a really mature performance from the 17 year old centre halve against Nice. He was decisive and confident in his defending, he was dominant in the air and strong in the tackle. I thought he had an excellent game Nice I was impressed with how he read the game and how he kept such good positioning throughout. Statham also made a whole host of important blocks and sliding challenges, he throws his body on the line for his team. He reminds me a lot of how Christian Maghoma was at the same age.

Spurs under 21’s 1-1 PSG (Spurs win 4-3 on penalties) : (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 1-1 PSG (Spurs win 4-3 on penalties) : (match report)

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Spurs kicked off their defence of the Tournoi Europeen with a 4-3 win on penalties against French giants Paris Saint German this morning in Ploufragan in north west France. It was an excellent team performance from Burnett’s side who really took the game to the Parisians. We played some lovely attacking football and were the more potent side throughout the 50 minutes of normal time. Following on from their comprehensive 2-1 victory over Enfield town earlier in the week, Burnett’s young side expressed themselves more from an attacking perspective and it paid off for them. After an enthralling 50 minutes which was end to end, Spurs and PSG battled out a 1-1 draw with both teams earning a point in the process. This meant that the game would go to a penalty shootout to decide who would earn an extra point. Fortunately it was Burnett’s side who came out on top, winning the penalty shootout 4-3, with 17 year old Paris Maghoma cooly slotting home the winning penalty to give Spurs an important advantage over the best team in group A. What was particularly striking about Spurs’ performance was their intent at running at the PSG defence, they played intricate attacking football with the likes of Marcus Edwards and Connor Ogilvie playing a prominent part in this. But they were decisive and that’s what gave them that all important edge over what is by all accounts a top PSG side. Burnett opted to go for the unfamiliar 4-3-2-1 formation, with Jonathan De Bie starting in goal. Followed by a back four of Hinds, Dinzeyi, Lyons-Foster and Ogilvie (c). The combative Dylan Duncan (the more defensive of the three) partnered up with Maghoma and Bowden in the middle of the park. Whilst Marcus Edwards and Shayon Harrison started out on the wing with Shilow Tracey playing as an out and out centre forward.

Spurs got their first group game underway on the main pitch here at the Henri Guérin centre. Wayne Burnett’s side almost fell behind in the opening minute or so of proceedings after Sabri Hadadou decided to run at the Tottenham defence before unleashing a powerful low effort at goal which struck the base of De Bie’s post. Thankfully Connor Ogilvie was there to clear the loose ball behind for a corner kick, although Spurs were playing some decent football during the early stages of the game they were still vulnerable to being caught on the counter. The prominent Connor Ogilvie could often be seen galavanting down the left wing but he was also a force to be reckoned with defensively, and he made an important headed clearance in the opening couple of minutes. Paris Maghoma conceded a free kick in a dangerous position a couple of moments later after he brought down Haddadou on the edge of the penalty area. Abdallah Yaisien played the free kick short to Issac Hemans whose low effort was blocked by Bowden inside the Tottenham penalty area. However, the frantic nature of the game threw up an early surprise when Spurs took the lead from a set piece in the eight minute of the game. After Connor Ogilvie won a free kick out on the left wing, midfield craftsman Jamie Bowden elected to take it, he whipped in a peach of a cross deep into the box. The alert Jonathan Dinzeyi was lurking at the back post and the Tottenham defender leapt high in to the air to just nod the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Garrisone Innocent’s goal, 1-0. It was a terrific header from the young centre halve. Spurs grew in confidence after having taken an early lead and they fancied their chances of getting a second. Ogilvie was proving to be really useful for Burnett’s side out on the left. The 22 year old was constantly getting forwards at every opportunity, and his power and crossing ability was troubling the PSG defenders.

Only a couple of moments after taking the lead Connor Ogilvie won a free kick in an almost identical position out on the left wing. However, this time Bowden opted to play it short to Shilow Tracey. The centre forward powered his way into the box before forcing a save low down to his left from Innocent. Despite their good spell Burnett’s side couldn’t afford to lose focus against PSG. Junior Dina Ebimbe almost caught out De Bie with an effort from range but the Belgian managed to beat the ball away, the game was being played at a frantic pace as PSG went in search of an equaliser. Spurs were fortunate not to be punished when PSG caught us on the counter. After winning the ball off of Bowden, Lucas Bernadou sped towards a vulnerable looking Spurs defence, but Bowden did extremely well to get back and break up the attack. Soon afterwards Spurs almost doubled their lead in exquisite fashion, a wonderful cross field pass from Ogilvie found Hinds out on the edge of the penalty area. He delicately volleyed the ball into the feet of Edwards who darted into the penalty area, turning his man wonderfully before dancing past a further two PSG defenders inside the box. Less than four yards out from goal and one on one with the goalkeeper you would have expected Edwards to just tuck the ball home. However, his side footed effort was spectacularly saved by the foot of the PSG goalkeeper Garrisone Innocent, Spurs would rue to regret that missed chance. Spurs produced another good passing move a couple of minutes later, this time culminating in Dylan Duncan having a go on the edge of the penalty area. The Tottenham midfielders effort was however blocked by a PSG body. Then in the 21st minute of normal time PSG found an equaliser through Lucas Bernadou, Spurs had only dropped their heads for a fraction of a second. But it was enough for speedy fullback Arnaud Luzayadio to sprint down the right wing. Luzayadio continued all the way to byline before whipping a sumptuous cross into the area which was met by the unchallenged Lucas Bernadou inside the six yard box.

Bernadou found himself in a bit of space and he had no problems in rising to meet Luzayadio’s cross and planted a header inside the bottom left hand corner of De Bie’s goal. The ball came off the post before nestling into the back of the net leaving De Bie with no time to react, 1-1. The sides went into half time with all still to play for ahead of the second half. The French giants got the second half underway in the warm morning heat. Burnett made the one alteration at halftime deciding to switch Tracey out onto the left wing whilst putting Harrison in his natural position of centre forward. PSG’s Dina Embime fired a long range effort narrowly over the crossbar shortly after the restart as PSG looked to stamp their authority on the game. The Parisians had started the half well and shortly afterwards Dylan Duncan was forced into making a good block to prevent Bernadou’s powerful attempt at goal. Then out of nothing Marcus Edwards made a superb defence splitting pass which allowed Harrison with a route through to goal from around 40 yards out. However, Innocent had read the move incredibly well and was already out to make a crunching challenge on the Spurs forward to put an end to that attack. The beating heart of Burnett’s side Edwards was terrorising the PSG defence and they had resorted to fouling him to try and keep him out of the game. Since moving onto the left wing Shilow Tracey hadn’t been as involved as he was in the first half, he did however try his luck with an audacious effort from range. After cutting inside onto his right foot Tracey tried to catch Innocent out with a long range attempt, but his wild effort ended up going well wide of the mark. As the half progressed both teams went in search of the winner leaving their defence wide open in the process. On another occasion Paris Maghoma could have found himself on the end of a spectacular match winning goal. After receiving a pass from Edwards, Maghoma decided to try his luck from 25 yards out. The midfielders side footed effort ended up flying a fraction wide of the right hand post.

Then a couple of minutes later Spurs managed to catch PSG on the break after Jamie Bowden won the ball in the centre of the park. He passed the ball to Edwards out on the wing, Edwards continued into the PSG penalty area. Despite having some space to test Innocent at his near post the seemingly under confident teenager decided to square the ball for Harrison in the centre of the box. But the striker completely missed the ball and the chance went amiss, the lively centre forward was doing a good job up top but luck wasn’t on his side. After finding himself with a route through on goal a couple of minutes later the 21 year old was denied a clean route through on goal by Timothée Pembele who made a crunching challenge to thwart the attack, you couldn’t predict the outcome of this game. Marcus Edwards continued to cause trouble when he embarked on a mesmerising attacking foray as he tricked his way past two PSG defenders before threading a lovely pass through to Harrison who was cynically brought down from behind. The referee pointed to the spot without hesitation but the linesman had already flagged for an offside on the Tottenham Hotspur man. Shortly before that incident Burnett had made his first substitution of the game, brining off Shilow Tracey for midfielder Jack Roles. Spurs were looking the more likely side to nick a winner as we reached the final stages of the game. Another intricate move from the Lilywhites saw Bowden thread a perfectly weighted pass for Marcus Edwards to latch onto inside the box. Edwards was just about to pull the trigger when a PSG defender caught him from behind (supposedly winning the ball !) the Spurs players fervently claimed a penalty.

Then, the newly introduced Samuel Shashoua won a free kick in the dying moments of the game. Shashoua’s resulting delivery picked out Jack Roles inside the danger zone but as the Cypriot youth international went to attack the ball he clattered into the outrushing Innocent who went flying to the ground, this resulted in the referee awarding a free kick against the Spurs man. The referee then blew his whistle for full time meaning that the game would be decided by a penalty shootout to determine who would get the extra bonus point. Nathan Epaillard stood up first for PSG and the midfielder had no problems at converting his penalty into the bottom right hand corner to give the Parisians the lead. Shayon Harrison then walked to the spot to take Spurs’ first penalty of the shootout, the striker confidently went straight down the middle to make it 1-1. Turkish youth international Güçlü Metehan then made it 2-1 to PSG before Tottenham’s Jack Roles drew level with a composed penalty which nestled in the bottom left hand corner of the goal. An important diving save from Jonathan De Bie prevented Isaac Hemans from converting spot kick number three for the Parisians. But Burnett’s side couldn’t capitalise on this as Samuel Shashoua’s resulting spot kick was well saved by Innocent. Dina Embimbe then scored for PSG, whilst Marcus Edwards made it 3-3 for Spurs. PSG’s fifth and final penalty kick of the shootout would be the one that would cost them. Emmanuel Attah saw his effort brilliantly saved by De Bie before Paris Maghoma wrapped up the win for Spurs with a classy winning spot kick which saw him totally deceive Innocent with a really clever and confident effort. The final score from the Henri Guérin centre was Spurs 1-1 PSG with Spurs winning 4-3 on penalties to temporarily top group A before they took on Nice later in the afternoon. Burnett’s side had really raised their game against the best side in group A.

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: The Belgian didn’t actually have that busy a game (in normal time that is) he made a couple of fine stops but apart from PSG’s goal which he stood no chance in stopping. De Bie didn’t have an awful lot to do, but that all changed when the game went for penalties. Somewhat of an expert at saving penalties, De Bie rose to the occasion once again to produce two important saves which would eventually help Spurs to achieving that extra bonus point.
– Tariq Hinds: Unfazed by the threat posed by Sabri Hadadou on the left wing, once again Tariq Hinds put in a strong defensive performance and did his job incredibly well and effectively, he is such a smart and astute defender.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: It was the young centre halves first competitive game time since the Terborg tournament in May but the 17 year old slotted in with ease today and defended well against PSG. He had a such a calming influence on the game, he is so steady and composed at playing it out from the back. And like on so many occasions last season Lyons-Foster formed a formidable defensive partnership with Dinzeyi. It’s worth remembering that it has only been five or so months since Brooklyn suffered a bad ligament injury he appears to be making great progress ahead of the domestic campaign.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: A strong performance in the heart of the Tottenham defence which was capped off with a fine headed goal in the opening couple of minutes of the game. Jonathan Dinzeyi made a positive impression against PSG making multiple blocks, challenges and interceptions against the French side. He kept good positioning throughout and the 18 year old was dominant in the air
– Connor Ogilvie: It was a typically excellent performance from the experienced 22 year old today. Ogilvie was the defensive lynchpin of Burnett’s side. His experience and leadership proved pivotal in dealing with the French sides attacking prowess, our skipper was immense at both ends of the pitch. His lung bursting runs caused havoc down the left wing as did his crossing ability. Ogilvie was so composed with and without the ball, he defended impeccably and read the game to perfection. How he hasn’t played for the first team I’ll never know!
– Dylan Duncan: Good competent performance from the midfield powerhouse. Duncan did the dirty work and mopped up well in the centre of the park whilst providing protection for the back four. He is looking incredibly sharp so far this season.
– Paris Maghoma: Another good outing for Maghoma at this level, the 17 year old midfielder had a positive effect on Tottenham’s game. He was involved heavily in play and held his ground against much older and more physical opponents (the oldest player in PSG’s team was 24!). He also wasn’t afraid to have a go at goal and he came close to getting on the scoresheet.
– Jamie Bowden: Another game for Bowden, another masterful performance in the middle of the park. Bowden who only recently turned 17 was terrific once again for the development side. He was relentless throughout the entirety of the match, he’s such an intelligent reader of the game. The Carrick-esque midfielder kept things ticking whilst providing a solidity to the Tottenham midfield he also made some lovely passes.
– Shayon Harrison: Operating as both a centre forward and a left winger I felt that Harrison had a good game on the whole. He was a really tricky customer for PSG and he managed to hold the ball up well and influence play from a creative perspective.
– Marcus Edwards: My motm, see below.
– Shilow Tracey: The 20 year old had a good game. He was hardworking and positive with the ball at his feet particularly in the first half when he played up top.
– Jack Roles: N/A
– Samuel Shashoua: Came on late but wasn’t given enough time to make an impression.

My man of the match: Marcus Edwards. If only Pochettino was watching young Marcus take on PSG today. The wizardry winger tore PSG to shreds he was electric, at times mesmeric and quite frankly unstoppable going forward. Hardworking and good at tracking back Edwards was the beating heart of Burnett’s side and he was pivotal to us taking PSG all the way to penalties. The 19 year olds days at Spurs may be numbered but he had such a positive impression on the game and created a plethora of chances and initiated a whole host of attacking moves. The way he danced past players and twisted and turned his way out of tight spaces can only be likened to that of the great Lionel Messi !
Goals: Jonathan Dinzeyi (8) and Lucas Bernadou.

Spurs under 23’s 2-1 Enfield Town: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 2-1 Enfield Town: (match report)

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Our under 23’s were involved in their first competitive game of pre-season on Monday evening as they made the short trip to Donkey Lane to face non league club Enfield Town. A crowd of over 700 fitted into the Queen Elizabeth II stadium to watch Wayne Burnett’s side take on the Ryman league club, owing to our first teams tour of the states many of our regular development squad players such as TJ Eyoma, George Marsh and Kazaiah Sterling were all missing. Meaning that Burnett was forced into giving many second year scholars their debut at this level, quite a step up from playing u18 football physically speaking. Burnett opted for the familiar 4-2-3-1 set up with Charlie Freeman starting off in goal. With the back four consisting of Hinds, Dinzeyi, Statham and our captain Connor Ogilvie. The more defensive Dylan Duncan and Jack Roles sat in front of the back four whilst the attacking trio of Edwards, Harrison and Samuel Shashoua stood behind makeshift centre forward Shilow Tracey who led the line. Spurs dominated large periods of the game, they were evidently the more skilful and better structured side. They played their usual passing game and enjoyed playing it out from the back, where as Enfield opted for a more direct approach to try and unsettle our young defenders. Spurs controlled the first half with little threat of a meaningful Enfield attack, and it took the young Lilywhites only 18 minutes before they took the lead through Marcus Edwards who won and converted a penalty kick. Spurs doubled their advantage shortly before the hour mark in almost identical circumstances, as Edwards won and converted his second penalty kick of the game.

The introduction of so many u18 players at half time unsettled us a little bit and we weren’t as dominant in the second half, this ultimately allowed Enfield a way back into the game. Brandon Adams pulled a glorious goal back for the hosts but despite a late flurry of attacks the young Spurs lads managed to hold on, to record a well earned victory. Enfield got the game underway on a ridiculously warm summers evening in north London, a menacing cross from Remi Sutton forced Tottenham goalkeeper Charlie Freeman into gathering the ball inside the opening couple of minutes. Spurs then created a decent move at the other end after Edwards found Shilow Tracey. The 20 year old powered forwards before slipping the ball into Harrison inside the box, the forward showed great feet but the Enfield keeper Joe Wright managed to smother the ball amidst a sea of defenders. Tracey won a free kick in a promising position a couple of moments later but Harrison’s resulting effort flew well over the crossbar. Burnett’s side were enjoying the lions share of possession, passing it around for fun in the middle of the park. The prominent Connor Ogilvie who had been excellent during the early stages of the game, did well to stop Bricknell from getting away from him on the right flank, early on. Spurs continued to dominate and the Tottenham players felt hard done by after the referee waved away a penalty claim from Shilow Tracey. Some lovey play from Spurs resulted in Duncan threading the ball into the makeshift centre forward inside the penalty area. The former Ebbsfleet man went flying to the ground after the most minimal of contact from an Enfield defender, without hesitation the referee waved away the Spurs man’s protests.

Spurs were playing some intricate tiki taka football but were lacking a bit of decisiveness in the final third. Spurs created a nice little opening when Duncan played a lovely pass into Shashoua on the left wing. The forward darted into the Enfield penalty area, playing a quick one – two with Roles before pulling off a sublime bit of skill inside the area which resulted in him being brought down by a town defender. He had a fair claim for a penalty! Spurs were slowly building up to that decisive attack, after all our defenders were not being tested in the slightest. That attack came from Marcus Edwards who took it on himself to run at the Enfield defence. Edwards the great penalty winner went on a tricky little run into the box showing nice feet and balance, before being brought down by Remi Sutton. Edwards stood up confidently to tuck the resulting spot kick into the bottom left hand corner of the net as Wright dived the wrong way, 1-0. Spurs were now growing in confidence and were eager to double their advantage. After Shashoua fed the ball into Ogilvie on the left wing the 22 year old sent an inch perfect cross into the box which frustratingly saw nobody in a blue shirt there to meet it, as Wright comfortably gobbled up the ball. It was all Spurs, and you could tell from their body language that they were extremely confident and relaxed playing against the non league side. Despite working hard up top Shilow Tracey kept on finding himself offside, the forward also had another penalty shout waived away on the half hour mark. Limited only to ambitious efforts from long range, Enfield were growing frustrated, Dan Rumens had a hopeful shot blocked by a Spurs defender. Whilst Matt Johnson let the heat get to him and decided to give the skilful Shashoua a little kick whilst on the floor after he couldn’t get the ball off of him.

Tottenham were temporarily troubled when a rare Enfield break down the left from Ryan Blackman resulted in the winger lashing the ball into the side netting of Freeman’s goal. After a short cooling break Spurs looked to catch Enfield out with a quick free kick from Marcus Edwards. The Londoner playing a quick pass to Tracey who darted into the Enfield box before passing the ball across to Shashoua on the edge of the box. However, the Tottenham wingers attempt was blocked by the body of an Enfield defender before it could trouble the goalkeeper. Charlie Freeman did well after being put under pressure by Tariq Hinds back pass, to smother the ball before Bricknell could get to it inside the area. The Essex born goalkeeper did well again a couple of moments later when he plucked Josh Davison’s pacy cross inside the Tottenham box. This late flurry of half chances for the home side continued when an Enfield player attempted to play Bricknell through on goal but for a good sliding challenge from Dinzeyi to prevent it. Spurs responded down the other end through Shashoua who did well after receiving Roles’ pass inside the box. He shimmied past an Enfield defender before unleashing a thumping effort which was deflected off of an Enfield defender and into the arms of Joe Wright. Billy Bricknell blazed an effort over the bar at the other end as the non league club struggled to match Tottenham’s high work rate. Spurs were look to exploit Enfield through the crossing ability of Ogilvie out on the left wing. After receiving a crisp pass from Shashoua Ogilvie whipped in a peach of a cross into the danger zone only narrowly evading Tracey who was diving in at the back post. Shortly afterwards Enfield came their closest yet to scoring, Matt Johnson’s well struck effort flying narrowly over from range.

A late corner kick caused a bit of mayhem in the Spurs box but a good piece of defending from Roles on the line, ensured that Spurs went into the interval with their lead intact, it had been a very comfortable half of football for Spurs. A plethora of changes occurred on half time as a whole host of younger players were brought into the frame. Players such as Bowden, Maghoma, Markanday and De Bie all came on, this forced Statham into playing at right back. Spurs started the second half the same way they had finished the first, with real attacking intent. Shortly after the game had got back underway the potent Shashoua caused the Enfield defence a bit of bother with another lovely bit of skill, but once again Taofiq Olomowewe got in front of him to block his attempt on goal. Spurs were continuing to dominate proceedings and they came close to doubling their advantage when Edwards slipped the ball into Maghoma on the right side of the penalty area. The midfielders powerfully struck effort was well saved by Wright who made a fine reflex save. However, Wright undone all that good work when he gave away a penalty on 57 minutes. Edwards had done well to win his second penalty of the game, after Markanday initiated the counter attack from Spurs, sprinting forwards down the middle. The 16 year old played in the advancing Edwards who managed to trick his way past a couple of Enfield defenders and into the box, only to be brought down by the outrushing Wright who took him out. Totally missing the ball in the process, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Edwards stepped up once again to cooly slot the ball straight down the middle of the goal, Spurs were playing some really intricate attacking football, 2-0.

However, Burnett’s side had a bit of an unnerving moment shortly after the restart when Dinzeyi misjudged a long ball, heading it back to Enfield’s Billy Bricknell who cut inside onto his right foot. The one time Spurs schoolboy fired an effort at goal from an acute angle, forcing a good save from the feet of De Bie. The Belgian made a comfortable save a couple of moments later to gather Olomowewe’s headed attempt at goal, meanwhile Dinzeyi had appeared to pick up an injury and was spotted limping about the park. 16 year old Irishman Troy Parrott replaced the somewhat ineffective Tracey on 64 minutes to add fresh legs to Spurs’ game. The presence and movement of 17 year Tottenham midfielder Jamie Bowden in the centre park was mightily impressive, and he was breaking up play really well. Spurs substitute Paris Maghoma was given the first yellow card of the game on 68 minutes after conceding a foul in a dangerous position, and then deciding to kick the ball away in anger. Fortunately Billy Bricknell’s resulting free kick flew straight into the Tottenham wall. By this time Enfield were now gambling with their defence by coming forward a lot more, after Dinzeyi made an important block to thwart Bricknell’s effort, the home side pulled a goal back through Brandon Adams. It was a goal from the substitute, an Enfield trialist passed the ball to Adams on the edge of the penalty area. Adams curled a wonderful first time effort into the top right hand corner of De Bie’s goal leaving the Belgian with no chance. Adams effort had dip, curl and pace on it, it was an excellent goal.

After Enfield pulled a goal back Burnett’s side appeared to drop their intensity and seemed to drop deeper in the process, preferring to pass the ball around the midfield. However, a fruitful attack from Edwards almost wrapped the game up in style for Spurs after he went on a brilliant attacking foray. Edwards cut inside onto his left foot before smashing an effort from about 20 yards out, onto the frame of the Enfield crossbar. A couple of minutes later a golden chance fell to Troy Parrott after a long ball was headed into the path of the Dubliner by an Enfield defender. Cool and composed as he darted into the penalty area I expected the net to bulge, but the Dubliners placed effort instead squirmed inches wide of the mark. Maghoma was then gifted with a chance after receiving the ball on the edge of the box, but his hurried effort ended up flying across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick. This late flurry of attacks from Burnett’s side was showing no signs of stopping. A well executed move saw Edwards pass to Parrott, the Ireland u17 international quickly shifted the ball into the feet of Markanday inside the penalty area. The winger forcing a good save from the goalkeeper low down. Parrott continued to make good runs off the shoulders of the Enfield defenders and once again he came desperately close to getting on the scoresheet. After Shashoua had picked up the ball in the centre of the park, he decided to drive forwards through the middle. The forward darted towards the penalty area, before passing the ball to Parrott on the left side of the area. Parrott’s powerful low effort flew inches wide of the goal much to the Enfield goalkeepers relief.

Spurs had a late scare in stoppage time after Ogilvie was caught out by an Enfield substitute (name unknown). Fortunately for Burnett’s side the trialist’s effort was spectacularly saved from close range by De Bie, as Spurs held onto record an impressive 2-1 victory over their local neighbours. It was a good first test of the season for Wayne Burnett’s side before they head off to Ploufragan for the Tournoi Europeen later in the week. It was a good performance from an incredibly young Spurs side, it exposed them to some good physical battles against a senior team. But it also gave them a taste of what men’s football is like and I think it was hugely beneficial for so many of them to experience that. Up next for Burnett’s side is a trip to Brittany in France, to defend the Tournoi Europeen which starts on Friday. I will be traveling down to France on Thursday to report on the three day youth tournament. Our first game kicks off at 12:15 (GBM) this Friday and it is against French giants PSG. Meanwhile, the PL2 fixtures are expected to be announced by the premier league later in the week. A talking point from last nights game was the absence of Reo Griffiths, unless he is injured then I fear he may too be on the way out sometime this transfer window, but let’s wait and see.

Player reviews: – Charlie Freeman: The 18 year old played the first half of last nights game and despite enduring a quiet 45 minutes of football, I felt he had a good game. Enfield didn’t manage to get an effort on target in the first half, but it was Freeman’s confidence and composure at dealing with set pieces and crosses which were so impressive. He didn’t put a foot wrong.
– Tariq Hinds: An excellent performance from Tottenham’s versatile right back. Hinds played the whole of the first half before being brought back on towards the dying stages of the game. He read the game well and was more than adept at coping with Enfield’s Ryan Blackman out on the left wing, not once did Blackman get the better of Hinds who defended with such ease. It’s such a shame that the Goodmayes born teenager isn’t out in America with the first team.
– Connor Ogilvie: My motm, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: It was an excellent performance from the deep lying central midfielder who played the first half. Duncan stayed further back then his midfield partner Roles but he had a positive effect on the game. Often filling in at centre half, the 19 year old kept things ticking and protected our young defenders. He was also extremely good on the ball almost Dembele like, I really hope he stays clear of injuries this season as he is a top player.
– Maxwell Statham: It was a good showing from the 17 year old defender against Enfield on Monday evening. He clocked up 74 minutes of playing time, starting out as a centre half before being switched to fullback at half time, I thought Statham did well overall. He made some important blocks and headed clearances.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: On the whole it was a good performance from the young centre half. Dinzeyi imposed himself well on the game and after a mostly comfortable first half which saw him make a couple of important interventions. The 18 year old got even more stuck in, in the second half and made some important challenges and blocks.
– Marcus Edwards: His days in north London might be numbered but Edwards would have left a positive impression on any scouts who were attending Monday nights game. Although quiet for large spells, Edwards was the difference between the two teams. He singlehandedly created and scored both of our goals, and was desperately unlucky not to cap that off with a spectacular solo effort late in the game. Whilst he did go missing for periods of the match you couldn’t question his influence on it.
– Jack Roles: Kept things simple and mopped up well after him, the Cypriot youth international had a calming presence on the first half which included an important goal line clearance. He gave a good account himself.
– Shilow Tracey: Tracey was hardworking but ultimately ineffective during his 64 minute spell on the pitch. The 20 year old who played as a make shift centre forward, put in plenty of graft and pressed the defenders well. However, his movement and timing of his runs was a bit erratic and he was caught offside on many an occasion.
– Shayon Harrison: The 21 year old played well as a CAM threading some nice passes into Tracey, but he would have wanted to be on the end of those passes himself. Altogether I think it was a frustrating evening for the forward as he struggled to really influence the game. Hopefully he’ll be used as a centre forward in the Tournoi Europeen later this week.
– Samuel Shashoua: The artist gave a really good account of himself out on the left wing. He worked incredibly hard to create space, he was slso skilful and productive. Initiating some clever moves with the forwards he remained one of our main attacking outlets. Shashoua also tracked back and committed himself defensively!
– Jonathan De Bie: Coming onto replace Freeman at half time, De Bie had an excellent game inbetween the sticks. Making a string of fine match winning saves, the 18 year old also dealt well with crosses and set pieces. It was a very impressive showing from the young man.
– Jubril Okedina: Okedina put in a good second half performance, he remained solid and composed throughout.
– Jamie Bowden: Still only 17 the young midfielder who entered the frame at half time, had a remarkable influence on the game. He put in a really mature and assured performance in the centre of the park. He made great movement and managed to find himself in space a lot of the time. But it was his tenacity and ability to break up play so well which was his most impressive quality. The second year scholar also made some fine passes throughout the second half.
– Paris Maghoma: Imposed himself well on the game after being introduced at half time. He gave was a good attacking outlet for Burnett’s side and he continuously found himself in good positions in and around the six yard box. Linking up well with the lively Marcus Edwards on several occasions, Maghoma was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself.
– Troy Parrott: The 16 year old had a good cameo up top after replacing Shilow Tracey in the 64th minute. Parrott made some excellent runs off the shoulders of defenders and he also timed those runs to perfection. He was desperately unlucky not to convert one of the two clear cut chances that came his way.
– Dilan Markanday: It was a good positive performance from Markanday in the number 10 role. He was productive and embarked on some fruitful runs through the middle.

My man of the match: Connor Ogilvie. By far our best player on the night, 22 year old fullback Connor Ogilvie put in an excellent shift at left back. The skipper was superb throughout, he read the game to perfection and put in a really assured defensive performance. He also impressed going forwards (particularly in the first half) and he went on some brilliant galavanting runs down the left wing, whipping in many positive crosses in the process. He kept Enfield’s danger man Billy Bricknell at bay and only one occasion did he get caught out on that left side. Ogilvie was terrifically consistent and I’m still holding out hope that Pochettino will recognise what a good left back he is.

Enfield Town: Wright, Purcell, Sutton, Johnson, Olomowewe, Rumens, Blackman (c), Taaffe, Bricknell, Davisnon, Sayoud. Substitutes: Jones, Youngs, Hope, Hockney, Mubiayi, Chaney, Empson, Adams, Tunbridge, Mclean, Gallagher.

Spurs U23s: Freeman (De Bie 46), Hinds (Okedina 46), Ogilvie (c), Duncan (Bowden 46), Statham (Hinds 74), Dinzeyi, Edwards, Roles (Maghoma 46), Tracey (Parrott 64), Harrison (Markanday 46), S Shashoua. Substitute (not used): Oluwayemi.

Goals: Enfield Town – Adams 79; Edwards 18 (pen), 57 (pen).

Yellow card: Spurs – Maghoma 68.

Referee: Chris Bodell.

Attendance: 732.

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.

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