The five Spurs youngsters who I’m hoping to see make the pre-season tour of the USA later this month:

The five Spurs youngsters who I’m hoping to see make the pre-season tour of the USA later this month:

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We may be in the midst of one of the most exhilarating World Cup campaigns in recent memory, but it’s easy to forget that our beloved Spurs are back in action in just a couple of weeks time. Our first team kick off their pre-season tour of the USA on the 25th of this month, whilst our development side and under 18’s (some of whom have already resumed full training at Hotspur way) will travel to France to take part in the annual three day tournament in Brittany. I am hoping to report on that tournament. On top of that a Spurs youth side (u16’s) will take on non league team Bury town around that very same period. There has been a few interesting stories regarding the Tottenham academy since the 17/18 season came to an end. One of the most significant ones was the departure of under 18’s head coach Scott Parker who joined Fulham as a first team coach last week, a real shame for all at Spurs. Parker’s departure has resulted in experienced academy coach and former youth player Matt Wells taking over the reigns for the coming season. You may have also missed the news regarding talented Tottenham schoolboy Noni Madeuke who snubbed the offer of a two year scholarship at Spurs to join Dutch giants PSV. Madeuke is the latest in a line of young English players who are trying there luck on mainland Europe. On top of that, 19 year old fullback Jaden Brown was recently on trial with Dutch Eerste divisie side NEC Nijmegen, Brown only signed a new contract with Spurs the previous month. However, but the Dutch club have decided not pursue matters and after a week of training, the fullback has since returned to Hotspur way.

Due to the FIFA World Cup a whole clutch of first team players could be rested for our tour of the states later on this month. This would free up more spaces for our academy players to take up. As many as eleven of our youngsters could make the trip across the pond. Last season saw players such as Anthony Georgiou, Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Kyle Walker-Peters get pitch time over in the very same pre-season competition. Providing some invaluable experience with the first team in the process. In the following piece I have selected five of our academy hopefuls who I hope to see included in the squad which travels to America with the first team, in just over two weeks time. I haven’t listed youngsters who have already made numerous appearances for the first team. Players such as Onomah, Walker-Peters and Carter-Vickers.

Anthony Georgiou: It was at this time last year when Anthony Georgiou introduced himself to the Spurs faithful. The speedy young winger was brought on at half time by Pochettino during our chaotic ICC friendly with Roma in Minneapolis. After enduring an injury hit campaign the following season, Georgiou seized his chance with both hands, putting in an electric performance against Roma’s Bruno Peres out on the left wing. Direct and positive with a flare about his game, the young Georgiou won many plaudits off of fans for his bright performance. This resulted in him appearing in two more games for the first team before the start of the 17/18 campaign. Where he would go on to make his senior debut for Spurs in our UEFA champions league game against APOEL Nicosia. Anthony spent large chunks of the season training with the first team, whilst dividing his time playing matches for our development side. As you’ll all know from reading my reports over the last few seasons, I’m a massive fan of the Cypriot international. He is in my eyes the perfect winger. Strong, fast, incredibly hard working (tracks back) and to cap it all off he has a wand of a left boot. After enjoying a memorable 2017/18 season, Georgiou will be hoping to push on even more next season. With pre-season providing him with another brilliant opportunity to catch Pochettino’s eye, before he picks his squad for the forthcoming tour of the states. Georgiou who appeared 13 times for the under 23 side last season scoring once, was impressive throughout his time in the development side. That burning ambition and hunger to take players on from both LW and LWB, provided Burnetts side with an all too often creative spark down the left wing .

The oldest academy player that I have included on my list, I would be very surprised if the Lewisham born player doesn’t travel to the states once again this summer. Pochettino is a big fan, and I’m sure he’ll be keen to have another look at Anthony in a big game environment. The tour of the states will provide that perfect platform for Georgiou. Whether or not he will go out on loan this season is yet to be seen but I have seen a couple of rumours on twitter which have linked him with loans moves to both Leeds United and Millwall (I don’t know how reliable they are). Regardless, he thoroughly deserves his place in the squad.

Oliver Skipp: The domineering central midfielder (17) is one of our most exciting academy hopefuls. Skipp had a remarkable season during the 17/18 campaign, the then first year scholar cemented his place in the development side right from the offing. Putting in many a masterful performance against far older opposition. Skipp is the best (English) 17 year old midfielder in the country, with his wide ranging skill set and fine footballing brain, ‘ Skippy ‘ has the ability to dictate games from the centre of the park. He plays with eyes in the back of his head, he anticipates the game like nobody else in Burnetts side and he has an understanding which is light years ahead of anyone else in his age group. A key player for the under 23’s, Skipp also played starring roles in the Spurs u19 and u18 sides. Equally as adept at playing as a centre half (which he often filed in at for the 18’s) the teenager from Hertford made close to 40 appearances for the various youth sides last season. His calming and effective impact on the game is something which should all but guarantee him a place on the US tour. He is the complete midfielder who doesn’t play about with the ball. He is an accurate passer and a subtly creative midfielder, who likes to sit in front of the back four where he recycles possession and breaks up play. Skipp demonstrated his ability to perform consistently on the u23 stage last season and whilst it is unlikely that he will go onto break into the first team over the course of next season, he could still be blooded into the senior side our pre season tour. He would slot in seamlessly.

Samuel Shashoua: A tricky and astute forward who endured a frustrating, injury hit campaign last season. 19 year old Samuel Shashoua is another youngster who should be travelling with the first team squad to America. After a sparkling 16/17 season for the under 18’s, Shashoua initially struggled to get game time for Burnetts side during the early stages of last season. This, coupled in with a series of frustrating injuries throughout the season halted his progress. However, when Shashoua did play for the under 19’s and 23’s he played exceptionally well. Due to it being a more physical game Shashoua wasn’t able to run rings around opposing teams defenders as frequently as before. But I felt as if he had adapted his game. Hardworking and difficult to shrug off the ball, the highly intelligent forward reminded me more and more of Christian Eriksen as the season progressed. His weight of pass and off the ball and on the ball movements are all so similar to that of the Danish star. Samuel clocked up six goals and five assists at youth level last season despite his injury troubles, he also went onto win the player of the tournament at the Volksbank cup in Germany after the end of the domestic season. The immensely talented teenager who has already appeared on the bench for the first team (back in May of 2017 against Leicester) is more than ready to get his first real taste of first team football. If Marcus Edwards was able to adapt to it back in 2016 then Samuel is more then capable of following suit.

Tariq Hinds: A mainstay in Scott Parker’s under 18 side last season, Hinds was one of the teams most consistent performers, making more appearances than anybody else. The incredibly versatile right back played in a variety of positions throughout the campaign (LB, CDM and CB). Hinds is very much a defensive right back who rarely seems to stray past the halfway line despite his explosive pace and good close ball control. However, the 18 year old very rarely gets beaten by his man down the wing, two of his finest qualities are his positioning and concentration. Whilst I don’t expect Hinds to make a significant push for the first team next season, I do expect him to become an important player for the under 23 side. Hinds has only ever featured on two occasions for the development side. However, his impressive performances for the under 18’s and 19’s in a wide range of positions over the last couple of seasons will have caught the eye of Pochettino and his coaching staff. The former England u16 international is yet another exciting fullback and an accomplished centre half and central midfielder too. It would be great to see him involved in the ICC cup later this month. After all Kyle Walker-Peters made his first team debut around the same time.

Reo Griffiths: After a summer of speculation and many a cryptic instagram post, Tottenham’s prolific young forward appears to be staying at Spurs for another season at least. After signing a one year extension to his scholarship last month the 18 year old who scored a remarkable 34 goals last season, was strongly linked with a move to German club RB Leipzig. But with that now all behind him us Spurs fans can now look forward to seeing how he does for the under 23 side next season. Having only made a handful of appearances for them before. Will he translate that form into the development side? His physical prowess at u18 level allowed him to bully defenders and let him express himself as a centre forward. Take nothing away from the former Leyton Orient schoolboy though, who was exceptional for Parker’s side scoring a whole range of goals throughout the season. But despite being our most effective young forward his biggest test will be replicating that form at PL2 level next season. I hope that Griffiths travels with the first team to the states as not only will it be a great experience for him but it will also provide the young striker with a far more challenging platform to test his mettle. For somebody who used to be a centre half just over three years ago, Reo’s rapid development is extremely impressive.

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My end of season player review of the Spurs under 23 side:

My end of season player review of the Spurs under 23 side:

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It’s fair to say that it’s been a thrilling and at times difficult season for Wayne Burnetts development squad over the course of the 2017/18 campaign. There have been many highs and lows, and disappointments on the domestic stage. But his young side have shown the character and the bottle when it mattered. Seemingly destined to be heading for relegation at the midpoint of the league season, Burnett and the now departed Justin Cochrane galvanised the side into going on a great run of results. A 3-1 win at Old Trafford in January was the start of the fight back, impressive victories against the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal followed. And Burnett’s side secured their division one status with a game to spare, after they defeated Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge with just ten men! Burnett’s first season as manager of the development squad has seen Spurs compete in three domestic competitions. The PL2, the checkatrade trophy (which we need to enter again next season) and the premier league international cup. We were knocked out of the checkatrade trophy in the group stages after picking up one point from our three games. We were also knocked out of the premier league international cup in the group stages however, we were desperately unlucky. We finished second in a group containing Villarreal B and Benfica B. We picked up four points from our three matches, and only missed out on one of the two best runners up places by one point. Whilst us surviving relegation in the league, was by far our best achievement, I think the season gone has provided some invaluable experience for members of the development squad, particularly for those who have yet to play a minute of senior football.

It’s been an absolute pleasure traveling the country reporting on this team, I have seen some great games of football. But most importantly of all I have been left proud of every single one of our lads performances throughout the season. They embody the very spirit of this club, they are all one of our own. The following is an in-depth review of each players season, I have not included those who have made the odd appearance from the under 18 side, as I will be doing a separate review of the under 18’s season at a later date. All views are my own. COYS

Goalkeepers:

Alfie Whiteman: It’s been an interesting season for the 19 year old goalkeeper, Whiteman made more appearances for the development side then any other keeper. But due to the arrival of Paulo Gazzaniga back in the summer of 2017, Whiteman’s involvement with the first team has decreased. Now regarded as the fourth choice goalkeeper at the club, Whiteman has still been training with the seniors on occasions. He even featured on the bench for Pochettino’s side during our premier league game against Crystal Palace, owing only to an injury crisis. As for Whiteman’s performances for the under 23’s, well they’ve been varied. Don’t get me wrong he is a solid and talented young goalkeeper however, I feel that his lack of consistent game time for the youth team over the last year and a half has hampered his development just that little bit. His performances for the development side have varied greatly. Most of the time he has been decent for Burnetts side. However, I have noticed quite a few costly errors which have stemmed from his distribution. Games against Barnet and Manchester United particularly spring to mind. Whiteman, who hasn’t been called up to England’s youth team in a over a year will most likely be on the plane to the states with the seniors this summer. Still only 19 years of age, I’m predicting a first team loan to a league one or two club next season, to aid his development. Kenny Jacketts Portsmouth side springs to mind.

Brandon Austin: The former Chelsea schoolboy has made great strides this season. A key member of both the development side and the under 19’s. Austin’s exceptional performances inbetween the sticks, have been an all too common theme in my reports over the course of the season, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed. The USA under 19 international has recently been called up to England’s under 19 squad ahead of next months European championships in Finland. Austin was also given a new contract by the club earlier in the season. A consistent and important member of Burnetts side, Austin’s excellent shot stopping ability combined with his fine all round goalkeeping has impressed me massively throughout the campaign. Austin played every game in the run up to the quarterfinals of the UEFA youth league, his goalkeeping heroics in the last 16 against Monaco helped us to win the penalty shootout. I’m a big fan of Austin, not only do I think he’s a brilliant keeper. But I also like his assertiveness and dominance inside the box, he is a vocal member of the side and he manages to marshal his defence well. I would expect Brandon to be the first choice goalkeeper for the under 23’s next season, assuming of course that Whiteman will go out on loan. His only direct competition would come from Jonathan De Bie.

Luke O’Reilly: O’Reilly was a surprise inclusion in the development squad at the start of the season. He appeared out of nowhere on the bench for our first U23 game of the season against Sunderland, back in August. It turned out that he had joined Spurs on a one year deal after being released by Cardiff City. O’Reilly who is also eligible for the Republic of Ireland, only went on to make one appearance for Burnetts side. That came in our 1-0 victory over Liverpool in February, he actually looked really good in the one game that he did play for us. A good all round keeper who looked good with his feet. However, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him end up being released come the end of June.

Tom Glover: Glover (20) spent the entirety of the season out on loan with Australian A league side Central Coast mariners in his native Australia. Glover only played two games for the A league club all of which came in the first month of the season, for the rest of the season he sat on the bench and had his loan terminated earlier this month. There is talk that Glover will be released upon the expiration of his contract in June.

Defenders:

Jaden Brown: Brown made the step up full time to the development side for the 17/18 campaign. A versatile defender who is primarily used a left back, Jaden went on to make 17 league appearances for Burnetts side during the season. Brown has looked decent and competent at this level, but he is a very defensive Ogilvie-esque fullback who rarely takes on players. The Lewisham born defender who has also filled in at cb on occasions, is a decent prospect who defensively speaking has had a good season. Although injuries have halted the 19 year olds progress to an extent, he has put in some strong performances notably against the likes of Sunderland and Liverpool towards the beginning of the campaign. Brown has also been involved in a number of UEFA youth league matches and scored an excellent goal in our win against Borussia Dortmund. It is unclear what the future holds for the 19 year old.

Jonathan Dinzeyi: Dinzeyi is a player who I am a massive fan of, he is an exciting ball playing centre half who loves to take risks. The 18 year old has made great strides during the 17/18 season. Combining his time playing for both the under 18’s and 23’s Dinzeyi endured a difficult first few months to the season. After being included in Pochettino’s pre season squad which traveled to the USA in the summer, Dinzeyi also appeared on the bench for our senior side during their friendly with Juventus at Wembley, in August. However, he had to wait until the end of that month before he played his first youth game of the season. Then came the injuries, and the youngster had to wait until October time before he could start getting regular game time at both u18 and u23
level. Dinzeyi featured on eight occasions for Burnetts side throughout the season, the second year scholar put in a string of strong performances. Most of which came with the commanding Maghoma by his side. Dinzeyi also featured prominently for Scott Parker’s under 18 side where he also put in a string of fine defensive performances. Dinzeyi is an interesting player to watch as he is still a relatively recent convert to his role, it wasn’t too long ago that he was playing for the under 16’s out on the wing. Dinzeyi is a courageous defender who is never afraid to slide in on his man, something which has tended to cost him on occasions. However, I greatly admire his style of play. He certainly isn’t afraid to go on long surging runs through the middle, nor is he afraid to play about the with the ball whilst under pressure. He is very raw and is by no means the finished article, but the former England youth international shows great promise and the recent campaign will have given him a lot to build on ahead of next season. A loan to a lower league 2 or national league club certainly isn’t beyond his capabilities!

TJ Eyoma: Eyoma has enjoyed an excellent season in the Tottenham youth set up, the England under 18 international has played in a variety of roles but has remained consistent throughout. Playing mainly at right back, Eyoma has been eased back into his natural position as a centre half as the season progressed. Featuring 14 times for Burnetts side during the PL2 campaign, Eyoma’s ice cool defending and maturity proved crucial to Spurs avoiding the drop. Eyoma was solid at right back for the majority of the campaign though his lack of pace could be an issue at times. But it was when he was in his natural position of centre half, which he really shone. Unlike Dinzeyi he rarely dives into challenges, for Eyoma it’s all about timing. His anticipation to danger is second to none, Eyoma was also an important member of Scott Parker’s under 18 and 19 sides. Hopefully next season will see Eyoma play in his favoured position throughout the U23 season.

Christian Maghoma: Without the Democratic Republic of Congo international, Wayne Burnetts side would not have avoided the drop, it’s simple as that! The towering and dominant centre half was a leader throughout the campaign, his steel and grit at the heart of the Tottenham defence combined with his excellent aerial ability, really strengthened our young defence. I thought that him and Dinzeyi formed a particularly strong defensive pairing. Unfortunately Maghoma will be leaving Spurs next month with a whole host of top European clubs looking to secure him on a free transfer despite Spurs wanting to keep him.

Further reading: https://superhotspur.com/2018/05/20/farewell-and-good-luck-to-our-young-defender-christian-maghoma/

Japhet Tanganga: Tanganga is another defender who suffered with injury problems throughout the campaign. However, the England under 19 international still managed to rack up 15 league appearances for the under 23 side. Tanganga had a good season, particularly in the UEFA youth league. The Hackney born defender put in a series of strong defensive performances, excellent in the air and as good as anyone at making a challenge, it was a fine albeit slightly frustrating season for Tanganga. I sincerely hope that he’ll get exposure to men’s football over the next course of the next season. Physically and technically speaking he is more than ready to play for a league one club.

Anton Walkes: After spending a successful loan spell out in the states, Walkes returned to Spurs in January of this year. And would go onto play two games for the development side (scoring one goal) before being shipped out on loan once more, this time to league one side Portsmouth. Walkes enjoyed a successful loan spell at Pompey, he played 12 times for the south coast club before having to return to Spurs following an injury. Hugh Bunce of Pompey news now, kindly gave me some insight as to how Walkes got on at the league one club. “Anton arrived on loan in January after previously impressing on loan for Atlanta United. Anton slotted straight in at right back and scored on his debut with a volley at the back post. The first attribute that stands out is his excellent athleticism. Combining this with an excellent work-rate, Walkes gets back into defensive position very quickly after pushing forward. After losing Danny Rose to injury before Christmas, Pompey desperately needed a defensive midfielder. Walkes strength, tenacity, athleticism and ability to make a good pass out of midfield made him a prime candidate. It took Kenny Jackett a little longer to realise this, however, once Walkes was moved to defensive midfield he thrived. Pompey looked like a different side with Walkes in the middle. He closes teams creative midfielders down well. Against Champions Wigan, Walkes helped keep their flurry of creative midfielders at bay, while making the pass to Ben Close who won a penalty. There is a lot of creditable chat that Walkes will be back with Pompey on a permanent deal next season. Specifically, to play his new role in the heart of the Pompey side.“

Nick Tsaroulla: Nick Tsaroulla’s season has been absolute nightmare and I really feel for the talented 19 year old fullback. Barring a five minute cameo against West Ham under 23’s back in August, Tsaroulla hasn’t kicked a ball for Spurs this season. It is to my understanding that Nick was involved in a car crash right at the beginning of the campaign, this resulted in a neck injury being sustained, an injury has continued to bother him throughout the season. Nick is an exciting left back who was pivotal to Spurs under 18’s reaching the semifinals of the FA youth cup the previous season. Pacy and nimble footed, Tsaroulla is an excellent dribbler who contributes massively to the game at both ends of the pitch, he loves a crunching challenge! Tsaroulla has often been seen watching the development side warm up ahead of games. More positively I have noticed that Nick appears to be back in training at Hotspur Way however, I have seen various postings on social media suggesting that he will be released by the club next month. I would be shocked if that were to be the case.

Connor Ogilvie: Connor spent the entirety of the season out on loan with league one side Gillingham, after joining the Gills back in June of 2017. His third consecutive loan spell in three seasons, the left back who is now 22 went on to appear 41 times for the Kent club. Ogilvie turns 23 next February and I cannot see him spending another season on loan from the lilywhites, unfortunately I would expect him to be sold during the summer, which is a shame as I’ve always been a big fan of the former England under 17 international. A Gillingham supporter kindly gave me his take on Ogilvie’s season for the Gills. ”Connor Ogilvie has played forty two Matches For Gillingham football club, with his only goal for the Gills coming in our 2-1 Away Defeat Against Bury. LINK IS HERE”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO7D9vx0i_Y

”Connor Ogilvie has played at left centre back In a back Three / back five, left wing Back, and for the most part, Connor Ogilvie has started for Gillingham at left back, but has struggled to get in the starting line up recently, With Bradley Garmston recovering from injury. I think it has been a difficult step up for Ogilvie, having had loan spells with Stevenage in League Two, and Gillingham have had a tough season this season before finally being able to retain our league one status with a 1-1 draw against Bristol Rovers a couple of weeks back. I am unsure on what happens for Connor Ogilvie in the summer, does he go back to Tottenham and push for a first team role, could he return to Gillingham on loan again, or sign for a league One / league two club on a five month loan deal, or a season long loan.“

Midfielders:

Luke Amos: The 21 year old did a fine job for the development side during the first half of the season, operating mainly as the hod carrier within the side. Amos even made the bench for the senior side during our champions league game against APOEL back in December. A tireless and tenacious midfielder, Amos was loaned out to league two club Stevenage for the second half of the season. Twitter user Stevenage central picks up from here: ”Some players struggle to adapt to EFL football but Amos has settled right in perfectly. He gives everything in games. He is very mobile and has high levels of composure, he is so calm on the ball. He is very adaptable and played on the right side of a diamond for a fair while before he revelled in his chance to shine in attacking midfield. He has this way of finding space and making things happen. He has put a shift attacking and defending as well. He’s dealt with physicality well. He transformed our midfield and we all think he is capable of higher league football. He in february had arguably had one of the best midfielders in the division Luke Berry in his back pocket. Popped up with two important goals. Took the club in to his heart and always has time with fans. We are desperate for him to stay but if not he’s got our best wishes because he’s got a massive future ahead of him. I couldnt even pick a main criticism out of his game really.” I would be shocked if Luke wasn’t included in the squad that will travel to the US in July!

Marcus Edwards: Widely regarded as Tottenham’s most exciting youth prospect in a generation, by many. Marcus Edwards rocketed to fame amongst the Spurs fans the previous season after his lively 15 minute cameo against Gillingham in the league cup. Forward a year and a half in time and Edwards situation couldn’t look more different. Tottenham’s ”mini Messi” put in a series of mixed performances for the development side, though he was excellent for the under 19’s during the group stages of the UEFA youth league. Still this was not enough for Pochettino to call him up to the senior side. Edwards was subsequently loaned out to Norwich in January in what turned out to be a disastrous loan move for the teenager. It took weeks before canaries boss Daniel Farke even named him on the bench for the Championship club. Matters weren’t helped by the fact that Farke hinted that there were a couple of issues with Edwards attitude, as previously alluded to by a fair few journalists. Edwards made just the one appearance for Norwich when he came on in the 84th minute of their 2-0 home defeat to Fulham. Edwards never played for Norwich again and his loan spell was terminated back in April, this prompted a very interesting article in the Telegraph which I’m sure you lot are all aware about. Edwards has talent in abundance, but I don’t subscribe to the massive hype that surrounds him. And I personally much prefer Samuel Shashoua who is a very similar type of player to Edwards. I just hope that Edwards gets given the chance to showcase his quality out on loan again, next season.

Dylan Duncan: Looking to build on a great season with the under 18’s the previous term. The powerful midfielder shone in pre season for the development side and he was able to continue that fine form into the beginning of the domestic campaign. Putting in some eye catching performances in the centre of the park, Duncan was showing an attacking flair to his game, which even saw him score two goals in the month of August. However, from that moment on Duncan was plagued with injuries and was ruled out until January. After returning to action in our 3-1 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Duncan went on to make a series of appearances from the subs bench, but was unable able to regain his place in the side.

Anthony Georgiou: For many of you who follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’m a massive fan of Anthony Georgiou. I don the Spurs wingers shirt with pride at every game, and have long been a fan of the pacy and direct left winger. Anthony has had the season of his life for both club and country, he shone during the pre season tour of the states. He seized his chance with both hands and put in a really promising performance against Roma in Minneapolis. Georgiou featured on a couple of more occasions for the seniors that summer but the best part was yet to come. After training exclusively with the senior side during the first few months of the season, Pochettino handed Anthony his senior debut for the club in our UEFA champions league group game against APOEL. Georgiou came on as a late substitute in a country that he has such strong links with, it was a wonderful moment for the youngster. Anthony appeared on the bench for the seniors on two more occasions, against both Real Madrid and Newport respectively. He also made 12 appearances for Burnetts development side, scoring on one occasion in a 4-2 win against Derby. Anthony divided his time playing at left wing back and also as an out and out winger, he put in a series of excellent performances for the U23’s across the campaign. His searing pace, strength and excellent crossing ability combined with his tight defending, gave the team an important attacking outlet. In an age where the modern winger has become more and more reluctant to take on defenders, it is so refreshing to see Anthony run at defenders without any fear.

By the end of the season Anthony had won two full international caps for Cyprus, a remarkable feat! What Anthony has achieved in the season just gone is absolutely incredible, when you think back to the 16/17 season. A season which Anthony missed the vast majority of due to a serious knee injury. After a long rehabilitation process which resulted in a trip to the Aspetar clinic in Qatar, Anthony has come back even stronger. He is without doubt the hardest worker on the pitch of anyone in the development side, and he is a great role model to any young player in the academy. I hope to see Pochettino involve Georgiou even more in the first team next season, he is capable of offering so much to the side.

George Marsh: The tough tackling midfielder made 15 league appearances for Burnetts side during the 17/18 season. Marsh who also featured prominently for the under 19’s, had on the whole a decent season which was at times spoilt by his lack of discipline. Marsh put in a string of a very competent performances at both right back and CDM, he was particularly good at chasing down opponents and fitted in well with Tottenham’s high pressing philosophy. As mentioned in almost every single one of my reports over the course of the season, Marsh has an issue with his temper. He was sent off twice last season but in men’s football that figure would have been far, far higher. Don’t get me wrong I am an admirer of Marsh, I like his style but I think that a loan to a league two club would do him the world of good.

Samuel Shashoua: After an exceptional season for the under 18’s in the 16/17 season, Shashoua made the permanent step up to the development side during the recent campaign. A player who I have called ”our own David Silva” for his likeness to the Man City star, Shashoua is without doubt one of our brightest academy prospects. However, owing to a series of injuries Shashoua has been unable to make as much of an impact as he would have liked this season. He was unable to get many opportunities to start for the 23’s during the first few months of the season. Owing to Marcus Edwards and Shilow Tracey being given a large bulk of playing time. Yet when he did play he impressed, and it was during October time when he went on a fine run of form for both the under 19’s and 23’s, putting in some sparkling attacking performances. Frustratingly injuries continued to disrupt his progress for the remainder of the season, but when he did play he was excellent. His clever little weaving runs, deceptive through balls and movement in the final third caused opposition teams many problems. Earlier this month Shashoua picked up the player of the tournament award in the U19 Volksbank cup in Germany, finding the net on five occasions. I’ve been very impressed with Samuel once again this season, and I’m sensing an even brighter campaign for him next season. Of Samuels many impressive performances this season, ones which stand out are his game changing performance against Monaco in the Youth league. His mesmeric display against West Ham in August, aswell as his quietly influential performance against Arsenal in March.

Oliver Skipp: Name me a better 17 year old (English) midfielder then Oliver Skipp and I’ll be mightily impressed. The immensely talented central midfielder made incredible strides during the course of the season. After an impressive pre season, Skipp took to under 23 football like a duck to water. Playing over 20 times for Burnetts side, Skipp became a key player in the side. His remarkable maturity and awareness made the first year scholar a force to be reckoned with. He singlehandedly embarrassed Jack Rodwell during our first PL2 game of the season, up in County Durham. From there he never looked back, his consistent and dominant performances in the middle of the park blocked the progress of players such as Jack Roles (19) who couldn’t get a game. Skipp is hard to compare to one particular player as he has such a wide ranging skill set, comfortable at centre half which he has filled in at on many occasions for the under 18 side this season. Skipp has the ability to totally dictate games from the middle of the park, the way in which he bosses the midfield, recycles possession and creates from deep is superb. He is light years ahead of his age group, it’s his anticipation of the game which makes him such a good player. He is constantly looking over his shoulder, he doesn’t play about with the ball nor does he take unnecessary risks, for me he is the complete midfielder. I would be astonished if he doesn’t make his senior debut for the lilywhites next season.

Keanan Bennetts: Sadly Bennetts has since departed Spurs for Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach. However, were it not for the flying winger/wing back, Spurs wouldn’t have stood a chance in beating the drop. Chipping in with seven goals and eight assists for the development side, Bennetts was unquestionably our player of the season. After enjoying a fine second half of the season for the U18’s back in 2017, Bennetts really stepped up this season. Dividing his time playing at both LWB and LW, Bennetts produced the magic which time and time again saved us. His exceptional dribbling ability, searing pace and perfectly timed crosses wreaked havoc for opposing teams defenders. The 19 year old starlets departure is such a massive loss.

Further reading: https://superhotspur.com/2018/05/18/farewell-keanan-and-good-luck/amp/#click=https://t.co/LUOFjaMCpL

 

Tashan Oakley-Boothe: To put it quite bluntly the 18 year old has endured a season of nothingness at Spurs. That may sound odd when you consider the fact that he impressed with the seniors out in the US in the summer, as well as the fact that he made his senior debut for the club in the Carabao cup against Barnsley in September. However, his exclusive training with the main team meant that he only played a handful of games for both the 18’s and 23’s. Not ideal for an 18 year old midfielder, Oakley-Boothe is an exceptionally talented player. An under 17 World Cup winner with England, TOB is highly regarded in the England youth setup. Oakley-Boothe is an exciting and very much attacking central midfielder I just hope that he gets plenty of games under his belt for the under 23’s next season.

Joe Pritchard: A crucial figure within the development squad, the now departed Joe Pritchard (21) had an excellent season for the under 23’s. A tireless grafter in the centre of the park, Pritchard was tidy and efficient. Defensively sound, he would fill in for other players who joined in during attacks. Creatively speaking he was also very good, he laid off seven assists for his teammates whilst also finding the net on four occasions. Pritchard skippered the side on multiple occasions, since leaving Spurs he has trialled with the likes of Cheltenham and Bolton U23’s. I wish Joe all the very best for the future and have no doubts in my mind that he’ll go onto achieve great things in the game.

Jack Roles: Roles had to wait a long time before he got given his first start of the season for Burnetts side. The Cypriot under 21 international only featured on 9 occasions in the PL2, but still managed to find the back of the net on three occasions. After scoring 18 goals for the under 18’s the previous season I was hopeful that Roles would play a starring role in the under 23 side this season but the aforementioned Skipp blocked Roles’ progress and limited his chances of starting. Roles did impress when he played for Burnetts side and still showed that excellent knack of ghosting into excellent positions. He was in a rich vein of form in the month of January, and went on a run of scoring in three consecutive games. I expect Roles to play a more prominent role in the side next season.

Shilow Tracey: After a difficult first half of the season, the 20 year old who we signed from Ebbsfleet for 200k back in January of 2016, went on to enjoy his best form in a Spurs shirt, during the second part of the campaign. Tracey scored three goals for Burnetts side and created a further seven goals for his teammates. He gets a lot of unfair criticism but the youngster has showed during the second part of the season that despite his limited skill set, he can still go onto become a useful player. Post January Tracey started to really take on fullbacks, his pace and strength started to cause a lot of problems. His directness worked a treat for Spurs and his best game came during our thrilling 3-3 draw with Benfica B back in January. I hope that Tracey gets his contract extended by the club for another season as he thoroughly deserves it.

Forwards: Kazaiah Sterling: Sterling played his part in Spurs’ push for survival under the tutelage of Wayne Burnett. He was by no means outstanding but his extremely high work rate really impressed me throughout the season. He does lack a bit of physicality at this level as well as a bit of craftiness inside the danger zone, but he is still a very clinical finisher. Sterling scored eight league goals from 20 games the development side and ended up finishing the season as our top scorer. A loan move beckons next season. Sterling made his senior debut for Spurs during their 3-0 win against APOEL at Wembley in December, he also appeared on the bench for our premier league game with Man City.

Ryan Loft: After an uninspiring season last term, Ryan Loft would have hoped to made more of an impact in Burnetts side during the first half of this season. The physical Loft struggled for game time and only featured 11 times for Spurs scoring once in our defeat to Luton back in January (it was a cracking finish by the way!). Loft was subsequently loaned out to Exeter during the winter transfer window however, it has been another disappointing loan for the Kent native. Loft has only featured once for the league two club and unless they have an injury crisis ahead of this Monday’s league 2 play off final against Coventry, then it will stay that way. Loft’s prowess at under 18 level (due to physical advantage over opponents) should serve as a reminder to Griffiths that form doesn’t always stay on your side after you step up a level. I would expect Loft to be released by the club next month.

Shayon Harrison: The 20 year old centre forward was in sparkling form for the development side during pre season. However, an unfortunate injury ruled him out for the opening couple of months of the league campaign, after returning from injury in October. Harrison looked decent for the under 23’s and went on to score four goals from 10 games. Harrison was loaned out to league one club Southend United in January. Twitter user Southend United fans explained to me how Shayon faired in league one: ”In fairness we didn’t get to see an awful lot of him but when he did play he looked a nippy, skilful player who can bring something else to the attack and cause opposition defenders problems. He had a good first touch and control on him and you could certainly tell that he has some elements of class about him. I would probably say his best game for us was at home to Portsmouth in a 3-1 win where in the first half of that match he was unplayable and I thought the best player on the pitch. The defenders defended him better in the second half of that game but he still managed to cause a few issues;he was very impressive that day.“

The Superhotspur goal of the season: After much thought, it has to go to Keanan Bennetts for his terrific free kick against Arsenal during our 3-1 win against the gunners back in March. At least 28 yards out from goal Bennetts tried an audacious effort at goal, it was a Bale-esque free kick. It flew over the Arsenal wall and dipped wonderfully inside the top right hand corner of the goal leaving the gunners goalkeeper Matt Macey rooted to his spot. The significance of the goal was instrumental in Spurs avoiding the drop and picking up a famous win against their old foes.

The Superhotspur game of the season: Our 3-1 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford in January proved to be a turning point in our season. 1-0 down with just over half an hour to go Burnetts side showed immense character to stun the Red Devil’s on their own patch, goals from Bennetts, Roles and Sterling secured all three points. It was brilliant to watch!

The Superhotspur player of the season: Keanan Bennetts had a sensational season for the under 23’s. His bursting pace, mercurial skill and decision making in the final third resulted in him being involved in 15 of our goals. Time and time again the teenager came up with magic at the decisive time. Young Keanan will be a great success for Mönchengladbach next season.

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

Farewell and good luck to our young defender Christian Maghoma:

Farewell and good luck to our young defender Christian Maghoma:

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With our young defender Christian Maghoma set to depart the club upon the expiration of his contract on June 30, I thought I’d write a farewell piece, on a young player who has such a bright future in the game. A player who I will be sad to see leave the lilywhites after so many years spent in the academy set up. 20 year old Christian Maghoma becomes the third member of the under 23 side who is set to leave the club, after Joe Pritchard announced on social media last week that he had left the club. Whilst it was announced on Friday that promising young winger Keanan Bennetts had joined German side Borussia Mönchengladbach in a deal worth £2 million. A towering centre half who is dominant in the air and strong in the challenge, Maghoma has followed in the footsteps of his older Jacques in coming up the various youth levels at the club. Christian is a proper defender, similar to someone like Brightons Shane Duffy in many ways. Less of a ball playing centre half, and more of a classic Dawson-esque defender. A defender who puts his body on the line for his teammates, who gets stuck in and leads by example. Christian is a natural born leader, and those qualities have really shone this season for the under 23 side. He is charismatic and composed, vocal and encouraging to fellow defenders, particularly to those who are new to the development side. I remember vividly back at the beginning of the PL2 season, when Christian was constantly giving words of advice and reassurance to the then 16 year old Brooklyn Lyons-Foster on his debut at that level. That is just one many examples which I can recall from seeing over the the past couple of seasons.

Capped at under 16 level by England, Christian enjoyed a fantastic season for the under 18’s back in the 2014/15 season, whilst still a first year scholar. Physically far too good for that level, Maghoma would go onto make six starts for the development side that season. Including an incredibly assured performance against Norwich’s Gary Hooper at Carrow road, in front of a bumper crowd. Christian was still only 16 years of age at this time, yet he had been able to totally nullify the threat of an experienced striker, who had experience playing in the champions league. Christian capped off the season with a fine goal against Fulham at White Hart lane, a powerful bullet header from a Will Miller corner, I remember it well! Maghoma spent the majority of the following season in the under 21 side under the tutelage of the great Ugo Ehiogu, barring a brief loan spell at Yeovil town where he failed to make a senior appearance for the glovers. The 2016-17 season saw Christian play more games then anyone else at under 23 level, he became a mainstay in the side and was rewarded at the end of the campaign with a first international call up to his country, the Democratic republic of Congo. He made his debut for the DRC in an international friendly against Botswana at the age of just 19. However, it was in the 2017/18 campaign that Christian really stepped up a level. A pivotal figure in Wayne Burnett’s side over the course of the season, the defenders courageous defending coupled in with his effectiveness to lead the backline, proved to be crucial in Spurs’ push for survival. Maghoma skippered the side on a number of occasions and put in a series of high quality performances. At times not best suited to Spurs’ play it out from the back philosophy, Christian made up for this with the many heroic blocks and clearances which he made during the season.

Christian has always played as a defender and I remember him citing the legendary Ledley King as his footballing hero, in an interview which I conducted with him back in 2016. The dominant centre half chipped in with two goals for Burnett’s side during the season just gone. One was an unstoppable bullet header against West Ham, the other a memorable goal against Liverpool in front of the Kop. It was a lovely finessed effort from the edge of the penalty area. Maghoma provided Burnett’s inexperienced side with a solidity at the back, he formed tenacious defensive partnerships with the likes of Japhet Tanganga and Jonathan Dinzeyi. Drawing back to my earlier comparisons with Shane Duffy, Maghoma gave the development side a physical presence which could be unrivalled by any centre forward. Excellent in the air, strong on the ball and above all else he put his body on the line for his team to make important blocks, challenges and goal line clearances. He doesn’t show off nor does he take unnecessary risks, he just gets on and does his defensive duties. He has put in many magnificent performances over the course of the season. Maghoma put in a terrific performance up against Cambridge United’s senior side back in pre season. He marshalled his defence incredibly well back in January during our 3-1 win at Old Trafford. He also singlehandedly kept out Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke in a league meeting in February. However, Maghoma’s most impressive performance came during our under 23’s 6-1 thumping to Leicester City. Yes, it may seem odd to single out a game in which we lost by such a scoreline however, Christian was magnificent that day he held it together after Spurs were reduced to nine men. Whilst his teammates fell apart around him, Christian put in the performance of a lifetime to stop Leicester running riot and getting into double figures.

A tenacious and hardworking defender, it was a great shame that Christian never got the opportunity to play for the first team. However, I have no doubts whatsoever that Christian will go onto enjoy a great career in the game, he has the talent and determination to do so. He is also a thoroughly nice young man who I have had the pleasure of meeting on numerous occasions, he has always has time for us Spurs fans! I wish Christian all the very best of luck for the future and I thank him for his great service to the club.

Myself and Christian after our development squads pre season friendly with Ebbsfleet back in July of 2017: 121F96CC-645F-4483-83BE-DBB7DEDB3235.jpeg

Farewell Keanan and good luck:

Farewell Keanan and good luck:

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On Tuesday afternoon quite out of the blue, rumours started popping up on social media suggesting the imminent departure of our promising young winger Keanan Bennetts, to German club Borussia Mönchengladbach. The rumours came from a story on a website called footballinsider247.com, the title read simply ”Bennetts agrees move to Gladbach”. This sudden story startled me and many other youth followers on Spurs Twitter, prompting the question of why would one of our most promising youth players want to leave Spurs? After making such great strides for the development squad during the 17/18 season. Bennetts who recently turned 19, has been without a shadow of a doubt our most consistent and effective player in the under 23 side this season, Bennetts was able to carry on his fine form for the under 18’s the previous season, into the development squad. Where he has shone at both LW and LWB over the course of the season, his rapid progress made me convinced that he would have appeared on the bench at least once for Pochettino’s side, before the season ended. Unfortunately, that never came to fruition and today the club announced that they had reached an agreement with Mönchengladbach for the transfer of our young starlet, believed to be in the region of £2 million pounds. With a year left on his remaining contract, the club would have wanted to cash in on Bennetts rather then letting him leave on a free at the end of next season. Unlike the recent exodus of young English players who have made the move to the Bundesliga, the likes of Jadon Sancho, Reece Oxford and Ademola Lookman all springing to mind. Bennetts has strong ties with the country, his mother is German, Bennetts speaks the language and has previously represented the German under 15 side before later going on to represent England at youth level.

For those with long memories, you’ll remember back in 2015 when Bennetts was the tug of war between England, Germany and Nigeria as to who he would pledge his allegiances to. After being massively hyped during his first season as a scholar, Bennetts endured a bit of a difficult campaign as he divided his time playing for Ugo Ehiogu’s under 21 side and Kieran McKenna’s under 18’s. It was not until the following season that Bennetts began to show the confidence and flair which had been so prevalent at schoolboy level. A mainstay in the under 18 side, Bennetts proved to be a vital part of the side that reached the semifinals of the FA youth cup in 2017. Whilst he did lack a bit in consistency and decision making in the final third, the teenager from Borehamwood had shown great confidence at taking defenders on, on either flank, scoring some spectacular goals in the process. It was not until this season however, that Bennetts was able to make the permanent step up to the under 23’s and what a season it has been for Bennetts. Across the various youth levels for Tottenham, Bennetts has chipped in with nine goals and assists, his exceptional performances as both a fullback and as a winger, have won him many plaudits throughout the campaign. His ridiculously quick feet, unstoppable pace and fine eye for a cross made him an extremely difficult player to play against. Not only was he direct and tricky, he was also exciting and unpredictable. The amount of times he would cut inside on either foot, and totally outwit the keeper with a fizzing shot, was sensational.

If you go back and read my reports over the course of this season, you’ll see that 99.9% of the time I’ve written glowing reports of the teenager, as he divided his time as both a fullback and winger. Bennetts blistering pace, mercurial skill and unpredictably made him almost Zaha like in style. Not only does he have all the tools of a modern day wing back, he has more than just speed, skill and intricacy. Bennetts is an expert at dead ball situations and has managed to score many free kicks over the campaign, he is comfortable on corners and good at reading the game. A prime example of the wingers magic, came only a month ago at Stamford Bridge during a PL2 game involving Spurs and Chelsea’s under 23’s. Down to ten men against a Chelsea side who were leading comfortably at the bridge, Bennetts provided the impetus behind a remarkable comeback for Burnett’s side. Not once, but twice did he risk the fortunes of his team by driving at the Chelsea defence. On the first occasion he did excellently well to win a free kick on the edge of the box, he stood up comfortably to bend a sublime effort into the back of the net. Burnett and his coaching staff would have been more than happy with a point, but Bennetts had other ideas. A couple of minutes after scoring our equaliser he drove at the Chelsea defence once again, winning a free kick in an almost identical position to the first. He stood up once more, this time with little to aim at, before calmly tucking the ball around the wall and past the Chelsea goalkeeper into the bottom corner of the net, to ensure all three points for Spurs. His tendency to try his luck at the extraordinary has also resulted in a string of stunning goals for the young lilywhites this season, most of these goals come from his excellent ball control in tight spaces and two footedness.

Whilst many of us would have been focusing on the rumours regarding the Reo Griffiths contract saga, a player who has also incidentally been linked with the Bundesliga. I feel that losing Bennetts is an even greater loss for the club, especially as I’m confident that he will excel in Germany’s top division over the course of the next few seasons. The lure of first team football in a country he knows so well, will have been an offer far too tempting for Keanan to refuse. He becomes part of a group of young English players to make the move to the country over the last few seasons, to better their chances of playing first team football sooner rather than later. Another young English player who decided to make the move to Die Fohlen was Mandela Egbo, a promising right back who joined the German club a couple of season back from Crystal Palace. Bennetts will be hoping to emulate the path of players such as Sancho, Egbo and Lookman. And when you think about it from his perspective, it’s not difficult to figure out why he’s decided to leave. I would expect Bennetts to rack up at least a dozen appearances for the German club next season compared with playing the majority of the season for the Spurs development squad, tied in with maybe a couple of league cup appearances if he was lucky. Still, I feel that it is a great, great shame that we have lost one of our most promising youth prospects, a player who I have had the great pleasure of watching develop over the last couple of seasons. Whilst it is unknown whether or not Spurs have included a buyback clause as part of the transfer, I certainty wouldn’t rule him out from returning to Spurs in a couple of seasons time. I wish young Keanan all the very best of luck at Mönchengladbach and I look forward to following his progress over the coming seasons.

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 versus Manchester City: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Manchester City: (match preview)

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After an exhilarating first league campaign under head coach Wayne Burnett, Spurs under 23’s will play their final game of the PL2 season on Wednesday evening, when they host Manchester City at Broadhall Way. A campaign of many ups and downs, from staring relegation right in the face to going on a remarkable run which all started on a chilly evening at Old Trafford in January that saw them beat Manchester United 3-1. Burnett’s side who after beating Chelsea 2-1 in their previous fixture have secured their first division status for another season, will be able to experiment a bit more with his squad for the visit of the sky blues. Man City sit one place above us is in the table in eight after being in and around the middle of the table for the majority of the season, but a win for Spurs would see them leapfrog City in the table and finish the campaign in an impressive eight place, particularly impressive when you consider the fact that we were rock bottom in January. Despite leading by two goals during the reverse fixture up in Manchester in November, Spurs were pegged back by Simon Davies’ side and would go on to lose 4-2. Now looking to avenge that result and finish the season on a high, Burnett will be eager to maintain Spurs’ impressive eight game unbeaten. The visitors who have won their last three away matches, boast a plethora of talent with the likes of U17 World Cup winners Joel Latibeaudiere and Phil Foden on their books, City also have players such as Ian Poveda. A ridiculously skilful winger who they signed from Brentford in 2016, I saw Poveda play for England under 16’s a couple of years ago and was left amazed at what he could do with a football.

In addition to Poveda Man City also have the leagues joint top scorer in Lukas Nmecha who has scored 14 goals this season, as well as the mercurial talent that is Brahim Diaz. It will be a great experience for Burnett’s side who will likely be much changed from their 2-1 win over Chelsea, with game time for a number of under 18’s likely. There are also a fair few of our players out on trial with other clubs. Surely the prolific 34 goal as season Reo Griffiths will be given some game time? My in-depth match report will be out on Thursday. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Tanganga (c), Georgiou, Skipp, Duncan, S.Shashoua, Roles, Bennetts, Griffiths.

Subs from: Austin, Hinds, Edwards, Tracey, Sterling.

Doubtful: Tom Glover.

Injured/unavailable: Nick Tsaroulla, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Christian Maghoma and Joe Pritchard.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-4.

One to watch: Due to his recent involvement in Pep Guardiola’s senior side it’s quite unlikely that the Stockport Iniesta will travel down to London for Wednesday evenings PL2 encounter. But if Phil Foden does travel with the City squad down to Stevenage, then the England youth starlet is bound to cause problems for Burnett’s side. A skilful midfielder with a great passing ability and eye for goal Foden is a special, special player.

Spurs under 23’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

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After a lengthy break over the festive period, Wayne Burnett’s development side return to action when they travel to Leicester for a PL2 game on Wednesday night. The game which is being played at Holmes park (a tiny little ground owned by the Leicestershire FA) is the second meeting between these two sides this season after a closely encountered 1-1 draw at Hotspur way in the reverse fixture. And the foxes are flying in the league and are currently on a remarkable 9 game undefeated run in the league which has seen them move up to second in the table only to Liverpool. Steve Beaglehole’s side are mounting a series challenge for the league title, and having already seen Leicester’s youth team three times this season it’s obvious to see why. Whilst they don’t have any outstanding youth prospects, Leicester have a very talented young pool of players as well as being aided by a couple of fringe members of the senior team, are tough to breakdown. As the stats would suggest, they have conceded the least amount of goals in the league this season, a mere 9! Whilst it likely that some of the fringe senior players will be involved such as 30 year old centre half Yohan Benalouane and 25 year old Nigerian international Ahmed Musa, that experience combined with some of the foxes young talents may be too much for Burnett’s young side. But as always it’s an experience and a game which I am very much looking forward to reporting back from. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Eyoma, Tanganga, C.Maghoma, Brown, Skipp, Pritchard(c), S.Shashoua, Edwards, Georgiou, Harrison.

Subs from: Austin, Bennetts, Marsh, Roles, Sterling.

Doubts: Dylan Duncan and Nick Tsaroulla.

My score prediction: 2-2.

One to watch: Experienced Tunisian centre half Yohan Benalouane is a player who most of you will know. The former Saint Etienne defender has struggled for game time since joining the foxes and this season has found himself playing three times for the development squad. He will be a tough player to play against, if involved.

A round up of recent Spurs games plus a youth update, and more:

A round up of recent Spurs games plus a youth update, and more:

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Apologies for my lack of writing over the festive period, a dislocated knee amongst other reasons has given me little time to sit down and write pieces on recent games. Now it is the new year, all will return to normal and I’ll be writing about Spurs everyday. However, as I’m quite behind in my articles on recent games I thought I’d combine all my pieces in to this one blog post. Starting on those two sparkling performances against both Burnley and Southampton, the record breaking Harry Kane was at the heart of both of those wins. But it was the togetherness and sheer dominance of Pochettino’s players collectively as a team, which saw them overcome Burnley and Southampton so emphatically. The fluid attacking play and the sharpness and incisive movement overwhelmed the opposition, it looked just like the Spurs of last season. There’s a lot of talk about Liverpool’s ‘fab four’ and the attacking prowess of the leaders Manchester City. But when our four attacking players are all on form they are just as unstoppable as shown in our previous two games, the victory over the saints saw us play some of our best football this season. Tomorrow Pochettino’s side travel to South Wales for a tricky away game with relegation stricken Swansea, buoyed by a rare win against Watford in their last game. Newly appointed manager Carlos Carvalhal has a monumental task on his hands to keep the swans in the league, they’ve scored the fewest goals this season. Have the poorest home form and lack quality and depth, on paper it’s an inviting game for Spurs and one which they would want to achieve maximum points.

In other news our under 18’s and 23’s both return to action in the coming week starting with our under 23’s who face Leicester in the PL2 on Wednesday night. I will be making the trip to Leicester for that one to report on the game. Meanwhile our under 18’s return to league action on the Saturday with a home game against Leicester at the training centre. In other youth related news, I was at the valley earlier today to watch Spurs loanee Connor Ogilvie in the Charlton v Gillingham game. The 21 year old full back only came on for the last 20 or so minutes of the game, at which point the gills were leading 2-0. Ogilvie put in a typically assured and composed performance at left back. Ogilvie got involved and was dominant in the air, he is getting plenty of game time at the league one club. Watching today’s game (which ended 2-1 to the visitors) it got me thinking. A club like Charlton for example who are on a poor run of form (seemingly lacking a bit of creativity) with a manager with a good youth policy in Karl Robinson, would surely be a good place to send a couple of our young academy starlets on loan to, over the January transfer window. Players like Marcus Edwards (so lacking in senior game time) the brilliant Keanan Bennetts who has been exceptional at wing back for our under 23’s this season and the commanding centre half Japhet Tanganga are just some of the players who could in my eyes all benefit from a loan spell in the football league. We shall see if any of those players are loaned out over the course of the coming weeks.

 

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 under 23’s versus Sunderland: (match preview)

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

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It feels like a very long time ago when I watched our under 23’s kick off their PL2 campaign up in rural County Durham against Sunderland. Tomorrow evening Wayne Burnett’s side face the reverse fixture against the black cats, at the Lamex stadium. After a long break from league action, Burnett’s side will be looking to sign off the year with a much welcome three points. Spurs who sit bottom of the table, are without a win in five games, whilst the visitors who are also in the relegation zone, are a point ahead of us having played a game more. It was a quite thrilling game when these two teams met up in Durham, Sunderland somehow managing to nick the game 2-1 courtesy of two late goals. Concerning whether or not the game will go ahead, I phoned Stevenage earlier today and they said that they are quite confident the game will do! Sunderland have a good crop of talented youngsters that could all make the trip down to Stevenage which includes brothers Ethan and Thomas Robson as well as arguably their most talented youngster, forward Joel Asoro. Hopefully it’ll be a great game for Burnett’s youngsters, my in-depth match report will be published sometime on Wednesday. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Eyoma, C.Maghoma, Tanganga, Bennetts, Skipp, Amos(c), Edwards, Harrison, S.Shashoua, Sterling.

Subs from: O’Reilly, Marsh, Pritchard, Roles, Loft.

Doubtful: Duncan, Oakley-Boothe, Tsaroulla.

My score prediction: 2-1 Spurs.

One to watch: Sunderland’s pacy forward Joel Asoro is a very highly rated player indeed. The young Sweden under 21 international was a real handful in this fixture last season.