Spurs under 18’s 6-1 Aston Villa: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 6-1 Aston Villa: (match report)

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Our under 18’s made it seven wins from their opening eight league games by thrashing Aston Villa 6-1 at Hotspur Way on Saturday afternoon, to carry on the trend of winning games by at least five goals to consolidate their place at the top of the under 18 southern division. Matt Wells side went into this encounter with Villa in high spirits and with the attacking talent we had on display you would have expected us to beat the Villains, with the likes of Troy Parrott, Dilan Markanday and Rodel Richards all starting for Wells side. On one of the other pitches at the training centre a Spurs under 17/18 team were taking on Crystal Palace so I think it’s safe to assume that the likes of Pochettino and Okedina were some of our other under 18’s who were involved in that game. Although we started the game slowly we were sparked into life after Aston Villa took the lead in the 25th minute from the speedy Colin Odutayo. That was the wake up call that Wells side needed and going a goal down resulted in the young Lilywhites upping their tempo. They equalised less than two minutes later through Troy Parrott, before taking the lead for the first time in the game a couple of minutes later through Armando Shashoua. From that moment on Spurs controlled the game, the excellent Dilan Markanday made it 3-1 before halftime. And the second half like so many of our game at this level felt like a training session. We rang rings around David Hughes’s crumbling Villa side. And a late three goal blitz from Shashoua, Parrott and Binks saw Spurs record a 6-1 win over the Villa who became our sides latest victim. It was a pleasure to watch the game but I was extremely impressed with how we turned up the tempo during important stages in the game. The likes of Shashoua, Markanday and Parrott were unplayable but it’s worth mentioning that Binks and Walcott had very strong games at the back for Wells side. The players were watched on by Matt Wells grandfather, the legendary Cliff Jones who I’m sure would have been greatly impressed with the young Spurs lads performance. 

Wells opted to go for the 4-2-3-1 formation for the visit of Aston Villa. Oluwayemi retained his place in goal whilst a back four of Lyons-Foster, Walcott, Binks and White lined up in front of him. Captain Armando Shashoua (the more advanced of the two central midfielders) and Phoenix Patterson started in central midfielder, as the attacking trio of Markanday, Richards and Bennett sat behind Irishman Troy Parrott who led the line. Interestingly first year scholar Rafferty Pedder (16) started on the bench for the first time for the under 18’s. There was a poignant minutes silence held in memory of former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis prior to kick off. Matt Wells side got the game underway as the sun shone down on the players at Hotspur Way. The first real attacking move of the game was orchestrated by Spurs following a nice passing move. It was an incisive attack which saw Patterson pass to Parrott who then passed to Richards. Richards spotted the run of Shashoua down the left side of the penalty area before quickly slipping the ball into the Spurs skipper. However, Shashoua’s resulting low effort was saved by Viljami Sinisalo who had managed to close Shashoua’s angles down. The lively Bennett curled an effort wide after cutting in from the left after receiving White’s pass a couple of moments later, before Richards took a painful clattering off of Aston Villa defender Luke Ige. Spurs goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi was let off the hook shortly afterwards when he passed the ball straight to Aaron Pressley on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. Pressley had an effort on goal which was blocked first by Walcott and then by White on the follow up. Spurs got caught out after playing it out from the back once again after Lyons-Foster gave the ball to Michael Tait a matter of seconds later. Tait slipped the ball into Odutayo who surged forward down the left before rifling an effort against the outside of Oluwayemi’s right hand post. Jacob Ramsey then dragged an effort well wide of the Spurs goal as the Villains started to find their feet going forwards.

And Oluwayemi was forced into making a diving save to get to Indiana Vassilev’s low effort a couple of minutes later, after Odutayo had passed the ball to him on the edge of the penalty area. Spurs responded to Villa’s attacking onslaught with a slick passing move which saw Shashoua pass to Parrott and then to Bennett out on the left wing. Bennett cut inside onto his right before finding Markanday down the right side of the box. The 17 year old tried to beat Sinisalo at his near post but his effort was deflected wide for a Tottenham corner kick. Shashoua played a quick short corner to Parrott whose low shot at goal was blocked by Ethan Patterson. Unfortunately Lyons-Foster went down injured a couple of minutes later and he was swiftly replaced by Dennis Cirkin who went to left back, whilst White switched to the other side to fill in for Lyons-Foster. Bennett went on a surging run down the left wing shortly after the restart, after being fed in by Parrott. However, the wingers shot was blocked by Bradley Burton inside the Villa box. Michael Tait poked an effort narrowly wide of the Spurs goal at the other end, after getting on the end of Burton’s low cross. The game was very much an end to end affair, although Spurs did have the upper hand over the visitors. Another well worked move from Wells side saw White ping the ball out to Markanday on the right wing. The tricky winger eventually worked the ball out to Richards who was on the edge of the penalty area down the opposite side. Richards came close to opening the scoring for Spurs but his first time side footed effort flew narrowly wide of Sinisalo’s right post. A lovely move from the young Lilywhites followed as Parrott and Bennett played a clever one two which the former tried to convert from inside the box. However, the 16 year olds first time effort was stopped by the feet of the diving Sinisalo. The major turning point in the game then occurred in the 25th minute of the game after David Hughes side caught us cold down the right flank. 

Aston Villa caught us on the counter attack after they managed to work the ball out to the speedy Colin Odutayo who left White and the rest of the Spurs defenders in his wake, as he sped down the left. Odutayo continued with the ball into the Tottenham penalty area where he was met by the outrushing Oluwayemi however, the Villa winger calmly tucked the ball inside the top right hand comer of the goal, 0-1. However, the Aston Villa players had barely finished celebrating when Sinisalo was forced into picking the ball out of his own net. It was a near immediate response from Spurs. Dilan Markanday played a clever one – two with Shashoua down the right flank before the Spurs winger looked up and played a first time pass into Parrott who was in the centre of the box. And the Dubliner clinically side footed the ball past Sinisalo and into the right hand side of the goal with an excellent first time strike from seven yards out, 1-1. And things got even better for Wells side who took the lead for the first time in the game less than two minutes later through Shashoua. The move came about moments after Harvey White had tested Sinisalo with an effort from long range. J’Neil Bennett had picked the ball up on the left wing before driving forward and whipping a low cross into the danger zone which was intended for Markanday. However, Markanday failed to connect with the ball and it ended up rolling out to Shashoua who fired the ball emphatically into the top left hand corner of the goal, despite the best efforts of Sinisalo who did manage to get a hand on the ball, 2-1. Spurs were now in full control of the game and after upping their tempo they looked rejuvenated as they knocked the ball about freely. Harvey White did well to clear Vassilev’s free kick shortly after the restart, before Spurs came close to extending their lead.

Markanday’s pass across the Aston Villa goal from the right managed to pick out Cirkin who had made a run down the left side of the six yard box. However, the left backs powerful strike was well saved by Sinisalo low down. Dilan Markanday pulled off a couple more of his George Best like tricks a couple of moments later, which drew gasps from the audience as he carried the ball through the middle before shifting it out to Shashoua on the right wing. The Spurs captain looked up before picking out Richards in the box with a decent delivery but the Spurs forward nodded the ball wide of Sinisalo’s goal. Wells side had a penalty shout waived away a couple of moments later after Parrott was brought down from behind by Luke Ige in the box, after he had latched onto Markanday’s through ball. Tottenham’s attacking intensity was causing the Aston Villa defence major problems. And after Troy Parrot volleyed an effort straight down the throat of the Villa goalkeeper Sinisalo after meeting Bennett’s cross, Spurs extended their lead through the influential Markanday. It was a superb goal from the inform 17 year old who had been picked out down the right flank by a nice lofted pass from Shashoua. Markanday cut inside his man as he tricked his way towards the edge of the penalty area before unleashing an unstoppable low thunderbolt into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 3-1. Troy Parrott got taken out by Ige before firing an effort wide from distance shortly afterwards. After exchanging passes with Markanday down the right side of the pitch, Aston Villa could not deal with the explosiveness of the Spurs attack. The tenacious Malachi Walcott then made an important defensive intervention right on the stroke of half time to intercept Odutayo, after the winger had received Pressley’s pass on the edge of the penalty area. Following the Villa centre forwards weaving run around both White and Cirkin.

The visitors got the second half underway and Aston Villa started it positively and almost pulled a goal back immediately after the restart. After Vassilev had skinned White down the left wing, the American whipped a teasing ball into the Spurs box which was almost bundled into his own goal by Cirkin but for a smart stop from the alert Oluwayemi. Wells side then went straight on the offensive and came close to catching the Villa defence out, after Richards embarked on a surging low run through the middle, before passing the ball to Parrott on the edge of the box. Parrott turned his man well before giving the ball back to Richards who could only poke it wide of the mark. Tait’s menacing cross just deceived Pressley inside the Tottenham penalty area moments later, as the game started to pick up even more pace as Villa started to attack more. The razor sharp Troy Parrott came very close to putting the game to bed a couple of minutes later, after a well worked move from the young Lilywhites which started off with Bennett out on the left wing. Bennett passed to Shashoua who picked out Markanday on the right wing with a nice crisp pass. Markanday crossed for Parrott in the Spurs box, but the Irishman’s first time effort was jabbed onto Sinisalo’s left hand post, before Parrott had a penalty claim dismissed seconds later, after being brought down from behind by a Villa defender. Parrott came close to scoring again five minutes later after he was picked out by Bennett in the six yard box. Parrott swivelled around Ethan Patterson before forcing a save out of Sinisalo at his near post. The 16 year old centre forward was getting really involved in the game during the second half.  Harvey White blazed an effort into orbit on the half volley moments later before Richards forced a stunning save out of Sinisalo after latching onto Shashoua’s cross at the back post however, the Spurs forward was flagged offside. Pressley then tested Oluwayemi at the other end with a powerful low effort after having cut inside onto his left foot from the right flank. 

The frantic pace of the game continued and after Harvey White was able to find Bennett at the far post inside the Aston Villa box. The Tottenham winger nodded narrowly wide of goal as Spurs continued to push for a fourth goal to really put the game to bed. Aston Villa came close to pulling a goal back a mere minute after Bennett had headed wide. After Cirkin lost possession to Ramsey the midfielder fed the ball into Odutayo down the right side of the penalty area. The winger sped forwards before clipping the outside of Oluwayemi’s near post thanks to a vital block from Binks. And the Tottenham defender was involved at the other end after Bennett had won a free kick on the edge of the Aston Villa penalty area. Patterson’s resulting delivery was met by Binks who had made a terrific leap before powering a header over the bar. Then in the 71st minute of time Matt Wells side finally ended any hope of an Aston Villa comeback by netting their fourth goal of the game. The goal came from another excellent attacking move which started with Cirkin who passed to Shashoua and then to Markanday and to Bennett. Bennett slipped the ball into Richards whose shot was blocked in the box. However, Shashoua managed to pick the ball up before weaving his way around two Villa defenders and rifling the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 4-1. Rafferty Pedder came off the bench shortly afterwards to make his under 18 debut when he replaced Richards. The 16 year old had a decent cross cleared by Charlie McConnachie seconds after entering the pitch, before J’Neil Bennett had a deflected effort saved by Sinisalo. Ramsey did White for pace down the left a couple of minutes later before finding Odutayo down the right hand side of the box. Odutayo controlled the ball before firing it into the side netting of Oluwayemi’s goal. Troy Parrott then had a low effort saved by Sinisalo after receiving Shashoua’s pass down the right side of the penalty area, before Bennett was replaced by Rayan Clarke with 11 minutes of normal time remaining.

Markanday drew a low save from Sinisalo after being found by Shashoua on the edge of the Aston Villa box, before Clarke fired an effort into the side netting after being played in by Pedder through the middle. Unsurprisingly Spurs netted their fifth goal shortly after, which started straight from the back after Binks found Clarke who quickly released the ball into the path of the newly introduced Pedder. The Maidstone born midfielder went on a jinking forward run down the left side of the box before firing an effort straight at Sinisalo. The ball came back up in the air to Parrot who sent a clever looping header over the helpless Aston Villa goalkeeper and into the back of the net, 5-1. The potent midfielder then forced Patterson to clear his dangerous cross shortly after the restart. And the Lilywhites wrapped the game up with a sixth goal in the 89th minute of time. After Patterson had whipped a corner in from the left there was a lot of scrapping going on inside the box. However, the ball was eventually picked up by Shashoua down the left side of the box. The Spurs skipper looked up before chipping the ball across to the unmarked Binks who powered a header past Sinisalo from the centre of the box, 6-1. Matt Wells sides sheer class had totally overwhelmed the Aston Villa defence and this had caused some of their players to get frustrated during the latter stages of the game. Ireland youth international Tyreik Wright had clearly let the score line get to his head and after inflicting a nasty late challenge on White, he claimed his innocence to the referee before inflicting a similarly nasty challenge on Shashoua moments later as he tried to wind up the pair by claiming that he hadn’t touched them! However, the final whistle was sounded a couple of seconds later by the referee to bring an end to another brilliant game of football involving this richly talented Spurs side. Top of the table Tottenham Hotspur don’t play again until the third of November, when they travel to New Malden for a London derby against Fulham.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The 17 year old didn’t have an awful lot to deal with on the day. However, he did make two decent stops and impressed me with his leadership skills and ability to deal so comfortably with set pieces.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Despite looking nice and assured at right back during the opening stages of the game, sadly the 17 year old went off with what appeared to be an ankle injury early on in the first half. I really do hope that it was only precautionary.
  • Malachi Walcott: Walcott returned from injury to put in a strong performance at right centre half. The 16 year old was very solid and composed under pressure and like his slightly older teammate Binks he read the game to perfection, and was dominant in the air against a decent Aston Villa attack.
  • Luis Binks: Like Walcott, Binks had a very solid game at centre half. He was both assured and composed, and he anticipated danger well. The Scotland youth international was also dominant in the air and once again he put in a very impressive performance at centre half. Luis capped off a fine performance with a late goal which was his second of the season.
  • Harvey White: The inform and versatile midfielder started the game off at left back, but after Lyons-Foster was forced off through injury early on in the first half, White was forced to switch to right back following the introduction of Cirkin. The 17 year olds versatility and adaptability to the full back role meant that he slotted in seamlessly. And although he did get done for pace by the speedy Colin Odutayo on quite a few occasions, I thought that he did a very good job on the whole. He was solid and impressed me with his Ogilvie-esque one on one defending. In addition, White would often drift into the centre of the park to help both Patterson and Shashoua out defensively. The teenager from Maidstone also made some nice accurate passes down the lines and whilst it be may seem funny to say, I thought that we missed his excellent passing range from the central areas of the pitch. It’s also worth noting that White did ever so well to keep his cool with Tyreik Wright during the latter stages of the game after his nasty and painful challenge on the Spurs man, and his later irritating comments.
  • Phoenix Patterson: It was quite strange to watch Patterson essentially operate as a holding midfielder in the game against Aston Villa. I had seen him play in central midfield before but he was a lot more advanced. Whereas, on Saturday he was essentially doing Jamie Bowden’s job in the holding midfield role. His quick feet and agility helped him out on quite a few occasions, but all in all I thought that he slotted in well to that position and did a sterling job.
  • Armando Shashoua: My motm, see below.
  • Dilan Markanday: The tricky right winger had another excellent game for Matt Wells side and the 17 year old was directly involved in two of our goals. With his many jinking runs down the right flank (particularly after the 35th minute) and dazzling skills, Markanday gave McConnachie a really tricky game with his unpredictable running style. Markanday’s goal right on the stroke of halftime was a thing of beauty and was executed with such class. Surely it cannot be long until he is plying his trade regularly with the development side. 
  • Rodel Richards: After making a short cameo against Leicester’s under 23 side the previous afternoon. Richards started against Aston Villa as a number ten and he had a decent game against the Villains, particularly in the first half. His movement in and behind Parrott was very good and he could often be seen lurking on the edge of the six yard box. The 18 year old came close to finding the back of a net on a couple of occasions during the first half.
  • J’Neil Bennett: It was by no means his best game out on the left wing however, the 16 year olds positive running and eagerness to run at Aston Villa right back Bradley Burton helped to create numerous openings for Spurs. He wasn’t as electric as he has been in recent games but I thought he did well out on that left side. Bennett got the assist for Armando Shashoua’s first goal of the game.
  • Troy Parrott: The Dubliner has adapted to life in the under 18’s with real ease since joining the club full time in the summer. And the teenager from Summerhill, Dublin topped off another excellent performance for Wells side by netting a well deserved brace. Extremely hardworking and more then willing to drop deep and help out his teammates at the back, Parrott was a constant goal threat and his razor sharp movement in the box and well timed runs through the middle made life easier for the likes of Bennett and Markanday. Parrott’s first of the game was a really clinical finish whilst his second was more of an instinctive poachers goal. I noticed that Burnett went over to the Dubliner at the end of the game and put his arm around him to congratulate him on his performance. The 16 year old is now our under 18’s top scorer this season with seven goals from just four games. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him included in the under 23 side which faces Derby at Pride Park on Sunday.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Cirkin entered the game early on in the first half after replacing the injured Lyons-Foster. Cirkin did a good job at left back and defended solidly against Vassilev. 
  • Rafferty Pedder: The first year scholar had an exciting late cameo after coming on in the 74th minute to replace Richards in the number ten role. Pedder injected real energy into the game and he was the creative spark which Wells side needed in order to see off the game. The speedy Pedder went on some nice runs through the middle and whipped some good crosses into the danger zone. He also got the assist for Parrott’s second of the game after he forced a save out of Sinisalo. I look forward to seeing more of him over the coming games.
  • Rayan Clarke: It was only a fleeting cameo for the left winger who did manage to have two shots on goal during his short time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Armando Shashoua. Our under 18’s captain fantastic, was instrumental in our 6-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon. The 17 year old ran the show from the centre of midfield, he was our most creative and influential player on the day. Shashoua’s superb performance resulted in him getting two goals and assists to his name, to carry on his rich vein of form for Matt Wells side. His movement and reading of the game was second to none, he was the main orchestrator within the Spurs side. With his deftly accurate passing (I cannot recall a single misplaced pass!) and vision, Shashoua roamed around the park like a young David Silva. He carried the ball so well and looked so strong and composed with it at his feet. He dribbled extremely well and was able to link defence with attack throughout the game. The hardworking midfielders first goal of the game was a clinical finish from eight yards out, whilst his second came about after he picked the ball up on the edge of the box before wonderfully weaving his way around two Villa defenders and firing into the back of the net. The 17 year olds two assists were equally impressive particularly the one to set up Binks for our sixth of the game. He was such a joy to watch, and as always I paid a close eye on his off the ball movement and I was impressed with his many intelligent runs off the shoulders of Aston Villa defenders. It’s also worth noting that he was a real leader within the team and never let the Villa players wind him up. Shashoua has now been directly involved in 11 of our under 18’s goals this season.

Spurs: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Lyons-Foster (Cirkin 17), White, Patterson, Walcott, Binks, Markanday, A Shashoua (c), Parrott, Richards (Pedder 74), Bennett (Clarke 79). Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Thorpe.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 7

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Dilan Markanday – 5

Rayan Clarke – 4

Armando Shashoua – 4

Harvey White – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Luis Binks – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Assists: Armando Shashoua – 7

Harvey White – 7

Jamie Bowden – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Troy Parrott – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dilan Markanday – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Rodel Richards – 1

Rayan Clarke – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 3

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Spurs under 23’s 1-0 Leicester City: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 1-0 Leicester City: (match report)

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Our under 23’s put in a spirited performance against a strong Leicester City outfit which included experienced first team players Danny Simpson and Andy King (both premier league winners), at Hotspur Way on Friday afternoon. Wayne Burnett’s side dug deep and managed to survive an attacking onslaught from the foxes in the first half to record an impressive 1-0 win over Leicester, courtesy of a superb late winner from the ever impressive Jack Roles. It was a much changed side to the one which had thrashed Gillingham 4-0 in the Checkatrade trophy ten days earlier. Kazaiah Sterling returned from injury to lead the line for Spurs, whilst 17 year old midfielder Jamie Bowden came in for the injured Paris Maghoma in the centre of the park, to make his PL2 debut. And after six months out with a knee injury Jamie Reynolds came off the bench in the second half to make his own PL2 debut at the age of 19. I met up with former Spurs star Eddie Clayton at the game, it was Eddie’s first ever visit to Hotspur Way and he was telling me how he couldn’t believe how different it was to his days at Cheshunt. The club took him around on a tour of the training centre and before the match John McDermott kindly invited Eddie to watch the game near to the Spurs dug out. The former inside forward was greatly impressed by how good our young lads were and in particular he picked out Jamie Bowden for praise on his PL2 debut. The 81 year old and I had a great discussion after the game and amongst other things Spurs, he was visually describing to me the time when the great Danny Blanchflower picked out Cliff Jones on the left wing with a sublime 30 yard rabona pass. What was so impressive about Burnett’s youngsters performance against Leicester on Friday was the maturity in which they showed against Steve Beaglehole’s significantly older side.

Despite being under the cosh for large periods of the game, Burnett’s side were resilient against the experienced foxes. We dealt well with the likes of Andy King and Danny Simpson whose class and experience was clear to see right from the offing. Leicester were far more direct, physical and compact than Spurs and for a large chunk of the first half they kept us in our own half. Japhet Tanganga and TJ Eyoma defended imperiously for Spurs whilst captain Brandon Austin made some key saves in the Spurs goal. However, after growing into the game more in the second half, the young Lilywhites really went for the win towards the latter stages of the game. And despite the fact that Leicester came close to taking the lead on several occasions, Spurs’ persistence paid off and after some good link up play between Roles and Sterling the former netted a classy late winner. This resulted in wild scenes of celebration from the young Spurs lads who managed to win their third game on the trot, and in doing so it meant that Burnett’s side moved up to seventh place in division one. Wayne Burnett opted to go for the 5-2-2-1 formation for our encounter with Leicester although we would later revert to the 3-4-2-1 formation after Jonathan Dinzeyi was forced off through injury at halftime. Spurs lined up with captain Brandon Austin in goal whilst a back five of Hinds, Eyoma, Tanganga, Dinzeyi and Brown sat in front of him. Jamie Bowden and Dylan Duncan manned the centre of the park, as Roles and Oakley-Boothe lined up in a diamond shape behind Kazaiah Sterling who made his long awaited return from injury to lead the line for the Lilywhites. The visitors got the game underway at Hotspur Way under the mild autumnal sun in front of a crowd of 130 spectators.

Leicester started the game sharply and their high pressing was causing Spurs a couple of problems during the early stages of the game. Centre half Jonathan Dinzeyi’s sloppy misplaced pass in the opening minutes almost got Spurs into trouble after he passed the ball straight to Danny Simpson on the edge of the Spurs penalty area. Then, a couple of minutes later Tottenham fullback Jaden Brown made an important defensive intervention after he got in front of Leicester’s Raul Uche at Brandon Austin’s near post to clear Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s dangerous corner kick, behind for another Leicester corner. Dewsbury-Hall’s resulting delivery found its way to King on the edge of the penalty area but the Wales internationals effort was blocked by Tanganga. Leicester continued their good start to the game and just a couple of minutes later the foxes came desperately close to taking the lead. The potent Andy King slipped a clever pass into Dewsbury-Hall down the right side of the penalty area, the Leicester forward took his shot early as Austin attempted to close down his angles but his shot came cannoning off of the Spurs goalkeepers crossbar. Spurs were struggling to deal with Beaglehole’s powerful side and the foxes continued to threaten the Tottenham defence. After receiving Callum Elder’s pass Tyrese Shade sped down the left flank and past Spurs right back Tariq Hinds before continuing towards the edge of the penalty area and firing a low effort narrowly wide of Austin’s near post. Jamie Bowden picked up a yellow card shortly afterwards as Burnett’s side continued to struggle to get the ball out of their own half, as Spurs continued to defend against a flurry of Leicester attacks. Alex Pascanu saw his effort from long range blocked by his own teammate Raul Uche, before Loft received the ball down the right side of the Spurs box before forcing Austin into making an easy save to deal with his scuffed effort. 

Tariq Hinds conceded a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the Spurs penalty area a couple of minutes later, after a foul on Dewsbury-Hall. However, Andy King’s resulting effort flew straight into the Spurs wall before coming back out to the Welshman who then pumped the ball into the danger zone. Johnson attacked the ball and nodded it down to Dewsbury-Hall, but the Leicester forward was flagged offside. Burnett’s side just couldn’t get into the game and the longer that the half progressed, the more confident the visitors became. Pascanu curled an effort over from range a matter of moments before Simpson had conceded a foul on Roles right on the edge of the Leicester penalty area. Roles stood up to take the free kick and the Cypriot youth international came close to giving Spurs a surprise lead, after his curling effort was tipped behind for a corner kick by the diving Johanson who was at full stretch. Jamie Bowden’s resulting corner kick was met by TJ Eyoma at the near post, but the Spurs defender couldn’t make sufficient contact with the ball and it was eventually cleared by former Spurs man Ryan Loft. Leicester then went straight down the other end and the former Spurs man came close to scoring against his former club when he poked an effort narrowly wide of the mark, after getting on the end of Callum Elder’s cross inside the Spurs box. The tenacious Japhet Tanganga made an important block to thwart Andy King’s thumping effort a couple of minutes later, before Austin did well to save the Welshman’s resulting deflected low drive. The game was finally beginning to develop into a more even contest and whenever Spurs did enter the final third they always looked very threatening. Some nice exchanges between Duncan and Sterling created a good chance for Spurs towards the latter end of the half. A quick one two between Sterling and Duncan resulted in the former driving through the middle of the Leicester defence.

The 19 year old showed good feet as he traveled with the ball towards the edge of the penalty area, before forcing a fine save out of Johanson who prevented Sterling’s powerful effort from flying into the top left hand corner of the goal. Leicester’s Spanish winger Raul Uche dislocated his shoulder a couple of minutes later and was forced to walk off the pitch assisted by a number of medical staff. Uche was in real agony when a certain Mauricio Pochettino came running down the path leading off the pitch, to put his arm around the Spaniards head to comfort him. A scrappy spell in the game followed as both sides battled to gain control of the match. Brandon Austin made a routine save from Elder’s header after the fullback had connected with Shade’s cross in the Spurs box. Shortly after Tanganga made an excellent block at his near post to divert the newly introduced Calvin Bassey’s pacy cross away from danger. Danny Simpson tested Austin shortly afterwards when his delivery into the Spurs box was headed back to the former Man United man on the edge of the penalty area, he forced Austin into making a smart stop with his feet from his powerful low drive. And the experienced fullback found himself in another position to trouble the Spurs defence a couple of minutes later, when Andy King’s deflected free kick came out to him on the right flank. However, Simpson was unable to pick out any of his teammates inside the six yard box with his resulting cross. Beaglehole’s side continued to pressurise the Tottenham defence as we entered the final stages of the first half. Danny Simpson curled an effort wide of Austin’s goal after cutting inside from the right, before Dylan Duncan gave away a silly pass to straight to Simpson moments later. The right back immediately slipped the ball into the feet of Tyrese Shade who tested Brandon Austin with a shot from the edge of the penalty area after he had gone on a surging run down the right wing. Burnett’s side were incredibly lucky to go into halftime with the score at 0-0.

Before the second half got underway Burnett was forced into bringing off centre half Jonathan Dinzeyi who had picked up a leg injury right towards the end of the first half. Dinzeyi was replaced by left back Jamie Reynolds who had just come back from a six month injury lay off. Reynolds slotted into the left wing back role as Brown dropped down to form part of Spurs’ new back three. Oakley-Boothe began the second half by giving the ball away to Andy King who then went on a galavanting run through the middle of the park before slipping the ball into Elder down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area. TJ Eyoma came across Elder and attempted to make a sliding block however, the forward managed to get the strike away and ended up forcing an important low  diving stop out of Austin. Jaden Brown then made an excellent crunching challenge on Josh Knight to win the ball off of the Leicester defender on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. Then a couple of minutes later Leicester created a good move which saw Simpson spray a long pass towards Bassey in the box. The substitute won the header and was able to nod the ball down to Tyrese Shade who ended up slicing the ball high and wide of Austin’s goal on the turn. TJ Eyoma conceded a free kick in a dangerous position shorty after he tugged his former Spurs teammate Ryan Loft, after Spurs had been caught playing it out from the back. However, the commanding Austin ordered his wall well before convincingly catching Simpson’s delivery. A somewhat directionless Spurs side continued to struggle to get the better of the foxes. Kazaiah Sterling almost managed to nick the ball off of the Leicester goalkeeper Viktor Johanson in the Swedes own box after some good pressing from the Spurs striker. Burnett’s side then managed to work a clever move after Duncan passed the ball to Hinds down the right flank, the speedy fullback managed to cut inside Elder before darting into the Leicester penalty area. However, Hinds tried to pull the ball across the face of the Leicester goal in an attempt to pick out Roles at the back post, but Simpson managed to get in front of the Spurs forward to clear the ball.

The instrumental Japhet Tanganga made another important block a couple of minutes later as the Tottenham defence continued to stand strong. And the longer the game progressed the closer Steve Beaglehole’s side came to taking the lead. And the foxes came desperately to close to breaking the deadlock after Pascanu pinged the ball into the danger zone. The Romanian managed to pick out Dewsbury-Hall in the process who was then able to flick the ball back to King whose powerful diving header struck the base of Austin’s left hand post. Both sets of players were really scrapping for the win as we entered the final stages of the game, and it was only during the latter part of the game that Spurs were finally able to find their feet going forwards. And after Japhet Tanganga won a header in the middle of the park from Johanson’s long kick up field. The Spurs defender was able to pick out Roles who exchanged passes with Oakley-Boothe down the left hand side of the pitch, before cutting inside onto his right and curling an effort against against the base of Johanson’s left hand post, from the edge of the six yard box. Jamie Bowden was able to pounce on the loose ball but the midfielder was closed down by a Leicester defender who was able to block his effort on goal. TJ Eyoma nodded wide the Londoners corner kick at the near post a couple of moments later after Hinds had won the corner, as Spurs started to see more of the ball in the final third. Before a golden chance came the young Lilywhites way after the hardworking Roles won the ball off of Loft out on the left flank before driving forwards. Roles traveled towards the byline before pulling the ball back to Duncan who had made a run into the middle of the box. Duncan should have buried the chance but instead the midfielder tried to beat Johanson with a low first time side footed effort, which the Leicester goalkeeper was able to stop relatively comfortably. However, just when it looked as if that was going to be Tottenham’s last real chance of the game, Burnett’s side caught the Leicester City defence cold a couple of minutes later and with devastating consequences for the foxes.

The decisive moment in the game came in the 87th minute of time after a well worked move from the young Lilywhites paid off. The move started with Reynolds who passed the ball to Roles in the centre of the park, Roles went on a jinking run through the middle as he skipped past Kaba-Sherif before surging forwards and shifting the ball out to Sterling on the right. Sterling did well to hold off two Leicester City defenders before squaring the ball for Roles who had made a run into the box. The nifty footed north Londoner managed to work his way around Johanson before calmly slotting the ball home, to spark scenes of jubilation amongst the Spurs players, 1-0. Rodel Richards replaced Sterling shortly afterwards and the second year scholar had a shout for a penalty shortly after being introduced for the first time at this level. After embarking on a powerful run into the Leicester penalty area, Richards was pulled to the floor by Josh Knight however, the referee was having none of the Spurs players protests. Phoenix Patterson replaced the match winner Jack Roles a couple of minutes later as Spurs tried desperately hard to fend off Leicester as we entered stoppage time. Tanganga did well to clear Conor Tee’s free kick which had even been attacked by Leicester goalkeeper Viktor Johanson in the box. And the young Swede caused a bit of a commotion after Austin came out to claim Elder’s late cross. Out of frustration Johanson had clipped Austin and was deliberately preventing him from taking a quick goal kick. This rightly infuriated the Spurs captain who had to be separated from Johanson by Duncan before the referee harshly handed out yellow cards to both goalkeepers. Thankfully the referee sounded the final whistle a couple of seconds later as the Spurs players celebrated a hard fought win against a powerful and extremely challenging Leicester side, to make it three wins on the trot for Burnett’s side. Next up for our development side is a trip to the midlands to face Derby County, next Sunday afternoon at Pride Park. I shall be at that game also.

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: The skipper played a real part in our 1-0 win over Leicester. Austin (19) was impressive in so many ways on Friday afternoon and the teenager was busy throughout the game, making six saves in total. Some of the saves that he made were top class particularly the ones to deny King and Loft. The quick footed England youth international was excellent in dealing with the many set pieces and crosses that came his way. And bearing in mind that he was coming up against some really physical and well built players I thought he did tremendously well. Austin’s distribution was also good, but what impressed me most of all was his leadership and confidence. He was assertive and helped out his defence on numerous occasions particularly on set pieces. The commanding goalkeeper stood for no nonsense and he rightly gave Johanson a lecture after the Swedish goalkeeper stopped him from taking an early goal kick right at the end of the game. Once I get a chance I will be writing an in-depth piece on the talented and consistent Spurs goalkeeper.
  • Tariq Hinds: Hinds defended well down the right hand side of the pitch, he moved up and down well, and managed to keep both Uche and later Elder in check for most of the game. Hinds defended tightly and made some decent runs at the other end of the pitch.
  • TJ Eyoma: Eyoma had a superb game in central defence, starting off alongside Hinds in the back five to begin with. Eyoma later played on the right side of of our back three after we changed formation. Eyoma was incredibly solid and attentive throughout the game. He read the game well and outsmarted the likes of Loft and Shade on numerous occasions. The 18 year old was strong in the air and in the challenge, and he made many important defensive interventions. It was a very mature performance from Eyoma.
  • Japhet Tanganga: My motm, see below.
  • Jonathan Dinzeyi: Apart from making the odd misplaced pass as Spurs played it out from the back. Like Eyoma, Dinzeyi was solid and put in a strong performance as an lcb. However, Dinzeyi sadly picked up an injury on the stroke of halftime and was replaced during the interval by Reynolds.
  • Jaden Brown: Another player who had a really strong game was Jaden Brown. First as a left back in the first half and then on the left side of the back three for the second half. Brown let very little get past him down that side of the pitch.
  • Jamie Bowden: When myself and former Spurs man Eddie Clayton talked about the game after the final whistle. Eddie singled out young Bowden for his class in the centre of midfield. The 17 year old made his PL2 debut for Spurs against Leicester on Friday, and one of our academy’s most promising youngsters didn’t look at all out of place despite coming up against the likes of Andy King in the centre of the park. As he had done against Gillingham ten days previously, Bowden was very effective in the holding midfield role. It was a very Carrick like performance from the Tottenham lad, who had such a calming influence on the game. His spacial awareness and movement across the midfield was superb. He never rushed anything or over complicated a pass. Bowden always kept things short and simple, much like a former certain Spurs player used to do. The composed 17 year old was also solid and performed his role as the midfield anchor very well, and he could often be seen snuffing out possession. Bowden took one for the team during the early stages of the game after he was given a yellow card for breaking up a dangerous Leicester attack. The teenager has made an outstanding start to the season and it’s only a matter of time before he cements his place in the development side.
  • Dylan Duncan: I thought Duncan had a decent game alongside Bowden in the centre of midfield. He was combative and hardworking, and although his passing let him down on a couple of occasions his tracking back and filing in for other players helped out the team immensely. 
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Playing alongside Roles on the right side of an attacking diamond behind Sterling. Oakley-Boothe struggled to make much of an impact on the game and would often find himself isolated and uninvolved despite his best efforts. The 18 year old did however, make some good passes particularly during the latter stages of the game.
  • Jack Roles: Whenever Burnett decides to start Roles, Spurs are a completely different side at this level. And the intelligent midfielder put in another match winning performance on Friday afternoon to continue his excellent form of late. Directly involved in all three of Tottenham’s best chances, the 19 year old looked so sharp and quick thinking against Leicester. The Cyprus youth internationals movement and awareness was first class as were the many runs he made down the left flank. After hitting the post only a couple of minutes earlier, Roles did ever so well to keep his composure to score a wonderfully taken goal a matter of moments later. He worked extremely hard throughout the game.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: It was great to see Sterling back from injury and seeing him lead the line for Burnett’s side was a major boost for the whole team. Undoubtedly rusty after spending such a long period on the sidelines, Sterling led the line well and after having appeared to have bulked up over the summer, he held the ball up well. However, it was Sterling’s energy, hard work and tracking back which proved to be so effective for Spurs. Sterling forced a top save out of Johanson in the first half before going onto set up Jack Roles late winner after holding off two Leicester defenders  out on the right flank.
  • Jamie Reynolds: After recovering from a serious knee injury earlier than expected, it was a nice surprise to see Reynolds named in the match day squad after I was told that he would be out for the entirety of this season. Reynolds slotted in well at left wing back and looked solid and composed up against the speedy Tyrese Shade. It’s also worth noting that the move leading up to our late winner was started off by Reynolds out on the left wing.
  • Rodel Richards: The 18 year old made a bright late cameo and went on a promising run into the Leicester penalty area which was unlucky not to win Spurs a penalty. 
  • Phoenix Patterson: N/A.

My man of the match: Japhet Tanganga. The 19 year old centre half was like a brick wall in the heart of the Tottenham defence, Tanganga was immense. He won every single header that came his way with his superb leap, and the England under 20 international put in one of the most heroic performances you’re ever likely to see at this level. He defended imperiously alongside Eyoma and he was extraordinarily brave, in that he would never shy away from throwing his body right in front of a Leicester shot. He kept great positioning throughout and made so many blocks, challenges and headed clearances. Tanganga‘s passing was also impressive but it was the heroic centre half’s ability to deal so well with the likes of Loft, King and Shade which secured the win for Spurs on Friday. It was the best performance that I have seen from Tanganga this year, he was absolutely immense!

Spurs: Austin (c), Hinds, Brown, Eyoma, Tanganga, Dinzeyi (Reynolds 46), Duncan, Bowden, Sterling (Richards 88), Oakley-Boothe, Roles (Patterson 90+2). Substitute (not used): Glover.

Leicester City: Johanson, Simpson, Elder, Pascanu, Knight, Johnson (c, Kaba-Sherif 78), Shade, King, Loft (Tee 66), Dewsbury-Hall, Uche (Bassey 33). Substitutes (not used): Davies, Ramsey.

Spurs under 21/23’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 3

Jack Roles – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

My interview with former Spurs man Alan Dennis:

My interview with former Spurs man Alan Dennis:

Born in Somerset during the Second World War, Alan Dennis grew up in Bermondsey south London. The place where he has his earliest memories of kicking a ball around. Dennis was a talented young fullback who was a key member of a star studded Tottenham youth team during the early 1960’s. Dennis captained England schoolboys and played alongside future Spurs manager David Pleat. However, the fullback was unlucky not make the grade at Spurs during the most successful period in the clubs history. After all Dennis would have had to have dislodged internationals Ron Henry and Mel Hopkins to get into Bill Nicholson’s side. After leaving Spurs in the mid 1960’s, Alan spent the rest of his footballing career in the non league where he would go onto make a name for himself at clubs such as Cambridge City, Dover and Margate. I met up with Alan in a hotel in Kent to talk about his time at Spurs. And can I just say what an absolute pleasure it was to talk with Mr.Dennis who is a thoroughly nice and hugely knowledgable gentleman and an ardent Spurs supporter like you and I.

Questions: 

What are your earliest footballing memories?

 Alan: Going back to when I was probably 11 and I played for my school, and in those days I was an inside right. However, I can’t really remember much about the games. I had a cousin whose name was Dennis Burnett and he went onto play for West Ham’s youth team and first team. And then after he left them he went onto play for Millwall and Brighton. When we were both very young, the two of us would often go over to the park and make two goals, and play football against one another.

What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs and how did you come about joining the club?

Alan: My earliest memory was when I was 14 and playing for Kent schools and my headmaster a Mr.Ing was a Tottenham supporter. In them days I was lucky enough as a 14 year old to be picked for Kent under 15’s, and the scouts at that particular time came round and asked the players to join a certain club, and in my case it was Tottenham Hotspur. I used to go to training at Tottenham when I was 14 twice a week and that’s where I met Eddie Clayton for the first time. That’s my first recollection of Tottenham Hotspur.

What were your first impressions of the club? 

Alan: Big! It was an enormous club but at 14 I just took everything in my stride. 

What was your time at the Lilywhites like on the whole?

Alan: It was fantastic, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world I loved every minute of it, everything about it. And now when I look back I can’t believe I can’t believe it. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Did you have any footballing heroes/inspirations and if so who were they? 

Alan: I suppose all of the first team players at Spurs but there were so many great players and they were all internationals in the first team at that particular time. It was such a fantastic team.

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs when you were a young up and coming fullback?

Alan: When I first went to Tottenham after playing for Kent and London schoolboys I realised straight away that I wasn’t one of the best players there. So I looked up to all the other players and thought how good they all were, but I suppose I would have looked up to fullbacks, being a fullback myself. I thought crikey I’ve got to do something here to make the grade, Ron Henry and Mel Hopkins at that time, and Peter Baker was on the other side. They were all great players, so for me to get into the first team I would have had to have been really, really exceptional.

What was it like as a youth player to train alongside the double winning team of 1960-61 and to witness their successes first hand?

Alan: They were something to be admired and I looked up to every single one of them great players. They were also really, really nice people and even though I was only a youngster the majority of them would always have the time of day for you. 

Could you talk me through some of your favourite memories of your time at Spurs or ones which particularly standout within your memory?

Alan: The one which really stands out is saving a certain goal from Jimmy Greaves and I’m going back to the opening game of the season, which used to be between the first team and the reserves. I was in the reserves and in the first half I was marking Cliff Jones and then in the second half I was marking Derek Possee. One instance that I can actually remember is when Jimmy Greaves was put through on goal with just our goalkeeper Johnny Hollowbread to beat to score a goal. I came round the back of Johnny Hollowbread and stood on the goal line. Jimmy Greaves went round Johnny Hollowbread and tried to slot it into my left hand side. However, fortunately I was able to stick out my left leg and stop the ball on the goal line and then kick it off for a throw in. That’s probably one of my greatest moments of playing against the first team. 

How about for the youth team?

Alan: One of them was against Chelsea in an FA youth cup game and I was marking somebody by the name of Albert Murray. We were drawing 0-0 and then they got a goal because our goalkeeper had his clearance blocked back into his goal to make it 1-0. However, on that particular night I can remember having a really, really good game. So that would be one of my favourite moments from youth team football.

What was the greatest moment of your footballing career?

Alan: The greatest moment I supposed was being captain of England schoolboys on six occasions. I played at Wembley and didn’t lose one game, we drew one and won five I think, so that was my greatest time in football.

Who was the greatest player that you had the pleasure of sharing a pitch with?

Alan: There were so many great players I suppose with the likes of Jimmy Greaves, Dave Mackay and John White. All of the first team players were such great players, they really were. They did the double so they must have been great players. We had Cliff Jones, Danny Blanchflower who was an absolute gentleman and all the other first team players, but what I liked about it as a youngster was that that they had all the time of day for you. None of them were too big that they didn’t talk to you. They were all really nice fellows.

Could you talk me through your career after you left Spurs and what prompted you to leave the Lilywhites in the first place?

I suppose I left Tottenham because I didn’t make the grade as I probably wasn’t quite good enough to make the first team. So after being at Tottenham for about four or five years I can remember Bill Nicholson calling me into the office and saying that they were going to release me. I was as sick as a parrot,I must admit that I was choked. After Spurs I linked up with Tony Marchi (the manager) at Cambridge City. When I first went there I wasn’t going to be a regular first choice fullback, but luckily enough I can remember the opening game of the season was against Coventry City in a friendly. I was marking a Welsh international called Ronnie Rees, and I had a really good game and from that moment on I was in the first team. After Cambridge I managed to go to Dover who were in the same league and were roughly of the same quality. Again, they were a very good team and I really enjoyed it there before I went to Margate. However, I had picked up a knee injury whilst at Cambridge and that knee gradually became worse and worse. And eventually I had to have a cartilage operation and that finished me. I still carried on playing but in the end I just packed it in although I did also go to Ramsgate in the southern league. I had a knee joint put in because of it.

Who was the toughest winger that you ever came up against?

Alan: Although at Spurs I had played against Terry Medwin, Jimmy Greaves, Cliff Jones and Terry Dyson in training. One of the hardest wingers that I faced was in the southern league with Cambridge City in a game against Romford. They had a winger called Saunders and he was a little chap who was very, very very fast, but he was also very tough. As much as I tackled him hard he used to tackle me back harder, so he was probably one of the hardest wingers that I had to play against.

What was Danny Blanchflower and Bill Nicholson like?

Alan: Bill Nicholson wasn’t one of them people that you wanted to be on the wrong side of. He was very straight forward but you didn’t want to upset him and as a youngster I was a little bit nervous of him. I was frightened to do things wrong, so that was my impression of Bill Nicholson. Whereas Danny Blanchflower was a gentleman a lovely, lovely person and a very gentle person too. He was also a fantastic footballer who read the game inside out and I couldn’t say enough about him!

How do you look back on your time as a footballer and was there anything that you wish you’d have done differently?

Alan: Looking back now I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, I loved every minute of it. The only thing I would have liked to have tried harder at was when I was at Tottenham because looking back now I wish that perhaps I should have tried harder, but then in hindsight you don’t know. However, I’d have loved to have made the grade at Spurs but I always look back there with fondness.

What would your advice be to the young Spurs fullbacks of today as they look to make their way in the game?

Alan: Just try you hardest. You can’t do no more that and if you know deep down that you’ve tried your hardest then that’s all you can do. It’s the same as everything in life and that’s the same thing I say to my grandchildren now as they come up to do their exams. 

We had a brilliant youth side during the 1960’s what do you think that was down to?

Alan: I’m not so sure that we had a brilliant youth side at Spurs, the teams to beat were always Chelsea and Arsenal but I’m not sure that we were the best. We had a decent team but we weren’t the best.

Whilst at Cambridge City you played under former Spurs man Tony Marchi. What was he like to play under?

Alan: The first two seasons were very good and then we had a not so good run and things didn’t go too well. So the least said the better I think.

Could you describe to me what Tottenham Hotspur still means to you today after all these years?

Alan: I suppose their the first team I look for every Saturday, I’m always looking them up to see what the score was. There the team that I support and always will support.

Do you ever go back to watch them much?

Alan: I’ve been back a couple of times but since I’ve got older things like the crowds and parking the car are all too much.

Are you still in contact with any of your old Spurs teammates?

Alan: No, not at all.

How did it feel to captain the three lions at schoolboy level?

Alan: It was fantastic and the proudest moment was leading the team out at Wembley. I was very fortunate.

 

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

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

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Our under 23’s return to PL2 action on Friday after the recent international break, when they face Leicester City at Hotspur Way. Wayne Burnett’s development side will be on a high after they recorded a hugely impressive 4-0 victory over Gillingham in the Checkatrade trophy last week. And Burnett’s side albeit slightly altered to the one that beat Gillingham, will be feeling confident that they can overturn Leicester City at Hotspur Way on Friday, to make it three wins on the trot. Steve Beaglehole’s Leicester City side mounted a serious charge for the division one title last season, and they came close to pulling it off but for a late dip in form which resulted in them finishing the 2017/18 season in third place. However, the foxes have started this season well, and after picking up three wins from their opening seven league games they find themselves sitting pretty healthily in fourth place. That being said, Leicester have fielded a number of first team players during these games, something which they also did last season. The likes of Shinji Okazaki, Andy King and Turkish international Caglar Soyuncu are just some of the experienced players who they have fielded this season. Beaglehole’s side also has some talented youngsters in their ranks, of which includes defensive midfielder Hamza Choudury, forward Layton Ndukwu and fullback Darnell Johnson. Burnett’s side contested two hugely contrasting league games with the foxes last season. The first was a fiercely competitive 1-1 draw at Hotspur Way back in the autumn of 2017. Whilst the reverse fixture up in Leicester was anything but competitive. Despite taking an early lead through Keanan Bennetts, Spurs seemed to fall apart after taking the lead. The dismissal of midfield duo George Marsh and Oliver Skipp in the second half didn’t help matters. And Spurs suffered their biggest defeat of the season, losing 6-1 at Holmes park.

Like their first team Leicester don’t play attractive football by any means however, Beaglehole’s side are effective in how they do play. One thing which has stood out to me over recent seasons is how strong their midfield is. And I think who ever comes off strongest in the middle of the park during Fridays game, will decide who edges the contest. Burnett’s side responded well to being thrashed 6-0 at Goodison Park by Everton last month, and they have since recorded comprehensive wins over both Blackburn Rovers and Gillingham in their last two outings. What makes both of these wins so impressive is the fact that we are missing so many of the experienced members of our our side to injury. And with the likes of Shayon Harrison and Luke Amos all missing for Fridays game, Spurs will have to rely on the younger members of the side, such as midfielder Paris Maghoma who has been in outstanding form for the development side so far this season. With Oliver Skipp recently making up the numbers for the first team after Pochettino’s recent injury crisis, and the likes of Anthony Georgiou and Kazaiah Sterling having missed recent games due to injury. Burnett will once again be relying on the inform Jack Roles and Paris Maghoma to help fire his side to victory on Friday afternoon. I will be at Hotspur Way reporting on this Fridays PL2 game, and my in-depth match report will be out by the following day.

My predicted lineup: (3-4-2-1) Austin, Dinzeyi, Tanganga, Binks, Hinds, Duncan, Marsh (c), Brown, Maghoma, Oakley-Boothe, Roles.

Subs from: Freeman, Lyons-Foster, Eyoma, Richards, Sterling.

Injured/unavailable: Luke Amos, Shayon Harrison, Jamie Reynolds and Jonathan De Bie.

Doubtful: Tashan Oakley-Boothe (injury), Anthony Georgiou (injury), Kazaiah Sterling (injury), Shilow Tracey (injury), Troy Parrott (possible fatigue after completing three full matches for Ireland over the past week), Alfie Whiteman (possible first team involvement) and Oliver Skipp (possible first team involvement).

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-6. 

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Ryan Loft is a name in which all followers of the Spurs youth set up will be familiar with. The 21 year old centre forward left Spurs upon the expiration of his contract in June after progressing through the ranks at Spurs, before going onto become a regular member of both their under 18 and development side. Loft is a typical burly target man whose lack of technique and mobility perhaps let him down after he stepped up to the Lilywhites development side. After some not so fruitful loans to Stevenage and Exeter City over recent seasons, Loft signed for Leicester on a two year contract in the summer. And the former Ebbsfleet schoolboy has started the season well for the foxes, and he recently scored a brace against Fleetwood in the Checkatrade trophy.

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Spurs under 18’s versus Aston Villa: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Aston Villa: (match preview)

 

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Our high flying under 18’s resume league action on Saturday when they host Aston Villa at Hotspur Way. Matt Wells side will be hoping to get the better of David Hughes side who have also started the season in good form, with four wins from their opening seven league matches. Top of the table Tottenham Hotspur tore Norwich City to shreds in their last game despite the fact that Wells had fielded a weakened side. And their ruthless, fast paced and downright attacking approach to the new season has resulted in them outplaying each of the eight teams who they have come up against, so far this campaign. The last time these two teams met was on a chilly spring morning at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training last season. That particular Spurs side totally embarrassed what was actually a strong Aston Villa team by beating them 5-0. Aston Villa did beat us in the reverse fixture at Hotspur Way earlier on in the season but on that particular day in the midlands they played as poorly as any under 18 team that I have ever seen. There defence in particular was atrocious and lacking in any sort of defensive cohesion. David Hughes side are yet to win on the road in the league this season and they’ll have their work cut out if they want to change that on Saturday. With our free scoring youngsters in such a rich vein form, with the likes of Clarke, Shashoua and White all chipping in with goals. Wells side have so many different ways from which they can hurt Aston Villa. Taking into consideration that our under 19’s are playing PSV in the UEFA youth league the following Wednesday, it would be safe to assume that Wells and McDermott will rest a couple of players for the Aston Villa game at the weekend. This could present a couple of our youngsters who haven’t featured much this season with an all important start. I’m particularly hoping to see centre half Jubril Okedina starting against Villa. Okedina has put in some strong performances off the bench in recent games.

Aston Villa have a number of attacking talents in their youth set up, some of which include in form French centre forward Dimitri Sea, American Indiana Vassilev and wide man Colin Odutayo. Despite having a poor historical record against Aston Villa over recent years, Spurs will be hoping to record their third straight win on the bounce against David Hughes side, when these teams meet on Saturday afternoon. I will be at Hotspur Way reporting on our league encounter with the Villains.

 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Tainio, Okedina, Statham, Cirkin, White, Bowden, Markanday, A.Shashoua (c), Clarke, Parrott.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Walcott, Thorpe, Patterson, Mukendi.

Injured/unavailable: Enock Asante.

Doubtful: Rodel Richards (possible involvement with the development side) and J’Neil Bennett (possible involvement with the development side) and Malachi Walcott (injury).

Previous meeting: Spurs 5-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: French teenager Dimitri Sea was one of the very few Villa players that caught my eye during our last meeting with Aston Villa at this level. The powerful centre forward scored seven league goals for the Villains last season. And the clinical Parisian has started this season in fine form and already has three league goals to his name.

 

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/10/07/spurs-under-18s-7-0-norwich-city-match-report/

Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Olot:

Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Olot:

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Thanks to the wonderful live coverage provided by Balearic television channel ib3, I was able to watch our young loanee Samuel Shashoua in action for his loan club Atlético Baleares earlier today. Shashoua has settled in really well at the Balearicos since signing for them on a season long loan from Spurs in August. And the league game against Olot on Sunday afternoon was Shashoua’s fifth competitive appearance for the Segunda División B club. And after putting in impressive performances in his last two matches, Shashoua found himself in the starting eleven once again for their match against Catalan side Olot at the Son Malferit. The 19 year old started out on the left wing and he completed the entirety of Sunday’s match. Putting in another extremely impressive performance for the Mallorca based club, Shashoua proved instrumental in Atlético securing all three points, in a game in which the home side dominated from start to finish. The Spurs youngster put in a typically energetic performance out on the left flank, as always Shashoua was hardworking and would often track back and help out his teammates defensively. However, as he showed in Atlético’s games against Barcelona B and Conquense in recent weeks, Shashoua’s dribbling ability and willingness to take on players saw him create more chances for his teammates than anybody else in today’s game. He was sharp and crafty with the ball, and his alertness to pick out Nuha Marong for the strikers goal in the 52nd minute, resulted in Shashoua registering his first assist of the campaign. In the following article I will be going through Shashoua’s performance against Olot in chronological order. And can I just say that it was yet another pleasure to have been able to watch one of my favourite Spurs players in action for his loan club.

Shashoua started the game out on the left wing of what was essentially a 4-4-2 formation to start off with. The Balearicos started the game well in the afternoon sun, and Shashoua made a good early run in the opening couple of minutes of the game after Kike López received the ball out on the right side of the penalty area. The fullback continued inwards but the Olot goalkeeper Xavi Ginard was alert and was able to smother the ball before López could square for Shashoua to tap home, after the teenager had made a well timed darting run into the middle of the penalty area. A couple of minutes later, Shashoua linked up well with Nuha who he picked up the ball off some 30 yards out from goal, before going on a tricky driving run down the left flank. Samuel continued all the way to the edge of the Olot penalty area before jinking past defender Alan Baró and then testing the goalkeeper with a powerful low effort on his left foot. However, Ginard made a smart stop with his feet to prevent Shashoua from opening the scoring. Atlético were on the front foot and the home side were playing some decent football during the opening stages of the game, Samuel was often catching the eye with his impressive first time touch. The left winger was involved in another positive attacking move from Atlético after he embarked on a good run through the middle of the park before eventually squaring the ball to Fullana on the edge of the penalty area. However, the Atlético captains powerful effort was saved relatively comfortably by Ginard. And once again Samuel found himself in the thick of the action after he picked up the ball before skipping across the goal as he managed to turn his man in the process, before then passing the ball to Marcos de la Espada on the edge of the penalty area. The Spanish midfielders effort was well saved by Ginard as the Balearicos continued to dominate the game. Atlético Baleares were continuing to put pressure on the Catalan sides defence. 

After controlling the ball well out on the left flank after received a long diagonal pass, Shashoua looked up before picking out Canario with an inch perfect lofted pass, on the edge of the penalty area as he showcased his good vision. However, Canario’s resulting effort was saved comfortably by the Olot goalkeeper. Shashoua was the victim of a rather nasty sliding challenge from Blázquez shortly after, and the Olot fullback was given a yellow card by the referee, but only after Samuel had given Blázquez a gentle shove from behind. And the teenager from west London continued to be Atlético’s most potent player for the remainder of the half. After receiving a cross field pass out on the left flank, Shashoua showed off his fancy footwork in front of the Olot defenders before whipping a dangerous low cross into the danger zone, but no blue and white shirts were there to meet it. A couple of moments later he delivered another dangerous ball into the danger zone which caused the Olot defence to panic and frantically clear the ball away from danger. That was to be Samuel’s last involvement in what had been a positive first half from both him and his teammates. The away side got the second half underway at the Son Malferit and it didn’t take long for him to get back involved in the thick of the action. Eight minutes into the half, Shashoua received a pass from Canario out on the left wing. The winger cut inside before making a well weighed pass into the feet of Nuha inside the box. The Atlético centre forward cut inside Carles Mas before curling an excellent effort into the left hand corner of the goal to put the Balearicos ahead. However, joy was soon to turned to disappointment for young Samuel after he received a harsh yellow card for simulation. It was an incredibly harsh booking which came about after he received a pass down the left hand side of the penalty area.

The typically tricky Shashoua pulled off an exquisite Marseille turn on Olot defender Carles Mas which resulted in the fullback sticking out his leg. Mas made contact albeit not that much with Shashoua, and this resulted in him going to ground. However, Samuel is the type of player who always try’s to stay on his feet no matter where he is on the pitch. A bit of a quite patch for the Tottenham loanee followed as Atlético started to mould into a more defensive shape. Some 10-15 minutes later he turned around Blázquez on the edge of the penalty area before forcing Ginard into making a good save, to prevent his powerful curling effort from creeping into the back of the net. Shashoua lobbed a ball dangerously across the face of the Olot goal a couple of minutes later after being found down the left side of the box. Before then slipping the ball into an Atlético player who I couldn’t identify, down the same side of the penalty area. This particular Atlético players resulting effort was saved by Ginard who comfortably gathered the ball. Samuel whipped another one of his teasing crosses into the Olot penalty area moments later but it managed to evade every Atlético player in the box. Shashoua then embarked on another one of his jinking runs a couple of minutes after, as Atlético continued to dominate the game. Shashoua beat a man down the left before darting into the box and skipping past another Olot defender and then he unselfishly attempted to pass the ball for a teammate in the centre of the box. However, Shashoua’s pass/shot was blocked on the line Baró, as the Atlético fans loudly applauded Samuel. That was to be his final involvement in the game as the referee blew for time only a matter of minutes later as Atlético Baleares picked up their third win of the season. And a certain Tottenham loanee played a massive role in that win. His energy and hard work out on the left wing provided the Balearic club with an important attacking outlet which they made the very most of throughout the game. 

Shashoua’s guile and willingness to take people on down that side of the pitch helped to break down the Olot defence and create chance after chance for the home team. He was sharp and agile, and the 19 year old made many good passes throughout the game, including the one that led to Nuha’s goal at the beginning of the second half. Despite being one of the youngest players on the pitch, Shashoua was the most fearless of them all, and without doubt the most creative. Watching Shashoua play today really reminded me of watching him during his very best games for our under 18’s, where he was skipping past players for fun and always looking to feed inch perfect passes into his teammates, in and around the danger zone. He really is settling into life at his new club so well and they are playing the type of football which is going to really aid his development over the course of the season. That’s why it makes so much sense why he went out on loan to the Balearic club rather than an English lower league club that is going to kick the ball into orbit every couple of seconds. He was the star player against Olot today and he has already forced his way into Atlético’s starting eleven, where he his fast becoming a fan favourite. A whole group of young fans came running over to him at the end of today’s game looking for selfies of which he duly obliged. Next up for the confident youngster and his teammates is an away game against Badalona next Sunday. Providing that, that game will be on ib3 then I will most certainly be writing another analytical piece on the young artists performance.

Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares:

Appearances: 5

Goals: 1 

Assists: 1

My interview with former Tottenham Hotspur player Micky Dulin:

My interview with former Tottenham Hotspur player Micky Dulin:

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Born in London’s east end in the October of 1935, Michael Charles Dulin spent the majority of his childhood in Hertfordshire following the outbreak of the Second World War. Micky was an outside right who had signed for Spurs under their legendary former manager Arthur Rowe in the autumn of 1952. In total Dulin spent over six years at Spurs and whilst the majority of that time was spent playing for the reserves and the old A team, Dulin was a bright up and coming talent who went onto make eleven appearances for the first team, scoring on two occasions. The talented winger played under two Spurs managers and he was at the club during one of its most successful and revolutionary periods. The youngster from Stepney could well have gone onto become one of the legendary double winners but for an injury that he sustained in a league game against Birmingham in 1957. Dulin suffered a catastrophic injury to his leg in the dying moments of the game at St Andrew’s, and the Spurs man would never recover from it. After almost losing his leg, Dulin battled back to return to training at Spurs during the late 1950’s after spending two years in a splint. However, he was a shadow of the player he previously was and he ended up finding himself being released by the Lilywhites at the end of that year. Dulin spent the rest of his working years involved with sport, for many years he was a well liked PE teacher and he would later go onto work for Waltham Forest council where he again found himself involved in sport and leisure. However, outside of Spurs Dulin is well regarded by supporters of non league clubs Wingate and Finchley and Barking.

He managed both clubs following his retirement from playing and Dulin made such a positive impact at Wingate and Finchley, that he now serves as the clubs life vice honorary president. Micky kindly invited me into his home for our interview about his time at Spurs. And I couldn’t have been more grateful for the time that he so kindly gave me. Dulin is a gentleman who got to play with so many of our legendary former players. And Dulin himself is one of the few surviving Spurs players from that era and we as fans should be so very proud of him for his service to the club.

Questions:  

What are your earliest footballing memories?

Micky: My earliest football memory was going back to grammar school, I was at Hitchin grammar school where we had a superb squad of players where we used to win games like 21-0 and things like that. I remember that vividly and also when I was first picked up by Tottenham, I’d been picked to play for the south of England grammar schools against the north of England grammar schools. And in those days it was only the England schoolboys and secondary school players. Anyway, we were invited to Oxford University for a weeks coaching and playing but unfortunately I got taken ill with the flu just before I was about to go. When I finally got better I went on the following Thursday and they let me play in a game against Pegasus which was a combined university side. I played that particular game and there just happened to be a Tottenham scout there, and I must have done well because they invited me along for trials and training the following season.

What are your earliest memories of your time at Spurs and how did you come about joining the club?

Micky: I joined the club because of this scout who had picked me up and invited me down to the ground where I trained with Spurs, in the pre-season of which would have been 1952. I played a few games for them and after a few weeks they invited me to join the ground staff, but my father wouldn’t agree to it because I’d been to a grammar school and had a good education. He said to me that if he wanted me to sweep roads then I could have been in the council rather than the ground. Anyway I turned it down but the manager Arthur Rowe called me into his office, and he asked me to play in a match the following Thursday against QPR and then make a decision. In that game I played and I scored two goals and so they signed me the following day, I think it was on my 17th birthday that they signed me. That’s one of the recollections I have, the other one was when I first went down and lived in Baldock in Hertfordshire I signed for something like seven pounds a week in the winter and six in the summer. I remember them having a B team, an A team and a reserves and a first team, and I started in the B team. I came up from Baldock to London to travel to the eastern counties which was the league we were in. They used to take 15 or 16 players and there was no substitutes in those days, You didn’t know whether you were or weren’t playing until you stopped halfway round on the way to a game, at a transport cafe normally. If the manager said you can have chips then you knew that you weren’t playing. So you remember things like that.

Being a young lad from Hertfordshire what was it like adapting to life at Spurs and what were you earliest impressions of the club?

Micky: It was weird in the sense that if you were very young you were in awe of the likes of Alf Ramsey and Bill Nicholson. After training all the players used to go into a little room where they played cards and snooker, and they’d all smoke and drink and you couldn’t see through the clouds of smoke as everybody smoked. They’d hand you a cigarette and although I never smoked I used to take one and I’d occasionally feel dizzy. The point I’m making is that the difference between the athleticism and the way that they handle players now is chalk and cheese.

What was your time at the Lilywhites like on the whole?

Micky: It was interesting, I suppose it was informative in a way but I don’t think we had the coaches in those days that you’ve got now to bring players on. And in a sense it was quite basic for a division one team as it was then. We used to train and play five a side in the car park, it was all a very basic venue. In the first team they were playing to crowds of 70 or 80,000 but it wasn’t as professional as it is now and obviously the money is phenomenally different. I went from getting seven pound a week in the winter to six in the summer, then the following season to eight and seven. But when I got into the first team I only got ten which was only two pounds more than in my contract, and that was the most that you could earn. However, the difference between eight and ten must have been quite substantial in those days. It was a different era, people didn’t have fancy cars, they got on the bus to go to training and things likes that.

Did you have any footballing heroes/inspirations and if so who were they?

Micky: I think Tom Finney, Stanley Matthews and people like that, while at Tottenham Tommy Harmer was somebody who I respected greatly for his ability, and Ronnie Burgess, people like that. Burgess was like a Dave Mackay type player. I also admired Bill Nicholson to a degree, he was a dour player but he was a good manager. And Arthur Rowe was somebody who I had a lot of respect for but unfortunately he was taken ill whilst he was with us, and we ended up with Jimmy Anderson who had no real coaching knowledge. He was just somebody who had experience of being in the game for a long time, that was all. All of the directors and everything were brewers, the whole sort of scenario was different to what it is now with multi billionaires holding the purse strings. But I think those were the types of players that I aspired to be like.

Who were your greatest influences at Spurs?

Micky: Probably in the early days it was Eddie Baily, he wasn’t the nicest of characters and when I played with him he didn’t have that drive that he had previously. Sometimes he’d get you to track back and pick up somebody who he should have picked up. But his skill with his first time passing was exceptional, he used to play one touch football in the car park and we were only allowed one touch and he was superb at anything like that. However, he was particularly influential for me because when I got in the first team I played on the right wing and he was the inside right as it was in those days. So he was an influence and he knew the game inside out.

What was it like to play with club legends such as Danny Blanchflower and Tommy Harmer?

Micky: Well they did sort of try and teach you things. Danny Blanchflower was a brilliant player but he was not anything you would call an athlete, he was really a skinny sort of lean guy. But he had the vision of seeing things quickly and he would always try and be helpful and tell you to make runs in certain positions and at certain times. And you did respond, when he told you you did it, whereas  with other people you might think well I know as much as they do, but Danny was probably a big influence on the whole team. He came down to Spurs for £30,000 which was the biggest transfer ever in those days. As for Tommy Harmer he wasn’t somebody who would offer advice in a sense because he was not a very intelligent person. I’m not saying that he was a dummy but he wasn’t somebody who took it upon himself to help people, but he’d help you with his play because he was another one who could see things and do things that other players couldn’t. Although he lacked the sort of stature and pace, his vision was superb and when he had the ball and you made a run you knew you were going to get the ball. He would guarantee you 19 times out of 20 that he would put the ball in a position where you could run onto it, and then you knew that the onus was going to be on what you did. So he was influential in the way that he played rather than what he said.

You made your first team debut for Spurs in a league game against Burnley on the 17th of December 1955. Could you talk me through your memories of that special day and how it came about?

Micky: It was a weird experience it really was because we’d left by coach and played Huddersfield on the Wednesday before that day, and I was part of the group. The job of the players who weren’t playing in the first team was to take the kit in a big wicker basket and hang it all up. We had no inkling of playing at all because there were no substitutes in those days, and we had been beaten quite badly that day by Huddersfield. After the Huddersfield game we went up to Manchester and stayed at the Queens hotel, and I had no indication that I was going to play and so I really didn’t prepare myself for the game in that sense. When we got to the ground I had helped hang the kit out and then when he (Jimmy Anderson) announced my name I started to get a bit shaky because although I’d played odd games before that, I’d never played in the league. But I did quite well that day I think because there was no major buildup to it and because I had only known in the dressing room 40-45 minutes before kick off, so I didn’t have enough time to get nervous. Burnley were a great side who had Jimmy McIlroy and Adamson and people like that and I think that that we lost the game that day, but I did quite well and I was pleased with myself. That’s when I had a little run in the side and I got into it on merit whereas previously I’d got in because someone was on international duty or something.

Could you talk me through some of your favourite memories of your time at Spurs or ones which particularly standout within your memory?

Micky: Some of the things that were weird that standout to me were some of the training things that we did. When we trained at the ground we used to run around the pitch a couple of times and they had a ball which was suspended from the rafters under the east stand. The ball in those days had thick laces and they were very heavy. And one of the routines that we had to go through involved them putting six or seven players at one end and six or seven at the other. And we used to head this ball and as it swung you had to run and time it, and head it again and if you headed it again it would literally knock you out. It was so difficult to do that everybody used to avoid heading it and miss it deliberately. I remember that vividly because to me it was a complete waste of time and if you headed the lace it would split your head open. We didn’t really do anything tactically, we just played and went out there and the manager would try and inspire you in a way, but he (Jimmy Anderson) wasn’t the greatest inspiration. So really you had to be backed up by the Blanchflower’s and people like that. The other thing I’ll always remember was when I got picked to play for Tottenham against the Arsenal, and the derby was the thing. Since childhood I had a perforated eardrum and so I didn’t hear all that well and I can remember playing against Arsenal and someone hit this long ball to me from the left hand side, right over to the right where I was. And someone in the crowd must have blown a whistle so I caught the ball and threw it back as I thought I was offside. That made me feel very low but there the type of things that I remember.

I can also remember scoring a goal against the Racing Club de Paris and I didn’t like heading those balls. I think a lot of the people who were centre backs ended up with Alzheimer’s and I did not ike heading the ball, I headed it when I had to. And this ball came to me from a corner on the left and I sort of ran around and the ball was coming straight at me and I had to head it. It knocked me down and I ended up on the floor with the ball flying into the back of the goal. So everybody all thought it was a wonderful header but I was trying to avoid it if I could have done. So there the sorts of things that I remember.

Jimmy Anderson was the manager who you spent the majority of your time at Spurs playing under. What he was like as a manager?

Micky: Jimmy Anderson wasn’t a coach at all he just happened to be the manager, but he had no skill in developing players or even probably selecting players. We had a guy who came down once, I think his name was Eddie or something and he was supposed to be our trainer. And he introduced different things like ballet training and things like that which didn’t really help. Once Bill Nicholson came in he began to involve himself in the development side, but I’m not so sure even in today’s terms that he was a coach like you would say Guardiola is. I’m not sure Wenger was such a great coach but he was a good man manager and the thing with Nicholson was he did it as it was, he didn’t sort of pussyfoot with you if he dropped you. He dropped you and if he picked you he picked you, and he told you what he thought about you, and you respected that because he played and was a knowledgeable person whereas Anderson only got the job because Arthur Rowe was taken ill. He broke down in front of us. He came into the dressing room one day to give the team talk and he broke down and cried, and I remember Alfie Stokes was with me at the time. And he said that’s what he thinks of you because he burst out crying, but I think that Nicholson was probably the start of the development of the better Tottenham days.

What for you was the greatest moment of your all too short footballing career?

Micky: Funnily enough it was probably a reserve game, I’m not sure who it was against but it was just before I got injured in the first team squad. And I had a day where whatever I did was perfection and I scored four goals and we won six something against Portsmouth I believe. On that particular day I had such vision of the game, it was all so easy to me that when I think back had I have not got injured and had I have developed or evolved the same way. Then I often wonder where my career would have taken me, and how I would have been able to go.

Who was the greatest played that you ever had the pleasure of sharing a pitch with?

Micky: Probably Jimmy McIlroy at Burnley, I didn’t play many first team games but he was as good as anyone I can remember being. He was like a silky, smooth player and he never did anything wrong in the game against us. Every time he got the ball we used to think what’s going to happen here, so I think he was as good as anybody I could remember.

Your life changed forever on the 11th of September 1957 after you picked up a career ending injury in a league game against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s. Would you be alright talking me through the events of that day?

Micky: It poured and poured, and poured with rain and it was a 0-0 draw and we got right to the end of the match more or less, and it was a quite a good point at St Andrew’s. I can remember the ball coming to me wide on the left hand side which I happened to be on. Tommy Harmer was playing and he called for the ball so I instinctively kind of passed it into him but unfortunately there was a fella called Dick Neal who played for Birmingham, and he must have heard the call. He came forward and cut the pass out and made his way to the edge of the box and I sort of tracked him back because it was my mistake. As I put my foot out to tackle him he struck the ball against my foot towards goal, and this took the whole bottom half of my leg away from the top half. I didn’t know all this, but I went down and they carried me off and then the referee blew the whistle for time, and once I got to the dressing room they took me to the Birmingham accident hospital. I was there over night before they then transferred me to the royal orthopaedic in London, in Great Portland Street. The ligaments had been damaged and my cruciate ligaments had gone and in those days there was no operation where they could restore it. They put me in a sort of splint and I had an iron thing and so I was like that for nearly two years before it healed up. I think I started training again at Tottenham but they knew and I knew that I couldn’t play. I had no sort of power, I couldn’t run as fast and I couldn’t do anything but they kept me there for the rest of that season. Then the following year they released me and gave me £500 pounds in compensation which although it’s a pittance in today’s terms was a years money in those days, and that was the end of that. So a split second difference and I could have been in the team that did the double in 1960-61 if I had developed for the next two or three years, but that’s the way the world is. Something happened in that split second and your whole world is sort of turned upside down in a way.

How did you cope with the aftermath of learning that you would never kick a ball again?

Micky: Not very well unfortunately I don’t think, definitely financially because I had no work experience that I could fall back on, the only thing that I knew was ball. Once I was able to get around again I started to take coaching courses and things like that, and eventually I started teaching in the London education authority schools. I’d go around schools teaching and coaching them but it wasn’t very satisfying because they knew we were ex players, and that we were qualified in football so they’d give us groups of 40-50 kids to take away, with just two of us teachers there. So you might have 40 on your own and the other teacher might have had only ten kids and they would go somewhere else with the PE teacher. So there wasn’t a lot you could do but I always kept jobs in sports throughout my career. I also served as an officer for the London borough of Waltham Forest when I was in charge of various sport facilities for them.

You also entered the world of football management where you took charge of non league sides Wingate and Finchley as well as Barking. What was that experience like for you?

Micky: It was interesting because in those days I had access to a lot of the football division one sides. I knew them or had played against their reserves and so I knew players that I thought were quite useful and a lot of them had never made the grade in the first division. So I picked up players from Tottenham and Arsenal, I had quite a few good young players at Wingate and we had a good side. That football scene was very difficult because although they weren’t professional they were all getting money on the side, somebody was giving them whatever they were giving them, and if you gave a player ten pounds a week then another club would want him and they’d offer him 30. So you had to offer him 35 and so on. The person who was putting the money up couldn’t sustain it, you never played in front of big crowds and so you never got any gate income. So it was really going down a dead end street, you could never really acquire anything unless you’ve got a millionaire behind you and in those days I didn’t have any sort of thing. But it was interesting because you gave a bit of insight to some young players who were with pro clubs who didn’t make it for whatever reason. I managed to pick up some good players and over a long period I had Bill Dodge play for me, David Gillingwater and Cliff Jones after they had finished. And because I knew people and knew what they could do I was able to pick them up in those days, we even had an ex Spurs side where we had Alfie Stokes and Johnny Brooks and people like that, and we would play against various teams for charity and everybody would get a fiver for playing. A fiver in those days was a fair amount of money, I think if I’d have made a name for myself in football and not been injured then I think I’d have ended up in management afterwards.

Despite your all too short career in the game how do you look back on your time at the club that signed you as a teenager?

Micky: Well it was certainly an experience. The thing that disappoints me is all the years that I’ve been away from the club and don’t forget I finished before 1960. Anything that they have done to commemorate the ground or anything like that they’ve never, ever invited me there. They only gave me, I say only £500 pounds when I got injured and that in today’s terms is a pittance. What can you get with £500 pounds? So I haven’t got great feelings for Tottenham, I can understand that hundreds of players have passed through the system since I was there, but my life changed because of what happened playing for them. But they showed no desire to assist me in anyway, they gave me the 500 and that was the end of it. When they had their centenary they invited players going way back but they never invited me, and when they decided to close the ground they invited people like Ossis Ardilles and yes people wouldn’t have remembered me. I understand that, but the club could have invited me back, never had I ever been there as a guest of the club. The strange thing is that I got more assistance from the Arsenal then at Tottenham, because when I worked for the council, Arsenal wanted a training ground after they had moved to the Emirates. And I was in charge of leisure facilities at Waltham Forest particularly in football terms, and I managed to find them a ground, and they were very appreciative. Anytime that I wanted a ticket to the Arsenal I could phone up Liam Brady or David Court or anybody like that, but I couldn’t do that at Tottenham and I find that very strange. It’s strange that I felt more benefit from contact with Tottenham’s greatest rivals rather than the club I played for. In fact if my grandson turned out to be a player I’d send him to Arsenal, but that’s sour grapes.

After all these years what does Spurs still mean to you?

Micky: Unfortunately very little, I have no feeling of connection with them at all, in fact I couldn’t care less whether they win, lose or draw to be honest. The teams that I like to see play are Manchester City or years ago it would have been the Arsenal. But I have no feeling of connection with Spurs because connections are a two way street. I could have been a top player if I hadn’t have been injured and they didn’t help me in anyway after my injury. They didn’t contact me to see if there was anything they could help me with in terms of bettering my career. Goodbye your injured, you’ve got a life threatening injury and I nearly lost my leg and so they said goodbye. So I don’t feel any loyalty to them let’s put it that way.

Spurs under 21’s 4-0 Gillingham: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 4-0 Gillingham: (match report)

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Despite the fact that Wayne Burnett’s development side was somewhat depleted due to the ongoing international break, and the fact that they were missing several key players to injury. Spurs’ under 21 side put in a heroic, remarkably controlled and downright impressive performance to overcome league one side Gillingham 4-0, in their second group game of this seasons Checkatrade trophy, on Tuesday evening. Played at the Valley (Charlton Athletics ground) due to essential pitch work at Gillingham’s Priestfield stadium, Tuesday nights game had a bit of an odd feel to it. A rather low number of 308 spectators attended the game at the Valley but for those that did make the trip to south London they got to witness a more hungry, energetic and technical Spurs side play league one Gillingham off the park. Our young side which included the likes of Rodel Richards, Jamie Bowden and Paris Maghoma in the starting eleven, totally humiliated the Gills to move up to second place in the group. To put our win into context, Gillingham fielded a strong side which wasn’t that different to the one that had beaten Portsmouth 2-0 in league one, at the weekend. Burnett’s side went into Tuesday’s game with one point to their name, and a win in normal time against Gillingham was essential if they wanted to strengthen their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages. Our youngsters started the game positively much like they had done in the previous fixture against Crawley. We passed the ball around well and managed to hold our own against an experienced Gills side which included the likes of Max Ehmer and Tom Eaves in Steve Lovell’s starting eleven. After contesting a fairly close first half which had seen Burnett’s side have the better chances. His youngsters took the lead right on the stroke of half time courtesy of a goal from the ever impressive Jack Roles, following an incisive attacking move from the Spurs youngsters. Our back three of Jonathan Dinzeyi, Japhet Tanganga and George Marsh defended superbly well to thwart a Gillingham fight back at the beginning of the second half.

Burnett’s side doubled their lead in the 57th minute of time through Paris Maghoma after the 17 year old had played a clever one – two with Roles on the edge of the Gillingham box, before firing home from inside the penalty area with  a really composed finish. Spurs controlled the game for the final half an hour or so of proceedings. They humiliated what could only be described as a lacklustre Gillingham side which exhibited a serious lack of desire to mount a fight back against Spurs. Burnett’s teenagers made it 3-0 in the 82nd minute courtesy of a well deserved goal from left back Jaden Brown. And Spurs put the icing on the cake in the 93rd minute after substitute Dylan Duncan won a spot kick which he duly converted to round off a hugely impressive 4-0 victory for our development side. And in doing so they had created a bit of club history by becoming the first Spurs team to win a game in the Checkatrade trophy since its inception. The young Spurs lads from Bulls Cross now have the chance to qualify into the knockout stages of the competition in their final group game against Portsmouth. A win against the league one leaders next month would also result in them winning the group. Burnett was missing the likes of Luke Amos, Anthony Georgiou and Shayon Harrison for the trip to the Valley this resulted in him fielding a host of players from the clubs under 18 side. Alfie Whiteman returned to the development side to start in goal following his time with the first team. Burnett and Bracewell opted to go for the 3-5-2 formation for the Checkatrade trophy game against Gillingham. Although this would later revert into a 5-3-2 formation during the second half, the back five of Hinds, Marsh, Tanganga, Dinzeyi and Brown lined up in front of the Tottenham goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman. Whilst the central midfield trio of Paris Maghoma, captain Oliver Skipp and Jamie Bowden lined up in the centre of the park. And whilst the inform Jack Roles was more of a shadow striker, Spurs lined up with two out and out strikers in the Cypriot youth international and second year scholar Rodel Richards who made his first appearance for the development side.

The so called home side got the game underway at the Valley in front of the 308 enthusiastic supporters who had made the trip to the home of Gillingham’s arch rivals. After some good early passing moves by Burnett’s side, both teams were scrapping for possession in the opening stages of the game. However, the young Lilywhites looked the sharper of the two sides in the early periods of the game, and the ever present Oliver Skipp managed to play a perfectly weighted through ball to set Richards racing through on goal. However, the 18 year old was adjudged to have been in an offside position when the pass was made, by the linesman on the near side. Paris Maghoma volleyed wide shortly afterwards from inside the Gillingham box after his following corner kick had been headed away by a Gillingham defender. Elliot List poked wide Max Ehmer’s inviting cross narrowly ajar of the Tottenham goal at the near post shortly afterwards, as the Gills threatened the Spurs defence for the first time in the game. Alfie Whiteman then gathered Luke O’Neills fierce strike from range as both sides attempted to get a foothold on the game. The game had been played at quite a high tempo from both sides during the opening 15 or so minutes. Burnett’s 

lads then created two good chances in quick succession, first through left back Jaden Brown after he received Roles’ pass out on the left wing, before cutting inside and dragging an effort narrowly wide of Tom Hadler’s goal. And then through Jack Roles himself after the midfielder squandered a glorious chance for Spurs. Paris Maghoma shifted the ball out to Brown on the left wing and the Tottenham fullback whipped the ball into the danger zone. However, his cross was headed away by Gills defender Ben Chapman, but only into the path of Roles on the edge of the penalty area. Roles caught the ball on the half volley, and whilst he would usually gobble up chances of that nature, Roles hadn’t caught the ball as cleanly as he would have liked to, and it ended flashing narrowly wide of Hadler’s left hand post much to the Tottenham midfielders bewilderment.

Jamie Bowden curled an effort over from range a couple of moments later as Spurs continued to ask questions of the Gillingham defence. Alfie Whiteman dealt comfortably with Chapman’s ambitious volley from long range at the other end, as Spurs continued to control the flow of the game. Burnett’s side were seeing a lot more of the ball. The fast paced nature of the game continued, Maghoma almost managed to set Richards through on goal with a nicely weighted defence splitting pass before O’Neill fired an effort wide from long range a couple of moments after Gillingham captain Max Ehmer had caused a bit of panic amongst the Spurs defence with a menacing cross into the Spurs box. Thankfully Jaden Brown was on hand to clear the ball out for a corner kick. Brown had been exploiting Gillingham’s defensive weaknesses down the left flank and the potent teenager managed to cause more problems for their defence when he pumped a dangerous ball into the penalty area. Unable to clear it out properly the ball came out to Roles in the centre of the six yard box however, the 19 year old pulled out of taking a shot at the last moments, amidst a sea of Gillingham defenders. Roles was taken out from behind by a sliding challenge from Chapman a couple of minutes later which resulted in the Gillingham player going into the referees book. Rodel Richards did well to win a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the oppositions penalty area, right on the stroke of half time. Paris Maghoma’s resulting effort flew into the bottom of the Gillingham wall but the ball came back out to the 17 year old, whose following effort at goal was blocked by Ben Chapman. Burnett’s side finished the half strongly and a matter of moments after Maghoma had almost managed to pick out Richards inside the box, Spurs took a well deserved lead right on the stroke of halftime through Jack Roles. It was a sharp incisive move from the Spurs youngsters which had managed to carve open the Gillingham defence with such ease. A clever one – two between Maghoma and Richards resulted in the former travelling with the ball down the right hand side of the box. Despite the run of Roles who was ghosting in at the far post, the midfielder opted to go for goal.

Maghoma’s powerfully struck low effort stung the palms of the diving Hadler who was unable to get a hold of the ball. The razor sharp Roles was quickest to the loose ball and the alert midfielder managed to get to it before Hadler, to chip the ball into the roof of the goal. It was a really smart finish from the 19 year old, 1-0. Gillingham responded through Elliot List who met Luke O’Neills cross inside the Spurs box, but the centre forward ended up volleying the ball well wide of Whiteman’s goal, to bring to an end an extremely positive first half for Burnett’s side. Spurs got the second half back underway at the Valley as they looked to protect their slender 1-0 advantage over the league one side. Steve Lovell’s Gillingham started the half well and it didn’t take them long to test the Spurs defence. List forced Whiteman to tip his header over the crossbar after the Gillingham forward had connected with O’Neill’s cross in the six yard box. Japhet Tanganga made an important clearance at the back post to deal with another testing delivery from the Gillingham fullback a couple of minutes later before Marsh blocked Garmston’s cross, the former West Brom man then fired wide from the edge of the penalty area. Despite the home sides good start to the half, Burnett’s sharper and more incisive side were never far away from hurting the Gills. And that’s exactly what Burnett’s side managed to do in the 57th of minute of time through their most influential player on the park, Paris Maghoma. The goal had come from Tom Hadler’s long kick up field which Tanganga had won in the centre of the park. The Spurs defender headed the ball to Roles on the edge of the penalty area. Roles smartly swivelled round before unselfishly slipping the ball into Maghoma down the left side of the penalty area. Maghoma took a touch before calmly stepping inside and firing an unstoppable low effort past the Gillingham goalkeeper, and into the middle of the goal to make it 2-0 the young Lilywhites. 

Burnett’s side were in full control of the game and after doubling their advantage they seemed to grow in confidence. We produced another attacking move shortly after the restart when Hinds found Roles in the centre of midfield. Roles played a clever pass through to Richards who managed to trick his way into the penalty area before Tucker came across him to intercept the ball. Navid Nasseri responded for Gillingham by dragging an effort across the face of Whiteman’s goal. And the Tottenham goalkeeper who had, had very little to do during the game came out of his goal to get to the ball before substitute Brandon Hanlon could get to it, a couple of minutes later. Spurs had dropped deeper and the likes of Bowden and Maghoma were now playing in more defensive positions. The tireless George Marsh made a vital defensive intervention to prevent Eaves from being played through on goal down the left side of the penalty area. J’Neil Bennett replaced the highly influential Jack Roles shortly afterwards as Spurs continued to control the flow of the game. Whiteman made an easy save from Eaves deflected effort before Spurs caught the Kent club at the other end to make it 3-0. It was another well worked passing move from Burnett’s side which started with Maghoma inside Spurs’ own half after he passed the ball out to Marsh on the right wing. Marsh passed the ball to Skipp who travelled forwards with the ball before poking it through to the newly introduced J’Neil Bennett who had only the goalkeeper to beat. However, the 16 year olds tame effort was hit straight at Hadler who could only parry it into the feet of Brown down the left side of the penalty area. Brown took a touch before calmly slotting the ball past Hadler who had to managed to get back on his line in time, 3-0. Luis Binks came onto replace Jonathan Dinzeyi shortly afterwards to play against his boyhood club in what must have been an incredibly special occasion for the 17 year old and his family. Dylan Duncan also entered the frame when he replaced Tariq Hinds in the 85th minute. Nasseri flashed an effort wide of goal a couple of minutes later as Gillingham started to fade into the background as we entered the final stages of the game.

Paris Maghoma went on a good attacking foray into the Gillingham penalty area before being intercepted by a defender after he had latched onto Binks pass. And deep in stoppage time Spurs put the icing on the cake when they made it 4-0, the goal came from a penalty kick which had been won by Duncan after he had darted into the box to receive Bennett’s pass before being brought down by the sliding Jack Tucker. Without any hesitation the referee Antony Coggins pointed straight to the spot. Duncan elected to take the penalty and the 19 year old duly obliged by cooly tucking the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal as Hadler went the wrong way, 4-0. That was the final piece of action from a remarkable and hugely impressive game from Spurs’ perspective. Burnett’s team of teenagers managed to control the game against the league one side from start to finish, it was such a mature and well measured performance from our young lads. Our emphatic win over the Gills on Tuesday evening has now put us in an excellent position of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Checkatrade trophy. Our final group game will be against already qualified Portsmouth at Fratton Park, next month. Meanwhile, our under 23’s next PL2 game is against Leicester City on Friday the 19th of October.

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: Whiteman returned to action for Burnett’s side to put in a solid performance at the Valley on Tuesday evening. Whilst he didn’t have an awful lot to do, Whiteman produced some good saves and made some important decisions throughout the game.
  • George Marsh: Marsh was the beating heart of the Spurs defence in our Checkatrade trophy game against Gillingham. Marsh operated on the right hand side of the Tottenham back three, and the 19 year old put in a commanding performance and helped to neutralise the threat of Gillingham centre forward Tom Eaves. Marsh read the game well and made some hugely important defensive interventions and clearances.
  • Japhet Tanganga: Tanganga lined up in the centre of the Tottenham defence and like his teammate George Marsh, the 19 year old put in a really effective and mature performance. Dominant in the air and strong in the challenge, the centre half was rock solid for Spurs. He maintained good positioning throughout the game and he didn’t put a foot wrong as far as I could see. Tanganga also played a part in our second goal of the game.
  • Jonathan Dinzeyi: The 18 year old played on the left side of our ‘ back three ‘ and once again Dinzeyi looked really composed and made a positive contribution to the game. Dinzeyi made a number of important challenges and blocks and he helped to play it out from the back well.
  • Tariq Hinds: The right back was solid and did a good job at protecting that side of the pitch even though Gillingham didn’t play with a lot of width about their game. Hinds read the game well and defended tightly under pressure whilst also going on some nice attacking forays down the right wing.
  • Jamie Bowden: Once again the 17 year old central midfielder took like a duck to water to playing against men. Bowden played on the right side of our midfield three and his calming presence really helped Spurs out defensively. Naturally deep lying, Bowden operated in a very Winks-esque manner. He helped to dictate play from deep, Bowden scrapped for every ball that came within five meters of him and his hard work at breaking up play and recycling possession helped the likes of Maghoma and Skipp to express themselves going forwards. Because of his skinny frame the Gillingham players tried to rough him up and they went in quite hard on him on numerous occasions, but it didn’t unsettle him in the slightest. Bowden often got into good pockets of space and his deftly accurate passing was so, so good. He is such a wonderful midfielder who is well ahead of his years.
  • Oliver Skipp: Young Oliver Skipp put in a masterful midfield performance against Gillingham. Operating in the centre of a midfield three, Skipp was so influential to the way in which Spurs played. He was everywhere across the middle of the park. He controlled the game and put in a real shift at both ends of the pitch. He read the game to perfection and he dominated  in the centre of the park. His passing and vision were superb and I really liked how advanced a role he played against Gillingham particularly towards the latter stages of the game when he was essentially playing as a number ten.  Skipp would often go on driving runs through the middle.
  • Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below.
  • Jaden Brown: Brown put in an excellent shift at left back both defensively and offensively. Brown’s pace and many good crosses caused the Gillingham defence a whole host of problems. The 19 year old also got on the scoresheet courtesy of a really clinical finish towards the end of the game.
  • Jack Roles: It is little coincidence that our development sides best performances this season have all come with Roles on the pitch. The Cyprus under 21 international put in an outstanding performance against the Gills. Playing as a shadow striker to Rodel Richards, Roles’ guile, creativity and high work rate were all hugely impressive on the night. He opened the scoring for us with a typical poachers finish from close range before assisting Maghoma for the second after some great skill on the edge of the six yard box. He was so influential and his movement and razor sharp instincts could have resulted in him getting a couple of more goals on another day. Hopefully he will continue to start for Burnett’s side over the coming games.
  • Rodel Richards: The 18 year old made an impressive debut at this level, he lead the line well. Worked incredibly hard and tracked back in order to help out his teammates at the other end of the pitch. His movement in and behind the Gillingham defence was top class.
  • J’Neil Bennett: He put in a lively late cameo and went on some promising surging runs. The 16 year old also got the assist for Brown’s late goal.
  • Luis Binks: Binks replaced Dinzeyi at lcb late on in the game and in doing so he got to play against his boyhood club. Binks made some nice passes and won the vast majority of his aerial duels.
  • Dylan Duncan: It was an influential late cameo from the 19 year old central midfielder, who won a penalty in stoppage time which he cooly converted from the spot.

My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. Showcasing his midfield versatility throughout the game, Maghoma put in another match winning performance for Burnett’s side. Maghoma started the game off on the left side of our midfield trio. The 17 year old who astonishingly hasn’t been called up for England at youth level during the current international break, was immense against Gillingham. He was so hungry and determined to win the ball in the middle of the park and he often tracked back in order to help out our back three particularly towards the end of the game, when he was playing a much deeper role alongside Bowden. The 17 year old read the game so well against fully grown men, his passing was nice and slick and he constantly looked around whenever he had the ball at his feet. But for me the ever improving central midfielder reminded me a lot of Dele Alli in how he played in that central midfield role. Maghoma’s movement and desire to get into good positions in and around the six yard box was great to see. And it paid off once again with the teenager being directly involved in two of our four goals. His assist for Roles’ opener came about purely because he showed the intent to drive at the Gillingham defence after playing a quick one – two with Richards. Whilst his goal in the second half was taken really well and with such composure too after he had been played in by Roles inside the penalty area. He managed to combine flair and creativity with sheer grit and determination to win every ball which came his way, he was so mature and disciplined. Maghoma has now been directly involved in eight goals for Spurs this season.

Gillingham: Hadler, O’Neill, Ehmer (c), Tucker, Garmston, Parrett (Reilly 46), Rees, Chapman (Byrne 46), Nasseri, Eaves, List (Hanlan 66). Substitutes (not used): Holy, Huckle, Simpson, Stevenson.

Spurs: Whiteman, Hinds (Duncan 85), Brown, Marsh, Tanganga, Dinzeyi (Binks 83), Maghoma, Bowden, Roles (Bennett 76), Skipp (c), Richards. Substitutes (not used): Austin, Lyons-Foster.

Goals: Spurs – Roles 44, Maghoma 57, Brown 82, Duncan 90+3.

Yellow cards: Gillingham – Chapman 40, Byrne 62, Ehmer 89.

Referee: Antony Coggins.

Venue: The Valley, Charlton.

Attendance: 308.

Spurs under 21/23’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 3

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Jack Roles – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Spurs under 21’s versus Gillingham: (match preview)

Spurs under 21’s versus Gillingham: (match preview)

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Originally scheduled to take place at Gillingham’s Priestfield stadium, tomorrow nights Checkatrade trophy tie will be taking place at the home of Gillingham’s arch rivals Charlton Athletic. As Wayne Burnett’s development side take on the league once club in their second game of the group stages. In many ways it is a must win game for the young Spurs lads if they are to have any chance of qualifying from the group. After putting in an excellent performance with a very young side again Crawley Town in their opening game, Burnett’s side managed to grind out a 1-1 draw against the league two side. Despite this they ended up missing out on the extra bonus point on offer after they lost the resulting penalty shootout. With it being the international break, Burnett will be missing the likes of TJ Eyoma and Troy Parrott. However, what is more concerning is the fact that we are missing so many of our players to injury. Luke Amos picked up a horrible season ending injury against Blackburn in our last PL2 game. Whilst our top scorer this season Shayon Harrison also picked up an injury in that game, and the 21 year old had since undergone an operation. We will also have to do without the likes of Anthony Georgiou and Shilow Tracey. Though with this brings an invaluable experience for some of the members of high our flying under squad to step up, and they certainly didn’t let us down when called upon against Crawley Town. Burnett’s side have had a bit of an up and down start to the league season but their last game against Blackburn Rovers showed plenty of positives after we overcame them 3-1 up in Lancashire. Tomorrow’s game will provide our lads with another excellent opportunity to take on EFL opposition in front of a big crowd, and on this occasion it will be at a renowned stadium, in the Valley. When you think about the experience and the quality that Gillingham have in their side albeit a much weakened side for tomorrow nights game. You’re talking about the likes of DRC international Gabriel Zakuani, former Spurs midfielder Dean Parrett and consistent forward Tom Eaves.

Some fairly encouraging news for Spurs is that Steve Lovell’s Gillingham have endured a difficult start to the league one season. The Gills occupy 19th place in the league and the club from Kent have only picked up three wins in the league this season. Despite suffering a 4-0 defeat to Portsmouth in their opening group game of this competition, ironically Gillingham beat Pompey 2-0 at the weekend (in the league) something which will give them confidence going into this cup game. Steve Lovell’s side must beat us in 90 minutes to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages. One player who I could see causing us a few problems down the right hand side is former West Brom wing back Bradley Garmston. I would assume that Hinds will be tasked with dealing with the former Ireland under 21 international. It should be a really competitive game in south London tomorrow night and one that will provide Burnett’s youngsters with such a great experience of coming up against a men’s team. It will be a special night in particular for our young centre back Luis Binks (17) if he is involved. Binks is from Gillingham and he has supported the Gills all his life. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck for tomorrow’s game. And I shall be reporting from the Valley and will have my match report out by Wednesday evening. 

My predicted lineup: (3-4-2-1) Glover, Dinzeyi, Marsh (c), Lyons-Foster, Brown, Bowden, Skipp, Hinds, Maghoma, Bennett, Roles.

Subs from: Austin, Binks, Duncan, White, Markanday, Richards.

Injured/unavailable: Jonathan De Bie, Maximus Tainio, Timothy Eyoma, Malachi Walcott, Luke Amos, Anthony Georgiou, Shilow Tracey, Shayon Harrison and Troy Parrott.

Doubtful: Japhet Tanganga, Jamie Reynolds, Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Kazaiah Sterling.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Gills winger Josh Parker is a player who really impressed me when I went to watch Gillingham play Charlton last season, to watch our loanee Connor Ogilvie in action. The Antigua and Barbuda international was a constant goal threat for the Kent club throughout that game. Playing as an out and out striker against Charlton on that day, Parker usually plays out on the wing. The former Red Star Belgrade forward has two goals from nine appearances in league one this season. For those wondering about Connor Ogilvie who is on loan at Gillingham from Spurs, he is currently injured, although I’m sure he wouldn’t be eligible to play against us if he was fit.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/09/30/spurs-under-23s-3-1-blackburn-rovers-match-report/

Spurs under 18’s 7-0 Norwich City: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 7-0 Norwich City: (match report)

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It was just another day at the office for Matt Wells sparkling under 18 side on Saturday morning, when they overcame bottom of the table Norwich City 7-0 at Hotspur Way, to strengthen their place at the top of the southern division. Sharp, incisive and often shifting shape, Wells high flying side had to do without the likes of J’Neil Bennett, Jamie Bowden and Rodel Richards who were presumably being rested for Wednesdays Checkatrade trophy game against Gillingham in mind. However, we still started with a strong side of which included the likes of Troy Parrott, Dilan Markanday and Luis Binks in the starting eleven. Spurs’ attacking high intensity football blew what was an incredibly lacklustre Norwich side apart. Wells side bossed the game from start to finish against a canaries side who offered virtually nothing going forwards. David Wright’s side were woeful but we made them look that way. We didn’t even have to play at full capacity to tear the visitors apart with our exciting brand of attacking football. It was all one way traffic at Hotspur Way, and after starting the game brightly we took the lead in the 12th minute courtesy of a glorious free kick from Harvey White. From that moment onwards we dominated the game with our fluent attacking football, constant shape shifting and deftness in and around the six yard box. Rayan Clarke made it 2-0 on the half hour mark with an unstoppable strike before captain Armando Shashoua made it 3-0 on the stroke of half time. The second half was like men against boys, and as David Wright’s side tired we appeared to up our game. A four goal blitz in a high tempo second half saw goals from Markanday, Clarke, Parrott and Pochettino complete a stunning 7-0 win over Norwich. And we could so easily have hit double figures, such was our dominance on the game. Matt Wells decided to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Oluwayemi keeping his place in goal behind a strong back four which consisted of Tainio, Statham, Binks and Cirkin. A quick word of warning, my notepad got absolutely saturated in the pouring rain at Hotspur Way yesterday so if this report appears not to be as in-depth as the others I can only apologise!

Harvey White and the captain Armando Shashoua manned the centre of the park whilst the attacking trio of Markanday, Patterson and Clarke lined up behind Troy Parrott, who led the line for the third time this season for our under 18’s. The visitors got the game underway at a bitterly cold and cloudy Hotspur Way, which contained an interesting sea of advertising hoardings in Portuguese, around the pitch that the game was being played on. I believe that this was in preparation for the Brazil national team training here over the forthcoming international break. After starting the game well it took Wells side less than a couple of minutes before they created their first real chance of the game, which came from a corner kick. Shashoua decided to play it short to Patterson who picked the ball up on the right flank before cutting inside onto his left foot, and then firing a low effort wide of Daniel Barden’s near post, from the edge of the penalty area. Harvey White then made an important piece of defending to win the ball off of Aaron Ekumah, who went speeding dangerously down the right wing at the other end. But our very own Dilan Markanday went on an even better attacking foray a couple of moments later which caused him to unbalance several Norwich players, after he went on an excellent weaving run from the right flank. The 17 year old glided past several Norwich defenders like a young George Best before ignoring the likes of Patterson and Clarke as he tried to take the ball into the penalty area where he was intercepted by Denzelle Olopade. Phoenix Patterson then clipped the ball across the face of the Norwich goal after latching onto Clarke’s cross inside the box, a couple of moments after Markanday’s chance. And the early pressure which had been applied by Wells side paid off, when the young Lilywhites took the lead inside the 12th minute of the game. The goal came from a free kick which was excellently dispatched by the inform Harvey White after he stepped up to take it, after Armando Shashoua had won the free kick right on the edge of the Norwich penalty area.

The set piece specialist stood up confidently before bending the ball over the Norwich wall and into the top right hand side of the goal, leaving Daniel Barden helpless as he tried to get to the ball. It was a glorious effort from White which had such curl on the ball to get it over the Norwich wall from such close range, 1-0. The lively Phoenix Patterson had an effort on goal blocked by Andrew Omobamidele shortly after the restart as Spurs went in search of their second of the game. However, Norwich almost drew level after catching us on the break but for a superb goal line clearance by Maxwell Statham. The move from the so far quiet canaries had caught us by surprise after Ekumah threaded the ball through to Isak Thorvaldsson down the right. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Oluwayemi came rushing off of his goal line as Thorvaldsson entered the penalty area. However, the Norwich forward managed to jink past the Tottenham goalkeeper before then trying to clip the ball home from an acute angle, but Statham had done superbly well to get back to make an excellent sliding block on the line to keep Spurs’ 1-0 lead intact. And the 18 year old centre half made another important defensive contribution to the game a couple of minutes later when he cleared Thorvaldsson’s menacing cross inside the penalty area before Tyrese Omotoye could get to the ball. After going on a good powerful run at the other end Rayan Clarke had a cross gathered by Daniel Barden a couple of moments before Wells side hit the woodwork through the potent Shashoua. The Tottenham captain was lurking down the right hand side of the penalty area when Dennis Cirkin’s low deflected cross managed to trickle through to him. Shashoua looked up before smashing the ball against the crossbar from close range with a venemous effort. However, the linesman on the near side had raised his flag for offside. But none of that was to matter, as Rayan Clarke netted our second of the game a matter of minutes later and right on the half hour mark.

Clarke was picked out by a superb long pass from White to the the winger out on the left wing. And Clarke only had one thing on his mind after he cut inside onto his right foot on the edge of the penalty area before rifling an unstoppable Townsend-esque effort into the top right hand corner of Barden’s goal, 2-0. Joshua Oluwayemi made his first save of the game a couple of minutes later to deny former Spur Anis Mehmeti’s deflected low effort. Wells side maintained their high work rate and their creativity towards the end of the half was starting to really wear down the Norwich defence. After the energetic Dilan Markanday had won the ball off of Norwich’s Louis Lomas inside his own half, the Tottenham forward quickly fed the ball into the so far uninvolved Parrott down the right. Parrott tried to square the ball for Patterson inside the penalty area but he couldn’t quite pull it off. However, Spurs made it 3-0 on the 39th minute through Armando Shashoua. It was another very fast move from Spurs as Patterson passed the ball out to Cirkin on the left wing. The fullbacks low cross took a deflection off of Ekumah but the ball managed to squirm out to Shashoua down the right side of the penalty area. And the Tottenham captain made no mistake from close range as he managed to slot the ball past Barden and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. That was despite the fact that the Norwich goalkeeper had tried his best to close down the goal for Shashoua by spreading his body well, 3-0. A lively final couple of minutes to the half ensued, Patterson had a promising cross cleared by Omobamidele before Troy Parrott had his first shot on goal of the game. The 16 year old tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but his effort took a hefty deflection off of Lomas before Barden gathered the ball. Maximus Tainio then made an important block at the other end to thwart Matt Richardson’s effort to bring to an end, an excellent half of football from Matt Wells side.

Spurs got the second half underway as the gushing rain started to come down onto the pitch. And we started the half exceptionally well, Rayan Clarke came desperately close to scoring his second goal of the game after receiving the ball out on the left wing, before cutting inside and rattling Barden’s near hand post with a thumping effort on goal. And a couple of minutes later the 17 year old was involved in our fourth goal of the game after he found Patterson out on the right wing. The 18 year old sent a low cross into the penalty area which found Markanday in the centre of the box. The forward sorted his feet out quickly before forcing a good stop out of Barden. However, Markanday made no mistakes on the follow up as he got to the ball before the Norwich goalkeeper before slotting the ball home, 4-0. Harvey White did well to clear Louis Lomas’s cross shortly after the restart as Spurs looked to build out from the back and extend their already impressive lead. Norwich goalkeeper Daniel Barden did well to thwart Troy Parrott’s side footed effort from 20 yards out before the Dubliner came so close to meeting fellow Dubliner Dennis Cirkin’s cross inside the box a couple of moments later. However, Parrott finally managed to get on the scoresheet in the 60th minute courtesy of a wonderful pass from White. The midfielder managed to pick Parrott out in the centre of the box with a wonderfully weighted cross from the right wing. Parrott attacked it first time and the ball ended up hitting the post off of his knee, but the striker managed to get to the loose ball before Barden to tap home from close range, 5-0. Spurs were playing the game at a phenomenal speed and they managed to make it 6-0 less than a minute after Parrott’s goal. Another fluent passing move saw the Irishman shift the ball to Shashoua on the edge of the penalty area. The Spurs captain quickly released the ball to Clarke down the left side of the penalty area and the wide man clinically drilled the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal to make it 6-0 to Spurs.

Spurs continued to dominate the game and they had a chance to make it 7-0 after Dennis Cirkin had been brought down from behind down the left side of the penalty area by Denzelle Olopade, this resulted in the referee Stephen Bates pointing straight to the spot. The usual penalty taker Harvey White let Rayan Clarke take the penalty as he was on a hat-trick. However, Patterson went over to Clarke and clearly persuaded him to hand over the ball to him, but his powerful low spot kick was well saved to his left by the diving Barden. This didn’t effect Spurs in the slightest and they were back attacking the Norwich defence a matter of seconds later after Parrott played in Markanday down the right wing. The tricky winger cut inside onto his left before firing the ball onto the crossbar with a venomous effort from the edge of the penalty area. Phoenix Patterson and Dilan Markanday left the field shortly afterwards in place of Thorpe and Pochettino for the remaining 25 minutes of the game. And centre half Jubril Okedina entered the frame a couple of minutes later when he replaced Luis Binks at centre half. Troy Parrot had a volley from close range excellently blocked by Lomas after he went to meet Tainio’s cross inside the box before Joshua Oluwayemi made a comfortable catch to deal with Atli Barkarson’s cross. Spurs were still pushing for more goals and we came close to extending our lead after the newly introduced Elliot Thorpe played in Shashoua through the middle. The midfielder saw his initial effort saved by Barden before racing to meet the loose ball and then poking it onto the left post. And the influential captain made a defence splitting a couple of minutes later to set Parrott galavanting down the left side, with only Barden to beat. However, it seemed as if the young Irishman had too much time to think about where he was going to put the ball, and in the end he hit a rather tame low effort which was well saved by the feet of the Norwich goalkeeper.

The young centre forward made amends for his miss when he assisted Maurizio Pochettino for our seventh and final goal of the game in the 79th minute. Parrott played a nicely weighted pass through to Pochettino down the right hand side of the box. The Barcelona born winger steadied himself before finishing the move off with an excellent finish into the roof of the Norwich goal, 7-0. A flurry of late chances came the young Lilywhites way as they managed to maintain their high intensity after Oluwayemi made a decent save to stop substitute Jaden Thompson-Brissett’s effort from range. The electric Rayan Clarke fired narrowly wide for Wells side after Thorpe had picked him out on the left wing. Elliot Thorpe then forced an excellent save out of Barden with a thumping effort from close range before Clarke fired an effort wide of goal, but it was Troy Parrott who had the best late chance of the game. Once again it was Shashoua who played the striker through on goal with a clever pass, but Parrott lacked the composure needed to beat Barden and his effort was straight at the Norwich goalkeeper. Rayan Clarke blazed an effort wide deep in stoppage time in what was the final notable piece of action of the game, as Matt Wells free scoring side inflicted a humiliating 7-0 defeat over what was a very poor Norwich side on the day, but then again we seem to make every team that we face look poor. Our under 18’s next league game comes against Aston Villa on the 20th of October.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: Oluwayemi was a spectator for the vast majority of the game and the 17 year old had the great pleasure of watching his teammates tear apart the Norwich defence. Oluwayemi made two saves throughout the whole game, both of which were incredibly routine saves. Nevertheless, Oluwayemi managed to record his third clean sheet of the season. 
  • Maximus Tainio: The right back anticipated danger well and he put in a strong and very solid performance against Norwich’s Atil Barkarson, and he managed to keep the Norwich man in check. Tainio made a significant sliding block towards the end of the first half.
  • Maxwell Statham: The commanding centre back put in another excellent performance for Matt Wells side albeit against a not very threatening Norwich attack. Statham was so assured and composed in his defending and the 18 year old read the game exceptionally well. His passing was good, as was his positioning and aerial dominance. However, it was Statham’s superb goal saving block early on in the game from Thorvaldsson’s effort, which proved to be so important. He made a couple of good interceptions during that half and he certainly made the Norwich forwards aware of his presence. The centre half’s decision making was excellent on the day.
  • Luis Binks: Like his teammate Maxwell Statham, Luis Binks didn’t put a foot wrong at centre half. The 17 year old who was recently called up for Scotland under 18’s has started the season superbly. Even though the canaries were really poor going forwards, Binks impressed me with his decision making and positioning. In addition his trademark cross field diagonal balls were sublime once again. He was so mature in his play that it’s easy to forget that he’s still only a first year scholar. I would expect him to be involved against Gillingham in midweek.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The left back put in an excellent performance on Saturday morning, both defensively and offensively speaking. He read the game well and defended impeccably against his old teammate Anis Mehmeti. Cirkin maintained excellent balance throughout the game and he defended that side of the pitch tightly. He was also a real threat going forwards and he would often link up well with Clarke down the flank. Often overlapping his man, the 16 year old whipped some nice balls into the box and he managed to set up Shashoua’s goal on the stroke of halftime.
  • Harvey White: My motm, see below. 
  • Armando Shashoua: The skipper was a real live wire in the centre of midfield and he was one of our most creative players. Excellent at going forwards, Armando’s excellent link up play with the likes of Parrott and Patterson, and his movement in the six yard box was just superb. Shashoua  scored a well taken goal in the first half and the 17 year old could have had a couple more. The creative midfielder was so good on the ball and during the second half alone he managed to put Parrott through on goal on two separate occasions. Shashoua has now been directly involved in seven of our league goals this season.
  • Dilan Markanday: With his many weaving runs, high work rate and dazzling skills. The ever impressive winger danced around the park like a young George Best. His movement against the canaries was incredible and his ability to drive at the Norwich defence caused so many problems. The 17 year old was so creative down the right wing and his many menacing attacking forays (some of which were incredible to witness!) helped to create so many chances. Markanday scored a well taken goal in the second half and he went on to hit the woodwork later on in the game.
  • Phoenix Patterson: Patterson operated as a 10 for the Norwich game and all in all I thought he gave a good impression. He was involved in a lot of our attacking moves and he got an assist during the second half before he was brought off in place of Pochettino.
  • Rayan Clarke: The powerful left winger had a terrific game and he caused Norwich fullback Matt Richardson so many problems down that side of the pitch. Linking up well with teammate Dennis Cirkin down the left wing, Clarke posed a constant threat with his direct runs. And the 17 year old continued his fine start to the season by scoring a well deserved brace. It was a very Townsend-esque performance from the wide man who would often cut inside onto his right before testing the keeper with a typically powerful effort. Clarke took his two goals extremely well and on another day he could have added to that tally. Although at times he was a bit blinkered in the final third and instead of squaring for players in the box he would opt to go for glory himself. However, he was excellent throughout the game.
  • Troy Parrott: It was by no means the best game he’s ever had, the hardworking centre forward found himself slightly isolated for large periods of the game (particularly in the first half). Having said that he did chip in with another goal and assist and made many good runs through the middle, but he easily could have had a hat-trick against a really poor Norwich defence. The Dubliner missed two one on ones against the canaries. Parrott now heads off to Ireland for the international break and will be unable to play against Gillingham in midweek.
  • Elliot Thorpe: It was a really positive second half cameo from the superbly technical Welshman, who played just behind Parrott. His passing was crisp and he went on some nice little runs and came close to getting on the scoresheet but for an excellent save from Barden.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: The gaffers son had a lively cameo, and he topped of a good display with an excellently taken finish towards the end of the game.
  • Jubril Okedina: He slotted in seamlessly into the back four after replacing Binks and put in an assured performance.

My man of the match: Harvey White. For the second time in our last two under 18 matches, midfield anchorman Harvey White has had a profound impact on the way in which Matt Wells side have played. The central midfielder ran the show against Norwich with his creativity from deep. The 17 year old bossed the midfield against an incredibly lacklustre Norwich side and he could often be seen breaking up play and making important defensive interventions. Furthermore, the inform first year scholar had a hand in three of our seven goals. The scorer of a wonderfully taken free kick to open the scoring, White laid off a further two assists for his teammates. The first was a superb long diagonal pass to pick out Clarke on the left flank, and the second was an inch perfect cross to find Parrott inside the danger zone. His passing and vision is so good for such a young player, quite Shelvey-esque in many ways. He showed off his passing range with both feet against the canaries. Like Bowden, he scrapped for every ball and always looked so composed in what ever he did.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Tainio, Cirkin, White, Statham, Binks (Okedina 70), Markanday (Pochettino 64), A Shashoua (c), Parrott, Patterson (Thorpe 64), Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Mukendi.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19

Goals scored: J’Neil Bennett – 5

Troy Parrott – 5

Rayan Clarke – 4

Dilan Markanday – 4

Harvey White – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Armando Shashoua – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 7

Jamie Bowden – 5

Armando Shashoua – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Troy Parrott – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Rodel Richards – 1

Dilan Markanday -1

Rayan Clarke – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 3