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

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

Millwall v Tottenham Hotspur - FA Youth Cup Third Round

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Player reviews:

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

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

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:

Goals: 

Tarrelle Whittaker – 7

Max Robson – 5

Kion Etete –  5

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Chay Cooper – 4

Enock Asante – 3

Harvey White – 3

Kallum Cesay – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Dane Scarlett – 1

Romaine Mundle – 1

Nile John – 1

Assists:

Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 5

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Tarrelle Whittaker – 3

Dermi Lusala –  3

Romaine Mundle – 3

Kion Etete – 3

Troy Parrott – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Harvey White – 2

Enock Asante – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Eddie Carrington – 1

Kallum Cesay – 1

Marqes Muir –  1

Yago Santiago – 1

Jordan Hackett – 1

Aaron Skinner – 1

Clean sheets: 

Kacper Kurylowicz – 4

Josh Oluwayemi – 1

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

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

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

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

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

Injured/unavailable: Michael Craig. 

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

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 6-1.

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

Farewell and good luck Paris Maghoma:

Farewell and good luck Paris Maghoma:

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

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

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

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

Spurs under 23’s 2-2 Derby County: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 2-2 Derby County: (match report) 

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Wayne Burnett’s development side traveled up to Loughborough on Monday evening to take on highly flying Derby County (the ‘ Rams ’ fielded a strong side against Spurs) in the PL2, at the Loughborough University Stadium. Spurs started Monday’s league match in excellent fashion, and they led by two goals to one at the break thanks to goals from Elliot Thorpe and Luis Binks. However, after putting in a dominant first half performance Derby County responded in the second half by matching Spurs. The ‘ Rams ‘ pulled a goal back through Morgan Whittaker on 73 minutes and both sides were forced to settle for a point. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up with Brandon Austin in goal, while a back four consisting of captain TJ Eyoma, Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Luis Binks and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster lined up in front of him. Harvey White and Tariq Hinds partnered up in central midfield while Shilow Tracey and Dilan Markanday operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Elliot Thorpe. Rodel Richards led the line for Spurs. Derby got the game underway on a bitterly cold and rainy night in the Midlands. Spurs started the game well and after latching onto the ball, Spurs winger Shilow Tracey surged forward down the right flank before whipping the ball dangerously across the face of the Derby goal. 

A couple of moments later Dilan Markanday passed the ball to Rodel Richards in the Derby box however, his shot on goal was blocked behind by Ethan Wassall. Luis Binks then met Harvey White’s corner kick but his headed effort on goal was blocked by Wassall at the near post. Shortly afterwards Jahmal Hector-Ingram robbed Luis Binks of the ball before feeding it into Alex Babos who passed it to Cameron Cresswell in the Spurs box. His shot however, was blocked by TJ Eyoma. Callum Minley headed Alex Babos’ corner kick wide a couple of minutes later at Brandon Austin’s back post before Spurs managed to take the lead in the tenth minute of the game through Elliot Thorpe, courtesy of a well worked move. After left back Brooklyn Lyons-Foster passed the ball to Dilan Markanday down the left flank, Markanday whipped a low cross into Elliot Thorpe inside the Derby box and the former Wales under 19 internationals side footed, first time effort went into the bottom left hand corner of the Derby goal, 1-0. Shortly after the restart Brandon Austin’s long kick up field came to Rodel Richards up top. Richards skipped past Derby first teamer Krystian Bielik who slipped, before then darting into the Derby box and forcing a good save out of Heinrich Ravas from his curling effort. Spurs doubled their lead from the resulting corner kick. Harvey White’s excellent whipped delivery was met by Luis Binks who ran towards the near post before generating enough power in his header to beat Ravas and find the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 2-0. 

Spurs continued their good start to the game and after receiving TJ Eyoma’s pass out on the right flank, Shilow Tracey’s cross was headed narrowly over the bar by Harvey White. Elliot Thorpe was shown a yellow card for making a strong sliding challenge on Derby’s Jordan Brown. A couple of minutes later and after latching onto TJ Eyoma’s pass out on the right flank, Tracey cut inside before firing a low deflected effort just wide of the Derby goal. Harvey White’s resulting corner kick was met by Malachi Fagan-Walcott whose headed effort was cleared by Ethan Wassall, forcing another corner kick. This time Harvey White’s free kick was met by Binks whose bullet header was cleared on the line by Babos before Rodel Richards then had an effort saved by Ravas. A couple of minutes later Rodel Richards flicked Harvey White’s corner kick across the face of the Derby goal, before Binks volleyed over a whipped cross from Tariq Hinds into the Derby box. After latching onto the ball Jahmal Hector-Ingram burst into the Spurs box (he was put under good pressure by Binks who slid in late) before firing the ball against Brandon Austin’s crossbar. Malachi Fagan-Walcott received a yellow card for committing a foul on Cameron Cresswell. A couple of minutes later Elliot Thorpe passed the ball to Shilow Tracey who burst into the Derby box before whipping the ball across the face of the goal. 

Malachi Fagan-Walcott blocked Louie Sibley’s shot before then blocking Cameron Cresswell’s shot inside the Spurs box. Then at the other end of the pitch, and after receiving Dilan Markanday’s pass Harvey White whipped the ball narrowly over Henrich Ravas’ crossbar from the edge of the Derby box. After Eyoma conceded a free kick in the sixth minute of first half stoppage time, Louie Sibley whipped the ball into the Spurs box where it was met by Jordan Brown who headed the ball home, 2-1. That was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster’s early cross was gathered by Henrich Ravas before Shilow Tracey whipped a dangerous ball across the face of the Derby goal. After receiving Louie Sibley’s pass inside the Tottenham box Jahmal Hector-Ingram fired the ball over Brandon Austin’s crossbar. After some great skill from Rodel Richards inside the Derby box, he passed the ball to Dilan Markanday whose effort on goal was blocked by Ethan Wassall. Harvey White then sent a powerful, looping effort from range over the Derby crossbar before Derby again came close to netting an equaliser. After Jahmal Hector-Ingram had crossed the ball into Josh Shonibare in the Spurs box but he fired the ball harmlessly over Brandon Austin’s crossbar. A couple of minutes later Shonibare headed Louie Sibley’s cross just wide of Brandon Austin’s goal. Rodel Richards then won a free kick on the edge of the Derby box. Harvey White stood up to take it however, his whipped effort was blocked by the Derby wall. 

Then in the 73rd minute of the game Derby drew level through Morgan Whittaker. After latching onto the ball on the edge of the Spurs penalty area, Whittaker let fly on his right foot. His powerful effort took a big deflection off of Malachi Fagan-Walcott before coming off the underside of Brandon Austin’s crossbar, and bouncing into the roof of the net, 2-2. Phoenix Patterson then came onto replace Elliot Thorpe in the CAM role. Dilan Markanday had a low effort from the edge of the Derby box, saved by Henrich Ravas. Before Harvey White received Phoenix Patterson inside the Derby box, but his shot on goal was blocked by Ethan Wassall. Brandon Austin then saved Jahmal Hector-Ingram’s low effort from the edge of the Spurs box, before Archie Brown whipped a dangerous ball across the face of Austin’s goal, before Alex Babos hit an effort off of Luis Binks. After Alex Babos managed to find Louie Sibley down the left side of the Spurs box however, his effort on goal was blocked well by Phoenix Patterson, before Babos fired the ball wide of Austin’s goal. Rayan Clarke came onto replace Rodel Richards up top before Luis Binks cleared away Louie Sibley’s cross. Alex Babos’ effort from the edge of the Spurs box came off the underside of Brandon Austin’s crossbar before bouncing away. A couple of minutes later and after receiving Josh Shonibare’s pass down the left flank, Morgan Whittaker cut inside onto his right foot before firing the ball over Brandon Austin’s crossbar. Jonathan Dinzeyi then replaced Dilan Markanday as he went up top.

Jahmal Hector-Ingram shot just wide from the edge of the Spurs box before Whittaker passed the ball to Hector-Ingram who gave the ball to Alex Babos, whose tapped effort from close range was gathered by Brandon Austin in what was the final piece of action of the game. This game really was a game of two halves. 

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: The Spurs goalkeeper made two saves both of which were routine ones. Austin organised the back four well and he was also a commanding presence inside his penalty area.
  • TJ Eyoma: The Spurs captain had a strong first half where he was solid and effective at linking up with Shilow Tracey. Eyoma had a decent second half and he made some good interceptions.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: The RCB was very good on the ball and he made some good clearances and interceptions.
  • Luis Binks: The LCB was dominant in the air, he made some important clearances and he took his first half goal well. 
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: One of Spurs’ best defensive performers on the night, Lyons-Foster who was involved in the build up play to Spurs’ opening goal, was solid at left back. The 19 year old impressed in the air (he made some lovely cushioned headed clearances) and he was good on the ground (he made some good interceptions and kept good positioning). The Islington born defender also got up and down the left flank well.
  • Harvey White: The midfielders set pieces were excellent on the night and he did a decent job at patrolling the middle of the park. 
  • Tariq Hinds: The fullback put in a decent performance in central midfield alongside Harvey White. Hinds was tenacious and he showed good energy. 
  • Dilan Markanday: I thought that Markanday had a good game and after setting up Elliot Thorpe’s opener he went on some decent attacking forays down the left flank. Markanday also tracked back well and he made some nice twist and turns.
  • Elliot Thorpe: This was another positive performance from Thorpe who I was absolutely delighted for, on him netting his first ever PL2 goal (and it was a well taken one too!). Thorpe played with real bite and he was always looking to receive the ball and make that forward pass.
  • Shilow Tracey: My man of the match, see below. 
  • Rodel Richards: The Spurs centre forward worked very hard but he will have been disappointed that he couldn’t have taken one of his fine chances.
  • Phoenix Patterson: The second half substitute came on for the final 16 minutes of the game to play in the CAM role. Patterson made a couple of good passes.
  • Rayan Clarke: Clarke operated out on the left flank for the final moments of the game.
  • Jonathan Dinzeyi: The 20 year old central defender came on towards the end of the game to play up top. That is something that Dinzeyi has done on a couple of occasions before for our under 23’s.

My man of the match: On his 16th appearance of the season for our development side, 21 year old winger Shilow Tracey put in a very good performance out on the right flank. Tracey’s pace, skill and direct running made life very difficult for the Derby left back as Tracey constantly had the beating of his man. Apart from the former Ebbsfleet United mans many excellent surging forward runs, the quality of Tracey’s crosses were very good (they were nice whipped ones) and his decision making in the final third was also good. 

Derby County: Ravas, Minkley, McDonald (Ebosele 5), Brown, Bielek (Brown 18) Wassall, Whittaker, Babos, Hector-Ingram, Sibley, Cresswell (Shonibare 60). Substitutes (not used): Barnes, Thompson.

Spurs: Austin, Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Hinds, Fagan-Walcott, Binks, Tracey, White, Richards (R Clarke 83), Thorpe (Patterson 74), Markanday (Dinzeyi 87). Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Statham.

Spurs under 23’s statistics: 

Goals: Armando Shashoua – 5

Harvey White – 3

Rodel Richards – 3

Jamie Bowden – 3

Troy Parrott – 2

Kazaiah Sterling – 2

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 2

Dilan Markanday – 2

Shilow Tracey – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Elliot Thorpe – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Assists: Shilow Tracey – 5

Dilan Markanday – 4

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 3

Armando Shashoua – 3

Rodel Richards – 2

Tariq Hinds – 2

Jamie Bowden – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

TJ Eyoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Harvey White – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 1

Josh Oluwayemi – 1

Spurs under 23’s versus Derby County: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Derby County: (match preview) 

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Our under 23’s travel to Loughborough tomorrow to face an inform Derby County side at the Loughborough University Stadium in the PL2. The game which is being streamed live on Rams TV, will be a huge test for Wayne Burnett’s side as Derby sit in second place in division one. The ‘ Rams ‘ also have a number of talented attacking players on their books. Spurs, who lost to Chelsea in their last game will likely be boosted by the return of Harvey White, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Luis Binks who all missed that game against Chelsea. Spurs lost the reverse fixture against Derby 2-1 back at Hotspur Way in August. On that day Darren Wassall’s side played with a high intensity and they moved the ball around the pitch with pace. Some of the Derby players to look out for tomorrow night include centre forward and Derby’s top scorer in the PL2 this season with nine goals Jahmal Hector-Ingram, skilful winger and England under 19 international Morgan Whittaker and versatile Irish winger Festy Ebosele. This will be a tough game for the young Lilywhites however, it is one that they know they can get something from. I am sure that there will be a number of scouts watching tomorrow nights game as the January loan window is currently open.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Eyoma (c), Lyons-Foster, Binks, Hinds, White, Oakley-Boothe, Markanday, Shashoua, Tracey, Richards.

Subs from: De Bie, Fagan-Walcott, Thorpe, Patterson, Etete.

Injured/unavailable: Jamie Bowden.

Doubtful: Jeremie Mukendi, Kazaiah Sterling.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-2.

My score prediction: 2-2.

My one to watch: The ‘ Rams ‘ speedy and very skilful winger Morgan Whittaker, who has already made ten appearances for Derby’s first team in the Championship this season. Whittaker has scored an impressive five goals from his six appearances in the PL2 this season.

Spurs under 18’s 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

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On Saturday our under 18’s took on Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League South, at their Lancing based training facility. Matt Taylor’s side put in a good, solid team performance down on the south coast to beat a talented Brighton side by one goal to nil, courtesy of J’Neil Bennett’s wonderful goal on 73 minutes. Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Kacper Kurylowicz returned between the sticks. A back four consisting of schoolboy Dante Cassanova, Marqes Muir, Dermi Lusala and schoolboy Jordan Hackett lined up in front of him. Captain Dennis Cirkin and Aaron Skinner partnered up in central midfield while Romaine Mundle and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Rafferty Pedder. 18 year old centre forward Kion Etete led the line for Spurs. Brighton got the game underway on a very chilly morning in County Sussex. After Spurs patiently knocked the ball around the park at the back, Aaron Skinner conceded an early free kick on the edge of the Spurs box. However, Skinner managed to block Stefan Vukoje’s resulting effort. Ben Wilson then headed wide James Furlong’s cross, before Wilson prodded wide Vukoje’s cross. Spurs goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz was then on hand to gather Ben Wilson’s hopeful cross into the Spurs box. After receiving Dennis Cirkin’s lofted pass down the right hand side of the Brighton box, Kion Etete fired the ball over Fynn Talley’s crossbar.

After surging forward past Brighton’s Ayo Tanimowo down the left flank, J’Neil Bennett whipped the ball into the Brighton box where he managed to pick out the unmarked Dennis Cirkin. However, the Spurs captain headed the ball wide of the Brighton goal. Spurs were playing well and a couple of minutes later J’Neil Bennett had a cross cleared away by Luka Cocoracchio before Bennett darted past Marc Leonard in the middle of the pitch before forcing a save out of Fynn Talley from his curling effort. A couple of moments later Ben Wilson volleyed over Marc Leonard’s cross before Brighton again came close to taking the lead. James Furlong’s cross managed to pick out Stefan Vukoje on the edge of the Spurs box. Vukoje controlled the ball well before spinning around and forcing a fairly comfortable save out of Kacper Kurylowicz. Spurs then broke forward as Pedder passed the ball to Cirkin who managed to find Bennett down the left side of Brighton box. Bennett crossed for Pedder whose volleyed effort was well kept out by Fynn Talley. J’Neil Bennett then forced a save out of Talley with an effort from distance. After dribbling his way into the Brighton box Dennis Cirkin forced a save out of Talley at his near post. J’Neil Bennett then whipped an effort wide from the edge of the Brighton box, before Cirkin fired narrowly wide from range in what was the final piece of action from the first half. 

Spurs got the second half underway and Brighton soon came close to taking the lead after Stefan Vukoje prodded Ayo Tanimowo’s cross narrowly wide of Kurylowicz’s goal. Shortly afterwards Kion Etete saw his deflected effort on goal go just wide of the Brighton goal after connecting with Dennis Cirkin’s cross. Rafferty Pedder’s resulting corner kick was punched clear by Fynn Talley before he had another corner kick almost headed home by Brighton’s Antef Tsoungui however, Talley managed to produce the save. Talley was then in a good position to punch away Spurs left back Jordan Hackett’s cross as the game continued to be an even one. After surging forward through the middle of the park Odeluga Offiah had a shot blocked by Marqes Muir before Kion Etete appeared to be pulled back by Antef Tsoungui in the Brighton box however, no penalty kick was given. After Cirkin had passed the ball to Bennett down the left side of the Brighton box the Spurs wingers powerful effort was pushed behind by Fynn Talley before Romaine Mundle volleyed J’Neil Bennett’s cross against Antef Tsoungui, before Etete then had a shot on goal blocked by the same Brighton player as Spurs continued to push the ‘ Seagulls ‘. Matt Taylor then introduced Roshaun Mathurin and Matthew Craig in place of Rafferty Pedder and Romaine Mundle. After receiving Jordan Hackett’s pass on the edge of the Brighton box Roshaun Mathurin forced a save out of Fynn Talley from his curling effort. Matthew Craig was on hand to clear Stefan Vukoje’s corner kick before Spurs finally broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute of the game through J’Neil Bennett.

After receiving Jordan Hackett’s pass J’Neil Bennett looked up at goal from some 25 yards out, before whipping a wicked effort into the top left hand corner of the helpless Fynn Talley’s goal, 1-0. Shortly afterwards and after receiving Aaron Skinner’s pass down the right hand side of the Brighton box, Roshaun Mathurin forced an excellent reflex save out of Talley from his powerful effort before Yago Santiago came onto replace Dante Cassanova. J’Neil Bennett was then shown a yellow card for kicking the ball away before Santiago had a free kick cleared away by Ayo Tanimowo. Kion Etete then cleared away a Stefan Vukoje free kick before Marqes Muir conceded a free kick on the edge of the Spurs box. However, Matthew Everitt’s resulting effort was blocked by the Spurs wall. Aaron Skinner then cleared away Ayo Tanimowo’s cross before Matthew Everitt received Luka Cocoracchio’s pass in a promising position of the pitch however, his effort deflected off of Muir before being saved by Kurylowicz in what was the final piece of action of the game. This was a good performance from Spurs whose next game is at home to Swansea City on Saturday the 18th of this month.

Player reviews:

  • Kacper Kurylowicz: The Spurs goalkeeper only made two save on the day however, his leadership and organisation of the back four was first class. Kurylowicz was commanding inside his penalty area, his distribution was good (he often went long) and he swept up well on a couple of occasions.
  • Dante Cassanova: The schoolboy put in a solid showing at right back against the very talented Stefan Vukoje. Cassanova defended solidly and he kept good positioning throughout the game. This was a good debut under 18 performance.
  • Marqes Muir: The RCB defended very solidly alongside Dermi Lusala at the back. Muir made countless important blocks and interceptions, and he brought the ball out well from the back. Muir also kept good positioning throughout the game.
  • Dermi Lusala: Another player who hardly put a foot wrong, LCB Dermi Lusala put in a very good performance at centre half. Lusala read the game well and he defended by example.
  • Jordan Hackett: The schoolboy and England under 16 international who was making only his second competitive appearance for our under 18’s, put in a solid performance down his side of the pitch. Hackett stayed deep but he also got forward and overlapped winger J’Neil Bennett when he needed to. 
  • Dennis Cirkin: The Spurs captain played in the unfamiliar position of CDM for today’s game against Brighton. However, Cirkin (17) put in a good performance, and he carried the ball well while also going on some good and skilful forward runs. Cirkin made a couple of strong challenges.
  • Aaron Skinner: My man of the match, see below.
  • Romaine Mundle: The right winger was tidy and he rarely lost the ball out on the right flank. Mundle came close to finding the back of the net in the second half.
  • Rafferty Pedder: This was another good performance from Pedder who mixed things up in the number ten position. Pedder came deep to receive the ball and link the play, in addition he went on numerous good forward runs while also dropping into nice little pockets of space on the edge of the Brighton box. Like Mundle, Pedder also came close to getting on the scoresheet.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The skilful winger did a good job down the left flank where he tested the impressive Ayo Tanimowo by going on several good darting, forward runs. In addition Bennett worked hard for the team and he scored a peach of a goal in the second half.
  • Kion Etete: The 18 year old centre forward did an excellent job at holding the ball up and laying the ball off to his teammates. Furthermore, Etete worked hard up top.
  • Roshaun Mathurin: The schoolboy and second half substitute came close to finding the back of the net on two occasions, and he was nice and direct in his play. 
  • Matthew Craig: The second half substitute came on in central midfield where he made a string of good, forward passes.
  • Yago Santiago: N/A (he was on for too short a time to really influence the game).

My man of the match: Reminding me very much of George Marsh when he played for Spurs at under 18 level, the versatile Aaron Skinner put in a very good performance in the middle of the park against Brighton. Skinner anticipated danger really well in the central areas of the pitch and he was tidy, and mopped up well. Furthermore, the Salford born defender got stuck in and he made some strong and well timed challenges before he later slotted into RB where he did as equally good a job. Skinner’s  work rate was very, very good on the day.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:

Goals: 

Tarrelle Whittaker – 7

Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 4

Kion Etete –  4

J’Neil Bennett – 4

Enock Asante – 3

Harvey White – 3

Kallum Cesay – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Dane Scarlett – 1

Romaine Mundle – 1

Assists:

Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 5

J’Neil Bennett – 4

Tarrelle Whittaker – 3

Dermi Lusala –  3

Romaine Mundle – 3

Kion Etete – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Harvey White – 2

Enock Asante – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Eddie Carrington – 1

Kallum Cesay – 1

Marqes Muir –  1

Yago Santiago – 1

Jordan Hackett – 1

Clean sheets: 

Kacper Kurylowicz – 3

Josh Oluwayemi – 1

Spurs under 18’s versus Brighton & Hove Albion: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Brighton & Hove Albion: (match preview)

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After our under 18’s disappointing exit from the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night, Spurs return to league action when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion down on the south coast on Saturday morning. Matt Taylor’s side take on a Brighton side who are currently seven points above Spurs in the league table in fourth place. Mark Beard’s Brighton have done well so far this season, picking up 23 points from 11 games and they have also booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup after defeating Derby County on Wednesday night. Brighton defeated Spurs 3-2 in the reverse fixture back in August and they played quite an attractive style of attacking football in that game. Some of the ‘ Seagulls ‘ main danger men include Swiss striker Laurent Tolaj and attacking midfielder Stefan Vukoje who have scored 20 goals between them at under 18 level so far this season. Other players to look out for are midfielder and Scotland youth international Marc Leonard, defender Ben Wilson and midfielder Jack Leahy. This will be a tough game for Spurs who will likely be without Harvey White, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Luis Binks for tomorrow’s game, as they will likely be with the development side for Monday nights game against Derby County. This could give an opportunity for other players to get playing time for the under 18’s. I shall be traveling down to the south coast to report on tomorrow’s league game, before then dashing back to Tottenham for the first team game against Liverpool. 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Lusala, Muir, Skinner, Kyezu, Robson, Santiago, Whittaker, Pedder, Bennett, Etete (c).

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, Cesay, Cassanova, Mathurin, Mundle.

Injured/unavailable: Michael Craig. 

Doubtful: Matthew Craig, Kallum Cesay, Enock Asante, Chay Cooper, Nile John, Dane Scarlett.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-3.

My score prediction: 2-2.

My one to watch: The ‘ Seagulls ’  main danger man Stefan Vukoje (CAM) who has netted an impressive 11 goals for Brighton’s under 18 side so far this campaign. 

Spurs under 18’s 0-2 Wigan Athletic: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 0-2 Wigan Athletic: (match report)

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(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC).

Our under 18’s took on inform category two academy side Wigan Athletic, at their DW Stadium on Wednesday night, in the fourth round of the prestigious FA Youth Cup. Matt Taylor’s young side crashed out of the competition after being defeated 2-0 by the home side who, with their relentless pressing, hunger and strength, did not allow Spurs to play their usual passing game to any great effect. Peter Murphy’s Wigan side were superb from start to finish and they totally nullified the attacking threat that our lads posed. Wigan took the lead in slightly controversial fashion on 17 minutes through Jensen Weir’s deflected free kick, before centre forward Kyle Joseph secured the win for the ‘ Tics ’ who were truly very impressive on the night. Matt Taylor’s side lined up at almost full strength with the exception of Troy Parrott who was absent. Thimothee Lo-Tutala started in goal for Spurs, while a back four consisting of Marqes Muir, captain Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and Max Robson teamed up in central midfield while Tarrelle Whittaker and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Rafferty Pedder. Kion Etete led the line for Spurs. 

Wigan got the game underway on a cool night in Lancashire, Spurs captain Malachi Fagan-Walcott cleared away Jensen Weir’s early corner kick, before Dennis Cirkin cleared away Luke Robinson’s free kick a couple of moments later. At the other end of the pitch J’Neil Bennett had a cross cleared away by Wigan’s Baba Adeeko before Mackenzie O’Neil’s attempted through ball to set Joe Gelhardt through on goal was well cut out by the sliding Luis Binks. Kyle Joseph then headed Harry Jolley’s cross wide at Thimothee Lo-Tutala’s back post. Joe Geldhart latched onto Luis Binks’ headed clearance before forcing a save out of Lo-Tutala from the edge of the Spurs box, which Lo-Tutala gathered at the second time of asking. A couple of minutes later Spurs captain Malachi Fagan-Walcott conceded a controversial free kick on the edge of the box (he clearly got the ball!) after tackling Joe Geldhart. Jensen Weir stood up for Wigan before seeing his curling effort on goal take a massive deflection off of the Spurs wall. This wrong footed Lo-Tutala who went the wrong way, as Weir’s deflected free kick crept into the right hand side of the net, 0-1. Spurs tried to respond, Malachi Fagan-Walcott headed on Harvey White’s corner kick to J’Neil Bennett whose flicked effort on goal was blocked by Wigan defender Louis Isherwood. At the other end of the pitch Luis Binks made a good challenge on Joe Geldhart to stop a Wigan attack however, he hurt his back in the process. 

Spurs were just patiently knocking the ball around the park as the half progressed. Luis Binks had a goal ruled out for offside from Harvey White’s free kick before Marqes Muir conceded a free kick on the edge of the Spurs box. After Mackenzie O’Neil had laid the ball off to Joe Geldhart his strike was blocked by Max Robson. Muir then conceded another free kick on the edge of the Spurs box shortly afterwards however, Lo-Tutala did well to save Sean McGurk’s whipped effort on goal. Jensen Weir’s pumped corner kick was met by James Carragher (son of former Liverpool and England defender Jamie) whose header was saved by Lo-Tutala. Harvey White then had a pumped free kick gathered by Wigan goalkeeper Sam Tickle in the Wigan box before Joe Geldhart managed to find Sean McGurk at Lo-Tutala’s back post however, his volleyed effort on goal was well blocked by Dennis Cirkin. Sean McGurk’s resulting corner kick found its way to Luke Robinson on the edge of the Spurs box, but he shot the ball over Lo-Tutala’s crossbar in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway. 

Luis Binks headed Harvey White’s corner kick astray of the Wigan goal, before Binks met another Harvey White corner, but this time his headed effort was blocked by James Carragher. Harvey White then blazed the ball over from long range, before Tarrelle Whittaker’s curling effort from the edge of the Wigan box flew narrowly wide of Sam Tickle’s goal. Harvey White then had a shot blocked by Sean McGurk as Spurs continued to be on top. After meeting Joe Geldhart’s cross inside the Spurs box Kyle Joseph forced a save out of Lo-Tutala from his headed effort. Harvey White’s excellent lofted pass over the top of the Wigan defence came close to setting Kion Etete through on goal however, Sam Tickle came rushing out of his box to clear the ball. After latching onto Jensen Weir’s cross from the left flank Kyle Joseph latched onto the ball inside the Spurs box before hitting Lo-Tutala’s crossbar. Weir latched back onto the ball before passing it to Kyle Joseph who fired the ball past the helpless Lo-Tutala, 0-2. J’Neil Bennett and Tarrelle Whittaker switched flanks before Wigan came close to netting a third goal. After Sean McGurk had passed the ball to Joe Geldhart down the right hand side of the Spurs box, Geldhart cut inside Malachi Fagan-Walcott before forcing a fairly comfortable save out of Lo-Tutala from close range.

Rafferty Pedder was shown a yellow card for making a late challenge on Sean McGurk, before Max Robson cleared away Luke Robinson’s free kick. Salford born Aaron Skinner came onto replace Rafferty Pedder as Max Robson moved into the CAM position. Joe Geldhart fired an effort over from long range before Harvey White had a powerful effort from distance well saved by the diving Sam Tickle. Joe Geldhart then had a shot in the Spurs box well blocked by Luis Binks  before Lo-Tutala totally missed Joe Geldhart’s corner kick, before Kyle Joseph tapped the ball wide at the back post. After attacking Harvey White’s cross Luis Binks had a header cleared away by Louis Isherwood, before Harvey White’s whipped free kick was headed behind by Malachi Fagan-Walcott before Mackenzie O’Neill had a late effort ruled out for offside in which turned out to be the final piece of action of the game. Our under 18’s return to league action on Saturday when they travel down to the south coast to face a talented Brighton & Hove Albion side.

Player reviews:

  • Thimothee Lo-Tutala: The Paris born goalkeeper made five saves in total and generally he had a decent game, and was solid game in between the sticks. 
  • Marqes Muir: Once again filling in at right back, Marqes Muir had a pretty solid game for Spurs, particularly in the second half. Muir showed good strength on the ball and he made a couple of timely interceptions.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: The Spurs captain and RCB made some good challenges and interceptions, and he was also good in the air.
  • Luis Binks: My man of the match, see below.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The left back stayed deep and rarely attacked down the left flank. Cirkin made one important block to prevent a near certain goal for Sean McGurk in the first half. The Dublin born defender did a good job at protecting his side of the pitch.
  • Harvey White: The CDM whipped some delightful set pieces and passes into the danger zone, and his movement off the ball was good. However, White wasn’t allowed the space he needed to roam around the middle of the park and this severely affected his influence on the game.
  • Max Robson: The central midfielder who finished the game as a CAM, had a good game. Robson showed good skill on the ball and he dribbled forward with it well. Robson had some nice touches and he did well at trying to link the play.
  • Tarrelle Whittaker: The right winger put in quite a strong second half performance and he came close to finding the back of the net with a curling effort on goal from over 20 yards out in the second half.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The 17 year old was yet another player who was deprived of the space that he craved, by the relentless Wigan players. Pedder had some nice touches, he worked hard, and he made some intelligent runs however, he just wasn’t allowed the space he need to influence the game.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The left winger grew into the game and he started to take players on much more during the second half.
  • Kion Etete: The former Notts County man didn’t get a lot of great service last night however, he worked hard and also took up some intelligent positions.
  • Aaron Skinner: The second half substitute came on for the last 20 minutes of yesterday’s game. Skinner slotted into central midfield and he helped to solidify the middle of the park for Spurs.

My man of the match: England under 19 international Luis Binks. The Gillingham born centre half put in a nearly faultless performance for Matt Taylor’s side at LCB. Binks made two important challenges during the first half and he recovered well after hurting his back early on in the game. Binks’ positioning and anticipation was good, and he also did a really good in dealing with Wigan’s long balls which really was food and drink for the 18 year old who won virtually all of his aerial duels. Binks was the shining light on a disappointing night for Spurs, and there was nothing that he could have done to prevent either of Wigan’s goals.

Wigan Athletic: Tickle, Jolley (c), Robinson, Carragher, Isherwood, Adeeko, McGurk (Devine 88), Weir, Joseph, Gelhardt (Costello 90+4), O’Neil. Substitutes (not used): Jones, Broe, Hughes, Lloyd, Brown.

Spurs: Lo-Tutala, Muir, Cirkin, White, Fagan-Walcott (c), Binks, Whittaker, Robson, Etete, Pedder (Skinner 70), Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Solberg, Mundle, Lusala, Cassanova.

Goals: Wigan – Weir 17, Joseph 62.

Yellow cards: Wigan – Gelhardt 30, Adeeko 53; Spurs – Pedder 68.

Referee: Daniel Locker.

Venue: DW Stadium, Wigan.

Attendance: 668.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:

Goals: 

Tarrelle Whittaker – 7

Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 4

Kion Etete – 4

Enock Asante – 3

J’Neil Bennett – 3

Harvey White – 3

Kallum Cesay – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Dane Scarlett – 1

Romaine Mundle – 1

Assists:

Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 5

J’Neil Bennett – 4

Tarrelle Whittaker – 3

Dermi Lusala –  3

Romaine Mundle – 3

Kion Etete – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Harvey White – 2

Enock Asante – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Eddie Carrington – 1

Kallum Cesay – 1

Marqes Muir –  1

Yago Santiago – 1

Clean sheets: 

Kacper Kurylowicz – 2

Josh Oluwayemi – 1