Spurs and Italy a short history:

Spurs and Italy a short history:


Following on from my piece on Spurs and Ireland, I thought I’d do another one of these articles as I really enjoyed the last one, this piece was requested by a supporter and it’s quite fitting considering that were just days away from facing Juventus in the champions league. This time it’s a shorter piece, as I go through all of the players of Italian descent to have been on the books of Tottenham Hotspur football club either at senior or youth level. Sadly there isn’t that many, but I will be happily corrected if someone lets me know if I have missed anyone out. Once again I have done in-depth research to make this as accurate as possible.

The first player to play for Spurs who was of Italian descent was local lad Tony Marchi, a familiar name amongst Spurs fans. The Edmonton born wing-half/ midfielder joined Spurs a youth player back in 1948, Marchi would begin a 17 year relationship with the club albeit via a two year spell in Italy. Tony became one of the youngest players to play for the club, when he made his debut as a 17 year old against Grimsby in 1950 under the legendary Arthur Rowe. Tony would go onto make 131 appearances for the lilywhites before taking a path less traveled. After he left Bill Nicholson’s side in 1957 to play for Italian side Juventus. Never making a senior appearance for the club, Tony spent the two seasons in the country of his ancestry playing for both Torino (Juventus arch rivals) and Vicenza on loan. In fact it was Nicholson himself who made the trip over to Italy to bring Tony back to north London in 1959. Tony would go onto become a part of the famous double winning side of 1960-61, playing a further 101 times for his local side, captaining them on many an occasion. His greatest moment came in the spring of 1963 when he started for Nicholson’s side in the final of the 1963 European cup winners cup as they famously thrashed Atletico Madrid 5-1 in Rotterdam to become the first English side to win a European trophy. Tony eventually left Spurs in 1965 after retiring from the game. Marchi then entered the world of management the same year when he took charge of Cambridge United for two years. Before taking charge of Northampton town for a solemn season during the 1967-68. Tony recently celebrated his 85th birthday and was presented with a special shirt by club legend Gary Mabbutt, courtesy of the club.

It would be a further 33 years until the next player of Italian descent played for Spurs, this time it would be the first native Italian to play for the lilywhites. It was a famous transfer at a bleak time for the club, after Christian Gross managed to acquire the services of renowned Italian midfielder Nicola Berti on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Inter Milan. A tenacious box to box midfielder, Berti joined Spurs during a difficult campaign. A campaign which saw Spurs fight for their premier league status, Berti provided steel and energy to the side and helped the lilywhites secure a comfortable 13th placed finish, before departing for Alaves at the end of the season. The Italian international who was a runner up with his country during the 94 World Cup, Berti enjoyed a distinguished career for both club and country. And despite only playing for Spurs for one season, he is still considered a bit of a cult hero by fans. Which may have something to do with a certain song that the fans still sing to this day, I needn’t get it started! The next Italian to make the move to north London was defender Paolo Tramezzani who joined the lilywhites from Italian club Piacenza in 1998. Tramezzani only ever made six senior appearances for the club during a two year spell. Many fans will remember the defenders debut for the club which came in a friendly against Peterborough in 1998, in which Tramezzani scored in. The defender departed Spurs for Pistoiese in 2000. Tramezzani who is now a football manager was most recently in charge of Swiss side Sion.

Signed to the club the season after Tramezzani joined, Italian youth prodigy Luca di Giuliautonio would become the third Italian to join the club when he signed as a 16 year old in 1999. Spotted by Spurs scouts in a schoolboy tournament in Italy, di Giuliautonio made the trip to London with a fellow team mate in Maurizio Consorti who also impressed the Spurs scouts. Both players would only ever play in the youth ranks for Spurs, midfielder di Giuliautonio returned to Italy in 2001 to play for Monturanese. Whilst Consorti who had impressed for the u17’s, even being given a senior squad number for the 2000-01 campaign. Was released by the club the following season and would return to Italy where he signed for Castel Madama. Around the same time we had a goalkeeper on our books by the name of Angelo Galetti who had previously been playing for Empoli. Galetti had been capped by his country at u15 level. Italian Spurs fans would have to wait a further ten years until the club signed another Italian player but it was well worth the wait. I remember being ecstatic at finding out that we had signed experienced goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini in January of 2009 from rivals Chelsea. It was yet another major coup by then manager Harry Redknapp. The highly regarded Italian who had spent many years as a number two to Petr Cech at the blues. Was a welcome addition to the club during a difficult time, with his razor sharp reflexes and speed. Cudicini enjoyed a good time at Spurs, fluctuating between being a number one, two and three during his three year spell at the club. Cudicini would go onto play 19 times for the lilywhites before joining MLS club LA Galaxy in 2012. Cudicini who has now entered the world of coaching, is currently an assistant coach to Antonio Conte at Chelsea.

The next player I’m going to mention wasn’t born in Italy but still has strong connections to the country. Souleymane Coulibaly emigrated to the country from his native Ivory Coast as a 13 year old to join his father. It was during his teenage years that the skilful forward would take his first steps into making it as a professional, signing for local side Siena. It was after his impressive performances for Ivory Coast at the 2011 u17 World Cup that Coulibaly First came to the attention of the club. Dubbed the new Drogba after scoring nine goals in five matches for his country. Despite rumoured interest from both Manchester United and Real Madrid, Coulibaly made the switch to Spurs in 2011 where he joined the clubs youth set up. After spending three seasons at the club, playing for both the u18’s and u21’s and after scoring some spectacular goals in the process. The one time wonderkid joined Italian Serie B side Bari for a sum of £2million pounds. Since then Coulibaly has played for a whole host of clubs including the likes of Peterborough United and Kilmarnock. Now 23 years of age Coulibaly finds himself without a club having last played for Egyptian side Al Ahly. Since Cudicini’s time we have never had an Italian player play for us, though there have been numerous cases of first second and even third generation Italians playing in our youth set up.

Starting with midfielder Mario Noto who was a part of the Spurs academy set up during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Noto who operated in the centre of midfield went onto play for Crystal Palace and Reading before entering the world of non league football where he has represented sides such as Boreham Wood. Noto is currently playing for Enfield Town in the Bostick premier league. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Mario last month for my blog, he talked about growing up watching the great Milan side of the 90’s amongst all other things Spurs. Going back to the 1980’s we had a couple of players with Italian sounding names such as Leo Lisanti but I was unable to verify this. Since Mario Noto’s time in the academy we have had the likes of Giancarlo Gallifuoco (now of Dover) who have played for the Spurs youth teams. Though Australian born Gallifuoco is of Italian descent. As is a certain Massimo Luongo(once a highly rated academy midfielder) Luongo who is now a fully fledged Australian international, currently plays for QPR. Luongo did make one senior appearance for Spurs during a league cup third round tie against Stoke. Slightly before Luongo’s time was highly rated goalkeeper Mirko Ranieri. A former youth international for Italy at u16 level, Ranieri was brought to the club from Perugia by sporting director Damian Comolli in 2007. Comolli spoke at the time of Ranieri s great intelligence and shot stopping ability. After various loan spells at lower league sides Ranieri was released by the club in 2012. He was last seen playing for Italian side Gubbio. And that brings an end to this article, hopefully it’s been an informative and interesting read as we prepare for our all important second leg with Juventus on Wednesday evening. COYS



Spurs and Ireland a short history:

Spurs and Ireland a short history:


Few countries have had more of an impact on the history of Tottenham Hotspur then the island of Ireland. Apart from having a huge fan base in Ireland which consists of many supporters clubs little has been written on the importance the country has had on our football club from first generation to second and third generation players, many have put on the lilywhite shirt from first team level to youth level and right up until the present day. As an Irishman myself I thought I’d write a short history about Spurs and Ireland and the role it has played, and whilst I have tried my best researching the lists of players from season to season, I may well have missed out a few players with Irish connections and I would welcome any corrections from supporters of our club.

The early years: To my knowledge the first Irishman to represent Spurs was Jack Kirwan. An outside left who joined the lilywhites in 1899 from Everton the county Wicklow man played for Spurs for six years and was involved in their most early success, FA cup glory as a non league team in 1901. Kirwan was an accomplished Gaelic footballer and after a brief spell at the toffees it didn’t take the wide man long to adapt to the English game. An integral part of John Cameron’s cup winning side, Kirwan was the last surviving member of that side up until his death in 1959. He kept both the match ball and medal right up until his passing. After a successful spell with Spurs which saw Kirwan become the first Tottenham player to represent his country, Kirwan subsequently went on to play for Chelsea, Clyde and Leyton Orient. And his footballing career didn’t stop there in fact it took an even more fascinating turn. After he entered the world of coaching, becoming the manager of a certain AJAX Amsterdam in 1910. Kirwan would go on to become the first person to guide the Dutch club into the first division. The former Spurs man had later spells as manager of both Bohemians and Livorno. A fascinating career, Kirwan is certainly worth a google.

The next Irishman to play for Spurs was Donegal man Charles O’Hagan who joined the club in 1904. The inside left spent two seasons in north London before joining Middlesbrough in 1906. But the fascinating part of his career came as a coach when he managed Spanish side Sevilla in the early 1920’s! After O’Hagan left Spurs there seems to be quite a gap before the next Irishman donned on the Tottenham jersey. However, in the meantime there was a Welshman by the name of Taffy O’Callaghan who would go on to become a legend at the club during the late 1920’s and early 30’s. The forward played over 250 times for Spurs and made such a positive impact that he would later be named on the clubs hall of fame list. Why an earth am I mentioning a man from the Ebbw Vale, well he was the son of Irish parents. Next to fly the flag for Ireland was Enniskillen man Richard Rowley, who spent a solemn campaign at the lilywhites during the 1930-31 season. Once again there appears to be a big gap before the next Irishman would appear at White Hart Lane, in fact you have to wait until 1954. When Limerick man Johnny Gavin joined the lilywhites. The winger only played for Spurs for one season yet he made a big impact on the side scoring an impressive 15 goals from 32 appearances. Gavin enjoyed the greatest spell of his career at his next club Norwich City who have him listed on the clubs hall of fame. Gavin passed away in 2007.

Captain fantastic and beyond: The next player I’m going to mention is without a doubt (in my eyes) the most influential player in the clubs history. A personal hero of mine, Danny Blanchflower. A man who needs no introduction, the legendary Ulster man became a legend for the club over a 10 year spell between 1954 and 1964. Initially signed by Arthur Rowe from Aston Villa, Blanchflower spent a tumultuous spell under next manager Jimmy Anderson where he was made to play in the reserves for a period. But the right half’s fortunes changed significantly following the arrival of Bill Nicholson as club manager in 1958. It was during his later years that the visionary (a man long before his time) would flourish in north London. A club who he always wanted to play for ever since hearing the name as a young child in the streets of Belfast. Blanchflower was the on the pitch brains behind the historic double winning side of 1960-61, captain fantastic as he became known would further captain Spurs to more cup glory. With the 1961-62 FA cup final success preceding the following season, Blanchflowers final game for Spurs came against Atletico Madrid in the final of the 1963 European cup winners cup. Where he captained the side to a historic 5-1 victory over the Spanish club in Rotterdam. It was the perfect ending for Blanchflower who would later go onto become manager of both Chelsea and Northern Ireland only missing out on the Tottenham job because of the Tottenham chairman’s instance on appointing Terry Neil despite Nicholson’s advice. If your interested in finding out more about Blanchflower, then Ken Ferris’s book ‘The Double: The inside story Spurs’ triumphant 1960-61 season’ is essential reading.

This followed another hugely important player in the clubs history in County Down man Pat Jennings. The legendary goalkeeper (one of the greatest of all time) played over 470 times for the club following his arrival from Watford in 1964. Ask any Spurs fan who remembers big Pat and they’ll tell you that he was the greatest keeper to play for Spurs. With his cat like reflexes and freakish ability to catch a ball with one hand (without gloves!) Jennings successful time at the club sees him considered as one of our all time greats. Jennings connection with the club continues to the present day where he coaches the academy goalkeepers at the clubs training ground. The Northern Ireland star also does hospitality work for the club on match days, and is a regular guest of honour during matches. Dubliner Joe Kinnear became the next Irishman to play for Spurs, the right back became an important player for Spurs over a ten year spell which started in 1965 following his arrival from St Albans. You then have the second Belfast man to play for Spurs in Chris McGrath who played for the lilywhites from 1972-75, the winger was a part of the side that was runners up in the 1974 UEFA cup final.

Then comes a name that most of you won’t have heard of in tricky winger Noel Brotherston. After coming through the youth ranks at the club the winger from Dundonald would go on to become a key player in the youth teams historic FA youth cup win in 1974. Brotherston did make one appearance for Spurs in a league cup game against Aston Villa in 1975. Brotherston left Spurs the following year and went on to enjoy a successful career at Blackburn Rovers where he made over 300 appearances. Brotherston returned to the town a couple of years later. Tragically the Northern Ireland international passed away at the age of just 38 in 1995. Continuing in chronological order, Jimmy Holmes was the next Irishman to play for the club, the defender who hails from Dublin represented Spurs over three seasons. At the same time Spurs had another lad from Belfast on their books by the name of Gerry Armstrong. The hero of the 82 World Cup for Northern Ireland, the forward spent five years at White Hart Lane scoring 10 goals from 84 appearances before moving to Watford in 1980, and then to Real Mallorca of Spain. A country that he knows well, Armstrong is a familiar voice on Sky Sports and regularly commentates on La Liga matches. Huddersfield born Tony Galvin was the next one to turn out for Spurs, qualifying for Ireland through the grandparent ruling. Galvin went on to enjoy a hugely successful career for both club and country. The winger was a part of one of the greatest Spurs teams of the 20th century and Galvin was a part of the team when they won two FA cups and the UEFA cup in 1974. Fluent in Russian, Galvin turned his hand to teaching following his retirement from the game in 1990.

The legend that is Chris Hughton was another Irishman to represent Spurs during this period. The right back who is now doing an excellent job as manager of Brighton, was one of the finest fullbacks in the clubs history. Over a 13 year spell and after many successes Hughton turned out over 290 times for the lilywhites. Still regarded as a legend by Spurs fans to this very day, Hughton always gets a rapturous reception whenever he returns to Spurs as a manager. Hughton won 53 caps for Ireland. Pimlico born Tim O’Shea who represented Ireland at youth level, was another to turn out for Spurs during this period in time. The defender who joined Spurs from Arsenal at youth level! Went on to appear three times for the club before joining Leyton Orient in 1998 after a loan spell with Newport County. Belfast man Phil Gray joined Spurs the following season, joining as an apprentice in 1986, Gray who operated as a striker made only 9 appearances over four years. Of which the majority of the time was spent out on loan with various clubs. Gray did go on to represent Northern Ireland and scored a total of six goals for his country. It would be a couple of years before Woolwich born Irishman Andy Turner became another to add to the ever growing list of Irish Spurs. From 1992-96 the midfielder made 21 appearances for the first team after making his way up the youth ranks. Turner became the premier leagues youngster scorer when he netted against Everton on 5 September 1992. Aged just 17 years and 166 days, Turner only ever went on to appear at u21 level for Ireland.

Next came Dubliner David McDonald the right back going on to appear three times for Spurs in the early 90’s before joining Peterborough in 1993. Like Turner, McDonald only ever appeared at youth level for his country. Wonderkid Gerry McMahon became hot property after being scouted extensively for local side Glenavon in the early part of the decade, eventually joining Spurs in March of 1992. The talented midfielder never really reached his full potential and after just 16 appearances for the north London side, he joined Stoke on a permanent deal in 1996. McMahon won 17 caps for Northern Ireland. Come the 1993-94 campaign a young Stephen Carr burst on to the scene beginning an 11 year spell with the club who he signed for at youth level. Carr would go onto become a star for both Spurs and Ireland, the consistent right back was one of the finest in the premier league and despite heavy interest from Manchester United. The Dubliner stayed at Spurs and went on to make 226 appearances for the lilywhites despite a number of injuries, before joining Newcastle in 2004. Carr (now retired) lives in Spain. Another player to appear during the 93-94 season was Lisburn born midfielder Stephen Robinson (now manager of Motherwell). Robinson made two appearances for the club before joining Bournemouth in 1994. There were a number of talented young Irish prodigies on Spurs’ book in the mid 90’s, some of whom never made it into the first team fold.

Donegal man Owen Coll was one of these, Coll went onto make three Intertoto cup appearances including that infamous 8-0 defeat to Koln, Coll is still an avid Spurs fan. Edmonton born Neale Fenn was another highly rated youngster, Fenn who played as a forward for Spurs only ever made 11 appearances for the club during a six year spell, before moving to Peterborough United in 2001. Fenn is now the manager of Irish first division side Longford Town. Another three young Irish players who were on our books at this time were Ross Darcy, a talented centre half whose career was plagued by injuries, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ross a couple of months ago. In addition we had midfielders Peter Gain and Kevin Maher, neither of whom ever appeared for the senior team. There was also academy graduate and Belfast born midfielder Paul McVeigh who made three appearances for Spurs scoring one goal, during a four year spell. The later Norwich City man went on to appear 20 times for Northern Ireland. You also had youngster Ciaran Toner (Craigavon born) who for those who read the programme for the Rochdale game would have known played for both clubs. The now retired striker who won two caps for Northern Ireland never made a senior appearance for Spurs.

Another Donegal lad Gary Doherty (aka the ginger Pele) was the next Irishman to play for the senior team. The Tottenham cult hero who played as a defender/forward for Spurs between the years 2000-2004. Playing over 60 games and scoring four goals. Doherty won 34 caps for Ireland. At the same time there were a couple of Irishmen in the youth team at Spurs, their names were George Snee, Andrew Burke and Stephen Kelly a player who I’ll touch on shortly.

Robbie Keane – a new star, the years of absence and the beginning of a new dawn in Troy Parrot: The latest Irish super star to sign for Tottenham was a certain Robbie Keane who was signed to the club in 2002 by then manager Glenn Hoddle. Following his arrival from Leeds United, the skilful quick thinking striker or number 10 became a fan favourite in no time. With his almost maverick style and unpredictability, the Tallaght born Ireland international began what would become a hugely successful 8 year love affair with the club. Albeit coming via an ill fated big money move to Liverpool. The talented goal scorer whose panache and stylish cartwheel of a celebration still makes him a fan favourite to this day. Was one of the clubs most creative and prolific goal scorers, scoring over 100 goals for the lilywhites. ‘Keano’ as he is affectionately known by the Tottenham supporters is currently playing for Indian super league side ATK aged 37. Keane was a personal hero of mine. The last real star to play for Spurs we did still have a fair few Irish players in our side throughout the noughties. Such as highly rated right back Stephen Kelly (currently without a club) and young forward Mark Yeates who now plys his trade for Eastleigh in the national league. For those who followed the youth team during that time you will remember a certain Ulster man called Mark Hughes. Another Ireland international to play for the senior side during this time was midfielder Andy Reid who had a short spell at the club.

During the same period we also had second generation Irish man Jamie O’Hara in the academy set up. The midfielder who would later turn out for the senior side, never chose to represent his fathers country. Keen followers of the youth team will also remember a certain young striker Terry Dixon fondly. Tipped for stardom, Dixon who qualified for Ireland through his Cavan born mother was a star for the youth team, described by many as one of the most talented young strikers in the country. Dixon was even drafted into the Ireland squad by then manager Steve Staunton. But after suffering three serious knee injuries before turning 19, Dixon’s career failed to take off. And after spells at West Ham and Dover he was last seen playing for Aylesbury. Dixon also played in the same team as Chris Hughton’s son Cian, who was also eligible for Ireland. As was midfielder David Hutton. And future Spurs under 18 head coach Kieran McKenna. Since the days of Robbie Keane and Stephen Kelly no Irish man has played for Spurs, it’s been too long especially after having so many talented youth prospects at the club. But things are looking up and it may not be too long before a player is flying the Irish flag for Spurs again. Stylish Irish schoolboy Troy Parrot who plays as a striker for the u16’s, is the later Irish lad to come over the Irish sea. Described as a sensation by Irish reporters, the former Belvedere player will make the step up to the u18’s next season where I will be seeing him regularly. I have also noticed whilst reporting at u18 games that there is frequently a scout from the FAI in attendance and I know for certain that there are definitely eligible players in that side. Hopefully this has been informative and interesting for you Spurs fans and I’d like to end it if I may on a rarely mentioned note. That of our talisman Harry Kane, son of a Galway man who came so close to playing for Ireland, how different things could have been. COYS 🇮🇪

Other Spurs youngsters that were all eligible: Dominic Ball, Paul O’Donoghue (later GAA player), Ciaran Duffin, Baby bale also known as Kenny Mcevoy, Roman Michael-Percil, Derry lads Aaron McEneff and Tom McDermott both of whom now play for Derry, Darren Grogan and last but not least defender Tom Heffernan. A player who would later join Bournemouth, Heffernan’s party trick was heading cricket balls.

Senior players that were eligible: Aaron Lennon, Kyle Naughton and Harry Kane.

Rumoured eligibility: Paul Gascoigne.

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Coolness personified, the latest starlet to emerge from Hotspur Way.

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Coolness personified, the latest starlet to emerge from Hotspur Way.


If you were to ask me which one of our first year scholars has impressed me the most this season for the under 18’s, I’d tell you without any hesitation that it was Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. A tall centre half of slim build, the 17 year old first came to my attention as an under 15 during the 2015/16 campaign. Back then I was reporting on an academy showcase game at Portman road involving our under 15’s and Ipswich town. That game involved the majority of this seasons first year scholars in action, number 2 on my team sheet was Lyons-Foster. He played the game at right back and looked both assured and composed, I liked his style. Fast forward to the current campaign and the now 17 year old defender is an integral part of Scott Parker’s under 18 side. Playing in the UEFA youth league, the England u17 international has been so impressive that he has already featured on a couple of occasions for the u23’s this season whilst still a 16 year old. I only ever write these player articles after having watched a player extensively, usually around 25-30 times and Lyons-Foster is one of those players who I have seen a great deal of. Comfortable across the back line as a cb, lb or rb. Lyons-Foster is a defender who possess all the attributes that a quality centre half needs. A ball playing centre half, Brooklyn is an exciting and classy defender. Elegant but skilful, he possesses a unique style that is not dissimilar to players such as John Stones and Toby Alderweireld.

A local lad who went to school only a stones throw away from Hotspur Way, Brooklyn has been a part of the academy set up since he was 10 years old. The versatile defender is the brother of former Spurs schoolboy Kodi who those with long memories will remember from one of England u16’s Victory shield camapigns. He is currently plying his trade at Whitehawk in the Vanarama National league south having previously represented Aston Villa, Bristol City and Aldershot. Possessing all the raw attributes a centre half needs, Brooklyn is a player who loves to play it out from the back. Taking on opposition players in the process he is often seen pinging lovely forward passes. Whilst there is that Stonesesque aspect of his game, there is also a decisiveness which none of our other young defenders posses. That decisiveness comes from his excellent positioning and ability to read situations so well. And knowing when to execute a challenge, of which 9 out of 10 times are executed perfectly. Even if he does get caught out with the ball from playing it out from the back, Lyons-Foster has the pace to get back and keep up with the forwards. But it’s that Alderweireld like reading of the game (a player who he admires greatly) that has caught my eye the most this season. Time after time I’ve seen him snuff out danger by getting in front of his man at the decisive moment. And the calmness that he shows whilst under pressure is outstanding for a player so young.

Whilst he isn’t physically ready for regular u23 football at the moment (something that Burnett alluded to earlier in the season) he is still more than adept at dealing with a big powerful centre forward. His aerial ability for which is also impressive is another side of his game which has impressed me, those delicate cushion headers are just as deft and accurate as his passes. Mature beyond his years the youngster is intelligent and able to deal with tricky situations, I.E a one on one. And it’s in such situations that he really reminds me of Alderweireld, cool and collected he never panics and rarely dives in. Instead he waits for that decisive moment before getting the vital touch on the ball. That’s not to say that he won’t make a risky sliding challenge if necessary. It may sound as if I’m waxing lyrical about the defender but he is one of the most exciting Spurs players that I’ve come across since watching the youth team. For me he has it all. Pace, composure, versatility, intelligence and a maturity beyond his years. He has risen to the occasion many times for both our u18’s/19’s this season and I’m really looking forward to seeing him make the step up to u23 level in the future, something which will be a huge step up from the current level. The final thing that I’d like to touch on is his classiness on the field of play, he seems like a really good sportsman and there have been a few occasions this season where he has done some really classy things. Remember the name Spurs fans! COYS

A side note: The next youth game that I will be reporting on takes place this Friday when our u23’s host Derby County at the training centre in a crucial PL2 encounter.

Spurs under 18’s 4-0 Reading: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 4-0 Reading: (match report)


Our under 18’s put in yet another superb performance for the 4-0 thrashing of Reading at Hotspur Way on Saturday morning. One of their best league games of the season, Parker’s side managed to turn over a tenacious Reading defence. Unlocking them with that fast attacking football, something which I have become so well accustomed to over the course of this season. Spurs’ performance was made all the more impressive by the fact that they played majority of the game with ten men following the sending off of Jonathan Dinzeyi in the first half, if anything this spurred Parker’s side on. And we made Reading look like the team with ten men. Spurs got the game underway on a bitterly cold morning in Enfield, after a quiet opening couple of minutes Spurs initiated a decent move. After some clever little play between Shashoua and Patterson the latter whipped a menacing ball across the face of the Reading goal. The lilywhites got let off a couple of minutes later after Jack Nolan was played through on goal, Lyons-Foster raced to keep up with Nolan whose effort from 10 yards out was well stopped at his near post by Jonathan De Bie. A promising effort from Markanday flew narrowly wide, before the lively Bennett forced a corner after his low effort was spilt by Jokull Andresson (I’ve never seen a keeper as passionate and animated before in youth football!). Spurs continued to impress in the final third, Griffiths forced another save out of Andresson. And after latching onto Bowden’s superb long pass, Griffiths was through on goal as he battled off Josh Brooking. Just as Griffiths had gotten the better of him Brooking brought him down from behind, he was the last man.

I was expecting the referee to bring out his red card, but to the Spurs strikers astonishment the referee waived play on. Reading sat deep and made it hard for Spurs to break them down. And the royals were also dangerous in the final third, in fact they had Spurs under the cosh after a dominant five minute spell. Shamar Moore saw his ambitious effort deflected out for a corner kick, and they managed to carve open the Spurs defence moments later. When Lyons-Foster was caught out with the ball on the half way line. Reading went on a fast counter attack, Samuel-Ayomede Faniyan passed to Nolan down the right hand channel, the forwards effort being thwarted by De Bie. Around 35 minutes into proceedings and after a decent start, the game was turned upside down for Spurs when centre back Jonathan Dinzeyi was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in the space of a couple of minutes. It was an incredibly harsh call from the referee who after rightfully showing Dinzeyi an initial yellow card for a crunching challenge. Had showed no leniency the second time round round after the Spurs man accidentally kicked a royals player. I do wonder if the referee was at all influenced by Reading head coach David Dodds roaring ”that’s the second time ref!” from the touchline. Spurs now had adapt to the situation, the trickery of Readings Khalid Simmo didn’t help matters and the royals winger was troubling us down that left flank.

The visitors ought to have taken the lead from a corner kick when the unmarked Ethan Coleman was picked out in the box. The defenders powerful header was heading into the back of the net but for a superb goal line clearance from Lyons-Foster. But against the odds Parker’s side fought back and as the first half entered its final stages Spurs took an unexpected lead through the prolific Reo Griffiths. It was a brilliantly taken goal by the striker who after being fed in by Markanday down the right channel, embarked on a lung bursting run. Griffiths powered his way towards the penalty area, knocking the ball past helpless Josh Brooking. Griffiths entered the box before cooly slotting the ball underneath the outrushing Andresson to give Spurs the lead. It was an excellent goal of his own making. Reading reacted through Moore whose effort on goal was never going to trouble De Bie, Spurs went into half time on an unexpected high. Even after walking off the pitch Griffiths was still going on about that challenge on him from behind, he was passionately making his case to Bennett. Saying ”why would I go down if I’m through on goal, it’s stupid!” The royals got the game back underway as they went in search of an equaliser. It didn’t take long for Griffiths to make an impact, the striker managing to pounce on a loose ball soon afterwards. Before driving forward into the penalty area he then cut inside his man before firing the ball straight at the keeper.

There were some key tactical changes made at half time which would ultimately help Spurs achieve the victory. Right back Rayan Clarke was brought off for Reynolds who swapped places with Hinds at full back. And midfielder Jamie Bowden slotted in at centre half with Lyons-Foster. Some more good work from Griffiths resulted in him squaring the ball back to substitute Maghoma inside the box, it was a tough chance for the midfielder to convert. And his effort on the half volley ended up heading out for a goal kick. However, we were given a bit of a scare after there was mix up between De Bie and Bowden on the edge of the penalty area but thankfully for the lilywhites, Faniyan didn’t make us pay for our error. The danger wasn’t over for Spurs, Jack Nolan ran the length of the pitch out wide unimpeded. Nolan eventually squared the ball to substitute Conor Lawless inside the box, but he failed to get his shot on target as the Reading players groaned loudly in frustration. Spurs were devastating on the counter attack and soon afterwards Parker’s side doubled their advantage courtesy of Griffiths’ second of the game. It was another well worked goal, Reynolds managed to thread the ball through to Griffiths down the left side of the penalty area. From there Griffiths did all the hard work, cutting inside before taking on a Reading defender and rifling the ball beyond Andresson, 2-0. Paris Maghoma then curled an effort narrowly wide as Spurs continued to dominate possession, playing razor sharp attacking football against a now leggy Reading side.

Ten man Spurs still had to be cautious, Jonathan De Bie managed to tip over Ethan Coleman’s thunderbolt, whilst Lyons-Foster had to make another incredible clearance on the line to stop Coleman’s header. But Spurs minds were put to rest a couple of moments later when J’neil Bennett’s superb strike grabbed their third of the game. It was another excellent incisive move, Reynolds did really well to win the ball and then feed Bennett through on goal down the left hand side. The schoolboy seized his opportunity and emphatically fired the ball past Andresson to put the game beyond doubt, 3-0. Spurs were relentless going forward, Jamie Bowden’s excellent long ball came to Griffiths inside the box but Andresson closed him down to deny him his hat-trick. Spurs were overwhelming the royals with there attacking might. And they managed put the icing on the cake inside the second minute of additional time when Reo Griffiths netted his second hat-trick in seven days to make it 4-0. Once again it was another intricate piece of play, the electric Bennett did most of the hard work down the right hand side. The 16 year old went on a brilliant tricky run managing to travel towards the byline before whipping in a nice low cross to the feet of Griffiths who tapped home from close range to top off both a brilliant display from him and the team. COYS

Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Solid performance, made two very important saves.
– Rayan Clarke: Only completed the first half owing to Dinzeyi’s dismissal. Looked fairly decent at rb, overlapped Markanday on many occasions.
– Tariq Hinds: I thought Hinds had a great game, his versatility came in useful for us as he made the switch to lb in the second half. He was dominant and decisive.
– Jamie Bowden: Absolutely superb. Bowden was so effective in both the holding midfield role and also at centre half where he slotted in so well for the second half. He was tidy made some really good challenges, but what was most impressive was his intelligence both on and off the ball. His ability to pick a pass was second to none, his passing was wide ranging and deftly accurate. He was also disciplined.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Dinzeyi actually had a good game up until his harsh sending off. Dominant in the air and strong in the tackle.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: His all round game was top notch, played it out excellently from the back. Made two magnificent goal line clearances.
– Dilan Markanday: Had a decent game plenty of trickery down the right, Markanday did a great job tracking back and getting involved defensively. He is a real grafter.
– Armando Shashoua: Shashoua was one of our most important players, the central midfielder had such a positive impact on the game. He couldn’t have worked any harder covering more ground than anyone else. His passing was deftly accurate and wide ranging, and his sharpness on the ball often caught the Reading midfield by surprise with his clever twists and turns. Think Harry Winks.
– Reo Griffiths; My motm see below.
– Phoenix Patterson: A real driving force behind our attack, Patterson’s swiftness and creativity initiated many a good chance.
– Jamie Reynolds: Made a big impact from the subs bench setting up two of our goals.
– Paris Maghoma: Exciting cameo always leaves the defenders guessing at what he is going to do next, plenty of flare about his performance. Tenacious also.
– J’neil Bennett: The schoolboy was at the heart of our win over the royals, the winger who often switched flanks. Was the main source of our creativity, his mesmeric skill, trickery and guile unsettled the Reading fullbacks. His lighting quick pace and eagerness to run at the opposition (even in the dying moments of the game) reaped its reward. Bennett picked up a goal and an assist.
– Rodel Richards: Too short a cameo to comment on.


My man of the match: Reo Griffiths. Another game for the 17 year old striker and another hat-trick for him to add to his collection. Griffiths was unplayable, putting in the complete centre performance, all three of his goals were executed with great technique. The sheer power and movement of the youngster caused so many problems for the opposition. He was nonstop press, press, press. He maintained that for the whole game, the way he took his first two goals were top class. That’s now 24 goals for the season. I couldn’t be any bigger a fan, the RB Leipzig rumours worry me deeply.

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Clarke (Reynolds 46), Hinds, Bowden, Dinzeyi, Lyons-Foster, Markanday (P Maghoma 55), A Shashoua, Griffiths, Patterson (Richards 81), Bennett. Substitute (not used): Statham.


Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths- 23
Phoenix Patterson -8
Dilan Markanday- 5
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-2
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-3
Rodel Richards-10
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-2
TJ Eyoma-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-6
Reo Griffiths-8
J’neil Lloyd-Bennett-6
Rayan Clarke-2
Rodel Richards-1
Dilan Markanday-3
Oliver Skipp- 1
Tariq Hinds- 1
Paris Maghoma-2


Spurs under 18’s versus Reading: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Reading: (match preview)


After a triumphant couple of weeks our under 18’s return to league action on Saturday morning when they host Reading at the training centre. Still on a high after Impressive back to back victories over both Arsenal and Monaco in the last seven days. Parker’s side will be hoping to carry their form into this game against the struggling royals. A side who haven’t won on the road this season (in the league) David Dodds lads sit second from bottom in the league. And after a poor start to their league campaign, things got worse for his lads after they were expelled from the FA youth cup the other week for fielding an underage player. Whilst I’m expecting quite a bit of rotation for this one, I’m not for one minute expecting an easy game, especially if highly rated England youth international Danny Loader is involved. Earlier on in the season Parker’s lads traveled to Hogwood Park to face Reading in the reverse fixture, it was a miserable game. And despite his sides dominance a late goal cost them. I’m hoping for a slightly more enjoyable game to report on, on Saturday. COYS

Something I noticed from youth hawk was that they’ve listed our very own Moroyin Omolabi on the Reading team sheets recently. I’m pretty sure that that is incorrect, as Omolabi has been on crutches since November. I believe it may be his brother who has been turning out for the royals. http://youthhawk.co.uk/wiki/Reading_2-6_Arsenal_(2017-18_Under-18_Premier_League)

My predicted lineup: De Bie, Lock, Statham, Lyons-Foster, Okedina, Bowden, Patterson, Markanday, A.Shashoua, Bennett, Richards.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Hinds, P.Maghoma, Mukendi, Griffiths.

Doubtful: Charlie Freeman.

Injured: Moroyin Omolabi.

Previous meeting: Reading 1-0.

My score prediction: 5-1 Spurs.

One to watch: Royals midfielder and top scorer this term Ethan Coleman.

Spurs under 19’s 1-1 AS Monaco (3-1 after penalties): (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 1-1 AS Monaco (3-1 after penalties): (match report)


Our under 19’s progressed to the quarterfinals of the UEFA youth league in style on Wednesday afternoon with a dramatic victory over French side AS Monaco at Broadhall way. It was a thrilling game to attend, end to end and feisty it was a brilliant advertisement for youth football, due to it being broadcasted live on BT sport Spurs fans from across the country were able to watch Scott Parker’s side edge an extremely close tie on penalties. The scenes after Monaco missed their decisive last kick were absolutely wonderful, it was a day in which all of the players involved will remember for a long time to come. Not forgetting to mention that they’ll face Porto at home in the quarterfinals of the competition, sometime next month. Spurs got the game underway, Parker had fielded a very strong side with the surprise addition being Tashan Oakley-Boothe on the right hand side. Monaco who were playing in their traditional red and white strip, gave us an early scare. When Sylla burst into the left side of the Spurs box unimpeded. His effort from the byline was only stopped from squeezing in by a brilliant block from Lyons-Foster on the line. Brandon Austin dealt fairly comfortably with Antonucci’s effort a couple of minutes later as Monaco continued to impress, with their sharp attacking style of play. Parker’s side looked to get the ball into the Monaco half, some good trickery by Oakley-Boothe managing to win a dangerous free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Keanan Bennetts curler on the follow up flew just wide of Mifsud’s goal. Spurs found themselves with a similar opportunity a couple of minutes later after a Monaco player committed a cynical foul on Sterling.

This time Bennetts opted to whip in a delivery which was met by the rising Oliver Skipp, the ball eventually coming to Roles whose effort was blocked. The game was tight but not uneventful, Austin almost had the ball nicked off of him by Sylla in his own box, whilst Spurs had a bit of a scare after Roles committed a crunching sliding challenge (which for a moment I thought was a red card). The Finnish referee brought out his yellow card much to Roles’ disbelief. The end to end nature of the game made it an exciting one for the spectators. Only a matter of moments after Alioui’s header had went straight down the throat of Austin, Spurs were on the break and it almost resulted in a goal. Bennetts chose to go on a promising run down the left flank, his pin point delivery into the danger zone was met by Kazaiah Sterling. Sterling’s fine header forced an excellent stop out of the Monaco goalkeeper who managed to keep the scores level. Brandon Austin managed to make a smart reflex save to keep out Sylla’s powerful effort at the other end. Before almost being caught out by N’Gakoutou Yapende’s deceptive free kick a couple of minutes later. The fast tempo of the game continued, it was developing into an aggressive attacking game, a proper cup tie if you like. Jack Roles’ decent free kick curled just wide of Mifsud’s goal. Whilst the attack minded Jamie Reynolds had a pacy cross cleared to safety in the nick of time by a Monaco defender. It’s worth mentioning that both of the Spurs centre backs TJ Eyoma and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster had been playing superbly up until this point in the game.

It came as a blow to Parker’s side when they conceded to the French side on the stroke of halftime following Alioui’s strike. A deep cross was whipped into the Spurs box from out left, the ball was contested eagerly in the box by both sets of players but ultimately it came down to Alioui around 7 yards out from goal. He took it down first time rifling a low effort into the bottom corner of Austin’s goal, 0-1. An emphatic celebration followed. A slightly interesting observation I made from half time was the presence of Nigel Warburton in the terraces, Warburton was chatting away with the Monaco officials. The second half couldn’t have begun any better for Parker’s side who managed to draw level less than five minutes in. It was a goal of real beauty and class. Reynolds had managed to get to the loose ball first just guiding it into the feet of Bennetts down the left wing. The winger managed to turn his man before working his way past another defender in the box to shift the ball onto his right foot, and curl a wonderful finish across goal and into the far corner of Mifsud’s net, 1-1. No sooner had Spurs stopped celebrating when Monaco caught us on the break straight after the restart, Badiashile Mukinayi managing to feed the ball through to Antonucci down the right flank. The Belgian burst forward before smashing the ball on to the upright leaving Austin with no chance to react. N’Gakoutou Yapende’s sliced cross caused Austin trouble. And the Monaco attack wasn’t showing any signs of lowering its tempo, Austin having to be alert to clear Antonucci’s cross a minute or so afterwards.

A cynical foul on Bennetts stopped a promising counter attack for Spurs and managed to cause a bit of a square up between a Monaco player and Maghoma in the process. With so little to separate the two sides it was always going to come down to who netted the next goal. Substitute Samuel Shashoua soon made an impact on the game following his introduction. After he laid a nice ball off to Maghoma down the right, the 16 year olds fine strike being blocked by Antognelli. Monaco still looked the more threatening side and they ought to have done better when a golden chance came their way. Spurs has been caught out down the left hand side, Antonucci managing to square the ball to Badiashile Mukinayi in the box. The defender was in space and looked destined to find the back of the net, but much to the fans relief he fluffed his chance. And his side footed effort flashed inches wide of Austin’s right hand post. It had developed into the perfect attacking game both sides were open, desperate to avoid it going all the way to penalties. A player who had grown into the game a lot more in the second half was Maghoma, and after winning the ball back in the centre of the pitch, the midfielder created a chance of his own making. Surging forward towards the penalty area he curled an effort at goal, which was tipped behind for a corner kick by Mifsud. The introduction of Samuel Shashoua to the field had given Spurs a new attacking outlet and with his Eriksen like vision it didn’t take long before he started to influence proceedings. One such example came about after he intelligently played through Hinds down the right channel, the fullback managing to whip a cross into the danger zone. Which was met by Kazaiah Sterling whose first time effort smashed off of Mifsud’s crossbar, it deserved a goal!

It was a frantic end to the game, Antonucci saw his effort squirm narrowly wide before going close again a minute later. This time courtesy of a real curler of an effort which bent just wide of Austin’s near post. The excellent Lyons-Foster managed to get a vital touch to the ball to prevent Alioui from having clear passage through to goal. The Monaco bombardment continued when Silva’s clean strike was stopped magnificently by Austin. Spurs went straight down the other end, some excellent hold up play by Sterling resulted in the Spurs man turning before curling an effort towards the postage stamp of Mifsud’s goal, unfortunately the keeper matched Sterling’s effort with a top class save. And he was also alert to substitute Duncan’s effort a couple of seconds later to make another good stop. I dread to think how the game would have ended were it not for the superb defending of the Tottenham centre halves. The first decisive piece of defending was made by Eyoma who managed to keep up with Alioui who was through on goal, a vital touch from the Spurs man managed to unsettle the Frenchman a bit and his resulting effort was palmed to safety by Austin. The second piece of defending was even better, Lyons-Foster excellent last ditch challenge to stop Alioui in the penalty area managed to take the game to penalty kicks. A thrilling but ultimately nervy end to the game pursued the daunting task of penalty kicks would decided which team would be making it into the quarter finals.

Samuel Shashoua of Spurs took the first penalty of the shoot out right in front of the Austin stand. His curling low effort unluckily coming off the bottom of the post. Alioui responded by scoring for the visitors. Sterling converted spurs’ next spot kick and the decisive moment in the shoot out for Parker’s side came straight after. When Bongiovanni’s effort hit the crossbar giving Spurs a real chance of progressing to the next round. The next penalty kick was cooly converted by Maghoma before Austin’s diving save prevented Antonucci from drawing level. And after Oliver Skipp made it 3-1 the pressure was on the shoulders of Sylla who had to score for Monaco. The pressure got to the Monaco youngster whose powerful effort came crashing off the cross bar, as the Spurs players all went sprinting over to Austin, rejoicing and hugging one another. It was sheer passion and delight and rightfully so! COYS


Player reviews: – Brandon Austin: Excellent all round performance, was the hero of the game. Made 8 saves some of which were top draw and also made the difference in the shoot out. Saving Antonucci’s effort.
– Tariq Hinds: Good strong performance played it safe and didn’t take any chances going forward.
– Jamie Reynolds: Impressive performance was solid at the back and balanced it well with his attacking style of play, though his lack of pace did cause a couple of issues. Got the assist for Bennetts goal.
– Oliver Skipp: Dominant and assured he kept things simple but it was his relentless pressing and sheer power in those central areas that impressed me most.
– TJ Eyoma: Top performance from the skipper. Eyoma was everywhere across the backline. He defended with real quality not only in the challenges he made but also in his positioning which I thought was superb. Made countless blocks and interceptions in the final third, Eyoma also worked really well with fellow centre half Lyons-Foster. Both players complimented each other with there style of play.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: My motm see below.
– Tashan Oakley-Boothe: I was a little surprised to see him feature outwide considering as he is mainly a central midfielder. Did a decent job on occasions, showed some nice silky skills. But overall I felt he was pretty ineffectual down the right channel and he struggled to really make his mark on the game.
– Paris Maghoma: A good performance from the powerful midfielder, whilst he may not have had the same impact on the game as he did against Arsenal u18’s the previous weekend. Maghoma still went on those surging runs through the middle combined with his clever twists and turns. A player of real passion his steel and aggression in the midfield helped us out. He was also one of the few players who wasn’t afraid to test the keeper from range. It’s worth noting that he was the youngest player on the park by quite a distance! He was so calm in despatching his spot kick.
– Kazaiah Sterling: High tempo performance from the centre forward who gave an impressive showing against Monaco. Excellent in his hold play and positioning, Sterling came close to getting on the scoresheet on a number of occasions.
– Jack Roles: Whilst he didn’t make a huge impact in the final third Roles made up for this with his excellent work rate across the midfield.
– Keanan Bennetts: Another excellent attacking performance from Bennetts down that left hand side. The scorer of an absolute worldie, Bennetts quick feet and thinking gave us a great outlet going forward, his surging runs and crossing were impressive as always.
– Samuel Shashoua: Following his introduction in the second half, Shashoua’s Eriksen like creativity changed the dimensions of the game for Spurs, his razor sharp vision and intelligent little passes and off the ball movements really improved the way we played as a team. Great to see him back at full fitness!
– Dylan Duncan: Decent albeit it a very short cameo.


My man of the match: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. Before I talk about his performance I’d like to recall a really classy thing that the young centre half did during the penalty shoot out. After Samuel Shashoua missed his penalty kick he was visibly distraught making the long walk back to the centre circle with his head in his hands. Lyons-Foster left the other Spurs players and went over to console Shashoua, something I thought was really good of the young man. Regarding his performance it was another absolute beauty, the way he defends. The way he reads the game and the way he reacts to situations is just phenomenal. I can recall many last ditch challenges, blocks and interceptions that he made during the Monaco game which were of such importance, I even observed his off the ball positioning. I’m currently writing a piece on Lyons-Foster and will have it published some time next week.


Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Reynolds, Skipp, Eyoma (c), Lyons-Foster, Oakley-Boothe (Duncan 87), P Maghoma, Sterling, Roles (S Shashoua 67), Bennetts.

Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Brown, Griffiths, Marsh, Tanganga.

Monaco: Mifsud (c), N’Gakoutou-Yapende, Silva, Serrano, Badiashile Mukinayi, Diallo, Zerkane (Bongiovanni 68), Antognelli (Thuram Ulien 85), Alioui, Antonucci, Sylla.

Substitutes (not used): Hagege, Massengo, Utkus, Iglio, Abanda Mfomo.

Goals: Spurs – Bennetts 50; Monaco – Alioui 45.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Roles 15; Monaco – Serrano 13, Antognelli 64.

Referee: Leslie Irvine.

Spurs – S Shashoua – hit post
Monaco – Alioui – scores
Spurs – Sterling – scores
Monaco – Bongiovanni – hit bar
Spurs – P Maghoma – scores
Monaco – Antonucci – saved
Spurs – Skipp – scores
Monaco – Sylla – hit bar


Statistics: Under 19’s: Goals: Edwards-4

Assists: Edwards-5

Spurs under 19’s versus AS Monaco: (match preview)

Spurs under 19’s versus AS Monaco: (match preview)


Scott Parker’s side return to European action tomorrow when his under 19 side host French club AS Monaco at Broadhall Way, in the last 16 of this seasons UEFA youth league. It’s a massive tie for our academy lads, of whom topped a group containing both Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund to reach this stage of the world renowned competition. And in the Ligue 1 club we come up against familiar opposition having faced Monaco twice in the group stages of last seasons competition, we lost both of those games. However, this Monaco side will look quite different and won’t contain the talented Irvin Cardona who is currently on loan with Belgian club Cercle Brugge, and as of my last check it would seem that he is doing a fine job over there. ‘The red and whites’ progression to the last 16 of the competition has been a far from easy ride. Managing to pick up 10 points from there six group games, Monaco finished second in a group containing both Porto and Red Bull Leipzig. The French club then had to beat Norwegian side Molde (on penalties) to ultimately get to this stage. I don’t know an awful lot about their players, I do know however that Nabil Alioui and Jordan Mboula are ones to watch out for. The winners of tomorrows important tie will face either Porto or Red Bull Salzburg in the quarters. I will be reporting on tomorrows game from Stevenage but for those unable to attend, you can watch the game live on BT sport (kick off: 12 45pm). I am expecting a very strong Spurs side to feature. COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Hinds, Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Brown, Marsh, Skipp, Griffiths, Roles, Bennetts, Sterling.

Subs from: Austin, Dinzeyi, Reynolds, P.Maghoma, Bowden, Richards, S.Shashoua.

Team news: Goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman replaced Marcus Edwards (on loan at Norwich) on the list of eligible players and will be available for selection tomorrow.

Doubtful: Japhet Tanganga.

Injured: Moroyin Omolabi, Nick Tsaroulla and Charlie Freeman.

Previous meetings: Monaco 2-1, Monaco 3-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-2.

One to watch: French striker Nabil Alioui, who has 4 goals from 4 games in this seasons tournament.

Slightly worrying news for fans of 17 year old striker Reo Griffiths, make of it what you want: http://www.espnfc.com/tottenham-hotspur/story/3389830/rb-leipzig-on-the-trail-of-tottenham-hotspur-youngster-reo-griffiths-sources

My interview with former Spurs academy player Mark Janney:

My interview with former Spurs academy player Mark Janney:


Mark Janney came through the youth ranks at Spurs in the mid 1990’s, the midfielder went on to enjoy a successful career in the game. Playing for the likes of Brentford, Dagenham and Redbridge and A.F.C. Hornchurch. Mark kindly agree to doing an interview with myself as he recalls some of his memories from being at Spurs.

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

Mark: Training in the ball court at White Hart Lane on a Monday night after school. I was 14 and playing in a trial game for Colchester, there was a Spurs scout there who approached me after the game and asked me to come training.

What was your time at Spurs like on the whole?

Mark: Absolutely fantastic, especially the two years in the youth team. We had a great set of lads and not a bad side either! We won the South East Counties Division One in my first year and got to the FA Youth Cup Final, losing to Man Utd on penalties at Old Trafford. Think there was about 30,000 people there which was unbelievable.

Who was your footballing inspiration/hero? Mark: John Barnes and Ryan Giggs.

Who were your greatest influences at the club?

Mark: Youth team managers Pat Holland and Bob Arber plus Teddy Sheringham. He was one of the best around and always had time for the youngsters, unlike a few lot less talented players that I won’t name!

Were there any other players at the club or outside, who you’d model your game around?

Mark:As mentioned earlier Giggsy, loved how direct he was and I tried to be the same. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite as good as him though, ha!

What was the toughest thing about being a young up and coming player during that time?

Mark: The amount of pros at the club, during my one year as a professional I could go a month without a game as the reserve team was filled by non playing first teamers and other senior pros.

Were there any youth players at Spurs who you were particularly close to and are you still in touch with any of your former team mates?

Mark: Paul Mcveigh was my room mate on any trips we had and I used to travel in with Mark Gower. I still see Mark now and is a good friend. We play in a six a side team together too.

What was your greatest memory from your time at the lilywhites?

Mark: Walking round the pitch at half time of a first team match after winning the league. Even though I’m a West Ham fan it was pretty special to get an ovation off 35,000 people!

Could you talk me through your career after you left Spurs?

Mark: I had a pretty successful eight years or so at Dagenham and Redbridge and then played for Thurrock and AFC Hornchurch before a ruptured hamstring ended my career when I was 32

What was the pinnacle of your footballing career?

Mark: Winning an England C cap and three FA Cup runs with Dagenham, we reached the third round twice and the fourth once in three consecutive years. I also scored with my very first touch in league football when I went on loan to Brentford from Spurs. Don’t think many players have done that!

Who was the greatest player that you ever played alongside?

Mark: Teddy in a reserve game, pure class. And seeing Jurgen Klinsmann train was pretty special too.

What would your advice be to the current Spurs academy players, as they look to make their way up the footballing pyramid?

Mark: When training has finished, stay out and work on your game. In my day the culture was train, get your jobs done and get home. If I could do it again I’d be out for at least an hour every day doing extra, give yourself the best chance to make it as there’s no better job trust me.


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

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


Our under 18’s took on Arsenal at the training centre on Saturday morning in the semi-finals of the inaugural under 18 premier league cup. After suffering a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the FA youth cup in midweek, I always had the feeling that Scott Parker’s side would be up for the game against the gunners. And I was right, Spurs came out on top from a thrilling and fiercely contested derby which was played on a glorious sunny morning at Hotspur Way. A game consisting of high quality attacking football, it was always going to be a thriller. After an end to end first half which saw Spurs draw level after conceding so early on, Parker’s side managed to weather an early Arsenal storm. The unpredictably of the game made it such a thrilling affair, there were large periods in the game where it looked like Arsenal would coast to victory. But the resilience and creativity of Parker’s side proved to be the game changer, we were the far more intelligent side and were also the far more clinical in front of goal. A fantastic 4-1 win for the young lilywhites has booked their place in the final of the competition (dates and rules are so far unclear) the bad news is that it will be against Chelsea. There were a couple of changes for the game, notably the involvement of Oliver Skipp at centre half. It was a fast start to the game, Arsenal looked the sharpest in the opening couple of minutes and after some good passing the gunners took the lead with just three minutes on the clock. It was an incisive attacking move from the away team, former Spur Jordan McEneff brought the ball forwards towards the edge of the penalty area. Before threading a lovely pass through to Fol Balogun, the forward showed good feet before dinking the ball past De Bie to open the scoring, 0-1.

Spurs looked to respond and Paris Maghoma managed to win a free kick in a dangerous area for Spurs soon afterwards, but the midfielders effort went straight into the Arsenal wall. After the early pressure applied by Arsenal, Spurs were now enjoying a bright spell and Parker’s lads almost drew level. When Paris Maghoma volleyed Phoenix Patterson’s cross a couple of inches over Virginia’s crossbar. Spurs were dominating the central areas, moving the ball around with a real zip and attacking intent. Maghoma tried another testing effort from range which was tipped over by the Arsenal goalkeeper. And it was from the resulting corner kick that Spurs drew level. Jamie Reynolds corner kick managed to bounce all the way to Maghoma in the centre of the penalty area, his header was clawed away by Virginia but the 16 year old made no mistakes on the follow up as he calmly tapped the ball home, 1-1. Played at such a fast pace this game was never going to have any quiet spells, and soon after the restart we almost gifted Arsenal the lead once more. It would have been a really silly goal to concede, Jonathan De Bie in the Spurs goal was caught out after playing around with the ball at his feet. Put under pressure by Arsenal striker Fol Balogun De Bie tried to clear the ball. But in a panic the ball hit the back of Balogun and went just over the Belgians goal to spare his blushes. This was a real thriller of a tie, end to end and with little Indications as to which way it would go.

Reo Griffiths did really well to steer wide a dangerous Arsenal free kick, whilst Jordan McEneff managed to connect well with Zak Swanson’s delivery. But the Irishman’s scruffy effort squirmed just wide of the Spurs goal. The efforts kept on coming at the Spurs goal, defender Matthew Smith forced a save albeit it a comfortable one out of De Bie after an ambitious shot from range. Some good work from the prominent McEneff resulted in him winning the ball in the centre of the park before feeding the ball through to Balogun, who managed to work the ball around a couple of Arsenal defenders before forcing a fine save out of De Bie from close range. After being under the cosh for quite a while Spurs managed to get back on the offensive, the lively Bennett forced a save out of Virginia after a nice run and cut inside. The frantic end to the half continued, substitute Bukayo Saka’s effort stung the palms of De Bie. Before producing another good save moments later to stop the same man again. The second half had barely begun when the gunners almost retook the lead. Straight from the restart that man again Saka, provided the danger. His powerful effort which was heading towards the far corner of De Bie’s goal was superbly blocked at the last moment by Skipp, Swanson then whipped a dangerous ball across the face of the goal as the away team continued to be the better side. That’s why it came as a bit of surprise to me when we took the lead on 51 minutes.

It was a really smart move from Parker’s side, some excellent work from the potent Bennett down the left hand side, saw the pacy winger work the ball down towards the byline. Before sending in a lovely cross towards Griffiths inside the danger zone, the Spurs striker connected with his cross perfectly. Placing a lovely dipping header past the helpless Virginia and into the top left hand corner of the goal, Griffiths ran towards the nearest corner flag joined by his team mates. They performed there frequent celebration, pointing and shouting “no time” (I’m still trying to work out what it means!). Another brilliantly worked moved from the lilywhites took place a couple of minutes later. A sublime flick on by Richards set Hinds through down the right hand side, the fullbacks cross came to Patterson inside the six yard box, but he got his effort all wrong and totally fluffed the chance. The impressive Saka almost drew level in what was a becoming a crazy tie, the wingers effort cannoned off of De Bie’s crossbar after some excellent foot work by the Arsenal youngster to outwit Reynolds down the right flank. A cynical foul by Swanson to stop the advancing Bennett then denied a dangerous Spurs counter attack. The resulting free kick was cleverly curled towards the bottom corner by Patterson, forcing Virginia into palming it away. The intricate and slick attacking football from Parker’s team was so easy on the eye and whilst it continued to be a fairly even tie, we looked far more dangerous and productive in the final third of the pitch.

This dominant attacking spell from the lilywhites continued as Paris Maghoma lashed an effort wide from distance. But danger was never far away, and after a lunging challenge by Skipp from just outside the penalty area we were left defending for our lives. Fortunately for us Saka’s low free effort from the resulting free kick was saved low down by the Spurs goalkeeper. A clever tactical change followed as Parker introduced the high pressing and energetic Shashoua to the scene in place of Patterson in the cam role. The game was breathless, like a game of pinball it was end to end, from counter attack to counter attack. A vital block from the superb Lyons-Foster kept out a dangerous effort at the Spurs goal before De Bie then had to make an important reflex save to stop Balogun’s attempt at goal. Something I remember well from last seasons home game against the gunners was the erratic kicking of their goalkeeper Virginia. And the memories came flooding back after the 18 year olds goal kick was launched straight into the back of the substitute Shashoua. Both players fiercely contested the loose ball inside the penalty area but the Arsenal keeper managed to fight of the eager Spurs man, much to his relief. Arsenal almost found an equaliser after Swanson picked out Balogun with a pin point delivery into the Spurs box. The Arsenal striker sliced the ball on to the roof of De Bie’s goal. As a fan of football you just didn’t want this game to end it had everything. The enigmatic Reo Griffiths urged his team mates not to lose the tie as Arsenal continued to up there tempo.

The newly introduced Dilan Markanday made an almost instantaneous impact after coming onto the pitch. The tricky forward managed to work the ball passed Thompson down the right hand side, his excellent balance and low centre of gravity saw him travel to the byline before squaring the ball across goal, to Griffiths who cooly tapped home to put the game to bed for Spurs with nine minutes remaining, 3-1. De Bie managed to deal with substitute Alfie Matthews effort with relative ease as Spurs looked to see out the final minutes of the game. Parker’s side were in full control they were assured and confident as they continued to get the ball forwards towards the likes of Bennett and Griffiths in the final third. Dead ball specialist Paris Maghoma curled just over from a free kick. Things managed to get even better for Parker’s side who in the dying moments of stoppage time managed to make it 4-1. After some great initial work from Paris Maghoma to carry the ball forwards, the ball came to Markanday down the right hand side.

The forward managed to cut inside onto his left before having an effort blocked by an Arsenal defender. The loose ball was picked up by Griffiths inside the penalty area, the Spurs striker managed to turn his man before powering a low effort beyond Virginia to secure his hat trick. An excellent day for Spurs who will now face Chelsea in the final of the competition, the information regarding that final will be announced in due course. It was probably the most thrilling game of football I’ve seen this season it was an absolute thriller of a tie and one that the Spurs players won’t forget in a hurry. Whilst it finished 4-1 after an excellent second half performance by Spurs, the pattern of the game and the chances created pointed more towards a 4-3 victory for the lilywhites. Either way I’m not going to argue. COYS

Player reviews: -Jonathan De Bie: A top performance from Spurs’ goalkeeper who was incredibly busy throughout the tie. Must have made around 13-15 saves, some of which were top quality.
– Tariq Hinds: Very solid performance stayed deep and put in a fine defensive display.
– Jamie Reynolds: Had a very good first half, particularly whilst going forward, his curling corner on 18 minutes managed to set up Maghoma for the opener. Reynolds was also decent at defending but he did have a tough second half up against the electric Saka who beat him for pace and skill on numerous occasions.
– Jamie Bowden: Whilst many will applaud the attacking flare of those in the final third it’s easy to forget about those players who do the bread and butter side of the game. Playing in the holding midfield role, Bowden had a big influence on the game, he was tidy and involved in play. Skilful and intelligent, managing to wriggle his way out of tricky situations. But most importantly of all he was decisive and had a no nonsense approach to the tie, making countless interceptions. I was also impressed with his off the ball movement. A very classy performance.
– Oliver Skipp: Due to the importance of the tie, u23 starlet Oliver Skipp dropped down for this game, playing at centre half for a change. And once again he was immense, he defended like a seasoned pro. His positioning and decision making were of the highest order, and he certainly wasn’t afraid to get stuck in. Skipp made many crunching challenges, he was aggressive and dominant in the air.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: I couldn’t be a bigger fan of the centre half if I tried, he has everything a defender needs. And his performance against the gunners on Saturday was testament to the great and rather unique ability that he has. He formed an excellent defensive partnership with Skipp, his immaculate reading of the game, athleticism and key challenges were just some of the qualities that he showcased, from yet another terrific performance at the back.
– Rodel Richards: Enjoyed a decent game, worked hard as usual. Went on some tricky runs down the right and had plenty of flare about his game.
– Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below.
– Reo Griffiths: The hat-trick hero was superb as you might have gathered, Griffiths was a real handful for the Arsenal defence, his off the ball work was almost as good as his finishing and positioning. Made key runs and was clinical in front of goal. Took all three of his goals with great composure, the header for the second was top draw.
– Phoenix Patterson: Decent performance in the cam role, quiet for periods of the game. Patterson was good in tight spaces, created a couple of magical moments.
– J’neill Bennett: The 16 year old was electric down the left wing,his searing pace and excellent ball control in tight spaces. Saw him work his way round the Arsenal defence. He was unstoppable on occasions, he mixed things up with some lung bursting sprints and intelligent cutting in on to his left. Produced a wonderful assist to set up Griffiths for the second.
– Armando Shashoua: Really good performance from the substitute, Shashoua was aggressive and involved. Put the Arsenal players under pressure hounding them with his high pressing and eagerness to get back and defend, sheer passion. Also showed great skill on occasions, one such moment was after a long De Bie goal kick. With a tall Arsenal defender breathing down his neck, the midfielder calmly took the ball down like Maradona with the ball glued to his boot, he calmly wriggled away and passed to a team mate.
– Dilan Markanday: Exciting cameo, caused the Arsenal defenders a lot of trouble. With his low centre of gravity and mesmeric skill, Markanday did excellently to set up Griffiths for our third of the game.


My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. Our most influential player on the day, the powerful central midfielder was so key to the way we played. Yes he was tenacious and tidy in the central areas, but his influence on the game came from those trademark driving runs of which he embarked on so regularly. His silky skills and sharp turn of pace outdone the Arsenal midfield on many occasions, his ability to pick out a nice pass and to test the keeper from distance also giving his performance a well rounded edge. Also, managed to score the leveller which was his third of the campaign. Maghoma is one of those players who get the fans excited every time he is on the ball.


Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Bowden, Skipp, Lyons-Foster, Richards (Markanday 75), P Maghoma, Griffiths, Patterson (A Shashoua 66), Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Statham.


Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths- 20
Phoenix Patterson -8
Dilan Markanday- 5
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-2
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-3
Rodel Richards-10
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
TJ Eyoma-1

  1. Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
    Jamie Bowden-1
    Matt Lock- 2
    Jeremie Mukendi-2
    Jamie Reynolds-4
    Reo Griffiths-8
    J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-5
    Rayan Clarke-2
    Rodel Richards-1
    Dilan Markanday-2
    Oliver Skipp- 1
    Tariq Hinds- 1
    Paris Maghoma-2

Spurs under 18’s versus Arsenal: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Arsenal: (match preview)


Scott Parker’s side will play arch rivals Arsenal on Saturday morning (kick off at 11am) when the two teams battle it out for a place in the final of this premier league under 18 cup. Fresh from there unsurprising exit from the FA youth cup in midweek to Chelsea, Parker’s side now see themselves facing an Arsenal side of similar ilk to the youth cup holders. It’s set to be a thrilling semi-final, both sides will be looking to field their strongest possible 11. And it ought to provide a great experience for both sets of players. I’m looking forward to reporting on this one, and I’m also looking forward to seeing some of Arsenal’s immensely talented youngsters. The likes of Trae Coyle, Xavier Amaechi, Emile Smith-Rowe and Jordan McEneff are all players who I’ve heard great things about. Parker will likely field u23 players TJ Eyoma and Oliver Skipp for the north London Derby, both were absent from the squad that traveled to Swansea for the u23 game last night. A game in which Spurs drew 2-2 thanks to a brace from Kazaiah Sterling. Parkers side met the gunners earlier on in the season, but fielded a very young side on that occasion and ultimately lost the game 6-0. Tomorrow will be a very different occasion and I’m hoping that we can beat Arsenal for the second time in a week! COYS

My predicted lineup: De Bie(c), Hinds, Lyons-Foster, Eyoma, Reynolds, Skipp, Bowden, Richards, Markanday, Bennett, Griffiths.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Statham, A.Shashoua, Mukendi, P.Maghoma.

Doubtful: Moroyin Omolabi.

My score prediction: Spurs 5-4 Arsenal.

One to watch: Irish striker Jordan McEneff may be a name that rings a few bells for Spurs youth watchers. Well, the 17 year olds brother Aaron McEneff (now of Derry City) played for our u18’s and u21’s a couple of seasons back, and was once likened to a young Roy Keane by John McDermott. And you’ll be surprised to know that his brother was also a part of the Academy up until u14 level (I believe). Since making the switch to the other side of North London McEneff has missed the majority of this season through injury so far, but he has been getting a bit of game time recently. And the highly skilful striker will pose a real threat in front of goal if involved.