Spurs versus Stoke City: (match preview)

Spurs versus Stoke City: (match preview)

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Spurs’ 3-0 win over APOEL in midweek may have been no more than a dead rubber, but the win and performance alike will give Pochettino’s side confidence going into their league match with Stoke on Saturday afternoon. Without a win in their last 6 league games, the importance of ending that record tomorrow is huge, with the gap between us and the top four widening. Mark Hughes’ team are an interesting one, they play some good attacking football and have some brilliant players. But there form has been erratic this campaign and have only managed four league victories. The creativity will come from Swiss international Shaqiri, whilst the height of former Spurs man Peter Crouch and Choupo-Moting up top, will be a handful for our defence. Really looking forward to this game! COYS

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Lloris(c), Trippier, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies, Dembele, Eriksen, Son, Dele, Kane.

Subs from: Vorm, Aurier, Foyth, Winks, Sissoko, Nkoudou, Llorente.

Absent: Wanyama, Alderweireld, Sanchez.

My score prediction: 4-1 to Spurs!

One to watch: Stokes creative diamond Xherdan Shaqiri has been in fine form this season, being directly involved in 9 of the potters premier league goals.

 

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Spurs 3-0 APOEL Nicosia. A Job well done!: (My post match thoughts)

Spurs 3-0 APOEL Nicosia. A Job well done!: (My post match thoughts)

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In our final champions league group game of the campaign, there was on paper little that Pochettino’s side had to gain, having already secured top spot in the group. Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia were the visitors at Wembley, with over 6,000 fans supporting them it created a nice atmosphere inside the national stadium. In all truth it wasn’t the most memorable game, nor did it see a lot of fast tempo football. None of that mattered, as Spurs took a hold of the game early on dominating possession and managing 11 shots on goal to APOEL’s 0. After going close on a couple of occasions inside the opening stages of the game, a much rotated Spurs side took a deserved lead when Fernando Llorente netted his first goal for Spurs on 20 minutes. Aurier’s fine crossed was received inside the box by Llorente, who with his back to goal managed to turn his man and slot inside Perez’s goal much to the delight of the Spurs faithful. Pochettino’s sides dominance on the game didn’t stop, Son soon made it 2-0 with a sumptuous finish on the edge of the penalty area. Whilst the hosts gave little to threaten a comeback, the defensive pairing of Sanchez and Foyth were for the most part spectators. The second half was far less entertaining, Spurs still controlled the game but didn’t create as many chances. Aurier went close soon after the restart, whilst Spurs played the possession game.

Capping things off with a third ten minutes from time when the lively Nkoudou netted his first for the club courtesy of a slight deflection from an APOEL defender. And in a night of firsts, young Kazaiah Sterling came off of the bench to make his first appearance for Spurs after waiting by the sidelines for what seemed like an eternity, it was a great moment to see! There were few other majors talking points from the game, a much rotated Spurs team got the job done with a fine performance and a much needed morale boost of a win. Juan Foyth looked nice and composed in defence, whilst Rose put in a terrific display at left back. Nkoudou had one of his best games in a Spurs shirt, carrying the ball extremely well down the left flank. But the plaudits for me, go to Fernando Llorente and Son. Llorente chipping in with a goal and assist whilst, Son provided the creativity for most of our attacking moves and also scored a lovely goal. Who do we want in the last 16 draw which takes place on Monday? Well that’s down to personal opinion, though I’d quite like us to get Porto. Attention turns to Saturday now with a crucial league game at home to Stoke, let’s hope the lads can carry the momentum into that game! COYS

 

Statistics 2017/18:

Senior: goal scorers: Alli-6
Davies-2
Kane-16
Eriksen-4
Son-6
Sissoko-2
Llorente-1
Nkoudou-1

Assists Eriksen-4
Trippier-7
Davies-2
Kane-4
Alli-5
Alderweireld-1
Sissoko-1
Son-2
Dier-1
Lamela-1
Llorente-1

 

Spurs u19’s go marching into the last 16 of the UEFA youth league in style, with 4-1 home win over APOEL:

Spurs u19’s go marching into the last 16 of the UEFA youth league in style, with 4-1 home win over APOEL:

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“It was a good, professional performance. APOEL were a team we lost to at their place so we didn’t underestimate them. Although they’ve not had great results in the group, our main focus was to get a result, we knew it was in our hands to win and confirm top of the group and I thought the lads did that very well. In the second half, we had a little bit of a scare when they scored at 3-1 and gave it a bit of a push, but the lads saw out the game and deserved the win. I never felt at any point that we weren’t in control but I suppose the goal was a massive confidence boost for them and you never know, after that, the next goal is crucial but I still felt we controlled the game and in the end showed other bits of quality which pulled us away.”(Scott Parker)

Our under 19’s cruised in to the last 16 of the UEFA youth league with a comprehensive 4-1 victory over APOEL Nicosia at Hotspur Way, yesterday. Needing a win to cement top spot, which would see them avoid a tricky play off draw, Parker’s side went for the win against a team who had already beaten them this campaign. Courtesy of goals from Reo Griffiths, Marcus Edwards, Japhet Tanganga and substitute Rodel Richards saw Spurs overcome the Cypriot side whose goal came from Adoni. Though I wasn’t able to attend the game, it sounds like it was another fluid attacking display from Spurs with a panache about their game. Something which has been so prevalent throughout this campaign, in total contrast to last seasons disappointing one. It’s been a fantastic feat to top a group which included some top class youth teams. Furthermore, Parker’s side played some wonderful football full of confidence and style, they expressed themselves really well and have reaped their rewards with a place in the last 16. Spurs won’t find out who they have drawn in the last 16 until February, with the play off round still to be played. We could draw anyone from PSG to Inter Milan. My hope is that we draw the world renowned Ajax, who we beat in the nextgen series a couple of seasons back. Crucially the game will only be a one legged affair, and Spurs will be the home team. COYS

Spurs: Austin, Eyoma, Bennetts, Skipp (Bowden 82), Tanganga, Marsh, S Shashoua, Roles, Griffiths (Richards 73), Edwards (c), P Maghoma (Reynolds 61). Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Patterson, Hinds, A Shashoua.

APOEL: Paraskevas, Kouppis, Constantinos, Stylianides, Zacharias (c), Neophytos, Sokratous (Okkaridis 46), Artemiou, Grubac, Naoum (Polikarpou 46), Andreou (Charalambous 81). Substitutes (not used): Priniotaki, Papdopoulos, Papoutsos, Veletinas.

Goals: Spurs – Griffiths 12, Edwards 29, Tanganga 43, Richards 80; APOEL – Adoni 61.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Richards 89; APOEL – Kouppis 59.

Referee: Erik Lambrechts.

Attendance: 175.

Statistics: Under 19’s: Goals: Edwards-4
Bennetts-1
Sterling-3
Roles-1
Tanganga-2
S.Shashoua-1
Brown-1
Griffiths-1
Richards-1

Assists: Edwards-5
Tanganga-1
S.Shashoua-4
Sterling-1
Roles-2
Bennetts-1

Luke Amos and Kazaiah Sterling: Some insight on the two Academy starlets braced for their Spurs debuts this evening:

Luke Amos and Kazaiah Sterling: Some insight on the two Academy starlets braced for their Spurs debuts this evening:

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There was a lot of talk about which Spurs youngsters would be included in our final champions league group game at home to APOEL on Wednesday evening. I myself went on about it in some detail in my preview of the game, predicting (as well as hoping) that the likes of S.Shashoua, Edwards and Sterling would all be amongst the match day squad, for a game which from Tottenham’s perspective they can not benefit from, having already secured top spot. It turns out that two Academy starlets will be part of this evenings squad as confirmed by Pochettino at yesterday’s press conference, tenacious midfielder Luke Amos (20) and promising striker Kazaiah Sterling (19) are both braced for their first appearance for the lilywhites. Even though it’s just the two players included by Pochettino and co, I’m absolutely delighted for the pair, who I have watched progress and develop for many years at youth level, below is some of my thoughts on the two players and some insight into their styles of play and traits.

Luke Amos: Now 20 years of age, Hertfordshire born midfielder Luke Amos looks set to make play his first competitive game in a Spurs shirt. The midfielder who joined our Academy set up from Ware youth in 2006, has risen through the ranks at Hotspur Way winning many plaudits along the way. An integral part of our talented FA youth cup team of 2014/15, Amos has also appeared on two occasions for the England under 18’s team and has gone on to become a key member of the development side. A tenacious defensive midfielder by trade, Amos enjoyed a successful loan spell at league one side Southend during the second part of last season. impressing manager Phil Brown and Southend fans alike. In my many match reports of Spurs development squad games, you’ll know from my individual player reviews that I’ll often describe Amos’ performance, as incredibly tidy/efficient, or that he broke up play really well and dominated the midfield. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen the youngster have a bad game, he is one of the most consistent and hard working Academy performers and that will be something that Pochettino will have noted from his time at the club. Though a versatile player, Amos mainly operates as a holding midfielder, a little like former Spurs man Lesniak in many respects. Amos is an anchor man a vital clog in a Spurs side that loves to attack and go forward. The midfielder covers a ridiculous amount of ground, presses the opposition well and isn’t flashy in his play. He keeps it simple with short passes and sharp incisive movement. He is tough tackling and determined, he isn’t the kind of player that’s going to play a defence splitting pass or one that will overplay situations with a sparkling piece of skill. He is more a player in the Wanyama mould, a player who does his defensive duties impeccably so that others can do the attacking sides of the game.

I remember Spurs legend Cliff Jones was left mighty impressed after seeing Amos play in PL2 game last season. Amos has impressed in the numerous senior friendlies he has been involved in, and with his terrific attitude and determination I’m sure that he’ll impress again tonight, if called upon.

Kazaiah Sterling: After bursting on to the scene as a schoolboy back in the spring of 2015 in the FA Youth Cup, former Leyton Orient youngster Kazaiah Sterling has been touted as a hot prospect by many Spurs fans and coaches alike. A talented young striker who has represented England at youth level, Sterling is a powerful and pacy centre forward who possesses a terrific work rate and desire to make promising runs in between the defenders. He is always on the move something that Pochettino will like a lot, but what I like most about young Sterling is his clinical ability in front of goal. He likes to finish with a hard and low effort he hits them early (like Keane) he is sharp of his mark and a real threat in the air. He shows great awareness and is a player who possesses a great goal scoring record at youth level. This season his tally for goals scored stands at 10, whilst he has also chipped in with 2 assists. His cameo for the season side in Hong Kong last season saw him net his first goal for Spurs! I was already planning on writing a much longer piece on the young striker and I will do that soon, I wish both our lads the very best of luck for this evening. COYS

 

Spurs versus APOEL Nicosia: (match preview)

Spurs versus APOEL Nicosia: (match preview)

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Having already secured top spot of in our group from what has been an exceptional UEFA Champions league campaign for Spurs, there final group game at home to APOEL who are still fighting for third place and a spot in the Europa league is a bit of a dead rubber from Spurs’ perspective. With our recent dip in form in the league, Pochettino will view this game as a chance to boost the players confidence ahead of a crucial league game at home to Stoke on Saturday. With wide spread rotation likely for this game, I would personally love to see some of our Academy startlets included in the squad as oppose to some fringe members of the senior team. The visitors who will need no motivation going into this game, are in fine form winning six of their last seven games in all competitions. Spurs will need to be on their game, whatever side Pochettino fields. To win this would be a big morale booster for this set of players! COYS

Absent: Alderweireld, Wanyama and Oakley-Boothe (not 100% sure on that).

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Vorm(c), Walker-Peters, Sanchez,Foyth, Davies, Winks, Sissoko, Lamela, Edwards, Nkoudou, Llorente.

Subs from: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Georgiou, Dier, Skipp, S.Shashoua, Sterling.

My score prediction: 4-1 to Spurs courtesy of goals from Llorente x2, Edwards’s and Lamela.

One to watch: APOEL’s experienced striker Mickael Pote.

Spurs under 19’s versus APOEL Nicosia: (match preview)

Spurs under 19’s versus APOEL Nicosia: (match preview)

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Wednesday will be an intriguing day for the Spurs Academy, firstly there is the crucial under 19 game with APOEL in the afternoon with a win securing us top spot. However, there is also from our perspective a dead rubber game in the champions league. This gives Mauricio Pochettino and John McDermott a dilemma, do they play their key youth players in that game or do they instead give them the opportunity of a lifetime to play in senior side at Wembley in club footballs most prestigious competition against APOEL Nicosia? It’s a decision for Pochettino and his coaches and one that we’ll know more about when the teams for the youth league game are announced on Wednesday afternoon. Regarding the under 19’s game, it’s worth noting that their achievement in already qualifying from a group that contains Real Madrid and Dortmund is just a remarkable as that of our first team. A win against APOEL at Hotspur Way would mean we would go straight into the round of 8 as oppose to the last 16 where we would be given a tricky away game. The last time these sides met back in September, Spurs succumbed to a shock 1-0 defeat. With that being the Cypriot sides only goal of the campaign, they have conceded 20 goals including a 10-0 thrashing to Real Madrid. That being said one thing that is imperative in youth football especially, is that you can’t underestimate your opposition and in this case even more so! Therefore I would expect Scott Parker to field a strong side on Wednesday. Sadly I will be unable to attend the game and it is not being broadcast in the UK, so fans will have to follow Twitter for updates. COYS

Doubtful: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster(who I saw in a protective boot on Saturday), Matt Lock, Jonathan Dinzeyi, Moroyin Omolabi, Nick Tsaroulla.

My predicted lineup: (4-3-3) Austin, Eyoma, Marsh, Tanganga, Brown, P. Maghoma,Duncan, Roles, Richards, Griffiths, Bennetts.

Subs from: De Bie, Reynolds, A.Shashoua, Reynolds, Hinds, Bowden, P.Patterson.

My score prediction: 4-0 to Spurs.

One to watch: APOEL’s left back Constantinos Karayiannis who scored against Spurs in the reverse fixture.

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

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

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It was our under 18’s best performance of the season which saw them see off a talented Aston Villa side, at Hotspur Way this afternoon. It was a display of the highest quality as Scott Parker’s highly attacking side totally out played the villains with slick and fast attacking football, played at a high intensity. It really was champagne football from the Spurs lads as Parker’s side secured their second win in the final group game of this seasons u18 premier league cup, and in doing so have managed to secure one of two runner up berths to make the knockout stages. Parker’s side which included talented school boy J’neil Lloyd Bennett, started with a real zip about their game. They passed the ball around with pace and were instantly looking to attack. Villa were trying to play us on the counterattack and it worked early on. After Graham burst down the left channel before forcing De Bie into making a good save at his far post. With the ball then deflecting off Reynolds and then on to the post, before eventually falling to Indiana Vasillev who slotted home, 0-1. Having looked the better team in the opening stages it was of no surprise to me when we equalised just minutes later courtesy of a stunner from Rodel Richards. It was the youngsters first of the season, after a move was started by Shashoua the ball came to Griffiths who passed to Richards, he turned on the edge of the area before firing a low effort inside the bottom corner of Idem’s net, 1-1.

The prominent Lloyd-Bennett surged down the left soon after the restart, picking out Clarke at the far post, though the wingback missed timed his header and Idem was easily able to gather. Villa looked for a response but Colin Odutayo could only force De Bie into making a routine save. Parker’s side had got a real grip on the game, they were dictating play across all areas. Villa were being reduced to long range efforts, as demonstrated by Dmitri Sea on 15 minutes, when he dragged an effort wide of goal. Spurs soon continued their attacking forays down the flanks, Patterson’s cross was glanced just over by Clarke. Before Griffiths turned and fired just wide, we then threatened through the potent Lloyd-Bennett whose searing pace resulted in him whipping an inviting cross into the area, which was duly cleared by a Villa defender. Reo Griffiths tested the defence soon afterwards, when he ran across the length of the box before firing into the side netting. Whilst De Bie had to be alert at the other end as Villa broke forward, the Belgian making a fine stop to keep the danger at bay. Another lively player was Phoenix Patterson, playing in the centre of the park, he managed to cut in and fire an effort straight at the keeper as Spurs continued their domination on the game. Perhaps Parker’s side weren’t having enough efforts on goal considering there possession but they were really impressing, especially with the the pace and crosses of Lloyd Bennett and Clarke.

Rodel Richards had a goal ruled out for offside, whilst Patterson tested Idem from range, as Spurs continued to outplay the villains. However, Parker’s lads were almost caught out by a long ball from Villa which put Odutayo through on goal. The wingers powerful effort being superbly tipped over the crossbar by De Bie. Spurs then took a deserved lead towards the end of the half through the lively J’neil Lloyd Bennett who manage to get on the end of Clarke’s deep cross. Before sweetly catching it on the half volley, to power it inside the far corner of the goal, to give Spurs the lead. Spurs weren’t content with just a one goal lead as Griffiths proved soon afterwards, when his effort flew inches wide of the goal. The half could have ended very differently for Spurs when Statham was beaten for strength by Sea in a dangerous part of the pitch. Thankfully for Spurs the forwards low effort was well saved by the alert De Bie. Shashoua tested Ide towards the dying stages of the half with a powerful effort, whilst Griffiths went close with a bicycle kick. Spurs were looking much the fitter side. We started the second half even brighter, Lloyd Bennett showing great pace early on to whip in a dangerous cross, which was only inches away from being met by Clarke. Then a fine move saw the wingback test Idem once again. Spurs had limited Villa’s options to only long range efforts as demonstrated by Graham on the hour mark, the defenders effort being easily caught by De Bie.

Another good chance for Clarke followed before Spurs managed to extend their lead on 66 minutes courtesy of a brilliant goal. Bowden’s delicate chip played Richards through on goal, showing remarkable skill inside the area before being intercepted, Patterson then tried his luck. Before the ball eventually fell back into Richards feet to see him squeeze it home, 3-1. The passing and fluid attacking play from Spurs was truly breathtaking. And things got even better when Richards secured his hat trick to put the game beyond doubt, bolstering our goal difference in the process. Rayan Clarke’s powerful drive was thwarted by Idem straight into the path of Richards who buried his chance, 4-1. It was champagne football from the young lilywhites! However, the visitors seemed to up their game after conceding the fourth, Lewis Brunt came very close to pulling a goal back. Whilst a crucial save from Oluwayemi and a goal line block by Reynolds ensured a fantastic result for our lads! COYS

Player reviews:
– Jonathan De Bie: Had a fine game, made some really important stops including a stunning reflex save in the first half.
– Rayan Clarke: Adapted really well to the right wing back role, powerful and creative going forward. Managed to set up two goals.
– Jamie Reynolds: Put in an excellent shift at left back, very decisive and solid.
– Jamie Bowden: Dictated play in the central areas, playing in a deep lying role the 16 year old holding midfielder. Was Winkseque in his play, neat and tidy with a crisp pass. He anticipated the game well and played a big part in Richards second of the game.
– Maxwell Statham: Had a decent game, strong in the challenge.
– Tariq Hinds: The versatile Hinds managed to slot in well at LCB today, he formed a good partnership with Statham.
– Rodel Richards: Absolutely phenomenal performance from the promising striker. Playing on the right flank today Richards got a rare start and he seized his opportunity. All three of his finishes were classy, but it was his intelligent runs and energy that were so impressive, I really like his style of play and his willingness to track back.
– Phoenix Patterson: One of his best performances of the season, operating on the right side of central midfield. Patterson put in a brilliant display, he was so creative in his play. His decision making second to none, the forward was instrumental throughout the game, I’ve started to think of he reminds of a bit. And it’s Brighton’s Izzy Brown when he was the same age. Patterson was so involved in today’s game.
– Reo Griffiths: Had a decent game up top though he didn’t manage to test Idem much in goal. He did however, get the assist for our first of the game.
– Armando Shashoua: Another great performance from young Shashoua, done his job perfectly. Operating as a 10 he dropped back, created space for others and instigated some good attacking moves, he has been excellent for us this season.
– Josh Oluwayemi: Came on as a late substitute (only his second appearance of the season) but done a good job, made one very good reflex save.
– Maurizio Pochettino: N/A
– Dilan Markanday: N/A

My man of the match: I feel really bad not giving it to the hat-trick hero Rodel Richards who was absolutely phenomenal out wide. But I’m going to award it to the school boy J’neil Lloyd-Bennett, the wide man who I first saw play at the under 16 game in Cambridge a couple of months back, appears to be making rapid progress since joining our Academy from QPR. This was his third consecutive under 18 game in a row, and I’m sure it will have been his best. This kids got incredible ability, he had Aston Villa defenders on the floor during todays game, they just couldn’t cope with his speed, power and decision making especially in the final third. He took his goal so well, but it was his eagerness to just run at defenders with sublime pieces of skill (think Zaha) he also delivers a mean cross. I know it’s only the second time that I’ve seen him live but I really like how he plays. Something I liked in particular was the way he played with a smile on his face, he appeared to be loving the game, buoyant and determined throughout the 90 minutes.

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c, Oluwayemi 76), Clarke, Reynolds, Bowden, Statham, Hinds, Richards (Markanday 79), Patterson, Griffiths (Pochettino 76), A Shashoua, Lloyd-Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Tainio, Mukendi.

Updated statistics:

Under 18’s Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-9
Phoenix Patterson -3
Dilan Markanday- 3
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1
Rayan Clarke-1
Maurizio Pochettino-1
Paris Maghoma-1
Rodel Richards-3
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1

 

Assists: Phoenix Patterson- 4
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 2
Jeremie Mukendi-2
Jamie Reynolds-1
Reo Griffiths-2
J’neill Lloyd-Bennett-1
Rayan Clarke-2

Spurs versus Watford: (match preview)

Spurs versus Watford: (match preview)

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After suffering a slight dip in form Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side have slipped down to seventh in the table, though no Spurs fan ought to be concerned in the slightest. A draw against an extremely defensive West Brom side following on from a narrow 2-1 defeat away to Leicester in midweek, our visit to Watford on Saturday will take on further significance. After watching Sky Sports ‘the debate’ show last night, I took away a very intriguing comment from Danny Higginbotham who discussed our recent struggles against sides who are letting us have the majority of possession, whilst catching us on the break. He also thought that coming up against an attacking team such as Marco Silva’s Watford would much better suit our style of play, expecting us to win tomorrow. That was an interesting point, and I tend to agree I feel like we have struggled against very deep lying sides, whilst tending to produce our finest displays against more open teams, e.g Real Madrid, Everton and Dortmund. However I’m putting our recent blip down to the absence of the world class Toby Adlerweireld. Watford sit one place below us in the table, a total contrast to last season the Hornets have been playing fluent attacking football under Silva picking up 21 points from their opening 14 games. They have talent in abundance going forward with the likes of Richarlison, Hughes and Gray but they are vulnerable to leaking in goals, conceding 25 already this campaign, Im expecting us to do them on the break. COYS

My predicted lineup: (3-4-2-1) Lloris(c), Sanchez, Dier, Vertonghen, Trippier, Winks, Dembele, Rose, Alli, Eriksen, Kane.

Subs from: Vorm, Davies, Foyth, Aurier, Son, Llorente, Sissoko.

Absent: Wanyama and Alderweireld.

My score prediction: 4-1 to Spurs, courtesy of a brace from Eriksen, a goal from Kane and one from Son.

One to watch: At just 20 years of age Watford’s new Brazilian signing Richarlison is proving to be one of the buys of the season, the former Fluminense forward has taken the premier league by storm. Already playing his part in 8 goals this campaign, the wide man is pacy, highly skilful and intricate in his play and has already won himself many admirers including myself.

 

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

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

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Scott Parker’s under 18 side will play potentially their final game of this seasons inaugural premier league under 18 cup tomorrow, when we host Aston Villa at the training centre (k.o 12:pm). Only the team that occupies the top spot will make the knockout stages and its highly unlikely that we’ll achieve that, with Fulham top by three points with a plus 5 goal difference to our 0. However, two of the best runners up in the group stages will also qualify giving hope to Parker’s side. We do however have a torrid record against Villa at this level of recent years so we’ll have to overcome that to beat David Hughes’ side. I will be reporting on tomorrows game and will have my match report up by late afternoon. COYS

My predicted lineup: De Bie(c), Hinds, Walcott , Statham, Lyons-Foster, Bowden ,P.Maghoma, P.Patterson, A.Shashoua, Clarke, Griffiths.

Doubtful: Omolabi, Dinzeyi, Thorpe.

Subs from: Freeman, Walcott, Pochettino, Richard, Lloyd-Bennett.

My score prediction: 3-1 to Spurs.

One to watch: Midfielder Mason Birch.

Catching up with former Spurs man Martin Robinson:

Catching up with former Spurs man Martin Robinson:

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With special thanks to Andrew Scott for arranging this interview.

For those Spurs fans with long memories the name Martin Robinson will ring a bell. The striker who enjoyed a successful career at the likes of Charlton Athletic, Gillingham and Cambridge United, was a rising star for Spurs back in the mid 1970’s. A member of the triumphant FA Youth Cup winning side of 73/74 the youngster went on to make 6 appearances for the senior team between 1975 and 78, scoring two goals. Martin went on to have a successful footballing career notably at fellow London club Charlton Athletic who he played a key role at during a six year spell. Mr.Robinson kindly agreed to doing an interview with me, sharing some of his memories from his time at the lilywhites.

 

Question 1: What was it like coming through the Academy ranks at Spurs?

M.R: Back in the 70s there was no academy set up things were very different to today.  I started when I was 14 years old going to Tuesday and Thursday training sessions after school. I used to leave school early on those days ‪at 3.00 pm‬ with permission from the headmaster, get a bus, 2 trains and then a bus from South Tottenham to White Hart Lane to ‪start at 5.30 -6.00‬.
Most of the boys were regulars on schoolboy forms, but others came for a week or just a few sessions on trial and were never seen again.
As juniors we trained at Cheshunt training ground in the summer and played games on Saturday for the first year I was there.   Playing for the youth team the following year was  similar set up. At 16 I was asked to become an apprentice; one of only 6 that year.

Question2: What was your greatest memory of being a Spurs player?

M.R: Making my debut at home against Leicester City when I was 18 in the 75/76 season, then scoring the following week against Aston Villa at home, coming on as a sub in a 5-2 win.

Question3: Who were your greatest influences at the club?

M.R: The great Bill Nicholson was the Manager when I joined the club.  Ron Henry was the coach when I was on schoolboy terms.
Pat Welton & Peter Shreeves when I was an apprentice and young professional.  All of them were a great influence on my early career.

Question 4: What was it like to play with Glenn Hoddle at youth level?

M.R: He was great to play with. He had tremendous skill and vision and made quite a few goals for me at youth level.

Question 5: You scored three goals in six senior appearances for the lilywhites, what was it like to play in that famous Spurs side, and how did it feel to play at the Lane?

M.R: I only scored 2 goals for Spurs. One I mentioned against Aston Villa and the other 1 against Oldham at home in a 5-1 win in the old second division.
It was a very special feeling playing with all those great players, plus playing at White Hart Lane in front of your home fans will always be special for any player.

Question 6: Having gone on to have a successful senior career with the likes of Charlton, Cambridge United and Gillingham. What was your greatest achievement during your playing career?

M.R: Getting promoted at the first attempt after getting relegated from the second division to the third with Charlton. Also getting promoted with Cambridge in my final year in the league, before I retired from league football at the age of 33.

Question 7: I recently interviewed former Spurs man Roger Gibbins about the triumphant FA Youth Cup campaign of 1973/74. What were your memories of being involved in that competition?

M.R: I was a first year apprentice and only appeared in a few earlier games in the competition and as we progressed the second year apprentices like Roger and Chris Jones, John Margerrison were added to the squad to secure the cup. I was sub for the final at Huddersfield. I think we played Arsenal in the semi-final.

Question 8: Who coached you at Spurs?

M.R: Ron Henry Juniors.
Pat Welton as an apprentice and young Professional.
Peter Shreeves young professional.

Question 9: Who was the greatest player that you played with in your career?

M.R: Too numerous to mention but making my debut alongside Martin Chivers was a great honour.  I remember playing with some great young kids at various clubs that went on to become household names in their careers – Glenn Hoddle, Paul Walsh, Paul Elliot , Dion Dublin.

Question10: After all these years and after a long affiliation with Charlton Athletic, do you still follow/support Spurs’ progress?

M.R: I have always followed Spurs ever since I left in 1978 to join Charlton Athletic. Also I have 2 brother In laws who are Spurs fanatics, so it is difficult not to know what is happening at the club.  I usually go back to White Hart Lane for a game each season but haven’t seen them play at Wembley.