Spurs under 18’s 3-2 Arsenal: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 3-2 Arsenal: (match report)

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It was an exhilarating, fiery and downright entertaining game on Saturday morning at Hotspur Way, for our under 18’s north London derby against Arsenal in the under 18 southern division. It was a top of the table clash as Matt Wells side looked to regain top spot with a win over their bitter rivals. And despite the fact that they were missing several key players, Spurs put in a performance worthy enough to win any north London derby. Top of the table Arsenal came to Hotspur Way in rich form and they would have been feeling confident that they could have ended Spurs’ long unbeaten run in domestic competition. It was an impassioned and fiercely contested derby, with robust challenges and fighting spirt from both sides aplenty. It was also a thrilling end to end game in which Matt Wells side did enough to win in the end, on a bitterly cold morning in Enfield. Ken Gillard’s Arsenal side included the likes of Sam Greenwood, Joel Lopez and Folarin Balogun and apart from speedy winger Bukayo Saka and centre forward Tyreece John-Jules being absent, they were pretty much at full strength. Matt Wells side on the other hand was missing the likes of Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Phoenix Patterson, Rodel Richards, Malachi Walcott and Jamie Bowden. It was a fast paced game which never showed any signs of slowing down. An excellent start to the game by the ‘ Gunners ’ saw them take the lead inside the third minute of the game, courtesy of an excellent goal by Folarin Balogun which stunned Spurs goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi. Arsenal were on top of the game for a considerable time after that. However, Matt Wells lads grew into the game, and right on the stroke of halftime they drew level through defender Jubril Okedina who powered home Harvey White’s delivery from a free kick. Although it was still a very even and end to end game in the second half, Spurs were without doubt the better and more fitter side. Winger Rayan Clarke who had actually started the game at right back put Spurs in front for the first time in the game, with his venomous strike early on in the second half.

Spur were the dominant force after taking the lead and they made it 3-1 on 68 minutes through defender Luis Binks, who glanced home Harvey White’s free kick. Armando Shashoua missed a golden chance to make it 4-1 and soon afterwards Arsenal pulled a goal back after Dennis Cirkin scored an own goal. The remainder of the game was pulsating and were it not for the heroic Joshua Oluwayemi who spectacularly denied Arsenal on two occasions from the penalty spot during the second half, then we may well have come out of the game with nothing. However, our 3-2 victory over our bitter rivals saw us leapfrog them in the table to go top of the league once again. With a number of players missing through injury as well as being saved for our UEFA youth league game with Inter Milan on Wednesday, Matt Wells was forced into shuffling his side around for Saturdays north London derby. Joshua Oluwayemi retained his place in goal for Spurs whilst a back four of Clarke, Okedina, Binks and Cirkin lined up in front of him. First year scholars Harvey White and Chay Cooper were the two central midfielders, and Dilan Markanday, captain Armando Shashoua and J’Neil Bennett were the attacking line which started behind lone centre forward Troy Parrott. It was Matt Wells side who got the game underway at the training centre however, it was the ‘ Gunners ’ who started the brighter of the two teams. And Arsenal’s impressive start resulted in them taking the lead inside three minutes courtesy of a wonderful strike by Folarin Balogun. It was a disappointing goal to concede so only on in the game, and it came from the tricky Sam Greenwood’s intent to run at the Spurs defence. The former Sunderland schoolboy broke down the left wing after receiving a throw in from Joel Lopez, before leaving makeshift right back Rayan Clarke in his wake as he advanced forward down the flank. Greenwood then squared the ball for Balogun on the edge of the penalty area, the Arsenal centre forward received the ball with his back towards goal. However, Balogun skilfully twisted his way around Binks before firing the ball off of the underside of Oluwayemi’s crossbar and into the back of the net, leaving the Spurs goalkeeper with no chance of getting to the ball, 0-1.

Dennis Cirkin made an excellent and brave challenge on Ben Cotterill shortly after the restart. And the confident left back played a lovely long pass down the line to Shashoua a couple of minutes later. Shashoua beat his man before darting forward and crossing for Parrott who had made the run into the penalty area. The Dubliner set himself up well before volleying the ball against the bottom of Karl Hein’s right hand post. Spurs then had a penalty shout after Parrott was brought down from behind inside the Arsenal penalty area by former Spurs schoolboy Bayli Spencer-Adams, but the referee Kirsty Dowie was having none of Parrott’s claims for a penalty. Sam Greenwood forced a fairly comfortable save out of Oluwayemi with a low shot from 20 yards out. The so far uninvolved J’Neil Bennett was barged painfully by the powerful Vontae Daley-Campbell shortly afterwards as the frantic start to the game continued. Harvey White had a free kick cleared by Arsenal’s towering defender Mark McGuinness before Binks could head home at the near post. Chay Cooper on his first start for our under 18’s fired over Hein’s crossbar from the edge of the Arsenal penalty area, after picking up a loose ball. Matt Wells side were starting to find their rhythm and they were really starting to work the Arsenal defence. A good passing move saw Cirkin pass the ball down the left wing for Shashoua who squared it for Parrott inside the penalty area. However, the Dubliner ended up dragging his shot narrowly wide of the goal. Unable to continue following his collision with Daley-Campbell the injured Bennett had to be replaced by Jeremie Mukendi. Mukendi played at right back whilst Clarke moved out onto the left wing. The lively Armando Shashoua did well to bring down a long pass from Cirkin inside the Arsenal box however, the Tottenham skipper was intercepted by Spencer-Adams before he could get a shot away. Then at the other end Jeremie Mukendi did well to block Sam Greenwood’s effort on goal from the edge of the Tottenham penalty area.

It was as end to end a game as it could possibly be and this forced both defences to be on alert at all times. Karl Hein managed to gather Rayan Clarke’s deflected cross, before a clever move from Matt Wells side almost saw Spurs draw level. Chay Cooper’s long ball up to Shashoua was cleverly knocked onto Parrott. As the Tottenham captain laid the ball off to him on the edge of the Arsenal box with a lovely delicate cushion header. Parrott caught the ball on the half volley and he sent a fizzing and swerving effort a fraction wide of Hein’s goal, as Arsenal escaped punishment once again. Joshua Oluwayemi did well to hold Balogun’s effort at the other end, after the Arsenal striker received Matthew Smith’s pass on the edge of the Spurs box before having a pop at goal. However, Balogun’s effort took a heavy deflection off of Okedina and this made it easier for Oluwayemi to save. Troy Parrott then chested Rayan Clarke’s cross wide as both sides kept up their high tempo start to the game. Spurs came close to finding the back of the net again a couple of moments later. After Mukendi received White’s pass out on the right wing the substitute sent a low cross into the penalty area which was met by Clarke, whose first time side footed effort was blocked well on the line by Spencer-Adams. The dangerous Folarin Balogun managed to trick his way past Okedina in the Spurs penalty area shortly afterwards before dragging an effort across the face of Oluwayemi’s goal as Spurs were caught on the counter. Okedina then conceded a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the six yard box. However, Greenwood’s deflected free kick was saved comfortably by Oluwayemi in the Spurs goal. Dilan Markanday almost managed to find Shashoua inside the Arsenal penalty area after a good Spurs break away. However, Spencer-Adams got to the ball before Shashoua and was able to clear it. After all of their possession in the first half Matt Wells side were rewarded on the stroke of half time with a well deserved leveller. Arsenal had been undone from a set piece after Clarke had won a free kick out on the left wing after being fouled by Daley-Campbell. 

Harvey White stood up before whipping the ball invitingly into the box, and White’s pacy delivery was met in the middle of the area by Okedina, whose unstoppable bullet header flew into the top left hand corner of Hein’s goal, 1-1. Harvey White did well to block Greenwood’s shot on the edge of the Spurs box shortly after the restart, before Yunus Musah almost regained the lead for Arsenal after cutting inside from the left wing and firing an effort across Oluwayemi’s goal. Bringing to an end an enthralling half of highly competitive football. Arsenal got the second half underway and both sides picked up where they had left off in the first half. After latching onto Harvey White’s long ball towards the Arsenal box, Troy Parrott won a free kick after he was brought down right on the edge of the penalty are from behind by McGuinness. It was right in Harvey White territory and surely enough the midfielder stood up to take it, before bending an effort over the Arsenal wall and onto the top of the crossbar. The potent Daley-Campbell then fired an effort over at the other end after beating Cirkin down the left flank before entering the six yard box and blasting over from an acute angle. Dennis Cirkin then gave Daley-Campbell a taste of his own medicine by skipping past him at the other end of the pitch less than a minute later. Cirkin showed good feet before squaring the ball for Parrott inside the six yard box, but the Irishman’s effort was blocked by Spencer-Adams. Then in the 54th minute of the game Spurs took the lead through winger Rayan Clarke. That second goal had been coming for a while and it was the confident wide man who delivered for Matt Wells side. Mukendi did well to spot Clarke on the left side of the Arsenal box, and the makeshift right back managed to pick out Clarke with a well weighted pass through the Arsenal defence. Clarke controlled the ball well before opening up his body and firing the ball across Hein and into the far corner of the goal, it was a venomous strike from the 17 year old, 2-1.

Spurs almost gave away their lead a couple of minutes after the restart when Joshua Oluwayemi gave away a penalty following a foul on Balogun. A defence splitting pass from Arsenal captain Matthew Smith had caught Spurs cold and it allowed the pacy Balogun to run through on goal. Binks couldn’t keep up with the Arsenal striker who tried to go around the out rushing Oluwayemi but he was brought to the ground by the Spurs goalkeeper who clipped his feet. This left the referee with no other option but to point to the spot and to give Oluwayemi a yellow card. Matthew Smith stepped up to take the resulting penalty kick for Arsenal however, his powerful low effort was excellently saved by Oluwayemi who dived to his right to make the save and then to smother the ball. Centre half Jubril Okedina was handed a yellow card shortly afterwards following a tug on Balogun’s shirt. Mukendi made an important interception to win the ball off of Musah on the edge of the Spurs box, before Cooper made an excellent sliding challenge on Smith inside his own box. Greenwood blazed over from distance as Arsenal tried their utmost to get back into the game. Spurs were under a sustained spell of pressure from the ‘ Gunners ’ who threatened again through Balogun whose powerful low effort down the right side of the penalty area was saved by Oluwayemi. Shashoua then did well to clear a menacing cross from Joel Lopez, as Wells side continued to defend well against an increasingly threatening Arsenal side. That’s why our third goal of the game which was scored by Luis Binks came at such a vital time. Some hard work from Markanday managed to win a free kick out on the right flank after he had been fouled after advancing on one of his trademark jinking runs. Harvey White whipped a delightful in swinging ball into the danger zone which was helped into the left hand corner of Hein’s goal by the faintest of touches off the head of Luis Binks (Luis confirmed this to me after the game!) 3-1. Matt Wells side should have put the game to bed a couple of minutes later after catching out the Arsenal defence with another incisive passing move.

Armando Shashoua passed the ball to Mukendi who slipped the ball through to Parrott inside the Arsenal box. The Dubliner unselfishly laid the ball off to Shashoua who found himself one on one with Hein. However, the Arsenal goalkeeper did well to close him down before making an excellent diving save to deny Shashoua’s powerful effort. The game was far from over and the visitors who were fouling more and more as the game went on, were not giving up hope of salvaging something from the game. After Oluwayemi passed the ball straight to Zak Swanson the Arsenal midfielder passed the ball to Balogun who fired an effort narrowly wide of Oluwayemi’s goal. Arsenal did manage to pull a goal back a couple of minutes later in the 77th minute of the game. The pace and trickery of Balogun had caused the Tottenham defence problems once again, as he drove forwards down the left wing before managing to trick his way into the box and firing an effort across goal which ended up bouncing off of Cirkin and going into the back of Oluwayemi’s net, 3-2. A nervy 12 minutes of the game remained for Spurs who were now defending for their lives. Oluwayemi did well to stop Greenwood’s effort after he had received Matthew Dennis’ pass on the edge of the box. Arsenal then had a goal ruled out for offside after Dennis volleyed home Zak Swanson’s effort at Oluwayemi’s back post. The tireless Chay Cooper was brought off in place of Maurizio Pochettino soon afterwards as Shashoua slotted into the middle of the park alongside White. Luis Binks made a vital challenge in the Spurs penalty area when he came across Dennis to make a hugely important sliding challenge on the Arsenal substitute, after Lopez had played a long pass up to Dennis. Despite making a hugely important challenge only a couple of minutes beforehand, Binks conceded Spurs’ second penalty kick of the game after holding back Balogun inside the Spurs penalty area, following his lovely attacking foray past Cirkin and into the Tottenham penalty area, Binks was also given a yellow card. This time Sam Greenwood stood up to take the penalty for Arsenal, and his powerful low shot to the left off Oluwayemi was unbelievably saved by the Spurs goalkeeper who somehow managed to hold onto the ball to save the day for Spurs.

Maxwell Statham replaced Dilan Markanday in the 90th minute as Spurs looked to see out the final minutes of the game. Arsenal threw the kitchen sink at Spurs during those final moments of the game. Oluwayemi comfortably saved Spencer-Adams’ header after he had met Stan Flaherty’s free kick. before then coming out to claim Matthew Dennis’ looping cross as Spurs held onto record a memorable and hugely important victory over their bitter old rivals. Top of the table Tottenham Hotspur travel to Leicester next Saturday to play the ‘ Foxes ’ at their Belovir drive training ground. 

Player reviews: 

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: It was another exceptional performance from the 17 year old goalkeeper who saved the day with two terrific penalty saves. Making five saves in total against Arsenal on Saturday, Oluwayemi didn’t put a foot wrong and even if you forget those two fantastic saves that he made to deny Arsenal from the spot, he still had a great game. He dealt well with crosses and set pieces, and he also made three other decent stops. The 17 year old is making fantastic progress for Matt Wells side this season.
  • Rayan Clarke: Although Clarke started the game at the unfamiliar position of right back, he would later switch onto the left wing following Bennett’s injury in the first half. Clarke had a fine game out on the left flank and he provided Spurs with the pace and trickery which they needed in order to break down the Arsenal defence. Clarke’s very Townsend-esque goal at the beginning of the second half was superbly executed.
  • Jubril Okedina: The centre half was very impressive for Matt Wells side on only his second start of the season for our under 18’s. Okedina defended very well throughout the game, making many important blocks, well timed interceptions and headed clearances. Okedina was very good on the ball and he was nice and composed in possession. The 18 year olds goal on the stroke of halftime was an unstoppable bullet header, which gets him off the mark at this level. 
  • Luis Binks: My motm, see below.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The England under 17 international had an excellent game at left back. Cirkin got up and down the left flank so well throughout the game and he managed to combine both his defensive and attacking duties really well. The Dubliner made some really good attacking forays down the left channel and he would often link up well with Shashoua. He also did a sterling job in defence and he was extremely brave on multiple occasions, making a number of impressive challenges. In the second half Daley-Campbell painfully clattered Cirkin in the face however, the Spurs man just dusted himself down and went straight back into the action. 
  • Harvey White: The midfield maestro set up another two goals in our 3-2 win over Arsenal. Both were lovely deliveries from that wand of a left foot that he has. White remained industrious throughout the game and he made some important defensive contributions. The 17 year old also hit the bar in the second half from a lovely bending free kick on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area.
  • Chay Cooper: I was really impressed with how Cooper played in his less natural role of central midfield. It was the former Southend schoolboys first start of the season for our under 18’s. However, he put in a tireless performance, tracking back well and showing a real willingness to chase down opposition players. Cooper also made some nice passes and pulled off some nice little moves in the middle of the pitch.
  • Dilan Markanday: After an unusually quiet first half Markanday grew into the game and he went on some nice weaving runs down the right flank. Whilst also tracking back well and helping out Mukendi on occasions at right back. The 17 year old won the free kick which led to our third goal of the game.
  • Armando Shashoua: Our captain fantastic had a superb game and his intricacy and ball control in the final third helped to crate many chances for Spurs throughout the game. He constantly got into good positions throughout the game. His spacial awareness was second to none and he linked up really well with both Parrott and Cirkin. Shashoua played in the hole for the majority of the game.
  • J’Neil Bennett: N/A.
  • Troy Parrott: Parrott put in a real shift up top for his teammates and he came close to finding the back of the net on a couple of occasions during the first half. Parrot was very unselfish in his play and he did a good job at holding up the ball and creating chances for the other attacking players.
  • Jeremie Mukendi: coming on for the injured J’Neil Bennett, I thought that the versatile Mukendi filled in excellently at right back and made a number of important interceptions and challenges during his time on the pitch.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: N/A.
  • Maxwell Statham: It was a fleeting cameo from Statham who made one important header during the dying moments of the game. He helped to bolster the Spurs defence.

My man of the match: Luis Binks. I was first going to give my man of the match award to Shashoua, then to Cirkin but in the end I’ve opted to give it to Luis Binks for his commanding performance at centre half. Playing at left centre back, Binks had a very good game all round against Arsenal. The teenager from Gillingham read the game well and helped to snuff out danger on numerous occasions. He was dominant in the air alongside Okedina, and more than comfortable at playing it out from the back. He is an adventurous centre half who likes to mix up his game and he was constantly looking to make long diagonal passes. Binks made some crucial defensive interventions and although he gave away a penalty during the second half, he saved us on many occasions. The 17 year olds vital last ditch challenge on Matthew Dennis inside the Tottenham penalty area proved crucial, as too did the faintest of touches he got on Harvey White’s free kick to net Spurs’ third goal of the game. What I really liked about the classy England under 18 internationals performance, was the leadership skills in which he demonstrated throughout the game. He was so confident and assured in his defending but he wasn’t afraid to point things out to his teammates (even captain Shashoua) and he was a great motivator and leader throughout the game. There’s something very special about this lad!

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Clarke, Cirkin, White, Okedina, Binks, Markanday (Statham 90), A.Shashoua (c), Parrott, Cooper (Pochettino 81), Bennett (Mukendi 19).

Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Thorpe. 

Goals scored: Arsenal – Folarin Balogun (3). Spurs – Jubril Okedina (42), 

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 8

Dilan Markanday – 6

Rayan Clarke – 6

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Armando Shashoua – 4

Harvey White – 3

Luis Binks – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Jubril Okedina – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 9

Armando Shashoua – 8

Jamie Bowden – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Troy Parrott – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dilan Markanday – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Rayan Clarke – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Maxwell Statham – 1

Jeremie Mukendi – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 3

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Spurs under 23’s 1-1 Chelsea: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 1-1 Chelsea: (match report)

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Our under 23’s returned to PL2 action on Friday evening when they took on London rivals Chelsea, at the EBB stadium in Aldershot. Wayne Burnett’s side had last played a league game three weeks ago, that was a disappointing 4-1 home defeat to Swansea. However, our encounter with Chelsea on Friday saw us put in a much improved performance against a talented and inform Chelsea side. Although they were missing the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ethan Ampadu the ‘ Blues ’ still had some very good young players on the pitch. Of which included speedy Dutch centre forward Daishawn Redan and Scottish midfield starlet Billy Gilmour. Chelsea had more possession than Spurs during the game and for large periods of the match they were the much more dominant side, and this limited us only to having half chances. The hosts were the better side throughout the first half and they created a number of good chances in our final third, coming close on numerous occasions to taking the lead. That’s why it came as a pleasant surprise when Jack Roles put us 1-0 up midway through the first half, courtesy of a good passing move from Burnett’s side. We then did well to hold onto our lead for the remainder of the half, against an increasingly threatening Chelsea side. The second half was a much more even affair and the pace of the game managed to pick up. A number of good chances came the ‘ Blues ’ way and none more so than the one which fell to Billy Gilmour mid-way through the half. The young Glaswegian had the opportunity to level from the penalty spot after Tanganga had been penalised for handling the ball inside the penalty area. However, Gilmour’s well taken penalty was spectacularly saved by the diving Brandon Austin. Spurs managed the game well after conceding the penalty they were the better side during the last 25 minutes of the game. However, a well worked move from the home side resulted in Chelsea netting a late equaliser through substitute Charlie Brown.

It was a cruel late blow for Burnett’s side who had defended really well throughout the match. However, picking up a solid point against Joe Edwards inform Chelsea side away from home, is nothing to be sniffed at. And it was a very positive performance from the Spurs lads who showed real maturity throughout the match. Burnett opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for our trip to the EBB stadium. Captain Brandon Austin started in goal for Spurs whilst a back four of Hinds, Tanganga, Eyoma and Brown lined up in front of him. Young Jamie Bowden manned the middle of park with George Marsh, with Oakley-Boothe, Maghoma and Roles all playing behind lone centre forward Kazaiah Sterling. Spurs got the game underway on a very chilly evening in Aldershot, but it was the home side who had the first real chance of the game inside the first minute. After going on a promising run down the right flank Chelsea fullback Tariq Lamptey cut inside onto his left foot before being crowded out by the Spurs defence on the edge of the penalty area. However, the ball came back to him and Lamptey hit a low effort narrowly wide of Austin’s goal courtesy of an important block from TJ Eyoma. The Spurs defender then made a brilliant interception on Lamptey a couple of minutes later which prevented the Chelsea fullback from going through on goal, even though he had been flagged offside moments earlier. Both sets of players were knocking the ball about the park with some degree of caution during the opening stages of the game. Brandon Austin was forced into making the first save of the game after Conor Gallagher hit a dangerous ball across the face of the goal following a pass from Lamptey, which forced the 19 year old into palming the ball away from danger. Spurs had a penalty shout at the other end after Sterling seemed to be pulled down in the Chelsea penalty area by Marc Guehi however, the referee Alan Dale waived away Sterling’s claim for a penalty.

Japhet Tanganga cleared a dangerous low cross from Martell Taylor-Crossdale in the Spurs box before Paris Maghoma had Spurs’ first attempt on target of the game. After picking the ball up in the middle of the park Maghoma drove towards the Chelsea defence, shrugging off Conor Gallagher as he darted through the middle before firing an effort straight at the Chelsea goalkeeper Jamie Cumming, who was able to make the save. Spurs then created a nice move which saw Roles shift the ball out to Hinds on the right wing. The Tottenham fullback travelled forwards before cutting the ball back to Sterling in the centre of the penalty area. However, the Spurs striker was crowded out by a sea of Chelsea defenders before he could think about getting a shot away. Despite seeing a lot less of the ball during the first 25 minutes of action Spurs were now enjoying a bright spell in the game. And a dangerous teasing cross from Tashan Oakley-Boothe on the right flank could well have the caused the Chelsea defence problems had he have been able to pick out a Spurs man inside the box, after receiving Sterling’s pass. It was in the 29th minute of time when Wayne Burnett’s side took the lead after finishing off a good passing move. After Maghoma played a simple pass out to Brown on the left wing the fullback went on a jinking forward run. Brown cut inside his man before playing a good first time pass into Roles down the left side of the penalty area. The Cyprus under 21 international had read Brown’s pass well before calmly tucking a first time effort into the bottom right hand corner of Cumming’s goal, 1-0. Chelsea almost got an equaliser shortly after the restart when Marc Guehi glanced Billy Gilmour’s free kick across the face of Austin’s goal. Kazaiah Sterling header clear Juan Castillo’s free kick shortly afterwards before the Dutchman nodded Taylor-Crossdale’s free kick wide a couple of minutes later. Spurs were defending really well and they all had Tanganga to thank after he managed to snuff out Lamptey’s dangerous through ball into Redan inside the Spurs box shortly after.

The tenacious George Marsh blocked Conor Gallagher’s shot on goal before Eyoma blocked Daishawn Redan’s powerful effort down the right side of the penalty area. Eyoma was impeccable during the first half and the England under 19 international managed to clear Tariq Lamptey’s cross a couple of moments later. We then had a short break in play after Tanganga went down injured, Chelsea were still on top of us and they continued to threaten our defence for the remainder of the half. Chelsea had a great chance to draw level after Daishawn Redan received George McEachran’s pass inside the Tottenham penalty area. The Dutchman opened up his body well before forcing a fantastic reflex save out of the diving Austin who did ever so well to stop Redan’s powerful effort from nestling inside the bottom left hand corner of the goal. However, the Spurs goalkeeper could only parry it and the ball came to Martell Taylor-Crossdale whose powerful header on goal was excellently stopped on the line by the head of Hinds. Chelsea continued to threaten our defence, a well worked move from the ‘ Blues ’ saw Redan pass the ball to Gallagher who quickly fed in Taylor-Crossdale inside the Spurs penalty area. However, the Chelsea forward ended up dragging the ball wide of Brandon Austin’s goal. Jamie Bowden cleared Gallagher’s teasing cross a couple of minutes later, and the final piece of important defending came from TJ Eyoma on the stroke of half time. After the centre half blocked Taylor-Crossdale’s powerful effort on the edge of the penalty area to give Spurs the advantage at the break. The home side got the second half underway but it was Burnett’s youngsters who created the first real chance of the half. After Paris Maghoma received Sterling’s pass, the 17 year old midfielder worked the ball back to Sterling inside the Chelsea penalty area. However, it was an awkward chance for Sterling who tried an ambitious overhead effort on the half volley, which was comfortably gathered by Jamie Cumming.

A crunching sliding challenge from young Jamie Bowden on Billy Gilmour in the middle of the park resulted in him being given the first yellow card of the game. Bowden was then joined by teammate Tashan Oakley-Boothe less than a minute later, after the 18 year old had committed a foul on Marc Guehi. Juan Castillo’s resulting free kick was met by Taylor-Crossdale who attempted to find Redan at the back post by heading the ball across the goal. However, the Dutch starlet was unable to get to the ball. The game was being played at a much faster pace during the second half, a clever pull back by the hardworking Sterling managed to find Jack Roles on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area. However, the teenager from Enfield wasn’t able to really test Cumming who comfortably gathered his low effort. The ‘ Blues ’ were playing with a lot of width and it was from the wide areas that they were trying to catch our defenders out from. Jamie Bowden did well to clear McEachran’s pacy low cross before the home team almost took the lead through Daishawn Redan. After Lamptey received Gallagher’s pass out on the right flank the midfielder whipped the ball into the danger zone. It was met by Redan at Austin’s near post and the former AJAX schoolboy flicked the ball a fraction wide of the Spurs keepers goal. Again Chelsea pumped the ball into the Spurs box, this time through Lamptey whose cross only just missed by the head Castillo at the back post of Austin’s goal. The industrious Paris Maghoma created a nice piece of play shortly afterwards, when he picked the ball up in the middle of the park before driving forward through the middle. Maghoma then slipped the ball through to Sterling down the right side of the Chelsea penalty area. His perfectly weighted pass was received by Sterling who traveled forward with the ball down the right hand side of the Chelsea box, before firing a low effort straight at Cumming who was able to hold Sterling’s shot. A couple of minutes later at the other end of the pitch, McEachran went on a long darting run through the middle before having a shot on goal, which was superbly blocked by TJ Eyoma on the edge of the six yard box.

Shortly afterwards Wayne Burnett’s side were dealt a major blow when the referee Alan Dale harshly awarded a penalty to the ‘ Blues ’ after he had adjudged Tanganga, to have handled Chelsea substitute Charlie Brown’s cross from the left flank, inside the Tottenham penalty area. Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour stood up to take it however, the Scotland under 21 internationals powerful low effort was spectacularly saved by penalty saving specialist Brandon Austin who managed to collapse his body at the right time, in order to stop the ball from going into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. Austin had managed to get a strong hand on the ball and he was able to smother it before Gilmour or any of the other Chelsea players could get to it. The ever impressive TJ Eyoma made a crucial challenge on Tariq Lamptey inside the Spurs penalty area  a couple of minutes later. Before Conor Gallagher curled an effort over Austin’s crossbar after Gilmour had given him the ball on the edge of the penalty area. Chelsea were continuing to put pressure on us as we reached the final stages of the game. A Billy Gilmour free kick was headed across the face of Austin’s goal by Richard Nartey a couple of minutes later as Chelsea started to get more bodies forward as they went in search of an equaliser. In the 75th minute Wayne Burnett brought off midfielder Jamie Bowden for Dylan Duncan, he then brought Jack Roles off and replaced him with forward Rodel Richards eight minutes later. As we entered the last ten minutes of the game it was evident that it had slowed down an awful lot. Our final substitution saw Jamie Reynolds come on in the place of our best player on the day Paris Maghoma. And it was this late substitution which could have caused a bit of an unbalance in the side which led to Chelsea netting an equaliser in the 89th minute. It was a cruel late blow for Burnett’s young side who had defended superbly throughout the game.

It was a good late move from Joe Edwards’ side and it was Conor Gallagher who showed good awareness to spot the newly introduced Charlie Brown before slipping the ball in to him down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area. The former Ipswich schoolboy schoolboy was hounded by Tanganga who tried to come across the Chelsea forward, however Brown managed to get his shot away in time. Rifling a powerful low effort across Austin and into the far right hand corner of the goal, 1-1. Comically the stadium announcer announced that our Jamie Reynolds had scored the goal before quickly correcting himself. Both sides went in search of a late winner as we entered the four minutes of stoppage time. Brandon Austin did well to come out and claim Billy Gilmour’s corner kick, whilst substitute Tariq Uwakwe almost managed to put Charlie Brown through on goal a matter of moments later but for an excellent last ditch interception from Eyoma inside the,  to get a vital toe on the ball. As the clock ticked down Burnett’s side started to have a real go at the Chelsea defence. An over hit cross from Tariq Hinds wasn’t dealt with properly in the box by the Chelsea defenders and the ball ended up falling for Reynolds some nine yards out from goal. However, the substitute snatched at the ball and ended up blazing it over Cumming’s crossbar on the half volley. Jaden Brown had a late effort from long range blocked behind for a corner kick by Chelsea captain Joshua Grant. However, there wasn’t enough time for Spurs to take it and Burnett’s side had to settle for a point in the London derby after putting in a tireless performance against Chelsea. Our development sides next game is against German side Wolsfburg II in the premier league international cup, on Monday the 3rd of December, at Broadhall Way. 

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: The skipper had another excellent game in between the sticks for Spurs against Chelsea on Friday. Austin made three important saves against the ‘ Blues ’ including an excellent one to deny Billy Gilmour from the spot with an excellent diving save. The expert shot stopper also made a superb reflex save to stop Daishawn Redan’s powerful effort in the first half from close range. Once again Austin showed good leadership skills and he was authoritative in the box, he also dealt well with set pieces and corner kicks, and he was calm in high pressure situations. There wasn’t a part of his performance which you could fault in anyway.
  • Tariq Hinds: It was a solid performance from the right back who returned from injury in time to play against Chelsea on Friday. Hinds managed to keep the speedy and agile Juan Castillo in check for the majority of the game. Hinds protected that side of the pitch well and he timed his many galavanting forward runs down the flank to perfection.
  • Japhet Tanganga: The commanding centre half had an excellent game alongside TJ Eyoma at centre back. Tanganga read the game well and he made some crucial defensive interventions against Chelsea whilst also helping to thwart the aerial threat of Daishawn Redan. Tanganga defend as bravely as always, and he put his body on the line for his teammates on several occasions. Him and Eyoma work very well together when we play with four at the back.
  • TJ Eyoma: I thought that the England under 19 international had an absolutely outstanding game for Burnett’s side against Chelsea. Operating at left centre back, Eyoma defended impeccably for the entirety of our 1-1 draw. He anticipated situations so well and the timing of his challenges and interceptions were perfect. Eyoma made an excellent challenge on Tariq Lamptey inside his own penalty area, he also made a superb block in the second half to divert George McEachran’s effort. And that was just two of many examples I could use. He was cautious in his defending but not once did he allow the pacy Redan to get the better of him. The north Londoners many blocks, interceptions and challenges prevented us from going home to London empty handed. Eyoma will probably feature against Inter Milan in the UEFA youth league on Wednesday.
  • Jaden Brown: I thought that Brown had a good game at left back, he defended well against Conor Gallagher down that side of the pitch. But he also got forward on multiple occasions, and he did well to set up Jack Roles for his goal in the first half. Brown has really begun to remind me of a young Patrick Van Aanholt this season.
  • George Marsh: The central midfielder won a lot of balls in the middle of the park and he also made some important blocks and interceptions deeper down the pitch. Marsh looked very composed on the ball, and he used it intelligently throughout the game.
  • Jamie Bowden: Bowden played alongside Marsh in the middle of the park, and although he played in a slightly deeper role which saw him have fewer touches of the ball, I thought that he had a good game. His positioning and reading of the game was spot and he helped out our back four by standing in as a barrier for the defence. I couldn’t recall the 17 year old misplacing a single pass during his 76 minutes on the pitch. I thought that Bowden’s biggest contribution to the game were his many clearances from corner kicks, crosses and set pieces.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Oakley-Boothe played on the right wing and after a quiet start he grew into the game and began to ask questions of Chelsea fullback Joshua Grant, with his fancy footwork and many twists and turns. The 18 year old was strong on the ball and he made a number of good passes on the night. Playing consistently on the right wing will help Oakley-Boothe to develop more as a central midfielder, especially when it comes to the attacking side of his game.
  • Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below.
  • Jack Roles: The all important goalscorer for Burnett’s side in the first half, classy Cyprus under 21 international Jack Roles had a good game out on the left wing. Roles was a constant attacking threat for Spurs and his clever use of the ball helped his side out going forward. Roles’ movement was excellent throughout the game and his run and excellent first time finish for his goal was very good. The 19 year old also made a number of nice passes against Chelsea.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: Sterling completed his first full of the match season in Friday’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea. The hardworking lone centre forward put in another good shift up top, and he worked hard to create space for himself in order to make runs in and behind the Chelsea defence. Sterling had one good effort on goal in the second half after he was set up by Paris Maghoma. He is continuing to work his way back to full match sharpness following a long injury lay off.
  • Dylan Duncan: The central midfielder replaced Bowden in the 76th minute and he helped to bolster our midfield for the remainder of the game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Duncan start against Wolfsburg II in our development sides next match. 
  • Rodel Richards: It was a very brief cameo from Richards who played as a ten during his short time on the pitch. The south Londoner was eager to run at the Chelsea defence.
  • Jamie Reynolds: Reynolds had a very short cameo out on the left wing after replacing Jack Roles in the 87th minute. The 19 year old had one decent late chance inside the Chelsea box however, he blazed well over the bar from no more then nine yards out.

My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. Operating as a number ten Paris Maghoma (17) had the biggest influence on the game out of all the Spurs players. After returning to us from international duty with England under 18’s over the international break. Maghoma was our most dangerous attacking player against the ‘ Blues ’ with his many driving forward runs helping to open up the Chelsea defence. Maghoma thought outside the box, and it was clever little runs like the one he did in the first half to calmly shrug off the much bigger Conor Gallagher before driving forward and forcing a good save out of the goalkeeper which helped to give Spurs much more of an attacking edge. The teenager got the third assist for our goal in the first half after he played a simple pass out to Brown on the left wing to start off the move. Another powerful surging run in the second half resulted in him setting Sterling through on goal with a perfectly weighted pass which the Spurs striker could have done better with. The skilful attacking midfielder showed a real versatility to his game and he worked extremely hard in order to track back after him and help out his team defensively. Defensively speaking the 17 year old was really well disciplined. Another really impressive thing about Maghoma’s performance were the many well timed runs which he made into the six yard box. I also watched him in a very Dele-esque way drop backwards during corner kicks and set pieces to create space for himself to pounce on any loose balls which would come out to the edge of the penalty area. Our under 23’s star player will likely start Wednesdays UEFA youth league game against Inter Milan.

Chelsea: Cumming, Lamptey, Grant (c), Nartey, Guehi, McEachran (Uwakwe 76), Gallagher, Gilmour, Redan (Anjorin 65), Taylor-Crossdale (Brown 61), Castillo. Substitutes (not used): Ziger, Colley.

Spurs: Austin (c), Hinds, Brown, Bowden (Duncan 75), Tanganga, Eyoma, Oakley-Boothe, Marsh, Sterling, Maghoma (Reynolds 87), Roles (Richards 82).

Substitutes (not used): Glover.

Goals: Chelsea – Brown 89; Spurs – Roles 26.

Yellow cards: Chelsea 86; Spurs – Bowden 48, Oakley-Boothe 49.

Referee: Alan Dale.

Venue: EBB stadium, Aldershot. 

Attendance: 632.

Match stats: Chelsea: Shots – 12. Shots on target – 4. Possession- 54%. Fouls – 14.

Spurs: Shots – 8. Shots on target- 5. Possession- 46%. Fouls – 22.

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

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jack Roles – 3

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

My piece on our under 18’s captain fantastic Armando Shashoua and just why he will be so important to Spurs achieving success in the FA Youth cup this season:

My piece on our under 18’s captain fantastic Armando Shashoua and just why he will be so important to Spurs achieving success in the FA Youth cup this season:

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Armando Shashoua is a player who you’ll all know that I’m a massive fan of, if you have been reading my reports over the last couple of seasons. Shashoua has enjoyed an excellent start to the 2018/19 season and the 18 year old is one of the main reasons why our under 18’s are doing so well this campaign. Armando has captained Matt Wells side in all but one under 18 game this season, and the second year scholar has already played a part in 12 of their goals this campaign. Shashoua who joined the academy full time in the summer of 2017 is a player who perhaps hasn’t received an awful lot of hype from Spurs fans until recently. However the West London born Shashoua has been terrifically consistent since making the step up to under 18 level last season. In the following piece I will be going into great detail about what type of player Armando is, and just why our under 18’s captain fantastic could be crucial to Spurs winning the FA youth cup for the first time in 29 years this season. Like his older brother Samuel, Armando is from West London and although he spent two years of his childhood in Russia, Shashoua has been at Spurs since a very young age just like his brother. A ridiculously hardworking and technically gifted central midfielder, Shashoua is a player who has started the 2018/19 season in excellent fashion. Directly involved in 12 goals for our under 18’s this season (four goals and eight assists) Shashoua has developed a cutting edge about his game which wasn’t as evident last season. The Chelsea born teenager who was once called up to represent England under 15’s at a training camp back in 2016, made his debut for our under 18’s back in February 2017 as a substitute in a league game against Aston Villa. A player who I have long been told great things about, Shashoua really sprung to prominence amongst followers of the Spurs youth teams last season, in his first year of scholarship. The Harrow educated footballer made 22 appearances for our under 18’s that season, he also appeared on the bench for our under 19’s in Europe on several occasions.

Operating primarily as a number ten during the 2017/18 campaign, young Armando was a fascinating player to watch from a tactical point of view. From those 22 appearances for Scott Parker’s under 18 side Shashoua only scored and assisted once. However, his influence on the side was immense and I quickly began to appreciate just how important he was to the team from the very moment that he wasn’t playing. Impressing with his extremely high work rate, tigerish pressing and accurate passing, Shashoua was a regular starter for Scott Parker’s side for the majority of that season. Very unselfish and almost Winks-esque in his style of play, Shashoua’s first assist for our under 18’s was a clever headed pass against Aston Villa back in March, whilst his first goal came only a couple of weeks later in a 2-1 victory over Fulham, it was a lovely sweet strike from long range. After travelling to Germany the following month with our under 19’s along with his brother Samuel in the Volksbank cup, Armando made a couple of appearances for Spurs in that competition to cap off an excellent season for the first year scholar. Now in his second year of scholarship Armando impressed in preseason for our under 21’s at the Tournoi Europeen in France, before also impressing for our under 19’s in the Oberndorf tournament in Germany less than a week later. Since the start of the domestic season back in August, Armando has been our 18’s most important player for Matt Wells high flying side. No longer operating as a number ten, Shashoua is now playing solely as a central midfielder and he has already started all 11 of our under 18’s games this season, he also came off the bench to make his UEFA youth league debut for our under 19’s in a 1-1 draw against Barcelona at Hotspur Way back in October. Then as recently as this month he made his debut for the development side after he came on as a late substitute in our 3-2 defeat to Portsmouth at Fratton Park, in the Checkatrade trophy. The 18 year old’s form which has seen him directly involved in 12 goals from his 13 appearances this season has been a major factor in our under 18’s superb start to the season. After taking the captains armband in our under 18’s 5-1 win over Swansea back in August for the first time, Shashoua has been the captain in every game since for Matt Wells side, and he has shown remarkable leadership skills so far this season.

Eligible to represent England, Spain, USA, Venezuela and Egypt at international level, Armando really reminds me of a young Spanish player in his style of play. An intricate central midfielder who will often switch positions and change his shape throughout matches, despite being of small build and more than often the shortest player on the pitch, he is able to combine all the traits of an industrious midfielder with the silkiness and smoothness of a more advanced player like David Silva. Silva is a player who I have long compared Shashoua with for a number of reasons. He is so well rounded and versatile despite being such a small player, the West Londoner is a cultured player who adapts well to the flow of a game. Usually the more advanced of the two central midfielders in the under 18 side, Shashoua loves to make clever and well timed runs off the shoulders of defenders. Like somebody such as David Silva he is always on the move and is constantly looking to get into little pockets of space around the six yard box. For a central midfielder he is quite an unpredictable player whose jinking runs and darting movement is a constant pain for opposition defenders, who struggle to keep up with the little midfield orchestrator. I can remember when I first saw Armando make the step up for our under 18’s. It was a league fixture against Leicester at their Belvoir drive training ground back in August of 2017. I was expecting to see a player much like Samuel who would drift out onto the flanks and start beating players at will with his jinking runs and quick feet. However, I quickly found out that Armando is a completely different player who plays in a completely different position to his brother. Combining brains with brawn, Shashoua is one of the hardest workers on a football field that I have ever seen. With his aggressive pressing and constant chasing down of opposition players, the teenager is a real grafter whose ball retention rate and willingness to drop deep in order to break up play and recycle possession, are key features of his game.

The technically gifted midfielder is excellent with the ball in tight spaces, and his skill and balance helps him to carry the ball well and to wriggle out of potentially dangerous situations. If you watch David Silva play regularly then you will also notice that he is very good in tight spaces. Whilst he is a player who keeps the game ticking with a lot of short and simple but slick passes, Shashoua is also a midfield orchestrator who reads the game so very well. He can pick a pass with precision and the sheer deftness and weight, as well as the variety of his passing is something which can change a game in an instance. He is such an intelligent player who is often given the ball by his teammates because they know just how much of a creative force he can be. Shashoua rarely wastes a pass and it is that crucial ability not only to pick a pass but also to see an opening in the first place, which is such an impressive part of the youngsters game. As central midfielders go Armando is one of the most well rounded in the Spurs academy set up. He has that tenacity and almost terrier like hunger needed in order to constantly press players and force mistakes from the opposition. But he also has the intricacy and intelligence that his brother Samuel has in the final third. However, he is an incredibly unselfish player and like somebody such as Harry Winks he is often very reluctant to have a pop from range, instead opting to pass to a teammate in a better or more advanced position. Shashoua has an excellent first touch and his close ball control is second to none. I can remember last season in our premier league cup semifinal against Arsenal, when he shrugged off an Arsenal defender before plucking the ball out of the air as if he had pillowcases on his boots. Another thing about Armando’s game is his strength on the ball. Despite being such a small player Shashoua is able to surprise opposition players who will often try to bully him by kicking and pushing about during matches. A calm and collected character, Armando never reacts and his strength and ability to hold up the ball is actually one of his most impressive attributes. 

The point I’m trying to make is that Armando Shashoua is a richly talented midfielder who has a wide ranging skill set, which he is able to adapt to different games and situations. He is a fabulous player to watch and if you keep a close eye on him during matches as I often do, then you will realise what an intelligent player he is. He is a hardworking and brave player who is very much a team player and that is why he suits the role of captain of the under 18’s so well. At only 18 years of age he possesses a real footballing brain and it is that understanding of the game which enables him to dictate the tempo of matches and help to create openings for the forwards. Shashoua’s razor sharp movement and very Spanish way of playing the game makes him a very dangerous player to come up against. I will often pay close attention to Armando’s off the ball movement during matches and it is some of the best that I have ever seen at youth level. His constant aggressive pressing and hunger to want to get to the ball before the opposing player is inspiring. Whilst he has that grit and determination much like Oliver Skipp does, Armando can switch his game in an instance. As I have said before he is a very David Silva like player who changes shape and position throughout the game. His runs in and behind defenders help to alleviate the pressure off the centre forward and it also allows other players to get into more space inside the danger zone. Shashoua is essentially a silky and smooth player whose short and sharp passing, ability to dribble with the ball at speed and Winks-esque work rate make him one of the finest central midfielders in the under 18 southern division. As he has demonstrated this season he is now chipping in with goals and assists and that is something which has made him a mainstay in Matt Wells side. Whilst he is a very good dribbler he isn’t a show boater and he doesn’t take unnecessary risks with the ball. Our under 18’s have one of the most talented sides in the last 20 years this season, and as we get our FA youth cup adventure underway against Millwall next month I am feeling extremely confident that we can go all the way, and win the prestigious competition for the first time in 28 years.

If that is to happen then it will be as much down to our quietly influential captain fantastic than anybody else on the pitch. Armando is a great motivator on the pitch and whilst he is commanding and assured, he isn’t one of those captains who is going to start screaming at his players in order to try and galvanise the team or to get their attention. I could really see Armando emulating the spirit of 1974 when we won the FA youth cup with one of our finest ever youth teams. The captain that season was a young man by the name of Wayne Cegielski. This season I can vividly picture young Armando following in Cegielski’s footsteps by leading his team to glory for only the fourth time in the clubs history. Shashoua is a wonderfully gifted and silky, creative and combative central midfielder who has such a bright future ahead of him. And as a Spurs fan I would like nothing more than to see him lift that prestigious cup in front of all of our fans at the new stadium. In the meantime Armando and Spurs’ next game is a massively important top of of the table clash against Arsenal on Saturday morning, at Hotspur Way. I wish Armando all the very best of luck for that game and for all the remaining matches that he is involved in this season.

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

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

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Back in April our under 18’s faced Arsenal at Hotspur Way on a chilly morning in the capital, for their final league game of the 2017/18 season. Scott Parker’s last game in charge of our under 18’s was without doubt the best game he had experienced during his time in the role. Our under 18’s thrashed Arsenal albeit with a severely weakened side due to FA youth cup involvement at the time 9-0, in what was one of the most impressive performances I have ever seen from Spurs at youth level. Our lads tore the Arsenal defence to pieces with their sharp incisive passing and high pressing. By the time we’d scored our eight goal of the game the Arsenal defence had fallen apart, and they were arguing with another. Whilst it is unlikely that we will see such a scoreline when these two meet at Hotspur Way on Saturday morning, this Saturdays game will be a much tighter affair. It is a top of the table clash in the southern division, as league leaders Arsenal take on Matt Wells unbeaten Spurs side in a game that both sides will really want to win. Spurs and Arsenal are the two best under 18 sides in the country in this season and both clubs have started the campaign in excellent form. Arsenal have won their last five league game and the ‘ Gunners ’ have only lost once in all competitions this season. And with some of the finest young English talents from their age group on their books, it is little wonder to see why. Although quite a few of their second years scholars have been playing up in the development side, players such as prolific centre forward Folarin Balogun, highly rated winger and former Sunderland schoolboy Sam Greenwood and commanding centre half Mark McGuinness have all starred for their under 18’s this term. And I still haven’t mentioned development squad regulars Bukayo Saka a frighteningly quick forward who caused us great problems in the PL cup last season. And clinical centre forward and England under 18 international Tyreece John-Jules who is already a regular starter for the under 23’s, both players are second year scholars.

After a two week international break Matt Wells lads will be raring to go ahead of Saturdays north London derby, their biggest game of the season so far. Wells will be wanting to put out his strongest side for this game and the likes of Troy Parrott, J’Neil Bennett and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster are all likely to feature. Our under 18’s have been in scintillating form this season and their high energy attacking performances have proved to be far too much for the majority of the teams that they have played against. However, Matt Wells’ starlets may have to go up a gear if they want to get the better of our bitter old rivals at the weekend, to go back to top of the league. I cannot wait for this one and hopefully I will be reporting back on a another positive result. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck for Saturdays game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Lyons-Foster, Walcott, Binks, Cirkin, White, A.Shashoua (c), Markanday, Patterson, Bennett, Parrott.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Tainio, Statham, Clarke, Richards.

Injured/unavailable: Enoch Asante.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 9-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 4-2.

My one to watch: Arsenal’s young and inform centre forward Folarin Balogun who has already found the back of the net on nine occasions for Arsenal under 18’s this season. 

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

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

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Wayne Burnett’s development side return to league action on Friday when they travel to Aldershot to face Chelsea in the PL2. Our under 23’s last two league games have ended in disappointing defeats to both Derby and Swansea respectively. However, an extremely positive performance against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade trophy last week, albeit it with a whole clutch of under 18 players, will help to boost Spurs’ confidence ahead of their trip to the EBB stadium on Friday. Chelsea’s under 23’ side who are managed by Joe Edwards have enjoyed a good start to the 2018/19 season. The ‘ Blues ’ have won five of their ten PL2 games this campaign, and they sit in a healthy third position in the division one table. Chelsea have been our old nemesis in youth football since the early 1960’s and over recent seasons the ‘ Blues ’ have produced some really exciting young players. Burnett’s development side contested two enthralling matches with Chelsea last season, the first one was a narrow 3-2 defeat at Hotspur Way. The reverse fixture was a most memorable game of football at Stamford Bridge, as two spectacular free kicks from our former player Keanan Bennetts helped Spurs to a 2-1 win which secured their division one status. Fridays game comes at a particularly interesting time as our under 18’s are in action against Arsenal the following morning at Hotspur Way, in a hugely important league match. This is interesting because it could mean that some of our development side regulars such as Oliver Skipp, Jamie Bowden and Paris Maghoma could drop down to the under 18 side for the north London derby. If that were to be the case then it would mean that Burnett would have somewhat of a dilemma as to what team he will field against the ‘ Blues ’ the night before. After all Friday nights match is another London derby.

The recent international break could also force the Tottenham coaches into shuffling the squad around for the visit to the EBB stadium. A number of our young lads were called up for their respective countries over the last two weeks and some may be suffering from a bit of fatigue after playing multiple games in quick succession. Chelsea’s youngsters have recorded some impressive wins in the PL2 this season, they have also managed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Checkatrade trophy. Known for playing an attacking brand of possession based football, the West London club have been the dominant force in youth football over recent seasons although that has mainly been at under 18 level. Some of Joe Edwards’ most influential players are speedy and unpredictable winger Callum Hudson-Odoi who has featured for the first team, slick midfield technician Billy Gilmour, pacy and clinical Dutch forward Daishawn Redan and tenacious defensive midfielder Ethan Ampadu. Whilst it is unlikely that all four of those players will be involved on Friday night, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a strong Chelsea side. This will be a very tough game for Burnett’s side but the return of Cyprus under 21 international Jack Roles and England under 18 international Paris Maghoma are massive pluses. It will be interesting to see how Burnett’s side will lineup against the ‘ Blues ’ and how they will approach Friday evenings game. Still without the injured trio of Jonathan Dinzeyi, Luke Amos and Shayon Harrison for Fridays game, I’m hoping that both Anthony Georgiou and Shilow Tracey will return to action after long spells on the sidelines. Despite going through some changes at the very top of Chelsea’s academy setup during the summer, the ‘ Blues ’ remain one of the best development sides in the country. And this Fridays London derby in Aldershot will be a cracking and competitive game between two sides who will be desperate to beat one another. I will be reporting on Friday nights game from the EBB stadium, then the following morning I will be at Hotspur Way to cover the big under 18 north London derby, before heading off to Wembley to watch our first team take on Chelsea.  I wish Wayne Burnett’s lads all the very best of luck for Friday evenings London derby and if this game is anything like Chelsea’s last (a 5-4 win over Arsenal) then we are in for a cracking game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin (c), Marsh, Eyoma, Tanganga, Brown, Bowden, Skipp, Oakley-Boothe, Roles, Maghoma, Sterling. 

Subs from: Glover, Reynolds, Duncan, Georgiou, Tracey.

Injured/unavailable: Jonathan Dinzeyi (injured), Luke Amos (injured), Shayon Harrison (injured).

Doubtful: Tariq Hinds, Shilow Tracey, Anthony Georgiou, Shilow Tracey.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-1.

My score prediction: 2-2.

My one to watch: Already at the heart of the Scotland under 21 national teams midfield at the age of just 17, midfield maestro Billy Gilmour has been in excellent form for Chelsea’s development side this season. The former Rangers schoolboy has scored four goals from ten appearances in the PL2 this campaign. Gilmour is a slick midfield technician who has the ability to dictate the tempo of the game in a very Modric-esque like way. Gilmour is a player who the Spurs lads will need to pay close attention to during Friday’s game. 

Remembering former Spurs player Jim Iley:

Remembering former Spurs player Jim Iley:

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“ When I look back now and think about the clubs I played for and some of the games I played in, nobody can take that away from me, it’s there and I like it. ” (Jim Iley 1935-2018)

I like so many fans of English football was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Spurs man Jim Iley, who passed away at the age of 82 on Saturday. Jim Iley had a long and distinguished career in the game, a career of which most players could only dream of having. Born in South Kirkby, Yorkshire Iley’s footballing journey started with Sheffield United for whom he signed for professionally in the summer of 1953, after finishing his part time job at the local Frickley Colliery. Under the tutelage of Sheffield United’s legendary former manager Joe Mercer, Iley went onto make 112 appearances for the ‘ Blades ’ from 1953-57. It was in extraordinary circumstances that Jim left Sheffield United in 1957 to join our beloved Tottenham Hotspur. Essentially forced to join Spurs by Sheffield United (as told to me by Jim) the young and homesick left half was forced to adapt to life in the big smoke. It took Jim some time before he made the permanent move down to London where he initially stayed with an old lady in Ponders end, who much to his disliking had a house full of cats. Coming from a small and tight knit village in Yorkshire, Iley barely had enough time to take everything in before he was included in the then manager Jimmy Anderson’s squad that travelled up to Newcastle for a league game in the August of 1957. That was to be the first of 57 appearances that the Yorkshireman made for Spurs during his two year stint at the club. Playing first under Jimmy Anderson and then under the great Bill Nicholson, Iley played in many great games for Spurs. From playing in Bill Nicholson’s first game in charge of the club, a 10-4 win over Everton at the Lane, to playing in our historic tour of the old USSR in the late 1950’s. Iley played with some of the all time great Spurs players, Danny Blanchflower, Tommy Harmer, Cliff Jones, Bobby Smith and Maurice Norman to name but a few. After never really settling down in London Jim left the Lilywhites in 1959 for Nottingham Forest despite having the chance to join Leeds United. By now an extremely well regarded and cultured wing half, Iley had developed into one of the finest left half’s in England at the time. He later went onto play for Newcastle United where he spent his happiest years in the game.

Iley went onto become a fan favourite at St James Park’ where he played a big part in helping Newcastle to win the second division title in 1964/65. The wing half then went onto play for Peterborough United who he joined as player manager in 1968. That was to be his first experience of football management, an experience which would last for many more years to come. Iley’s distinguished career as a manager would see him take charge of Barnsley, Blackburn Rovers (where former Spurs man Noel Brotherson played under him), fourth division Bury (where he helped to develop a young Neville Southall) and finally Exeter City. One of Iley’s most memorable experiences as a manager came during his tenure at Bury when his side beat his former club Newcastle United over two legs in the league cup. However, it is at Spurs where all of those connected with  the club will remember him so fondly. Only a couple of months ago I made the trip up to Bolton to interview Jim about his time at Spurs during the late 1950’s. It’s easy to forget just how important players like Jim Iley, Tommy Harmer and Alfie Stokes were in helping Bill Nicholson to lay the foundations for the famous double winning side of 1960/61. Iley was an extremely talented fullback and anyone at Spurs during that period will tell you the exact same thing. To make one appearance for Spurs is an incredible achievement, but to don on the famous Lilywhite shirt of Tottenham Hotspur on 57 separate occasions is something else. A young Yorkshireman who came down to London reluctantly to sign for Tottenham Hotspur. Despite finding things very difficult during his early days in the capital, where he used to pass the time by sitting in a cafe on his own after training, to avoid going back to his lodgings in Ponders end. Iley still managed to serve Spurs with such distinction, he was a regular in the side during his two seasons at the club. Playing on the opposite flank of one Danny Blanchflower, who would often leave him exposed due to his willingness to attack. Iley who was also an attack minded wing half also liked to get forward down the flank, as a result of this Jim said that this was one of the reasons why Spurs used to concede so many goals during Nicholson’s early days in charge of the club.

Although Jim said that Spurs was the biggest club that he ever played for, he told me that the circumstances involved in him joining Spurs just wasn’t right. It was that transition from life in Yorkshire to the hustle and bustle of the big smoke which clearly affected the young up and coming footballer. On adapting to life in London Jim said “ It was very difficult, it was ok while we training up until midday but after that you’d go home and I used to just be there sat in this cafe with nowhere to go. I used to just be hanging around which didn’t help me, because it was the same everyday, but had I have been married I would have gone home, we’d have gone shopping and I would have probably enjoyed it. I was on my own from one o’clock to nine or ten o’clock at night, it was hard. ” Had Iley have not joined Nottingham Forest in the summer of 1959 and had settled down in London, then he would have undoubtedly gone onto be a part of the famous double winning side of 1960-61, but on that particular topic Jim said “ you can’t have it always. ” Iley was a classy and cultured wing half who could pick a pass with precision whilst also showing remarkable awareness of his surroundings. Capped once at under 23 level for England in a game which saw him play alongside Brian Clough, Iley was one of the finest English left half’s in the country during the mid 1960’s. And whilst it was at Newcastle United where he enjoyed his most successful years as a player, it was at Tottenham Hotspur where Iley developed and matured as a player. Turning out for Spurs on 57 occasions and scoring once during his two year stint in north London, Iley was a consistent performer as told to me by his former Tottenham teammates, and an extremely gifted player too. During our interview in a cafe in Bolton in September, Jim had me captivated by how vividly he told his stories and memories from his long career in the game. He could recall everybody and everything at Spurs with such clarity as if it was only yesterday that he had left the club. As we left the cafe and walked back to Jim’s car we started to chat about the legendary Danny Blanchflower, a player who had a great influence on Jim during his time at the club.

Just as Jim was about to open the car door he stopped and said I can picture Danny right now, walking through the gates at White Hart Lane with his head down, stopping to chat with people and staff at the ground before he made his way through the car park and into the ground for the mornings training. That may not interest a lot of people however, it was the way in which he described the former Spurs captain with such clarity and aplomb. That really made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, and it made me appreciate just how lucky I was to be speaking with a man who was one of the few remaining players to have played in that famous Spurs team during the 1950’s. Jim Iley’s footballing hero was Preston and England legend Tom Finney. Jim described Finney as being ever such a nice chap. That exact same phrase will be how fans, former players and all of those who had the pleasure of knowing Jim Iley will remember him. I only spent an afternoon with Jim but the memories that he shared with me and his sheer knowledge of the game was something which I will never forget. He was also an absolute gentleman who cared for and took time for us fans of the beautiful game. Jim proudly told me that he would still get people knocking on his front door looking for autographs and photographs with him, he had a broad smile on his face as he told me that. Like so many players who represented Spurs during the 1950’s, Jim Iley is somebody who we as fans should be extremely grateful to for helping the club to enjoy its most successful period under Bill Nicholson, following the years of tumult under Jimmy Anderson. I felt extremely privileged and grateful to interview Jim about his time at Spurs. He served our club so very well during his two years in north London, and it is gentlemen like Jim Iley who make me so very proud to be a fan of Tottenham Hotspur. He also went onto achieve great things in the game with a whole host of other clubs, and I am sure that all of his former clubs will be remembering Jim with great fondness at this weekends matches. I extend my sincere condolences to Jim Iley’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.

Former Spurs player Eddie Clayton on Jim Iley: “ Jim was a really fine wing half, he was quick and he had a good turn of speed. He was a good attacking player and he was good on the ball. He was a good guy to have around, he was quite jovial and happy in a group and there was a lot of good banter. He was a really great guy. “

My interview with Jim back in September of this year: https://superhotspur.com/2018/09/16/my-interview-with-former-spurs-wing-half-jim-iley/

Spurs under 21’s 2-3 Portsmouth: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 2-3 Portsmouth: (match report)

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Wayne Burnett’s development side albeit it without a whole of host of regular players due to the current international break, traveled down to the south coast on Tuesday evening to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park. It was his sides final Checkatrade trophy group game of the campaign, and a win against high flying ‘ Pompey ’ would have seen Spurs progress to the knockout stages as group winners. It was undoubtedly our developments sides biggest game of the season so far, and after putting in highly commendable performances against both Crawley Town and Gillingham. Burnett’s side were in with a fighting chance of making the knockout stages if they could get a result against Portsmouth. Burnett’s youngsters did exceptionally well to adapt to the high pressure situation that they found themselves right in the middle of. League one leaders Portsmouth had already qualified for the knockout stages but they still brought a decent home following to Fratton Park. The ‘ Pompey ’ supporters were loud throughout the game, and the presence of the famous John Portsmouth up in the Fratton end, could be heard all across the ground as he rang his bell loudly for the full 90 minutes of the game. Kenny Jackett made eleven changes from Portsmouth’s FA cup tie with Maidenhead at the weekend, this resulted in him fielding a squad of fringe players. Meanwhile, Burnett’s side was severely depleted and this resulted in the Spurs head coach fielding a selection of player from their under 18 side. Not only were our lads competitive but they were fearless in the way that they played and approached the game. Spurs started the game well and after a bright start to proceedings they took the lead through Phoenix Patterson, after Jamie Bowden had played the winger through on goal with a glorious pass. Burnett’s young lads did well to prevent Portsmouth netting an equaliser for the remainder of the half, and Spurs went into halftime ahead of Portsmouth, in first place in the group with seven points. However, Kenny Jackett’s side started the second half in much more positive fashion and it didn’t take them long to draw level.

Andre Green poked home a scrappy goal from a Portsmouth free kick in the 50th minute, before substitute Gareth Evans (one of three made by Jackett in the 66th minute) put Portsmouth in front after scoring from a free kick in the 69th minute of time. Portsmouth had now taken full control of the game and their experience had really started to show, and after Oli Hawkins put the south coast club 3-1 up in the 81’st minute, any hope of a Spurs comeback was virtually extinguished. 17 year old Harvey White did manage to pull a goal back in stoppage time after catching former Spurs goalkeeper Luke McGee out with a delicious free kick from the edge of the Portsmouth penalty area, to cap off an excellent night for the teenager from Maidstone, on his debut for the development side. Despite losing to Portsmouth on Tuesday night Spurs still progress to knockout stages of the competition, thanks to Gillingham who came from a goal down to beat Crawley 2-1 in the other group game on Tuesday night. Thankfully that means that Spurs ended up finishing the group in second place, one point ahead of Crawley on four points. Our youngsters will find out who they will get in the next round on Friday when the draw takes place. Spurs will face one of the clubs from the southern region who have won their group, we will play away from home in the next round. With so many players absent from the development squad, Burnett had to make wholesale changes from our development sides last game against Swansea. This meant that a number of players from our under 18’s travelled down with the squad to Portsmouth. Wayne Burnett opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Alfie Whiteman starting in goal for Spurs. A back four of Lyons-Foster, Tanganga, Marsh (the skipper) and Brown lined up in front of him. Whilst 17 year olds Jamie Bowden and Harvey White started in the centre of the park. Dylan Duncan played out on the right wing, with Phoenix Patterson starting out on the left, either side of Tashan Oakley-Boothe who played as a ten. Kazaiah Sterling led the line for Spurs on only his third appearance of this season.

Spurs got the game underway at Fratton Park but it was the home side who had the first real chance of the game. After Andre Green received Haji Mnonga’s pass down the left the side of the Tottenham penalty area, the winger had a shot with his left foot but Lyons-Foster was able to block it behind for a corner kick. Harvey White was able to clear Brandon Haunstrup’s resulting corner kick as Spurs got the ball away from the danger zone. Japhet Tanganga headed clear a dangerous cross from Haunstrup a couple of minutes later before Bowden was on hand to clear Andre Green’s cross. Andre Green then forced Whiteman into making the first save of the game, after the 20 year old cut inside from the left wing before testing Whiteman with a powerful effort from the edge of the penalty area. Portsmouth had been the more threatening side during the opening 20 minutes of the game that’s why it came as a pleasant to surprise to me when Spurs took the lead in the 20th minute after scoring a well crafted goal. After picking up the ball in the middle of the park the ever elegant Jamie Bowden pondered before making a perfectly weighted pass which paralysed the Portsmouth defence before picking out Patterson who latched onto the ball down the left side of the Portsmouth penalty area. McGee came rushing out to meet Patterson whose initial effort was parried by McGee however, the ball came back off Patterson and over McGee’s head and the Scotland youth international was able to race around him to tap home from a tight angle, before the ball went out of play. The Spurs players all huddled around Patterson right in front of the Fratton end to celebrate his goal, 1-0. After taking the lead Spurs started to play with more confidence although this wasn’t without risk. George Marsh passed the ball straight to Bradley Lethbridge inside the Spurs box but luckily for Marsh, Harvey White was on hand to block Lethbridge’s resulting effort on goal to bail his teammate out. An inviting cross from Jaden Brown was headed away by Portsmouth captain Christian Burgess, before Marsh made up for his previous error by blocking Brandon Haunstrup’s effort on the edge of the penalty area.

Burnett’s side came close to doubling their lead a couple of minutes later after Sterling received Jaden Brown’s pass out on the left wing, before going around Christian Burgess and darting inside the penalty area. However, Burgess recovered well and was able to make a sliding challenge on Sterling to put the ball out for a corner kick at the vital moment. Phoenix Patterson’s resulting corner kick was flicked on by Sterling as Bowden picked the ball up out on the right flank before finding Marsh inside the box with a cross. Marsh’s header was met by Duncan who fired the ball across the face of McGee’s goal on the volley, from the right side of the penalty area. Young Jamie Bowden got caught in possession shorty afterwards when Ben Close nicked the ball off of him in the middle of the park, before driving through the middle and firing an effort over Whiteman’s crossbar. Lyons-Foster managed to get a vital head on David Wheeler’s cross a couple of moments later as the fast pace of the game showed no signs of slowing down. Close glanced a header wide of Whiteman’s goal from the resulting corner kick, before Jaden Brown won a free kick in a promising position down the other end of the pitch. Patterson’s delivery into the box was punched away by McGee and ‘ Pompey ’  went on a dangerous counter attack which was only thwarted at the final moments by the Spurs defence. Christian Burgess then forced a comfortable save from Whiteman with a tame header after meeting Danny Rose’ cross inside the box. Lyons-Foster gave the ball away to Louis Dennis a couple of minutes later and Dennis passed the ball to David Wheeler out on the right flank. However, Lyons-Foster did extremely well to get back and clear Wheeler’s resulting low cross, bringing an enthralling half of football to an end.

Portsmouth got the second half underway but it was Burnett’s youngsters who worked the first decent move of the half. After Oakley-Boothe received Patterson’s pass he found Brown down the left wing. However, the fullback’s whipped cross was well cleared by the alert Burgess. Former Spurs man Anton Walkes almost scored an excellent solo goal a couple of minutes later after he embarked on a long jinking run through the middle of the park, beating a number of Spurs players before firing an effort narrowly wide of Whiteman’s goal, courtesy of an important deflection off of Brown. Japhet Tanganga did well to clear the resulting corner kick but the Spurs defender could do nothing to prevent Portsmouth from taking the lead from a corner kick a couple of minutes later. Louis Dennis’ menacing delivery caused panic amongst the Spurs defence. Duncan tried to clear the ball before Tanganga did but neither player could manage to do so and Andre Green was able to poke home from close range, 1-1. Phoenix Patterson forced a good save out of McGee soon afterwards as Burnett’s side looked to regain the lead. Patterson picked the ball up in the middle of the park before advancing on a surging run towards the Portsmouth penalty area, before testing McGee with a thumping effort from range which the former Spurs goalkeeper pushed behind for a corner. Spurs skipper George Marsh flicked an effort wide from Patterson’s resulting corner kick as Portsmouth broke down the other end. A dangerous move from the home side forced Jade Brown into making an inch perfect sliding challenge to the win the ball off of Ben Close inside the Spurs penalty area. However, the ball rolled out to Ben Close the edge of box but his deflected strike was held comfortably by Whiteman in the Spurs goal. Kenny Jackett’s side had upped their tempo during the second half and it was starting to cause Spurs some real problems.

The ever attentive Brooklyn Lyons-Foster produced an important interception on Andre Green inside the Spurs box before White made an excellent block to thwart a powerful effort on goal from Louis Dennis. The Portsmouth man had another shot blocked by Lyons-Foster moments later as Spurs continued to prevent Portsmouth from taking the lead. A well worked move from Spurs which resulted in Brown receiving Patterson’s pass before playing in Sterling inside the Portsmouth box, only ended in the Spurs striker being slide challenged by Burgess at the final moment. Jackett made a triple substitution shortly afterwards which saw experienced striker Oli Hawkins enter the frame. However, for all of our defensive might and huff and puff, our luck ran out in the 69th minute of time after left back Jaden Brown gave away a free kick right on the edge of the Spurs penalty area after fouling Louis Dennis. The newly introduced Gareth Evans stood up confidently before bending a powerful low effort around the Spurs wall and into the bottom right hand corner of Whiteman’s goal, much to the Spurs goalkeepers frustration, 1-2. Andre Green fired an effort over Whiteman’s crossbar shortly afterwards as Portsmouth started to take full control of the game in front of their vocal home fans. Gareth Evans blazed over from long range before Jamie Bowden almost managed to set Sterling through on goal with a clever pass at the other end. The frantic tempo of the game continued, Oli Hawkins dragged an effort across the face of Whiteman’s goal before Andre Green had an effort on goal blocked by the head of Lyons-Foster after Whiteman had flapped awkwardly at a Portsmouth corner kick. In between both of those chances Dylan Duncan had been replaced by forward Rodel Richards as Burnett looked to add some fire power up top. Then in the 81st minute of time came Portsmouth’s third goal of the game. It was a well worked goal from ‘ Pompey ’ which started with Green out on the left wing before he passed the ball to Ben Thompson inside the box. Thompson squared the ball for substitute Ollie Hawkins to tap home from close range to put the game to bed, in the process of trying to defend Thompson’s cross Japhet Tanganga had injured himself, 1-3. 

Evans fired an effort wide from range before George Marsh blocked Louis Dennis’ effort on goal seconds later. Jaden Brown was replaced by striker Troy Parrott who almost managed to latch onto White’s through ball inside the Spurs box however, the Dubliner ended up clattering into Luke McGee. A couple of moments later Parrott won a free kick right on the edge of the Portsmouth penalty area. Harvey White and Phoenix Patterson stood up on the edge of the box but it was the free kick specialist White who elected to take it. The 17 year old capped off an excellent debut performance for Burnett’s side by curling a delicious effort over the Portsmouth wall, and into the top right hand corner of McGee’s goal, 2-3. It was a wonderful goal which capped off both a brilliant game and performance from Wayne Burnett’s side against the league one leaders. I couldn’t have been more proud of how expressive our young lads were against Kenny Jackett’s team. We contested three really competitive games in the group stages, and after Gillingham’s win over Crawley on Tuesday night our lads have deservedly qualified for the knockout stages of the competition. The draw of which will take place on Friday afternoon in Portsmouth of all places. Meanwhile our under 23’s next PL2 game is against Chelsea on Friday the 24th of November, in Aldershot.

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: I felt that Whiteman had a good game under was what was difficult circumstances, against a very physical and powerful Portsmouth side. Making four saves in total, the 20 year old made some decent stops on the night and apart from a couple of difficult set pieces I thought that he put in a really mature performance. Whiteman demonstrated good leadership and he marshalled his defence well, and he was constantly reminding them to stay high up the pitch.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: It was an excellent performance from the classy ball playing centre half, who started at right back for our game against Portsmouth. Lyons-Foster read the game really well and he managed to defend superbly against Portsmouth winger David Wheeler. The 17 year old made a couple of hugely important blocks and interceptions, he also made an excellent recovery to get back and clear a cross towards the end of the first half.
  • Japhet Tanganga: Operating at rcb, Tanganga was the domineering force in the Spurs defence. He won absolutely everything in the air and he maintained good positioning throughout the game. The courageous 19 year old formed a strong defensive partnership with Marsh, and neither player could have done anything to stop any of Portsmouth’s three goals. 
  • George Marsh: Starting alongside Tanganga, Marsh had a good game, particularly in the first half. Despite his height and stature he did well in the air and never shied away from making a challenge. The skipper made a number of impressive blocks and interceptions.
  • Jaden Brown: The left back didn’t get forward as much as he usually does down the left flank. Brown stayed deep and defended well against the speedy Andre Green down that side of the pitch. Brown read the game well and put in a sound defensive performance. The teenager from Lewisham made an excellent sliding challenge on Ben Close to win the ball of the Portsmouth man inside the Spurs penalty area.
  • Harvey White: It was a night to remember for the first year scholar who put in an excellent debut performance for the development side in the middle of the park. White who has played in all but one of our under 18’s matches this season, put in a really mature performance alongside Bowden in the centre of the park. The slightly deeper of the two midfielders the teenager from Maidstone looked very good on the ball. And in a very Dier-esque way he kept things ticking with his cautious and well timed short passes. White made a couple of excellent blocks and interceptions, but what really impressed me was the first year scholars stamina and constant chasing down of the opposition players. An excellent night at Fratton Park was capped off with an excellent curling free kick from the expert free kick taker in stoppage time of the second half. White’s goal was so good that it even had the Portsmouth supporters on their feet applauding him.
  • Jamie Bowden: A player who has been instrumental in us making the knockout stages of this competition. The classy central midfielder from Tottenham had another really good game against Portsmouth. He was tigerish out of possession and always managed to get in good positions, and pockets of spaces as he helped to break up play and initiate chances. Bowden used the ball intelligently and his pass to set up Patterson’s goal in the first half was a work of art. The timing and the weight of the pass was second to none and it ended up taking a number of Portsmouth players out of the game. The 17 year old also made a similarly impressive pass in the second half which almost managed to set Sterling through on goal. The Irish Londoner now has nine assists this season, more than anybody else in the academy (u18 and u23).
  • Dylan Duncan: The 19 year old put in a real shift out on the right wing and he worked hard at both ends of the pitch. Duncan pressed well and made some nice crisp passes. The West Londoner came close to scoring a volley in the first half. Duncan also made a number of well timed runs during the first half.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Oakley-Boothe played as a ten for our game against Portsmouth and he always looked good on the ball. The 18 year old went on some impressive jinking runs through the middle.
  • Phoenix Patterson: My motm, see below.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: It was a typically hardworking performance from Sterling who led the line against Portsmouth. Sterling pressed aggressively and held the ball up well despite a lack of openings against a strong Portsmouth defence.
  • Rodel Richards: Richards replaced Duncan in the 75th minute and despite his best efforts he was unable to get many touches of the ball out on the right wing.
  • Troy Parrott: It was a very brief cameo from the Dubliner who did manage to win the free kick which Harvey White converted in stoppage time.
  • Armando Shashoua: It was only a very brief cameo from the 18 year old on his debut for the development side. However, he looked as energetic as always. I couldn’t have been more pleased for him!

My man of the match: Phoenix Patterson. The 18 year old had a superb game for Burnett’s team on his full debut for the development side. Patterson was electric out on the left wing and his energy and unpredictably with the ball at his feet made him very hard to defend. The Scotland under 19 international went on some excellent jinking runs down the left wing and through the middle of the pitch. Patterson beat the Portsmouth players with his skill and short spurts of pace, but it was his positivity and willingness to drive at the Portsmouth defence which impressed me the most. Patterson made a good run for his goal before finishing well from a tight angle after rounding Luke McGee. The second year scholar also forced a good save out of the former Spurs goalkeeper at the beginning of the second half. He was by far our most creative and potent attacking player on the day and his non stopping running and constant tracking back after him combined with his many excellently timed runs, rounded off an excellent performance from the teenager who showed a real confidence about his game.

Portsmouth: McGee, Mnoga (Evans 66), Walkes, Burgess (c), Haunstrup, Close, Rose, Wheeler, Dennis, Green (Clarke 66), Lethbridge (Hawkins 66). Substitutes (not used): MacGillivray, Brown.

Spurs: Whiteman, Lyons-Foster, Tanganga, Marsh (c), Brown, White, Bowden (A Shashoua 89), Oakley-Boothe (Parrott 86), Duncan (Richards 75), Patterson, Sterling. Substitutes (not used): Glover, Markanday.

Goals: Portsmouth – Green 50, Evans 69, Hawkins 81; Spurs – Patterson 19; White 90.

Referee: James Linington.

Venue: Fratton Park, Portsmouth.

Attendance: 3,138.

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

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jack Roles – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

Spurs under 21’s 2-3 Portsmouth: (match report)

Wayne Burnett’s development side albeit it without a whole of host of regular players due to the current international break, traveled down to the south coast on Tuesday evening to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park. It was his sides final Checkatrade trophy group game of the campaign, and a win against high flying ‘ Pompey ’ would have seen Spurs progress to the knockout stages as group winners. It was undoubtedly our developments sides biggest game of the season so far, and after putting in highly commendable performances against both Crawley Town and Gillingham. Burnett’s side were in with a fighting chance of making the knockout stages if they could get a result against Portsmouth. Burnett’s youngsters did exceptionally well to adapt to the high pressure situation that they found themselves right in the middle of. League one leaders Portsmouth had already qualified for the knockout stages but they still brought a decent home following to Fratton Park. The ‘ Pompey ’ supporters were loud throughout the game, and the presence of the famous John Portsmouth up in the Fratton end, could be heard all across the ground as he rang his bell loudly for the full 90 minutes of the game. Kenny Jackett made eleven changes from Portsmouth’s FA cup tie with Maidenhead at the weekend, this resulted in him fielding a squad of fringe players. Meanwhile, Burnett’s side was severely depleted and this resulted in the Spurs head coach fielding a selection of player from their under 18 side. Not only were our lads competitive but they were fearless in the way that they played and approached the game. Spurs started the game well and after a bright start to proceedings they took the lead through Phoenix Patterson, after Jamie Bowden had played the winger through on goal with a glorious pass. Burnett’s young lads did well to prevent Portsmouth netting an equaliser for the remainder of the half, and Spurs went into halftime ahead of Portsmouth, in first place in the group with seven points. However, Kenny Jackett’s side started the second half in much more positive fashion and it didn’t take them long to draw level.

Andre Green poked home a scrappy goal from a Portsmouth free kick in the 50th minute, before substitute Gareth Evans (one of three made by Jackett in the 66th minute) put Portsmouth in front after scoring from a free kick in the 69th minute of time. Portsmouth had now taken full control of the game and their experience had really started to show, and after Oli Hawkins put the south coast club 3-1 up in the 81’st minute, any hope of a Spurs comeback was virtually extinguished. 17 year old Harvey White did manage to pull a goal back in stoppage time after catching former Spurs goalkeeper Luke McGee out with a delicious free kick from the edge of the Portsmouth penalty area, to cap off an excellent night for the teenager from Maidstone, on his debut for the development side. Despite losing to Portsmouth on Tuesday night Spurs still progress to knockout stages of the competition, thanks to Gillingham who came from a goal down to beat Crawley 2-1 in the other group game on Tuesday night. Thankfully that means that Spurs ended up finishing the group in second place, one point ahead of Crawley on four points. Our youngsters will find out who they will get in the next round on Friday when the draw takes place. Spurs will face one of the clubs from the southern region who have won their group, we will play away from home in the next round. With so many players absent from the development squad, Burnett had to make wholesale changes from our development sides last game against Swansea. This meant that a number of players from our under 18’s travelled down with the squad to Portsmouth. Wayne Burnett opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Alfie Whiteman starting in goal for Spurs. A back four of Lyons-Foster, Tanganga, Marsh (the skipper) and Brown lined up in front of him. Whilst 17 year olds Jamie Bowden and Harvey White started in the centre of the park. Dylan Duncan played out on the right wing, with Phoenix Patterson starting out on the left, either side of Tashan Oakley-Boothe who played as a ten. Kazaiah Sterling led the line for Spurs on only his third appearance of this season.

Spurs got the game underway at Fratton Park but it was the home side who had the first real chance of the game. After Andre Green received Haji Mnonga’s pass down the left the side of the Tottenham penalty area, the winger had a shot with his left foot but Lyons-Foster was able to block it behind for a corner kick. Harvey White was able to clear Brandon Haunstrup’s resulting corner kick as Spurs got the ball away from the danger zone. Japhet Tanganga headed clear a dangerous cross from Haunstrup a couple of minutes later before Bowden was on hand to clear Andre Green’s cross. Andre Green then forced Whiteman into making the first save of the game, after the 20 year old cut inside from the left wing before testing Whiteman with a powerful effort from the edge of the penalty area. Portsmouth had been the more threatening side during the opening 20 minutes of the game that’s why it came as a pleasant to surprise to me when Spurs took the lead in the 20th minute after scoring a well crafted goal. After picking up the ball in the middle of the park the ever elegant Jamie Bowden pondered before making a perfectly weighted pass which paralysed the Portsmouth defence before picking out Patterson who latched onto the ball down the left side of the Portsmouth penalty area. McGee came rushing out to meet Patterson whose initial effort was parried by McGee however, the ball came back off Patterson and over McGee’s head and the Scotland youth international was able to race around him to tap home from a tight angle, before the ball went out of play. The Spurs players all huddled around Patterson right in front of the Fratton end to celebrate his goal, 1-0. After taking the lead Spurs started to play with more confidence although this wasn’t without risk. George Marsh passed the ball straight to Bradley Lethbridge inside the Spurs box but luckily for Marsh, Harvey White was on hand to block Lethbridge’s resulting effort on goal to bail his teammate out. An inviting cross from Jaden Brown was headed away by Portsmouth captain Christian Burgess, before Marsh made up for his previous error by blocking Brandon Haunstrup’s effort on the edge of the penalty area.

Burnett’s side came close to doubling their lead a couple of minutes later after Sterling received Jaden Brown’s pass out on the left wing, before going around Christian Burgess and darting inside the penalty area. However, Burgess recovered well and was able to make a sliding challenge on Sterling to put the ball out for a corner kick at the vital moment. Phoenix Patterson’s resulting corner kick was flicked on by Sterling as Bowden picked the ball up out on the right flank before finding Marsh inside the box with a cross. Marsh’s header was met by Duncan who fired the ball across the face of McGee’s goal on the volley, from the right side of the penalty area. Young Jamie Bowden got caught in possession shorty afterwards when Ben Close nicked the ball off of him in the middle of the park, before driving through the middle and firing an effort over Whiteman’s crossbar. Lyons-Foster managed to get a vital head on David Wheeler’s cross a couple of moments later as the fast pace of the game showed no signs of slowing down. Close glanced a header wide of Whiteman’s goal from the resulting corner kick, before Jaden Brown won a free kick in a promising position down the other end of the pitch. Patterson’s delivery into the box was punched away by McGee and ‘ Pompey ’  went on a dangerous counter attack which was only thwarted at the final moments by the Spurs defence. Christian Burgess then forced a comfortable save from Whiteman with a tame header after meeting Danny Rose’ cross inside the box. Lyons-Foster gave the ball away to Louis Dennis a couple of minutes later and Dennis passed the ball to David Wheeler out on the right flank. However, Lyons-Foster did extremely well to get back and clear Wheeler’s resulting low cross, bringing an enthralling half of football to an end.

Portsmouth got the second half underway but it was Burnett’s youngsters who worked the first decent move of the half. After Oakley-Boothe received Patterson’s pass he found Brown down the left wing. However, the fullback’s whipped cross was well cleared by the alert Burgess. Former Spurs man Anton Walkes almost scored an excellent solo goal a couple of minutes later after he embarked on a long jinking run through the middle of the park, beating a number of Spurs players before firing an effort narrowly wide of Whiteman’s goal, courtesy of an important deflection off of Brown. Japhet Tanganga did well to clear the resulting corner kick but the Spurs defender could do nothing to prevent Portsmouth from taking the lead from a corner kick a couple of minutes later. Louis Dennis’ menacing delivery caused panic amongst the Spurs defence. Duncan tried to clear the ball before Tanganga did but neither player could manage to do so and Andre Green was able to poke home from close range, 1-1. Phoenix Patterson forced a good save out of McGee soon afterwards as Burnett’s side looked to regain the lead. Patterson picked the ball up in the middle of the park before advancing on a surging run towards the Portsmouth penalty area, before testing McGee with a thumping effort from range which the former Spurs goalkeeper pushed behind for a corner. Spurs skipper George Marsh flicked an effort wide from Patterson’s resulting corner kick as Portsmouth broke down the other end. A dangerous move from the home side forced Jade Brown into making an inch perfect sliding challenge to the win the ball off of Ben Close inside the Spurs penalty area. However, the ball rolled out to Ben Close the edge of box but his deflected strike was held comfortably by Whiteman in the Spurs goal. Kenny Jackett’s side had upped their tempo during the second half and it was starting to cause Spurs some real problems.

The ever attentive Brooklyn Lyons-Foster produced an important interception on Andre Green inside the Spurs box before White made an excellent block to thwart a powerful effort on goal from Louis Dennis. The Portsmouth man had another shot blocked by Lyons-Foster moments later as Spurs continued to prevent Portsmouth from taking the lead. A well worked move from Spurs which resulted in Brown receiving Patterson’s pass before playing in Sterling inside the Portsmouth box, only ended in the Spurs striker being slide challenged by Burgess at the final moment. Jackett made a triple substitution shortly afterwards which saw experienced striker Oli Hawkins enter the frame. However, for all of our defensive might and huff and puff, our luck ran out in the 69th minute of time after left back Jaden Brown gave away a free kick right on the edge of the Spurs penalty area after fouling Louis Dennis. The newly introduced Gareth Evans stood up confidently before bending a powerful low effort around the Spurs wall and into the bottom right hand corner of Whiteman’s goal, much to the Spurs goalkeepers frustration, 1-2. Andre Green fired an effort over Whiteman’s crossbar shortly afterwards as Portsmouth started to take full control of the game in front of their vocal home fans. Gareth Evans blazed over from long range before Jamie Bowden almost managed to set Sterling through on goal with a clever pass at the other end. The frantic tempo of the game continued, Oli Hawkins dragged an effort across the face of Whiteman’s goal before Andre Green had an effort on goal blocked by the head of Lyons-Foster after Whiteman had flapped awkwardly at a Portsmouth corner kick. In between both of those chances Dylan Duncan had been replaced by forward Rodel Richards as Burnett looked to add some fire power up top. Then in the 81st minute of time came Portsmouth’s third goal of the game. It was a well worked goal from ‘ Pompey ’ which started with Green out on the left wing before he passed the ball to Ben Thompson inside the box. Thompson squared the ball for substitute Ollie Hawkins to tap home from close range to put the game to bed, in the process of trying to defend Thompson’s cross Japhet Tanganga had injured himself, 1-3. 

Evans fired an effort wide from range before George Marsh blocked Louis Dennis’ effort on goal seconds later. Jaden Brown was replaced by striker Troy Parrott who almost managed to latch onto White’s through ball inside the Spurs box however, the Dubliner ended up clattering into Luke McGee. A couple of moments later Parrott won a free kick right on the edge of the Portsmouth penalty area. Harvey White and Phoenix Patterson stood up on the edge of the box but it was the free kick specialist White who elected to take it. The 17 year old capped off an excellent debut performance for Burnett’s side by curling a delicious effort over the Portsmouth wall, and into the top right hand corner of McGee’s goal, 2-3. It was a wonderful goal which capped off both a brilliant game and performance from Wayne Burnett’s side against the league one leaders. I couldn’t have been more proud of how expressive our young lads were against Kenny Jackett’s team. We contested three really competitive games in the group stages, and after Gillingham’s win over Crawley on Tuesday night our lads have deservedly qualified for the knockout stages of the competition. The draw of which will take place on Friday afternoon in Portsmouth of all places. Meanwhile our under 23’s next PL2 game is against Chelsea on Friday the 24th of November, in Aldershot.

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: I felt that Whiteman had a good game under was what was difficult circumstances, against a very physical and powerful Portsmouth side. Making four saves in total, the 20 year old made some decent stops on the night and apart from a couple of difficult set pieces I thought that he put in a really mature performance. Whiteman demonstrated good leadership and he marshalled his defence well, and he was constantly reminding them to stay high up the pitch.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: It was an excellent performance from the classy ball playing centre half, who started at right back for our game against Portsmouth. Lyons-Foster read the game really well and he managed to defend superbly against Portsmouth winger David Wheeler. The 17 year old made a couple of hugely important blocks and interceptions, he also made an excellent recovery to get back and clear a cross towards the end of the first half.
  • Japhet Tanganga: Operating at rcb, Tanganga was the domineering force in the Spurs defence. He won absolutely everything in the air and he maintained good positioning throughout the game. The courageous 19 year old formed a strong defensive partnership with Marsh, and neither player could have done anything to stop any of Portsmouth’s three goals. 
  • George Marsh: Starting alongside Tanganga, Marsh had a good game, particularly in the first half. Despite his height and stature he did well in the air and never shied away from making a challenge. The skipper made a number of impressive blocks and interceptions.
  • Jaden Brown: The left back didn’t get forward as much as he usually does down the left flank. Brown stayed deep and defended well against the speedy Andre Green down that side of the pitch. Brown read the game well and put in a sound defensive performance. The teenager from Lewisham made an excellent sliding challenge on Ben Close to win the ball of the Portsmouth man inside the Spurs penalty area.
  • Harvey White: It was a night to remember for the first year scholar who put in an excellent debut performance for the development side in the middle of the park. White who has played in all but one of our under 18’s matches this season, put in a really mature performance alongside Bowden in the centre of the park. The slightly deeper of the two midfielders the teenager from Maidstone looked very good on the ball. And in a very Dier-esque way he kept things ticking with his cautious and well timed short passes. White made a couple of excellent blocks and interceptions, but what really impressed me was the first year scholars stamina and constant chasing down of the opposition players. An excellent night at Fratton Park was capped off with an excellent curling free kick from the expert free kick taker in stoppage time of the second half. White’s goal was so good that it even had the Portsmouth supporters on their feet applauding him.
  • Jamie Bowden: A player who has been instrumental in us making the knockout stages of this competition. The classy central midfielder from Tottenham had another really good game against Portsmouth. He was tigerish out of possession and always managed to get in good positions, and pockets of spaces as he helped to break up play and initiate chances. Bowden used the ball intelligently and his pass to set up Patterson’s goal in the first half was a work of art. The timing and the weight of the pass was second to none and it ended up taking a number of Portsmouth players out of the game. The 17 year old also made a similarly impressive pass in the second half which almost managed to set Sterling through on goal. The Irish Londoner now has nine assists this season, more than anybody else in the academy (u18 and u23).
  • Dylan Duncan: The 19 year old put in a real shift out on the right wing and he worked hard at both ends of the pitch. Duncan pressed well and made some nice crisp passes. The West Londoner came close to scoring a volley in the first half. Duncan also made a number of well timed runs during the first half.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Oakley-Boothe played as a ten for our game against Portsmouth and he always looked good on the ball. The 18 year old went on some impressive jinking runs through the middle.
  • Phoenix Patterson: My motm, see below.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: It was a typically hardworking performance from Sterling who led the line against Portsmouth. Sterling pressed aggressively and held the ball up well despite a lack of openings against a strong Portsmouth defence.
  • Rodel Richards: Richards replaced Duncan in the 75th minute and despite his best efforts he was unable to get many touches of the ball out on the right wing.
  • Troy Parrott: It was a very brief cameo from the Dubliner who did manage to win the free kick which Harvey White converted in stoppage time.
  • Armando Shashoua: It was only a very brief cameo from the 18 year old on his debut for the development side. However, he looked as energetic as always. I couldn’t have been more pleased for him!

My man of the match: Phoenix Patterson. The 18 year old had a superb game for Burnett’s team on his full debut for the development side. Patterson was electric out on the left wing and his energy and unpredictably with the ball at his feet made him very hard to defend. The Scotland under 19 international went on some excellent jinking runs down the left wing and through the middle of the pitch. Patterson beat the Portsmouth players with his skill and short spurts of pace, but it was his positivity and willingness to drive at the Portsmouth defence which impressed me the most. Patterson made a good run for his goal before finishing well from a tight angle after rounding Luke McGee. The second year scholar also forced a good save out of the former Spurs goalkeeper at the beginning of the second half. He was by far our most creative and potent attacking player on the day and his non stopping running and constant tracking back after him combined with his many excellently timed runs, rounded off an excellent performance from the teenager who showed a real confidence about his game.

Portsmouth: McGee, Mnoga (Evans 66), Walkes, Burgess (c), Haunstrup, Close, Rose, Wheeler, Dennis, Green (Clarke 66), Lethbridge (Hawkins 66). Substitutes (not used): MacGillivray, Brown.

Spurs: Whiteman, Lyons-Foster, Tanganga, Marsh (c), Brown, White, Bowden (A Shashoua 89), Oakley-Boothe (Parrott 86), Duncan (Richards 75), Patterson, Sterling. Substitutes (not used): Glover, Markanday.

Goals: Portsmouth – Green 50, Evans 69, Hawkins 81; Spurs – Patterson 19; White 90.

Referee: James Linington.

Venue: Fratton Park, Portsmouth.

Attendance: 3,138.

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

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jack Roles – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

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

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

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Tomorrow night our development side will play their most important game of this season, when they travel down to the south coast to take on Portsmouth in their final group game of this seasons Checkatrade trophy. Wayne Burnett’s side are within touching distance of making history by reaching the knockout stages of the competition for the first time in the clubs history. After picking up four points from their first two group games against both Crawley and Gillingham, Burnett’s side occupy second place in the table, ahead of tomorrow’s crucial game at Fratton Park. For Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth side this competition won’t hold the same significance as it does for Burnett’s youngsters. ‘ Pompey ’ have already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition following two wins from their first two group games, this despite the fact that Jackett has fielded a second string side for both of those matches. Kenny Jackett’s high flying Portsmouth have started the season in excellent form, and the league one leaders have only lost two of the 21 matches that they have played this season. Jackett previously spent some time coaching our under 18 side during the 2016/17 season (he is a thoroughly nice man!) and he currently has two former Spurs lads on his books, both of whom are likely to start tomorrow. Those are former Spurs goalkeeper Luke McGee (23) and our former defender Anton Walker who joined Portsmouth for a fee last summer. There a number of outcomes which could see us progress to the knockout stages of the competition following tomorrow’s game against Portsmouth. If Burnett’s side win tomorrow’s game in 90 minutes then they will qualify as group winners. If they draw the game in 90 minutes and then go onto win the resulting penalty shootout then they will qualify in second place. But here’s where things get a bit tricky, if Crawley beat Gillingham and we lose against Portsmouth then we are eliminated from the competition. However, if Crawley draw against Gillingham and then go onto win the penalty shootout and we lose tomorrow’s game, then it will all come down to goal difference. Following our excellent 4-0 win over Gillingham in the last game, Burnett’s side have the superior goal difference to Crawley who will be reliant on us losing by a heavy scoreline in order to progress.

Although Portsmouth don’t have a league game next weekend due to the ongoing international break, they will be without a whole host of key players for tomorrow nights game. Most notable of which is highly rated forward Ronan Curtis who has been called up to the Ireland senior squad. In addition, they aren’t likely to field other important players such as speedy winger Jamal Lowe and experienced centre forward Brett Pitman who is out injured. More encouraging news for Spurs, is that Portsmouth have given minutes to a number of their under 23 players in this seasons competition. 17 year old Joe Hancott and 16 year old Haji Mnoga are two of those players that Jackett has given debuts to in this competition. Whilst Portsmouth will be fielding a second string side for tomorrow nights game, Spurs head coach Wayne Burnett will also be making wholesale changes due to the ongoing international break. Key players Jack Role and Paris Maghoma are just two of seven players that Burnett will be missing for tomorrow’s game due to international call ups. In addition, we are missing the likes of Anthony Georgiou, Jonathan Dinzeyi and Shayon Harrison who are all out injured. On a more positive note 20 year old winger Shilow Tracey has returned to training following an injury he picked up for our under 23’a back in August, and could well feature tomorrow night. Under 18 players Luis Binks, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Rodel Richards, Troy Parrott and Harvey White are just some of the players who could find themselves being included in tomorrow’s match day squad. This is a massive game for Spurs and it will mean a hell of a lot more for our youngsters than it will for the Portsmouth players, especially as they have already qualified for the knockout stages. If Spurs approach tomorrow’s game in the same positive fashion that they did against both Crawley and Gillingham, then they will stand a fighting chance of defeating inform Portsmouth. After suffering disappointing defeats in our last two PL2 games, Burnett will be hoping that his side will be able to respond when his players make the trip down to the south coast on Tuesday. Whilst there has been a lot of disgruntled EFL fans following the introduction of academy sides into this competition. I know full well how much this competition means to our lads, and progressing to the next round of the it would mean the world to them at this stage in their careers. Whatever the outcome of tomorrow’s game the whole experience of playing at a stadium like Fratton Park is one that will live long in these young players memories. I will be getting the train down to Portsmouth tomorrow evening to report on what promises to be a fascinating game of football. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck for tomorrow’s game, and whatever happens I have been immensely proud of how well our youngsters have performed in this competition, this season and I hope that they enjoy the occasion.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1)) Whiteman, Marsh (c), Tanganga, Binks, Brown, Bowden, Skipp, Oakley-Boothe, Richards, Duncan, Sterling.

Subs from: Austin, Lyons-Foster, Reynolds, White, Tracey, Parrott.

Injured/unavailable: Jonathan Dinzeyi (injured), Anthony Georgiou (injured), Luke Amos (injured), Shayon Harrison (injured), Jonathan De Bie (international duty), TJ Eyoma (international duty), Jack Roles (international duty), Malachi Walcott (international duty), Paris Maghoma (international duty), Maximus Tainio (international duty), J’Neil Bennett (international duty).

Doubtful: Tariq Hinds.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Andre Green. Some Spurs fans may remember us being linked with the skilful winger after he broke through the ranks at Aston Villa during the 2015/16 season. Now on loan at Portsmouth from Aston Villa following a season and a half of injury troubles, the 20 year old winger has made two appearances for ‘ Pompey ’ this season following his return from injury. And the former England under 20 international will definitely start against us tomorrow evening as confirmed by Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett in today’s press conference. The experienced Green’s pace and agility is likely to cause problems for Spurs down the channels. And neutralising the threat of the wide man could prove to be crucial come the end of tomorrow nights game.

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/11/11/spurs-under-18s-3-1-swansea-city-match-report/

Spurs under 18’s 3-1 Swansea City: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 3-1 Swansea City: (match report)

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Our second group game of this seasons premier league cup took place on Saturday morning at Hotspur Way. As Matt Wells inform side took on bottom of the group Swansea City with the sole objective of getting all three points. And despite making wholesale changes to his side for the visit of the ‘Swans’ to north London. Owing both to the impending international break and next Tuesdays hugely important Checkatrade trophy game against Portsmouth, Wells was understandably missing a couple of his regular players for the Swansea game. This was a positive thing as it gave starts to players who have hardly played for the under 18 side this season. Such as second year scholars Jubril Okedina and Elliot Thorpe who both made their first starts of the season for Matt Wells side. Spurs needed to win Saturdays game to bolster their chances of making the knockout stages of the competition. And despite a slow start to the game against a defensively resolute Swansea side, Wells side had to dig deep to achieve the win. A slow and pretty uneventful first half was ended in positive circumstances after Rayan Clarke gave Spurs the lead in the 38th minute of the game following a well worked move by the Lilywhites. Spurs enjoyed the lions share of possession throughout the game but we were unable to put the game to bed during the opening stages of the second half, despite creating a plethora of decent chances. And we were punished for this after Mason Jones-Thomas drew level for the visitors with a powerful strike on 69 minutes. However, the introduction of Irishman Troy Parrott shortly afterwards changed the game and the centre forward finished off an excellently worked move to regain Spurs’ lead in the 74th minute. And the win was made safe less than two minutes later, courtesy of an excellent solo goal from the impressive Dilan Markanday. It was an impressive win and performance from Spurs when you consider just how many changes were made from our league game against Fulham the previous week.

Following our 3-1 win over the ‘Swans’ we remain in second place in the group with six points to our name. Our final group game against table toppers Middlesbrough will decide who progresses out of the group as group winners. Matt Wells heavily rotated side for the visit of Anthony Wright’s Swansea side saw the Spurs head coach go for the 4-2-3-1 formation. Overage goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie started in goal whilst a back four of Tainio, Statham, Okedina and Markanday lined up in front of him. Phoenix Patterson and captain Armando Shashoua started in the middle of the park, as the attacking trio of Pochettino, Thorpe (his first ever under 18 start) and Clarke started behind lone striker Rodel Richards. Swansea got the premier league cup game underway on a cool autumnal morning in Enfield. Spurs created some good passages of play during the opening stages of the half as Mart Wells side hogged possession. Makeshift holding midfielder Phoenix Patterson made an important early interception on Swansea’s Mason Jones-Thomas on the edge of the Spurs penalty area, before Spurs winger Maurizio Pochettino had to receive treatment following Ben Erickson’s meaty challenge on him. Phoenix Patterson managed to make an important defensive intervention after the 18 year old trapped and cleared Jones-Thomas’ low cross inside the Spurs box. Josh Thomas then fired an effort narrowly wide of De Bie’s goal from the edge of the Tottenham penalty area, as Spurs struggled to find their rhythm in the game. A good jinking run from makeshift left back Dilan Markanday resulted in the 17 year old tricking his way past Bailey Owen inside the Swansea box before attempting to square the ball to Richards who was unable to make contact with the ball in the middle of the box. The game was very slow and it lacked any real sort of intensity from either side. This resulted in their being large periods of the half with nothing to write home on.

Spurs brightened up towards the end of the half and the energetic Dilan Markanday came desperately close to giving the boys from Bulls Cross the lead  on the stroke of halftime. After picking the ball up on the edge of the Swansea penalty area, Markanday drifted onto his right foot before curling an effort onto the upright, leaving Swansea goalkeeper Scott Reed with little chance of getting to the ball. However, a couple of minutes later Spurs did manage to find the breakthrough with six minutes of the first half remaining. Centre back Maxwell Statham who had defended superbly at the back during the first half, spotted Rayan Clarke out on the left flank. Statham picked the winger out with an accurate cross field diagonal pass to pick out the run of Clarke, who took the ball down before darting away from the Swansea defenders and down the left side of the penalty area. The Swansea defenders desperate appeals for an offside were ignored by the referee, and Clarke showed good composure to tuck the ball past Scott Reed and into the back of the net from five yards out, 1-0. Spurs created a good move shortly after the restart as Richards received Pochettino’s pass before passing the ball to Thorpe on the edge of the Swansea penalty area. However, the Wales youth international blazed the ball over Scott Reed’s crossbar, bringing a quiet first half to an end. Matt Wells side got the second half underway but it was the visitors who had the first attempt on goal of the half. After having the ball slipped into him down the right side of the penalty area by Ryan Bevan, Swansea’s Josh Thomas fired an effort into the side netting courtesy of a deflection off of Patterson who managed to get a vital touch on the ball. A nice bit of skill from Pochettino down the right wing a couple of minutes later, resulted in the teenager from Barcelona beating his man down the right hand side of the penalty area before cutting the ball back to Clarke on the edge of the area. However, Clarke’s powerful first time effort was well blocked by the brave Cameron Evans who threw himself in front of the ball.

Dilan Markanday had an effort on goal blocked by Bevan a couple of moments later before Swansea went on a dangerous attack down the other end. A well worked move from the Welsh club resulted in Josh Thomas threading a pass into Jones-Thomas, down the right side of the Spurs penalty area. The attacking midfielders low shot/cross was held by the diving De Bie. Phoenix Patterson almost managed to put Markanday through on goal with a nice lofted pass over the Swansea defence a couple of moments later, as Spurs started to change shape. Then in the 69th minute of the game Swansea drew level after De Bie had been caught out by Mason Jones-Thomas’ powerful low effort. Jones-Thomas created the goal out of nothing after he cut inside from the left flank as he beat Tainio for pace. Jones-Thomas continued towards the edge of the Spurs penalty area before rifling the ball across De Bie and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 1-1. Spurs responded through Rayan Clarke who cut inside from the left flank before blazing an effort well wide of Reed’s goal. Wells knew that he needed to shake things up in order to change the game and he introduced centre forward Troy Parrott for Elliot Thorpe in the 71st minute, Parrott moved up top whilst Richards dropped back into the number 10 role. The Irish starlet made an instant impact on the game and it took the inform striker less than three minutes to get on the scoresheet. Markanday passed the ball out to Rayan Clarke on the left wing, Clarke spotted the run of Parrott before cutting the ball across goal for the Dubliner to tap home at the back post. Spurs came close to extending their lead straight from the restart, after Markanday embarked on a good run down the left wing before slipping in Richards inside the penalty area. The 18 year old forwards powerful low effort forced a good stop at his near post from Swansea goalkeeper Scott Reed.

Matt Wells side made it 3-1 in the 76th minute of the game courtesy of an excellent solo goal from 17 year old Dilan Markanday. After Shashoua managed to get to the ball before a Swansea player, the Spurs captain poked the ball out to Markanday who advanced on a typical jinking run down the right wing. Markanday beat Daniel Williams before cutting inside Cameron Evans in the penalty area, and then tucking the ball past Scott Reed to finish off a fantastic solo effort to effectively put the game to bed, 3-1. Swansea centre half Cameron Evans felt that he should have been awarded a penalty kick a couple minutes later, after he went to meet Ryan Bevan’s corner kick inside the Spurs box, before going to ground at the back post. Evans was claiming to the referee that he had been pushed from behind by Spurs defender Jubril Okedina. Jeremie Mukendi replaced Dilan Markanday shortly afterwards, this resulted in Mukendi playing up top as Parrott played behind him. Spurs were now in full control of the game, a dangerous whipped cross from the right wing by Pochettino was almost turned into his own net by Ben Erickson. Jeremie Mukendi then had a penalty shout waived away after having his shirt pulled by Evans inside the Swansea penalty area after receiving Parrott’s pass. Matt Wells side were making a series of short passes in the centre of the park as they looked to see out the final minutes of the game against a tiring Swansea side. Spurs goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie got lucky after dropping substitute Owen Evans corner kick, before managing to smother the loose ball. Then in stoppage time defender Cameron Evans fired an effort wide of the Belgians goal with a deflection off of Statham helping to divert the ball away from goal. That was to be the final piece of action from the game, as Matt Wells side managed to record their second win in the competition this season. Our final group game against Middlesbrough next month will be a hugely important game for both sides. Our under 18’s next match is a massive north London derby against Arsenal in the league, on the 24th of this month.

Player reviews:

  • Jonathan De Bie: The overage goalkeeper had a very quiet game and the Belgian had very little to deal with. De Bie could have done nothing to prevent Mason Jones-Thomas’ goal, and other than that Swansea only managed one more shot on target. De Bie is likely to link up with the Belgian under 19 squad during the international break.
  • Maximus Tainio: The young Finn put in a solid performance at right back and he did well to keep the wide players in check throughout the game. Although Tainio had a good game on the whole, he did allow Mason Jones-Thomas to cut inside him for Swansea’s goal. Tainio will likely link up with the Finland under 19 side during the international break.
  • Maxwell Statham: The 18 year old centre half put in an excellent performance at rcb on only his third start for Matt Wells side this season. Statham formed a particularly strong defensive partnership with Okedina, and both players complimented each other throughout the game. Statham read the game well and did a good job at closing down the Swansea forwards as well as defending in tight spaces. Like Okedina the 18 year old was excellent in the air and he made a couple of really important blocks and interceptions. Statham got the assist for our opening goal after he picked out Rayan Clarke on the left flank with a superb Dawson-esque diagonal pass. He played a really big part in our victory over the South Wales club and he has been excellent whenever he has played for us this season. 
  • Jubril Okedina: I was very happy to see Okedina make his first start for Matt Wells side this season, when we took on Swansea on Saturday morning. Operating at lcb Okedina put in a real defensive shift for Spurs, and his lack of game time over the past year didn’t show in the slightest. Strong in the air and committed in the challenge the 18 year old centre half looked very comfortable on the ball and I was impressed with how composed he was both in and out of possession. Okedina made a number of important defensive interventions against Swansea. 
  • Dilan Markanday: Surprisingly the winger started at left back in the absence of Cirkin and Lyons-Foster. The tricky wide man slotted in well at left back although he would often switch positions with other players. Markanday carried the ball well and as always he used it positively and was constantly looking to take on and beat players down the channels. Markanday created a couple of good chances for Spurs and after hitting the post with an excellent effort on the stroke of halftime, Markanday scored a wonderful solo goal in the second half as he continues his excellent start to the season. Markanday has been directly involved in eight goals from the ten games that he has played for our under 18’s this season.
  • Phoenix Patterson: For the second consecutive under 18 game Patterson played as a holding midfielder, and once again the 18 year old put in a fine performance in the middle of the park. Patterson’s skill and agility helped him out in the central areas of the park and this helped him to carry the ball. Patterson made some good passes throughout the game and he did a good job at breaking up play and recycling possession, whilst making a number of important recoveries. 
  • Armando Shashoua: The skipper put in another energetic performance in the middle of the park and he made a positive contribution to the game. Shashoua kept things ticking and he used the ball intelligently when in possession. He worked tirelessly alongside Patterson (he played a slightly more advanced role than Patterson) and his constant chasing down of opposition players helped to force mistakes from the Swansea defence. Armando got the assist for Dilan Markanday’s goal late in the second half. Shashoua has now been directly involved in 12 goals for our under 18’s this season!
  • Maurizio Pochettino: Pochettino had a good game out on the right wing and he was positive and direct with the ball. Showing nice feet and a good turn of pace, Pochettino beat his man on numerous occasions and helped to create a couple of decent chances for his teammates. He also tracked back well after him.
  • Elliot Thorpe: The 18 year old Welshman impressed me on his first ever start for our under 18’s. Thorpe played behind lone striker Rodel Richards and during the first half he was one of our best players. The technically gifted Thorpe made some really clever passes and he constantly created space with his good movement and willingness to get into good positions. Thorpe had one attempt on goal during his time on the pitch, he was replaced by Troy Parrott in the 71st minute of time.
  • Rayan Clarke: The left winger had an excellent game and he chipped in with a goal and an assist. Clarke was a real live wire out on the left flank and he put in a shift at both ends of the park. Clarke made some excellently timed runs in and behind the Swansea defence and he beat the trap on several occasions. The 17 year old took his goal well after latching onto Statham’s long pass before darting into the Swansea box. Clarke also managed to set up Parrott for his goal. Clarke was one of the most positive attacking players on the pitch and he was always looking to take players on. He is such a direct and powerful winger who has really started to remind me of Andros Townsend.
  • Rodel Richards: Richards had a fairly quite game by his standards and the lone centre forward struggled to influence play during his time up top. Later reverting into the cam role, the hardworking forward managed to test Swansea goalkeeper Scott Reed on one occasion before being replaced by Jeremie Mukendi in the 80th minute.
  • Troy Parrott: My motm, see below.
  • Jeremie Mukendi: Mukendi made a positivelate cameo after replacing Richards in the 80th minute. Mukendi led the line for the final minutes of the game and he should have been awarded a penalty after going on a good run through the middle of the Swansea defence, before being fouled in the box.

My man of the match: Troy Parrott. The centre forward changed the game following his introduction in the 71st minute, with the scores still tied at 1-1. Parrott provided Spurs with a focal point up top, and the hardworking and imposing presence of the Irishman helped us to break down what had been a very solid Swansea defence. Some excellent movement shortly after his introduction resulted in the 16 year old managing to get in a good position to convert Clarke’s low cross. Parrott looked so sharp and powerful and his darting movement really upset the Swansea defence. He held the ball up well and he used it unselfishly, going on some good runs through the middle after picking up the ball on the edge of the six yard box. He looked on another level to anyone else on the park and that sheer quality proved to be the difference between the two sides on the day. Parrott has taken to under 18 football like a duck to water, finding the back of the net on eight occasions from just five appearances. The Dubliner has also laid off three goals for his teammates. I would expect him to be involved in the squad that travels to Portsmouth on Tuesday for our Checkatrade trophy game at Fratton park.

Spurs: De Bie, Tainio, Markanday (Mukendi 80), Patterson, Statham, Okedina, Pochettino, A.Shashoua (c), Richards, Thorpe (Parrott 71), Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, White.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 8

Dilan Markanday – 6

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Rayan Clarke – 5

Armando Shashoua – 4

Harvey White – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Luis Binks – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Assists: Armando Shashoua – 8

Harvey White – 7

Jamie Bowden – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Troy Parrott – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dilan Markanday – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Rayan Clarke – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Maxwell Statham – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 3

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

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

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Our under 18’s will face Swansea City tomorrow at Hotspur Way in their second premier league cup game of this season. Matt Wells side sit second in their group after winning their opening game against Wolves in September, and a win over the ‘Swans’ on Saturday morning would leave them in with a great chance of topping the group and progressing to the knockout stages of the competition. Middlesbrough lead the group on goal difference after beating Swansea 6-1 in the opening round of matches. Matt Wells high flying side recorded a hard fought 1-1 draw with Fulham in a league game last Saturday, and that was the closest that his unbeaten side had come to being defeated in a game this season. Due to the fact that England’s under 17 team are competing in a tournament in Ireland at the moment, Spurs will be without important defenders Dennis Cirkin and Malachi Walcott for tomorrow’s cup game. However, this will give vital game time to some of our other defenders who haven’t played much for Matt Wells side so far this season. Tomorrow’s premier league cup game was originally scheduled to kick off at 1pm however, the game will now kick off at 11am. I am told that this is down to the fact that Swansea will now be staying overnight in a hotel before the game rather than travelling down to London on the day. Spurs will be feeling confident going into this cup game due to the fact that Swansea who are co managed by Anthony Wright and Jon Gray are in such poor league form this season. The South Wales club who we defeated 5-1 in the league back in August, have had a really difficult start to the new season. Swansea sit in 11th place in the southern division and the ‘Swans’ have only won one of their opening nine league games this campaign. The Swans have three players who have caught my eye over the last year or so whenever we have played them. 

The first player is powerful right back Jayden Reid who had a stunning game against our under 23’s during the ‘Swans’ 4-1 win over us the previous week. However, due to the fact that he is already a regular for Swansea’s development side, I would highly doubt that he will the make the trip to north London for tomorrow’s game. The other two players are talented young English centre forward Shaquille Wynter-Coles (18) and the half brother of our former player Eidur Gudjohnsen, Arnor Borg. Arnor Borg Gudjohnsen operates primarily as a ten. There is likely to be quite a bit of rotation from Matt Wells tomorrow, this could see the likes of Maxwell Statham, Kacper Kurylowicz, Jubril Okedina and Elliot Thorpe get much needed starts for the under 18’s. Tomorrow’s game is a big one for our lads and they’ll be desperate to return to winning ways and there’s no better way to do that than in a cup competition. And talking of cup competitions the draw for the third round of this seasons FA youth cup was made earlier today. We have been draw away to category two Millwall with the game set to be played at the Den sometime before the 16th of December. I’m really looking forward to our premier league cup game against the ‘Swans’ tomorrow and my in-depth report of the game will be out on Sunday afternoon. I wish all of our lads the very best of luck for tomorrow’s game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Okedina, Statham, Lyons-Foster, White, A.Shashoua (c), Patterson, Markanday, Thorpe, Clarke, Richards.

Subs from: Oluwayemi, Tainio, Pochettino, Bennett, Mukendi.

Injured/unavailable: Dennis Cirkin (international duty), Malachi Walcott (international duty), Paris Maghoma (international duty), Luis Binks (suspended).

Doubtful: Enoch Asante, Troy Parrott, Rafferty Pedder, Maximus Tainio.

Previous meeting: Spurs 5-1. 

My score prediction: Spurs 4-0.

My one to watch: Swansea’s 18 year old centre forward and joint top scorer for their under 18’s this season with two goals, Shaquille Wynter-Coles. 

ICYMI: https://superhotspur.com/2018/11/08/spurs-under-19s-2-0-psv-match-report/