WindyCOYS http://windycoys.com Spurs Blog, often focussing on goal analysis & under 18/loan players Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:24:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Thoughts on the transfer window http://windycoys.com/2014/09/thoughts-on-the-transfer-window-2/ http://windycoys.com/2014/09/thoughts-on-the-transfer-window-2/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:23:57 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=2033 Ins:

Davies
Vorm
Dier
Fazio
Stambouli
Yedlin (to join next year)

Outs:

Sandro
Dawson
Sigurdsson
Livermore
Fryers
Falque
Obika
Coulibaly
Released professionals: Gomes, Gallifuoco, Lancaster, Michael-Percil, Miles, Stewart, McQueen, Dombaxe and Vigouroux.

Firstly, I’m glad that’s over – I don’t enjoy the way the transfer window works, and how loopy it can send people.

But in terms of assessing our window, I’m satisfied with the work we’ve done. At the start of the summer I identified left-back, centre-back, back-up goalkeeper, and wing-forward as areas to improve. We’ve ticked most of these off. We’ve also shifted plenty of deadwood and not made the mistake of last season, where we spent a lot of money on players on lots of overseas players who took a long time to settle.

We got an excellent price for Livermore, and the dealings with Swansea – giving them Sigurdsson and taking Davies and Vorm for little or no extra cash – seemed very sensible. Whilst he was a good, honest pro who had terrific technique when striking a ball, Sigurdsson failed to hold down a regular place and was not deemed good enough by the majority of fans. His sale allowed us to fill two problem areas – Vorm is closer in style to Lloris than Friedel, and Davies is the ‘steady Eddy’ left-back that Rose simply isn’t.

Dier was signed for a similar fee that we received for Falque – again, great business – and Fazio replaces Dawson (‘Michael Dawson – a tribute‘).

Stambouli has come in for roughly half of what we received for Sandro – if he’s more suited to the system than the loveable but unreliable Brazilian – and that’s a big if – then it would represent another sensible bit of business.

The key is that Pochettino is allowed a degree of control over shaping his squad. Whilst there are some players that he will be able to mould and develop, there are others that he will feel are unwilling or unable to be what he wants them to be. Of course, when transfer fees are spiralling out of control, it’s also increasingly difficult to bring better, more suitable players in.

It’s been pretty well documented that Pochettino wanted to bring in Schneiderlin and Rodriguez from Southampton. He trusts them, rates them, and sees them as able to improve us. Southampton have played hardball with both (credit to them for that) and so Pochettino either needs to be patient, or to seek alternatives – as he seems to have done with Stambouli.

I have a suspicion that his first choice ball-playing centre-back target was the Mexican, Hector Moreno, who suffered a broken leg during the World Cup; Pochettino was his manager at Espanyol. Subsequently we bid for Musacchio, but he proved to be difficult to land owing to complications with his third party ownership. Fazio, I’d guess, was always going to be signed alongside one of these; their playing styles are significantly different to suggest that.

I’m happy to trust Pochettino. If he felt that the squad was too big, I trust his trimming of it. If he felt that a player in central midfield that wins the ball and passes it quickly was his top priority, that’s fine with me. If he didn’t feel that he can rely on the likes of Dawson and Sandro – previous fan favourites – then so be it.

The only area where I feel like we’ve left ourselves weak is wing-forward. Whilst Chadli played well against QPR, I don’t think we can rely on him for the season. Lennon is not productive enough to play high on the left, and Townsend seems more comfortable on the right these days. Welbeck would have been a useful option as he’s able to play wide, or through the centre – my suspicion was that we wanted him on loan, or not at all, given that we seem willing to wait for Rodriguez’s return to fitness.

Personally I’d have also tried to replace Soldado and ship out Paulinho, but – ignoring the fact that they might have been difficult to sell after poor seasons – Pochettino keeping hold of all seven of last summer’s signings does represent confidence to get the best out of players who mostly struggled last year (for various reasons, and with mitigating circumstances).

I take more pleasure from seeing a coach improve players rather than just buying a new team, and it’s important that we give Pochettino and his coaching team a chance to do this. Expectations for the coming season are relatively low, and there will be matches – like the defeat to Liverpool – where the team under-performs as the players learn the system. But I will be staggered if, by the end of the season, we haven’t enjoyed the football more, and don’t see plenty of positive signs.

COYS

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25-man squad update http://windycoys.com/2014/08/25-man-squad-update-2/ http://windycoys.com/2014/08/25-man-squad-update-2/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 10:42:24 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=2020 At the beginning of August I wrote about how our 25-man squad is shaping up. After the sale of one ‘home grown’ player (Dawson), the loan of two others (Fredericks and Carroll) and the signing on a non-home grown player (Fazio), I thought I’d follow it up.

To summarise the rule again, we are able to name a 25-man squad if eight of the players are “home grown”. We could name fewer than eight home grown players, but would need to also name fewer than 25 players in our squad – e.g. if we only have seven home grown players, we can name a 24-man squad, 6/23, 5/22, etc. A home grown player is defined as follows:

… one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Welsh Football Association for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).

We do not need to name players who are under 21 on the squad list; for the 2014/15 campaign, players considered ‘under 21′ will have been born on or after 1st January 1993.

As it stands, our ‘named’ 25-man squad would probably consist of the following (* = home grown player):

Hugo Lloris
Michel Vorm
Brad Friedel

Kyle Walker*
Danny Rose*
Kyle Naughton*

Younes Kaboul
Jan Vertonghen
Federico Fazio
Vlad Chiriches
Zeki Fryers*

Sandro
Paulinho
Mousa Dembélé
Lewis Holtby
Étienne Capoue
Christian Eriksen
Ryan Mason*

Aaron Lennon*
Erik Lamela
Andros Townsend*
Nacer Chadli

Emmanuel Adebayor
Roberto Soldado
Jonathan Obika*

That would mean that the following miss out:

Benoît Assou-Ekotto
Bongani Khumalo
Cristian Ceballos

Also missing out would be the loan players:

Tom Carroll (on loan at Swansea)
Ryan Fredericks (on loan at Middlesbrough)

We are then able to select any players who were born after January 1993 without needing to register them. This means that any of the following (plus the 1st and 2nd year Academy scholars) would be available for selection:

Alex Pritchard (on loan at Brentford)
Jordan Archer (on loan at Northampton Town)
Ben Davies
Harry Kane
Eric Dier
Shaq Coulthirst (on loan at Southend United)
Kenny McEvoy (on loan at Peterborough United)
Nabil Bentaleb
Grant Ward (on loan at Chicago Fire)
Rueben Lameiras
Soli Coulibaly
Tomislav Gomelt (expected to join Bari, possibly on loan)
Alex McQueen
Aaron McEneff
Dominic Ball
Luke McGee
Milos Veljkovic
Daniel Akindayini
Harry Winks
Connor Ogilvie
Nathan Oduwa
Emmanuel Sonupe
Filip Lesniak
William Miller

Zeki Fryers is being linked with Crystal Palace and Jon Obika is being linked with various clubs as well – if either were to leave, we’d either have to not replace them, or to replace them with a homeg rown player. We could, however, sell a non-home grown player to make space for another non-home grown player. For example, with Lewis Holtby expected to move to HSV, we would free up space for another signing if necessary - Benjamin Stambouli, perhaps.

It’s easy to see why a move for Danny Welbeck may look attractive – we’re cutting it fine on home grown players if we want to name a 25-man squad. However, with a talented set of under 21 players (including Bentaleb, Dier, Kane and Davies) we don’t *have* to name the full 25.

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Michael Dawson – a tribute http://windycoys.com/2014/08/michael-dawson-a-tribute/ http://windycoys.com/2014/08/michael-dawson-a-tribute/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:59:51 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1925 Michael Dawson is a throwback. Not just in terms of his on-pitch style – courageous and uncompromising – but also his off-pitch demeanour. Even his haircut – a short back and sides, generally swept across his forehead – is reminiscent of the era in which footballers like Dawson came from; an era when money didn’t dictate everything from players’ ‘career planning’ to fans having to pick and choose which games they attended. The concept of ‘Category C’ didn’t exist then.

Michael Dawson - club captain

Michael Dawson – club captain

Dawson arrived at Tottenham Hotspur from Nottingham Forest, signed in a double deal with Republic of Ireland international, Andy Reid. As is seemingly so often the case in this type of deal (at least where Spurs are concerned), Dawson was seen by most as the makeweight or add-on in that deal, but his achievements and performances have gone on to far excel those of Reid, who left after eighteen months and is mostly remembered for being overweight. Nearly ten years later, Dawson is set to move on too.

It is sometimes the case that in this genre of article the author forgets to mention the bad, so I’m going to try to avoid falling into that trap. Dawson has become known for a slightly cumbersome style, ill-suited to the high line which Tottenham have played in recent times. He is, frankly, slow on the turn and has a tendency to get sucked into committing himself around the halfway line, leaving plenty of grass for attackers to run into.

He has had some horror-shows. Sergio Aguero has been the bane of his existence on more than one occasion, but particularly in the 5-1 home defeat at the start of the 2011/12 season. At that point Dawson was well regarded and was regularly in England squads, but Aguero made him look foolish; his low centre of gravity making Daws’ turning circle look larger than even his harshest critic could have described. He was involved in the heavy defeats to Manchester City (twice), Liverpool (twice) and Chelsea last season.

But it wasn’t just the elite players that occasionally brought out the worst in him; even before his 12th minute sending off against Fulham in a 4-0 defeat, he was having a real stinker. It occasionally happened, and we can’t ignore it. But these memories belie the truth that he has been a stalwart for the club for nearly a decade, and in that time there have been many, many positives for both individual and team.

He’s played over 300 times for Tottenham Hotspur. He played in the 1-0 victory at Manchester City that took us to the Champions League. He played in both matches against AC Milan in the Champions League, making a vital block from a Robinho effort late on at the San Siro. He played at Wembley in the League Cup defeat to Manchester United. The following season he was named Tottenham Hotspur ‘Player of the Year’.

The phrase ’100% commitment’ is widely-used in football, but rarely has a player been so deserving of the tag. Dawson is a genuine trier, and us fans just love a trier.

His gentlemanly persona meant that he was able to build rapport with referees – if necessary, they would speak to him to ask him to calm his teammates down, or to explain a decision. He would question, yes, but generally without arm-waving, without ranting and without raving. Unlike so many others, he showed respect.

And that ignores all of the off-pitch add-ons that you get with a player of Dawson’s nature. Club captain. Fan favourite. Consummate professional. Gentlemen. Friendly face of the club. Charitable volunteer. Family man. Recently it emerged that he had sent a letter (or at least signed a letter) to a fan celebrating his 60th birthday. These gestures do not go unnoticed.

He will be remembered as much for his fist pumps, his smile, and his gentlemanly persona as he will for his goal-saving blocks, his brave headers, and his not-always-accurate cross-field passes. I for one have been very happy to have Michael Dawson represent us as captain – as the friendly face of Tottenham Hotspur.

Good luck, Michael Dawson – you will always receive warm applause from me if and when you return to White Hart Lane.

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16/08/14 Tottenham Hotspur U18s 4-2 Norwich City U18s, Hotspur Way http://windycoys.com/2014/08/160814-tottenham-hotspur-u18s-4-2-norwich-city-u18s-hotspur-way/ http://windycoys.com/2014/08/160814-tottenham-hotspur-u18s-4-2-norwich-city-u18s-hotspur-way/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 11:07:49 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=2015 Harry Voss (17)
Lloyd Ross (17) Christian Maghoma (16) Zenon Stylianides (16) Kyle Walker-Peters (17)
Luke Amos (17)
Shayon Harrison (17) Joe Pritchard (17) (c) Cy Goddard (17) Anthony Georgiou (17)
Ryan Loft (16)

Subs:
Charlie Hayford (16) for Joe Pritchard, 66.
Armani Daly (16) for Anthony Georgiou, 66.
Chris Paul (16) for Luke Amos, 77.

Unused sub:
Tom McDermott (16)

It was a bright afternoon for the opening Under-18 match of the season. There were a number of first years in the squad giving me my first look at some of them.

With no natural left-back in the match-day squad, it was left to Kyle Walker-Peters to move across from his usual right-back position, with central midfielder Lloyd Ross filling in on the right. Zenon Stylianides, who usually plays in midfield himself, played at centre-back, with Cameron Carter-Vickers absent (in the United States, having been called up to represent their Under-18s).

Spurs lined up in a 4-1-4-1 which became a 4-3-3 in possession, as the wingers pushed up. Luke Amos anchored the midfield and was generally deeper than both Joe Pritchard and Cy Goddard.

Straight from the kick off Harry Voss was a vocal presence, constantly talking to the unfamiliar back four ahead of him.

The first opening of the game fell to Ryan Loft, who tried to turn on the edge of the area, but was crowded out. Norwich had their first opportunity soon after – a defensive mix-up led to Bernard Ashley-Seal latching onto a loose Spurs pass and running through between our centre-backs. With Voss unsure whether to come out or retreat to his line, he was relieved when the striker weakly shot straight at him.

It was noticeable that Anthony Georgiou and Shayon Harrison were asked to press high up the pitch, with Pritchard in particular joining in from midfield. Whether this was a ‘Pochettino press’ or just a standard press, it’s too early to say.

Ryan Loft gave Spurs the lead after a lovely, flowing move on the right involving Ross and Georgiou. Loft intelligently finished into the far corner.

Spurs frequently tried to switch play early, and on one such occasion, Joe Pritchard struck one right between two teammates and out of play.

Stylianides usually plays in midfield and looked a little nervous at times defensively, but he made a superb saving challenge in the left-back area having initially been outpaced by the winger. He kept up and timed the tackle perfectly.

Walker-Peters was typically up and down all match, and on fifteen minutes he somehow managed to hang onto the ball despite being tripped, and got up to play a clever pass – his close control and balance are fantastic.

Amos pinged a lovely cross-field pass to Georgiou, as we looked to focus our attacks down the left. A minute later, the ball came back to Georgiou again, and his back-heel set Walker-Peters free; the full-back’s low cross fell nicely to Harrison, but he curled the ball over the bar when he probably should have made it two.

Norwich equalised on eighteen minutes through another defensive mix-up. As Maghoma ran towards his own goal, he seemed to have the legs to keep up with Ashley-Seal and was in control. Voss came out to help deal with the situation, and Maghoma had to change course and slow down to avoid Voss, meaning that once the forward rounded the goalkeeper, he had the simple task of sliding the ball home.

Spurs bounced back immediately, with Georgiou picking up the ball from Loft, cutting in from the left flank, and toe-poking beyond the goalkeeper intelligently.

A minute later, Loft brought the ball down well and teed up Harrison who shot well over, and then Georgiou went very close with a lovely, curling effort that the goalkeeper palmed up straight into the air and then grabbed at the second attempt when it looked for a minute like it might drop into the net.

Harrison’s neat first touch drew a foul, and Cy Goddard stepped up to take the free-kick on the edge of the box. He got the ball up and down neatly, but put it wide.

Maghoma drove an accurate, flat cross-field pass over to Georgiou, who beat his man again but overhit his cross.

It was nearly 3-1 when Pritchard charged forward after a poor kick from the goalkeeper. His shot was blocked and just as it seemed about to land at the feet of a Spurs player, the keeper pounced on it.

Goddard was having an up and down day with his passing, and played one straight into touch as he looked to get things moving quickly.

Ross made a good recovery challenge on the right after his own error had landed him in trouble, and then Goddard’s quick feet allowed him to tee up Ross for a shot which sent straight at the goalkeeper.

Walker-Peters went on a typically slaloming run down the left – carrying the ball most of the length of the pitch – and drew a free-kick which came to nothing.

A ball into the box from Norwich caused a bit of confusion, with John McDermott telling Maghoma “Christian, you’ve got to be heading that”.

Ross nearly got on the end of a Georgiou cross, before Amos got a talking to from the referee for an accumulation of fouls, although on this occasion he did seem to have won the ball.

Pritchard played a nice pass inside the fullback to Ross, who couldn’t quite get the ball out of his feet to get a shot away.

There was a good chance for Todd Cantwell after a clever pass from Bernard Ashley-Seal, but Voss made the save, getting down quickly. Then, Pritchard nearly directed the ball into his own goal when he slid in to block a cross at the near post.

Loft nicked the ball from Harley Black in the Norwich half, and played Amos in with a slightly under-hit pass. Amos did superbly to wriggle away from two men, and was taken down when he had a clear run at goal, leading to Black being shown a yellow card just before half-time.

Norwich made a change at half-time, taking off Black and having a re-shuffle, resulting in the new man, Christian Scales, playing at full-back.

Georgiou almost instantly had a good chance one-on-one – he cut in from the left and, with options either side of him, he elected to try a shot with his weaker right foot, and the keeper made a straightforward save.

Another nice move from Spurs saw Amos find Pritchard, who played in Loft – the ball was slightly too heavy and the goalkeeper did well to gather it. At the other end, Norwich’s athletic captain, Jamie Eaton-Collins, drew a good save from Voss with a shot across goal.

Spurs extended their lead when Walker-Peters made yet another excellent run, found Georgiou, and his low cross from the left made it to Loft. Although his contact wasn’t as firm as he might have hoped, it squirmed underneath the goalkeeper.

Soon after, Goddard went over in the box, but it looked like a clean challenge on this occasion.

Spurs made a couple of substitutions, bringing on Armani Daly and Charlie Hayford for Pritchard and Georgiou. Daly went out to the left, and Hayford played in midfield. Hayford, on first look, reminded me a little of former Academy player, Jack Munns – small but quite stocky and barrel-chested.

Voss was out to mop up well after Stylianides sold him short with a back pass.

Ross’ cross shot came to nothing after Daly had cut in from the left and dribbled across the edge of the box to tee him up.

Spurs’ fourth goal came when Walker-Peters came in off the left flank, took aim, and fired a rocket of a shot in off the underside of the crossbar. A wonderful goal to cap a wonderful performance.

Norwich’s big number 14 in midfield was making Hayford, Goddard and Amos look a little vulnerable, so it wasn’t long before we brought on the tall Chris Paul for Amos to offer more presence.

I had to leave early to ensure I got home in time for the West Ham game, but Norwich scored another consolation right at the end – and apparently it was a good goal too: Jamal curling home from range.

This was a Spurs performance that was easy on the eye, against poor opposition. There were a handful of stand-out performers, with the majority of players not truly tested or put under pressure – in that sense, it was a perfect first game of the season.

Kyle Walker – not Walker-Peters! – appeared to watch a few minutes of the game. Also watching was Jon Miles; the goalkeeper had said his goodbyes on Twitter at the end of the season, but was wearing his Spurs tracksuit. I wonder whether he’s perhaps going to take on a coaching role, or is training with the club on a non-contract basis.

Harry Voss 6 – With a new (and slightly makeshift) defence ahead of him, who were playing very high, it wasn’t an easy game for Voss. He was at fault for Norwich’s equaliser, but did make some good stops.
Lloyd Ross 6 – Did a reasonable job filling in, and got forward well in support.
Christian Maghoma 6 – Looked a little out of sorts playing alongside an unfamiliar partner, but still seems to have time on the ball.
Zenon Stylianides 6 – Filled in well at centre-back, and was very comfortable on the ball. A few slip-ups, but mostly defended pretty well.
Kyle Walker-Peters 9 – For me, he’s already too good for this level. His balance, pace and ball control are exceptional, and he is able to carry the attack time after time from full-back.
Luke Amos 8 – A very composed and commanding midfield performance from Amos, who seems to have grown a few inches. Reads the game well, mops up danger, and moves the ball nice and quickly.
Shayon Harrison 6 – Definitely not as effective playing on the wing, but with Loft coming up this season, he might have to get used to playing in different roles.
Joe Pritchard 6 – Worked really hard to press the Norwich midfield and defence, but wasn’t always effective in possession.
Cy Goddard 6 – Moved between incisive, clever passing, to surrendering possession cheaply, with very little in between. I like the way he tries to play the game, though, and I’d expect him to step up this season.
Anthony Georgiou 8 – A constant thorn in Norwich’s side with his direct running and ability to beat a man.
Ryan Loft 7 – Showed a good touch and awareness, leading the line well and giving us a platform to build from.

Hayford – Was neat and tidy in midfield.
Daly – Didn’t have too many opportunities to get at his full-back, but didn’t shy away from the ball.
Paul – Worked hard to maintain the pressing game in midfield.

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Spurs Academy at Eurofoot – into the semi-final http://windycoys.com/2014/08/spurs-academy-at-eurofoot-into-the-semi-final/ http://windycoys.com/2014/08/spurs-academy-at-eurofoot-into-the-semi-final/#comments Sun, 03 Aug 2014 08:20:03 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=2012 Spurs are through to the semi-finals of the Eurofoot tournament after two wins and a draw on day two.

The results so far:

Cercle Brugge – lost 2-0
Utrecht – won 3-0 (Goddard, Pritchard, and Maghoma)
Mechelen – won 3-0 (Harrison, Loft 2)
Genk – won 1-0 (Pritchard)
Club Brugge – drew 2-2 (Harrison, Loft)

Today we play Brazilian side Atletico Paranaense in the semi-final, and Genk play Nordsjaelland (from Denmark) in the other semi-final. These kick off at 10am GMT.

Make sure you follow RayLo for updates.

The squad we’ve taken to the tournament is as follows:

Tottenham
1 Glover Thomas 24/12/97
2 Walker Peters Kyle 13/07/97
3 Maghoma Christian 8/11/97
4 Carter Vickers Cameron 31/12/97
5 Muscatt Joseph 15/12/97
6 Walkes Anton 8/02/97
7 Amos Luke 23/02/97
8 Paul Christoper 25/09/97
9 Pritchard Joe 10/09/96
10 Ross Lloyd 14/12/96
11 Goddard Cy 2/04/97
12 Hayford Charlie 29/11/97
13 McDermott Thomas 30/01/98
14 Stylianides Zenon 7/01/98
15 Owens Charlie 7/12/97
16 Georgiou Anthony 24/02/97
17 Azzaoui Ismail 6/01/98
18 Daly Armani 23/09/97
19 Harrison Shayon 13/07/97
20 Loft Ryan 14/09/97

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Spurs Academy at Eurofoot – update http://windycoys.com/2014/08/spurs-academy-at-eurofoot-update/ http://windycoys.com/2014/08/spurs-academy-at-eurofoot-update/#comments Sat, 02 Aug 2014 13:02:12 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=2008 Spurs Under-19s won their first game of the day 3-0 against Mechelen this morning – Shayon Harrison scored a penalty in the first half, and second half substitute Ryan Left bagged two as well.

Spurs also used two players not previously listed – Chris Paul and Zenon Stylianides.

Yesterday we started off with a 2-0 defeat to Cercle Brugge before beating Utrecht 3-0 with goals from Goddard, Pritchard, and Maghoma.

This afternoon we play Genk and Club Brugge. Make sure you follow RayLo for updates.

The squad we’ve taken to the tournament is as follows:

Tottenham
1 Glover Thomas 24/12/97
2 Walker Peters Kyle 13/07/97
3 Maghoma Christian 8/11/97
4 Carter Vickers Cameron 31/12/97
5 Muscatt Joseph 15/12/97
6 Walkes Anton 8/02/97
7 Amos Luke 23/02/97
8 Paul Christoper 25/09/97
9 Pritchard Joe 10/09/96
10 Ross Lloyd 14/12/96
11 Goddard Cy 2/04/97
12 Hayford Charlie 29/11/97
13 McDermott Thomas 30/01/98*
14 Stylianides Zenon 7/01/98
15 Owens Charlie 7/12/97
16 Georgiou Anthony 24/02/97
17 Azzaoui Ismail 6/01/98
18 Daly Armani 23/09/97
19 Harrison Shayon 13/07/97
20 Loft Ryan 14/09/97

*It looks as though Tom McDermott is a Ireland U16 goalkeeper formerly of Dungannon Swifts.

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25-man squad http://windycoys.com/2014/08/25-man-squad/ http://windycoys.com/2014/08/25-man-squad/#comments Sat, 02 Aug 2014 12:38:06 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=2005 The 25-man squad rule has become an important aspect in ‘transfer planning’, and Spurs seem to be pretty adept at it.

To summarise the rule again, we are able to name a 25-man squad if eight of the players are “home grown”. We could name fewer than eight home grown players, but would need to also name fewer than 25 players in our squad – e.g. if we only have seven home grown players, we can name a 24-man squad, 6/23, 5/22, etc. A home grown player is defined as follows:

… one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Welsh Football Association for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).

We do not need to name players who are under 21 on the squad list; for the 2014/15 campaign, players considered ‘under 21′ will have been born on or after 1st January 1993.

As it stands, our ‘named’ 25-man squad would probably consist of (* = home grown player):

Hugo Lloris
Michel Vorm
Brad Friedel

Kyle Walker*
Danny Rose*
Kyle Naughton*

Younes Kaboul
Jan Vertonghen
Michael Dawson*
Vlad Chiriches
Zeki Fryers*

Sandro
Paulinho
Mousa Dembélé
Lewis Holtby
Étienne Capoue
Christian Eriksen
Ryan Mason*
Tom Carroll*

Aaron Lennon*
Erik Lamela
Andros Townsend*
Nacer Chadli

Emmanuel Adebayor
Roberto Soldado

That would mean that the following miss out:

Benoît Assou-Ekotto
Bongani Khumalo
Jonathan Obika*
Ryan Fredericks*
Cristian Ceballos

We are then able to select any players who were born after January 1993 without needing to register them. This means that any of the following (plus the 1st and 2nd year Academy scholars) would be available for selection:

Alex Pritchard (on loan at Brentford)
Jordan Archer
Ben Davies
Harry Kane
Eric Dier
Shaq Coulthirst
Kenny McEvoy (on loan at Peterborough)
Nabil Bentaleb
Grant Ward (on loan at Chicago Fire)
Rueben Lameiras
Soli Coulibaly
Tomislav Gomelt
Alex McQueen
Aaron McEneff
Dominic Ball
Luke McGee
Milos Veljkovic
Daniel Akindayini
Harry Winks
Connor Ogilvie
Nathan Oduwa
Emmanuel Sonupe
Filip Lesniak
William Miller

It’s worth nothing that Morgan Schneiderlin – our apparent number one target – counts as “homegrown” (according to the Premier League), as he joined Southampton just in the nick of time to meet the requirements.

Having nine homegrown players already in the squad gives us an element of flexibility. Also, I’ve included Carroll in the squad, when a loan seems likely for him.

We also have the bonus of the likes of Bentaleb, Veljkovic, Archer, Davies, Kane and Dier, who do not need to be named in the squad in order to be used.

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Spurs Academy at Eurofoot http://windycoys.com/2014/08/spurs-academy-at-eurofoot/ http://windycoys.com/2014/08/spurs-academy-at-eurofoot/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:09:11 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1993 We have taken a young squad (the second youngest in our group) to the Eurofoot tournament this weekend.

This morning we started off with a 2-0 defeat to Cercle Brugge, and this afternoon we beat Utrecht 3-0 with goals from Goddard, Pritchard, and Maghoma.

Tomorrow we play Mechelen, Genk and Club Brugge.

The squad we’ve taken to the tournament is as follows:

Tottenham
1 Glover Thomas 24/12/97
2 Walker Peters Kyle 13/07/97
3 Maghoma Christian 8/11/97
4 Carter Vickers Cameron 31/12/97
5 Muscatt Joseph 15/12/97
6 Walkes Anton 8/02/97
7 Amos Luke 23/02/97
9 Pritchard Joe 10/09/96
10 Ross Lloyd 14/12/96
11 Goddard Cy 2/04/97
12 Hayford Charlie 29/11/97
13 McDermott Thomas 30/01/98*
15 Owens Charlie 7/12/97
16 Georgiou Anthony 24/02/97
17 Azzaoui Ismail 6/01/98
18 Daly Armani 23/09/97
19 Harrison Shayon 13/07/97
20 Loft Ryan 14/09/97

*It looks as though Tom McDermott is a Ireland U16 goalkeeper formerly of Dungannon Swifts.

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Spurs youth round-up http://windycoys.com/2014/07/spurs-youth-round-up/ http://windycoys.com/2014/07/spurs-youth-round-up/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:56:30 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1977 Ledley King appointed Under-18 coach

News that may have gone a little under the radar due to the North American tour was that legendary captain, Ledley King, has been appointed as a part-time Under-18 coach. Academy Manager & Head of Coaching, John McDermott told the official site:

“Ledley has come through the coaching training programme undertaken by a number of senior players in recent seasons, including Scott Parker, Brad Friedel and Michael Dawson.

We are now looking for Ledley to spend 2-3 days a week assisting our Under-18 group with their on and off pitch development.

Using senior players as role models within our Academy is a scheme we are keen to nurture and develop further.”

There are few better people to learn from than McDermott. I wish Ledley well, and look forward to seeing him at Hotspur Way!

Ugo Ehiogu appointed Under-21 coach

Ugo Ehiogu has been appointed as our Under-21 coach, taking over from Chris Ramsey, who left the club after Tim Sherwood’s dismissal. Ehiogu has been working with our young players for some time (Under-16s, I believe) and so knows our set-up. Presumably his work so far has been such that he was deserving of this promotion – it’ll be interesting to see what style the team plays in the forthcoming season.

Assisting Ehiogu is former Spurs Academy player, Matthew Wells. After suffering from a series of injuries which stopped him from ‘making it’, Matthew decided to go into coaching. In his relatively short career (he’s in his 20s), he’s worked at Stevenage as Head of Technical Development, as well as at the Nike Academy as an Assistant Coach.

Under-21 tournament

We recently took a young Under-21 squad to Ploufragan, north-west France to compete in the National Under-21 Tournament.

The travelling party was as per the picture below:

THFC

Back row: Harry Voss, Nathan Oduwa, Jon Obika, Anton Walkes, Dominic Ball, Ruben Lameiras, Daniel Akindayini, Harry Winks, Joshua Onomah, Tom Glover
Front row: Shaquile Coulthirst, Alex McQueen, Will Miller, Filip Lesniak, Aaron McEneff, Emmanuel Sonupe, Kyle Walker-Peters, Cameron Carter-Vickers

Our results were as follows:

Olympique Marseille: lost 1-0.
Lorient: won 1-0 (Onomah).
EA Guingamp: lost 2-1 (Lameiras).
Auxerre: lost 1-0.

Without knowing the ages of the other squads, it’s quite difficult to assess our performance, but it’s worth noting that the majority of our squad were 18-years old or younger, so to be playing against players potentially three years older will stand them in good stead.

Musa Yahaya

The young Nigerian, Musa Yahaya, has been training with us in pre-season, after he signed a pre-contract agreement in March (having reportedly turned down Arsenal and Ajax).

He was unable to sign a full contract as he does not turn 17 until mid-December.

He is expected to join La Liga side, Celta Vigo, on loan in September – he doesn’t have a work permit, and the regulations are sufficiently different in Spain to allow him to play there.

Yahaya is highly rated and is already in the Nigeria Under-20 squad despite technically being an Under-17 player.

This website describes how he signed him in March from Mutunchi Academy for a fee of one million Euros (excluding performance related incentives) and explains his contract situation:

The Nigeria youth international has signed a pre-contract with Spurs, but there is a black and white agreement in place that he will pen a professional deal with effect from January 1, 2016, and by then he would have attained the age of maturity.

For agreeing to sign a preliminary contract with the Londoners, Yahaya would be paid £125,000 in five equal installments excluding his annual wage of £120,000, on the proviso that he remains on the books of his nursery club, Mutunchi Academy until December 31, 2015.

Musa Yahaya’s contract with Spurs will expire on June 30, 2020, and he is set to pocket £50,000 when he makes his first Premier League start for the club.

Rareş Lazăr‏

Meanwhile, we’ve reportedly picked up another young talent in Romanian, Rareş Lazăr‏.

Rares Lazar

Rareş has been signed from FC Vaslui, who play in Liga I in Romania. Last season he became the second youngest player to have ever appeared in Liga I at 15 years, 1 month and 20 days!

The central midfielder had trials at QPR and Liverpool, but has agreed to join Spurs, signing a two-year deal.

This year’s scholars

Spurs have been, as usual, slow to update the Academy section of the official site, but I would expect the new intake to include:

Thomas Glover (goalkeeper)
Thomas McDermott (goalkeeper)
Christian Maghoma (centre back)
Cameron Carter-Vickers (centre back)
Chris Paul (right back)
Joseph Muscatt (left back)
Zenon Stylianides (central midfielder)
Charlie Owens (central midfielder)
Ismail Azzaoui (attacking midfielder)
Armani Daly (winger/forward)
Charlie Hayford (attacking midfielder)
Ryan Loft (forward)

The players moving up to the second year are:

Joe Pritchard
Lloyd Ross
Harry Voss
Anton Walkes
Luke Amos
Anthony Georgiou
Cy Goddard
Kyle Walker-Peters
Joshua Onomah
Shayon Harrison

However, Onomah has been given a professional contract, such is his ability. I would expect him to be with the Under-21 squad, and there’s a fair chance that a couple of others will join him there – Kyle Walker-Peters certainly, but also Carter-Vickers, despite being a first year.

Players to watch

We have a number of impressive players who are close to making appearances for the first team; assuming that we stay in the cup competitions, I would expect to see glimpses of the following players:

Dominic Ball – centre-back who made the bench away at Benfica.
Harry Winks – central midfielder, and another player who was an unused substitute away at Benfica.
Connor Ogilvie – versatile defender who also made the bench away at Benfica.
Nathan Oduwa – tricky forward who normally plays wide.
Joshua Onomah – gifted central midfielder; Martin Lipton of The Mirror recently suggested that he might be in the England team by 2018.

Of course we’ve also seen Mason, Carroll, Ceballos, Falque, Fryers, Fredericks, Archer, McGee and Veljovic in the first team squad in America, and I’d expect that we’ll see more of some of these, whilst others might be sent on loan or sold.

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Chicago Fire match – some thoughts http://windycoys.com/2014/07/chicago-fire-match-some-thoughts/ http://windycoys.com/2014/07/chicago-fire-match-some-thoughts/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 16:52:51 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1967 If you didn’t get to see the match live, there are streaming links here. As with the Toronto FC match, I’ve written some brief notes.

First half:

- Mason seems to have taken to Pochettino’s tactics like a duck to water. He positioned himself intelligently again and seemed to enjoy playing alongside the defensive-minded Capoue. One example of his understanding was that if the centre backs were in possession with no pressure on the ball, he dropped into the left back area to provide an option with Rose pushing high up:

Mason dropping into left back

He did this frequently and it allowed us to patiently progress up the pitch, rather than the centre-backs having to hit long diagonals or go back to the goalkeeper. For more information about Ryan Mason, check out this article I wrote just over a year ago.

- The opening goal came out of nowhere:

Goal 1

We forced Chicago Fire back to their goalkeeper – Kane closed him down and Townsend/Lamela blocked off two of the simple ‘out balls’, leaving just one option.

Goal 2

Holtby quickly realised the pressing opportunity.

Goal 3

There was a slightly heavy touch from Larentowicz, and with the defender not realising anyone was near him, Holtby was on him like a flash – he nicked the ball and squared it to Kane to finish.

- Holtby was a bit of an enigma again. Whilst he has an impressive one goal and two assists in three matches on this tour, and his pressing has been fantastic, his passing has been quite poor and he’s committed a high number of fouls. He put the team in trouble a couple of times with sloppy passes – it’s early days, but if he’s to play as one of the midfield three, he will need to be a lot more assured in possession.
- Lamela was largely on the periphery of the action but had a couple of moments of real quality where he beat a man and then took on a shot; it felt like had we got the ball to him more, there would have been more of these moments.

Second half:

- Soldado showed an impressive level of motivation and responsibility by tracking back to the right back area and making a good tackle.
- It was no surprise to me that Dawson looked far, far more assured alongside Veljkovic. A quick note on Veljkovic – for an 18-year old who has mostly played in midfield for the last eighteen months, he has performed remarkably well at centre-back, and offers us another ball-playing defender, particularly useful in games where we would expect to dominate possession.
- When Holtby went off Lennon switched to the right (and tucked in as part of a midfield three in the defensive phase) – although he seemed less willing to press high than Holtby had.
- Veljkovic lost possession with a risky pass to Falque (who was pretty weak), but made up for it with a fantastic block.
- Eriksen looked pretty out of sorts again. He’s such a talented player that we will clearly find a role for him, but it does raise the question – where does he fit in? I’m not totally convinced that he has the intensity or fitness to play the role that Holtby started in and Lennon finished in, where he’s required to tuck in and make up the midfield three.
- When Fredericks came on for Veljkovic, our back four was Fredericks, Dawson, Davies, Naughton – it’s worth noting that Davies has played centre-back before.
- The second goal was well taken by Lennon, who linked up with Soldado and latched onto a somewhat hopeful ball over the top. The defending was really poor but he capitalised well.
- Eriksen had a similar chance minutes later but lacked composure as the goalkeeper came to meet him.
- The second half in particular felt very low-key, and there was no tempo to the match - tired legs at the end meant that we were creating chances with straightforward long balls over the top.

General thoughts:

- Last season a major complaint of mine was that we moved the ball too slowly and too predictably in midfield (which was one reason I liked Bentaleb, who moves the ball well). In Mason, Carroll and Capoue we’ve had players on this tour who’ve looked to move the ball quickly and often progressively with as few touches as possible. I’m sure Pochettino will have noted this.
- Capoue has looked really good on this tour and his fitness has visibly improved by the game.
- Ryan Fredericks made a positive cameo at right-back, beating his man and getting to the by-line twice. In a team where full-backs are asked to play high, perhaps he will be kept around after all (I’d assumed he would be loaned out or sold).
- Luke McGee made his first appearance in the first team and was confident enough to keep possession with short passing deep in the penalty area.
- Spurs loanee Grant Ward played a very tidy 55 minutes for Chicago Fire.

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