WindyCOYS http://windycoys.com Spurs Blog, often focussing on goal analysis & under 18/loan players Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:46:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 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)
Alfie Whiteman (goalkeeper)
Christian Maghoma (centre back)
Cameron Carter-Vickers (centre back)
Chris Paul (right back)
Joe Muscatt (left back)
Zenon Stylianides (central midfielder)
Charlie Owens (central midfielder)
Ismail Azzaoui (attacking midfielder)
Armani Daly (winger/forward)
Charlie Hayford (attacking midfielder)

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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Under-21s in France http://windycoys.com/2014/07/under-21s-in-france/ http://windycoys.com/2014/07/under-21s-in-france/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:45:56 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1963 Our Development Squad is currently participating in the National Under-21 Tournament in Ploufragan, north-west France.

We lost our first match 1-0 to Olympique Marseille on Friday.

Our line-up was as follows: Voss, McQueen, Walker-Peters, Winks, Carter-Vickers, Lesniak, Sonupe, Onomah, Obika, Oduwa, McEneff.

I can only presume that the formation was:

Voss
Walker-Peters McQueen Carter-Vickers McEneff
Winks Lesniak Onomah
Sonupe Obika Oduwa

For a full report, check out the official site.

Today we play Lorient (kick off 11am local time) and Guingamp (kick off 6.30pm local time).

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

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Toronto FC match – some thoughts http://windycoys.com/2014/07/toronto-fc-match-some-thoughts/ http://windycoys.com/2014/07/toronto-fc-match-some-thoughts/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:09:56 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1956 I don’t want to go into too much detail, because Luke Balls-Burgess has done that here, and I don’t think there’s a lot else that can be said about the second pre-season friendly of the summer, but having just caught up on the Toronto game, I’ve written some brief notes. I’ve no desire to judge players or make bold statements this early on in pre-season, so these observations should be taken in context.

First half:

-Greater coherence than Saturday, especially in the first half. Unsure if that’s due to more practice or different personnel.
-Loved the way Capoue covered the left back area on a couple of occasions – something a modern defensive midfielder must do. He was a strong presence in midfield too.
-In fact, the central midfield was nicely balanced with the dynamic Mason alongside Capoue, and Eriksen adding craft ahead of them.
-If you’ve followed me on Twitter for a while, you might know that I think a lot of Mason – I genuinely think that, were it not for injury, he’d be in the England squad by now. Mason as well as Veljkovic looked perfectly entitled to be out there in the first half.
-Lamela’s intensity was highly impressive.
-Davies used the ball well from advanced areas – Naughton less so.
-Lennon was very involved, albeit not always choosing the right option.
-Lamela’s goal saw us make 11 passes from back to front – the first made by Lamela (a chest down after Kaboul’s clearance). The only players to take more than two touches in the move were Naughton, Eriksen and Soldado; Mason’s first time pass to Eriksen in particular was sublime. It was an excellent team goal.
-Soldado was rarely involved in build-up play, yet claimed two assists.
-There was a lot of fluidity behind Soldado, with Lennon, Lamela and Eriksen roaming.
-Pochettino was keen to pass instructions onto Lennon – on the face of it he seemed fairly unimpressed.
-Lamela’s second goal was a glorious finish – even if he didn’t fancy it, he had Lennon and Eriksen free in the box square of him.

Second half:

-We instantly looked less assured, and it was because of the midfield. With just Carroll holding, we looked unbalanced – it was like two separate teams of five – one in our half, and one in the opposition half.
-Holtby played a lot higher than Mason had in the first half, and this didn’t change all half so he was presumably instructed to do so.
-Rose made the cross of the match – Kane should have buried it but was caught a little on his heels.
-For the first Toronto goal, Ceballos gave the ball away when Holtby was ahead of ball – Carroll tried to jockey back to bide time, when he should probably have put some pressure on the ball. Fryers didn’t track his man – instead hesitating and trying to play offside (bad decision with no pressure on the ball!).
-Townsend has been written off by many, but he looks so different to our other players – very direct and willing to commit players. That alone makes him a useful asset. With a bit of coaching I still think he can be very good for us.
-Walker was understandably reserved in his first match back.
-Fryers’ man got the second goal too, but I think Friedel could perhaps have saved it.
-Carroll had a near impossible job of linking play, as there was a huge gap between him and the next nearest player. This reflected badly on him, but in truth when he received the ball and turned, he rarely had an option.
-What a hit from Townsend to win the game!

General thoughts:

-We’re going to complete a lot of passes in the forthcoming season, and players who are sloppy or ponderous will not be welcome.
-We’re going to need players in the final third who are productive, as I can’t see too many goals coming from central midfield.
-Dawson has received a lot of criticism for his performance, but I feel like he was hamstrung by playing alongside Fryers.

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The Fighting Cock Fanzine http://windycoys.com/2014/06/the-fighting-cock-fanzine/ http://windycoys.com/2014/06/the-fighting-cock-fanzine/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 14:00:52 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1919 I’m proud to say that I was asked to write again for Tottenham’s only printed fanzine, The Fighting Cock, and that it is now available for pre-order.

Free 1882 & The Fighting Cock stickers with the first few orders – Limited stock​

My article – Football Is Family – is a sentimental effort, something quite new for me, but hopefully it’ll strike a chord with some. A sample of some of the terrific artwork is below.

FiF

I hope you’ll buy it and, if you do, I hope you enjoy my article.

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Spurs at Terborg Tournament http://windycoys.com/2014/05/spurs-at-terborg-tournament/ http://windycoys.com/2014/05/spurs-at-terborg-tournament/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 21:26:28 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1914 Starting on Friday, Tottenham Hotspur participate in the Terborg Toernooi in the Dutch province of Gelderland.

The squad travelling to the tournament is a mixture of ages – from 16-year old Australian goalkeeper Tom Glover to 19-year old winger, Kenny McEvoy. The travelling party in full is:

Goalkeepers
Harry Voss, 17
Tom Glover, 16

Defenders
Kyle Walker-Peters, 17
Connor Ogilvie, 18
Anton Walkes, 17
Dominic Ball, 18
Alex McQueen, 19

Midfielders
Tomislav Gomelt, 19
Filip Lesniak, 18
Harry Winks, 18
Ruben Lameiras, 19
William Miller, 17

Forwards
Kenny McEvoy, 19
Emmanuel Sonupe, 18
Nathan Oduwa, 18
Anthony Georgiou, 17
Daniel Akindayini, 18
Shayon Harrison, 16

Staff:
John McDermott, Academy Manager
Kieran Mckenna, Under-18 Coach
Rob Burch, Goalkeeper Coach
Aaron Harris, Head of Academy Sports Medicine and Sports Science
Matt Allen, Head of Academy Physical Development
Andy Ratnage, Academy Performance Analyst

Spurs’ first four matches across Friday and Saturday are as follows:

Friday 15:00 Fluminense
Friday 18:20 Cruzeiro
Saturday 12:30 Vitesse
Saturday 15:50 Dalian Aerbin FC

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Released and retained players announced http://windycoys.com/2014/05/released-and-retained-players-announced/ http://windycoys.com/2014/05/released-and-retained-players-announced/#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 18:09:18 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1904 Well, I timed my Development Squad round-up well didn’t I? I published the article yesterday, and the released/retained player lists have come out today. I didn’t do too badly with my predictions, either.

The big news for current first team players revolves around goalkeepers: Brad Friedel has been offered (and apparently signed) a one year contract, whilst Heurelho Gomes has been released.

Jon Obika has also been offered a new contract, probably because he has a sell-on value. We got £400k from a League One club (Swindon) for Massimo Luongo so Obika – who has been playing Championship football – should command a similar fee, despite being 24 in September.

Dominic Ball has extended his professional contract, whilst Cristian Ceballos, Grant Ward and Grant Hall have been retained (meaning their contracts didn’t end this summer). Soli Coulibaly has also been offered a new contract; this, for me, was probably one of the biggest surprises – I expected the Ivorian to be released.

As announced in my Spurs Academy round-up, Daniel Akindayini’s scholarship has been extended for a third year, whilst professional contracts have been offered to Ruben Lameiras and Alex McQueen (previously on the third year of their scholarships), as well as second year scholars Filip Lesniak, Aaron McEneff, Luke McGee, Will Miller, Connor Ogilvie, Emmanuel Sonupe, and Harry Winks. Second year scholars Liam Priestley and Kane Vincent-Young have not been retained.

Nathan Oduwa has ‘extended’ his contract, meaning that presumably he was already on a professional contract – an interesting development. Whether that means he was particularly rated, or that we had to fight to keep him (he played some games for West Brom’s Academy team two years ago), I’m unsure. What I do know is that he’s an exciting talent, and one to watch.

Joshua Onomah also signed a professional contract recently, despite being of ‘first year’ age – he has been playing ahead of his age group for some time, and is very highly thought of.

As well as Gomes, youngsters Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Cameron Lancaster, Roman Michael-Percil, Jon Miles, Kevin Stewart and Lawrence Vigouroux have been released on free transfers.

Darren McQueen has also left, signing for Ipswich, and I gather Laste Dombaxe has left the club too.

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Development Squad round-up http://windycoys.com/2014/05/development-squad-round-up/ http://windycoys.com/2014/05/development-squad-round-up/#comments Thu, 22 May 2014 20:01:52 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1897 Last week I wrote an update on the Academy squad, and I thought I would follow that up with this – an update on the slightly older players; the inbetweeners as I like to call them, or the Development Squad as the club refer to them.

The Under-21s finished 12th out of 22 teams in the Barclays U21 Premier League Group Stage this season – not too impressive, but to be expected. This year’s ‘crop’ did not have the same quality as last year, when we had the likes of Carroll, Mason, Bentaleb, Fredericks, Fryers, Ceballos, Falque, Obika, Townsend and Hall in the team regularly. Most of those players were either out on loan or involved with the first team for most of this season, and the players stepping up were simply not as good (I think many of them will be released in the summer).

On the positive side, the players who came up from the Under-18s towards the end of the season most certainly *are* as good as the previous crop, and the signs are good for next season – in both the 18s and 21s. The likes of Ogilvie, Winks, Onomah, Oduwa, Lesniak, etc, were absolutely ready to make the step up, but it was inevitable that there would be an element of ‘settling in’ to that level. Now that they have a few games in the Under-21s under their respective belts, next season should be far more straightforward.

So what of those who have contracts ending this summer? According to the very useful Spurs Player Contracts blog, run by ‘zin’ from the Fighting Cock forum the following have contracts that are due to expire:

Jonathan Miles
Alex McQueen
Cristian Ceballos
Jonathan Obika
Cameron Lancaster
Giancarlo Gallifuoco
Grant Ward

It would not particularly surprise me if all of these players left in the summer, but I would expect Ward (who is on loan at Chicago Fire until the end of the 2014 season) and Ceballos, who has played 19 times for Arouca in the Portuguese Premier League this season, to sign on for a further year and, therefore, command fees if they were to move.

If pushed, I’d guess that Alex McQueen and Giancarlo Gallifuoco will get another year each too, but I’d certainly expect Lancaster and Obika to leave, and would not be surprised if  they were joined by Tomislav Gomelt and Souleymane Coulibaly.

I am less sure on the future of Laste Dombaxe – at one point he was highly regarded, but he was in and out of the Under-21 side at the end of the season, and it would be no great surprise if he were released too, especially as he failed to land a full loan move to Bolton after a short ‘work experience’ loan in January.

We also know that goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux has re-joined Alex Inglethorpe at Liverpool. We can only assume that the club felt that Lawrence was no better than Archer, Miles and McGee; I can’t say I’m especially disappointed that he’s left, but he seemed a very nice lad and I wish him well.

Forward Darren McQueen – cousin of Alex – has signed for Ipswich Town, whilst Roman Michael-Percil has had trials with various clubs including Brentford. Kevin Stewart has had trials with Sheffild United but Nigel Clough (their manager) has suggested that he’s set to sign for a Premier League club.

I would expect the likes of Archer, Ball, McEvoy and Lameiras to be regulars for the Under-21s or out on loan if they can get suitable moves next season.

Digressing away from the Under-21s and back into the realms of Academy, we are sending a squad to participate in the Terborg Tournament in Holland at the end of May. It will be interesting to see whether Australian goalkeeper, Tom Glover, and Belgian attacking midfielder, Ismail Azzaoui, are in the travelling party. I also wonder whether 16-year old Nigerian, Musa Yahaya – who supposedly signed for us and then went immediately on loan to Celta Vigo – will be involved; it could be a good way to introduce him to life at Tottenham.

One player who will be going to the tournament is Josh Onomah. Onomah was part of the England Under-17 team that beat The Netherlands to win the UEFA European Championship this week, and Academy Manager, John McDermott has spoken about Josh’s progression:

“He’s had a magnificent games programme this season and hopefully he’ll benefit from that.

He’s also trained with the first team and been on the bench a couple of times. Another thing I’m pleased about is that he’s matured as a young man, not just on the football pitch, but off it. I’m really pleased with his overall development, not just his football development.”

Keep an eye on this site for updates from the Terborg Tournament when I have them.

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Spurs Academy round-up http://windycoys.com/2014/05/spurs-academy-round-up-2/ http://windycoys.com/2014/05/spurs-academy-round-up-2/#comments Sat, 10 May 2014 13:04:37 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1890 Planning has already started for next season’s Under-18 campaign, with Under-16 players drafted into the line-ups for the final few Under-18 games of the season. The following have all seen recent involvement:

Chris Paul (right back)
Joe Muscatt (left back)
Zenon Stylianides (central midfielder)
Charlie Owens (central midfielder)
Armani Daly (winger/forward)
Charlie Hayford (attacking midfielder)
Ryan Loft (forward)

Although there have been no official announcements as yet, I would expect all of these to be starting the first year of their scholarship next season.

Centre-backs Cameron Carter-Vickers and Christian Maghoma – both of whom have played many times for the Under-18s this season – will presumably have two-year scholarship deals too, with next year being their first official year.

My understanding is that goalkeeper Liam Priestley and full-back Kane Vincent-Young are to be released, with second year forward Daniel Akindayini offered a third year of his scholarship (presumably as the club are undecided on him).

I also understand that one year professional contracts have been offered to Luke McGee (goalkeeper), Filip Lesniak (holding midfielder), Aaron McEneff (right back), Nathan Oduwa (winger/forward), William Miller (attacking midfielder), and Emmanuel Sonupe (winger).

Connor Ogilvie (centre back/left back) and Harry Winks (versatile midfielder) have been given two year professional contracts.

We have some exciting talent in our Academy at the moment – many of the above, as well as Josh Onomah and Kyle Walker-Peters have been consistent across the season, with Anton Walkes, Lloyd Ross, Anthony Georgiou and Cy Goddard also coming to the fore towards the end of the season.

On Sunday we play Everton at Goodison Park in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League play-offs – the winner will face either Manchester City or West Ham United in the overall final. We drew 2-2 with Everton last month, and they are an excellent side at this level.

Whilst it would be nice to win the competition, the focus for the management is always on individual player development. Playing in finals/play-offs is an excellent test of a player’s temperament and a terrific experience, but winning isn’t everything as far as the management are concerned – although I’m sure the players will be desperate to get a result! COYSU18s!

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Ode to Tottenham Hotspur’s 2013/14 Season http://windycoys.com/2014/04/ode-to-tottenham-hotspurs-201314-season/ http://windycoys.com/2014/04/ode-to-tottenham-hotspurs-201314-season/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:25:57 +0000 http://windycoys.com/?p=1884 The summer didn’t go quite to plan,
Or certainly not to the boss’,
We took the wonga – lost a key man,
Daniel Levy protected his losses.

Goodbye and thankyouverymuch, Elvis Presley,
“Ahoy there!” to The Beatles,
Alas David Villa – wanted by AVB -
Couldn’t agree on the finer details.

Another Spaniard arrived instead,
And a prospect from Argentina,
Plus crop of players who, it was said,
Would make our midfield meaner.

The football began in earnest,
On the pre-season trip to the East,
Sunderland were a stern test,
Cabral (who?!) looked like a beast.

Palace first up in the Prem,
A solid 1-0 kept us sweet,
Bobby off the mark with a pen,
And Paulinho seemed to find his feet.

Onwards we marched – Swansea, Norwich,
And in Europe we were winning as well,
We ignored the little Arsenal glitch,
‘Cos the new boys needed to gel.

When West Ham caught us asleep,
We worried there was something awry,
But Townsend was earning his keep,
And we beat Hull in a cup tie.

Then Newcastle came to the Lane,
Escaped with a cheeky one-nil,
Their goalkeeper – Krul – was to blame,
But AVB took the flack still.

It seemed to go downhill from there,
Manchester City made sure of that,
Poor Andre and his lovely facial hair,
Seemed to be struggling to adapt.

He won some, he drew some, he lost some,
Until the Liverpool game,
Where we were outfought, out-thought, “outdesired”,
And the dreaded axe prematurely came.

The new man – Tim Sherwood – was promoted,
From the Academy set-up, from within,
And before too long fans were cawing:
“InterTim”, “Dim Tim”, “4-4-Tim”, anyone but him…

“Back to basics”, he shouted – and it was,
4-4-2, two wingers, goals,
But defensive midfielders were doubted,
And our midfield clearly had holes.

Adebayor came back in from the cold,
And Eriksen came to the fore,
But when we came up against Norwich,
We seemed even worse than before!

More thrashings against big clubs did follow,
First Chelsea and then Liverpool,
Whilst the European campaign ended in sorrow,
With a draw over in Portugal.

So here we are out of the top four,
With just a few matches to go,
Some players seem disenfranchised,
Vertonghen, Capoue and Sandro.

The big summer signing, Lamela,
Is still injured and nowhere to be seen,
Maybe it’s the English weather,
Or maybe he wants a new team.

As for Soldado – he from sunny Spain,
He’s been goal-shy and short on mojo,
Now he finds himself behind Harry Kane,
As Tim tries to give youth a go.

It’s not been the greatest of seasons,
For the players, managers, and fans alike,
But there are a couple of reasons,
Why the star men shouldn’t get on their bikes.

The squad is strong, and will be stronger,
We’ve good players, good facilities, great fans,
So listen up Lloris and Vertonghen,
And Eriksen with your ‘secret plan’.

This is Tottenham Hotspur FC,
A club that 16… 15… 14 (?) Premier League clubs fear,
And just ‘cos you’ve not won a trophy,
As us fans say, there’s always next year.

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