May 14, 2016
The reboot of the NextGen Series is ongoing in Amsterdam this weekend, with Spurs sending a squad which included an Ipswich Town player!
— Chris Miller (@WindyCOYS) May 13, 2016
As Those Were The Days explain, it is not yet clear whether Kundai Benyu is on a trial, or whether Ipswich have just let us borrow him to make up the numbers.
Today we won our opening match against PSV Eindhoven, with a goal from Joe Pritchard deciding the tie.
The team was as follows:
Walker-Peters (19) Maghoma (18) Walkes (19) Muscatt (18)
Lesniak (20) Benyu (18)
J Pritchard (19) Miller (19) Goddard (19)
Sterling (17) for Pritchard, 46.
Duncan (17) for Goddard, 46.
Stylianides (18) for Miller, 50.
Tomorrow we play twice – at 11:00 (10:00 UK time) vs Ajax Cape Town, and at 16:00 (15:00 UK time) vs Right to Dream, from Ghana.
Meanwhile, our Under-16s are participating in the Geneva Cup in Switzerland. Today we drew 0-0 with Atlético Madrid, lost 2-1 to Swiss side Servette and won 5-1 against Meyrin FC (another Swiss side).
May 3, 2016
As I was collecting information for my weekly Fighting Cock Podcast youth update, I put out a call for club-specific info about our loanees. The responses were nuggets of gold, so I decided to form a blog from the bulk of them. And so, without further ado…
DeAndre Yedlin – Sunderland (Premier League)
@WindyCOYS Good player. Very direct whilst attacking but poor final ball. Getting better defensively as well
— Jamei (@safcjamie_) May 2, 2016
— Kevin Wheatley (@Wheats1988) May 2, 2016
Grant Ward – Rotherham United (Championship)
Or should I say ‘double award winner’ Grant Ward?
WINNER:Congratulations to Grant Ward who has won the Young Player of the Year award, sponsored by Complete Utilities pic.twitter.com/BDYljH3AXb
— Rotherham United (@OfficialRUFC) April 30, 2016
— Rotherham United (@OfficialRUFC) April 30, 2016
@WindyCOYS Great player gives it 110% every game hes got bags of pace and skill but i think he needs to go bk to progress further 😔 gutted
— Anthony Woodhead (@EGGMAN8383) May 2, 2016
Paul Davis of the Sheffield Star sent me this fantastic run-down:
There are flaws in Grant Ward’s game … but not many.
The midfield youngster who celebrated his 21st birthday during his season-long loan at AESSEAL New York Stadium was a key figure in Rotherham United’s successful fight for Championship survival.
He found himself out of favour early in his stay during the reign of Steve Evans, but his pace and direct running earned the admiration of successor Neil Redfearn who picked him for virtually every game.
“He gets you up the pitch. Very quickly,” Redfearn said.
Neil Warnock duly replaced Redfearn and Ward’s dynamism and workrate quickly won over the veteran boss.
Ward’s final ball still needs working on, while learning to give a quick, easy pass would add to his armoury.
But, in terms of attacking threat on the right flank, he was up there all season with the best in the division.
He was given a central role at times but produced his best performances out wide where he was always bold enough to take on his man and quick enough to usually leave him for dead.
He also came up with the Millers’ goal of the season, a thunderous 30-yard effort in front of the Sky cameras against Burnley.
Grant Ward. Honorary Miller. Rotherham fans are very sorry to see him go.
Dominic Ball – Rangers (Scottish Championship)
His best position is DM, loves a tackle, quite physical. His use of the ball and general footballing mind seem to be his best attributes. At centre back he really suits our style of play due to composure. For a young boy he’s very vocal, can tell he’s come from an academy with high standards, talking more experienced pros through games and his media skills are top class. Would 100% take him back in a heartbeat, definitely has a future in the game.
And from Jason from Rangers Report:
Warburton always seemed to rely on Ball whenever a big match came around, not so much in defence but as a holding midfielder. Always came through with solid performances. Did I see anything that screams – “here’s a future EPL player”? No. But I also didn’t see anything that showed that he couldn’t play at that level. Given his role (& the way Rangers dominated) he wasn’t under much pressure defensively. As much as I’d love to see him back at Ibrox – he’d probably be better suited playing going on loan with an English Championship side to better evaluate his future value for Spurs.
Thanks to those gentlemen for the terrific insight!
— Jack Cranmer (@JackCranmer72) May 2, 2016
— Calum (@CalumMorris1) May 2, 2016
— Alzo (@Alzo82) May 2, 2016
@WindyCOYS very comfortable in possession, handled the old firm very well and has rarely put a foot wrong all season. Big future ahead.
— Stevie Renfrew (@Steviee_RFC) May 2, 2016
— Euan Taylor (@euangtaylor) May 2, 2016
@WindyCOYS Content on the ball with the odd hiccup. Positioning needs work but there is potential there. Not sure he'll make it at EPL level
— David Peat (@DavidPeat1) May 2, 2016
— Wilf Marshall (@Wilf1872) May 2, 2016
@WindyCOYS strong, composed, talented young footballer. Needs to work on his decision making but has all the attributes to cut it at Spurs.
— Fahdy (@Fahdy89) May 2, 2016
Federico Fazio – Sevilla (La Liga)
Alex Pritchard – West Bromwich Albion (Premier League)
@WindyCOYS Alex is everything that the Pulisasorus does not like in a player young, creative & on loan entirely predictable feel for him
— Ross Wood (@Standaman60) May 2, 2016
@WindyCOYS We needed cover for Morrison and we didn't want to sign a perm replacement. Someone would have pushed Pulis into it I guess.(1/2)
— Ross Wood (@Standaman60) May 2, 2016
@WindyCOYS We have seen the odd glimpse but hardly anything also he's been injured but I doubt if the Pulis would have played him (2/2)
— Ross Wood (@Standaman60) May 2, 2016
@WindyCOYS yeah it is he came on at Newcastle for 10 mins did more than the others put together
— Darren Hackett (@DarrenHackett75) May 2, 2016
So, I started with the players who finished the season still on loan. And I wanted to get this out while it was current… but I will revisit this and get something together for the rest of this season’s loanees:
Kenny McEvoy – Stevenage, York City (League Two) NB: now joined York permanently.
Shaq Coulthirst – Wigan (League One)
Harry Voss – Stevenage (League Two)
Christian Maghoma – Yeovil Town (League Two)
Nathan Oduwa – Rangers (Scottish Championship), Colchester United (League One)
Connor Ogilvie – Stevenage (League Two)
Ryan Loft – Braintree Town (National League)
A final thought – Spurs have very clearly changed their loan policy over the past few years, with numbers dropping off significantly from around 30 loan deals eight years ago, to roughly a third of that now – see The Spurs Report’s piece on this for more detailed information. Loans seem to be used for specific reasons now – 1. sink or swim (Oduwa), 2. try before you buy (McEvoy) , or 3. too good an opportunity to turn down (Ward). A fourth category might be ‘to test the player’s temperament’. It will be fascinating to see how this is developed next season too.
March 28, 2016
This morning a Tottenham Hotspur Under-19 squad lost in a semi-final match with Red Ball Salzburg in what has been a largely underwhelming U19 Champions Trophy performance.
Obviously I don’t know how impacted other teams were by international call-ups, but Spurs were without Charlie Owens, Alfie Whiteman, Marcus Edwards, Jaden Brown, Japhet Tanganga and Sam Shashoua, plus Under-16 Nya Kirby for this tournament. Tashan Oakley-Booth did not make the trip either – possibly because we already had quite a few midfielders involved.
All players born after 1st January 1997 were eligible to play, and so Cameron Carter-Vickers, Harry Voss, Luke Amos and Shayon Harrison were also eligible for the tournament, but were either injured (Carter-Vickers, Voss) or considered too far advanced to justify their inclusion (Amos, Harrison). Chris Paul, Charlie Hayford and Armani Daly are in the midst of looking for new clubs and so were not included. But we did have a number of players dropping down from Under-21 football.
And in age order:
Anton Walkes 8 Feb 1997, 19
Anthony Georgiou 24 Feb 1997, 19
Cy Goddard 2 Apr 1997, 18
Ryan Loft 14 Sep 1997, 18
Christian Maghoma 8 Nov 1997, 18
Joe Muscatt 15 Dec 1997, 18
Thomas Glover 24 Dec 1997, 18
Zenon Stylianides 7 Jan 1998, 18
Tom McDermott 30 Jan 1998, 18
Shilow Tracey 29 Apr 1998, 17
Aremide Oteh 10 Sep 1998, 17
George Marsh 5 Nov 1998, 17
Kazaiah Sterling 9 Nov 1998, 17
Dylan Duncan 25 Jan 1999, 17
Jack Roles 26 Feb 1999, 17
Keanan Bennetts 9 Mar 1999, 17
Nicholas Tsaroulla 29 Mar 1999, 16
Joy Mukena 3 Jul 1999, 16
Jonathan Dinzeyi 16 Sep 1999, 16
Our results were as follows:
PSV Eindhoven – drew 0-0
Borussia Mönchengladbach – won 1-0 (Maghoma)
Japan Highschool Selection – lost 2-1 (Oteh)
Fortuna Düsseldorf – won 1-0 (Bennetts)
Red Bull Salzburg – lost 1-0
Our final match — the third place play-off against Japan Highschool Selection — will take place at 13:45 UK time.
To have only scored three times in 250 minutes of football (the matches consist of two halves of 25 minutes) will be disappointing for the coaching team. But if I were John McDermott/Matt Wells, I’d have been most disappointed at the lack of bravery in possession. At times it felt as though the centre-backs kept firing aimless balls forward or straight out of play – particularly in the match against Red Bull Salzburg.
The tournament illustrated that a number of these players are not up to the levels required, and will have helped McDermott make some decisions about who stays and who goes. There are a lot of decisions to be made about the first year professionals in particular at the end of the season, as we look to re-model (and possibly trim down) the development squad.
Disappointingly, throughout the tournament, it was often the younger players who took responsibility and showed bravery on the ball. My stand-out performers thus far have been Marsh, Roles and Tsaroulla.
March 25, 2016
This is a long overdue youth update from me, so I apologise to anyone who doesn’t follow me on Twitter or listen to my weekly segment on The Fighting Cock podcast, as you’ll have had to look elsewhere for your youthy nuggets! There’s a lot going on!
U19 Champions Trophy
Firstly, over this Easter weekend, an Under-19 squad will be taking part in the U19 Champions Trophy in Düsseldorf. Our schedule us as follows:
PSV Eindhoven 10:30 local time, 9:30 UK time
Borussia Mönchengladbach, 17;00 local time, 16:00 UK time
Japan Highschool Selection, 14:00 local time, 13:00 UK time
Fortuna Düsseldorf, 18:30 local time, 17:30 UK time
The next matches all take place on Easter Monday: here is the full schedule.
There should be a stream for at least some of the matches here.
The squad will most likely be made up of a mixture of Under-18 and Under-21 players who are not currently on international duty.
We have various players away representing their countries at various levels:
Nigeria Under-23s: Nathan Oduwa
Slovakia Under-21s: Filip Lesniak
England Under-20s: Harry Winks
England Under-19s: Kyle Walker-Peters and Josh Onomah
Northern Ireland Under-19s: Charlie Owens
England Under-18s: Alfie Whiteman and Marcus Edwards
England Under-17s: Jaden Brown, Japhet Tanganga and Samuel Shashoua
England Under-16s: Oliver Skipp, Nya Kirby and Reo Griffiths (Tashan Oakley-Booth and Timothy Eyoma were left out, possibly due to some sort of squad rotation).
Edwards scored two for the England Under-18s as they won 3-2 in Austria.
Onomah scored for the Under-19s in a 2-1 win over Georgia.
The full England Under-16s match vs Russia is here – Kirby gets the assist for the goal at 1hr59 in the video.
The full England Under-16s match vs USA is here – spoiler alert: it ended 2-2.
There was an excellent run-down of most of the involvement on the official site.
In the last match, a 7-3 victory vs Wolves, it was pleasing to see Oakley-Boothe and Eyoma promoted. The goals came from: Roles, Oakley-Boothe, Loft (2), Oteh, Muscatt, Duncan. The highlights are well worth a watch!
Oakley-Boothe, by all accounts, was outstanding on his first start, and came away with two assists and a goal. He is a big, big talent and one to watch. Shilow Tracey also played a part in three of our first four goals and you can see from the highlights alone that he was a threat on the right-hand side.
The Under-21s beat Leicester 3-0, with goals from Harrison 2 and Goddard. The highlights are worth watching for Goddard’s spectacular volleyed finish.
That was Kazaiah Sterling’s second appearance at that level, which is frankly ludicrous given that Shayon Harrison has been injured for a lot of the season. Sterling’s call-up was well overdue, and apparently he had an excellent game.
That was the Under-21s’ first league win since November, which goes some way to explaining the poor league placing:
We are now eight points ahead of Norwich who are sat in the first of the two relegation places in the division, though they do have a game in hand over us.
The Under-21 league format has been heavily criticised and is currently under review. The Mirror recently reported that the structure will be changing back to something closer to the old reserve league from the 2017/18 season.
Portuguese second division club Portimonense have signed Musa Yahaya on a five-year contract. This will hopefully end all of the rumours surrounding this player, who had been on a trial at Spurs. There were work permit complications, and I have been told that the club did not think it was worth pursuing – presumably because he was no better than what we had.
As I understand it, the super-talent that is Marcus Edwards has yet to sign a contract. I gather that the club are confident of him eventually signing.
It is understandable that a player widely seen as the best English 17-year old in the country would not wish to sign Spurs’ ‘standard’ first professional contract that they offer to all 17-year olds deemed worthy.
It is equally understandable that Spurs would not wish to set a precedent by offering a deal over and above what they normally would to a player of that age; we are not Chelsea (where Ruben Loftus-Cheek is paid more than Christian Eriksen, for example!).
Johstone’s Paint Trophy
The Telegraph reported last week that there are ongoing discussions which may see 16 Premier League Under-21 teams entered into the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy next season. Watch this space on that one.
UEFA Youth League
If we were to qualify for the Champions League (which looks likely), we would also be automatically be entered into the UEFA Youth League for Under-19s.
This season has seen Chelsea progress to the semi-finals:
Friday 15 April
• Semi-final at 13.00CET: Chelsea v Anderlecht
• Semi-final at 17.00CET: Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain
The competition is strong, a lot of games are televised, and the league helps to bridge the gap between Under-18 and Under-21 football, so I would be very pleased were we to qualify. I would have slight concerns about the talent level of the team that we could put out, as our eligible players are a real mix of abilities. But, in some respects, it will be a great way to sort the wheat from the chaff, so the cliché goes.
It has not been a great season for Spurs loanees, amidst a very definite change of strategy since Mauricio Pochettino became Head Coach.
There is a greater emphasis now on keeping players in-house, and loans seem to only be taken up where the opportunity is too good to turn down. For example, Luke Amos had an offer from Bradford City, and Kyle Walker-Peters had a trial at Roda JC with a view to a loan.
DeAndre Yedlin has recently become a regular at Sunderland, playing their last five Premier League matches at right-back. He has now played 13 matches in total this season.
Grant Ward has had a mixed time at Rotherham United in the Championship since Neil Redfearn was sacked as their manager. Having started 18 consecutive league matches, he has had a run of eight where he has been in and out since Warnock took over.
Dominic Ball has also been in and out, not cementing himself in the Rangers team, but still getting plenty of minutes under Mark Wartburton in the Scottish Championship. Ball has started three times as a defensive midfielder recently, and I wonder whether this might be the long-term plan for him in light of the Eric Dier experiment. Perhaps he will get some first team involvement in pre-season to check on his progression.
Poor Connor Ogilvie has damaged his ankle ligaments and will miss the rest of the season, having become a firm favourite for Stevenage in League Two. All in, he started 24 times for them and he will be looking to progress next season – be that a League One or Championship club, or with a full season of Under-21 football and even, perhaps, the occasional first-team opportunity.
Alex Pritchard has only made two substitute appearances for West Bromwich Albion since joining in January. Tony Pulis has put this down to Pritchard’s recovery from injury, saying:
“Alex has come in and has tremendous talent. He was injured at Tottenham for a long time so it’s just making sure and I think Tottenham are concerned we don’t push him too quickly too soon.
The last thing they want is the kid to get injured again so it’s just about being patient with Alex as much as anything else.
He’s trained well, he’s worked well and he’s desperate to be involved. But sometimes you have to hold them back and we have a responsibility to Tottenham for that.”
Nathan Oduwa joined Colchester United in League One at the end of his loan at Rangers. So far he has only played 44 minutes with their manager Kevin Keen saying “there’s a big difference between looking like a player and being a player and that’s what he’s got to learn.”
Finally, Ryan Loft joined Braintree Town of the Vanarama National League on a ‘work experience’ loan, as Spurs described it. I assume this is what is also known as a youth loan, where young players can also play for their parent club’s Under-18 and Under-21 sides whilst on loan. He has been on Braintree’s bench, but has not made an appearance just yet.
February 20, 2016
Alfie Whiteman (17)
Shilow Tracey (17) Christian Maghoma (18) (c) Japhet Tanganga (17) Jaden Brown (17)
Charlie Owens (18) Zenon Stylianides (18)
Marcus Edwards (17) Dylan Duncan (17) Sam Shashoua (16)
Kazaiah Sterling (17)
Keanan Bennetts (16) for Shashoua, 78.
Ryan Loft (17) for Sterling, 78.
George Marsh (17) for Stylianides, 84.
Sub not used:
Brandon Austin (17)
Aremide Oteh (17)
Jack Roles (16)
— Chris Miller (@WindyCOYS) February 20, 2016
When I saw last night that rain was forecast for the whole of this match, I had second thoughts — did I want to make a 70-mile round trip to be stood in the rain for two hours? Thankfully another look this morning gave a more optimistic outlook, and I turned up for what was a phenomenal performance from Spurs’ youngsters. I was joined by Dan Kilpatrick of the Tottenham Way podcast, as podcasts collided! Listen out for Dan on my youth update for The Fighting Cock this week.
The team was a strong one, and the only surprise was that Shilow Tracey — an attacking midfielder who recently signed from Ebbsfleet United — was playing at right-back. I am not sure whether Joe Muscatt (who has played at right-back recently) was injured, but he was not included amongst the substitutes.
Arsenal made a fast start to the match, imposing themselves physically on a smaller Spurs side, and forcing a succession of early corners, the first coming when Jordi Osei-Tutu ran past Sam Shashoua and forced Jaden Brown to come across to see it out. Arsenal immediately won a corner on the opposite side, which Christian Maghoma headed clear.
Tall Arsenal midfielder Ben Sheaf got into a good area in the left corner of the box and it was Stylianides this time who saw him out. Japhet Tanganga rose to clear the subsequent corner, before Arsenal put together a spell of possession on the edge of the box, but had too many touches, and eventually forced themselves to go back to Sheaf, who had his shot saved by Alfie Whiteman.
Captain Maghoma was organising makeshift right-back Tracey well, calling him across when he was too wide.
Arsenal’s Donyell Malen got one-on-one with Brown, but slashed at the ball and put his shot well wide.
Kaylen Hinds’ shot from the edge of the box took a deflection and the corner, taken by the tall midfielder Josh Da Silva, was headed behind for another by Brown. The next one was taken by Sheaf, and a challenge by Kazaiah Sterling was required on the edge of the box to stop a free header.
Shilow Tracey then made a terrific challenge to stop the rampaging Sheaf again, and the resultant Arsenal corner came to nothing as it was looped in too deep.
Tanganga made a crucial intervention at the near post, before Spurs got out of their own half. Sterling went on a fantastic mazy run and got his head up to find Sam Shashoua. Osei-Tutut forced Shashoua back and the move petered out, but it was a sign that Spurs could do damage on the break.
John McDermott tends to stand slightly away from the dug-out — presumably to allow Under-18 Head Coach Kieran McKenna to have the match-day authority — and McDermott was joined today by Nigel Gibbs (Assistant Head of Coach & Player Development), who was pretty vocal throughout. At this point in the match McDermott called for more aggression from our team.
Spurs began to get a foothold in the game, and Shashoua had a good strike from the edge of the box after some nice hold-up play from Dylan Duncan. Charlie Owens played a good pass to Marcus Edwards, who went back to Zenon Stylianides, but the midfielder passed the ball straight out of play. Stylianides was then caught in possession after good work from Duncan.
Sterling chased down the keeper and went to ground to block his kick, but the ball rebounded to safety.
Arsenal put together a slick piece of play to get Hinds in behind, but Jaden Brown had tracked him from across the penalty box and did a great job of shepherding him out.
Edwards over hit a pass as Spurs worked the ball into a good area, and then the same player showed lovely quick feet but played a through-ball that was just too heavy for Sterling.
Edwards then nipped in to intercept as Sheaf slipped, and he carried the ball forward and curled in a right-footed shot which was deflected just wide for a corner.
At the other end, Tanganga made a terrific headed clearance from an Arsenal corner, and Owens got a ticking off from the referee having taken down France Under-17 player, Yassin Fortune.
Spurs put together another nice piece of play when Tracey found Shashoua who found Stylianides, but again Stylianides was guilty of a poor pass.
Whiteman made a good two-handed save to keep the busy Hinds’ effort out, and Spurs went up the other end to win a corner; Edwards found Sterling and, though his pass was scuffed, Brown showed good tenacity to go up the line and force the set piece.
A couple of poor passes from Owens (an under-hit square ball) and Tracey (an easily blocked attempted cross-field) drew slight groans from the crowd. Sheaf had another effort on goal which went over, and Fortune had a good chance when he got down the line beyond Tracey but missed the target when aiming for the near post.
As the first half came to a close, Stylianides scooped a ball forward, and Sterling won a free-kick, but Edwards’ kick was dealt with, albeit at the expense of an injury to goalkeeper Ryan Huddart, which kept him down for a minute or so.
Spurs started the second half on the front foot; Tanganga played a terrific diagonal to Edwards, but it unfortunately ran through his legs.
Sterling’s rising shot from the edge of the box was saved but Spurs made the breakthrough when Edwards gave Sterling the ball one-on-one with his man. He shot across goal from a tight angle, and when Huddart could only palm it out, the industrious Sam Shashoua was there to tap in.
Tanganga made a brilliant run forward and was brought down by Sheaf, who was given a few stern words by the referee.
Edwards received the ball wide on the right, surrounded by three Arsenal players, and all they could think to repeatedly say was ‘no foul’, so concerned they were about Edwards’ quick feet.
Owens showed a lovely bit of poise in the middle of midfield to turn away from two Arsenal players and ping a pass out to Edwards, but it was a tiny bit too long for him and he was unable to take advantage.
Tracey showed his defensive skills once again, standing up well to his man on the byline.
Hinds was taken off for Arsenal (replaced by Romanian Under-16 captain, Vlad Dragomir) and he passed the captain’s armband to Sheaf.
Malen had Arsenal’s first effort on goal of the second half when he blazed over, before Spurs won a free-kick in a great position. Edwards found Sterling, who slid Shashoua in with a clever pass with the outside of his right foot — Shashoua was pulled back right on the edge of the box. As Edwards stepped up, John McDermott called for him to keep it low. Edwards’ free-kick hit the wall, wrong-footed Huddart and found the bottom right corner for 2-0.
Maghoma’s excellent slide-rule pass found Shashoua but his first touch was too heavy and the ball got away from him.
Sterling had a good chance to make it three when he isolated and then beat his man, but he lost his balance at the vital moment and went to ground.
Maghoma burst forward onto a Dylan Duncan pass but hit the side netting, and Malen steered a chance wide for Arsenal from substitute Aaron Eyoma’s cross.
Spurs were 3-0 up just a few seconds later, and what a good goal it was. Sterling showed a lovely touch to make a yard of space in midfield. He slid Edwards in on the right side and, as ever, he cut in onto his favoured left foot. Edwards curled a delicious low finish into the corner, Huddart unable to keep it out despite getting his fingertips to it.
Ryan Loft and Keanan Bennetts replaced Sterling and Shashoua, and Spurs carried on as they had been all half, as Edwards got in — this time from a Dylan Duncan pass — and whilst he successfully cut in to create space again, his near-post effort went narrowly wide on this occasion.
Edwards played Loft in to fire over the bar, and Spurs made their final change – George Marsh replacing Stylianides. I believe Marsh has been injured, and it was good to see him back – a player I like.
Spurs wrapped up the win with a stylish fourth — Duncan playing Loft in with a pass which pierced the Arsenal defence, and Loft finished calmly.
This was a really enjoyable performance from Spurs — weathering the storm in the first half, before growing into the game and dominating in the second half. Having not seen so many games this year, I presume this was the best of the season for this group. It was the final game of the first stage of the Barclays Under-18 Premier League campaign, and we finished in eighth place.
— youthhawk (@youthhawk) February 20, 2016
Having gained a place in the second tier for the next stage, we will play Aston Villa, Leicester City and Arsenal from the south division, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough, and either Blackburn Rovers or Sunderland from the north division, depending on results.
Alfie Whiteman 7 – he made two decent saves, and read the game well on occasion too. His distribution was a bit unpredictable.
Shilow Tracey 7 – did an excellent job defensively, using his physical prowess (strength and speed) to get the better of his man on several occasions. I was surprised he didn’t bomb on too often, but that was probably the right decision as it was his first game at right-back
Christian Maghoma 8 – a really dominant performance from the captain. Strong in the tackle, showed leadership by talking Tracey through the game, and used the ball intelligently, bursting forward a few times.
Japhet Tanganga 8 – terrific display from an exciting young talent — read the game brilliantly and made some good clearing headers. His run forward in the second half was — as Dan said during the game — Jan-esque.
Jaden Brown 7 – a polished performance at left-back.
Charlie Owens 7 – struggled a little early on, but grew into the game well and played some nice passes.
Zenon Stylianides 5 – worked hard throughout but unfortunately did give the ball away quite a lot.
Marcus Edwards 9 – a terrific performance in which he show-cased all of the skill that we’ve come to know him for – brilliant dribbling, dynamic passing and movement, and a top quality finish to boot. I was delighted to see him track back to right-back in the last minute too.
Dylan Duncan 7 – hard-working display and got a good assist at the end.
Sam Shashoua 6 – worked hard but did at times struggle against a more physical opponent. Did well to follow in to open the scoring.
Kazaiah Sterling 8 – some lovely link-up play with Edwards, and showed plenty of ability with his mazy runs too. The only thing missing was a goal.
Keanan Bennetts – didn’t see much of the ball but made good counter-attacking runs.
Ryan Loft – took his goal terrifically.
George Marsh – did not have time to make an impact, but good to see him back.