After weathering the Gunners’ storm in the opening stages at the Training Centre on Saturday, we kicked on in the second period and secured a 4-0 victory thanks to goals from Samuel Shashoua, Marcus Edwards (2) and Ryan Loft.
Reflecting on the game, which brought the curtain down on the first stage of the Barclays Under-18 Premier League campaign, Under-18s Coach Kieran said: “I thought we started really tentatively for whatever reason – maybe the boys were a little bit nervous – but we always want the players to go out and play with confidence and belief in their ability.
“As the game went on they started to show that and certainly in the second half they really took the game by the scruff of the neck and it was an excellent performance.
“It’s not always easy to implement, you’re not going to get it right every time, but that’s what we strive for – everyone wants to attack and defend, everyone wants to show their qualities and certainly when we do get it right like we did in the second half it’s very enjoyable to watch and be part of.”
The match (highlights above on Spurs TV) also saw our youngsters keep a second consecutive clean sheet for the first time this season and Kieran underlined how the boys’ defensive endeavours have been gradually getting better with each passing week.
“There’s definite development on that side,” he added. “We’ve spoken about reducing the number of opposition shots on target and that’s something we’ve done over the last couple of weeks. I think Arsenal only tested Alfie Whiteman once or twice so the resilience around our penalty box and the defending in the moments where we needed to defend was very good but, of course, defending starts from the front and the way we went after them and pressed them high up the pitch was very good as well.
“It’s certainly pleasing from a defensive point of view to get back-to-back clean sheets and I thought from almost one to 11 in the team, there were a lot of stand-out performances.”