Josh's thumbs-up for Kyle at Under-19 Euros
18 July 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
As England’s youngsters head into the European Under-19 Championship semi-finals this week, Josh Onomah has been singing the praises of Club team-mate Kyle Walker-Peters.
The pair have featured in every game at the tournament so far in Germany, including a 2-1 win over Croatia today (Monday, July 18) in which Kyle’s presence in the six-yard box led to the Young Lions’ second goal, with Croatia defender Silvio Anocic getting the final touch as England went 2-0 up inside 10 minutes. Josh played the full game in central midfield with Kyle, usually a full-back, deployed on the right wing.
The victory in Heidenheim was the icing on the cake for England, who had already secured a last four showdown with Italy on Thursday – and a spot at next year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup – by virtue of winning their first two matches in Group B against France and the Netherlands by the same scoreline.
Josh is one of nine players in the England camp who won the Euro Under-17 title back in 2014 and, speaking over the weekend, he explained that Kyle – one of the more recent additions to the group – has played a key role at the tournament this time around.
“Kyle’s getting on well. He came into a very tough first match against France in the second half and he dealt with it well, then he started the second game and I thought he was one of our best players,” said the 19-year-old.
“He played at left-back against France and Holland and I think he’s settled in brilliantly. Everyone gels together here, we’ve got a really good team spirit and nobody is left out so everyone feels really happy and that allows us to perform on the pitch.”
After making 19 appearances at senior level for us last season, including eight substitute appearances in the Premier League, Josh said he’s had no trouble adjusting to youth football once more and underlined how the opportunities afforded to him by Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane continue to benefit him as he aims for a second international winner’s medal.
“The experiences I got last year have helped me a lot,” he continued. “A few of the other boys have played a lot of first team football as well so we’ve been able to gel as a team very quickly.
“My experiences have helped me to manage games and to know how to win so I think that’s been beneficial to me and to our team.
“I think I’ve taken it all (reverting to Under-19s international football) in my stride really and it’s been a great opportunity. Our preparation for this tournament has been right, we’ve trained together a lot and I feel like we’re really a team.
“We’ve got a lot of winners and leaders in our group and I’m very confident that we can do well again. Obviously we know that we won the Euros two years ago but we’re really focusing on this tournament now – it’s a completely different competition so we’re not dwelling on the past, we’ve set new challenges and we hope to carry on playing well as we go into the semi-finals.”