Exclusive Interview with rising Tottenham star Joshua Onomah!

I spoke with rising Tottenham star Joshua Onomah about his development, his Tottenham first team debut, England and much more. The 18 year old central midfielder is considered one of the most promising talents within the Spurs youth set up at the moment and I got to know more about his love for Tottenham, and just how much he wants to become the next big thing that comes out of the youth academy under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino. Have a read of what he had to say in my exclusive Q&A:

Q: Do you take confidence from the rise of the likes of Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Andros Townsend to the first team?

Joshua: “Of course! They have set the pathway for all the youth players at Tottenham. Evidently we hope to follow in their footsteps because they have proven it is possible to come through the youth set up which brings a lot of motivation for me.”

Q: You’ve had White Hart Lane sing your name, can you put into words how much that means to a young player like yourself?

Joshua: “Made me speechless when you hear the fans singing your name! It gives me so much confidence because it shows that the fans believe in you, which is a good sign for me.”

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Q: What do you feel is the strongest aspect of your game?

Joshua: “I believe the strongest aspect of my game is running with the ball.”

Q: Is there any aspect you feel like you want or need to improve?

Joshua: “I need to score more goals and also improve my longer passing.”

Q: With a Head Coach that prides himself on integrating youth players into the first team, do you feel like chances of youth breaking through to the first team are higher than ever?

Joshua: “Definitely! I believe they are higher than they have ever been. When you hear the head coach say things like that it just makes you want to train harder until you become the best you can be and hopefully be good enough for the first team.”

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Q: You have the privilege of training at one of the best training centres in Europe, how do the facilities on offer aid a young player like yourself?

Joshua: “When you have facilities like Tottenham it is almost impossible to not improve. Unless you don’t train to the best of your ability. There are so many resources that can help you improve which is what you need as a young player.”

Q: You made your first team debut against Burnley in the FA Cup this season, has that experience made you even hungrier to become a regular part of the first team?

Joshua: “Of course! Making my debut was a dream come true and I wish I could re-live every second a thousand times. I loved the experience and I hope I can get a taste of it more and more.”

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Q: At just 18 years of age, you have already captained Tottenham’s U21s, and made your first team debut. Do you feel your development is progressing even faster than you thought it would?

Joshua: “Yes definitely, but I’ve had little niggles that have held me back a bit.”

Q: This past summer you were part of the England U17 squad that won the European Championships. What was that experience like, and has it made you thirstier for more glory at both international and club level?

Joshua: “Winning the euros was the second best thing I’ve done in my career other than my debut of course. It was a fantastic achievement for me to win such a prestigious cup! Winning this has increased my thirst for wanting to win more silverware!”

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Q: Who is your favourite ever Tottenham player?

Joshua: “Gazza because of the way he plays & Ledley (King) because he is a true leader.”

Q: Is there any player playing today that you try to imitate or model your style of play on?

Joshua: “Paul Pogba!”

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Q: What is your favourite memory of Tottenham Hotspur?

Joshua: “Making my first team debut in January.”

Q: Finally, what is your ultimate goal in the future?

Joshua: “The ultimate goal in the future is to win major trophies with Tottenham & England.”

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VIDEO: Here’s a few clips of Joshua Onomah in action:

I’d like to thank Joshua for his time and answering my questions. I think I join everyone in hoping that he can progress to become a key member of the first team, and yet another young Tottenham fan to make the grade, while also wishing him good luck for the rest of the season! Make sure you follow both Joshua (@joshuaonomah10) and I (@AddictedToSpurs) on twitter. Come on you Spurs!!

Danny Rose, Left Back to the Future!

After what can only be described as a difficult and unfulfilling 2013/14 season for Danny Rose personally, not showing any of his best form, looking uninterested and at times uninspired. But Great Scott, we have seen a complete transformation into one of our best players throughout this season. The left back has earnt two England call ups and at 23 years of age, and if he can continue to peform, then you wouldn’t put it past him to gain even more. We the fans have been desperate for a consistent left back for many years, with several having small flourishes in the position such as Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Gareth Bale before moving further forward and even new signing Ben Davies was thought to be the man to cement the position; but after all of that, it was the man from Leeds, that has come through Tottenham’s academy and now reached the point of being for now, Spurs’ number one left back – and at 23, he could yet cement himself as that left back for many years to come.

Watching the England man last season, you couldn’t see much hope – and I am sure he would be the first to admit he was under par. With the season Tottenham had, looking back you couldn’t blame Rose for looking disillusioned with the game and I am sure football became insipid for the left back at times, being critised after every little mistake by the not so faithful supporters; Tottenham was not a very happy place, and it wasn’t very stable last season, making it difficult for the players to feel comfortable I would assume, and it looked as though that affected Rose – who looked nothing like the player that scored a wonder goal on his debut against Arsenal – that player had passion and excitement when playing. I think Danny Rose lost interest, meaning the way he played suffered. But, alas, Rose has risen from the dead this season under Mauricio Pochettino, with the Argentine reigniting the fire within Rose and he looks a new man; he tackles with conviction, runs with purpose and is determined to win – becoming a vocal character on the pitch with his team mates. Yes, he has still made mistakes this season, and yes he can be a little bit naïve defensively, but that is the same with all offensive full backs throughout the game, and I would say that the balance that Rose has got between defence and attack is very good, and will only improve we hope.
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After Ben Davies signed for Spurs from Swansea for £10 million, it looked as though he would push on to replace Rose at left back, and that Mauricio Pochettino wasn’t keen on the Englishman – but it turned out that this investment in the 21 year old Welshman has had a good effect on both players – pushing eachother to improve throughout the season. Danny Rose started off the season as number one left back, but injury allowed Ben Davies to stake a claim, and he did impress, with a great performance against former side Swansea at the Liberty Stadium sticking out in my mind, and that looked like a turning point – Ben Davies replacing Danny Rose who had been good, but there were still doubts over his long term future as Tottenham’s left back amongst the fans. But, the tinking was premature and probably the most impressive thing about Danny Rose’s season is that he fought hard and regained his spot as number one left back from Ben Davies; perfoming in the Cups and I am sure he impressed in training and all of a sudden, Rose was establishing himself as one of Tottenham’s most impressive players.

Rose has a big impact on the way the Lilywhites play, with not much width on the left hand side with Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen; the usual operators on the left flank always looking to cut inside and make an impact through the middle; they have been reliant on Rose to give them that pace and width with crosses, and it gives the creative players in the middle a good wide outlet. Without the pace of Rose, Spurs have had real problems down the left hand side, notibly against Southampton, where the Tottenham side was crying out for a player to bomb down the left hand side. Rose has contributed with 5 assists this season, a good tally from left back, and also seen himself poach 4 goals, which is no mean feat – with a goal against Chelsea to his name. I am sure he will be looking to increase that tally next term.
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The impact Mauricio Pochettino has had on Danny Rose cannot be underestimated, with Mauricio seeming to put an arm around Rose and as I have said, reignite that passion for football within him, and his quality has shone after that; he has deserved the plaudits he has got – but there are still doubts about him from some, but other than Harry Kane, he has arguably been Tottenham’s best player this season and Rose will be hoping that this form can continue for a long time yet and he can prove those few doubters left, wrong. COYS!! Remember to follow me on twitter, here: @AddictedToSpurs. And also check out my instagram page, here: addictedtospurs, to keep up with everything Tottenham!
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You can question his dress sense, but not his footballing sense. Kyle Walker’s return to form.

Kyle Walker has been criticised for quite a while now for his poor form, defensive insecurities and lack of a ‘footballing mind’. These criticisms have been correct in some cases, but this season Walker has shown that he has more than just ‘pace’, he is a footballer that is learning and becoming one of the best right backs in the League, I can’t think of many better.

After a poor 2012/13 season, Walker has come into this season playing really well, looking like he’s back to the heights he set in the 2011/12 season, when he won the PFA Young Player of the Year award. His offensive qualities are already known throughout the footballing world, but it is his defensive qualities that have been severely questioned by Spurs fans, and footballing pundits, as a right back being defensive is pretty much key, otherwise you’re just a winger. What Kyle Walker has shown this season is improvement, he has worked hard at his game and it has paid off, he looks a different player from last season.

Silly mistakes. A good performance would be completely overshadowed by a mistake last season, the stand out mistake being his dreadful back pass to Hugo Lloris against Liverpool at Anfield which cost a goal in our 3-2 defeat. He put in a good performance that game, but that isn’t going to be remembered. This season, he has cut those mistakes out of his game *touches wood*, making only ONE defensive mistake this season according to Squawka, against Manchester City, in which every player made a mistake at least once. He’s been consistently brilliant, and he deserves lots of credit.

The things Kyle offers us offensively are now key to us, his pace causes problems for opposition defenders. His power to beat players to the ball and get a corner out of nothing is important to us, something we had with that Gareth Bale guy last season, the raw pace to get past players and win a throw or a corner to relieve pressure on the rest of the defence. The responsibility that he has taken on his shoulders, after our best player left is great, he’s been brilliant.

At just 23, Walker is still learning, building his game. He’s becoming a top player and we’re lucky to have him at Spurs. Kyle now needs to continue his hard work, win over his critics, perform well for England and become a player to remember for Spurs fans! This season, he has been our most consistent player, putting in good performances, and Man of the Match performances, my best player of the season so far is Hugo Lloris, but Walker comes very close to that award with his performances and it shows in the clean sheets he has helped the team to this season so far.

A few Kyle Walker stats provided by Squawka

– Kyle has a pass accuracy of 84% so far this season, up from last season’s 83%.

– Walker created 53 chances last season in 36 games, this season he has already created 27 chances in just 15 appearances.

– He wins on average 59% of his duels during matches, up from last season’s average of 57%.

These little improvements are making a big difference to his performances this season. Long may it continue!

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International Round Up. 29th May, 2013.

We had four players involved in internationals last night, Clint Dempsey for the US, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele for Belgium and Jermain Defoe for England.

Belgium 4-2 USA

Clint Dempsey captained his USA team, and had a good game, grabbing an assist and a goal from the penalty spot. He played the full 90 minutes, but couldn’t prevent his team from losing 4-2 to a very good Belgium side.

Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele also featured in what turned out to be a very exciting game. Jan played the full 90 minutes and put in a solid defensive effort to help his team to victory. Mousa Dembele looked tired throughout the game, and was substituted at Half Time, he didn’t really make much of an impact on the game.

Here are a few pictures from the Game:

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England 1-1 Republic of Ireland

Only Jermain Defoe featured for England in this game, our striker didn’t start, but came on for Daniel Sturridge in the 34th minute. Jermain only had a couple of half chances, but didn’t have the impact that he, or Roy Hodgson would have wanted. Unfortunate. England, on a whole were really poor, and I’d like to say I was really angered by Roy Hodgson’s decision to leave out Aaron Lennon and Michael Dawson from the squad. Poor decision. Poor result. Same old England.

Here are a few pictures from the game:

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More internationals are coming up, including Lewis Holtby with the Germany U21s, and Steven Caulker for the England U21s in the U21 Euro 2013.

Lets hope all our players come back from their international duties with no injuries, and have a nice break to come back fresh in July for pre season. COYS!

Aaron Lennon; Amazing Pace

Aaron Lennon has been phenomenal this season, he has been one of our most important players. We look extremely dangerous when Bale and Lennon line up together, and last season when Lennon was injured we did not look threatening from the right hand side. We played Rafael van der Vaart on the right and he was very ineffective, and if Lennon got injured this season we would be in a worse position as we don’t have the same sort of player and we would have to change the way we play dramatically. The only player that in my opinion could play on the right is Iago Falque, but he would not bring us the dramatic pace that we need on the right. Kyle Walker blossomed last season because Lennon wasn’t playing, this is because he did hardly any defending and did almost all the attacking on the right, this season, you could say he has been poor, but it may be that the return of Lennon has hampered his attacking play, but I feel Lennon attacking is so much more affective than Walker. Lennon is one of those players that when he gets the ball, you feel that a goal could come, the only other players that I have this feeling about are Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele, when all three are bombing forward the whole stadium knows that a chance is coming.

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Aaron Lennon has been called back up to the England squad, which is definitely deserved as he could be one of England’s most important players. Lennon’s crosses have become so much better, he doesn’t cross until he is in the box and there is significant support, he then stands it up perfectly for one of our players to head in beautifully. Lennon has been criticised for not scoring enough goals, and this is fair but this season he has scored and has been very threatening on other occasions, this is very promising. He has matured as a player, and as a man which has made such an impact to his game, having captained the side is very good for him, and he deserves it after his loyalty to the club. This is a player that is loved by the fans, and has been backed continuously as ‘better that Theo Walcott’ this I feel is completely true. I hope that he continues to have a quality season and score and assist many more goals. ‘There’s only one Aaron Lennon!’. COYS!!