The Under 21 side won, that is a positive, Ryan Fredericks was a menace, another positive, there were plenty to draw from the 2-1 victory over West Ham in front of 796 onlookers. It was a young Spurs side as a new bunch of Spurs youngster step up to the Under 21 English Premier League (EPL) level.
Ugo Ehiogu gave his verdict to the official Spurs website on the performance at the Lamex Stadium, home of Stevenage, where we are playing our games this season.
“It was a tough game. We knew West Ham would be aggressive, organised and they were, so no surprise there. The first game is always a bit difficult, players are trying to feel their way in a little and it’s a big occasion for some of the younger lads."
I think that's a point some people overlook at all levels, nerves. A youngster stepping up a level is going into the unknown, the pressure is on, just as when they make a debut for the senior team. The jump can be lessened by including them in match day squads but nerves play a art at every level and create their own pressure.
Different players handle pressure in different ways, look at Brazil in the World Cup, they simply fell under the weight of it and went to pieces like we have never seen a Brazil side do before.
For someone like Christian Eriksen, there are nerves coming to a new club, a new country, a new league and don't forget he was only 21 when he arrived. You have to prove yourself all over again, what you have done previously counts for nothing. Eric Dier will have felt the same, for him it will have helped playing at White Hart Lane against Schalke to take a little bit of the nerves away, give him that extra little bit of confidence.
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Once those initial nerves were overcome Ehiogu felt Spurs were a better side until the end of th game when they had to hang on.
“I thought we settled after the first half, I didn't think we were very good first half. We needed to take the handbrake off a bit and play with a little less fear. I was happy with the way we dug in and we were resolute. That is something that has been lodged at us before.
"There are fighting qualities, defensively the back four were superb today, bodies on the line, headers when it needed to, a lot of bravery and that kept us in the game really. It allowed some of our, the better players to, the more experienced players to come up with an opportunity to score a goal.
"Saying that we probably had three clear cut chances one-on-one where we should be scoring, Daniel [Akindayini] misses a great cance from 5 or 6 yards out and it does change the game a little bit, you can go 3-1 up or 2-1 up when we are we're on top, it changes the game.
“But it’s all a big learning curve for them and happy with the points but still that disappointment with the performance because West Ham had us hanging on today.”
Ehiogu was good enough to play for England, he was a defender himself so if he feels we defended superbly, then we did but it's his disappointment I'm pleased to hear. An honest assessment that recognises there is work to do so each player can learn how to approach the situation better next time.
The side is to develop the young players so as well as looking at the team and how the team needs to be improved, each individual will need to be looked at and analysed as to how they could have made better choices, done more and given more options off the ball etc.
If you improve each individual you will improve a side so Ugo will have plenty of work to do.
Tottenham Hotspur U21: Harry Voss, Ryan Fredericks, Alex McQueen, Tom Carroll, Dominic Ball, Milos Veljkovic (c), Emmanuel Sonupe, Harry Winks, Daniel Akindayini, Joshua Onomah, Cristian Ceballos
Subs: Nathan Oduwa, Thomas Glover, Filip Lesniak, William Miller, Souleymane Coulibaly