Milton Keynes Dons

Milton Keynes Dons slideshow

Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' George Williams celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' George Williams celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' George Williams scores their second goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' George Williams scores their second goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Max Ehmern action with MK Dons' Chuks Aneke Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Max Ehmern action with MK Dons' Chuks Aneke Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' George Williams celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' George Williams celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' George Williams celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' George Williams celebrates scoring their second goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Scott Wagstaff in action with MK Dons' Ousseynou Cisse Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Scott Wagstaff in action with MK Dons' Ousseynou Cisse Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Scott Wagstaff in action with MK Dons' Chuks Aneke Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Scott Wagstaff in action with MK Dons' Chuks Aneke Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 General View during the game Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 General View during the game Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Jake Hessenthaler shoots at goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Jake Hessenthaler shoots at goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' Lee Nicholls celebrates their first goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' Lee Nicholls celebrates their first goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Navid Nasseri celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Navid Nasseri celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 A minutes applause is held before kick off for bbc sports reporter Neil Bell Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 A minutes applause is held before kick off for bbc sports reporter Neil Bell Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham manager Steve Lovell Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham manager Steve Lovell Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' manager Dan Micciche Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 MK Dons' manager Dan Micciche Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Conor Wilkinson in action with MK Dons' Scott Wooton Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons
Soccer Football - League One - Gillingham vs Milton Keynes Dons - MEMS Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Britain - March 29, 2018 Gillingham's Conor Wilkinson in action with MK Dons' Scott Wooton Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
It is just minutes before Dele Alli is due to arrive for his first extended newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, when Mauricio Pochettino walks up the stairs at the club’s Enfield training base. “You’re here for Dele?” asks the Tottenham manager. “You know, I just said he’s the best 21-year-old footballer in the world.” And with that, Pochettino, who made the claim in his weekly press conference, disappears through the double doors that Dele, as he wishes to be called, soon breezes through with a wide grin. Dele is polite, relaxed and articulate, and quickly offers up an insight into the humble beginnings from which he developed into one of the best young footballers on the planet. Growing up in the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes meant Dele could take little for granted – particularly money – and, describing how he got into football, the England international said: “From under-nine to under-11, I played in a Sunday league. Before that, there was this scheme where you had to pay £1 to train and I used to do that. But I wasn’t able to pay it and in the end they let me do it for free.” When it was put to Dele that money must have been incredibly tight, he added: “It was. When you come from where I came from, there were a lot more important things to spend a pound on than football training. Obviously, for me at the time, I thought it was all that mattered. “But for families who are struggling, it’s not the case. They need a lot of support. But when you are nine or 10, maybe the vision of your parents isn’t the same as what it is for you. “There is a lot of pressure on the parents with a kid who wants to become a professional footballer. There is a lot of responsibility, having to drive them around everywhere.” Dele could not afford to pay £1 to train as a youngster Credit: News Syndication Asked which football boots he wore during his formative years, Dele said: “I thought they were nice! I was lucky. When I was young, I had quite big feet, so the older lads in the area used to give me their hand-me-down boots. They looked after me.” His upbringing perhaps explains why Dele feels a keen responsibility to give something back. The evening before this interview, he had missed watching Chelsea’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona to launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme that aims to help reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in Haringey. The Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League, run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Haringey Council, allows under-14 teams to compete every Friday evening at the Duke’s Academy in the shadow of the new Spurs stadium. Dele was mobbed by teenagers at the event while he posed for photographs, signed autographs and talked to the organisers and those who will benefit from the project. “Playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, you get a lot of opportunities to help out other people and, for such a good cause, it was definitely worth going to,” said Dele. On the subject of how he has acclimatised to being a hero to so many youngsters, he added: “You grow into it. At the start, it was a bit crazy, but now I am used to it and it’s all about giving something back. “Like I said, we as players have such a great opportunity to help people and make a big impact. I think it is important you don’t hide from it and do as much as you can. “This new league the club is running is a brilliant way of getting young people from the area to play sport and meet friends in a safe environment.” Dele helped launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme this week Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley Despite his willingness to help others, Dele acknowledges he is not always an angel on the pitch and laughs at the suggestion he has become a pantomime villain among opposition supporters. His determination to stand up for himself almost cost him his big break at Milton Keynes Dons, but a lower-league grounding against older opponents gave him the perfect platform to grow up fast. “I was playing in an under-10s team and one of the managers worked at MK as well, so they asked me to go down and train,” said Dele. “I remember my first session, they said they were playing Chelsea. I’d only ever seen Chelsea on Match of the Day. But MK’s academy were going to play Chelsea’s academy at Stamford Bridge and they would not let me go as I had only trained once. “So, because of that I left and went back to playing for my Sunday league team. “Then, a year later, MK asked me to come back and trial for their under-11s. But, in the end, they said I could sign without having to trial. “Obviously, everyone takes different routes, there’s no right or wrong pathway to becoming a professional. But being at MK gave me the opportunity to play first-team football against men. “I preferred that, it’s something I had done since I was younger. Even when I was a kid playing on the streets or on the estate, I was always playing against older people. I always wanted to test myself as much as I could. MK was the perfect place to do that.” There was an early sign of the devilment in Dele’s play, when, in one of his first Tottenham appearances in a pre-season tournament, he nutmegged former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric while playing against Real Madrid. If Harry Kane misses out... Since then, his development and rise has been meteoric. Before turning 21 last April, Dele had chalked up more goals and assists than Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age. Dele scored his 10th goal of this season against Bournemouth last weekend and is now only eight short of chalking up his half century in all competitions for Spurs. “I feel like I’ve been playing for a long time now, but I think a lot happened to me really quickly,” said Dele. “There’s moments where you step back and think ‘how can this have happened to me?’ “I’ve been working for it since I was a kid and there’s been a lot of decisions I’ve had to make, and it’s all been to do this and put myself in this position. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I’m confident in my ability, maybe I was surprised by how quickly it happened, but it’s always been my aim and I’ll keep working hard to achieve even more.” With the highs have understandably come some lows. Red cards in key games against West Bromwich Albion and Gent, England’s European Championship failure, the middle-finger salute that earned him an international ban and, most lately, accusations of being a diver. “Nobody wants to be labelled as a cheat,” said Dele. “It’s an opinion and everyone has a different opinion. I get into the box a lot and round the box, and I’m an attacking player and I get fouled a lot. Dele denies his reputation as a diver Credit: getty images “There are some that look bad. It’s different when you are in the action. “The one at Crystal Palace, that’s the one I saw a lot of reaction to. I was running through and, at the time, all was going through my head was that I didn’t want to step on the keeper. But when you watch it back and people start saying things, it can look a lot different. “That’s why I think it’s important that players, not just about diving, about other stuff too, that you don’t get too involved in it and just focus on what you are doing and listen to the opinions of the people you trust. “I think we live in a world now where everyone has a chance to have an opinion and with social media, everyone’s opinion can be seen and it’s important that I don’t get drawn into that, don’t look at it, don’t read it or start to believe what people say about me. “I am 21 and you do some dumb things sometimes, and it’s all part of learning and improving, and turning into a good person and that’s what I want to achieve.” What will make Dele even happier is to win his first piece of silverware with Tottenham, who face Swansea City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup tomorrow. Having gone close in the Cup and in the Premier League, he now wants to go all the way. “We all want to win trophies and to achieve something as a team,” said Dele. “There is no point coming so close like we have the last two years, you know second place almost feels as bad as finishing bottom. You want to win, so I think we need to.” Dele Alli was speaking at the launch of the Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League – a new initiative delivered by the Club’s Foundation, alongside Haringey Council and the Met Police – to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough.
How Dele Alli went from borrowed boots to the best 21 year-old in the world
It is just minutes before Dele Alli is due to arrive for his first extended newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, when Mauricio Pochettino walks up the stairs at the club’s Enfield training base. “You’re here for Dele?” asks the Tottenham manager. “You know, I just said he’s the best 21-year-old footballer in the world.” And with that, Pochettino, who made the claim in his weekly press conference, disappears through the double doors that Dele, as he wishes to be called, soon breezes through with a wide grin. Dele is polite, relaxed and articulate, and quickly offers up an insight into the humble beginnings from which he developed into one of the best young footballers on the planet. Growing up in the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes meant Dele could take little for granted – particularly money – and, describing how he got into football, the England international said: “From under-nine to under-11, I played in a Sunday league. Before that, there was this scheme where you had to pay £1 to train and I used to do that. But I wasn’t able to pay it and in the end they let me do it for free.” When it was put to Dele that money must have been incredibly tight, he added: “It was. When you come from where I came from, there were a lot more important things to spend a pound on than football training. Obviously, for me at the time, I thought it was all that mattered. “But for families who are struggling, it’s not the case. They need a lot of support. But when you are nine or 10, maybe the vision of your parents isn’t the same as what it is for you. “There is a lot of pressure on the parents with a kid who wants to become a professional footballer. There is a lot of responsibility, having to drive them around everywhere.” Dele could not afford to pay £1 to train as a youngster Credit: News Syndication Asked which football boots he wore during his formative years, Dele said: “I thought they were nice! I was lucky. When I was young, I had quite big feet, so the older lads in the area used to give me their hand-me-down boots. They looked after me.” His upbringing perhaps explains why Dele feels a keen responsibility to give something back. The evening before this interview, he had missed watching Chelsea’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona to launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme that aims to help reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in Haringey. The Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League, run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Haringey Council, allows under-14 teams to compete every Friday evening at the Duke’s Academy in the shadow of the new Spurs stadium. Dele was mobbed by teenagers at the event while he posed for photographs, signed autographs and talked to the organisers and those who will benefit from the project. “Playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, you get a lot of opportunities to help out other people and, for such a good cause, it was definitely worth going to,” said Dele. On the subject of how he has acclimatised to being a hero to so many youngsters, he added: “You grow into it. At the start, it was a bit crazy, but now I am used to it and it’s all about giving something back. “Like I said, we as players have such a great opportunity to help people and make a big impact. I think it is important you don’t hide from it and do as much as you can. “This new league the club is running is a brilliant way of getting young people from the area to play sport and meet friends in a safe environment.” Dele helped launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme this week Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley Despite his willingness to help others, Dele acknowledges he is not always an angel on the pitch and laughs at the suggestion he has become a pantomime villain among opposition supporters. His determination to stand up for himself almost cost him his big break at Milton Keynes Dons, but a lower-league grounding against older opponents gave him the perfect platform to grow up fast. “I was playing in an under-10s team and one of the managers worked at MK as well, so they asked me to go down and train,” said Dele. “I remember my first session, they said they were playing Chelsea. I’d only ever seen Chelsea on Match of the Day. But MK’s academy were going to play Chelsea’s academy at Stamford Bridge and they would not let me go as I had only trained once. “So, because of that I left and went back to playing for my Sunday league team. “Then, a year later, MK asked me to come back and trial for their under-11s. But, in the end, they said I could sign without having to trial. “Obviously, everyone takes different routes, there’s no right or wrong pathway to becoming a professional. But being at MK gave me the opportunity to play first-team football against men. “I preferred that, it’s something I had done since I was younger. Even when I was a kid playing on the streets or on the estate, I was always playing against older people. I always wanted to test myself as much as I could. MK was the perfect place to do that.” There was an early sign of the devilment in Dele’s play, when, in one of his first Tottenham appearances in a pre-season tournament, he nutmegged former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric while playing against Real Madrid. If Harry Kane misses out... Since then, his development and rise has been meteoric. Before turning 21 last April, Dele had chalked up more goals and assists than Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age. Dele scored his 10th goal of this season against Bournemouth last weekend and is now only eight short of chalking up his half century in all competitions for Spurs. “I feel like I’ve been playing for a long time now, but I think a lot happened to me really quickly,” said Dele. “There’s moments where you step back and think ‘how can this have happened to me?’ “I’ve been working for it since I was a kid and there’s been a lot of decisions I’ve had to make, and it’s all been to do this and put myself in this position. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I’m confident in my ability, maybe I was surprised by how quickly it happened, but it’s always been my aim and I’ll keep working hard to achieve even more.” With the highs have understandably come some lows. Red cards in key games against West Bromwich Albion and Gent, England’s European Championship failure, the middle-finger salute that earned him an international ban and, most lately, accusations of being a diver. “Nobody wants to be labelled as a cheat,” said Dele. “It’s an opinion and everyone has a different opinion. I get into the box a lot and round the box, and I’m an attacking player and I get fouled a lot. Dele denies his reputation as a diver Credit: getty images “There are some that look bad. It’s different when you are in the action. “The one at Crystal Palace, that’s the one I saw a lot of reaction to. I was running through and, at the time, all was going through my head was that I didn’t want to step on the keeper. But when you watch it back and people start saying things, it can look a lot different. “That’s why I think it’s important that players, not just about diving, about other stuff too, that you don’t get too involved in it and just focus on what you are doing and listen to the opinions of the people you trust. “I think we live in a world now where everyone has a chance to have an opinion and with social media, everyone’s opinion can be seen and it’s important that I don’t get drawn into that, don’t look at it, don’t read it or start to believe what people say about me. “I am 21 and you do some dumb things sometimes, and it’s all part of learning and improving, and turning into a good person and that’s what I want to achieve.” What will make Dele even happier is to win his first piece of silverware with Tottenham, who face Swansea City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup tomorrow. Having gone close in the Cup and in the Premier League, he now wants to go all the way. “We all want to win trophies and to achieve something as a team,” said Dele. “There is no point coming so close like we have the last two years, you know second place almost feels as bad as finishing bottom. You want to win, so I think we need to.” Dele Alli was speaking at the launch of the Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League – a new initiative delivered by the Club’s Foundation, alongside Haringey Council and the Met Police – to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough.
It is just minutes before Dele Alli is due to arrive for his first extended newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, when Mauricio Pochettino walks up the stairs at the club’s Enfield training base. “You’re here for Dele?” asks the Tottenham manager. “You know, I just said he’s the best 21-year-old footballer in the world.” And with that, Pochettino, who made the claim in his weekly press conference, disappears through the double doors that Dele, as he wishes to be called, soon breezes through with a wide grin. Dele is polite, relaxed and articulate, and quickly offers up an insight into the humble beginnings from which he developed into one of the best young footballers on the planet. Growing up in the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes meant Dele could take little for granted – particularly money – and, describing how he got into football, the England international said: “From under-nine to under-11, I played in a Sunday league. Before that, there was this scheme where you had to pay £1 to train and I used to do that. But I wasn’t able to pay it and in the end they let me do it for free.” When it was put to Dele that money must have been incredibly tight, he added: “It was. When you come from where I came from, there were a lot more important things to spend a pound on than football training. Obviously, for me at the time, I thought it was all that mattered. “But for families who are struggling, it’s not the case. They need a lot of support. But when you are nine or 10, maybe the vision of your parents isn’t the same as what it is for you. “There is a lot of pressure on the parents with a kid who wants to become a professional footballer. There is a lot of responsibility, having to drive them around everywhere.” Dele could not afford to pay £1 to train as a youngster Credit: News Syndication Asked which football boots he wore during his formative years, Dele said: “I thought they were nice! I was lucky. When I was young, I had quite big feet, so the older lads in the area used to give me their hand-me-down boots. They looked after me.” His upbringing perhaps explains why Dele feels a keen responsibility to give something back. The evening before this interview, he had missed watching Chelsea’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona to launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme that aims to help reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in Haringey. The Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League, run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Haringey Council, allows under-14 teams to compete every Friday evening at the Duke’s Academy in the shadow of the new Spurs stadium. Dele was mobbed by teenagers at the event while he posed for photographs, signed autographs and talked to the organisers and those who will benefit from the project. “Playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, you get a lot of opportunities to help out other people and, for such a good cause, it was definitely worth going to,” said Dele. On the subject of how he has acclimatised to being a hero to so many youngsters, he added: “You grow into it. At the start, it was a bit crazy, but now I am used to it and it’s all about giving something back. “Like I said, we as players have such a great opportunity to help people and make a big impact. I think it is important you don’t hide from it and do as much as you can. “This new league the club is running is a brilliant way of getting young people from the area to play sport and meet friends in a safe environment.” Dele helped launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme this week Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley Despite his willingness to help others, Dele acknowledges he is not always an angel on the pitch and laughs at the suggestion he has become a pantomime villain among opposition supporters. His determination to stand up for himself almost cost him his big break at Milton Keynes Dons, but a lower-league grounding against older opponents gave him the perfect platform to grow up fast. “I was playing in an under-10s team and one of the managers worked at MK as well, so they asked me to go down and train,” said Dele. “I remember my first session, they said they were playing Chelsea. I’d only ever seen Chelsea on Match of the Day. But MK’s academy were going to play Chelsea’s academy at Stamford Bridge and they would not let me go as I had only trained once. “So, because of that I left and went back to playing for my Sunday league team. “Then, a year later, MK asked me to come back and trial for their under-11s. But, in the end, they said I could sign without having to trial. “Obviously, everyone takes different routes, there’s no right or wrong pathway to becoming a professional. But being at MK gave me the opportunity to play first-team football against men. “I preferred that, it’s something I had done since I was younger. Even when I was a kid playing on the streets or on the estate, I was always playing against older people. I always wanted to test myself as much as I could. MK was the perfect place to do that.” There was an early sign of the devilment in Dele’s play, when, in one of his first Tottenham appearances in a pre-season tournament, he nutmegged former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric while playing against Real Madrid. If Harry Kane misses out... Since then, his development and rise has been meteoric. Before turning 21 last April, Dele had chalked up more goals and assists than Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age. Dele scored his 10th goal of this season against Bournemouth last weekend and is now only eight short of chalking up his half century in all competitions for Spurs. “I feel like I’ve been playing for a long time now, but I think a lot happened to me really quickly,” said Dele. “There’s moments where you step back and think ‘how can this have happened to me?’ “I’ve been working for it since I was a kid and there’s been a lot of decisions I’ve had to make, and it’s all been to do this and put myself in this position. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I’m confident in my ability, maybe I was surprised by how quickly it happened, but it’s always been my aim and I’ll keep working hard to achieve even more.” With the highs have understandably come some lows. Red cards in key games against West Bromwich Albion and Gent, England’s European Championship failure, the middle-finger salute that earned him an international ban and, most lately, accusations of being a diver. “Nobody wants to be labelled as a cheat,” said Dele. “It’s an opinion and everyone has a different opinion. I get into the box a lot and round the box, and I’m an attacking player and I get fouled a lot. Dele denies his reputation as a diver Credit: getty images “There are some that look bad. It’s different when you are in the action. “The one at Crystal Palace, that’s the one I saw a lot of reaction to. I was running through and, at the time, all was going through my head was that I didn’t want to step on the keeper. But when you watch it back and people start saying things, it can look a lot different. “That’s why I think it’s important that players, not just about diving, about other stuff too, that you don’t get too involved in it and just focus on what you are doing and listen to the opinions of the people you trust. “I think we live in a world now where everyone has a chance to have an opinion and with social media, everyone’s opinion can be seen and it’s important that I don’t get drawn into that, don’t look at it, don’t read it or start to believe what people say about me. “I am 21 and you do some dumb things sometimes, and it’s all part of learning and improving, and turning into a good person and that’s what I want to achieve.” What will make Dele even happier is to win his first piece of silverware with Tottenham, who face Swansea City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup tomorrow. Having gone close in the Cup and in the Premier League, he now wants to go all the way. “We all want to win trophies and to achieve something as a team,” said Dele. “There is no point coming so close like we have the last two years, you know second place almost feels as bad as finishing bottom. You want to win, so I think we need to.” Dele Alli was speaking at the launch of the Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League – a new initiative delivered by the Club’s Foundation, alongside Haringey Council and the Met Police – to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough.
How Dele Alli went from borrowed boots to the best 21 year-old in the world
It is just minutes before Dele Alli is due to arrive for his first extended newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, when Mauricio Pochettino walks up the stairs at the club’s Enfield training base. “You’re here for Dele?” asks the Tottenham manager. “You know, I just said he’s the best 21-year-old footballer in the world.” And with that, Pochettino, who made the claim in his weekly press conference, disappears through the double doors that Dele, as he wishes to be called, soon breezes through with a wide grin. Dele is polite, relaxed and articulate, and quickly offers up an insight into the humble beginnings from which he developed into one of the best young footballers on the planet. Growing up in the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes meant Dele could take little for granted – particularly money – and, describing how he got into football, the England international said: “From under-nine to under-11, I played in a Sunday league. Before that, there was this scheme where you had to pay £1 to train and I used to do that. But I wasn’t able to pay it and in the end they let me do it for free.” When it was put to Dele that money must have been incredibly tight, he added: “It was. When you come from where I came from, there were a lot more important things to spend a pound on than football training. Obviously, for me at the time, I thought it was all that mattered. “But for families who are struggling, it’s not the case. They need a lot of support. But when you are nine or 10, maybe the vision of your parents isn’t the same as what it is for you. “There is a lot of pressure on the parents with a kid who wants to become a professional footballer. There is a lot of responsibility, having to drive them around everywhere.” Dele could not afford to pay £1 to train as a youngster Credit: News Syndication Asked which football boots he wore during his formative years, Dele said: “I thought they were nice! I was lucky. When I was young, I had quite big feet, so the older lads in the area used to give me their hand-me-down boots. They looked after me.” His upbringing perhaps explains why Dele feels a keen responsibility to give something back. The evening before this interview, he had missed watching Chelsea’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona to launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme that aims to help reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in Haringey. The Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League, run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Haringey Council, allows under-14 teams to compete every Friday evening at the Duke’s Academy in the shadow of the new Spurs stadium. Dele was mobbed by teenagers at the event while he posed for photographs, signed autographs and talked to the organisers and those who will benefit from the project. “Playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, you get a lot of opportunities to help out other people and, for such a good cause, it was definitely worth going to,” said Dele. On the subject of how he has acclimatised to being a hero to so many youngsters, he added: “You grow into it. At the start, it was a bit crazy, but now I am used to it and it’s all about giving something back. “Like I said, we as players have such a great opportunity to help people and make a big impact. I think it is important you don’t hide from it and do as much as you can. “This new league the club is running is a brilliant way of getting young people from the area to play sport and meet friends in a safe environment.” Dele helped launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme this week Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley Despite his willingness to help others, Dele acknowledges he is not always an angel on the pitch and laughs at the suggestion he has become a pantomime villain among opposition supporters. His determination to stand up for himself almost cost him his big break at Milton Keynes Dons, but a lower-league grounding against older opponents gave him the perfect platform to grow up fast. “I was playing in an under-10s team and one of the managers worked at MK as well, so they asked me to go down and train,” said Dele. “I remember my first session, they said they were playing Chelsea. I’d only ever seen Chelsea on Match of the Day. But MK’s academy were going to play Chelsea’s academy at Stamford Bridge and they would not let me go as I had only trained once. “So, because of that I left and went back to playing for my Sunday league team. “Then, a year later, MK asked me to come back and trial for their under-11s. But, in the end, they said I could sign without having to trial. “Obviously, everyone takes different routes, there’s no right or wrong pathway to becoming a professional. But being at MK gave me the opportunity to play first-team football against men. “I preferred that, it’s something I had done since I was younger. Even when I was a kid playing on the streets or on the estate, I was always playing against older people. I always wanted to test myself as much as I could. MK was the perfect place to do that.” There was an early sign of the devilment in Dele’s play, when, in one of his first Tottenham appearances in a pre-season tournament, he nutmegged former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric while playing against Real Madrid. If Harry Kane misses out... Since then, his development and rise has been meteoric. Before turning 21 last April, Dele had chalked up more goals and assists than Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age. Dele scored his 10th goal of this season against Bournemouth last weekend and is now only eight short of chalking up his half century in all competitions for Spurs. “I feel like I’ve been playing for a long time now, but I think a lot happened to me really quickly,” said Dele. “There’s moments where you step back and think ‘how can this have happened to me?’ “I’ve been working for it since I was a kid and there’s been a lot of decisions I’ve had to make, and it’s all been to do this and put myself in this position. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I’m confident in my ability, maybe I was surprised by how quickly it happened, but it’s always been my aim and I’ll keep working hard to achieve even more.” With the highs have understandably come some lows. Red cards in key games against West Bromwich Albion and Gent, England’s European Championship failure, the middle-finger salute that earned him an international ban and, most lately, accusations of being a diver. “Nobody wants to be labelled as a cheat,” said Dele. “It’s an opinion and everyone has a different opinion. I get into the box a lot and round the box, and I’m an attacking player and I get fouled a lot. Dele denies his reputation as a diver Credit: getty images “There are some that look bad. It’s different when you are in the action. “The one at Crystal Palace, that’s the one I saw a lot of reaction to. I was running through and, at the time, all was going through my head was that I didn’t want to step on the keeper. But when you watch it back and people start saying things, it can look a lot different. “That’s why I think it’s important that players, not just about diving, about other stuff too, that you don’t get too involved in it and just focus on what you are doing and listen to the opinions of the people you trust. “I think we live in a world now where everyone has a chance to have an opinion and with social media, everyone’s opinion can be seen and it’s important that I don’t get drawn into that, don’t look at it, don’t read it or start to believe what people say about me. “I am 21 and you do some dumb things sometimes, and it’s all part of learning and improving, and turning into a good person and that’s what I want to achieve.” What will make Dele even happier is to win his first piece of silverware with Tottenham, who face Swansea City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup tomorrow. Having gone close in the Cup and in the Premier League, he now wants to go all the way. “We all want to win trophies and to achieve something as a team,” said Dele. “There is no point coming so close like we have the last two years, you know second place almost feels as bad as finishing bottom. You want to win, so I think we need to.” Dele Alli was speaking at the launch of the Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League – a new initiative delivered by the Club’s Foundation, alongside Haringey Council and the Met Police – to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough.
It is just minutes before Dele Alli is due to arrive for his first extended newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, when Mauricio Pochettino walks up the stairs at the club’s Enfield training base. “You’re here for Dele?” asks the Tottenham manager. “You know, I just said he’s the best 21-year-old footballer in the world.” And with that, Pochettino, who made the claim in his weekly press conference, disappears through the double doors that Dele, as he wishes to be called, soon breezes through with a wide grin. Dele is polite, relaxed and articulate, and quickly offers up an insight into the humble beginnings from which he developed into one of the best young footballers on the planet. Growing up in the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes meant Dele could take little for granted – particularly money – and, describing how he got into football, the England international said: “From under-nine to under-11, I played in a Sunday league. Before that, there was this scheme where you had to pay £1 to train and I used to do that. But I wasn’t able to pay it and in the end they let me do it for free.” When it was put to Dele that money must have been incredibly tight, he added: “It was. When you come from where I came from, there were a lot more important things to spend a pound on than football training. Obviously, for me at the time, I thought it was all that mattered. “But for families who are struggling, it’s not the case. They need a lot of support. But when you are nine or 10, maybe the vision of your parents isn’t the same as what it is for you. “There is a lot of pressure on the parents with a kid who wants to become a professional footballer. There is a lot of responsibility, having to drive them around everywhere.” Dele could not afford to pay £1 to train as a youngster Credit: News Syndication Asked which football boots he wore during his formative years, Dele said: “I thought they were nice! I was lucky. When I was young, I had quite big feet, so the older lads in the area used to give me their hand-me-down boots. They looked after me.” His upbringing perhaps explains why Dele feels a keen responsibility to give something back. The evening before this interview, he had missed watching Chelsea’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona to launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme that aims to help reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in Haringey. The Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League, run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Haringey Council, allows under-14 teams to compete every Friday evening at the Duke’s Academy in the shadow of the new Spurs stadium. Dele was mobbed by teenagers at the event while he posed for photographs, signed autographs and talked to the organisers and those who will benefit from the project. “Playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, you get a lot of opportunities to help out other people and, for such a good cause, it was definitely worth going to,” said Dele. On the subject of how he has acclimatised to being a hero to so many youngsters, he added: “You grow into it. At the start, it was a bit crazy, but now I am used to it and it’s all about giving something back. “Like I said, we as players have such a great opportunity to help people and make a big impact. I think it is important you don’t hide from it and do as much as you can. “This new league the club is running is a brilliant way of getting young people from the area to play sport and meet friends in a safe environment.” Dele helped launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme this week Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley Despite his willingness to help others, Dele acknowledges he is not always an angel on the pitch and laughs at the suggestion he has become a pantomime villain among opposition supporters. His determination to stand up for himself almost cost him his big break at Milton Keynes Dons, but a lower-league grounding against older opponents gave him the perfect platform to grow up fast. “I was playing in an under-10s team and one of the managers worked at MK as well, so they asked me to go down and train,” said Dele. “I remember my first session, they said they were playing Chelsea. I’d only ever seen Chelsea on Match of the Day. But MK’s academy were going to play Chelsea’s academy at Stamford Bridge and they would not let me go as I had only trained once. “So, because of that I left and went back to playing for my Sunday league team. “Then, a year later, MK asked me to come back and trial for their under-11s. But, in the end, they said I could sign without having to trial. “Obviously, everyone takes different routes, there’s no right or wrong pathway to becoming a professional. But being at MK gave me the opportunity to play first-team football against men. “I preferred that, it’s something I had done since I was younger. Even when I was a kid playing on the streets or on the estate, I was always playing against older people. I always wanted to test myself as much as I could. MK was the perfect place to do that.” There was an early sign of the devilment in Dele’s play, when, in one of his first Tottenham appearances in a pre-season tournament, he nutmegged former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric while playing against Real Madrid. If Harry Kane misses out... Since then, his development and rise has been meteoric. Before turning 21 last April, Dele had chalked up more goals and assists than Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age. Dele scored his 10th goal of this season against Bournemouth last weekend and is now only eight short of chalking up his half century in all competitions for Spurs. “I feel like I’ve been playing for a long time now, but I think a lot happened to me really quickly,” said Dele. “There’s moments where you step back and think ‘how can this have happened to me?’ “I’ve been working for it since I was a kid and there’s been a lot of decisions I’ve had to make, and it’s all been to do this and put myself in this position. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I’m confident in my ability, maybe I was surprised by how quickly it happened, but it’s always been my aim and I’ll keep working hard to achieve even more.” With the highs have understandably come some lows. Red cards in key games against West Bromwich Albion and Gent, England’s European Championship failure, the middle-finger salute that earned him an international ban and, most lately, accusations of being a diver. “Nobody wants to be labelled as a cheat,” said Dele. “It’s an opinion and everyone has a different opinion. I get into the box a lot and round the box, and I’m an attacking player and I get fouled a lot. Dele denies his reputation as a diver Credit: getty images “There are some that look bad. It’s different when you are in the action. “The one at Crystal Palace, that’s the one I saw a lot of reaction to. I was running through and, at the time, all was going through my head was that I didn’t want to step on the keeper. But when you watch it back and people start saying things, it can look a lot different. “That’s why I think it’s important that players, not just about diving, about other stuff too, that you don’t get too involved in it and just focus on what you are doing and listen to the opinions of the people you trust. “I think we live in a world now where everyone has a chance to have an opinion and with social media, everyone’s opinion can be seen and it’s important that I don’t get drawn into that, don’t look at it, don’t read it or start to believe what people say about me. “I am 21 and you do some dumb things sometimes, and it’s all part of learning and improving, and turning into a good person and that’s what I want to achieve.” What will make Dele even happier is to win his first piece of silverware with Tottenham, who face Swansea City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup tomorrow. Having gone close in the Cup and in the Premier League, he now wants to go all the way. “We all want to win trophies and to achieve something as a team,” said Dele. “There is no point coming so close like we have the last two years, you know second place almost feels as bad as finishing bottom. You want to win, so I think we need to.” Dele Alli was speaking at the launch of the Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League – a new initiative delivered by the Club’s Foundation, alongside Haringey Council and the Met Police – to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough.
How Dele Alli went from borrowed boots to the best 21 year-old in the world
It is just minutes before Dele Alli is due to arrive for his first extended newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, when Mauricio Pochettino walks up the stairs at the club’s Enfield training base. “You’re here for Dele?” asks the Tottenham manager. “You know, I just said he’s the best 21-year-old footballer in the world.” And with that, Pochettino, who made the claim in his weekly press conference, disappears through the double doors that Dele, as he wishes to be called, soon breezes through with a wide grin. Dele is polite, relaxed and articulate, and quickly offers up an insight into the humble beginnings from which he developed into one of the best young footballers on the planet. Growing up in the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes meant Dele could take little for granted – particularly money – and, describing how he got into football, the England international said: “From under-nine to under-11, I played in a Sunday league. Before that, there was this scheme where you had to pay £1 to train and I used to do that. But I wasn’t able to pay it and in the end they let me do it for free.” When it was put to Dele that money must have been incredibly tight, he added: “It was. When you come from where I came from, there were a lot more important things to spend a pound on than football training. Obviously, for me at the time, I thought it was all that mattered. “But for families who are struggling, it’s not the case. They need a lot of support. But when you are nine or 10, maybe the vision of your parents isn’t the same as what it is for you. “There is a lot of pressure on the parents with a kid who wants to become a professional footballer. There is a lot of responsibility, having to drive them around everywhere.” Dele could not afford to pay £1 to train as a youngster Credit: News Syndication Asked which football boots he wore during his formative years, Dele said: “I thought they were nice! I was lucky. When I was young, I had quite big feet, so the older lads in the area used to give me their hand-me-down boots. They looked after me.” His upbringing perhaps explains why Dele feels a keen responsibility to give something back. The evening before this interview, he had missed watching Chelsea’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona to launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme that aims to help reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in Haringey. The Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League, run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Haringey Council, allows under-14 teams to compete every Friday evening at the Duke’s Academy in the shadow of the new Spurs stadium. Dele was mobbed by teenagers at the event while he posed for photographs, signed autographs and talked to the organisers and those who will benefit from the project. “Playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, you get a lot of opportunities to help out other people and, for such a good cause, it was definitely worth going to,” said Dele. On the subject of how he has acclimatised to being a hero to so many youngsters, he added: “You grow into it. At the start, it was a bit crazy, but now I am used to it and it’s all about giving something back. “Like I said, we as players have such a great opportunity to help people and make a big impact. I think it is important you don’t hide from it and do as much as you can. “This new league the club is running is a brilliant way of getting young people from the area to play sport and meet friends in a safe environment.” Dele helped launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme this week Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley Despite his willingness to help others, Dele acknowledges he is not always an angel on the pitch and laughs at the suggestion he has become a pantomime villain among opposition supporters. His determination to stand up for himself almost cost him his big break at Milton Keynes Dons, but a lower-league grounding against older opponents gave him the perfect platform to grow up fast. “I was playing in an under-10s team and one of the managers worked at MK as well, so they asked me to go down and train,” said Dele. “I remember my first session, they said they were playing Chelsea. I’d only ever seen Chelsea on Match of the Day. But MK’s academy were going to play Chelsea’s academy at Stamford Bridge and they would not let me go as I had only trained once. “So, because of that I left and went back to playing for my Sunday league team. “Then, a year later, MK asked me to come back and trial for their under-11s. But, in the end, they said I could sign without having to trial. “Obviously, everyone takes different routes, there’s no right or wrong pathway to becoming a professional. But being at MK gave me the opportunity to play first-team football against men. “I preferred that, it’s something I had done since I was younger. Even when I was a kid playing on the streets or on the estate, I was always playing against older people. I always wanted to test myself as much as I could. MK was the perfect place to do that.” There was an early sign of the devilment in Dele’s play, when, in one of his first Tottenham appearances in a pre-season tournament, he nutmegged former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric while playing against Real Madrid. If Harry Kane misses out... Since then, his development and rise has been meteoric. Before turning 21 last April, Dele had chalked up more goals and assists than Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age. Dele scored his 10th goal of this season against Bournemouth last weekend and is now only eight short of chalking up his half century in all competitions for Spurs. “I feel like I’ve been playing for a long time now, but I think a lot happened to me really quickly,” said Dele. “There’s moments where you step back and think ‘how can this have happened to me?’ “I’ve been working for it since I was a kid and there’s been a lot of decisions I’ve had to make, and it’s all been to do this and put myself in this position. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I’m confident in my ability, maybe I was surprised by how quickly it happened, but it’s always been my aim and I’ll keep working hard to achieve even more.” With the highs have understandably come some lows. Red cards in key games against West Bromwich Albion and Gent, England’s European Championship failure, the middle-finger salute that earned him an international ban and, most lately, accusations of being a diver. “Nobody wants to be labelled as a cheat,” said Dele. “It’s an opinion and everyone has a different opinion. I get into the box a lot and round the box, and I’m an attacking player and I get fouled a lot. Dele denies his reputation as a diver Credit: getty images “There are some that look bad. It’s different when you are in the action. “The one at Crystal Palace, that’s the one I saw a lot of reaction to. I was running through and, at the time, all was going through my head was that I didn’t want to step on the keeper. But when you watch it back and people start saying things, it can look a lot different. “That’s why I think it’s important that players, not just about diving, about other stuff too, that you don’t get too involved in it and just focus on what you are doing and listen to the opinions of the people you trust. “I think we live in a world now where everyone has a chance to have an opinion and with social media, everyone’s opinion can be seen and it’s important that I don’t get drawn into that, don’t look at it, don’t read it or start to believe what people say about me. “I am 21 and you do some dumb things sometimes, and it’s all part of learning and improving, and turning into a good person and that’s what I want to achieve.” What will make Dele even happier is to win his first piece of silverware with Tottenham, who face Swansea City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup tomorrow. Having gone close in the Cup and in the Premier League, he now wants to go all the way. “We all want to win trophies and to achieve something as a team,” said Dele. “There is no point coming so close like we have the last two years, you know second place almost feels as bad as finishing bottom. You want to win, so I think we need to.” Dele Alli was speaking at the launch of the Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League – a new initiative delivered by the Club’s Foundation, alongside Haringey Council and the Met Police – to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough.
It is just minutes before Dele Alli is due to arrive for his first extended newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, when Mauricio Pochettino walks up the stairs at the club’s Enfield training base. “You’re here for Dele?” asks the Tottenham manager. “You know, I just said he’s the best 21-year-old footballer in the world.” And with that, Pochettino, who made the claim in his weekly press conference, disappears through the double doors that Dele, as he wishes to be called, soon breezes through with a wide grin. Dele is polite, relaxed and articulate, and quickly offers up an insight into the humble beginnings from which he developed into one of the best young footballers on the planet. Growing up in the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes meant Dele could take little for granted – particularly money – and, describing how he got into football, the England international said: “From under-nine to under-11, I played in a Sunday league. Before that, there was this scheme where you had to pay £1 to train and I used to do that. But I wasn’t able to pay it and in the end they let me do it for free.” When it was put to Dele that money must have been incredibly tight, he added: “It was. When you come from where I came from, there were a lot more important things to spend a pound on than football training. Obviously, for me at the time, I thought it was all that mattered. “But for families who are struggling, it’s not the case. They need a lot of support. But when you are nine or 10, maybe the vision of your parents isn’t the same as what it is for you. “There is a lot of pressure on the parents with a kid who wants to become a professional footballer. There is a lot of responsibility, having to drive them around everywhere.” Dele could not afford to pay £1 to train as a youngster Credit: News Syndication Asked which football boots he wore during his formative years, Dele said: “I thought they were nice! I was lucky. When I was young, I had quite big feet, so the older lads in the area used to give me their hand-me-down boots. They looked after me.” His upbringing perhaps explains why Dele feels a keen responsibility to give something back. The evening before this interview, he had missed watching Chelsea’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona to launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme that aims to help reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in Haringey. The Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League, run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Haringey Council, allows under-14 teams to compete every Friday evening at the Duke’s Academy in the shadow of the new Spurs stadium. Dele was mobbed by teenagers at the event while he posed for photographs, signed autographs and talked to the organisers and those who will benefit from the project. “Playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, you get a lot of opportunities to help out other people and, for such a good cause, it was definitely worth going to,” said Dele. On the subject of how he has acclimatised to being a hero to so many youngsters, he added: “You grow into it. At the start, it was a bit crazy, but now I am used to it and it’s all about giving something back. “Like I said, we as players have such a great opportunity to help people and make a big impact. I think it is important you don’t hide from it and do as much as you can. “This new league the club is running is a brilliant way of getting young people from the area to play sport and meet friends in a safe environment.” Dele helped launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme this week Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley Despite his willingness to help others, Dele acknowledges he is not always an angel on the pitch and laughs at the suggestion he has become a pantomime villain among opposition supporters. His determination to stand up for himself almost cost him his big break at Milton Keynes Dons, but a lower-league grounding against older opponents gave him the perfect platform to grow up fast. “I was playing in an under-10s team and one of the managers worked at MK as well, so they asked me to go down and train,” said Dele. “I remember my first session, they said they were playing Chelsea. I’d only ever seen Chelsea on Match of the Day. But MK’s academy were going to play Chelsea’s academy at Stamford Bridge and they would not let me go as I had only trained once. “So, because of that I left and went back to playing for my Sunday league team. “Then, a year later, MK asked me to come back and trial for their under-11s. But, in the end, they said I could sign without having to trial. “Obviously, everyone takes different routes, there’s no right or wrong pathway to becoming a professional. But being at MK gave me the opportunity to play first-team football against men. “I preferred that, it’s something I had done since I was younger. Even when I was a kid playing on the streets or on the estate, I was always playing against older people. I always wanted to test myself as much as I could. MK was the perfect place to do that.” There was an early sign of the devilment in Dele’s play, when, in one of his first Tottenham appearances in a pre-season tournament, he nutmegged former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric while playing against Real Madrid. If Harry Kane misses out... Since then, his development and rise has been meteoric. Before turning 21 last April, Dele had chalked up more goals and assists than Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age. Dele scored his 10th goal of this season against Bournemouth last weekend and is now only eight short of chalking up his half century in all competitions for Spurs. “I feel like I’ve been playing for a long time now, but I think a lot happened to me really quickly,” said Dele. “There’s moments where you step back and think ‘how can this have happened to me?’ “I’ve been working for it since I was a kid and there’s been a lot of decisions I’ve had to make, and it’s all been to do this and put myself in this position. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I’m confident in my ability, maybe I was surprised by how quickly it happened, but it’s always been my aim and I’ll keep working hard to achieve even more.” With the highs have understandably come some lows. Red cards in key games against West Bromwich Albion and Gent, England’s European Championship failure, the middle-finger salute that earned him an international ban and, most lately, accusations of being a diver. “Nobody wants to be labelled as a cheat,” said Dele. “It’s an opinion and everyone has a different opinion. I get into the box a lot and round the box, and I’m an attacking player and I get fouled a lot. Dele denies his reputation as a diver Credit: getty images “There are some that look bad. It’s different when you are in the action. “The one at Crystal Palace, that’s the one I saw a lot of reaction to. I was running through and, at the time, all was going through my head was that I didn’t want to step on the keeper. But when you watch it back and people start saying things, it can look a lot different. “That’s why I think it’s important that players, not just about diving, about other stuff too, that you don’t get too involved in it and just focus on what you are doing and listen to the opinions of the people you trust. “I think we live in a world now where everyone has a chance to have an opinion and with social media, everyone’s opinion can be seen and it’s important that I don’t get drawn into that, don’t look at it, don’t read it or start to believe what people say about me. “I am 21 and you do some dumb things sometimes, and it’s all part of learning and improving, and turning into a good person and that’s what I want to achieve.” What will make Dele even happier is to win his first piece of silverware with Tottenham, who face Swansea City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup tomorrow. Having gone close in the Cup and in the Premier League, he now wants to go all the way. “We all want to win trophies and to achieve something as a team,” said Dele. “There is no point coming so close like we have the last two years, you know second place almost feels as bad as finishing bottom. You want to win, so I think we need to.” Dele Alli was speaking at the launch of the Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League – a new initiative delivered by the Club’s Foundation, alongside Haringey Council and the Met Police – to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough.
How Dele Alli went from borrowed boots to the best 21 year-old in the world
It is just minutes before Dele Alli is due to arrive for his first extended newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, when Mauricio Pochettino walks up the stairs at the club’s Enfield training base. “You’re here for Dele?” asks the Tottenham manager. “You know, I just said he’s the best 21-year-old footballer in the world.” And with that, Pochettino, who made the claim in his weekly press conference, disappears through the double doors that Dele, as he wishes to be called, soon breezes through with a wide grin. Dele is polite, relaxed and articulate, and quickly offers up an insight into the humble beginnings from which he developed into one of the best young footballers on the planet. Growing up in the Bradwell area of Milton Keynes meant Dele could take little for granted – particularly money – and, describing how he got into football, the England international said: “From under-nine to under-11, I played in a Sunday league. Before that, there was this scheme where you had to pay £1 to train and I used to do that. But I wasn’t able to pay it and in the end they let me do it for free.” When it was put to Dele that money must have been incredibly tight, he added: “It was. When you come from where I came from, there were a lot more important things to spend a pound on than football training. Obviously, for me at the time, I thought it was all that mattered. “But for families who are struggling, it’s not the case. They need a lot of support. But when you are nine or 10, maybe the vision of your parents isn’t the same as what it is for you. “There is a lot of pressure on the parents with a kid who wants to become a professional footballer. There is a lot of responsibility, having to drive them around everywhere.” Dele could not afford to pay £1 to train as a youngster Credit: News Syndication Asked which football boots he wore during his formative years, Dele said: “I thought they were nice! I was lucky. When I was young, I had quite big feet, so the older lads in the area used to give me their hand-me-down boots. They looked after me.” His upbringing perhaps explains why Dele feels a keen responsibility to give something back. The evening before this interview, he had missed watching Chelsea’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona to launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme that aims to help reduce levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in Haringey. The Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League, run in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Haringey Council, allows under-14 teams to compete every Friday evening at the Duke’s Academy in the shadow of the new Spurs stadium. Dele was mobbed by teenagers at the event while he posed for photographs, signed autographs and talked to the organisers and those who will benefit from the project. “Playing for Tottenham in the Premier League, you get a lot of opportunities to help out other people and, for such a good cause, it was definitely worth going to,” said Dele. On the subject of how he has acclimatised to being a hero to so many youngsters, he added: “You grow into it. At the start, it was a bit crazy, but now I am used to it and it’s all about giving something back. “Like I said, we as players have such a great opportunity to help people and make a big impact. I think it is important you don’t hide from it and do as much as you can. “This new league the club is running is a brilliant way of getting young people from the area to play sport and meet friends in a safe environment.” Dele helped launch a new Tottenham Hotspur Foundation programme this week Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley Despite his willingness to help others, Dele acknowledges he is not always an angel on the pitch and laughs at the suggestion he has become a pantomime villain among opposition supporters. His determination to stand up for himself almost cost him his big break at Milton Keynes Dons, but a lower-league grounding against older opponents gave him the perfect platform to grow up fast. “I was playing in an under-10s team and one of the managers worked at MK as well, so they asked me to go down and train,” said Dele. “I remember my first session, they said they were playing Chelsea. I’d only ever seen Chelsea on Match of the Day. But MK’s academy were going to play Chelsea’s academy at Stamford Bridge and they would not let me go as I had only trained once. “So, because of that I left and went back to playing for my Sunday league team. “Then, a year later, MK asked me to come back and trial for their under-11s. But, in the end, they said I could sign without having to trial. “Obviously, everyone takes different routes, there’s no right or wrong pathway to becoming a professional. But being at MK gave me the opportunity to play first-team football against men. “I preferred that, it’s something I had done since I was younger. Even when I was a kid playing on the streets or on the estate, I was always playing against older people. I always wanted to test myself as much as I could. MK was the perfect place to do that.” There was an early sign of the devilment in Dele’s play, when, in one of his first Tottenham appearances in a pre-season tournament, he nutmegged former Spurs midfielder Luka Modric while playing against Real Madrid. If Harry Kane misses out... Since then, his development and rise has been meteoric. Before turning 21 last April, Dele had chalked up more goals and assists than Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo at the same age. Dele scored his 10th goal of this season against Bournemouth last weekend and is now only eight short of chalking up his half century in all competitions for Spurs. “I feel like I’ve been playing for a long time now, but I think a lot happened to me really quickly,” said Dele. “There’s moments where you step back and think ‘how can this have happened to me?’ “I’ve been working for it since I was a kid and there’s been a lot of decisions I’ve had to make, and it’s all been to do this and put myself in this position. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I’m confident in my ability, maybe I was surprised by how quickly it happened, but it’s always been my aim and I’ll keep working hard to achieve even more.” With the highs have understandably come some lows. Red cards in key games against West Bromwich Albion and Gent, England’s European Championship failure, the middle-finger salute that earned him an international ban and, most lately, accusations of being a diver. “Nobody wants to be labelled as a cheat,” said Dele. “It’s an opinion and everyone has a different opinion. I get into the box a lot and round the box, and I’m an attacking player and I get fouled a lot. Dele denies his reputation as a diver Credit: getty images “There are some that look bad. It’s different when you are in the action. “The one at Crystal Palace, that’s the one I saw a lot of reaction to. I was running through and, at the time, all was going through my head was that I didn’t want to step on the keeper. But when you watch it back and people start saying things, it can look a lot different. “That’s why I think it’s important that players, not just about diving, about other stuff too, that you don’t get too involved in it and just focus on what you are doing and listen to the opinions of the people you trust. “I think we live in a world now where everyone has a chance to have an opinion and with social media, everyone’s opinion can be seen and it’s important that I don’t get drawn into that, don’t look at it, don’t read it or start to believe what people say about me. “I am 21 and you do some dumb things sometimes, and it’s all part of learning and improving, and turning into a good person and that’s what I want to achieve.” What will make Dele even happier is to win his first piece of silverware with Tottenham, who face Swansea City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup tomorrow. Having gone close in the Cup and in the Premier League, he now wants to go all the way. “We all want to win trophies and to achieve something as a team,” said Dele. “There is no point coming so close like we have the last two years, you know second place almost feels as bad as finishing bottom. You want to win, so I think we need to.” Dele Alli was speaking at the launch of the Tottenham Hotspur Community Football League – a new initiative delivered by the Club’s Foundation, alongside Haringey Council and the Met Police – to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the Borough.
Many of the Brighton fans packed into the Amex Stadium on Saturday will still remember the immortal words ‘And Smith must score’ and those who do not may soon be getting a history lesson if the club’s Cup run continues. The last time Brighton were a top-flight club, they reached the final of the FA Cup in 1983 and lost in a replay to Manchester United. Gordon Smith has the dubious honour of being the man, referred to in the famous radio commentary, who should have won the first game for Brighton. There was even a fanzine named after him. Brighton may still be a couple of games away from the final, but a first quarter-final place for 32 years, in the season they are back in the top flight, has got the club’s supporters dreaming of another Wembley appearance and a chance to finally avenge Smith’s miss. Unlike at other grounds in this season’s FA Cup, there were no large sections of empty seats at the Amex, despite the fact Brighton were entertaining League Two opposition. Manager Chris Hughton made nine changes for the visit of Coventry City, but there was never much prospect of an upset. Jurgen Locadia celebrates scoring his first goal for the club Credit: Getty Images Record signing Jurgen Locadia scored on his Brighton debut, while Leonardo Ulloa netted for the first time since returning to the club on loan from Leicester City. Locadia should really have finished with a hat-trick, as the £15million buy from PSV Eindhoven made a lively start to his Seagulls career. He hit the post in just the fifth minute with a hooked shot from a corner that Coventry failed to clear, but found the net 10 minutes later. Anthony Knockaert, who Coventry’s defenders could not cope with, sent in a low cross from the right and the ball was deflected into the path of Locadia, who made no mistake from eight yards. Just two minutes before Locadia’s opener, Coventry had gone within inches of breaking the deadlock. Jordan Shipley’s corner was met by Johnson Clarke-Harris, but his header rattled the crossbar. Goldson's goal was his first in two years Credit: Getty Images Locadia was presented with a great chance to double his and Brighton’s tally in the 23rd minute, but he completely missed the ball with the goal gaping. And shortly afterwards, he somehow diverted the ball wide after sliding to meet a low cross into the area from Markus Suttner. “To get off mark early was good for Jurgen,” said Hughton. “He is here to score goals. He has a flexibility about him, but we are still learning about him. You saw that in his game as he was drifting out. He came to us in January and had had a good first half of the season in Holland.” Coventry were punished further with 11 minutes of the first half remaining. Another Suttner delivery found the head of Connor Goldson, who made no mistake. The goal was Goldson’s first for almost two years, during which time he underwent heart surgery. Hughton swapped his goalkeeper at the break, sending on Niki Maenpaa to replace the injured Tim Krul, but it was Coventry’s Lee Burge who was soon picking the ball out of his net again. Just after the hour mark, Bruno’s high cross found Ulloa and the Argentine directed his header past Burge to chalk up his first goal of the season. Johnson Clarke-Harris (L) celebrates getting a consolation goal for Coventry with Jordan Ponticelli Credit: PA For Coventry, this season’s FA Cup has provided some relief and distraction from years of turmoil at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. The 1987 winners beat Stoke City and Milton Keynes Dons to reach the fifth round and they at least sent their travelling army home with something to cheer from their day out in Brighton. Burge pumped forwards a long clearance that made its way into the Brighton penalty area. Goldson tried to head clear, but the ball fell to Clarke-Harris, who rifled a shot into the net to send the Coventry fans wild. “I thought we were good,” said Coventry manager Mark Robins. “It has been a positive experience for us and, hopefully, it can help us have a strong finish in League Two.”
Brighton 3 Coventry 1: Jurgen Locadia debut goal helps hosts into quarter-final
Many of the Brighton fans packed into the Amex Stadium on Saturday will still remember the immortal words ‘And Smith must score’ and those who do not may soon be getting a history lesson if the club’s Cup run continues. The last time Brighton were a top-flight club, they reached the final of the FA Cup in 1983 and lost in a replay to Manchester United. Gordon Smith has the dubious honour of being the man, referred to in the famous radio commentary, who should have won the first game for Brighton. There was even a fanzine named after him. Brighton may still be a couple of games away from the final, but a first quarter-final place for 32 years, in the season they are back in the top flight, has got the club’s supporters dreaming of another Wembley appearance and a chance to finally avenge Smith’s miss. Unlike at other grounds in this season’s FA Cup, there were no large sections of empty seats at the Amex, despite the fact Brighton were entertaining League Two opposition. Manager Chris Hughton made nine changes for the visit of Coventry City, but there was never much prospect of an upset. Jurgen Locadia celebrates scoring his first goal for the club Credit: Getty Images Record signing Jurgen Locadia scored on his Brighton debut, while Leonardo Ulloa netted for the first time since returning to the club on loan from Leicester City. Locadia should really have finished with a hat-trick, as the £15million buy from PSV Eindhoven made a lively start to his Seagulls career. He hit the post in just the fifth minute with a hooked shot from a corner that Coventry failed to clear, but found the net 10 minutes later. Anthony Knockaert, who Coventry’s defenders could not cope with, sent in a low cross from the right and the ball was deflected into the path of Locadia, who made no mistake from eight yards. Just two minutes before Locadia’s opener, Coventry had gone within inches of breaking the deadlock. Jordan Shipley’s corner was met by Johnson Clarke-Harris, but his header rattled the crossbar. Goldson's goal was his first in two years Credit: Getty Images Locadia was presented with a great chance to double his and Brighton’s tally in the 23rd minute, but he completely missed the ball with the goal gaping. And shortly afterwards, he somehow diverted the ball wide after sliding to meet a low cross into the area from Markus Suttner. “To get off mark early was good for Jurgen,” said Hughton. “He is here to score goals. He has a flexibility about him, but we are still learning about him. You saw that in his game as he was drifting out. He came to us in January and had had a good first half of the season in Holland.” Coventry were punished further with 11 minutes of the first half remaining. Another Suttner delivery found the head of Connor Goldson, who made no mistake. The goal was Goldson’s first for almost two years, during which time he underwent heart surgery. Hughton swapped his goalkeeper at the break, sending on Niki Maenpaa to replace the injured Tim Krul, but it was Coventry’s Lee Burge who was soon picking the ball out of his net again. Just after the hour mark, Bruno’s high cross found Ulloa and the Argentine directed his header past Burge to chalk up his first goal of the season. Johnson Clarke-Harris (L) celebrates getting a consolation goal for Coventry with Jordan Ponticelli Credit: PA For Coventry, this season’s FA Cup has provided some relief and distraction from years of turmoil at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. The 1987 winners beat Stoke City and Milton Keynes Dons to reach the fifth round and they at least sent their travelling army home with something to cheer from their day out in Brighton. Burge pumped forwards a long clearance that made its way into the Brighton penalty area. Goldson tried to head clear, but the ball fell to Clarke-Harris, who rifled a shot into the net to send the Coventry fans wild. “I thought we were good,” said Coventry manager Mark Robins. “It has been a positive experience for us and, hopefully, it can help us have a strong finish in League Two.”
Many of the Brighton fans packed into the Amex Stadium on Saturday will still remember the immortal words ‘And Smith must score’ and those who do not may soon be getting a history lesson if the club’s Cup run continues. The last time Brighton were a top-flight club, they reached the final of the FA Cup in 1983 and lost in a replay to Manchester United. Gordon Smith has the dubious honour of being the man, referred to in the famous radio commentary, who should have won the first game for Brighton. There was even a fanzine named after him. Brighton may still be a couple of games away from the final, but a first quarter-final place for 32 years, in the season they are back in the top flight, has got the club’s supporters dreaming of another Wembley appearance and a chance to finally avenge Smith’s miss. Unlike at other grounds in this season’s FA Cup, there were no large sections of empty seats at the Amex, despite the fact Brighton were entertaining League Two opposition. Manager Chris Hughton made nine changes for the visit of Coventry City, but there was never much prospect of an upset. Jurgen Locadia celebrates scoring his first goal for the club Credit: Getty Images Record signing Jurgen Locadia scored on his Brighton debut, while Leonardo Ulloa netted for the first time since returning to the club on loan from Leicester City. Locadia should really have finished with a hat-trick, as the £15million buy from PSV Eindhoven made a lively start to his Seagulls career. He hit the post in just the fifth minute with a hooked shot from a corner that Coventry failed to clear, but found the net 10 minutes later. Anthony Knockaert, who Coventry’s defenders could not cope with, sent in a low cross from the right and the ball was deflected into the path of Locadia, who made no mistake from eight yards. Just two minutes before Locadia’s opener, Coventry had gone within inches of breaking the deadlock. Jordan Shipley’s corner was met by Johnson Clarke-Harris, but his header rattled the crossbar. Goldson's goal was his first in two years Credit: Getty Images Locadia was presented with a great chance to double his and Brighton’s tally in the 23rd minute, but he completely missed the ball with the goal gaping. And shortly afterwards, he somehow diverted the ball wide after sliding to meet a low cross into the area from Markus Suttner. “To get off mark early was good for Jurgen,” said Hughton. “He is here to score goals. He has a flexibility about him, but we are still learning about him. You saw that in his game as he was drifting out. He came to us in January and had had a good first half of the season in Holland.” Coventry were punished further with 11 minutes of the first half remaining. Another Suttner delivery found the head of Connor Goldson, who made no mistake. The goal was Goldson’s first for almost two years, during which time he underwent heart surgery. Hughton swapped his goalkeeper at the break, sending on Niki Maenpaa to replace the injured Tim Krul, but it was Coventry’s Lee Burge who was soon picking the ball out of his net again. Just after the hour mark, Bruno’s high cross found Ulloa and the Argentine directed his header past Burge to chalk up his first goal of the season. Johnson Clarke-Harris (L) celebrates getting a consolation goal for Coventry with Jordan Ponticelli Credit: PA For Coventry, this season’s FA Cup has provided some relief and distraction from years of turmoil at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. The 1987 winners beat Stoke City and Milton Keynes Dons to reach the fifth round and they at least sent their travelling army home with something to cheer from their day out in Brighton. Burge pumped forwards a long clearance that made its way into the Brighton penalty area. Goldson tried to head clear, but the ball fell to Clarke-Harris, who rifled a shot into the net to send the Coventry fans wild. “I thought we were good,” said Coventry manager Mark Robins. “It has been a positive experience for us and, hopefully, it can help us have a strong finish in League Two.”
Brighton 3 Coventry 1: Jurgen Locadia debut goal helps hosts into quarter-final
Many of the Brighton fans packed into the Amex Stadium on Saturday will still remember the immortal words ‘And Smith must score’ and those who do not may soon be getting a history lesson if the club’s Cup run continues. The last time Brighton were a top-flight club, they reached the final of the FA Cup in 1983 and lost in a replay to Manchester United. Gordon Smith has the dubious honour of being the man, referred to in the famous radio commentary, who should have won the first game for Brighton. There was even a fanzine named after him. Brighton may still be a couple of games away from the final, but a first quarter-final place for 32 years, in the season they are back in the top flight, has got the club’s supporters dreaming of another Wembley appearance and a chance to finally avenge Smith’s miss. Unlike at other grounds in this season’s FA Cup, there were no large sections of empty seats at the Amex, despite the fact Brighton were entertaining League Two opposition. Manager Chris Hughton made nine changes for the visit of Coventry City, but there was never much prospect of an upset. Jurgen Locadia celebrates scoring his first goal for the club Credit: Getty Images Record signing Jurgen Locadia scored on his Brighton debut, while Leonardo Ulloa netted for the first time since returning to the club on loan from Leicester City. Locadia should really have finished with a hat-trick, as the £15million buy from PSV Eindhoven made a lively start to his Seagulls career. He hit the post in just the fifth minute with a hooked shot from a corner that Coventry failed to clear, but found the net 10 minutes later. Anthony Knockaert, who Coventry’s defenders could not cope with, sent in a low cross from the right and the ball was deflected into the path of Locadia, who made no mistake from eight yards. Just two minutes before Locadia’s opener, Coventry had gone within inches of breaking the deadlock. Jordan Shipley’s corner was met by Johnson Clarke-Harris, but his header rattled the crossbar. Goldson's goal was his first in two years Credit: Getty Images Locadia was presented with a great chance to double his and Brighton’s tally in the 23rd minute, but he completely missed the ball with the goal gaping. And shortly afterwards, he somehow diverted the ball wide after sliding to meet a low cross into the area from Markus Suttner. “To get off mark early was good for Jurgen,” said Hughton. “He is here to score goals. He has a flexibility about him, but we are still learning about him. You saw that in his game as he was drifting out. He came to us in January and had had a good first half of the season in Holland.” Coventry were punished further with 11 minutes of the first half remaining. Another Suttner delivery found the head of Connor Goldson, who made no mistake. The goal was Goldson’s first for almost two years, during which time he underwent heart surgery. Hughton swapped his goalkeeper at the break, sending on Niki Maenpaa to replace the injured Tim Krul, but it was Coventry’s Lee Burge who was soon picking the ball out of his net again. Just after the hour mark, Bruno’s high cross found Ulloa and the Argentine directed his header past Burge to chalk up his first goal of the season. Johnson Clarke-Harris (L) celebrates getting a consolation goal for Coventry with Jordan Ponticelli Credit: PA For Coventry, this season’s FA Cup has provided some relief and distraction from years of turmoil at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. The 1987 winners beat Stoke City and Milton Keynes Dons to reach the fifth round and they at least sent their travelling army home with something to cheer from their day out in Brighton. Burge pumped forwards a long clearance that made its way into the Brighton penalty area. Goldson tried to head clear, but the ball fell to Clarke-Harris, who rifled a shot into the net to send the Coventry fans wild. “I thought we were good,” said Coventry manager Mark Robins. “It has been a positive experience for us and, hopefully, it can help us have a strong finish in League Two.”
Many of the Brighton fans packed into the Amex Stadium on Saturday will still remember the immortal words ‘And Smith must score’ and those who do not may soon be getting a history lesson if the club’s Cup run continues. The last time Brighton were a top-flight club, they reached the final of the FA Cup in 1983 and lost in a replay to Manchester United. Gordon Smith has the dubious honour of being the man, referred to in the famous radio commentary, who should have won the first game for Brighton. There was even a fanzine named after him. Brighton may still be a couple of games away from the final, but a first quarter-final place for 32 years, in the season they are back in the top flight, has got the club’s supporters dreaming of another Wembley appearance and a chance to finally avenge Smith’s miss. Unlike at other grounds in this season’s FA Cup, there were no large sections of empty seats at the Amex, despite the fact Brighton were entertaining League Two opposition. Manager Chris Hughton made nine changes for the visit of Coventry City, but there was never much prospect of an upset. Jurgen Locadia celebrates scoring his first goal for the club Credit: Getty Images Record signing Jurgen Locadia scored on his Brighton debut, while Leonardo Ulloa netted for the first time since returning to the club on loan from Leicester City. Locadia should really have finished with a hat-trick, as the £15million buy from PSV Eindhoven made a lively start to his Seagulls career. He hit the post in just the fifth minute with a hooked shot from a corner that Coventry failed to clear, but found the net 10 minutes later. Anthony Knockaert, who Coventry’s defenders could not cope with, sent in a low cross from the right and the ball was deflected into the path of Locadia, who made no mistake from eight yards. Just two minutes before Locadia’s opener, Coventry had gone within inches of breaking the deadlock. Jordan Shipley’s corner was met by Johnson Clarke-Harris, but his header rattled the crossbar. Goldson's goal was his first in two years Credit: Getty Images Locadia was presented with a great chance to double his and Brighton’s tally in the 23rd minute, but he completely missed the ball with the goal gaping. And shortly afterwards, he somehow diverted the ball wide after sliding to meet a low cross into the area from Markus Suttner. “To get off mark early was good for Jurgen,” said Hughton. “He is here to score goals. He has a flexibility about him, but we are still learning about him. You saw that in his game as he was drifting out. He came to us in January and had had a good first half of the season in Holland.” Coventry were punished further with 11 minutes of the first half remaining. Another Suttner delivery found the head of Connor Goldson, who made no mistake. The goal was Goldson’s first for almost two years, during which time he underwent heart surgery. Hughton swapped his goalkeeper at the break, sending on Niki Maenpaa to replace the injured Tim Krul, but it was Coventry’s Lee Burge who was soon picking the ball out of his net again. Just after the hour mark, Bruno’s high cross found Ulloa and the Argentine directed his header past Burge to chalk up his first goal of the season. Johnson Clarke-Harris (L) celebrates getting a consolation goal for Coventry with Jordan Ponticelli Credit: PA For Coventry, this season’s FA Cup has provided some relief and distraction from years of turmoil at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. The 1987 winners beat Stoke City and Milton Keynes Dons to reach the fifth round and they at least sent their travelling army home with something to cheer from their day out in Brighton. Burge pumped forwards a long clearance that made its way into the Brighton penalty area. Goldson tried to head clear, but the ball fell to Clarke-Harris, who rifled a shot into the net to send the Coventry fans wild. “I thought we were good,” said Coventry manager Mark Robins. “It has been a positive experience for us and, hopefully, it can help us have a strong finish in League Two.”
Brighton 3 Coventry 1: Jurgen Locadia debut goal helps hosts into quarter-final
Many of the Brighton fans packed into the Amex Stadium on Saturday will still remember the immortal words ‘And Smith must score’ and those who do not may soon be getting a history lesson if the club’s Cup run continues. The last time Brighton were a top-flight club, they reached the final of the FA Cup in 1983 and lost in a replay to Manchester United. Gordon Smith has the dubious honour of being the man, referred to in the famous radio commentary, who should have won the first game for Brighton. There was even a fanzine named after him. Brighton may still be a couple of games away from the final, but a first quarter-final place for 32 years, in the season they are back in the top flight, has got the club’s supporters dreaming of another Wembley appearance and a chance to finally avenge Smith’s miss. Unlike at other grounds in this season’s FA Cup, there were no large sections of empty seats at the Amex, despite the fact Brighton were entertaining League Two opposition. Manager Chris Hughton made nine changes for the visit of Coventry City, but there was never much prospect of an upset. Jurgen Locadia celebrates scoring his first goal for the club Credit: Getty Images Record signing Jurgen Locadia scored on his Brighton debut, while Leonardo Ulloa netted for the first time since returning to the club on loan from Leicester City. Locadia should really have finished with a hat-trick, as the £15million buy from PSV Eindhoven made a lively start to his Seagulls career. He hit the post in just the fifth minute with a hooked shot from a corner that Coventry failed to clear, but found the net 10 minutes later. Anthony Knockaert, who Coventry’s defenders could not cope with, sent in a low cross from the right and the ball was deflected into the path of Locadia, who made no mistake from eight yards. Just two minutes before Locadia’s opener, Coventry had gone within inches of breaking the deadlock. Jordan Shipley’s corner was met by Johnson Clarke-Harris, but his header rattled the crossbar. Goldson's goal was his first in two years Credit: Getty Images Locadia was presented with a great chance to double his and Brighton’s tally in the 23rd minute, but he completely missed the ball with the goal gaping. And shortly afterwards, he somehow diverted the ball wide after sliding to meet a low cross into the area from Markus Suttner. “To get off mark early was good for Jurgen,” said Hughton. “He is here to score goals. He has a flexibility about him, but we are still learning about him. You saw that in his game as he was drifting out. He came to us in January and had had a good first half of the season in Holland.” Coventry were punished further with 11 minutes of the first half remaining. Another Suttner delivery found the head of Connor Goldson, who made no mistake. The goal was Goldson’s first for almost two years, during which time he underwent heart surgery. Hughton swapped his goalkeeper at the break, sending on Niki Maenpaa to replace the injured Tim Krul, but it was Coventry’s Lee Burge who was soon picking the ball out of his net again. Just after the hour mark, Bruno’s high cross found Ulloa and the Argentine directed his header past Burge to chalk up his first goal of the season. Johnson Clarke-Harris (L) celebrates getting a consolation goal for Coventry with Jordan Ponticelli Credit: PA For Coventry, this season’s FA Cup has provided some relief and distraction from years of turmoil at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. The 1987 winners beat Stoke City and Milton Keynes Dons to reach the fifth round and they at least sent their travelling army home with something to cheer from their day out in Brighton. Burge pumped forwards a long clearance that made its way into the Brighton penalty area. Goldson tried to head clear, but the ball fell to Clarke-Harris, who rifled a shot into the net to send the Coventry fans wild. “I thought we were good,” said Coventry manager Mark Robins. “It has been a positive experience for us and, hopefully, it can help us have a strong finish in League Two.”
Many of the Brighton fans packed into the Amex Stadium on Saturday will still remember the immortal words ‘And Smith must score’ and those who do not may soon be getting a history lesson if the club’s Cup run continues. The last time Brighton were a top-flight club, they reached the final of the FA Cup in 1983 and lost in a replay to Manchester United. Gordon Smith has the dubious honour of being the man, referred to in the famous radio commentary, who should have won the first game for Brighton. There was even a fanzine named after him. Brighton may still be a couple of games away from the final, but a first quarter-final place for 32 years, in the season they are back in the top flight, has got the club’s supporters dreaming of another Wembley appearance and a chance to finally avenge Smith’s miss. Unlike at other grounds in this season’s FA Cup, there were no large sections of empty seats at the Amex, despite the fact Brighton were entertaining League Two opposition. Manager Chris Hughton made nine changes for the visit of Coventry City, but there was never much prospect of an upset. Jurgen Locadia celebrates scoring his first goal for the club Credit: Getty Images Record signing Jurgen Locadia scored on his Brighton debut, while Leonardo Ulloa netted for the first time since returning to the club on loan from Leicester City. Locadia should really have finished with a hat-trick, as the £15million buy from PSV Eindhoven made a lively start to his Seagulls career. He hit the post in just the fifth minute with a hooked shot from a corner that Coventry failed to clear, but found the net 10 minutes later. Anthony Knockaert, who Coventry’s defenders could not cope with, sent in a low cross from the right and the ball was deflected into the path of Locadia, who made no mistake from eight yards. Just two minutes before Locadia’s opener, Coventry had gone within inches of breaking the deadlock. Jordan Shipley’s corner was met by Johnson Clarke-Harris, but his header rattled the crossbar. Goldson's goal was his first in two years Credit: Getty Images Locadia was presented with a great chance to double his and Brighton’s tally in the 23rd minute, but he completely missed the ball with the goal gaping. And shortly afterwards, he somehow diverted the ball wide after sliding to meet a low cross into the area from Markus Suttner. “To get off mark early was good for Jurgen,” said Hughton. “He is here to score goals. He has a flexibility about him, but we are still learning about him. You saw that in his game as he was drifting out. He came to us in January and had had a good first half of the season in Holland.” Coventry were punished further with 11 minutes of the first half remaining. Another Suttner delivery found the head of Connor Goldson, who made no mistake. The goal was Goldson’s first for almost two years, during which time he underwent heart surgery. Hughton swapped his goalkeeper at the break, sending on Niki Maenpaa to replace the injured Tim Krul, but it was Coventry’s Lee Burge who was soon picking the ball out of his net again. Just after the hour mark, Bruno’s high cross found Ulloa and the Argentine directed his header past Burge to chalk up his first goal of the season. Johnson Clarke-Harris (L) celebrates getting a consolation goal for Coventry with Jordan Ponticelli Credit: PA For Coventry, this season’s FA Cup has provided some relief and distraction from years of turmoil at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. The 1987 winners beat Stoke City and Milton Keynes Dons to reach the fifth round and they at least sent their travelling army home with something to cheer from their day out in Brighton. Burge pumped forwards a long clearance that made its way into the Brighton penalty area. Goldson tried to head clear, but the ball fell to Clarke-Harris, who rifled a shot into the net to send the Coventry fans wild. “I thought we were good,” said Coventry manager Mark Robins. “It has been a positive experience for us and, hopefully, it can help us have a strong finish in League Two.”
Brighton 3 Coventry 1: Jurgen Locadia debut goal helps hosts into quarter-final
Many of the Brighton fans packed into the Amex Stadium on Saturday will still remember the immortal words ‘And Smith must score’ and those who do not may soon be getting a history lesson if the club’s Cup run continues. The last time Brighton were a top-flight club, they reached the final of the FA Cup in 1983 and lost in a replay to Manchester United. Gordon Smith has the dubious honour of being the man, referred to in the famous radio commentary, who should have won the first game for Brighton. There was even a fanzine named after him. Brighton may still be a couple of games away from the final, but a first quarter-final place for 32 years, in the season they are back in the top flight, has got the club’s supporters dreaming of another Wembley appearance and a chance to finally avenge Smith’s miss. Unlike at other grounds in this season’s FA Cup, there were no large sections of empty seats at the Amex, despite the fact Brighton were entertaining League Two opposition. Manager Chris Hughton made nine changes for the visit of Coventry City, but there was never much prospect of an upset. Jurgen Locadia celebrates scoring his first goal for the club Credit: Getty Images Record signing Jurgen Locadia scored on his Brighton debut, while Leonardo Ulloa netted for the first time since returning to the club on loan from Leicester City. Locadia should really have finished with a hat-trick, as the £15million buy from PSV Eindhoven made a lively start to his Seagulls career. He hit the post in just the fifth minute with a hooked shot from a corner that Coventry failed to clear, but found the net 10 minutes later. Anthony Knockaert, who Coventry’s defenders could not cope with, sent in a low cross from the right and the ball was deflected into the path of Locadia, who made no mistake from eight yards. Just two minutes before Locadia’s opener, Coventry had gone within inches of breaking the deadlock. Jordan Shipley’s corner was met by Johnson Clarke-Harris, but his header rattled the crossbar. Goldson's goal was his first in two years Credit: Getty Images Locadia was presented with a great chance to double his and Brighton’s tally in the 23rd minute, but he completely missed the ball with the goal gaping. And shortly afterwards, he somehow diverted the ball wide after sliding to meet a low cross into the area from Markus Suttner. “To get off mark early was good for Jurgen,” said Hughton. “He is here to score goals. He has a flexibility about him, but we are still learning about him. You saw that in his game as he was drifting out. He came to us in January and had had a good first half of the season in Holland.” Coventry were punished further with 11 minutes of the first half remaining. Another Suttner delivery found the head of Connor Goldson, who made no mistake. The goal was Goldson’s first for almost two years, during which time he underwent heart surgery. Hughton swapped his goalkeeper at the break, sending on Niki Maenpaa to replace the injured Tim Krul, but it was Coventry’s Lee Burge who was soon picking the ball out of his net again. Just after the hour mark, Bruno’s high cross found Ulloa and the Argentine directed his header past Burge to chalk up his first goal of the season. Johnson Clarke-Harris (L) celebrates getting a consolation goal for Coventry with Jordan Ponticelli Credit: PA For Coventry, this season’s FA Cup has provided some relief and distraction from years of turmoil at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. The 1987 winners beat Stoke City and Milton Keynes Dons to reach the fifth round and they at least sent their travelling army home with something to cheer from their day out in Brighton. Burge pumped forwards a long clearance that made its way into the Brighton penalty area. Goldson tried to head clear, but the ball fell to Clarke-Harris, who rifled a shot into the net to send the Coventry fans wild. “I thought we were good,” said Coventry manager Mark Robins. “It has been a positive experience for us and, hopefully, it can help us have a strong finish in League Two.”
Mark Robins is not the only man at Coventry City desperate to land a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Maxime Biamou secured League Two Coventry’s path into the last 16 for the first time in nine years with the only goal against Milton Keynes Dons and is now dreaming of writing another chapter into his personal FA Cup story. The French striker was part of the Sutton United side that reached the fifth round before losing to Arsenal last season and now Biamou wants to go up against the brother of one of his best friends – United forward Anthony Martial. “I would like to play against Manchester United because I know Anthony Martial,” said Biamou, who was born in Creteil, a south-eastern suburb of Paris. “I saw him a couple of weeks ago when Stoke played at Old Trafford. I said to him ‘maybe in the next round I will play against you’. He was happy for that and I hope to play against him. “His brother is my best friend. So sometimes I go to Old Trafford to watch some games with him. He comes from about 20 minutes from me.” Coventry’s travelling support of nearly 8,000 outnumbered the home fans inside Stadium MK on Saturday and they finally have something to enjoy, following 10 years of misery at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. And there is plenty of FA Cup history at Coventry. Robins saved Alex Ferguson’s job by helping United to lift the trophy in 1990, while goalkeeper coach Steve Ogrizovic played in the Sky Blues’ 1987 success against Tottenham Hotspur. “Sometimes I talk with Oggy (Ogrizovic) about that because he won the FA Cup,” said Biamou. “I know it was a very great moment for the club. He said to me that it is one moment in your life and you have to enjoy the moment. If you can get far in this competition, then we can take it. But for me it is a bonus for us and I hope to get promoted to League One.” Biamou will be hoping that his friends in France take an interest in his latest Cup exploits for the football, rather than any publicity stunts. Goalkeeper Wayne Shaw stole the headlines of Sutton’s Cup run by eating a pie while sitting on the bench during the fifth-round defeat to Arsenal and subsequently left the club before being banned for breaching FA betting rules. Biamou said: “In France all my friends talked about that, but I was like ‘yeah yeah yeah but I played against Arsenal!’ I enjoyed the moment though. Wayne Shaw is a good guy, but I don’t know what happened with him. Personally, he was a good guy. Wayne Shaw stole the headlines of Sutton's FA Cup run Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I was not very good against Arsenal, so it isn’t a good memory, so probably the game against Leeds United is best for me. I made a penalty in that game, so I was very happy with that. Roarie Deacon was fantastic in this game. It was a great moment for the club, Sutton United. “The shirts I wore against Arsenal and Leeds I gave to my father. Sometimes it is difficult. I don’t see my family all the time, so when I go back to France if I can get some presents for my family then I give some shirts. They are very happy for me.” Asked if he believes he could take a chance at Old Trafford in front of 75,000 people, 27-year-old Biamou answered: “Yes of course. For me I just want to win the game. I am not a selfish player so if I score or not I don’t care, if we win the game then I am happy. Apparently, the FA Cup likes me.”
Coventry striker Maxime Biamou desperate to face Man Utd in FA Cup
Mark Robins is not the only man at Coventry City desperate to land a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Maxime Biamou secured League Two Coventry’s path into the last 16 for the first time in nine years with the only goal against Milton Keynes Dons and is now dreaming of writing another chapter into his personal FA Cup story. The French striker was part of the Sutton United side that reached the fifth round before losing to Arsenal last season and now Biamou wants to go up against the brother of one of his best friends – United forward Anthony Martial. “I would like to play against Manchester United because I know Anthony Martial,” said Biamou, who was born in Creteil, a south-eastern suburb of Paris. “I saw him a couple of weeks ago when Stoke played at Old Trafford. I said to him ‘maybe in the next round I will play against you’. He was happy for that and I hope to play against him. “His brother is my best friend. So sometimes I go to Old Trafford to watch some games with him. He comes from about 20 minutes from me.” Coventry’s travelling support of nearly 8,000 outnumbered the home fans inside Stadium MK on Saturday and they finally have something to enjoy, following 10 years of misery at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. And there is plenty of FA Cup history at Coventry. Robins saved Alex Ferguson’s job by helping United to lift the trophy in 1990, while goalkeeper coach Steve Ogrizovic played in the Sky Blues’ 1987 success against Tottenham Hotspur. “Sometimes I talk with Oggy (Ogrizovic) about that because he won the FA Cup,” said Biamou. “I know it was a very great moment for the club. He said to me that it is one moment in your life and you have to enjoy the moment. If you can get far in this competition, then we can take it. But for me it is a bonus for us and I hope to get promoted to League One.” Biamou will be hoping that his friends in France take an interest in his latest Cup exploits for the football, rather than any publicity stunts. Goalkeeper Wayne Shaw stole the headlines of Sutton’s Cup run by eating a pie while sitting on the bench during the fifth-round defeat to Arsenal and subsequently left the club before being banned for breaching FA betting rules. Biamou said: “In France all my friends talked about that, but I was like ‘yeah yeah yeah but I played against Arsenal!’ I enjoyed the moment though. Wayne Shaw is a good guy, but I don’t know what happened with him. Personally, he was a good guy. Wayne Shaw stole the headlines of Sutton's FA Cup run Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I was not very good against Arsenal, so it isn’t a good memory, so probably the game against Leeds United is best for me. I made a penalty in that game, so I was very happy with that. Roarie Deacon was fantastic in this game. It was a great moment for the club, Sutton United. “The shirts I wore against Arsenal and Leeds I gave to my father. Sometimes it is difficult. I don’t see my family all the time, so when I go back to France if I can get some presents for my family then I give some shirts. They are very happy for me.” Asked if he believes he could take a chance at Old Trafford in front of 75,000 people, 27-year-old Biamou answered: “Yes of course. For me I just want to win the game. I am not a selfish player so if I score or not I don’t care, if we win the game then I am happy. Apparently, the FA Cup likes me.”
Mark Robins is not the only man at Coventry City desperate to land a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Maxime Biamou secured League Two Coventry’s path into the last 16 for the first time in nine years with the only goal against Milton Keynes Dons and is now dreaming of writing another chapter into his personal FA Cup story. The French striker was part of the Sutton United side that reached the fifth round before losing to Arsenal last season and now Biamou wants to go up against the brother of one of his best friends – United forward Anthony Martial. “I would like to play against Manchester United because I know Anthony Martial,” said Biamou, who was born in Creteil, a south-eastern suburb of Paris. “I saw him a couple of weeks ago when Stoke played at Old Trafford. I said to him ‘maybe in the next round I will play against you’. He was happy for that and I hope to play against him. “His brother is my best friend. So sometimes I go to Old Trafford to watch some games with him. He comes from about 20 minutes from me.” Coventry’s travelling support of nearly 8,000 outnumbered the home fans inside Stadium MK on Saturday and they finally have something to enjoy, following 10 years of misery at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. And there is plenty of FA Cup history at Coventry. Robins saved Alex Ferguson’s job by helping United to lift the trophy in 1990, while goalkeeper coach Steve Ogrizovic played in the Sky Blues’ 1987 success against Tottenham Hotspur. “Sometimes I talk with Oggy (Ogrizovic) about that because he won the FA Cup,” said Biamou. “I know it was a very great moment for the club. He said to me that it is one moment in your life and you have to enjoy the moment. If you can get far in this competition, then we can take it. But for me it is a bonus for us and I hope to get promoted to League One.” Biamou will be hoping that his friends in France take an interest in his latest Cup exploits for the football, rather than any publicity stunts. Goalkeeper Wayne Shaw stole the headlines of Sutton’s Cup run by eating a pie while sitting on the bench during the fifth-round defeat to Arsenal and subsequently left the club before being banned for breaching FA betting rules. Biamou said: “In France all my friends talked about that, but I was like ‘yeah yeah yeah but I played against Arsenal!’ I enjoyed the moment though. Wayne Shaw is a good guy, but I don’t know what happened with him. Personally, he was a good guy. Wayne Shaw stole the headlines of Sutton's FA Cup run Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I was not very good against Arsenal, so it isn’t a good memory, so probably the game against Leeds United is best for me. I made a penalty in that game, so I was very happy with that. Roarie Deacon was fantastic in this game. It was a great moment for the club, Sutton United. “The shirts I wore against Arsenal and Leeds I gave to my father. Sometimes it is difficult. I don’t see my family all the time, so when I go back to France if I can get some presents for my family then I give some shirts. They are very happy for me.” Asked if he believes he could take a chance at Old Trafford in front of 75,000 people, 27-year-old Biamou answered: “Yes of course. For me I just want to win the game. I am not a selfish player so if I score or not I don’t care, if we win the game then I am happy. Apparently, the FA Cup likes me.”
Coventry striker Maxime Biamou desperate to face Man Utd in FA Cup
Mark Robins is not the only man at Coventry City desperate to land a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Maxime Biamou secured League Two Coventry’s path into the last 16 for the first time in nine years with the only goal against Milton Keynes Dons and is now dreaming of writing another chapter into his personal FA Cup story. The French striker was part of the Sutton United side that reached the fifth round before losing to Arsenal last season and now Biamou wants to go up against the brother of one of his best friends – United forward Anthony Martial. “I would like to play against Manchester United because I know Anthony Martial,” said Biamou, who was born in Creteil, a south-eastern suburb of Paris. “I saw him a couple of weeks ago when Stoke played at Old Trafford. I said to him ‘maybe in the next round I will play against you’. He was happy for that and I hope to play against him. “His brother is my best friend. So sometimes I go to Old Trafford to watch some games with him. He comes from about 20 minutes from me.” Coventry’s travelling support of nearly 8,000 outnumbered the home fans inside Stadium MK on Saturday and they finally have something to enjoy, following 10 years of misery at the hands of controversial owners Sisu. And there is plenty of FA Cup history at Coventry. Robins saved Alex Ferguson’s job by helping United to lift the trophy in 1990, while goalkeeper coach Steve Ogrizovic played in the Sky Blues’ 1987 success against Tottenham Hotspur. “Sometimes I talk with Oggy (Ogrizovic) about that because he won the FA Cup,” said Biamou. “I know it was a very great moment for the club. He said to me that it is one moment in your life and you have to enjoy the moment. If you can get far in this competition, then we can take it. But for me it is a bonus for us and I hope to get promoted to League One.” Biamou will be hoping that his friends in France take an interest in his latest Cup exploits for the football, rather than any publicity stunts. Goalkeeper Wayne Shaw stole the headlines of Sutton’s Cup run by eating a pie while sitting on the bench during the fifth-round defeat to Arsenal and subsequently left the club before being banned for breaching FA betting rules. Biamou said: “In France all my friends talked about that, but I was like ‘yeah yeah yeah but I played against Arsenal!’ I enjoyed the moment though. Wayne Shaw is a good guy, but I don’t know what happened with him. Personally, he was a good guy. Wayne Shaw stole the headlines of Sutton's FA Cup run Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I was not very good against Arsenal, so it isn’t a good memory, so probably the game against Leeds United is best for me. I made a penalty in that game, so I was very happy with that. Roarie Deacon was fantastic in this game. It was a great moment for the club, Sutton United. “The shirts I wore against Arsenal and Leeds I gave to my father. Sometimes it is difficult. I don’t see my family all the time, so when I go back to France if I can get some presents for my family then I give some shirts. They are very happy for me.” Asked if he believes he could take a chance at Old Trafford in front of 75,000 people, 27-year-old Biamou answered: “Yes of course. For me I just want to win the game. I am not a selfish player so if I score or not I don’t care, if we win the game then I am happy. Apparently, the FA Cup likes me.”
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fans celebrate at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fans celebrate at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fans celebrate at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fans celebrate at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fans celebrate at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fans celebrate at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fans react Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fans react Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fans celebrate at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fans celebrate at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou celebrates at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou celebrates at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fan reacts Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry fan reacts Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Jordan Shipley celebrates with the fans at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Jordan Shipley celebrates with the fans at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou celebrates with the fans at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou celebrates with the fans at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou celebrates at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou celebrates at the end of the match Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 MK Dons's Dean Lewington is substituted off Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 MK Dons's Dean Lewington is substituted off Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 MK Dons's Lee Nicholls removes a smoke bomb after Coventry's first goal Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 MK Dons's Lee Nicholls removes a smoke bomb after Coventry's first goal Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou scores their first goal Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou scores their first goal Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou scores their first goal Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou scores their first goal Action Images/Andrew Boyers
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou scores their first goal Action Images/Andrew Boyers
FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry City - Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, Britain - January 27, 2018 Coventry's Maxime Biamou scores their first goal Action Images/Andrew Boyers

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