Nick Haycock was delighted with a job well done as West Ham United's Development Squad kicked-off their Barclays U21 Premier League Elite Group Stage campaign with an impressive 2-0 win at Arsenal's London Colney training ground.

January recruit Wellington Paulista marked his first appearance in claret and blue with a well-taken header, before Matthias Fanimo doubled the visitors' advantage with just half-an-hour gone.

The Hammers were pressed into defensive duties after the interval, but having weathered the Arsenal storm, were ultimately good value for a third successive win over the Gunners at this level.


"It was a very satisfying performance," confirmed Haycock, speaking to West Ham TV. "Before the game we said, in every development game you're looking for a performance first, and nine times out of ten, if you get a performance you get the win. And that was the case on Monday.

"I thought in the first half we were the better team. I was slightly disappointed that we didn't come in with more goals. I thought we created some good opportunities and we imposed our game on Arsenal.

"They're always going to the pass ball well. They've got an abundance of talent right through the youth teams into the development side and then the first team. And obviously we had a lot of boys there making their debuts at U21 level [in Amos Nasha, Sean Maguire and substitute Kieran Bywater].

"We slightly changed the system from the success we had in the first part of the season, just because of the personnel we had. Namely Elliot Lee had to play out wide and I thought he did a terrific job and worked hard for the team. All in it was a pleasing day at the office."

As well as two good goals, Haycock revelled in his side's excellent rearguard display, as Arsenal struggled to fashion many chances of note.

"The defending, the blocking, tracking runs and keeping it tight on the edge of the box was fantastic," added Haycock. "They didn't get in too many times and when they did there were blocks on the line and a couple of good saves from Raphael Spiegel.

"But what we've got to work on is to make sure that when we win it, we don't give it away as quickly as we did at times. Because when we kept the ball we looked like we could go and score another at the other end as well. All being said, second half, yes they had the lion's share of possession but we still missed two good chances. Sometimes it goes like that but the discipline of the side, the work rate and the quality at times was there for everyone to see."

Haycock, overseeing only his second game in charge of the U21s, also reserved special praise for Paulista, who worked tirelessly as he led the line for the inexperienced Hammers.

"He's a good lad first and foremost. I've picked that up in training. He wants to do extra, he wants to work, he wants to get fit, he's hungry. I thought he showed that in his performance today. You sometimes get players who are used to playing at a higher level in their own minds, and they come down to this level and don't put the performance in, but I couldn't question Wellington.

"I have to add I thought Jordan Spence was immaculate at the back as well. The first team players in Jordan, Wellington and Rafa, all had good games, and it gave the younger ones a little bit of experience around them."

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