Former Player Blog – Matty Etherington

The 2004 Hammer of the Year looks ahead to Sunday’s clash between two of his former clubs at White Hart Lane
Winger and 2004 Hammer of the Year Matty Etherington played 51 times for Tottenham Hotspur before joining West Ham United in summer 2003. He went on to make 195 appearances in Claret and Blue, scoring 18 goals…
Hello everybody,

We have a few matches coming up against clubs which I have personal connections with, starting with the trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, then home games with my old manager Tony Pulis' West Bromwich Albion and another of my old clubs, Stoke City.

It will be a tough game. As good a start as West Ham United have made this season, Spurs have as well. They’ve got a good team with lots of young players in it, so they’re full of energy.

I’ve seen a bit of Spurs and I’ve been impressed with them, to be honest. I’ve also been impressed with West Ham, so I think it’ll be an entertaining game.

The loss of Dimitri Payet is massive for the Hammers, so it will be interesting to see how we cope without him.

That said, this is the best West Ham squad I have seen in a long, long time so there are players there who can come in do a very good job. Payet was the X factor in the team and has something a little bit special, but the squad has some very good players in it.

Manuel Lanzini has been superb this season and I’m sure he will step up to the plate. I’ve been really impressed with him. He looks a brilliant footballer and the goal he scored against Everton was top-drawer the way he caressed it into the top corner. It was a top, top goal.

He has been doing it for the team all season and he will take on a pivotal role as the creator in the team.
West Ham have done well at White Hart Lane in recent years and, while some people not agree, I think it helps when you have got results at certain stadia in the past.

Obviously this is a different Spurs team, but I’m sure those West Ham players who played in those games will take those memories into Sunday’s game and be inspired by them.
Manuel Lanzini looks a brilliant footballer and the goal he scored against Everton was top-drawer the way he caressed it into the top corner. It was a top, top goal
As for Spurs, I think the main threats will come from Dele Alli and Harry Kane, to be honest. Harry is scoring goals again and his hold-up play is very good. His touch is good and he is strong, so he’ll be a big threat.

Dele Alli has also been very impressive. I didn’t think he would be able to make the step up to the Premier League – and international football – so quickly, to be honest, but to be fair to him he looks like a complete midfielder. He can tackle and score goals and is one of the best midfielders about at the minute.

Those are the main two Spurs players that West Ham will have to keep an eye on, in my view.

I’m certainly looking forward to watching the game and seeing how Slaven Bilic sets his team up to beat Spurs and I’m sure you all are too!