Tottenham Hotspur U23s v West Ham United U23s – All You Need To Know
A trip to Stevenage Borough’s Lamex Stadium awaits West Ham United U23s on Monday evening, as they travel north to Hertfordshire to take on Tottenham Hotspur U23s in Premier League 2 Division 1.
Here’s all you need to know about the eagerly anticipated contest…
The story so far…
Last season, West Ham United U23s did plenty of things right within matches, but frequently struggled to turn the opportunities they created into goals and – more importantly – points.
Errors in either penalty area became a defining feature of the first half of their 2020/21 league season, their first campaign back in the top flight of Premier League 2.
This season, however, has been different. The Hammers sat third prior to the commencement of gameweek eight, having already secured more than half of last season’s points total in less than a third of the number of games.
This season, when the moment has arrived, they have found a way to win.
It was a theme that U23s assistant coach Steve Potts mused upon following the final whistle at Rush Green Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, when the Hammers – for all their good work against Exeter City U23s in the Premier League Cup – trailed 2-1 with five minutes to go.
At full-time, a 3-2 win, three points, and an outstanding show of character were all West Ham’s to claim.
The Hammers can therefore demonstrate tangible progress on their fortunes in Premier League 2 this season, and with just over a quarter of their league campaign now gone, are just three points of second-placed Arsenal, and four off reigning champions, and early pace-setters, Manchester City.
A trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Monday evening – always a hotly-contested fixture regardless of age group, particularly given the strong recent output of the Tottenham academy – could provide the platform for another important statement from Dmitri Halajko’s West Ham development squad.
Tottenham go into Monday’s game, however, in the knowledge that a win would see them leapfrog the Irons and go up as high as third in the table themselves.
Managed since May 2017 by Wayne Burnett, a Football League veteran with Plymouth Argyle, Huddersfield Town and Grimsby Town, Tottenham’s U23s team has plenty of promising names and youth internationals capable of winning them matches.
Chief among the headlines this season is 17-year-old Dane Scarlett, an England U19s international who made his first Tottenham start this season in the UEFA Conference League. The pacey forward already has six senior appearances for the Lilywhites to his name.
Starring in Premier League 2, however, has been his fellow 17-year-old and England team-mate Alfie Devine. The midfielder scored on his senior debut for Tottenham against Marine in the FA Cup in January, becoming the youngest player to have played for Tottenham in a senior game in the process.
Devine has five goals in seven appearances so far this season, a total topped only by 20-year-old attacker Dilan Markanday’s six in six.
Attacking talent, therefore, for the Hammers to be wary of at the Lamex, with Tottenham currently on eleven points after seven games, winning three, drawing two and losing two.
Last time out…
Tottenham did the double over West Ham in Premier League 2 Division 1 last season, winning 3-0 at their training ground back in September 2020 – a bad-tempered affair – before sneaking the reverse fixture 2-1 at Rush Green in January, a game West Ham could consider themselves unfortunate to have lost.
Indeed, since the formation of the Professional Development League, West Ham U23s have beaten Tottenham U23s just twice in eleven games – most recently in August 2018 – with Spurs enjoying six wins.
What they’re saying
West Ham United U23s assistant coach Steve Potts: “It’s always a tough game over there.
“I think they’ve got a strong team over there, but we’ve started well in the league so it’ll be an interesting game.”
How can I follow?
Tickets can be purchased for this fixture via the Stevenage FC website. The match kicks off at 7pm on Monday 18 October at Lamex Stadium.
If you're unable to attend, we will have live blog coverage on whufc.com from 6.30pm and updates on the key moments on our Twitter channel, plus post-match reaction and highlights over the course of Monday night and Tuesday morning.