Capital kick-off – the story of our last season opener on the road in London
Thu 10 August 2023, 14:00|Tottenham Hotspur
For the first time in nine years, we will kick-off a Premier League campaign on the road in London.
Travelling to west of the capital to take on Brentford this Sunday for our 2023/24 opener, we last began a league season away at one of our city rivals back in 2014/15 as we made the trip to West Ham United.
Coincidentally, with the Ange Postecoglou era set to begin against the Bees this weekend, that clash with the Hammers also came at the dawning of a new era in N17 as we travelled to Upton Park for what was Mauricio Pochettino’s first competitive game in charge – and we got off to the perfect start.
There were nervy beginnings in east London, no more so when we conceded a penalty on 29 minutes after Kyle Naughton was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area - an incident he also received a red card for. Thankfully for us, though, Hammers skipper Mark Noble dragged the ball wide from the spot.
Despite playing with 10 men, our heightened intensity and tenacity saw us grow into the game but it wasn’t until just after the hour mark that we began to dominate as the playing field was levelled when West Ham’s James Collins was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
With parity restored in terms of personnel, we were able to take the game to our hosts and we began to pepper the Irons net. While there were plenty of chances coming our way though, there was no sign of a break through. That was until the third minute of added time, when we finally got our reward.
Managing to find a way through the heart of West Ham’s resolve right at the death as Harry Kane threaded through Eric Dier, the recent arrival from Sporting CP escaped the attentions of goalkeeper Adrian, rounding the Spaniard before cutting the ball back and across the line to take all three points.
It was the perfect start to the new campaign - and here’s hoping we can enjoy a similar success on Sunday at the Gtech Community Stadium!