West Ham United emerged from the weekend as the Premier League heroes after defeating Arsenal 2-0 in their own back yard.
But the man – or boy – receiving all the plaudits is 16-year-old Hammers midfielder Reece Oxford.
The teenager hasn’t even got his GCSE results yet but he managed to pass his toughest test of all – marking £42million Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil out of the game.
Twitter exploded with fans and pundits alike waxing lyrical on Oxford’s precocious talent, playing the holding midfield role perfectly and breaking up Arsenal attacks.
Sean Horan tweeted: “16 yr old Reece Oxford returns home and empties his pockets. 1. Pokemon cards. 2. Tickets to Hannah Montana. 3. Gum. 4. Mesut Ozil.”
Damien Marshall tweeted: “Breaking News: 16 year old Reece Oxford to be grounded by his parents for 2 weeks after bullying Mesut Ozil at The Emirates today.”
Former England and Barcelona striker Gary Lineker got in on the act, proclaiming: “Well done Reece Oxford. A truly astonishing debut by the 16-year-old.”
Comparisons are already being drawn with former Hammers charges Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard, and Reece’s manager Slaven Bilic told Sky Sports of his pride at his performance.
He said: “People were asking: ‘Are you sure he is 16?’.
“It was going to be a risk but he has got something. I am very proud of him.
“Only on paper he is 16. He is a part of this new generation.”
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph , teammate Winston Reid was quick to paise the teenager, claiming: “He’s only 16 – look at him, he’s bigger than me and probably better than me.”
And what of Oxford himself? On the evening of his triumphant Premier League debut, he tweeted: “Happy to start the season with a win vs Arsenal. Great team performance and great support from the fans. #COYI #WHU"
Oxford captained the England under 17s team in the European Championships in Bulgaria recently, and has appeared for the Hammers in Europa League qualifiers already this season.