West Ham’s past reputation as the ‘Academy of Football’ – and the lack of youngsters breaking through to the first team in the last few years – is exercising the minds of backroom staff at various levels within the club..
Academy director Terry Westley (left) wants to bring back the glory days when West Ham was seen as a model for clubs wanting to develop their own kids.
It can be a costly business and currently the club sinks around £4 million a year into the operation. As is the case in all areas of the game, investment needs to bring results..
Most of us associated with the club as fans or whatever have become aware over the last few years that there has been a distinct lack of home grown talent appearing at the club.
Any level of investment demands results and the lack of any serious first team contenders since the emergence of such as James Tomkins is the likely reason for a review of the Academy operation.
Steve Potts is rumoured to be the next man in following the departure of Nick Haycock – the former under-21 Development manager – but whoever takes over will feel the pressure from above.
Cost effectiveness is the name of the game at every level under this particular Upton Park regime!