Slaven Bilic has told Reading boss Jaap Stam he wishes he’d never sent the Hammers most highly regarded prospect Reece Oxford to Reading.
The Royals boss threw doubts over the Irons training ground methods by implication when claiming the teenager had been surprised by the intensity of the Championship club’s regime in that area.
Bilic responded by claiming it was simply because the boy hadn’t been fit after a long injury problem but has now taken the issue further.
Reece has had a mere 17 minutes of action since joining in January and Staam may have been using the “intensity ” argument as a reason for that.
Now though, Bilic has said: “We are training very intensely here. I expected him to play more and there were other Championship clubs wanted him. I wish he had gone to one of them.”
Both Nottingham Forest and Rangers had shown an interest in taking him before the youngster was allowed to join the Royals.
It is the player not Staam that said the training is more intense, Staam said quite correctly imho when a player is young you have to be on them constantly in training because they require much more than a more seasoned professional, we don’t know of course how Slav approaches that but he has shown little faith in younger players and the way he treated Oxford after his first really tough match against Lukaku from the outside looking in doesn’t appear great, I certainly hoped that he would have given him a lot more game time last season, once we are safe this season it doesn’t really matter where we finish because we cannot realistically get into Europe unless the big teams lose nearly every match and we win most of them so the younger players should be given a shot where it doesn’t matter too much if their mistakes are costly because it is about getting experience and stepping up, so next season they are closer to being first team ready. It’s a huge step up from the PL2 to the PL but young players are capable of making huge leaps forwards or backwards I don’t see why managers should be so precious about them or lack so much faith, if one of their established players such as Noble has a bad game or a run of bad games they are given a chance, Cresswell has been poor for an extended period now as Noble was, these young kids if Slav believes they are good enough to make it should be given a few games to establish themselves, allowed to make mistakes and if they have flaws that are being exposed have a plan put in place to address their weaknesses. Although I couldn’t abide the style of play under Allardyce many people said his coaching was excellent he used to make the players work on their weaknesses, I would argue many of the players who played under Sam were better players under him than they are presently, I talk about Reid, Cresswell, Noble and Kouyate mostly as the bulk of Sam favourites have gone. This season compared to last we have dropped off in every wayI don’t have teh exact stats to hand but from checking each week other than posession which we have more of, we have lesser shot accuracy, create less chances, are conceding more, scoring less, have less points, win less tackles, have lost more points from winning positions and won less points from equal or losing positions to name just a few of the stats. I am sure if they analysed the stats they would see we make less sprints per game also which is a key indicator to a successful pressing game.