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Bring in youngsters pleas a false reality

Nathan Holland

West Ham’s academy is doing very well right now but there seems to be an expectancy among some which frankly is unrealistic.

This became particularly noticeable when we were hit by injuries towards the end of last season and we saw more and more youthful names appearing on the bench.

And there were of course those who were shouting for the lads to be given their outings with Conor Coventry a regular name off their lips.

There were others – notably striker Mipo – but the reality of that was put into sharp focus by Ben Johnson’s various appearances.

Ben did very well at times whilst showing natural inexperience in some games but for us but to have produced him and of course Declan plus an £18 million departure in Grady Diangana in the two or three years is a decent performance.

Premier League Division One is a million miles away from the Premier League itself and it’s why many are sent out on loan to the Championship to get regular quality first team football.

We have to trust the manager and his coaching staff to decide who is ready and when!

The next 18 month is going to be a telling time as will this summer when we could find that the once very highly rated Nathan Holland at rising 23 and 24 year old Xande Silva are retained.


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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

8 comments on “Bring in youngsters pleas a false reality

  1. Ben Johnson is good enough defensively to be trusted in the PL offensively hopefully his game will mature the more experience he gets and watching Coufal week in and week out should give him plenty to learn from, maybe even loan him out to another PL club that will be defending a lot to get him up to speed. Mipo has the ability but needs more experience and possibly a different system to get the best out of him, he isn’t a close down from the front type of forward and whether he ever will be remains to be seen but he is a goal scorer as evidenced in his youth team games.

    • A club such as ours known as the supposed Academy of Football, only seem to loan our players to the Division 1 and 2 sides, how many players have been passed over and freed, it’s a travesty that Chelsea are years ahead of us. Their players seem to get into most Championship sides, whereas we seem to buy their cast offs. Harsh but True

  2. Yes I am one who has been calling for their development and I fully understand the counter argument here. My issue is that we haven’t played them at all – not even last few minutes. We are enforcing inexperience – apart from Johnson, whom we suddenly expected to play two different positions in one game!! This is contrary to Chelsea, Liverpool, Man U, Everton and Leicester. If we won’t even sub them on for a few minutes, are they good enough? Surely DM knows?

  3. Have posted comments in the past Hugh about both the standard or readiness of the senior academy players. In the upcoming Euros we’ll see players younger than Holland and Silva who have already reached international standard. It seems strange that we have recently signed a couple of 18/19 year olds who have been released by other clubs. Does this reflect on the standard of our academy youngsters?

  4. I would’ve thought that by the age of 23 or 24 if you are going to make the jump up to first team action then it should have happened by now? Dec is 21 & is vice captain so age shouldn’t come into it. Look around & you will see youngsters in mosy of the top sides, how long do they stay as ‘great prospects’ ?
    Too many have been touted as the next big thing only to bounce around league one & two then let go.

  5. I wouldn’t have a problem if we had a kid or two out on loan at Championship level. But to the best of my knowledge we don’t. Surely it would be better for the lijkes of Jamal Baptiste, of whom there are good reports, to be out NOW at League Two level gaining experience of “proper” football, rather than playing for the Academy side.

    Better still imo if clubs were allowed to field “B” teams in the pyramid set up. It is a system that works in Spain , Germany and probably many other countries, and would give youngsters an opportunity to play proper competitive football in an environment where they are still being monitored and mentored by the parent club’s own coaches.

    • Mollycoddling them in academy instead of having them play against men makes no sense. 23 years old and playing in academy means you are about to become a wannabe.
      Really like the pyramid idea.

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