Julen Lopetegui

Fonseca “I Will Play Academy Stars”

Image for Fonseca “I Will Play Academy Stars”

Frontrunner for the West Ham manager’s job, Paulo Fonseca, has said, “It’s part of my job to promote young players.”

Granted, he was speaking about his mandate as head coach at his current club Lille, however, it would bode well for West Ham should he take over from David Moyes at The London Stadium.

West Ham have their best crop of young talent from the academy in a generation, and any prospective head coach should be tasked with creating a pathway to the first team. Lewis Orford and George Earthy have recently grabbed attention, but the talented development squad is packed full of talent just waiting for a chance to shine.

One of the main reasons why Julen Lopetegui was not favoured by many Hammers fans was his reluctance to give youth a chance. Clearly, this is in stark contrast to Fonseca, who prides himself on bringing youngsters through.

Speaking in an interview, the Portuguese coach said, “For me, it’s not about a player’s age, it’s about talent and performance. I’m not afraid to play a kid who is 16.”

Fonseca continued, “But I need to understand the instructions of the club. At Lille, the owners spoke to me and said they wanted to play offensive football and to promote the young players. I know the goal of Lille is to play in a way that attracts supporters and to promote young players. It’s part of my job.”

Surely, that’s music to the ears of all West Ham fans and possibly even David Sullivan.

Share this article

Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose


  • Michael says:

    Send private jet now

  • Rod says:

    Where are our academy players playing at a top level ? There’s plenty in the lower leagues. Diangana is still at WBA. Ngakia 14 appearances only for Watford this season. Perkins one appearance for Leeds out on loan in league one. Ashby on loan to Swansea. Cullen has popped up to the premiership for one season. Johnson doesn’t make our starting eleven is a comparative success and Rice is the only exception. Overwhelmingly out academy products don’t make the top grade anywhere and they are not nearly as good as we like to think they are.

    • Harvey Fox says:

      Harrison Ashby to add to your list, but you’re correct. If they were that good, they would be playing

    • Derek Axelson says:

      I believe Potts is Wycombe Wanderers player of the year, not bad for a loanee.

  • Ken Brickell says:

    What I can’t understand is – we make it known that we are interested in a player from a foreign club, so that club publishes who they want to replace the player in which we are interested in. So why not go after that player instead? Just go and get Fonseca and let us see some attacking football for a change. If it doesn’t get us into Europe, so what? At least we can watch some enjoyable football.

  • Dave says:

    The young players we have got now are better than the ones mentioned except for Rice

    • Neil Down Under says:

      I often wonder about the argument that some of the Academy products who have moved on/gone on loan, were, or are not good enough to make the step up.
      Diangana, Ashby, Oxford et al.
      I’m not an expert in the game, but surely loan periods are for the kids to get valuable 1st team experience, the lower leagues for my money are often a bit more physical. If anything it toughens them up.
      However, take a look at Rice. Is he a better player at Arsenal? If he is what’s the difference?
      He’s surrounded by better players, surely that makes you lift your game.
      Coming into the first team as an Academy product, we can’t expect them to be the finished article. But give them the chance, 20 minutes here and there, building up to a full half…
      Surrounded by established 1st team players and getting some game time will surely improve their game.
      Perhaps judge them until they’ve had a season or two of decent game time.
      Not the 5 minutes here and they seem to get used for to run down the clock.
      Imagine being Mubama and the team is trailing by a goal with half an hour left to play, the gaffer throws on a defensive player to limit the damage rather than try to change the outcome.
      Must be so frustrating and demoralising.

      • Hammeroo says:

        I’m with you on this, Neil Down Under! Maybe we can see things more clearly from our part of the world. At least we CAN watch the Saturday 3pm kick-off games and all of the others on TV.

        If Moyes is on his way out the door then any of the academy players who are thinking of going elsewhere should perhaps hang on and see if the grass is greener at the London Stadium under (hopefully) Fonseca.

  • Derek Axelson says:

    At Wycombe Wanderers, Freddie Potts has been named players player of the year and also supporters player of the year. Not bad for a young loanee.

  • Bonzo says:

    Fonseca also said but the aim of that club Lille wasn’t to win the French championship. If the aim of the club is to be in the upper echelons of the premier league then you can’t do it with youth team players.

  • L ELLISTON says:

    Let’s hope so eh..

  • Hammeroo says:

    All We Are Saying Is Give Youth A Chance. John Lennon. Ok, well not quite what he said but close enough. It makes good reading when we hear that Fonseca plays an attacking style with lots of ball possession. It’s what many of us Hammers fans want to hear. I hope it all turns out well for the club in the coming days or weeks.

  • Hamble Hammer says:

    But surely to improve your game you need to play with technically better players than yourself no good going down to EFL and playing with players that probably not as good as you.
    What about the disaster with Callum
    Marshall 6 weeks keeping a bench warm WBA I’m sure that didn’t improve his game.

Comments are closed.