Gold sticks by “teenagers and Premier League” argument



David Gold remains unapologetic in claiming the huge difficulties facing teenagers looking to break into Premier League first teams.

And explaining a tweet in which he made the point, he added: “Chelsea won the league without a teenager making even a minute’s appearance. It really doesn’t and shouldn’t happen when you have seasoned internationals in your side.”

He had said when responding to questions about whether young Hammers would go out on loan next season he said: “I think we all have to (accept) that it is extremely unlikely that a teenager will break into a P(remier) L(eague) team full of seasoned international(s). dg”

Speaking exclusively to ClaretandHugh he added: “They have to grow up and be brought through via the loan system and then on the first team bench and finally into the team once they are good enough.

“In the old days it was different when players were eating fish and chips and reaching for a fag before they went out to play 90 minutes but those days are gone.

“West Ham some incredibly gifted players on the way through and over the next 18 months I expect the likes of Declan Rice, Josh Cullen, Nathan Holland, Toni Martinez, George Dobson and Martin Samuelsen to be breaking into the team.”

He added: “Would it have been a great idea to throw a teenager into our first team when we flirting with relegation and not performing well? Of course not – you could kill ’em.

“At this stage of the season, with one game left, many are saying we should give youth a chance but there are still millions of pounds at stake on finishing positions.

“It will be the manager’s decision now and in the future – nobody else’s – but we, like all other Premier clubs, have to take a realistic view.

“And when I issued my tweet I was certainly not talking about West Ham in isolation but addressing the Premier League in general and the argument I am making is borne out across all the best clubs.”

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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


  • Stan The Man says:

    Having watched Cullen in the play off match today and the semi finals as well all i can say in humble opinion is that he would get chewed up and spat out in the premier league right now.Sure the kid has potential but judging by his showing thoughout the play offs he has a long way to go to be a premier league player.
    It certainly makes a mockery of the claims that he has had an outstanding league one campaign so should be in our first team.

  • jaybs says:

    To cite one club & use it as an example is a complete joke! We used no.young players this season & Mr Gold again cites international players, who could not have their positions taken?do results support that?

    There can be No general rule about young players, if one or two are good enough age should mean nothing.

  • Stan The Man says:

    There is some sort of obsession about the youngsters.Much of it based on bugger all.I didn’t notice the frantic clamour for the youngsters last season when we were in the top six for a chunk of the season.
    Now it is all about the kids.Last season most fans didn’t careless about them now this season everyone is a youth coach amongst our throng lol

    As i said this morning i like to read what fans who actually go their matches have to say about them and the general consensus appears to be that most of the names thrown about dont warrant a first team place yet.
    At least these fellas go to watch the nippers so you can take an educated guess​ that they know more than fans shouting from the rooftops having never or rarely watched our young uns.

  • Steve says:

    The truth of the matter is that most of us have seen the U23 players a matter of a handful of matches.Some of the youngsters the majority of us have only seen in europe league matches or via a match feed on occasion….
    Im sorry but i dont see how we, myself included can sit on our sites and say who should or shouldnt be given a go.Who is or isnt good enough.I will never claim to know more than the coaches who work with them all year around.How can i,how can any of us if were honest…

  • Radai Lama..Paid up member of Slavs Chavs. says:

    Lol i get confused by this youngsters thing.i mean how f*cking young do they have to be to qualify as a youngster.Edmilson Fernandes was only 21 in April.Did him playing for us as a 20 yr old not count 😂😂

    • Steve says:

      It is a tad confusing because these boys play in the U23 league.So that being said anyone under 23 is surely deemed as a youngster.Which in that case makes Fletcher a youngster as well.I think Calleri and Byram are both 23 as well….
      As far as Cullen goes i look at this way.He spent two seasons in Lg One and is now being hailed as good enough for a Prem League run by some.But if tomorrow we signed a promising Lg One midfielder and we were told he was going straight in to the premier team many of the same fans would be going garrity that the best we can do now is field Lg One midfielders and expect them to compete in the Prem League.You just know the same supporters would go bananas….

  • Hammer64 says:

    I agree with DG on this. Stan – I watched Cullen, who I believe has been able to hold down a place while out on loan, & came to the same conclusion as you. I was surprised he was not subbed. Neat & tidy passing, but out of the game for long periods. Hardly ever went past opponents & his only shot was a Bobby Zamora Row Z job. What is wrong with being patient? If they are good enough they will come through & loans are a good way to test this without taking big risks. Just seems common sense to me.

  • Michael Miller says:

    Silly old sod is getting past it – what a stupid thing to say!

    The question to be asked is why Terry Westley is not producing kids who are ready for the First Team – what’s the point of a Youth Policy if it’s not producing what’s required?

    When was the last product of the Youth System who made it through – James Tomkins, Freddie Sears, Junior Stanislaus – hardly a brilliant record – seems a waste of money to me!

  • master says:

    not to be underestimated is the feeling and connection the fans get from seeing a youth team player come through, do touchline warm ups, make a debut, do well, settle in, etc. given they’ve played 0 mins this season, it seems a little silly not to have had the option to put on a martinez, samuelson, cullen or burke (or others) for 10 mins or so.

    away win at swansea, win against palace at home or even getting battered by liverpool last week. in all of those games i believe we had the opportunity to bring someone on from the youth team but instead it was a seasoned pro as that’s the defacto option on the bench.

    what harm would a few minutes do? maybe some, maybe not. the fans would have cheered though. and boy did we need a bit more of that this year.

    oh and don’t forget the psychological effect it might have on the player. he could kick on and become ten times the player he appears to be in the u23s.

    • Steve says:

      Or the psychological effect it could have if they played and got schooled by a senior opponent.It works both ways…
      Fernandes got loads of flak off a section of fans on social media for being schooled by the Liverpool midfield.Probably the same supporters that are up in arms about youth being introduced i shouldnt wonder…

  • Steve says:

    But according to many fans these players in his academy are ready for first team action.So they must believe he is doing his job….
    But no because in the same breathe they rubbish him…

  • Basildon_Bob says:

    This was a stupid comment to make and has done nothing but make us look like a laughing stock, yet again. Even ex players are embarrassed by it and so should Gold be not trying to rationalise his comment on this site. We take 2 steps forward with these three jokers then 20 back for every ill thought out, stupid tweet by them.

    They are supposed to be successful business people. For cryin out loud act like it.

  • Chedylan says:

    And how great out seasoned internationals performed last week and most of the season??

    What a stupid depressing thing to say. How for one minute can you compare Chelsea to us this season? We are not fools David.

    David gold is showing his age. Just shut up and don’t say anything.

    • Micky G says:

      You will be that age one day.I hope everyone tells you to just shut up because you are old and say stupid things.
      Yes it would be better for him not to say some things but to disrespect someones age is a bit out of order!
      Having said that the majority of big mouths on social media dont care what they say because it is a cheap shot from a keyboard.

      • John says:

        Sat at airport waiting for a coach and weren’t going to comment today but well said Micky. That’s a disgraceful thing to say to any OAP but to say it to a bloke who’s got £100M of his money invested in our club? Take it back fella or you are no better than the louts who rounded on Sullivan in the WBA carpark 2 years ago.
        3-0 to Burnley today. Think we will roll over.

  • Danish Iron says:

    I agree with many in here – The Davids should stop their mindless tweets! They do nothing good to anyone or anything and leaves everyone confused or frustrated.
    However, in this case I think DG has a point (although he should have kept it to himself). In the PL setup today there is little room for youngsters to break into a PL team. There is just very little or no room for errors. Add to that the puplic outcries for marquee signings, the instant angry – cruel even – comments players get when making mistakes in games (Byram, Calleri, Nordtveit etc.)
    The demand for instant success just doesn’t rhyme with bringing in youngsters for the sake of bringing them in…
    And before everybody starts to scream Dele Alli, Rashford and the likes, they are just special characters. Super talents. Perhaps we just don’t have any of those in our ranks…

  • Radai Lama..Paid up member of Slavs Chavs. says:

    I bet every kids family is now saying dont bother signing for West Ham now 😁
    There still has to be some sound reasoning to introduce the youngsters in to the teqm though.Just shouting give the kids a chance is stupid.I read exactly the same a couple of years ago about Dan Potts,George Moncur,Jordan Spence,Elliot Lee when Hippo Head was in charge & to be fair to him not one of those players fans were screaming for has been proved to be up to the task.
    Anyway im sure most other teams fans couldnt give a shyte about this,it will be tomorrows fish & chip wrapping so as far as being a laughing stock goes that is probably only your own paranoia 😂😂

  • Travis says:

    Theres a pretty good article on bracethehahammers about this arguement and it is from a bloke who isnt only looking to put the knife in to the owners like some.

  • mooro66uk says:

    Everybody on here is quick to give their opinion but David Gold (who owns the club) is not allowed to have his. Seems a little skewed to me.

  • Chedylan says:

    John. Calm down you sensitive idiot I just said he’s showing his age. I believe he is. Some of the rubbish he’s come out with this season is amatuer. Shall I give you a list ?
    David Gold has 100m of his OWN money invested in the club?? Are you sure about that?

    Oh and to cap it off you reckon we will get thumped 3- 0 today. Everything is just dandy in Daveland by you then?


    • John says:

      No you are the fool because what Gold says is correct. These are not the days of Paul Allen, who I remember watching at 17 in the ’80 FA Cup final, sorry pal I’m old and probably shouldn’t voice an opinion, or even the days of Rio Lamps and Joey, players rarely break into prem sides before theyre 20 sadly. If it takes Gold to remind Rice and Burke and Oxford of that reality so be it.

      Gold owns almost 40% of West Ham so £100M of his families money is invested. Do the maths.

      Finally you are a disrespectful fool too because telling any OAP to shut up and keep quiet makes you so.

      I think we will lose 3-0 today cos we have 10 players injured and only 6 subs today. All under 19 years old ironically.

      Took me 3 attempts to get that up thanks to the soddin ads. Anyhow I’ll see you in August when all the transfer rumours are over if you still want to argue. I’ve just had 2 weeks in the sun I’m in no mood to argue.

  • Chedylan says:

    Please show me why you think our ” seasoned internationals” have been so deserving to keep out any youth players this season?

    instead of blindly attacking any one that criticises our board

  • Stan The Man says:

    Well i better not offer an opinion now i am a septuagenarian.How wonderful it is too be an old fool lol

  • Stan The Man says:

    Whoopsie i forgot at my age i should just shut up and not say anything.It must be time for my bed bath soon lol

  • Travis says:

    You just know that if new owners came in the same fans would be the ones ripping them a new one in no time at all.Foreign owners seem to be the preference and what these fans desire.Well throughout the whole league systems there have been lots and lots of foriegn owners and few have have brought success to their clubs.In fact many have left the club in a total mess.
    If i didn’t care about our club i would happily sit back and watch a new foreign owner ruin us just to give the moaning ******s what they want.But what would they do with the “dildo twins” to slag off.Oh yes move on to the new owners of course.

  • Chedylan says:

    Travis who said they should leave ? Is there no middle ground here? I just want them to shut up with the rubbish and just get on with proving they are serious about taking us to the ” next level”, which is what the stadium move is all about according to them.
    Stop meddling in transfers full stop and let the manager get on with it. Or get someone else in to do it.
    Trouble is they have a long record of these things, ask any Birmingham fan. Can old dogs learn new tricks? Next window will be the decider. Then we will really know.
    Oh and I don’t hold out alot of hope that they would pick the right buyers if they did sell.

  • Chedylan says:

    John did he PUT IN 100m of his OWN money in the first place ?
    I think not. Don’t be an idiot mate we know they got the club on the cheap when it was in trouble.
    So he’s done pretty well out of us thank you.

    • Stratford E20 says:

      Actually, I think they did put £100m in each. £100m to buy and they inherited £120m debt. Before you call me an idiot as well – the figures are not correct to the penny. I don’t think that they got us on the cheap – that was all we were worth. TV money has rocketed since then making us worh a lot more but they took the chance when no-one else did so good luck to them both.

      • Travis says:

        Anyone would think this was a discussion between a Hammer and a Spud not two Hammers.Idiot this,Idiot that,how pathetic.
        Forget it Stratdord some people think they know it all and everyone else is an idiot if they dont agree!!

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