web analytics

Hammers heartbeat ticks faster and faster

Terry Westley and his staff overseeing a brilliant academy year.

Once again this season it’s too often been  too easy to focus on the West Ham negatives when the merest glance below the surface shows a club which is truly on the move …notably at grass roots level.

Four defeats at the start of the season…a colossal injury list…the Arnautovic saga…regular inconsistency as a new manager got to grips with his new club…terrible defeats at Wolves and AFC Wimbledon along with deep seated issues between WHUFC and the stadium owners….I could go on!

Maybe there’s never dull moment at WHUFC but frankly  we could have done without them on a lot of occasions particularly those concerning often unnecessary stadium issues.

However, for me events within the academy under the leadership of Terry Westley, have been nothing less than extraordinary along with the arrival of a boss who genuinely nurtures youth.

It’s perfectly conceivable that within the next two or three weeks young right back Ben Johnson will find himself a first team squad member following an excellent Malaga as reported here earlier today

That he will follow Declan,  Grady Diangana and Xande Silva – who made his debut in the FA Cup clash against Birmingham – really is as exciting as it gets. Beyond those four, midfielder Conor Coventry is knocking hard on the squad door along with Nathan Holland.

After years of suffering an academy wilderness when only Mark Noble and James Tomkins had been the only two to emerge – the events of this landmark season cannot be overstated.

And with Brexit now looking a certainty, the importance of hanging onto – and developing our best youngsters – has never been more important.

Of course it’s important to look at the sort of down sides listed above and ask our questions but there are plenty of positives to enjoy at the same time.

That we have a manager who is ready to promote the best youngsters in the club is as good as it gets – that remains the heartbeat of a football club to me.

And this season that heart has been ticking faster and faster!


Click Here for Comments >

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

11 comments on “Hammers heartbeat ticks faster and faster

  1. Whoa there Hugh, don’t get too carried away….!
    Diangana looks like a good prospect, but too early to crown him the new Alan Devonshire…!?

    The list of academy players who have made a couple of appearances and then been unable to remain/progress with 1st team is long… long, long….oh, yes.

    • I think we must have read different articles. The one I read suggested it was a nice counterpoint to some of the doom and gloom the club has put us through that we looked to be producing a good crop of players from the academy and had a manager that was prepared to give them a chance. I thought it was a pretty proportionately phrased piece with no-one getting carried away.
      Who’s crowning Grady Diangana as anything but an exciting prospect?

    • Alan Devonshire????? I mentioned him once as breaking through

  2. As much as I like him and would like to see him given some more time in the 1st team, I’m not sure Xande Silva really belongs in your listing.

  3. Diangana has proved nothing except that he is willing and capable of working hard to improve his game, and eventually make it as a regular premiere league player.

  4. Silva has only just arrived. Give him space to breath, or we might never know.

  5. We also have some good prospects out on loan, such as Joe Powell and Marcus Browne. I think the academy deserves huge praise for the advances they’ve made in recent seasons.

  6. Of these responses only Paul seems to have understood what I was trying to say
    Diangana is me metntoned once as is Silva. Carried away..? Pardon

  7. The pipeline of academy players does look healthy, I was pretty sceptical about Westley but he has proved me wrong so far, there are a couple who if they kick on could be really good, Silva, Holland and Johnson, Diangana could be solid too, I haven’t seen the new kid play but he is well thought of seemingly, then we have players like Cullen and Browne, Makasi and Coventry they are all on an upward trajectory they need to kick on when they have the opportunity.

Comments are closed.