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Here’s the cherry on the Hammers cake

The win over Manchester United was notable for many reasons but the cherry on the cake may have come in the last couple of minutes.

A very edgy young man stood on the sidelines desperate to get onto the pitch but the ball simply wouldn’t go out of play.

Eventually Grady Diangana made it as a reward for his two goal performance in the EFL Cup against Macclesfield earlier in the week.

And for many of us it was quite the equal of what we had seen go before as the Irons completed their win over United.

For here was another academy graduate arriving in the real big time following the emergence of Declan Rice last season and with captain Mark Noble enjoying the game of his life.

Just how good as it to see three home grown players on the pitch.

As somebody texted me to say: “That’s West Ham.”

After years of seeing the academy in decline with only the captain and James Tomkins emerging before a long gap, we are back in business.

In midweek we saw Conor Coventry, Joe Powell and Dec and Grady on the pitch together, yesterday three home grown played a part.

And in terms of the future it’s great news for academy director Terry Westley who has overseen this much needed turnaround.

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It means that his staff can approach the parents of youngsters who are showing their stuff in the first team and say: “This is what happens at West Ham – your boy has a real chance of making it.”

One of Manuel Pellegrini’s first conversations when arriving as manager was with  Westley explaining he wanted the under 23s training with the first team so he could keep a much closer eye on them.

This is the result!

He would say he is merely doing his job but Westley and his staff have started something big at the academy.

Just for once in too long we have much to celebrate at West Ham so let’s enjoy it.

On this Sunday morning life looks just fine.


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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

3 comments on “Here’s the cherry on the Hammers cake

  1. Spot on. Thats the key for me – having academy players in the team allows us to attract the next generation of talent. Good times ahead.

  2. I recall (far to young to remember) a young centre back making his WHU debut against Man Utd. Think his name was B. Moore??

    Am I right??

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