Impressive academy boys not ready THIS season


Impressive academy boys point to bright Hammers future

Last night’s 2-1 loss to Wycombe in the EFL Trophy proved to be a closely contested match. West Ham’s under-21s acquitted themselves well, and it was unfortunate that they couldn’t take the tie to penalties.

In nearly every aspect of the game, the talented Hammers youngsters outperformed their counterparts. However, the one area where Steve Potts’ team struggled was physically matching up to their opponents.

In terms of skill, passing, awareness, and craft, it was evident why this young team has dominated their competition. However, given that most of the team consists of teenagers who could represent the under-21s for years, there were moments during the game at Adams Park where it seemed like a case of boys against men.

Impressive West Ham academy boys impressed against Wycombe in EFL Trophy

Impressive academy boys shone against Wycombe

This doesn’t mean that some of these talented players aren’t ready for men’s football—in fact, quite the opposite. The prospect of seeing them perform on loan in the Championship is exciting, as some seem too advanced for Premier League 2 youth football. Unfortunately, they are still early in their development to be expected to play regular first-team football in the Premier League this season.

However, this doesn’t diminish their talent. Take Lewis Orford, for instance, an incredibly skilled midfielder at just 17. It’s safe to predict that he will develop physically over the next 12 months, becoming an outstanding player.

In the coming days, I’ll share my impressions of a few individuals I observed on that bitterly cold night in Wycombe. While there’s much to be excited about in our excellent academy, it’s too soon to expect this young crop to cover for the likes of Paqueta, Zouma, and others this season. Reinforcements will likely be needed through the transfer market.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose


  • Eug says:

    Great Credit must go to Kevin Keen and Steve Potts and their coaching staff. Under 21’s second in their league and the Under 18’s top in theirs. Absolutely brilliant. Makes you wonder if they could step up and become first team Head and Assistant coaches?

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