Irons must be fair to Josh Cullen


By CandH blogger Allen Cummings


Giving up on a dream is hard in any walk of life.

Having to move on and re-set your sights takes some accepting but often it can be the making of a better future life.

Josh Cullen is one of our own and we have always loved a home grown player at our club. Josh has progressed through the ranks at West Ham to find himself on the fringe of the first team but sadly for him that is where he has remained for several seasons now, without actually making that final, decisive breakthrough.

A breakthrough that looks ever more difficult with the influx of even more players to the highly competitive midfield area of the team.

I don’t know Josh personally, but the impression is he’s a thoroughly decent young man, who has never given less than 100 percent to the club whenever he’s played. Sadly that alone is not enough in today’s Premier League. You need to be able to offer that something ‘extra’ – and that is where Josh has struggled.

The problem is at 23 years of age, approaching what is generally regarded as the most important years of a footballer’s life and career. Should he continue to stick around on the edge of the team, or is it time for him to make a clean break? Go his own way and set about building a career for himself elsewhere?

He has, after all, already announced himself on the international front with the Republic of Ireland U-21’s. Playing settled first team football could only be beneficial to his progress.

Two decent loan spells at Bradford City were followed by a highly successful season at Charlton Athletic, where he helped the Addicks to eventual League One Playoff Final success at Wembley last May. Cullen played 40 league games for Charlton, and together with his two spells at Bradford City, his league tally amounts to 99 games so far – sadly only three of that total have been for West Ham.

The talk is that Charlton boss Lee Bower wants Cullen back at The Valley, the problem being West Ham’s asking price for a permanent move could prove beyond Charlton’s budget. QPR are also said to be interested – but preferably would want another loan deal.

There’s also a suggestion Manuel Pellegrini might wish to hold on to Josh, who has one year remaining on his contract, in order to fulfil the quota requirement for homegrown players in the squad.

But would the club be fair in taking that option? Wouldn’t it be the right thing to do in Josh’s case to put a realistic fee on the youngster’s head, allow him to go south of the river with our blessing, and let him set about building the kind of career he deserves.

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

7 comments on “Irons must be fair to Josh Cullen

  1. I think that Hugh and others have raised the issue of not having cover for a defensive midfielder. If Cullen could play that role then we could keep him and he might get some game time

  2. I’m still of the opinion that Cullen would do just as well if not better than Pedro Obiang did last season. If the role is to play 10-15 minutes every 3 games, I don’t see how Cullen could be worse than Obiang. Nice as Pedro is, he just offers nothing on the pitch so why is it a big deal to let Josh Cullen fill that spot? I’m not saying we don’t need better. I’m saying I’d rather see him or Coventry in the team over Obiang and Sanchez. They’d care more and they’d cost far less.

    If we do sell him on the cheap to Charlton. Perhaps it might be worth inserting a buy back clause in the deal. If he suddenly becomes the player we thought he could be, we get him back at reasonable money, if not, he stays at Charlton. He has always wanted to be a West Ham player so I think he’d be pretty happy with it.

  3. Maybe I am going soft. But maybe Josh deserves more than just a lucrative contract. Maybe his loyalty deserves a reward in a different way – the chance to build a genuine career. Maybe he needs help in realising that ambition?

  4. It’s in West Ham’s interest to loan Josh out in the Championship and then assess his progress. Lee Bowyer is still the man to do that. Sad to read abreyonline’s view, perhaps if Josh read it he would be off like a shot.

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