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Westley exclusive: Bowen, Ngakia and relegation fears

Former Hammers academy chief and exclusive CandH blogger takes a look at the weekend match against Saints, new boy Jarrod Bowen and his right back protegee Jeremy Ngakia. Terry was talking to Hughie Southon

David Moyes picked exactly the right team at the weekend – a team with goals in it – and I am now far less fearful about relegation than I was a few weeks ago.

Jarrod Bowen couldn’t have had a more perfect start to his Hammers career and he will make a big difference because he’s a  genuine ball carrier who can go past players.

Premier League defenders are going to find him a real handful because by and large the game at that level is about one touch passing and the like.

Jarrod brings something different – something they aren’t used to – because this boy likes to go one on one with players and has more than enough ability to beat them.

He’s also very direct and fans of a certain age will recall a certain Hammers hero – Pop Robson. Jarrod is not dissimilar.

He could have the sort of impact as Jamie Vardy when he hits the top level. They are not the same types of player but this lad has real ability and although he won’t be our sole salvation  he’s gonna be a big part of it.

A word for Jeremy Ngakia who was among my kids when I was at the club. I sent him a text congratulating him on an amazing start to his first team career.

He responded thanking me very much and added: “I’ll do what I always do – carry on working and learning.”

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I’d believed Ben Johnson was in front of him and with him now back in training we look very good indeed at right back.

To keep Zaba out of games against the likes of City and Liverpool, then a real relegation tester such as Southampton, is an astonishing performance. He’s shown enormous character.

He’s done what every youngster should do. Chances like this come along so rarely that they have to be snapped up and he’s done exactly that. He has a big future.

I can only remember one other player arriving in a first team and nailing down a place so quickly previously – Paul Konchesky at Charlton who arrived from the ressies and nailed down the place.

I believe we will stay up under David Moyes and that he will put a real structure into the club which has been needed for a long time and the best youngsters will be a part of it.



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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

5 comments on “Westley exclusive: Bowen, Ngakia and relegation fears

  1. Hi Hugh
    Bit slow on posts ,are you guys busy
    Or is there just nothing For people to moan about
    Just asking

  2. Yeah. Strange how few posters there are when there’s not much to moan about. COYI.

  3. It’s great to know that Terry Westley is still in touch and keeping an eye on things albeit from afar and probably I bet that it’s nailed on that he is still a source of advice for the new Academy management now in place. I do remember being aware that Jeremy Ngakia was highly thought of when he first signed for the club but his rise to the first team has even shocked Westley. In this game it’s all about taking your chance however it arises….. and Jeremy has done just that.
    I listened to Jeremy in a short interview and I could see straight away that he has that look of desire and tenacity which is needed to make the grade. Ben Johnson who was previously ahead of Jeremy, before injury, has equal amounts of desire and ability and he must be itching to make his mark and nail down a place in the first team. Great for competition, and both of them have much more potential and development to go. Here’s hoping to survival, and a good pre-season may well see the beginning of a golden generation at our club along with all the other Academy graduates who are close to breaking through at this club.

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