The futures bright….
I have to say, under Sam Allardyce, I was really worried about the future of our Academy at West Ham United. Sam did not like blooding any of the youngsters, he would always stick to tried and tested methods.
With Tony Carr also moving onto a new role, the person to replace him was always going to have big shoes to fill. Over the years, we let a few promising youngsters go, most of which have gone on to have good careers in the lower leagues.
However, this new crop of players seem breathtakingly good.
Reece Burke did get a few games under Allardyce, albeit there was no other option at the time, but he performed well. He has gone on to have a very good season on loan at Bradford City this season, before injury cut his stay. I have followed Burke closely, and the Bradford supporters are tipping him for a potential shot at player of the year.
Reece Oxford is tipped for big things – known as a centre back, Slaven Bilic deployed him as a holding midfielder, and he look very assured in his early displays in the Europa League qualifiers. Then of course, came the game against Arsenal on the opening day of the new season. Oxford had Ozil and Cazorla in his pocket all game….at the age of 16!!!
Next is Martin Samuelson, who has started a loan at Peterborough in outstanding fashion, and has scored two goals which would be welcomed on any football stage, at any level. Barry Fry described him as a future £20m player…. I can’t see him being far wrong with that!
Josh Cullen, Kyle Knoyle, Stephen Hendrie, Elliott Lee….. Players who are all waiting in the wings. I’m pleased to see Slaven Bilic showing these youngsters that they have a chance. There are even more players who I haven’t even mentioned. I think the key thing for these lads, is going out on loan, and getting experience. The likes of Ferdinand, Carrick, Lampard, Cole, and Defoe all did, and look where their careers went!
The futures bright…..the future is definitely Claret and Blue!