Monday, 6 February 2012

West Ham Youth Team

Interesting article in today's Guardian about the current West Ham youth team. On 15th February he will oversee West Ham United's under-18 side in a fifth-round FA Youth Cup tie against Chelsea. According to Tony Carr, the team are not yet on a level with the 1999 class, headed by Joe Cole and Michael Carrick, who won the competition; or the Frank Lampard-Rio Ferdinand crop who lost the 1996 final to Liverpool, but they are not far behind.

Carr believes that, in Sam Allardyce, West Ham have a manager who can see the line from youth to senior player and who understands the value of a club being holistic in approach. On most Fridays Allardyce has the youth team line up against the senior players in training. "We go down there and the manager likes to re-enact the formation of the opposition the next day, do some match preparation. We try to mimic the opposition," Carr says.

This was how Allardyce spotted Potts and Hall. "He has a close look at the players at that time and gives his opinion," Carr adds. "It's massive that the manager shows that interest. It shows the players there is a pathway, that we're not a team in isolation, we're a football club and everybody's important, and with Potts and Hall you can still be a youth-team player and make your way into the first team."

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