Over the years we have developed many successful players. For example Lampard, Ferdinand, Defoe and Johnson to name a few. All of which have gone on to become future internationals and play at top clubs. However recent times have seen West Ham not produce such quality with many going on to play in the lower leagues of the Football League. Is this down to us not playing them?
The players I mentioned above all got substantial game time under their belts while they were at the club. This is a different story with our current homegrown talent. So far this season some haven’t played a full game this season with some just playing one game. This full game that was played was the 4-1 home defeat to Wigan in the Capital One Cup which we were expected to win, but Sam Allardyce played a notably weaker team with the youth in it. The possibility of the youth being a weaker I’d because they don’t get their chance at the highest level. Let’s take Freddie Sears for example possibly the most recent example. There was a lot expected of him when he was promoted into the first team because he was scoring goals for fun for the academy. Then once he made his first team debut he scored only piling on the pressure. Since his debut he didn’t score another goal for the first team but went out on loan many times after. Now he has landed up at Colchester United. Could this be because of the lack of opportunities?
There are still very promising youngsters in the squad but they do need first team experience. One youngster who could develop into a real talent is Rob Hall at the moment he is good but could develop into a future international. To do this he will need first team experience. Take Chelsea for example. Chelsea have sent current young first team players out on loan in previous seasons. Such as Sturridge, he went on loan to Bolton where he was a very good and was scoring because of the opportunities of playing in the Prem. Now where is he is playing for the Chelsea squad and is a current England international.
So should youth players be given their chance in the Premier League? Well yes I think they should even if it is only a couple of games, but they need to be full games. However there is a time and a place for playing them, I wouldn’t play them against the stronger teams bit I would play them against the weaker teams such as Southampton. There are some great academy graduates in the team already such as Mark Noble and James Tomkins but we do need to keep bringing fresh players into the squad.