Whilst things may not be going so well for Sam Allardyce and his first team, the rest of West Ham United are flying high. Under Steve Potts and Nick Haycock, the Under 18s and Under 21s are in the form of their lives.
The academy under the control of former Hammers stalwart Steve Potts sit in third just four points behind top of the table Fulham and under the guidance of Nick Haycock, the development squad are sitting pretty at the top of the Under 21s Premier League, having won six out of the ten games played. As the first team walk out of the tunnel at Upton Park, they are welcomed by a chorus of bubbles and a sign proudly printed on the Claret pavement reading “the Academy of football” and so far this season the young Irons are proving that statement.
Despite many of the young stars departing on loan, the Hammers still lie in first place two points ahead of secomnd place Fulham. They also qualified for the next round of the inaugural Under 21s cup with victory over Bristol City last week. Unbeaten since a 3-2 reverse against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, the Irons youngsters are one of the form teams of the league and deservedly sit top looking down at everyone else.
the most natural finishers in the league and the hopes are high in the Hammers camp that he could indeed be the answer to our most obvious problem of taking chances. Whilst it is too soon for Lee, Leo Chambers’ chances of a first team berth may not be too far away, especially with James Tomkins pulling up with a groin strain at Anfield last week. The former development squad skipper has been involved in every League Cup game this season and hasn’t looked out of place. His next challenge will come against Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter final of the cup.
It is often said that the captain of the youth squads tend to be the highest hopes in the minds of the coaches so Chambers will hope that when he gets his chance that he takes it with both hands. With so many out on loan, it remains to be seen whether the Hammers can remain at the top of the league, but it is a case of so far so good for Nick Haycock and his players. With players due to come back in January, a couple of wins between now and Fulham could see the young Irons in a very strong position indeed and give us fans who are desperate for any kind of glory at the minute, something to boast about.
Whilst his son is impressing at struggling Portsmouth, Dan Potts’ dad Steve is impressing in charge of the Under 18s. Unbeaten in their last nine games, the academy boys are making a meteoric rise up the Under 18s table. After a disappointing start to the season, the young Irons have climbed up to third in the table just four points of the summit. Potts’ has guided his team to impressive wins over Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United, and with three 3-1 wins on the spin at least we can score consistently at one level of the club.
If you click on other highlights on WHUTV it is joy to behold, the football played
If you click on other highlights on WHUTV it is joy to behold, the football played is wonderful, pass and move, a team full of confidence. In Kieran Bywater (no relation to Stephen) the youngsters have a man playing at the height of his confidence and his confidence is oozing out onto other members of the squad. Take note Kevin Nolan, as captain Bywater is inspiring those around him and when it matters, he steps up.
The attack-minded midfielder is a fantastic free kick taker and it comes as no surprise that he is top goal scorer and is deadly from the penalty spot and pings free kicks in left, right and centre. Take note Mark Noble it is amazing what happens when you beat the wall.
Steve Potts has the team well-drilled and playing some very nice stuff, which we will hopefully see them produce in the future in the Olympic Stadium should they all graduate. For me there are one or two to look out for apart from Bywater. They are former Arsenal youngster Jordan Brown who has just penned his first professional contract at the club and Djair ParfittWilliams. You see it is not all doom and gloom down at the East End, the future’s bright, the future is claret and blue.