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Gold: you'll win nothing with kids

Filed: Thursday, 29th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

David Gold's insistence that young players will find it harder than ever to break into Premier League teams has not been received particularly well by Hammers fans.

The club's co-chairman told Talksport that it was now "virtually impossible" for an Academy player to break through to the first team - adding that it would be "very rare" for a teenager to do so.

Naturally that caused a degree of consternation from many Hammers fans, some of whom took to the KUMB Forum in order to express their frustration with the octogenarian's comments.

"Herein lies the main reason why my interest in us has dwindled dramatically," wrote steveyrockstar. "I simply don't enjoy seeing us become just another squad of randomly assembled overseas stars.

"We're barely clasping onto an identity. It's very sad. Part of me thinks DG is simply stating the truth, the other part of me is like 'well do something about it!'"

Meanwhile Hamburg Hammer felt that Gold's comments - added to opinions he shared recently regarding the club's once world-famous Academy - suggested that the Board may be trying to to pull away from investing in it, something he warned against.

"If they even tried to lay their hands on the Academy, they should get ready for some serious backlash from the supporters," he wrote. "Our kids just got promoted. It takes time, patience and money to nurture talent.

"Spurs, Everton and Southampton are all producing stars regularly and Bournemouth, Arsenal, Liverpool and Leicester all field young British players regularly."

However Gsbgsb felt that Gold made a valid point - but questioned whether enough was being done to keep the Academy at the top of the pile. "This is not a West Ham or West Ham board problem," he said. "It is the problem of money in the modern game and the implications of relegation.

"The point DG makes about the number of foreign players in the game is correct, it limits the opportunity of younger players, being good is no longer enough, exceptional is required. Whether the product is broken is a different debate, it is the product we have now."

Speaking to Talksport earlier today, Gold had said: "There is nothing more pleasurable, for a fan, owner or manager, to have a young Academy player breaking through. However, I think weve got to be realistic and say that is now virtually impossible.

"Its just not going to happen on a regular basis. Its different now. We have to face the fact that 17, 18 and 19-year-old young men are not going to get into the Premier League first-team. That would be very, very rare.

"From a financial point of view wed like them to come through earlier, but weve got to face up to facts.

"The Academy is in place and thats not going to change, what will change is that instead of teenagers breaking into the first team they are going to have to go out on loan - and they may do that for three of four years."

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