Allardyce praise for West Ham academy but urges caution

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has praised the club’s youth system, but urged all Premier League teams to time and money to their academies if they want to see the results.

The Hammers have long had a reputation for bringing through talented youngsters, with Bobby Zamora, Glen Johnson, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand just some of the names that have come to prominence in the West Ham academy in the last 15 years.

But Allardyce is keen for the club to have patience with their academy, and not to get distracted by the need for immediate results, denying academy players an opportunity.

“I think that every football club’s strategy should be to develop young players and I think there should be more emphasis on it than there has been in recent years.

“The problem is that results are everything in the Barclays Premier League and everybody focuses far too much just on that. People forget that development and long term strategies are extremely important.

“From a club perspective at West Ham we work very hard to get as many academy graduates in the West Ham side as we possibly can. At the moment we have got Mark Noble, Jack Collison, James Tomkins and Danny Potts who is only 18. We are on the right track but we should be developing more.”

The Hammers are going through a difficult period, having won just three matches from the last 15 – they host London neighbours Tottenham on Monday night.

For more insight from Sam Allardyce and other leading managers plus exclusive Premier League highlights go to www.yahoo.co.uk/sport.

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