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the exile 11:41 Wed Jan 15
Joe Powell departs
Joe Powell has been sold to Burton Albion for an undisclosed fee. I don't know much about him but I thought he was quite highly rated so I'm surprised he's been sold rather than loaned. Anyone know if there's a buy-back clause?

Good luck Joe!

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southbankbornnbred 8:13 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
Ex - I'm not sure people do think Browne's attitude is poor compared with most youngsters these days.

He went to Oxford and impressed everybody with his attitude.

Tomkins, btw, made his debut in 2008/09. This year, the start of that season was 13 seasons ago.

If all we've had to show since then, is Stanislas and Collison (who came through at Cambridge), then that is a significant drop off.

I stand by it - we haven't produced many top-class players for the best part of 15 years. Rice we could claim, but came through at Chelsea first. Collison likewise at Cambridge. Stanislas I'll give you - decent player and career. That's pretty much it.

You have to go down the leagues to find the rest of the kids who moved on (nothing wrong with that, of course, many of them are still professional footballers, but it's not what we are aiming for).

It's hardly Earth-shattering. Something has gone very wrong at a club that describes itself as the "Academy of Football". It needs redressing. Other mid-ranking Prem clubs have produced more than that in the last 15 years. And the better academies have produced many more.

The fact is, we do not have a top-class academy any longer - we don't even have a decent one.

the exile 6:14 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
south...

I see what you're saying up to a point but I think you're being a bit unrealistic in terms of expectations of these youngsters. We all know that very few are going to make it at the top level - that's just how it is at every PL club. it's clearly not just about the talent of the individual and the quality of the guidance they get from the club. There are so many other factors, particularly their attitude, which is almost certainly the problem in the cases of Rees Oxford and Marcus Browne.

To say that we've produced nothing for 15 years before Declan Rice is also untrue. Don't forget Tomkins and Stanislas, both of whom have gone on to have decent PL careers elsewhere.

One thing I do think we could improve is getting more young players out on loan, possibly a bit younger than we currently do. It certainly seems to have been the right thing for Diangana. A good spell on loan can be the making of many young players.

paulon 5:53 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
Eggbert Nobacon 5:38 Thu Jan 16

No - pretty much the opposite of the point I was making

Absolute delusion from some fans about the quality of U23 football as most people in the game would tell you

Eggbert Nobacon 5:38 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
paulon 12:57 Wed Jan 15
Re: Joe Powell departs
Another example of how this u23 set up is fooling a lot of people

Seen some of our supposed ‘top’ talents move to Burton, Oxford and Lincoln this month



you expected them to go straight from Division 2 of the Under 23 League to the premier league?

Bernie 5:35 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
These players that get released just aren't good enough, Joe Powell has gone to Burton, he was a promising youngster a couple of years ago but he's stagnated. There is no magic wand to turn these kids into PL standard players, a high percentage just don't make it.

Rice, Holland, Diangana, Johnson have all made PL appearances in recent times and will hopefully go on to make many more. 4 out of the current crop is pretty good.

To think that every kid out of the youth's is gonna make it is just pure fantasy

Alex V 4:53 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
Justifying one set of failures with unrelated successes. Head in the sand logic.

There's a reasonable suspicion that the club has got many things wrong in recent decades. The academy is one of those. There is no easy justification for its failures.

goose 4:35 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
what a load of old rubbish Alex.

the PL is stocked full of players who didnt make it at one club but made it somewhere else.

Sajmo1 4:32 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
Nonsense. Players who are good enough and have potential get involved in senior squad (rice, diangana; cardoso training with 1st team). You really think that powell, samuelsen, browne and others would become quality players if they spent their development days in some other club? There are many players who were tipped as world beaters at young age but failed to reach their potential (bojan, piazon, halilovic, etc.) and that has absolutely nothing to do with their clubs. There are many things wrong with our club but this is just stupid

southbankbornnbred 3:20 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
Alex V - yep, spot on.

You really only get one shot at it. Some players thriveafter leaving, people like Matty Holland, but it's rare. Usually, once they don't make it with a Prem club, they drop down the divisions.

No harm in that - it's still a good career for them if they can play professional football.

But we are doing something wrong here.

No good reason - at all - why Reece Oxford, Marcus Browne and Joe Powell did not make it. They were good enough at the right age. We are doing something wrong and we need to find out what it is and correct it.

Alex V 3:17 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
>>> if that were the case surely they would make the step-up elsewhere? none have made any impact since leaving.

You don't fuck up the development of a young player then expect them to flourish elsewhere. It's not a tap you turn on or off. The suspicion is that we're messing up the key development of young players - you can't just wipe their memories and start again with them.

southbankbornnbred 3:15 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
Goose - it's not about making your money back. It's about producing good quality first team footballers.

We're not doing that. We can claim Rice, because he completed his youth team development here. But that's it for past 15 years.

Too many others, talented kids, have threatened to establish themselves and not quite got there: Burke, Oxford, Browne, Neufville, Diangana (to date - and there is no guarantee he will be in the first team squad next season: he might well be sold) and now Powell.

Not all of any group make it. But in the past, two or three of them would have gone on to play 100+ games for us. That is not now happening. Something is wrong, relative to our strong history of producing many of our own players.

Pickle - fair point: they do all seem to want to get out. And that, in itself, doesn't speak well of the club. Never used to be the case.

goose 3:08 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
we had two on the bench friday??

Diangana could easily comeback and be in and around the squad but its best for him to stay where he is. He will 100% be in the squad next season, maybe Holland too.

you only need to produce one every 3 or 4 years to make your money back.

Pickle Rick 3:05 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
southbankbornnbred 2:51 Thu Jan 16

You're forgetting its not just the club developing the kids, it parents\\advisers and agents. The club will have a view on how to progress them, they play one game in the 1st team, play really well then next thing you know said parent(s)\\adviser\\agent has booked their train ticket to Manchester on the belief their son\\client is now too good for us and will walk into Utd's 1st team.

southbankbornnbred 2:53 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
But we don't have that squad, Goose.

We have Rice, who we picked up as a cast-off from Chelsea.

Diangana is out on loan in a lower division, Johnson is not yet fully part of the first team and neither is Trott. We shouldn't pretend they are.

southbankbornnbred 2:51 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
Because other clubs approach things differently and aren't always looking at youth team trophies.

They are often looking at making sure they kids have the right technique, physicality and mental approach - so, while it's always good to win, sometimes the better sides are looking at other longer-term issues.

But even more than that, what we seem to be missing - when compared to the past - is that system which ensures the best kids make the step up from youth to the highest level. We're doing well with the youth teams, as you point out, but we seem to be falling down regularly in ensuring that the kids then push on.

That's got to be the focus - some sort of "finishing school" or bridge between the youth set up and our first team squad. Because it is failing miserably at the moment.

I spoke to an Arsenal youth team coach a year or so ago, who couldn't believe how, in his words (not mine), we had "wasted" Reece Oxford. Likewise, people feel the same about Marcus Browne.

They should have both gone on to play 100+ games for us and, in the past, would have done. We're doing something wrong. I can't put my finger on it - if I could then I'd be working for West Ham - but it clearly isn't happening when it used to.

goose 2:46 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
"Powell, Browne, Oxford, Neufville and others should have made the step up"

if that were the case surely they would make the step-up elsewhere? none have made any impact since leaving.

If we have a squad which regularly features Rice, Diangana, Johnson? and maybe Trott? thats not bad going no?

the exile 2:43 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
So how come we're top of our division? Must be doing something right.

southbankbornnbred 1:23 Thu Jan 16
Re: Joe Powell departs
There is a serious problem with our academy, though, which needs addressing quickly.

Part of it is a resourcing issue - we've gradually eroded its significance internally by not funding it as well as other Premier League sides fund their youth systems.

But there has also been a loss of focus on the youth regime, which even pre-dates the retirement of Tony Carr (a feckin legend).

Westley made the academy tread water - at best. For all of the fuss about him being a great youth coach and co-ordinator, his regime wasted some genuine talent which would - in most other West Ham eras - have made it through to the first team.

In the last 15 years, we've failed to complete the football education of several players who should have become Premier League class. Naturally, that has something to do with the players themselves - but the club has to start taking some of the blame and responsibility for these failures, too.

Rice (who we picked up from Chelsea) has been the only exception of late.

Powell, Browne, Oxford, Neufville and others should have made the step up. I know for a fact that other clubs - with good academies - rated each of them highly and would have wanted them at their club. Akinola is another one.

Where we previously led the UK (and possibly Europe) in developing kids with that golden generation from the mid-90s through to the early 2000s, we are now lagging far behind the best clubs in the country - and a street mile behind the best clubs in Europe.

It has been a good 15 years since we let our guard down and we need to start investing heavily in the right system, people and approach once again. At the moment, we're just like any other club in the Championship (where we might soon be): content to pick up former cast-offs from mere half-decent club academies in Spain, Italy and France etc.

Our youth team set-up is failing right now - we are no longer the "Academy of Football". Which is pretty fucking sad.

paulon 4:08 Wed Jan 15
Re: Joe Powell departs
You’re missing my point - there are plenty of people who don’t realise the difference and assume u23 football is some kind of accurate barometer when probably 95% of players at that level will be lucky to get a decent career at L2 level

the exile 3:29 Wed Jan 15
Re: Joe Powell departs
paulon that's bollocks. Everyone knows that the step-up from U23 to a PL 1st team is massive. Playing for a 1st team in a lower league is an ideal bridge. I'm just wondering why Powell was sold rather than loaned - I can only assume he wasn't rated as highly as Coventry and Holland.

paulon 12:57 Wed Jan 15
Re: Joe Powell departs
Another example of how this u23 set up is fooling a lot of people

Seen some of our supposed ‘top’ talents move to Burton, Oxford and Lincoln this month

LEVELS

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