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Are West Ham United losing their English Muscle?

Article by George Camp

One question that hasn’t been covered by the Hammers fans is that of the English players at the club. Mark Noble is destined to be a Hammers lifer, while the likes of James Tomkins, Andy Carroll, Aaron Cresswell, Kevin Nolan, Matthew Jarvis, Reece Burke, Reece Oxford and Elliot Lee are the only remaining English players in the first team, and realistically only Cresswell, Oxford and arguably Carroll, Tomkins and Burke have the potential to remain in contention for a first team place, should West Ham get what they desire and achieve regular European football.

Sir Alex Ferguson has proven that with the right management, a base team of English players can win you trophies, but only if they have the desire to play for their club and achieve the most honours in what still is the most difficult league in the world. With Nolan, reportedly certain to depart and Carroll’s injury woes, only Cresswell, Noble and Tomkins remain genuine first team candidates for the upcoming season, and it seems that with potential top quality players arriving from Europe, their days as a regular first team player at West Ham may be numbered.

Arsenal had four regular, English first team players during their invincible season, Manchester United also had four back in 1999 when they achieved the treble, if you don’t include Ryan Giggs, while now Chelsea have just Terry and Cahill. So is a team of English talent absolutely necessary to achieve the ultimate honours?

Noble - Home Grown Talent
Slaven Bilic at Beşiktaş had 20 Turkish players in his squad of 27, so it’s clear he does use the national players that are available, but he will most definitely have to look at the English market to keep West Ham United a club with numerous English players on their books. With the odds on Charlie Austin coming to East London shortening to evens at many bookmakers there may well be a few flags of St George on the team sheet come 8th August.

The appointment of Slaven Bilic is actually rather popular among the hammers faithful, yet he was still not a top three choice for Mr Gold and Mr Sullivan, yet with the market of managers how it is, West Ham can be happy with the turn of events, and it appears they are.

One strong signing of Pedro Obiang is already through the door at the Boleyn and it looks as if more proven talent is set to grace the turf at Upton Park, and give the stadium the send-off it deserves. An offer for Dimitri Payet has been accepted, although reluctantly, by Olympique de Marseille, and the hammers hierarchy are still promising 8 figure sum signings to be announced over the summer.

As for the past, for Sam Allardyce, the grass may be greener for him after his West Ham days, after receiving £3m a year from the Hammers he will more than likely take a year off. He did keep West Ham in the Premier League and he did bring in some good players to get the club where it is now. I would expect big Sam to come back with a championship team or perhaps a newly promoted side and being given the task to keep them in the Premier League.

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