Football FanCast guest columnist Tom Howson hopes that Zola keeps faith with the youngsters in the coming season.
There is an old saying that the "grass isn't always greener on the other side" and I truly believe it is something that is lost on football clubs and their supporters at times. They all feel the need to go out and splash the cash every given summer on new faces, instead of embracing the talent they have within.
Last season Gianfranco Zola had a fantastic season at West Ham and with resources limited he had to delve into our fantastic academy set-up and give players their chance. Tomkins, Stanislas and Collison all made valuable contributions, really stepped up to the plate and showed the wealth of talent is at the football club. It is vital that Zola maintains their progress so they can maintain their momentum.
I appreciate for Zola it is all a balancing act and he'll be determined to bring success to the football club as soon as possible, but I believe he needs to show patience and accept it won't happen overnight. I have been watching West Ham home and away since the mid 80s and there is nobody more determined to see us win silverware more than me, but you can't always buy that. The problem over the years is all the managers that have come in have failed to build a real spine to this team and splashed out money on quick fixes in order to bring success. You only have to look at the Pardew/Curbs era and the mess they left behind, with the majority of them being on high wages and as Neill is proving were only at the club for the money.
A club can never be a success unless your players are committed and know what it means to play for West Ham. The younger players already have that built in and it will formulate a far better foundation for success and one that can be sustainable for the long term future; that surely has to be the right strategy, even if it does take us a while to get there. We will have to be patient, but in the long term it could be well worth the wait.
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