West Ham have always prided themselves on their fine history and tradition for bringing through young players and giving them a chance in the first team.
The self-proclaimed ‘Academy of Football’ has seen the likes of Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand emerge onto the big stage to name just a few.
However, stats released ahead of the final day of the season show that they may have turned their back on that particular element of their heritage this time around.
The stats show that Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has not given one teenager a minute of top-flight football so far this season.
The numbers were put to controversial co-owner David Gold on Twitter and the club chief was quick to reply with a rather firm, and patronising, answer…
I think we all have to except that it is extremely unlikely that a teenager will break into a PL team full of seasoned international. dg https://t.co/R0c1SimdVr
— David Gold (@davidgold) May 20, 2017
As you might imagine, his words did not go down to well with Premier League fans, who soon looked to prove Gold wrong…
@davidgold Sums up the problem with UK football. Average foreigners over British potential. If Mbappe was British he’s still be playing youth/ressies!
— Darryl Duffy (@Duffers9) May 20, 2017
@davidgold Dele Alli. Marcus Rashford. Tom Davies
— Rhys James (@rhysjamesy) May 20, 2017
@davidgold Basically telling the parents of any talented youngster to send their kids to another club. Lovely end to the season.
— Trevor Giess (@TrevGiess) May 20, 2017
@davidgold Yeah players like Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford, Tom Davies etc would never get into a top class team like West Ham
— Cartlon Cole (@_CarltonCole9) May 20, 2017
@davidgold glad your nothing to do with my club with chat like that
— FortressGoodison (@Winter1878) May 20, 2017
— LewBoyT (@LewBoyT) May 20, 2017
— ツㅤ (@thfcAlex) May 20, 2017