West Ham Cottee: We need to give our young players a chance

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 May 2017

West Ham legend Tony Cottee

West Ham legend Tony Cottee


Our West Ham Columnist also wants three new players to start next season

West Ham United's Sofiane Feghouli (second left) is congratulated on scoring his team's opening goal at Burnley (pic: Dave Howarth/PA Images) West Ham United's Sofiane Feghouli (second left) is congratulated on scoring his team's opening goal at Burnley (pic: Dave Howarth/PA Images)

Considering the amount of key players we had missing, I think to come away from Burnley with all three points is a decent result from Sunday.

I was at Leicester v Bournemouth, which was another game with nothing on it like our one, but it is always nice to win the final game of the season.

It always sets you up for next season psychologically and now we can all go off, have a little holiday and start preparing for next season.

It was interesting to see some of last summer’s signings coming to the fore and for me, Edimilson Fernandes, Andre Ayew and Sofiane Feghouli have been the pick of the new boys.

Millwall's Nadjim Abdou (right) and Bradford City's Josh Cullen (left) battle for the ball (pic Simon Cooper/Empics) Millwall's Nadjim Abdou (right) and Bradford City's Josh Cullen (left) battle for the ball (pic Simon Cooper/Empics)

Feghouli in particular has shown signs of class and trickery and I think those three should certainly play an important part in the squad next season, while others who came in last summer may well need to be moved on.

I suggest getting rid of six of the 12 that came in, though I don’t want us to bring in as many this summer.

I think our needs are two-fold. First we have to bring in two or three top quality players who can go straight into the team.

We can two or three more squad players, but what I would also like to see is the emergence of some youngsters to the squad.

West Ham United's Michail Antonio West Ham United's Michail Antonio

We have seen the likes of Josh Cullen, Toni Martinez, Reece Burke and Reece Oxford go out on loan with varying results, but I want to see them given a chance next season.

Harry Kane had a number of loan spells before he made it in Tottenham’s team, but he got his chance and our players are just not.

I made my debut at the age of 17 and I know football has changed, but this club has always prided itself on bringing young players through. The fans want to see the likes of Mark Noble representing their team, it is good for the club to be able to have their own local heroes.

When you look at what an up and down season it has been, to finish 11th is quite an achievement.

We have had a new stadium, a new training ground, the Payet saga and a host of injuries, so although it is not an improvement on last season, it is still a decent place to have finished in.

We have already started planning for next season with a new deal for Michail Antonio, who was my Hammer of the Year too. Tying our top players down to new deals is vital and sends a message to potential signings.

It has been an emotional season, but we have come through it and hopefully we will be stronger next season.



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