Monday, May 19, 2008

West Ham Old Boy's Moscow Reunion

The Guardian today have noticed that nearly all of the English players in this week's Champion's League final emanate from one club, West Ham. They have interviewed West Ham Youth academy director, Tony Carr about the game,

"I don't know who to support," said Carr, who travels to Hong Kong tomorrow with West Ham's youth players. "We'll all be very proud at West Ham because the boys started out here and now they are at the top of their profession."

"Joe was always destined to be a very good footballer but the expectations were a big burden for him. When he was put in the team [at 17] everybody expected him to set the world alight immediately but that is not the reality for a young player.

In a strange way, though, all the hype surrounding Joe allowed Michael Carrick to develop. Michael had moved down from the north-east and was very homesick at first. If it wasn't for Bob and Val Rayson in our club house he might have gone home. But we felt the same way about Michael as we did Joe."

"It's a nice dream to think what might have happened if we could have kept them but it was never going to be a reality. We couldn't turn down Leeds' [£18m] offer for Rio; Frank's dad and uncle [Harry Redknapp] had just left the managerial staff when the offer from Chelsea came in for him and the harshest of relegations in 2003 meant that we had to sell our assets."

Oh well, that won't stop a lot West Ham fans wondering about what could have been.


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