This blog has an ongoing discussion about our Academy.
I usually take the stand of questioning the West Ham unique ability to produce young talent, arguing that many teams, not only us, have a prolific youth policy.
Prince H certainly advocates the common (nothing condescending in that!) idea that we are the Academy of Football and that we are very special in that sense.
I think maybe it has been made a bit too much out of the golden generation of Rio, Lampard and Cole. If we then add Carrick (that came at the age of 15) and Terry (that left at 14) we seem to get the best of both worlds. That pretty much goes for Glen Johnson as well.
ManUre had a decent bunch with Giggs, Beckham, the Neville brothers, Scholes, Butt, Savage et al. but are not claiming the same status. Ah well.
Now the SUN ARTICLE about Tony Carr does talk in favour of the Prince being right, you be the judge of that. It hails a true West Ham hero undoubtedly more important than most of the players he has guided through the academy ranks. He also makes a good point in that the people finding the talent is also to be acknowledged, a task that is of utmost importance, now also on an international level (a la Arsenal), if we are to keep introducing youth players in our starting XI. We seem to be on the right track there, as Prince H has pointed out, with quite an international group in the youth program.
Tony has his job cut out for him!