Category: West Ham United

Some of the biggest names in English football started at West Ham United’s Youth Academy. Established in the 1950s by then-manager Ted Fenton, it was later nicknamed “The Academy of Football” due to its unremitting success at producing long-lasting talent.

Reputation | The West Ham United Academy has produced scores of talented footballers over the years. (Image | West Ham World)

Reputation | “The Academy of Football” has produced scores of talented players over the years. (Image | West Ham World)

West Ham have long since been the parent club behind the greats, and are currently nurturing a second generation of legacies on their training ground.

England’s historic World Cup victory in 1966 was headlined “West Ham 4 – West Germany 2” by the British media, as Hammers legends Bobby MooreMartin Peters and Geoff Hurst played a major role in bringing the Jules Rimet trophy home.

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Forgotten winger Joe Cole began the New Year with a return to former club West Ham United, and immediately donned claret and blue for the Hammers’ third round tie against Manchester United at the weekend, writes Emma Webb.

Hope and floory | Joe Cole may have been turfed out on loan, but it's Hammer time as the midfielder bids to kickstart his career. (Image | The Mirror)

Hope and floory | Joe Cole may have been turfed out on loan, but it’s Hammer time as the midfielder bids to kick-start his career. (Image | The Mirror)

One of the many great success stories to emerge from the West Ham academy, Cole made his name early on as a schoolboy for England Under-16s.

He formed part of the FA Youth Cup-winning side of 1999, and made his first team debut in the same year at 17-years-old.

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The Olympic Stadium: an ongoing saga

Not to the particular surprise of anybody, East London-based Premier League side West Ham United have recently been named the “preferred bidder” in the race to become the new occupants of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, writes Emma Webb.

Happy at home | West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble puts Norwich City ahead at the Boleyn Ground. (Image | West Ham United FC)

Home comforts | West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble puts the hosts ahead against Norwich City at Upton Park. (Image | West Ham United FC)

The Hammers beat rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient among others, as well as seeing off an attempt to move in an NFL franchise.

In doing so they have become the most likely residents of the £486million, 80,000-capacity ground that was the centrepiece of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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Frustrated | Once again Arsenal failed to break down inferior opposition in a pattern drearily reminiscent of previous seasons. (Image | The Guardian)

With one Premier League match played, and football having returned from its slightly shorter than usual summer break, if the season were to abruptly end before tomorrow’s action begins, Fulham would have narrowly lost out on their first ever Premier League title to neighbours Chelsea, while Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers would be heading back to the Championship having failed to find the net in the top flight.

Although, while Cottagers supporters struggle to contain their nosebleeds and Swansea City fans organise an open top bus parade for legendary manager Michael Laudrup, we must remember that there are 37 games remaining (for most sides), and plenty of time for the table to take on a more predictable appearance. However, although it is impossible to assess a side’s ability and probable fortune this early on, it is worth taking a look at what is likely to transpire over the next nine months.

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Bright talent | Joe Cole was a footballing prodigy, but his career of late has been mired with disappointment and a lack of first team opportunities at Liverpool. (Image | Daily Mail)

At the age of 16, Joe Cole was the hottest property in English football, drawing comparisons with the majestic Paul Gascoigne. Now, at 30-years-old, Cole is entering the twilight of his career. It seems as though the coming season could prove to be his most important yet.

Having joined Liverpool on a free transfer in July 2010, Cole failed to produce the form that made him an England regular at Chelsea and West Ham United. Then, upon the advent of Kenny Dalglish at the Liverpool helm, the winger fell out of favour. However, after a successful loan spell at French club Lille OSC, new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has given Cole a final chance to prove himself in the Premier League.

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