Kwame’s Blog: The end of an era?

19:30 03 July 2014


‘Legend’ Tony Carr is moved upstairs

Tony CarrTony Carr

To coin a cliché, it’s the end of an era. Tony Carr the academy director at West Ham responsible for bringing through the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Glen Johnson, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole and countless others has been moved into an ‘ambassadorial role’ as the club look to shake up the famed Academy of Football.

The word ‘legend’ is too readily used in modern day football; a player has two or three good seasons and all of a sudden he’s deemed a ‘legend’. However, the term is very fitting when describing what Tony Carr is to West Ham. He brought through an incredibly promising crop of young players in the late nineties and one can only think and salivate at what could have been at West Ham United with a bit more foresight and a little more ambition.

The club’s golden crop of youngsters went on to achieve great things within the game. There were Premier League titles galore and Lampard, Ferdinand and Carrick even achieved the Holy Grail in club football by lifting the European Cup.

Unfortunately we can only dream of what could’ve been had the Hammers been able to keep hold of the family silver, instead of selling them off one by one.

Since those days of what should’ve been West Ham’s golden generation, however, the academy hasn’t been churning them out like it used to … with the exception of Mark Noble and James Tomkins no academy graduate has made a significant impact on the first team.

A few have flattered to deceive, but after much hype names such as Freddie Sears, Junior Stanislas and Robert Hall have left the club and have so far yet to prove that their services were dispensed with too quickly.

The real question at the crux of why Tony Carr has effectively been moved upstairs is – has he paid the price for the lack of quality coming through in recent years? And if so, what makes the powers that be think that the much ballyhooed Terry Westley is the man to bring through the next generation of Lampards and Ferdinands?

Tony Carr’s contribution to West Ham over the past 40 years is beyond measure and if you look at the fees generated by the sales of the players he’s brought through, you might just get a sense of his true worth to the club.

I hope Terry Westley is the right man to take the academy forward, he’s got one hell of a tough act to follow.

Latest Sport Stories

Action from the latest indoor cricket league matches at UEL

Latest news from indoor cricket league

Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon (pic Simon O'Connor).

The O’s head coach looks ahead to London derby and praises Brisbane Road supporters

Ian Hendon
Leyton Orient captain Mathieu Baudry points to his black armband in memory of those that lost their lives in Paris on November 13 (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Frenchman discusses Wimbledon clash, Cole Kpekawa and performance at Plymouth

Mark Noble of West Ham  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic confirms one of Pedro Obiang or Alex Song will start on Saturday against West Brom.

Mark Noble

Most read sport


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

Read more
MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder