Peter Backs Kids

Peter Brabrook is backing West Ham's young midfield trio to get through West Ham's current rocky patch.

Peter, fresh from celebrating his U17 side's regional championship victory ahead of the trip to the annual tournament in Dallas on friday, has seen it all before.

Indeed he can recall when a young Martin Peters had a tough time of it in the christmas period of the 63/64 season and, after that famous 8-2 reverse against Blackburn, was dropped for the return fixture two days later which the Hammers won.

A pretty star studded squad with the likes of Peter himself in it, as well as a young Bobby Moore, actually only finished 14th that season, though of course cup success compensated.

"Ron Greenwood made one change from the team that played every week," recalls Peter.

"Martin got dropped for Eddie Bovington, but Martin ended up a world cup winner two years later.

"It's always been the case that younger players need a rest here and there until they get more established.

"It certainly didn't worry Martin, who was a youngster who knew his chance would come again."

Not that Peter is necessarily advocating the resting of any of the current youngsters in the first team, and he says:

"There are no problems for the midfield three, and good players don't become bad ones overnight.

"It's only a matter of time before they bubble again.

"I haven't spoken to them about first team issues, but they have congratulated me on the U17s triumph."

That, of course, typifies the spirit at a club where the older players take an interest in the youth teams.

Peter adds:

"I think the reason we only lost two or three games this season is that we had good schoolboys backing us up.

"They have been excellent and everyone has played their part.

"The results over the season have warranted it, but we go to dallas now with what is really an U18 team in an U19 tournament and then we have quite a hectic programme for the playoffs when we return.

"But you certainly enjoy it more when the results are going well.

"They are only young boys but the future might look bright for one or two.

"In the five years I have been on the staff we have been quite successful.

"As for the first team, all we need is that one win, but until we get it everyone thinks the worst."