Tony On Kyle

With Mark Noble following hot on the heels of Chris Cohen in signing a new contract, another England U-17 player is well worth taking note of - Kyle Reid.

Following England's fourth place showing in the recent UEFA Under -17 tournament, manager John Peacock indicated his satisfaction at Kyle's performances with the comments he made when it had ended for England.

He certainly had a busy tournament; amongst other things, he scored direct from a corner that he had created himself and, when he won the penalty three minutes from the end of extra time against Portugal in the third place play-off match, looked to have contributed to what would have been a consolation prize, at least, when the penalty was converted.

But a minute later Portugal equalised and then won on penalties.

Says Academy director Tony Carr of Kyle:

"We feel he is a developing talent, but what we don't want to do is give them labels at this point.

"Too big expectations this early can sometimes mean they don't live up to it, so you must not put them on the pedestal too quickly.

"Mark Noble has been on the scene a little bit longer than Kyle who has come into it this season, and is a year ahead of his group - he is first choice in the team, which says everything, really.

"He is a left-sided player who can also play on the right hand side because he has a decent right foot as well.

"He is a good deliverer of crosses and is very quick; he has the ability to beat people, too, so he has the ingredients that you hope can make him an exciting player in the next couple of years."

Mark Noble conceded the late penalty in the semi-final against Spain that also saw him sent off as well as give the opposition the decisive second goal as a result of the spotkick, and Tony says:

"I believe it was outside the box but according to the letter of the law he would have had to go anyway.

"He was punished with the penalty and the sending off; when you are last man and you bring down the forward you are vulnerable to a red card so I don't think he can have too much complaint about that - but he can complain the foul wasn't in the box.

"He has had a good season and a good representation with the England squads so he has done very well.

"I know how much Mark loves the game so he will have been very disappointed to have ended the campaign on being sent off - but it is all part of learning."

As for first team matters, and West Ham's date with destiny on Saturday, Tony says:

"The play-offs are a toss of the coin and league form goes out of the window.

"We are in the last two and it is down to on the day - who can take their chances and defend well.

"I wouldn't call it a lottery but it is anybody's prize and there to be grabbed - and let's hope we grab it with both hands."