For Once Players Generally Return Without Additional Injuries

West Ham United have a dreadful history with regards to players returning from international duty having picked up bad injuries, fortunately it appears that the medical team will be able to concentrate on getting the long term injured fit rather than having to address new issues with the exception of Arthur Masuaku who has been sent home from the DR Congo camp with what is described as a very minor ankle injury. However this is not to infer all those returning are injury free, main man Marko Arnoutovic is still nursing a bruised bone behind his knee, an injury that only time can heal, and El Pel's lovechild Robert Snodgrass is carrying a long term ankle injury that has flared up enough for him to not feature for Scotland in their last two matches.

Hammers' medical team can now continue to working on their long term injury list which includes, in order of severity, Manuel Lanzini, Carlos Sanchez, Winston Reid, Jack Wilshere, Xande Silva, Nathan Holland and last but not least Andy Carroll. The club's appalling injury record for those on international duty dates back to even before Dean Ashton's career ending injury, perhaps this was a refelection of the amount of players who represented their country while playing for West Ham in the past.

London neighbours and this Saturday's opponents at the London Stadium Tottenham, have provided a lot of players for England of late just like West Ham used to, and like Hammers managers back in the day, their manager knows that many of his players will not be able to call on the energy reserves that they would have had if they had not gone away with their national teams. This is all part and parcel of what Premier League managers have to deal with, imagine Maneul Pellegrini's thoughts when he heard that his midfield maestro Manuel Lanzini was out for most of the season before he even coached him once! Irrespective of the 'party line' only a fool would not acknowledge the devastating effect the injury had on the player and his new manager, the injury was also the equivalent to the club taking a £40 Million hit bearing in mind the value of 'the Little Jewel'Lanzini.

Despite a massive overhaul of players, Manuel Pellegrini's squad is still very thinly stretched in certain areas, particularly the midfield since the injuries to Wilshere and Sanchez. Jaoa Mario is one of those players who 'got away' during the summer recruitment process, with Inter Milan unwilling to send the midfielder back on loan to the London Stadium favouring a permanent move instead. However Mario could well be available on loan when the January window opens as he is not featuring for the first team and has indicated that he would really welcome the move back to the London club that he knows and whose fans will welcome him back in to the fold with open arms.

West Ham returned from the last international with all guns blazing, played five won three, drew one and experienced only one narrow defeat. It is to be hoped that Manuel Pellegrini and his staff will have been able to use the additional time to work with their players in a similar way as to the last break, the inclusion of the U-23 players training at Rush Green has ensured that the sessions have remained competitive giving the Boss and his coaches plenty of time to appraise the youngsters who, unlike the last couple of seasons, know that there are real possibilities to make the step up to the first team if they impress.

The famed West Ham Academy seemed as if it had become a thing of the past, but there is a genuine feeling that the crop of youngsters coming through can provide the 'new blood' the club have been desperately short of. With talented home grown youngsters currently commanding exhobitant fees the need to promote from within becomes ever more important, other teams have been doing it for ages, look at how much revenue Southampton have been able to generate
from their youth set up!

In Manuel Pellegrini the club at last have a manager who is not afraid to use the youth players at his disposal, obviously the board would be overjoyed to promote from within rather than try to compete with the Premier League's financial big hitters in the open market. It's a simple enough idea, it is one that West Ham invented but then neglected to maintain, it is to be hoped that having had their eyes opened the club's hierarchy will back the Academy to the hilt, an action that will also help aleviate the recruitment problems that will inevitably arise as a result of the lumbering and protracted Brexit negotiations the Government are currently making a Pig's ear out of! - Ed

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