In the constant, ever-changing confusion surrounding West Ham and its Academy, the promotion of Jeremy Ngakia to the senior team has added some needed promise.
Before Jeremy Ngakia’s senior team debut for West Ham against Liverpool, you would’ve been hard-pressed to find more than a handful of people who knew who he was. His surprise promotion should be anything but because this isn’t the first time an unknown Hammer climbed the ranks.
The proclaimed “Academy of Football” has been under fire over the past few weeks after letting go of some highly touted youngsters but maybe, just maybe they do know what they are doing and it is all just an astonishment to us. Either way, the promotion of Ngakia couldn’t come at a better time.
Senior squad leader, Pablo Zabaleta, is coming to the end of his EPL and West Ham life and his legs have lost a step or two. And Ryan Fredericks, the Hammers other RB, has been battling the same trauma flu as Johnson leaving the door open for Ngakia to come in and make a mark.
If you go back just 4 years, you will find surprises in the form of Ben Johnson, Grady Diangana, and most notably, Declan Rice. Ngakia joins this list and he’s in good company as all of these Hammers have seen good times with exception to Johnson, who to no fault of his own, can’t seem to escape the injury bug.
Does Ngakia’s surprise tale sound familiar? It should because besides Rice, the chances and growth of Diangana and Johnson came on the backs of injuries. Without trying to jump the gun and crown Jeremy Ngakia as the next great thing, his start to stardom looked good so far.
Against Liverpool, he played all 90 minutes and played well even in a 2-0 loss. The young right-back needs time to grow and compose, but against the league leaders, he looks right at home after about 15 minutes.
As stated from the beginning, the graduation of Ngakia to the Hammer’s senior team only adds to the confusing times at the Academy. However, taking the good with the bad we have to hope that the good surprises will outweigh the bad.