Collison has suggested that Gianfranco Zola was the best boss he played for and not current manager Sam Allardyce.
“Zola was fantastic, I think he brought five or six of us through and gave five or six of us our debuts and gave youth a chance,” said Collison.
“For me he was the best person I’ve worked with so far to date – Even the boys that weren’t in the team, he took time out to out his arm around them to try and improve them.”
Zola was an extremely passionate player and he carried that through to his role as a manager, currently out of work following a short spell at Cagliari.
Any manager who offers youngsters a route into the first team is worth his weight in gold because those players provide the backbone of a team over a lengthy period.
Collison has previously been complimentary of Allardyce, who he’s described as a fair manager but he seems to suggest that the Italian has a better grip over the way younger players should be nurtured and handled.
He was in that position when he played for Zola and the guidance the Italian gave him appears to have had a lasting effect.
If Allardyce can do something similar with the current players coming up through the ranks at the Hammers, it’s another reason to give him a new deal and another reason to be optimistic about the club’s future.