Allardyce praises Bilic at West Ham for making rare decision

Sam Allardyce Press Conference 12/02/2014

Former West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce has praised his former employers for promoting youth.

Former West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce told talkSPORT that he feels the Hammers have produced a rarity in the form of midfielder Reece Oxford.

The teenager has shot to fame at the club after his superb performance in the win against Arsenal last weekend.

Allardyce has suggested that for a 16-year-old to feature so prominently straight away in a high profile competition like the Premier League is rare, with current manager Slaven Bilic arguably deserving of praise for making such a gutsy decision.

“To see the likes of young Reece Oxford playing so well for West Ham against Arsenal the other day was a rarity. In our day, it used to happen quite often but now it’s a rarity,” he told talkSPORT.

Throwing caution to the wind

As talented as Oxford is and as well as he played against Arsenal this weekend, there is sense in Bilic adopting a sensible method in terms of how he manages the talented youngster.

Oxford is a good example of a young player who has been thrust into the spotlight, who could be vulnerable in terms of everything that comes along with being a youngster in the Premier League.

He needs to be protected from negative influences and he’s also underdeveloped from a physical standpoint, which means Bilic will need to protect him in that regard in the future.

For now he’s got momentum and deserves his place in the side, but he’s by no means the finished product.

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