Former Premier League manager Neil Warnock told talkSPORT about what he feels a decision by Slaven Bilic last weekend shows the benefits of using younger players in the Premier League.
Warnock suggested that Bilic has set an example in terms of having the guts to be able to throw a younger and underdeveloped player into a first team, expecting him to perform at the highest level.
The player in question is Reece Oxford, who will most likely have the chance to back up his performance against the Gunners with a start against Leicester this weekend.
“What I think that decision from Bilic to use Oxford shows, is that some of these youngsters really are good enough,” he told talkSPORT.
What makes Bilic’s decision more significant?
The Premier League is a very entertaining and important division, where the importance of being part of the product has never been greater.
With the most expensive TV deal in the history of the division due to kick on from next season, it’s absolutely paramount for a club like West Ham to make sure that they are a Premier League club.
It’s arguable that no other manager in the division would have thrown a teenager into such an important position, for such an important opening competitive game.
However, Bilic took that risk and it paid off, showing the strength of the younger options coming up through the ranks at his football club.
West Ham have some very good and experienced options in the middle of their team and Oxford is an example to any other younger player at the club of what can be achieved, with any youngster who’s willing to work hard enough.