West Ham academy graduate Jordan Brown shares how his game improved after leaving England for Germany

Jordan Brown of West Ham United in action during the Europa League tie between FC Astra Giurgiu and West Ham United at Marin Anastasovici on August 6, 2015 in Giurgiu, Romania.

The 22-year-old left the Hammers in 2016 for Hannover 96, one of an increasing number of English youngsters who had chosen to play in Germany.

Jordan Brown of West Ham United in action during the U21 fixture between West Ham United and Arsenal at Boleyn Ground on December 14, 2015 in London, England.

Jordan Brown, once of West Ham United's academy, has spoken out on why he feels Germany's academies are better than English ones, drawing from his experiences at the East London club, and on how he improved his game on the continent.

A number of promising English youngsters, including the likes of Jadon Sancho, Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe and Reece Oxford, have all left the Premier League for stints at German clubs over the past few years, with Brown having gone to Hannover 96 in 2016.

 

A teammate of Oxford's at West Ham, the 22-year-old made his senior debut in the Europa League in 2015 at the age of 18 but, by the time he decided to leave for Hannover in June the following year, he had not added to his senior appearance tally, largely featuring for the club's Under-23s (Transfermarkt).

In an interview with Sky Sports News, Brown said he chose to explore the idea of playing in another country as he wanted the opportunity to play first-team football, but he found the coaching in Germany was different to what he had experienced at West Ham and, previously, at Arsenal - the feeling of them wanting to "mould" a player.

Jordan Brown of West Ham United FC (C) fights for the ball with Noah Loosli of Grasshopper Club Zurich (R) during the FIFA Blue Stars 2016

"The attitude in Germany is that you can be the best player in the world on the ball but if you are not doing what they want off the ball then you simply won't play," he explained. "There are training sessions without the ball where they explain that if the ball goes here then you are expected to go there. In England, I never did that. You just do what you do and it's almost random.

"When I was playing up front for West Ham, I was leading the line and pressing but I was basically just pressing the person nearest to me. If someone is there you close them. It was only when I went to Germany that I realised that maybe wasn't the cleverest idea. You are wasting energy if you are not pressing as a team. That is what they do."

After leaving Hannover in 2018, Brown had a short stint at Czech club SC Znojmo and he now plies his trade for Canadian Premier League outfit Cavalry FC (Transfermarkt).

Jordan Brown of West Ham United in action during the Premier League U21 match between West Ham United and Newcastle at Boleyn Ground on September 21, 2015 in London, England.

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