Carrick hails the Hammers Academy boys
IT IS over four years since Michael Carrick left West Ham for Spurs in a �2.75million deal, but the Manchester United and England star completed his first victory back at Upton Park on Sunday. I was here for a long time, an awful long time really, said
IT IS over four years since Michael Carrick left West Ham for Spurs in a �2.75million deal, but the Manchester United and England star completed his first victory back at Upton Park on Sunday.
"I was here for a long time, an awful long time really," said the 27-year-old.
"The first time coming back was a bit strange, but now I've been back four or five times, so you tend to get used to it.
"But it's the first time I've won here since I left, so it's nice to get that out of the way because it was playing on my mind a bit.
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"It's nice to come back and see old friends and catch up with a few old faces that you only get to see once or a twice a year - it's been a good day."
Carrick received a good reception from the West Ham fans, not surprising really as he served the club well in 158 games in claret and blue, scoring six times before moving on to Spurs and then Manchester United in an �18.6million deal that, inexplicably, West Ham did not see a penny of.
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He is another product of the West Ham Youth Academy conveyor belt, and Carrick was quick to stress just how impressive Tony Carr's set-up still is.
"It's great to see what they are doing at West Ham," he said. "In our era we had a few lads come through and they have gone on to do some good things. They still seem to be churning them out and that's a credit to everyone at the Academy and the club in general really because it's not easy to put younger lads in the team."
Carrick, who has 15 caps for England to his name, was full of praise for West Ham youngster Jack Collison, who many have compared to him in the last few months.
"It's a credit to the lads who have come in," he said. "Jack Collison has played an awful lot of games this season and has been a regular in the team.
"It's great to see and he's getting better all the time. All credit to him, he looks like he's got a very bright future."
Alongside Carrick in recent England squads have been fellow West Ham youngsters Glen Johnson, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Jermain Defoe and Rio Ferdinand.
"That speaks volumes about what this club's about really," he explained.
"I'm sure in an ideal world they'd like to keep hold of everyone. They'd have some team if everyone was still here, but that's football, things happen.
"As long as they keep producing players and playing football the right way, like people say the West Ham way, hopefully that will bring success for them.