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The kids are alright.

David James is quoted on several sites today talking about the youngsters currently on the books at the club, stating that they could even turn out better than the players he saw come through at West Ham during is time there - namely Lampard, Carrick, Defoe, Cole and Ferdinand.

Both Joey Barton and Stephen Jordan are the most established of the young players who have come through the ranks, with Steven Ireland, Nedum Onouha, Lee Croft and Bradley Wright-Phillips beginning to cement a place in the first team squad.

But it is the next wave of players who are causing most excitement at the club. Micah Richards has launched himself into the spotlight with his recent FA Cup equaliser (not to mention his performances either) and is expected to be joined in the first team squad soon by Ishmael Miller. Stuart Pearce is also keen to allow some other of the more promising young players to go out on loan to further their development.

The Youth team also continue their bid for glory with their quarter-final match-up against United tomorrow (23rd) and have a realistic shot at winning the Cup. It is not unrealistic to think that in five years time certainly half, if not more of the first team side could be made up of players who have been brought through the youth ranks.

More importantly though, it will be players in the team playing through merit and ability rather than through necessity.