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West Ham youth chiefs reflect on star graduates Carrick, Cole

West Ham United academy chief Tony Carr has been reflecting on two of his graduates ahead of today's big match between Manchester United and Chelsea.

Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole and United's Michael Carrick will come head-to-head and Carr told the Daily Mail: "There was a lot of hype surrounding Joe right from the start because of the sort of eye-catching talent he possessed while Michael was left to quietly develop as a young player.

"Because of the media attention, Michael was in Joe's shadow a bit in those early days but it never seemed to bother him that much."

But Jimmy Hampson, West Ham's head of recruitment and mentor of both men, remembers the pair as equally talented, with neither dominant.

"We didn't think that way on the staff," he said. "From the start we thought Joe and Michael were exceptional young players. They were different but both special in their own way.

"Michael did lack a bit physically when he was a young lad but both he and Joe always worked hard and matured as they went along.

"They're both still very different as players now but as lads they haven't changed much."

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