'He Was Man Of The Match Against Juventus'

'He Was Man Of The Match Against Juventus'
By PJ Browne Updated

54,000 turned out for West Ham's first game at what was the Olympic Stadium, now the 'London Stadium' - which makes it sound like a venue straight out of Pro Evo.

West Ham lost the friendly 3-2 to a strong Juventus side. Andy Carroll hit a brace for the home team, while Simone Zaza got the winner for Juventus.

Also on the pitch was Ireland U21 international Josh Cullen. The 20-year-old - who was included on our list of young players to watch at every Premier League club this season - made his league debut for West Ham against Liverpool last August.

It was an impressive performance from Cullen against Juventus - he played 82 minutes. It was one which drew plenty of praise from West Ham fans.

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West Ham today announced that Cullen will be going out on loan for the next five months. He will return to Bradford where he spent a good chunk of last season, helping the League One side to the playoff semi-finals.

The signing of Cullen is a real coup for Bradford. Speaking to The Telegraph and Argus, Bradford chairman Edin Rahic was glowing in his praise of the midfielder.

He was the man of the match against Juventus. To think, he will go from playing Juventus to Accrington now!

Interest from clubs higher up the Football League ladder meant Bradford thought they were unlikely to acquire Cullen's services. Also, West Ham fans definitely feel the player is too good for League One and that a season in the Championship would have been more productive.

We were informed we had no chance at one stage. There was interest from the Championship and we knew it would also be difficult with his links to Phil and to Tim Breacker.

But it was really good team work from us. I’ve got a good relationship with some Premier League clubs like West Ham and we all worked very hard to get him, James (Mason), Greg (Abbott) and Stuart McCall.

I think Josh had a feeling that we really are behind him as a club and he wanted to come. He played very well at Bradford before and wants to play here again.

It seems Cullen made a connection with Bradford last season and that was what swung the decision.

Regarding the game against Juventus, Cullen spoke with vigor to the West Ham club website.

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It was an incredible feeling walking out in the new stadium, an impressive arena and hearing all the fans singing Bubbles, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It was a moment I’ll never forget.

I was relishing it as soon as I heard I was starting, I was buzzing to get out there and test myself against Europe’s elite.

Without a doubt that’s the best team I’ve played against, they’re the Italian champions and a big force in Europe. Some of the players they’ve got are world class so it was great to test myself because that’s where I want to get to.

You can watch highlights of West Ham vs Juventus below. Cullen features early on when he sets up a chance for Enner Valencia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzehvzJUhrs

Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

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