Mar 20, 2017
Comments Off on West Ham round-up: Pressure mounts on Slaven Bilic; Michail Antonio forced to withdraw from England; reaction to Leicester defeat

West Ham round-up: Pressure mounts on Slaven Bilic; Michail Antonio forced to withdraw from England; reaction to Leicester defeat

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Co-chairman David Sullivan has heaped pressure on manager Slaven Bilic in the aftermath of defeat to Leicester City this weekend by apologising to fans as he wrote on the club website:

“I think all we can do after Saturday’s 3-2 Premier League defeat by Leicester City at London Stadium is say is ‘sorry’ to the supporters… We all know that we have to do better. To be 2-0 down after seven minutes of any football match, be it in the Premier League or in your local Sunday League, makes it very difficult to get a positive result… But, we need to be good before we are losing! We have to find out why we are conceding so many goals and fix it… The next few games now become vital for our season.”

Bilic is popular with fans and few have called for his head despite the poor form of the side this season, but his future could be up in the air at the end of the season if the board feel that they need a man with new ideas to lead the club in their new home at the London Stadium.

Another man whose future is the topic of speculation of late is Michail Antonio and the Evening Standard claim that he could be robbed of his potential England debut against Germany or Lithuania this weekend after picking up a hamstring injury which may force him to withdraw from Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Antonio made Sam Allardyce’s squad at the start of this campaign but was dropped from the group by Southgate before he recalled him for these two March fixtures. However, he could be forced to withdraw for injury reasons.

That was just another piece of bad news on Saturday after defeat to Leicester, which clearly infuriated manager Slaven Bilic as he told the media, as quoted by the club website:

“It is very frustrating for us to lose the game. We didn’t start well and what was really disappointing was the way we conceded three goals, including two very quickly. Then we came back and got the goal and had a good spell, but again they scored and got their third goal.  They basically scored their first goal from a cross and two goals from set pieces. We knew they were good in them, but we had to defend them better… They showed quality and they showed character and they created more than enough chances to get a point, but in the second half, it didn’t want to go in, to be fair.”

Goals from Riyad Mahrez and Robert Huth inside the opening seven minutes made it an uphill battle for the Hammers, with Jamie Vardy adding a third before half-time to make Manuel Lanzini and Andre Ayew’s strikes almost meaningless.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Alex Hannam.

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Transfer Round-up · West Ham United

Sam is a Southend United fan and student based in the South-West. He has previously worked for various publications, including FourFourTwo magazine and ITV. Sam also has an extensive knowledge of Spanish football and has previously lived and worked in Spain. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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