West Ham: Bilic wants home comfort; star for England; new Allardyce revelations
Slaven Bilic has revealed that his side will be training at the London Stadium in the coming weeks as his side struggle to adapt to life at their new home, having won just one Premier League game at their new ground. He told the Daily Mail:
We can train here as many times as we want. I asked for that… It is not West Ham’s stadium but it is West Ham’s home. You can buy a flat that is totally under a mortgage, but it is your flat. You are paying the mortgage and you still treat that flat as your home. Of course it takes time to settle in. It takes time for everything that is new. This is a new stadium for us but it’s us. But there is a period where you need time to adjust to something and the only way to make it shorter is by winning more games.
Bilic must improve results for his side with his job said to be on the line, and training on the turf of their new ground may make the slight difference required to push them over the line and help them get a much needed victory after a run of five games without a win in the Premier League.
There has been a boost for one of his players though as Michail Antonio retained his place in the England squad as Gareth Southgate announced his first squad since stepping in as interim manager. Antonio was called up for the first time by Sam Allardyce but failed to make his debut on the international stage as an unused substitute.
The former Bristol City winger will be desperate to get his first cap after an impressive start to the season has seen him become the top scorer for the Hammers and one of the few shining lights in a disappointing start to the season. Antonio could feature against either Malta or Slovenia in World Cup qualifiers, but will then be hoping to keep his place for the Wembley clashes against Scotland and Spain in November.
Southgate’s predecessor could still be having an impact at West Ham, where he was once employed, according to the Sun. It comes as former Liverpool and Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant told the tabloid that Ravel Morrison secretly recorded a conversation between him and the former Bolton boss, with Pennant explaining:
I heard Ravel went into Sam’s office and recorded Sam without him knowing so he could prove what was happening. Sam told him if he would sign with Mark Curtis then he would get him a good deal. Ravel was really unhappy at how he was treated.
The implications could be serious as Allardyce seemingly tried to persuade Morrison to sign with his agent, Mark Curtis. There will undoubtedly be a long and drawn out investigation into the former Irons boss’ conduct regarding transfer activity, and the Hammers will be hoping to stay out of trouble.
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