West Ham: Latest on injured duo; Bilic blasts defence; top cop appointed to resolve fan violence
With Slaven Bilic’s lengthy injury list being blamed as one of the reasons for the club’s poor start to the season which sees them languishing in 17th place with five games played, the club have given an update on some of their biggest stars. Andre Ayew, club record signing, is set to return in late November at a similar time to left-back Aaron Cresswell, with both players now running again as they recover from thigh and knee injuries respectively, claim the Evening Standard.
Former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is expected to be out of action for longer with the club unable to put a time frame on the striker’s return after an injury which he picked up against Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League qualifiers. However, there is good news regarding Alvaro Arbeloa, who missed out at the weekend as he returns to fitness, but the experienced Spanish full-back is expected to play some role as Accrington Stanley visit the London Stadium in midweek in the EFL Cup.
Arbeloa will be a welcome presence in the Hammers’ back-line, particularly after Slaven Bilic slammed his defence over a series of errors in defeat at the Hawthorns this weekend. Left-back Arthur Masuaka was one of those to struggle with many fans questioning the decision to retain James Collins in the side. Bilic said:
We will go over it again – we can’t concede so many goals. It is fundamentally defending as a team and if you add individual mistakes, it becomes too much. I mean, we’ve conceded 13 goals from the start of the season and that’s simply too many… I was angry, disappointed and felt all sorts of emotions – their first goal was totally unnecessary and the fourth one – well… When we defend like that it’s hard to expect anything, comebacks or whatever. You can’t win games defending like that.
There is clearly room for improvement for the Irons defence, with 13 goals conceded from five games, double the number that were conceded last season from the same number of games. As Angelo Ogbonna returns, improvements will not only be expected by Bilic, but demanded.
Off the pitch, the Daily Mail claim that the club have appointed former Metropolitan Police assistant Chris Allison CBE to try to help improve stewarding and security at the London Stadium after violent scenes have erupted on more than one occasion this season. Having worked in the security arrangements for the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2015 Rugby World Cup, he has vast experience in the field.
The Irons directors will be desperate to see an improvement in the behaviour and management of fans in their new homes as they seek to attract a new generation of fans to attend their games in the stadium that was used in the Olympics just four years ago. Early signs have not been positive, but with cheap ticket prices, there is potential to make that target a reality.
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