West Ham round-up: Bilic turned down two midfielders; Sakho's back; Noble defends Hart
Slaven Bilic rejected two players who moved to the Premier League in the final days of the transfer window as he felt that he was happy with his squad, according to co-chairman David Sullivan, writing on the club website. Sullivan claims:
“[Renato Sanches and Grzegorz Kyrchowiak] were both offered to the manager before their switches elsewhere, but he told us that he is happy with the squad he has… Overall Slaven is happy with the business we have done during the summer transfer window,” Sullivan added. We received the manager’s wish-list before the window opened and we have managed to get the top four players on it.”
Both players were seen as coup signings for Swansea and West Brom respectively, but the statement clearly piles the pressure on Slaven Bilic. Such claims will only fuel criticism from fans about the woeful start to the season which has left West Ham bottom of the Premier League table.
Another key figure on deadline day was Diafra Sakho, who bizarrely stopped off at Chelmsford races on his way to discuss his future at the London Stadium. The London Evening Standard now say that Bilic has made it clear to Sakho that such unauthorised absences as in the final days of the window will not be tolerated.
It’s thought that Sakho is now on his last chance under the Croatian and he could face substantial fines or penalties if he does not strict to the rules implemented by the manager.
The club have struggled for goals and Sakho may help that, but more concerning has been the rate at which the Hammers have conceded. However, captain Mark Noble has spoken out to defend new signing and goalkeeper Joe Hart as he spoke to the Daily Mail to say:
“Joe has had a tough start to his West Ham career, but that’s down to the whole team. He’s England’s No 1, he’s a fantastic goalie and I think he’ll stay No 1 for a while yet to come… We probably haven’t protected him as well as we should have done in the first three games.”
Hart has not been on the end of much individual criticism, with some shoddy defending doing very little to help him as he seeks to keep his first clean sheet in a West Ham shirt. Now, he will hope to do that on his home debut against Huddersfield next Monday.