West Ham: Stadium showdown talks; move for Millwall starlet; Arbeloa talks summer interest
Following far from a dream start to life in the London Stadium both on and off the field, West Ham’s owners are poised for talks with their landlords at the stadium after more scenes of violence and fighting broke out between home fans and also between home and away fans at the clash against Watford this weekend, claim the Daily Mail. Eye witness accounts reporting of punches being thrown and stewards unable to get involved, with police not arriving on the scene for 15 minutes as the segregation between supporters, only one aisle wide, was breached by both sets of fans.
The FA are now believed to be investigating the scenes and considering disciplinary action against the club, who have been frustrated by the poor standards of stewarding by security forces who are employed by the stadium’s management, rather than the club itself. Owner David Gold has even claimed that a board member was spat at by one of the club’s own fans at the stadium, with growing concern that young fans and families will be put off attending the new ground as the club look to boost attendances with cheap tickets.
New signing Alvaro Arbeloa, fresh from his release from Champions League winners Real Madrid, has told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope that he was close to signing for Italian giants AC Milan and turned down various offers from Spain in order to remain loyal to Real Madrid and return to England, where he previously played for Liverpool, to sign for West Ham.
The decorated Spaniard is yet to make his debut for the club but will most likely take some time to rebuild his fitness, having missed out on a full pre-season and only having completed 90 minutes five times last season. The right back, who can also give cover at left back, is an experienced and high quality addition which will add much needed depth to the West Ham defence, and could be seen as a coup for the club to sign him following his departure from Real Madrid.
At the other end of the spectrum is Antigua and Barbuda international Marlon Romeo as the Express claim that Slaven Bilic is lining up a surprise £2 million move for the 20-year-old right back, who broke into Millwall’s first team last season under Neil Harris. Like Arebloa, Romeo, who was born in London, can also provide cover on the left side of defence, and has been tipped as one to watch in the future by many after impressive displays in League One.
The former Arsenal youth product went on to Gillingham before moving to Millwall, where he made 18 appearances, scoring once last season, but has been ever present for the Lions this term. Having signed a new long-term contract since breaking through, Millwall will not be keen to allow Romeo to leave the Den with a contract until 2019, but West Ham are said to see him as a long term solution to one of their problem positions and could make a move in January.
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