Slaven Speaks - Sunderland
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic faced the media ahead of the Hammers' home clash against Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday. The boss gave updates on Andre Ayew and Andy Carroll, as well as his formation thoughts for the match against the Black Cats.
Slaven, how good is it to see Andre Ayew back in training?
SB: "He looks good, and okay it was only a few sessions, but we are going to try and prepare him for games as quick as possible. But we don't want something to happen in that process at the same time. "It's great that he is back. It's difficult to judge when he'll be back on the pitch. He's improving in every session. He was out for a long time and as I said, we want him back, but is he ready for games at the moment? Probably not. He needs more time and intensity in training. "I'm sure that it won't be a long, long time now. He probably won't be in Saturday's squad."
What about Andy Carroll – how far off is he?
SB: "It was a very strange injury that happened in a game in Romania. He stayed on the pitch for the whole game and we didn't notice he'd got injured until the next day. "Now, it's longer than we had first thought. All I can say is that he's working hard and is progressing, but it's longer than expected. "It's not the speed we and he wanted, but hopefully soon he'll be ready to train with us. I am speaking to him and the medical team every day about it."
Are there any other concerns ahead of the game against Sunderland?
SB: "No. We still have two days and a couple of days before the game but at the moment, it's only Cresswell who can't be involved, because of the suspension, from the Palace squad.
"I said my opinion on his suspension after the game and we're frustrated but there is nothing we can do about it. We are gutted, he is gutted. He showed how important he is for us in that game. "We have cover, of course, because we have 25 players and a lot are very versatile. But if we are talking about the old, rigid way, we have a couple of genuine left-backs who are both out; Cresswell and Masuaku. "A few of the guys can play, especially short term, in that position."
Has the win changed the mood around the place?
SB: "Definitely. I hope that period for us is over now. You can talk, you can analyse, you be positive but the best thing that gets the confidence back is if you win and a game, especially with a clean sheet in a London derby. "It was good in the camp two or three weeks ago. We didn't stop training but of course it's a better mood because the confidence is back, in a positive way."
Sunderland come with pressure on them. Do you have sympathy with David Moyes, a manager with something hanging over him going into the game?
SB: "It's a difficult job. It has proved that over the last couple of weeks. As a club, you can get out of that situation very quickly with a few wins. "Of course, he is a terrific manager and he has done a terrific job long-term at Everton, and now he has difficulties with Sunderland, but he's not the first one who has that experience with Sunderland recently. It's nothing new for them. "Is it down to him? No, I'm saying he is a great manager, a big name. The pressure is there and it comes with the territory."
You played three central defenders at Crystal Palace. Are you likely to do that again even though you'll be at home?
SB: "That formation, it's not only because we wanted it to be more solid, but it lets our best players be on the ball in the best positions. If we stay in that formation depends on personnel we can use in the game. "Of course, because Cresswell can't play, it will affect it. It's not ideal, but we are going to see; we have a few options."
All football managers just look at the next game, but I'm sure you're aware of the schedule after the Sunderland game. Does that increase the onus on winning this game, to give you some breathing space?
SB: "I know the schedule, but I know also that all we think about is the next game. It's always the same in any schedule. "I know we have Chelsea, Everton and Stoke, and it's going to be extremely difficult, but then it was going to be difficult against Crystal Palace who are on fire on their home ground. We did it. So we are positive. "We know that if we play as we played there, we know we have a chance."
Zaza ready to zoom
Simone Zaza is determined to reward the Claret and Blue Army with his first West Ham United goal against Sunderland this weekend.
The Italy striker freely admits his opening performances in a Hammers shirt did not give supporters much to cheer about.
However, the No11's non-stop running and commitment in Saturday's victory at Crystal Palace saw him receiving a rousing ovation which he reciprocated by throwing his shirt into the Away section at Selhurst Park.
For Zaza, his improved display was down to two main factors – being match-fit and becoming accustomed to the relentless nature of English Premier League football.
"We had a good feeling after the win, of course," he said. "I feel like I'm performing well now I'm physically fit. I am happy for myself and also for the team because we really needed the win. I feel like we're turning things around."
"The manager told me after that he had seen the 'Real Zaza' and yes, yes, I agree with that. I knew that when I arrived it would be hard, because it's a completely different league, but I didn't think it would be this different.
"I'm gradually getting used to it, feeling more confident and I'm very positive at the moment.
"My relationship with the supporters is much better now! The fans expect me to give my best, and so they should, but sometimes the difficulties a player is experiencing are not so clear.
"What is important to the fans is the team scoring goals and winning games and they're right about that. I know this is the right club for me, with the fans, the culture, the team and the whole concept of not giving up.
"I really appreciate the fact that the fans appreciated my performance at Crystal Palace and I hope my first goal comes soon so we can celebrate together."
Of course I want my first goal to come and Saturday would be a great time for that to happen, particularly as we're playing at home
Next on the agenda for Zaza is a first goal for his new Club, and the shaven-headed striker is determined to break his duck against Sunderland at London Stadium.
If he does hit the net, the chances of West Ham registering welcome back-to-back Premier League wins will be greatly increased.
"Of course I want my first goal to come and Saturday would be a great time for that to happen, particularly as we're playing at home," he said.
"While I want to score, of course, the most important thing is for the team to win and if we do that it will be a big step forward in terms of improving our league position.
"If we win on Saturday against Sunderland, I think we can say that our league season has begun."
Hammers trio set for Romford store signing
West Ham United trio Sam Byram, Arthur Masuaku and Toni Martinez will be meeting Hammers fans at the Club's Romford Store this half-term, between 1.30pm-3.30pm, on Thursday 27 October.
This, the first public appearance that new signings Masuaku and Martinez have made since joining the Hammers in the summer, is the perfect opportunity for West Ham supporters to pose for selfies and snap up signatures.
Having signed from Greek outfit Olympiakos, Masuaku made an instant impact as he went straight into the side at left-back and produced some impressive displays before picking up an injury during the victory over Accrington Stanley.
Prior to joining the Hammers, the French youth international gained Champions League experience against the likes of Bayern Munich and Arsenal, and has made 98 first-team appearances despite still being only 22 years of age.
Meanwhile youngster Martinez has hit the ground running since swapping the east coast of Spain for the east London, scoring an impressive eight goals in just nine appearances for the Hammers' PL2 side.
Alongside the newcomers, highly rated full-back Sam Byram will also be attending Thursday's event, which adds to an already busy half-term schedule of West Ham activity as they host Chelsea in the EFL Cup on Wednesday 25 October, before travelling to face in-form Everton on Sunday 30 October.
The 23-year-old, who joined the Hammers in January 2016, caught the eye during his Premier League debut against Manchester City, and continued to impress this term – before picking up an injury recently.
To shop online, please visit the Official West Ham Store.
To find our Liberty Romford store, click here.
*Please note that the times and individual players appearing at the shop signing are subject to change. The players will start the session at 1.30pm, with the event ending at 3.30pm.
Sakh's back (well, almost)
Filed: Thursday, 20th October 2016
By: Staff Writer
Diafra Sakho will begin training with the first team once again within a matter of days, according to club doctor Stijn Vandenbroucke.
The Senegal striker has been missing in action since he rejected the chance to join West Bromwich Albion back in August, since when the club have made occasional references to a possible return date.
However Vandenbroucke, speaking via the club's website confirmed that he expects the 26-year-old to begin working with the first team squad once again little more than a week from now.
"Diafra Sakho's fitness levels are improving every day," wrote Vandenbroucke. "He will start training in controlled Under 23 sessions on Monday and will then join the first-team squad the following week."
There was also good news regarding record-signing Andre Ayew who has already re-joined the first team for training. "Andre has worked hard on his rehabilitation and joined the group on Monday," confirmed Vandenbroucke.
"His fitness levels improve with every day that passes and we are all looking forward to seeing him back in action soon."
In other injury news Andy Carroll is still no closer to a first team return, Arthur Masuaku has pinpointed November as a target for his return from a knee injury whilst Sam Byram (hamstring) and Gokhan Tore (quadriceps injury) are both continuing their rehabilitation with no return date set.
Finally, Darren Randolph - who injured a knee during the international break whilst on duty with the Republic of Ireland - will miss this weekend's game with Sunderland but is expected to return to training by the weekend.
Bilic looking forward
Filed: Thursday, 20th October 2016
By: Staff Writer
Slaven Bilic says his squad is in good shape ahead of this weekend's visit of Sunderland. The Black Cats visit the Olympic Stadium bottom of the table after a dreadful start to the season that has seen them take just two points from their opening eight matches. And Bilic believes his side are ready to capitalise of Sunderland's frailties having finally shaken off their own recent poor run with a win at Crystal Palace last Saturday. "I hope that period for us is over now," Bilic told this morning's pre-match press conference. " You can talk, you can analyse, you be positive but the best thing that gets the confidence back is if you win and a game, especially with a clean sheet in a London derby. "It was good in the camp two or three weeks ago. We didn't stop training but of course it's a better mood because the confidence is back, in a positive way. "All we think about is the next game. I know we have Chelsea, Everton and Stoke, and it's going to be extremely difficult, but then it was going to be difficult against Crystal Palace who are on fire on their home ground. "We did it. So we are positive. We know that if we play as we played there, we know we have a chance."
Bilic also expressed sympathy for his opposite number David Moyes, who he called a "terrific" manager. "It's a difficult job. It has proved that over the last couple of weeks," he surmised. "He is a terrific manager and he did a terrific job at Everton. Now he has difficulties with Sunderland, but he's not the first one who has that experience with Sunderland recently. It's nothing new for them. "He is a great manager, a big name. But the pressure is there and it comes with the territory."
West Ham: Andre Ayew back training but Andy Carroll still injured
Andre Ayew scored 12 Premier league goals for Swansea in his first season in England, but lasted just 35 minutes of his West Ham league debut West Ham's record signing Andre Ayew is back in training after suffering a thigh injury on his league debut - but striker Andy Carroll is still weeks away from returning. Forward Ayew, signed for £20.5m from Swansea in the summer, was injured in August's league opener with Chelsea. Manager Slaven Bilic described himself as "delighted" by the "big boost" given by the 26-year-old Ghanaian's progress. But Carroll, 27, is still out with his "very strange" knee injury. "Originally it was [going to be] four to six weeks - and we were fuming about it, it was a shocking prognosis - but now it's way longer," Bilic said of the England striker. "All I know is that it's about weeks - but then it was about weeks at the beginning when it happened."
Left-back Aaron Cresswell is the only other player who remains injured, although Ayew - who was originally ruled out for up to four months - is not expected to make the squad for the visit of Sunderland at the weekend. The Hammers have taken only four points their first four league games at their new home, the London Stadium.
West Ham forward Andre Ayew returns to training following two-month lay-off
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 20/10/16 9:59am
West Ham record signing Andre Ayew has resumed full training following two months out with a quadriceps injury. Ayew, who joined the Hammers from Swansea in August for a club record fee of £20.5m, sustained the problem on his debut for the club in the opening day loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Ghana forward did not require surgery on the injury and was allowed to return to former club Marseille to receive specialist treatment. Andre Ayew has returned to full training from the quadriceps injury he suffered at Chelsea in August," West Ham's head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke told the club website. "Andre has worked hard on his rehabilitation and joined the group on Monday. "His fitness levels improve with every day that passes and we are all looking forward to seeing him back in action soon."
West Ham have struggled in Ayew's absence and currently sit in 15th place in the Premier League, having won only two of their opening eight matches. Vandenbroucke confirmed long-term absentee Diafra Sakho will begin training with the club's Under-23 side on Monday before re-joining the first-team squad the following week. He also revealed Andy Carroll's recovery from a knee injury sustained in August was "taking longer than our initial prognosis" of six to eight weeks, but stressed the forward was making "steady progress".
Police officers to be on duty inside London Stadium for EFL Cup tie
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 20/10/16 7:20pm
Metropolitan Police officers will be on duty inside the London Stadium for the first time for West Ham's EFL Cup match against Chelsea on Wednesday, according to Sky sources. Sky Sports News HQ understands a temporary 'Airwave' radio communications system has now been installed inside the former Olympic Stadium. Stakeholders are yet to confirm details on exactly where officers will be deployed. Fears were growing among stadium stakeholders that the lack of a suitable system would mean police could not carry out their duties effectively before, during and after the potentially explosive fixture. More than 50,000 fans are expected for the first major night match at West Ham's new home. The fixture is likely to be assessed in the next few days as a high risk "Category B" or "Category C" game with the Met under increasing pressure to make sure that they have officers stationed within the ground. In a statement Chelsea said they were "disappointed" after they were allocated 5,182 tickets for the game. Under competition rules, away teams are entitled to 10 per cent of the stadium's capacity.
Chelsea requested their full allocation - 5,700 tickets of the 57,000-capacity stadium. However, West Ham are restricted to allocating 5,200 'away' tickets due to infrastructure issues. To date, the police's command centre has been at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Park with officers only entering the stadium in case of criminal behaviour. Sky Sports News HQ understands a permanent 'Airwave' system will be fully installed by February 2017. The temporary 'Airwave' system has been tested for the past fortnight and relies on a police Land Rover parked next to the stadium. West Ham, Chelsea and the Met Police have been in discussions about the security issues surrounding the match since the draw was made last month. West Ham's first few months at London Stadium have been dogged with segregation issues and clashes between rivals fans. Police refuse to discuss crowd control tactics ahead of high risk games, but they will be keen to segregate rival fans walking to the stadium from the nearby Stratford Station.
West Ham record signing Andre Ayew will not be rushed back, says Slaven Bilic
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 20/10/16 11:30am
Slaven Bilic insists West Ham record signing Andre Ayew will not be rushed back into action, despite returning to training following a two month injury lay-off.
Ayew, who joined the Hammers from Swansea in August for a club record fee of £20.5m, has been on the sidelines since suffering a thigh injury on his debut away at Chelsea on the opening day of the season. The Ghana international did not require surgery and was allowed to return to former club Marseille in September to receive specialist treatment as he stepped his recovery. He resumed full training with the first-team squad on Monday and, though delighted with his return, Bilic feels the 26-year-old will need more time to build up his match fitness before considering him for selection. "It is a big boost to have Andre Ayew back in training," Bilic said. "He looks good and the medical team have done a great job. We are all delighted. "We will try to prepare him for games as quickly as possible. We don't want to rush things but it is great that he is back. "He has had three sessions with us and is improving every session. He will train today and tomorrow and we will see. We want him back. "He probably needs a little more time before he can be ready for games. I know it will not take a long time now. "He will probably not be in the squad for the game on Saturday." Bilic also confirmed West Ham are still without Andy Carroll, who remains on the sidelines with the knee injury he sustained in August in the Europa League match against Astra Giurgiu. Andy Carroll picked up the injury in Romania and I didn't notice he got injured. Originally we thought it would be four to six weeks," Bilic added. "Now it is longer than that and it is slower than we expected. He is progressing but it is not the speed we wanted. He is working hard." West Ham moved out of the relegation zone last weekend after claiming their first away victory of the season at Crystal Palace.
The 1-0 win at Selhurst Park was also their first three points since August and Bilic is hoping for more success against struggling Sunderland at London Stadium on Saturday.c"We will try to win and it would be good to have a couple of wins," Bilic added. "We are positive and if we play like we did last week we have a chance."
BIANCA WESTWOOD: West Ham's win at Crystal Palace was a shot in the arm - now they need to build on it
14:11, 20 OCT 2016 UPDATED 14:11, 20 OCT 2016
BY BIANCA WESTWOOD
Football columnist Bianca Westwood has her say on the Hammers' much-needed win at Selhurst Park as they prepare to face Sunderland
The collective sigh of relief from Hammers fans, players and the manager Slaven Bilic after that narrow win at the weekend was so hefty it could almost be heard across the Atlantic.
I was over in California at the Desert Trip festival, or the 'Catch 'Em Before They Croak' tour as Mick Jagger so charmingly put it, so I could only listen nervously online, heart-in-mouth, to what sounded like a pretty tense match taking place in south London over 5000 miles away from me. West Ham might have been playing like geriatrics themselves over the past few weeks but they certainly showed signs of heart and vitality at Selhurst Park. As a life-long supporter I'm used to the turmoil and turbulence that has often clung to Upton Park like a bad smell. Being a fan had become an endurance sport at times but with the glorious farewell season at the Boleyn and the promise of relocation to a dazzling new arena, we were steadily lulled into an unfamiliar feeling of hope and expectation for a bright future. That lasted all of two minutes. Yet again this season we've been left with an injury-ravaged, depleted squad, with players playing out of position in ramshackle formations, makeshift defences leaking shockingly woeful goals and new additions failing to show the kind of ability necessary to thrive in this ruthless league.
So all things considered it's really no surprise this has been their worst start to a league campaign since 1988. The draw against Middlesbrough was a step in the right direction but the victory at Palace was a much-needed shot in the arm and long overdue. Finally the players, old and new, put in a shift to be proud of and although Benteke's missed penalty was a rare stroke of luck for the Claret and Blue army, the spirit and determination to close the game out proved Mae West's old adage 'it's not the men in your life that matter but the life in your men!'
Cheikou Kouyate was effective in the centre of defence in a changed 3-4-3 system, giving licence to Michail Antonio and the returning Aaron Cresswell to zip up and down the flanks, Pedro Obiang further demonstrated his prowess in West Ham's midfield, Mark Noble rediscovered his legs and Simone Zaza showed he can do more than tiptoe through the tulips in the penalty area and possibly grafted himself into a extended stay at the club.
Speaking of Cresswell, as fans we also witnessed something we already knew. He has emerged as an instrumental part of the team and a player the Hammers need available at all times.
His pace, energy, creativity and dynamism were all on show on Saturday. Attributes that should put him in line for an England call up, but unfortunately his dismissal will leave West Ham bereft once again. To lose him so unnecessarily is a huge blow, and the fact that both decisions were, at best harsh, at worst downright wrong, makes it even more difficult to swallow.
If the first incident is simulation because Cresswell went down after minimal contact then surely Wilfried Zaha should have been shown a yellow for the same reason in the second?
It was hardly a strong challenge! I know it's all about perception or perspective but that is ridiculous! If the first is not a penalty is it still simulation when there is clear contact? Just don't give it and move on! Aaron Cresswell is shown a red card by referee Martin AtkinsonCresswell is shown a red card by referee Martin Atkinson for two bookings
For me the second isn't even a yellow card, the referee's assistant who gave the decision has made a mistake. End of story. My sour grapes and excuses aside, a win is a win and the world and his wife knew that West Ham desperately needed one before that slope got ever more greasy and panic set in.
We've been there way too many times before. Yet that victory will not be enough without a follow up. The first win at the London Stadium against Bournemouth preceded four disappointing league defeats and Slaven Bilic was at pains to really hammer this point home at full time on Saturday. The effort and commitment shown at Selhurst has to be the bare minimum. The players must show the same composure, confidence and organization going into the next match against Sunderland and the fans need to do their bit to make the new home feel like their home.
Too many supporters have used the poor results to air their personal grievances about the move. Admittedly some have genuine concerns and there are real issues the club are starting to address but a minority have taken full advantage of these teething troubles to cause disruption. It's time to start making some noise for the right reasons. I interviewed Mark Noble for Soccer Saturday last week about the sub-standard form this season and the reasons behind it.
A lot has been made of the impact the move to the London Stadium has had on the team's performances but Noble rejected this as an excuse. He said that "the atmosphere is fantastic, although we haven't given (the fans) much to shout about". One of the problems he said was the fact that teams will go there now and enjoy it, the Boleyn Ground had an intensity that will be hard to replicate but not impossible. When the goal went in against Bournemouth the noise was immense. They just need to score a few more that's all!
Some fans have accused the team of complacency, which is understandable given the scenes against the Saints at the last home game. Noble disagrees, "a lot of fans around the country, and I'm not just talking about West Ham fans, think that footballers obviously get paid well, so if they lose it doesn't matter to them, they go home to their nice cars and houses, but I can assure you that's not the case. "You do care and I can assure you now the players in there care every single one of them. But sometimes when it's not going for you it's not going for you and you need to dig in and work hard for each other and try and turn it around. "People have spoken up and said what they feel, whether you're wrong or right it's nice to get those feelings off your chest, and get on and train. If you work 100% no-one can really have a moan because you've given everything."
When I pushed him on whether the effort was there from his team mates he assured me that it wasn't in question. He said that everyone was shocked by the poor results, especially after "how well they'd done last season, players were buzzing, they'd been picked for their national teams and probably expected that to continue, but in this league you have to turn up or you'll get beat."
Noble is always refreshingly candid in his interviews and this time was no different, he revealed that losing the 2-0 lead at home to Watford had been a pivotal moment - it was a "real kick in the teeth" - and he felt they'd taken a real turn for the worse after that but he stressed they have the characters, the quality and the manager to change the situation. He believes it and he was so sincere and passionate about it I believed him. They showed what they can do with this team away from the adjustment issues of the London Stadium, now they really need to build on that back on home soil this weekend. West Ham have a nasty habit of gifting teams in trouble with precious goals and points. Having a crappy time? Come and play West Ham we'll get you back on track! Now the Hammers have to ensure they don't make this same mistake against Sunderland. Last year's talk of finishing in the top echelons seems light years away at the moment but if they really want to be a club that poses any sort of challenge this season then they need to get ruthless and kill teams off. Starting on Saturday.
West Ham handed injury boost as record signing Andre Ayew returns to training ahead of schedule
11:40, 20 OCT 2016 UPDATED 11:40, 20 OCT 2016
BY ANDY SIMS
The Ghana forward sustained a thigh injury half an hour into his debut against Chelsea in August and hasn't featured since
Slaven Bilic has been boosted by the return to training of West Ham 's record signing Andre Ayew ahead of schedule. The Ghana forward, who joined the Hammers from Swansea in August for £20.5million, sustained a thigh injury half an hour into his debut against Chelsea. Ayew rejoined his team-mates on the training pitch on Monday and has an outside chance of being in the squad to face Sunderland at the weekend. "We were expecting him back later, in December or late November, so we are delighted that he's back and now we're going to see," said Bilic.
"He looks good in training and we're going to try to prepare him for games as soon as possible. We have a couple of sessions before the game against Sunderland and then we'll see. "If we talk about Saturday I'm not going to rule it out, but it's unlikely."
However, Andy Carroll's latest comeback has been delayed with no return in sight for the injury-plagued striker. The 27-year-old, who has started just 38 Premier League matches in over three years with the Hammers, picked up a knee problem in the Europa League tie with Romanian side Astra Giurgiu in August. The initial prognosis was that Carroll would be sidelined for four to six weeks, but over two months later the former Newcastle and Liverpool frontman is no closer to returning. Bilic added: "It was a very strange injury. He stayed on the pitch for the whole game and I didn't even notice he got injured until the end of the game or the next day when we did all the scans. "Originally it was four to six weeks - and we were fuming about it, it was a shocking prognosis - but now it's way longer than that so all that I can say is he's working really hard, he's progressing, but its slower than we expected. 'He's progressing but it's not at the speed that we wanted and he wanted. He's working hard and getting better every day, but unfortunately he's still not ready to train with us. "All I know is that it's about weeks - but then it was about weeks at the beginning when it happened."
Andy Carroll no nearer to comeback from knee injury for West Ham
Carroll is still not training two months after being sidelined
Club's record-signing André Ayew back training after thigh strain
Thursday 20 October 2016 12.12 BST Last modified on Thursday 20 October 2016 12.33 BST
Andy Carroll's latest comeback has been delayed, with no return in sight for the injury-plagued West Ham striker. The 27-year-old, who has started only 38 Premier League matches in over three years with the Hammers, picked up a knee problem in the Europa League tie with Romanian side Astra Giurgiu in August. The initial prognosis was that Carroll would be sidelined for four to six weeks, but more than two months later the former Newcastle and Liverpool striker is no closer to returning. Slaven Bilic, the West Ham manager, said: "It was a very strange injury. He stayed on the pitch for the whole game and I didn't even notice he got injured until the end of the game or the next day, when we did all the scans. "Originally it was four to six weeks – and we were fuming about it, it was a shocking prognosis – but now it's way longer than that so all that I can say is he's working really hard, he's progressing, but its slower than we expected. "He's progressing but it's not at the speed that we wanted and he wanted. He's working hard and getting better every day, but unfortunately he's still not ready to train with us. All I know is that it's about weeks – but then it was about weeks at the beginning when it happened."
Bilic has at least been lifted by the return to training of the club-record signing André Ayew ahead of schedule. The Ghana forward, who joined from Swansea in August for £20.5m, sustained a thigh injury half an hour into his debut against Chelsea. Ayew rejoined his team-mates on the training pitch on Monday and has an outside chance of being in the squad to face Sunderland on Saturday. "We were expecting him back later, in December or late November, so we are delighted that he's back and now we're going to see," added Bilic. "He looks good in training and we're going to try to prepare him for games as soon as possible. We have a couple of sessions before the game against Sunderland and then we'll see. If we talk about Saturday I'm not going to rule it out, but it's unlikely."
West Ham's Andre Ayew returns to full training… but these fellow stars must wait
ANDRE AYEW has returned to full training at West Ham well ahead of schedule.
By JACK STAPLEHURST
PUBLISHED: 05:30, Thu, Oct 20, 2016
The Hammers' record signing, bought for £20.5m from Swansea in the summer, has been missing for two months with a serious thigh injury. It was initially anticipated the Ghana international would be sidelined for around four months after pulling up in the Premier League opener at Chelsea. However, Ayew avoided having to have surgery, and following his rehabilitation, the 26-year-old is now back. verton
West Ham United ✔ @WestHamUtd
.@stijnvdb welcomes @AyewAndre back to full training! From the Treatment Room with @SpireRoding ➡️ http://wes.hm/FTTR191016 #COYI
7:11 PM - 19 Oct 2016
75 75 Retweets 174 174 likes
But he still needs to regain match fitness before being available in Slaven Bilic's team - leaving any hopes of a shock appearance against Sunderland on Saturday at the London Stadium (3pm) out of the question. "Andre has worked hard on his rehabilitation and joined the group on Monday," West Ham's head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke wrote on the club's official website. "His fitness levels improve with every day that passes and we are all looking forward to seeing him back in action soon." The Hammers also showed the attacker back in training scoring goals and chatting with the likes of former Marseille team-mate Dimitri Payet.
Former Spurs and West Ham boss Harry Redknapp runs wife over in his car
POSTED BY ROB PARKER - OCTOBER 20, 2016
Harry Redknapp run over his wife Sandra in his car in a freak accident yesterday, according to The Sun. The former Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United boss reportedly dragged her along the road in Westbourne, Dorset. Redknapp, aged 69, was dropping off his wife, also aged 69, for a shopping trip when the incident happened. Sandra's coat had seemingly got stuck in the door as she exited the vehicle. Unaware, Redknapp drove off while she still had one foot in the footwell. She was dragged along the street, with witnesses saying they heard a scream of pain. Redknapp slammed on the brakes, but Sandra had already suffered a serious foot injury and was bleeding heavily by that time. Redknapp cared for his wife at the roadside as they waited for an ambulance to arrive. She was then rushed to hospital, where she is understood to have undergone an operation on her injured foot.
West Ham midfielder Lanzini hoping to earn Argentina call-up
By matt_harris | Posted: October 20, 2016
Manuel Lanzini is hoping to carry on his form against Sunderland this week and earn a call-up to the national team. The 23-year-old scored his second goal of the season against Crystal Palace in a vibrant display that helped the Hammers end a five-match winless run, with a 1-0 victory at Selhurst Park. Lanzini picked up a knee injury on the eve of Argentina's Rio Olympics campaign and missed the opening two matches of the Premier League season and the brief run in the Europa League. The attacking midfielder is aiming to continue his recent form for the Hammers and catch the eye of Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza. "I hope I can get a call-up," he said. "I'm always striving for that because it's my target and dream to play for the national team. "I know that if I can keep doing well, I could get an opportunity and I hope to be involved. READ MORE: Sao Paulo director jokes about West Ham striker Calleri's return to South America "I always watch Argentina play. There are so many good players who are doing well for their teams and most of them are stars at their clubs."
Argentina are next in action on November 10 when they play Brazil in Belo Horizonte as part of their World Cup 2018 campaign.
Andre Ayew's fitness has improved tremendously, West Ham medical chief Stijn Vandenbroucke reveals
Published on: 20 October 2016
West Ham head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke says Andre Ayew's fitness has improved tremendously after he returned to full scale training well ahead of schedule. The 26-year-old has been out with a serious thigh injury for the past two months since his £20.5m move from Swansea in the summer. The Ghana international started training with the Hammers' on Monday and the club's head of medical chief Stijn Vandenbruoucke has been impressed with the player's road to recovery. "Andre has worked hard on his rehabilitation and joined the group on Monday," West Ham's head of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke wrote on the club's official website. "His fitness levels improve with every day that passes and we are all looking forward to seeing him back in action soon."
The former Marseille star has made a quicker-than expected return to the pitch after he was initially billed to return in December. However, Ayew will miss the side's Premier League game against Sunderland at the London stadium on Saturday.