Stat's A Fact - Leicester City
Despite a dominant second-half display, a mistake-ridden first half proved
costly for the Hammers as they suffered a 3-2 defeat against Leicester City
at London Stadium on Saturday.
Last year's Premier League champions made the most of a slow start by Slaven
Bilic's side by scoring twice in the opening seven minutes. Manuel Lanzini
and Andre Ayew then scored either side of a Jamie Vardy goal but despite a
host of late chances for the Hammers, the visitors held out to secure their
first away win of the season.
Whilst the result is of immense disappointment to West Ham United, it was
their magician in midfield that once again ran the show. Manuel Lanzini
bagged his seventh league goal of the season with a stunning free-kick from
20 yards, before causing Leicester's defence problems throughout the
In a second half where West Ham United enjoyed 66 per cent possession and
had three times as many shots on goal (12), Lanzini's influence was telling.
The Argentinian made three successful dribbles, maintained a pass completion
rate of 95 per cent from 48 passes and had the most touches of any player on
the pitch – just in the second half.
In total, he had 96 touches (1st), attempted 70 passes (1st) at a success
rate of 95 per cent (1st), completed seven successful dribbles (3rd) and
made three interceptions (2nd).
Slaven Bilic praised his side's second half display and the stats certainly
suggest the Hammers were unlucky to not take at least a point from the game.
The 66 per cent possession was backed up by a pass success rate of 86 per
cent, eight successful dribbles (twice as many as Leicester City) and 12
shots on goal.
Ayew CelebratesFor the visitors, Jamie Vardy scored his third goal in three
league games and Shinji Okazaki's 89 pass success rate was the best by a
Leicester player. That said, the Japanese international ranked 4th in that
discipline from both sides - behind Jose Fonte, Cheikhou Kouyate and Manuel
Of course, the second half display on Saturday, which included that Ayew
goal, might give encouragement to Bilic but he will know that there are
defensive issues to address. The Hammers have now conceded eight goals from
their last three matches and the injury picked up by Winston Reid on
Saturday could rule the New Zealander out for an extended period.
West Ham will not return to league action until the 1 April when the travel
to Hull City and the upcoming international break might have come at a good
time: They have now not won in the Premier League since beating Southampton
at St Mary's on 4 February.
Masuaku - We have to believe
Arthur Masuaku pleased to play but disappointed in defeat by Leicester City
Frenchman made his first-team return after three-and-a-half months away
No26 says West Ham United need to remain positive and results will turn
Arthur Masuaku is sincerely hoping history will not repeat itself.
Last time the left-back was part of a team which went five league games
without a win, back in spring 2014, he and Valenciennes ended the season by
being relegated from France's Ligue 1.
Masuaku moved on to Olympiacos in Greece, where he lost just five league
matches in two seasons combined, before joining West Ham United in August
The Frenchman's first campaign in east London has been disrupted by a knee
injury, but the 23-year-old was back in action in Saturday's 3-2 Premier
League defeat by Leicester City.
While Masuaku was disappointed by the result, he was happy to be back in the
first-team picture and is hoping to ensure Slaven Bilic's side do not
emulate his Valenciennes team of four seasons.
"It was very frustrating," he told West Ham TV, when asked how the Hammers
failed to equalise during his 20-minute appearance as a substitute against
Leicester. "All these things are frustrating because in every game we are
not playing our level.
"We didn't play our level in the first half but after in the second half we
stepped up. We are very disappointed because I think we should have won this
game. In the second half we were much better than them but we have to be
positive and win the next game."
We have to believe and we always have to think positive, even if the results
are not with us
The Hammers conceded three soft first-half goals against the Foxes but going
forward they were a different proposition. The hosts created 20 goal
attempts, including seven on target, only to find Leicester goalkeeper
Kasper Schmeichel in inspired form.
"Especially in the second half, we were dangerous every time we had the
ball," Masuaku observed. "We had many chances and we should have scored
more, normally three or four goals, to be honest."
"We have to believe and we always have to think positive, even if the
results are not with us. One day the chance will come and we will start to
While the situation is not the same as he experienced in two seasons of
dominating the Greek Super League, Masuaku says the Hammers should be
confident in their ability to turn their recent indifferent form around.
"It's not the same as in Greece, as with Olympiacos we had the best team and
we played only for the victory," he explained. "Every time we played to
attack and score goals and we were dominating the championship, and every
time we played against an opponent they were afraid.
"Now, it's not the same, but I think we have a good team at West Ham, so we
just have to keep working."
Masuaku himself will keep working with the aim of dislodging Aaron Cresswell
from the starting XI. Whoever gets the nod, the competition for the
left-back position can only be good for the team.
"I was happy to play because it was a long time ago, December I think, since
I played with the first team," he confirmed. "I was injured for a while so
it was a good feeling to play, even if it was hard because I'm not fully
"It was great to be back with the team and I will try to give my best."
Mediawatch - 19 March
Our daily look at the papers includes plenty of praise for Leicester
goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
The Guardian's match report leads on Schmeichel's heroics, which saw him
deny Andy Carroll twice in the closing stages. It reads: 'After a frenzied
late assault from West Ham, Leicester passed this test. That they did so
owed much to Schmeichel's latest heroics. The Dane was engaged in a personal
duel with Andy Carroll by the end and it was difficult to know which of his
two saves from the West Ham forward was better.'
The manager couldn't believe his team hadn't managed to secure a third goal
to make it 3-3 either, telling the Daily Star: "Last 20 minutes the ball
just didn't want to go in.
"You can call it poor finishing but we have to give huge credit to Kasper
Schmeichel, especially for the save to the last chance from Andy Carroll.
"What gives us hope is our performance in the second half. We were good with
and without the ball. All we need to add is goals."
However, Slav conceded it wasn't just down to that - and that his team could
not afford the lax start they made. On Sky Sports, he explained: "We are
very disappointed, we fought back and we can talk about a lot of positives,
especially from the second half.
"We conceded really sloppy goals from our part and when we came back, to
concede another from a set-piece, it is very hard psychologically to come
back into the game."
There was also a blow for Michail Antonio, as he picked up a hamstring
injury which looks set to rule him out of England's games against Germany
and Lithuania, according to the Daily Mail.
From the Boardroom
Joint-Chairman David Sullivan says the Hammers 'need to be good before we
I think all we can do after Saturday's 3-2 Premier League defeat by
Leicester City at London Stadium is say is 'sorry' to the supporters. As I
have learned in my many decades as a fan, it is never easy being a West Ham
United supporter and we all know that we have to do better. To be 2-0 down
after seven minutes of any football match, be it in the Premier League or in
your local Sunday League, makes it very difficult to get a positive result.
In parts of the second half we were very good, but so was their goalkeeper
Kasper Schmeichel, who made world-class saves from Andy Carroll. We also had
a shot cleared off the line and another good chance which Andre Ayew shot
just over the crossbar. But, we need to be good before we are losing! We
have to find out why we are conceding so many goals and fix it because it is
obviously harder to win games when you concede two or three goals in a game
than if you keep a clean sheet. The next few games now become vital for our
season. We go to Hull City, then to Arsenal, before we welcome Swansea City
to London Stadium. Once again thank you to the fans for your wonderful
support. The noise in the second half, in particular, was superb and clearly
inspired the team to keep pushing for the equaliser.
It was just a shame for all of us that it did not arrive.
Come on you Irons!
U23s skipper gutted after Cup exit
Declan Rice was left gutted after West Ham United exited the Premier League
Cup against Newcastle United
The Magpies were 3-2 winners in the entertaining tie at St. James' Park
Rice grabbed a goal himself but could not prevent Sammy Ameobi running the
show in the north east
West Ham United U23s captain Declan Rice was left gutted after a 3-2 defeat
at Newcastle United's St. James' Park on Saturday spelled the end to the
Hammers' Premier League Cup run.
The visitors, reigning champions of the competition, were hoping to get the
victory in their second meeting with the Magpies in a week after Monday's
goalless league draw, but Peter Beardsley's men were winners in extra time.
Rice thought he had won the game for West Ham when he headed in to make it
2-1 with seven minutes of normal time remaining, however Sammy Ameobi curled
home superbly shortly after to signal an extra 30 minutes.
Ashley Fletcher's opener had previously been cancelled out by Luke Charman,
and in the first period of extra-time, Ameobi grabbed his second with a
25-yard screamer to put Newcastle in the last-eight.
After the frustrating defeat, Rice said: "It was very disappointing to lose
this game. First half, we absolutely dominated it. Second half, we came out
and didn't play the best, but when we went a goal down it kicked us up the
backside a bit.
"Luckily I was able to get a goal, but it wasn't enough and it wasn't meant
to be in the end.
We dominated the first half. We had about 15 chances from what I remember
and we showed great character to keep on fighting.
"It was great to get the goal and we thought it was going to be the winner.
It's always a great feeling to score and I think you can see I enjoyed it
from my celebration!
"We had about ten or 15 chances from what I remember. We also had the one
where the keeper was fouled but it should have been a penalty to us. If we
put that in the net then it's a game changer.
"We just couldn't break them down. We showed great character to keep
fighting. Terry [Westley] has said he couldn't fault our effort. We have
come up here twice this week and it's been two long journeys and we've
worked hard for each other. That's what we do and it shows on the pitch."
Ameobi – with plenty of experience in both the Premier and Football League –
proved to be the difference on the day and Rice said it was a good
experience to face the Nigerian.
"When you get to play against players who have played over 30, 40, 50 games
for Newcastle, the likes of Ameobi and Haidara, it's a great experience and
a great learning experience," the skipper continued.
"Ameobi was very good. He's a strong player and he's very good technically
and he's smart, too. He kept coming into pockets and he's a good player.
"I think we just need to be more clinical to be honest in front of goal.
Defensively as well, there are areas, so I guess it's a mixture of both, but
we'll go back to the training field and go and try and get three points
against Middlesbrough to chase those play-offs."
"EVENTUALLY THE FANS WILL TURN AGAINST YOU" WARNED SAM ALLARDYCE
BY EXWHUEMPLOYEE ON 19 MARCH 2017 AT 12:27PM
This is written by Fake Carlton Cole @_CarltonCole9
Just after he left West Ham, Sam Allardyce warned Slaven Bilic that
"eventually, the fans will turn against you." At the time we just laughed at
him, accused him of being salty after the way he was being treated by fans.
Look at what's happening now.
After last season, we all thought Slaven was the second coming of Christ. He
gave us a last season at the Boleyn to remember, leading us to an impressive
7th position. We had a world class player in Dimitri Payet and we were going
into a "world class stadium". All was good wasn't it?
Underneath the surface, behind the facade of overachievement, something more
poisonous was happening; we were becoming arrogant. We started thinking that
this was going to be the norm. We had deluded ourselves into thinking we
could compete for Europe year in year out. Our expectations outgrew our
I include myself in that list. This has probably been the most disappointing
year as a West Ham fan that I can remember. Even in 2011 when we got
relegated, I sort of knew it was coming. But this season I thought would be
different. I thought this would be the season, with the stadium and all, in
which we could break through the glass ceiling and become the type of club
who would expect top 6 each year. That's how deluded I was (and how deluded
some fans still are). This is why this season has been a reality check; at
the end of the day we are West Ham United – a mid table side with mid table
financial backing. We are a team who have ups and downs, and this current
"down" isn't even the worst we have been through in the past 15-20 years by
a long shot.
This is where Slaven comes in. Personally I don't think he's done as bad a
job as everyone seems to think. Don't get me wrong I have questioned his
tactics many times, whether it be playing people out of position or omitting
certain players. Last weeks result against Bournemouth I admitted was
largely his fault for his poor tactics. But look at the shit that's happened
this season: shoddy transfer dealings (a couple of which were his fault but
that blame predominantly lies with the board), losing the only true world
class player we've had in years and, most crucially, moving into an
athletics stadium which is completely unsuitable to play football. Someone
tweeted me saying that we were lucky to beat some teams (Bournemouth, Hull,
Burnley, Palace, Sunderland etc) but that wasn't luck. Slav needed to win
and he got 3 points, so he did his job.
Now let's talk about who I believe the blame (if there is any) is more
applicable to; the players. Last season very few players put a foot wrong. I
said this at the time and I will reiterate my point, but I believe that was
down to Payet. Not only was he individually superb, but his effect almost
magically spread across the pitch and he made everyone around him better.
This is why players like Noble did so well last season, because Payet seemed
to play to everyone's strengths. Remember the results we had when he was
injured in November-December 2015? Now he's gone (a scenario Slav handled
with professionally) some players are showing how truly mediocre they really
are. Is it Slaven's fault if Carroll and Ayew miss sitters? Is it Slaven's
fault if Kouyate can't pass properly? Is it Slaven's fault that Aaron
Cresswell has become unable to play football? Is it Slaven's fault that
Ogbonna got injured and his replacement, Jose Fonte, cannot defend? I could
do this about 15 times over but you get the picture.
Whether you want Bilic to go or not, realistically he won't. Gold and
Sullivan don't sack managers quickly. Avram was only sacked the day we went
down and Allardyce lasted a year longer than he should have. Hypothetically,
let's imagine he does get sacked. The name that's being thrown around a lot
is Roberto Mancini. Granted, he won the league with Man City, but he did
that with a bottomless wallet. We don't have that luxury. Since then, he's
led Inter Milan, a team with a huge wallet and a squad greater than most in
Italy, to uninspired 4th and 8th placed finishes. He's been out of a job for
a year and has been using his spare time questionably, appearing on the
Italian version of Strictly. Do you want us to be managed by the Italian Ed
Mancini plays a very defensive style, a similar style to Allardyce (albeit
done with better squads). Remember when we hounded Big Sam out for not
playing "The West Ham Way?" Those same people are irritated at Bilic for
putting too much emphasis on attack and would inevitably want Mancini gone
for being too boring.
This is the fickle nature of many West Ham fans. Although we mock Arsenal
fans, a lot of you are slowly evolving into a sea of Claudes – having
meltdowns and contemplating gun rampages after every loss. If Manuel Lanzini
played poorly for the rest of the season, would you hound him out the club?
No. Then why want Bilic out because he's in a bad run. If we sacked managers
for having bad runs, we'd be the laughing stock of English football like
Leeds – chopping and changing before the seat gets warm. Where were you when
we beat Palace and a Boro consecutively and convincingly? And where will you
be when Slaven inevitably turns things around? Like I said we are a club
with ups and downs. Someone like Mancini would be a short term thing before
the fans get bored or he gets a better offer whereas Bilic is a man who
would be with us for the long term.
Other than Mancini, who else is there? If Slaven goes, we will be too
optimistic and waste our time going for managers who are way too good for
us. It will be like Groundhog Day from summer 2015. Some fans really need to
take their heads out the sand. We have only been in the Premier League for 5
seasons and have finished in the top half twice in that time.
At the end of the day, we are not a big club. We are West Ham, a proud,
family club. You may still be drunk off last season and the lies that have
been spun by the board and think we can push on for higher places. You may
be right. But to quote John Webster, "Ambition is a great mans madness."
This pursuit of greatness, like Webster's plays, will only lead to downfall
and destruction. We don't have the stature to compete for top 4. If you
support West Ham for the glory then honey, you support the wrong team.
Whether Bilic will get a new contract or not I don't know. Whether I want
him after his contract runs out, I can't say yet. Hold on until the end of
the season, see where we are. Possibly wait until the first few months of
next season and see how he's doing when we have a (hopefully) better squad
and are more accustomed to the soulless bowl we call the "London Stadium."
But until then, for the love of god, stop being so frivolous and just have a
little bit of faith in the manager. All hail Slaven.
EXWHUEMPLOYEE EXCLUSIVE: MY OPINIONS ON BILIC
BY EXWHUEMPLOYEE ON 19 MARCH 2017 AT 3:10PM
I have decided to write this article to express my opinions on the current
manager situation. I am keen to stress that these are my opinions, they are
what I feel I am entitled to as a season ticket holder of over 28 years and
someone who goes home and away and bleeds claret and blue. Following our
radio show I have had many comments made to me about my "anti-Bilic" stance,
where if you listen to the show, you would hear that I actually tried to
offer a defence to Bilic and said a number of times I do not think he should
My opinions are not fuelled by David Sullivan to encourage season ticket
sales. I am sure Mr Sullivan has much bigger fish to fry than to try and
influence my opinions and surely keeping Bilic (someone that the fans want)
would be the way to make those sales rather than going against the fans and
sacking him. In a nutshell I am friends with Jack Sullivan, who I rarely
speak to about West Ham. I have ran the account for four years and known the
Sullivan's for two, my info is not obtained through them. They also do not
control any opinion that I have or put out. I jointly run an event which is
"Anti Stratford" so why on earth would they support me on this. I would
not continue to deny this if it was true because actually saying all my info
comes directly from the owner of the club would help support the legitimacy
of my news. My opinions are my opinions and opinions are what we are all
entitled to. I said how our defending was awful, took a load of abuse for
saying that, only for the manager himself to say it. Anyway now that is
clear I will offer my own opinion, formed by my brain and no one else's.
Last season was a dream and one we will never forget. The atmosphere at the
Boleyn and the performances that went with it will live with me forever.
Slaven Bilic played a big part in this. He managed to engineer wins
against some of the big clubs and I don't recall a home game where we were
totally outplayed. I loved singing "Super Slav" throughout the season and
seeing his passion as he interacted with the fans. There were many times
when we were losing at half time I felt (often correctly) that we would go
on and win the game. Slav wanted the job and following on from Sam who
didn't show a passion for the club he was a good appointment.
This year, his ability to do the job properly has been undermined by a
number of difficult issues. I believe Bilic dealt with the Payet situation
well, in the end, and having to deal with your star player causing the
amount of internal issues that he was doing would be hard for any manager to
deal with. Whilst the situation perhaps should have been addressed earlier
than it eventually was, Bilic dealt with it well in the end and managed to
regroup the team and make us more united as a result.
He has also had to deal with the move to the Olympic stadium. The negativity
that surrounded this move, especially in the early days, did have an effect
on the team. There was many fans who didn't want to move, crowd violence and
obvious problems with the stadium which meant a negative atmosphere in the
stands which transpired onto the pitch.
We were also hit by a lot of injuries, especially at the start of the season
including Carroll, Sakho and Ayew who were arguably our most important
attacking players and this disrupted a lot of our plans. The transfer
window was also not a success, some people blame the board and some blame
Bilic. No doubt it is a bit of a combination of the two.
I think the board, something I have said many times on the show, should keep
quiet about our transfer targets and ambitions. I always think you are
better to be cautious on your news and surprise the fans rather than bold
and ambitious and then disappoint. Regular interference on team issues and
transfers can be unsettling for a manger and team and I would wish that ours
were less publically vocal. This said though I know that Slaven has the
final say on transfers and he approves all the players that join. It was his
decision to sign Zaza on loan, over players like Gabbiadini of Southampton.
He was reluctant to sign the likes of Bacca and Bathsuayi which ultimately
meant we missed out on them and (rightly) didn't want to sign Hogan in
January. It was also his big decision to not sign a right back, meaning we
missed out on many decent signings in the summer and again in January
because he believed first Antonio and then Kouyate (Via Nordtveit) could
play there. One mistake is bad enough, two is not good enough especially
when you consider quite how many goals we have conceded down the right side.
He also wanted to sign Tore permanently on a £14m deal until he was
persuaded to take him initially on loan to see if he settled. Tore was
arguably one of the worst players I've seen put on a West Ham shirt in a
It was also Bilic's choice to sign Snodgrass and Fonte. So far neither have
impressed me and I would say that from what I have seen the £8m 33 year old
is no better than James Collins. The two players who are my contenders for
player of the year: Antonio and Obiang, were signed largely by the board and
not played by Bilic originally. Only injuries meant both got their chance
and went on to prove how good they were.
Tactically we have also been poor. We seem to have no plan B and our
defending this year has been diabolical. We have conceded the fourth highest
amount of goals this season, many of which have come from set pieces or
breaks down our flanks with players playing in incorrect positions at fault.
We have also conceded 106 goals in 67 games. Many pro Bilic fans decided to
tell me (in very blunt ways) that my opinion was wrong when I said that
Bilic should take responsibility for the defensive errors and that the
players should be blamed. Bilic is the defensive coach and part of his
responsibilities is to make sure that we defend set plays, something we do
not do very well. Yes players made mistakes and let us down but under Big
Sam the blame was always laid at his feet, under Bilic it is the players. I
would say it is both and if you keep conceding from set plays then there
needs to be questions asked.
Questions have been asked about Bilic's training from players who have left
the club including Valencia and Oxford. Oxford has said that he was
surprised with how intense Championship side Reading's training is in
comparison to ours. This has also been said by Valencia and to me by a
couple of members of staff who are at the training ground. Our training
apparently has a feel of being quite laid back and perhaps this encourages
an attitude of laid back behaviour from the players when it comes to their
responsibility on the pitch.
I find it very hard to name good performances this season. The obvious one
is Chelsea in the cup, Swansea away, Palace at home (in the second half) and
possibly Liverpool and Manchester United away in the league. We beat Hull,
Burnley, Sunderland and Bournemouth at home but all four of those games were
by small margins and could quite easily have been defeats, had they been our
position now would be very precarious now.
I find it amazing how some supporters believe you are not a true fan if you
question anything Bilic does. I am regularly told but he is passionate and
one of us so he should be given an easier ride. I would be the most
passionate manager the club has ever had if I got the position but this does
not mean I should. Passion is not the most important ingredient for success
as a manager as unfortunately Paolo Di Canio found out at Sunderland.
Our next game against Hull is now far more important than it should be. If
we lose that game I believe we are in danger of being in trouble but I hope
this will not be the case. I do not believe there are that many better
options out there to replace Bilic at the moment even the bigger names do
not fill me with complete confidence.
I therefore think that Bilic certainly needs to be given to the end of the
season and hopefully into the start of the next year (if this season doesn't
become a disaster-changes are needed urgently though) with some substantial
finances to buy a top quality right back and at least two forwards and then
judge the situation in approximately October time.
Diafra Sakho to return to West Ham training on Monday
By Kaveh Solhekol, Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 19/03/17 10:33am
West Ham forward Diafra Sakho will return to training on Monday. The
27-year-old has been out for four months after having surgery on a back
injury. He also suffered a hamstring problem in the draw with Manchester
United last November, which was his most recent appearance. Sakho will
train with the U23 squad for two weeks before re-joining the first-team
squad in April, should he maintain his fitness. The Hammers expect the
Senegal international to be ready to play by the middle of next month,
possibly for the trip to Sunderland on April 15. Sakho has only made two
appearances for the club this season, having wanted to leave the London
Stadium last summer.
Sakho refused to travel on the club's pre-season tour and also handed in a
transfer request after interest from West Brom, Sunderland, Hamburg and
David Sullivan apologises to West Ham fans for Leicester defeat
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 19/03/17 12:14pm
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan has apologised to the club's supporters
for Saturday's home defeat to Leicester. The Hammers director gave manager
Slaven Bilic a stark warning last week, insisting they had to stop conceding
early goals after a loss at Bournemouth. But Bilic, who played down
Sullivan's remarks in midweek, saw his side concede two goals in the first
eight minutes in a 3-2 home defeat to the champions. And Sullivan said: "I
think all we can do after Saturday's defeat is say sorry to the supporters.
"To be 2-0 down after seven minutes of any football match, be it in the
Premier League or in your local Sunday League, makes it very difficult to
get a positive result. "In parts of the second half we were very good. But,
we need to be good before we are losing. "We have to find out why we are
conceding so many goals and fix it because it is obviously harder to win
games when you concede two or three goals in a game than if you keep a clean
sheet. "The next few games now become vital for our season. We go to Hull
City, then to Arsenal, before we welcome Swansea City to London Stadium."
Slaven Bilic says there are no excuses for West Ham's poor start against
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 18/03/17 7:10pm
Slaven Bilic says there are "no excuses" for the way West Ham started
against Leicester as they lost 3-2 in the Premier League on Saturday
afternoon. Riyad Mahrez and Robert Huth scored within two minutes of each
other in the opening exchanges to put the visitors in the driving seat,
before Manuel Lanzini pulled a goal back for the Hammers. But Jamie Vardy
restored the two-goal cushion before the break and despite another strike
from Andre Ayew with plenty of pressure from West Ham in the final half an
hour, they were unable to take a point from the encounter. While Bilic was
disappointed with the manner in which the goals were conceded, he did see
good things during the improved second-half performance. "We are very
disappointed, we fought back and we can talk about a lot of positives,
especially from the second half," he told Sky Sports. "You can talk about
great character, great combinations and we had more than enough chances to
turn the game around, not only to equalise, but at the end, there are no
excuses for the start of the game. "We conceded really sloppy goals from our
part and when we came back, to concede another from a set-piece, it is very
hard psychologically to come back into the game. "We shouldn't be two or
three down in the first ten minutes. We knew before the game and it is no
secret that they are really good on set-pieces but we are also good at them
and we have enough tall players to cope with that. In this league, you
cannot afford to concede two goals in the first six or eight minutes. "In
the second half, we played really well. Maybe the last half an hour was one
of our best performances this season and we did everything but the ball just
didn't want to go in. During a couple of moments, they have Kasper
Schmeichel who is in great form anyway. That save at the end from Andy
Carroll was a fantastic save."
It was a third successive defeat in the Premier League for the Hammers who
remain in 11th place on 33 points, but Bilic is hoping the upcoming
international break can help them reflect on their season. "We can now [take
stock of the season]. Our last three results were not bad because of the
previous results before these three, we are still in an OK position," he
added. "It is good to have a break now to come together and rest a bit, to
train hard and be ready for the remainder of the season."
Slaven Bilic under pressure at West Ham as co-owner David Sullivan
apologises to fans
West Ham have won only 1 in their last 7 after losing 3-2 at home to
Leicester on Saturday
18:49, 19 MAR 2017UPDATED18:55, 19 MAR 2017
Slaven Bilic is back under pressure at West Ham after co-owner David
Sullivan apologised to fans for their home defeat to Leicester. The Irons
have now won just one of their last seven to fall into the bottom half of
the table. Sullivan warned Bilic and his men to stop conceding early goals
last week after they were beaten at Bournemouth - only to see his club ship
two in opening seven minutes against the Foxes. Sullivan has now demanded an
improvement in West Ham's next three games to try to arrest their slide. He
said: "I think all we can do after Saturday's defeat is say is 'sorry' to
the supporters. "To be 2-0 down after seven minutes of any football match,
be it in the Premier League or in your local Sunday League, makes it very
difficult to get a positive result. "In parts of the second half we were
very good. But, we need to be good before we are losing. "We have to find
out why we are conceding so many goals and fix it because it is obviously
harder to win games when you concede two or three goals in a game than if
you keep a clean sheet. "The next few games now become vital for our season.
We go to Hull, then to Arsenal, before we welcome Swansea to London
Michail Antonio out of England squad with injury but Jose Mourinho says
Jesse Lingard is likely to report for duty
Gareth Southgate won't replace the midfielder for Wednesday's friendly in
Germany and the World Cup qualifier with Lithuania next Sunday
21:07, 19 MAR 2017
Michail Antonio has pulled out of the England squad after a hamstring
injury. England boss Gareth Southgate was set to give Antonio his
international debut after he was called up for Wednesday's friendly in
Germany and the World Cup qualifier with Lithuania next Sunday. But West Ham
midfielder Antonio had to pull out for treatment on the injury and Southgate
will not draft in a replacement because he has already named a bigger squad.
Manchester United's Jesse Lingard has also been given the green light to
report up at St George's Park on Monday with the rest of the players
involved in yesterday's Premier League fixtures. Lingard limped off with an
ankle injury but United boss Jose Mourinho insisted he would not stand in
his way to report up. Mourinho said: "Maybe (it is) something in his ankle
but I do not think anything bad. I would say he can report. I hope so. "I
like my players to go to the national team. I am not the kind of guy who
pushes players for simulation. So I hope he is fine. It looks to me that it
is minor stuff."