Bilic backed, Sakho returns and Wilshere inbound?

Owners back Bilic

Our under pressure manager Slaven Bilic has received the full backing of the board following recent speculation about his future at the club. The joint chairmen, David Gold and David Sullivan, released a statement on Sunday, ending the speculation and declaring “we have 100% faith in Slaven Bilic’s ability to lead West Ham United”. Gold and Sullivan’s statement came a day after our 2-1 defeat to Hull City at the KCOM Stadium, a game in which we continued our six-game winless run. The board added, “We now urge all the fans to unite behind the manager”. The statement will come as a relief to most fans as Bilic is popular amongst the majority of supporters and players alike, with Aaron Cresswell declaring Bilic has the player’s full support in an interview with Sky Sports News HQ. Rumours had circled in recent weeks linking names like Jaap Stam and Rafa Benitez with the job in the summer, but that will surely be the end of speculation allowing Bilic to focus on the relegation battle in hand. However, being given the owners backing can be seen in Football as the “Dreaded vote of confidence”. Many high profile managers have been sacked after receiving the backing of the board, none more famously than Claudio Ranieri who was recently sacked after receiving the backing of Leicester’s owners. Will the statement mean a long future for Bilic with us, or allow the owners time to search for a new manager?

Sakho raring to go

Our Senegalese striker Diafra Sakho can’t wait to return to full fitness when we face Arsenal on Wednesday. The prolific 27-year-old said, “I am coming to the end of a tunnel, I feel I am ready”. Sakho was speaking in an exclusive interview with WHUFC TV. The front man finally had surgery on a reoccurring back injury back in December, following our 1-1 draw against Manchester United. Despite scoring Sakho was forced to hobble off at Old Trafford, which was only his second appearance of the season so far. Sakho has 20 goals in 51 appearances for us and is set to play a key part in our bid for Premier League survival.

Carroll: “It doesn’t mean a thing without the result”

Our inform striker Andy Carroll has declared how insignificant his 50th Premier League goal was in the light of our defeat to the Tigers on Saturday. Carroll was speaking in his post match interview and said “It’s bitter sweet. Obviously it’s nice to get 50 Premier League goals, but it’s 3 points that we’re really after”. The 28-year-old is the 44th Englishman to reach the milestone but, he is only focussed on the next game adding “For the lads, we just want to bounce back. It couldn’t be any quicker than Wednesday against Arsenal”. Carroll will be boosted by the possible return of two of his strike partners in Michail Antonio and Diafra Sakho for our trip to the Emirates tomorrow.

Transfer gossip: Hammers eye Wilshire and Modeste

It has been reported this week in The Daily Star that we are preparing a summer bid for Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshire. Arsenal are reportedly going to be listening to offers for the 25-year-old, currently on loan at AFC Bournemouth. It has been rumoured that we are willing to offer £30 million for the boyhood West Ham fan. Could Wilshire be partnering Lanzini in attacking midfield for us next season? It was rumoured yesterday on 90Min.com that we are targeting a summer move for FC Koln striker Anthony Modeste. The Frenchman has 24 goals in 29 Bundesliga appearances this season and is reportedly being watched by a number of Premier League clubs. We may face some competition to sign the former Blackburn Rovers man at the end of the season.

OTD-2009

On this day in 2009 we overcame Sunderland 2-0 at the Boleyn ground on our way to a 9th place Premier League finish that season. Junior Stanislas put us ahead, converting Luis Boa Morte’s cross on 43 minutes before James Tomkins doubled our lead on 53 minutes with his first West Ham goal. We would go on to narrowly miss out on Europa League Football, under Gianfranco Zola at the end of the 2008/09 season.

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