Finally, it’s Friday and welcome back for another Hammers round up. Keeping in with that Friday feeling, the news is all fairly positive!
Slaven Bilic set to be rewarded with new West Ham contract – Sky Sports News HQ
According to Sky Sports News, Super Slav’s handling of the Payet saga and the team’s upturn in results has allayed any concerns regarding his management. The higher powers are now readying a new contract for the Croatian boss, keeping him at West Ham beyond 2018!
Bilic refuses to relax though, knowing that like Claudio Ranieri, he too is not immune from a premature exit. “If you asked anyone in or related to football who has the safest job, we would all say 100 per cent Ranieri. And then what happened with that?”.
Let’s be honest, who could blame him? The average tenure of a Premier League manager seems to be falling season on season and that is with Wenger’s 20 years propping it up. I would be delighted to see Bilic given a new deal. His reign so far has seen a 7th place finish and looks on course to provide a comfortable mid-table position. Bilic has achieved this whilst adhering to our beloved ‘West Ham Way’. Although he had a tough start to the season, he has rewarded the board for their patience. Provided the right funds are made available in the summer, I believe Bilic can continue building an exciting team and mount a challenge for a European spot next season.
West Ham United set to offer utility man Michail Antonio a new contract which could double his wages – Daily Mail
This story has been talked about for a while now, but the Daily Mail reported that a new contract for Antonio could see his wage doubled. This would earn the previous journeyman £70,000-a-week if he decided to stay at the club.
Since pushing his way into the first team last season, the utility man has been unplayable and is the Irons top scorer this season. Remember his comically bizarre first goal for the club against Southampton? It is surprising to watch how quickly he has established himself as a key man for us since that moment. Living in Nottingham, I was given good reviews on the Antonio when we signed him for £7m back on deadline day 2015. The same friends today cannot believe how quickly his fortunes have changed, having begun his West Ham career as a fringe player.
Antonio has become undoubtedly one of Bilic’s greatest finds, alongside Manuel Lanzini and Pedro Obiang. All of which arrived with relatively little known about them. It is also impressive to note that despite interest from the top 6, the three have so far have shown no interest in leaving the club. I’m sure Bilic is desperate to keep Antonio in his plans for the future and hopefully we’ll be treated to a lot more creative celebrations for years to come!
West Ham’s Andy Carroll returns to training ahead of clash with Chelsea on Monday Night Football – Sky Sports News
A bit of good news on the injury front as numerous sources, including Sky Sports News have reported that Andy Carroll is back in training this week. This will be a massive boost for the squad ahead of a tough fixture against Chelsea on Monday night.
Although I’m sure Bilic will not want to rush Carroll back too quickly, this is a fantastic bit of news. Now missing Michail Antonio through suspension, Carroll will add a strong physical element going forward and a danger from the set piece.
Much has been reported about the striker’s future this week. However, the speculation regarding a move to China is now over, or at least until the summer. This will hopefully motivate the big man further to continue his recent fine form and cement his future at the London Stadium.