Mediawatch - 17 March


With the Premier League visit of Leicester City fast approaching, the media’s attention has turned to Saturday’s game – and who might feature for the Hammers.

One player we know won’t be available is the skipper Mark Noble, who has a muscle strain – but in the Daily Mail, boss Slaven Bilic says he will return to the team refreshed and better for the break.

He said: “He is the captain and is doing everything for the club. He is exactly what a captain should be but sometimes it is too much. Sometimes he takes it home and thinks about that - not only about him but about the club. A man can take only what he can take basically. He is not available for Saturday and after that we have an international break. I left it to him, his decision to go somewhere for a week and come back strong as he was (before).”

Manuel Lanzini has been in fine form recently, and he has told Sky Sports that he is relishing stepping up to the plate and doing his bit for the team.

"Well, I would not say I am feeling the pressure at the moment," he said. "I am very comfortable with the way things are going at the moment and I feel that I am a very important part of the team, which is just what I wanted. I am feeling fit and confident. The coach has shown faith in me as have my team-mates and that's just what I need in order to show what I am capable of doing on the pitch."

Meanwhile, the Gaffer believes former Hammer Dimitri Payet was wrong to label the team’s style as ‘boring’ in the opening half of the campaign.

Slaven told the Evening Standard: “I don’t want to go into arguing into players but all you have to see if you’re talking about tactics and the way we played is the statistics from last year and this year.

“Even our most recent game against Bournemouth [a 3-2 away defeat], it was not a lack of attacking that caused us to be in a situation where we lost the game. With the ball, last year and this year, we are creating chances. We are maybe playing too offensively, maybe that is the case.”

Finally, Michail Antonio has earned a third call-up to the England squad, and his inclusion for matches against Germany and Lithuania is covered in the Evening Standard.