It’s a new season, but the same old injury bug headaches for Slaven Bilic, as the West Ham manager confirmed that Manuel Lanzini will part of his absentees to start the season against Manchester United on Sunday.
In his first pre-match press conference of the season Friday afternoon, the Hammers manager discussed the status of Michail Antonio (hamstring), Andy Carroll (groin), Cheikhou Kouyate (knee), captain Mark Noble and Lanzini’s health. All of those aforementioned players are on a good track in their recovery, with Noble showing no signs of injury and ready for Old Trafford.
Bilic said that Carroll’s groin ailments had improved a lot towards the end of preseason, as he could be ready to train with the first team next Wednesday with no restrictions. “It is the most promising situation in regards to Andy,” the Croatian said.
Both Kouyate and Lanzini were the only two to pick an injury during the preseason, but Bilic said that they maybe both back for the game against Newcastle in two weeks time. The West Ham boss also discussed how the team were ambitious in their summer spending, but weren’t extravagant simultaneously.
“We spent a lot of money, but we didn’t spend crazy money,” he said. “We sold the players for good money, if we are talking about Fletcher, if we are talking about Randolph, if we are talking about Nordtveit, if we are talking about (Enner) Valencia. So the balance between that and that is about, maybe 10 million.”
Bilic also talked about the unusual start to the season that West Ham will have, as they will play their first four games (three Premier League, one EFL Cup game vs Cheltenham City) on the road.
“It’s not ideal that you play three league games and one cup game away from home. But at the end of September, it will be even. We have to be on top of our game on Sunday.”