Belfast Telegraph

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic hails 'brave' Andy Carroll after gunpoint ordeal

Slaven Bilic thinks Andy Carroll is a "really brave man" after the West Ham striker's gunpoint ordeal.

Carroll was targeted by armed motorcyclists who confronted him at a junction and attempted to rob him as he drove home from training on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old sped off and was pursued through the streets as he returned to West Ham's Rush Green headquarters to seek the help of security staff.

Hammers manager Bilic revealed the rest of the squad were shocked at the news, but said Carroll was in good spirits despite the drama.

"He was brave because they asked for his watch with a gun, and he put the pedal down and he didn't want to give him the watch," said Bilic.

"So for me it's not about the watch, but for me that's very brave.

"He got chased for 15 or 20 minutes, it wasn't like 10 seconds, so it was probably planned.

"I know that he was very brave to do what he did. He came back to the training ground and it stopped. But he's good, he's okay, he's not in shock and he acted as a really brave man.

"We're all asking him the questions about it and he's smiling, he's not in a state of shock. Of course he's in a good environment now he knows its not going to happen now.

"When we heard it yesterday of course we were all shocked. Sometimes you hear about that happening in a foreign country, but it's happening far away, but not England so we were all like 'here in London how is that possible'. Unfortunately it is a problem."

West Ham have beefed up security at their training base but Bilic admitted there is little else that could be done to prevent players being targeted by thieves.

"What can they do? He didn't go somewhere that it would be likely to come into those situations or problems - he just drove home from his work at the training ground to his house," added Bilic.

"He was stopped a couple of minutes from his house so what can you do? What should they do? Live an isolated life or stop going to grocery stores or driving cars by themselves or have 10 bodyguards or whatever?

"To be fair it's very good when the players want to be linked with normal people and the fans, to mix with them in pubs and all that after the games.

"The fans and the players love to feel that bond between themselves and if we lose that what's the point in playing football at all?"

Carroll has been out injured since August but has had injections in a bid to speed up his recovery and Bilic hopes he will be back in action after the forthcoming international break.

"He will continue to do his rehab, he is progressing well, he's back on the pitch," said Bilic. "Not with us, but he's running and had no negative reaction since he started his running.

"So in two weeks we are expecting him to be back on the pitch with us."

The Metropolitan Police confirmed officers were called to reports of an attempted robbery at gunpoint in Chigwell, north-east London.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "Police were called at around 12.45pm on Wednesday, November 2, to reports of two males on motorcycles attempting to rob the driver of a car in Romford Road.

"The two men threatened the driver and intimated through gesture that they were in possession of a gun. The motorcyclists attempted to block the car as the driver sought to get away.

"The driver of the car - a man aged in his 20s - was able to manoeuvre away and he called police for assistance. The suspects rode off prior to the arrival of police.

"The driver of the car was spoken to and an allegation of attempted robbery was recorded."

Officers from Redbridge CID are investigating and are yet to make any arrests, the Met said.

A club spokesman said: "West Ham United can confirm an incident targeting one of our players on Wednesday 2 November. The matter is now being handled by the police."


From Belfast Telegraph