West Ham boss: ‘Brave’ Andy Carroll was ‘targeted’ by armed criminals

West Ham United's Andy Carroll.

West Ham United's Andy Carroll. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic says that the West Ham striker is ok after his confrontation with armed motorcyclists

Slaven Bilic at his Press Conference at Rush Green

Slaven Bilic at his Press Conference at Rush Green - Credit: Archant

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic thinks the attempted armed robbery of striker Andy Carroll was a ‘one off’ and that he was probably targeted.

Carroll was driving home when he was threatened by a gunman who demanded his watch, but he raced back to the training ground in Rush Green, Romford, where police were called at around 12.45pm on Wednesday.

But Bilic says the player has recovered from his ordeal.

“He is good. I just spoke to him. I am treating it as a one-off accident. It was probably targeted. I don’t think it was a co-incidence, it was like a chase for 15 or 20 minutes, not 10 seconds.

Andy Carroll, West Ham United

Andy Carroll, West Ham United - Credit: EMPICS Sport

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“He was very brave to do what he did,” added the manager. “He came back to the training ground and the chase stopped, but he is good, he is ok, he is not in shock and acted very bravely.”

Details are still coming through and the question of the security of Premier League footballers has come under question, but Bilic is quick to dismiss going down that road.

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“What can they do?” he asked. “He didn’t go anywhere that he would be likely to come into danger, he just drove home from his work at the training ground to his house. He was stopped a couple of minutes from where he lives – what can he do?

“Should the players live an isolated life? Stop going to grocery stores or stop driving by themselves, or appoint 10 bodyguards?

“It is good when players want to mix with the public and the fans, so they can feel that bond between them. If they lose that what is the point in playing football.”

Police continue to investigate the incident, but for the manager and the players they are still shocked by what happened.

“When we heard it yesterday, we were all in shock,” said the West Ham manager. “You can’t connect this to England. Sometimes it happens far away in exotic countries or poor countries where they are having problems, but not in England.

“We are not under siege here, I think it was a one-off accident. I don’t think someone is going to be that stupid to try and do it again.”

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