Published: Wed, April 05, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Hammers to offer Antonio hike in wages

West Ham face Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday, and are now six points clear of the relegation zone in 14th place. One of them was dressed up as Wenger holding up a "4th Place Trophy" - mocking the manager's habit of listing the team's annual top-four finishes as an achievement.

While Arsen Venger waiting for a new contract, despite the protests of the fans, his team are going through a traditional early spring game slump.

According to the Evening Standard, the 25-year-old has been identified as a primary summer target as West Ham seek to replace the creativity lost with Dimitri Payet's departure to Marseille.

Arsenal apparently broke a Premier League captaincy rule during the game, as they failed to nominate a skipper for the second half of the match.

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Slaven Bilic is under intense pressure at the London Stadium and must now rally his troops as they prepare to visit Arsenal, a club in the throes of their own so-called crisis. "He's been doing it all the time and, as I said, it's a big boost for us ahead of a big game against Arsenal". Defender Per Mertesacker and midfielders Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey return from injury layoff and could feature against West Ham. "It looks really good and it's a big boost for us because we are talking about one of our best players", the West Ham boss said while also confirming that the club plan to hand a new deal to the England worldwide. When they lose the ball, they are vulnerable. It's nice to hear it, but I know I have the confidence of the Board.

However, that defeat was in this fixture last season - the Hammers won 2-0 to secure only their second victory at the Emirates in Slaven Bilic's first match in charge.

West Ham will be looking to hit Arsenal on the counter but will also definitely look to utilise the aerial threat of Andy Carroll, who has been in fine form in 2017.

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