West Ham boss Slaven Bilic described Andy Carroll as “a really brave man” after the striker was targeted by would-be armed robbers.
Reports emerged late on Wednesday that the England international had been confronted by two motorcyclists, one of whom brandished a gun, as he drove home from training.
The 27-year-old is understood to have driven off at speed to escape the assailants, who initially gave pursuit, before he alerted authorities after returning to the club’s training ground.
West Ham confirmed on Thursday that the matter was in the hands of the Metropolitan Police Service, and Bilic has praised the way that Carroll reacted during the ordeal.
“He’s good – I just spoke to him about what happened. It’s scary but he’s okay,” Bilic, whose side face Stoke City on Saturday, told a news conference.
“When we heard it yesterday of course we were all shocked. Sometimes you hear that happen in a foreign country but it’s happening far away and not England so we were all like: ‘Here? In London? England? How is that possible?’ Unfortunately it is a problem.
“I spoke to Andy, he was brave because they asked for his watch or whatever with a gun and he put the pedal down and he didn’t want to give him the watch, so for me it’s not about the watch but for me that’s very brave.’
“He was probably targeted. He got chased for 15-20 minutes it wasn’t like 10 seconds so it was probably planned, I know that and he was very brave to do what he did. He came back to the training ground and it stopped.
“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.”