Noel Whelan cheekily claimed that West Ham co-owner David Gold feared his side facing Everton midfielder Andre Gomes on Saturday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the ex-Leeds United and Coventry City attacker claimed Gold clearly didn’t want Gomes to face West Ham based on him publicly speaking about him.
The Hammers co-owner stated in an interview that he was aware Gomes may be in contention to feature for Everton on Saturday but suggested the midfielder may need a few games under his belt before being back to his best.
Whelan suggested that Gold may have attempted some pre-match mind games by implying Gomes may not be 100% after a recent injury but also added that in a weird way the Hammers chief was paying the Toffees a compliment.
When asked about Gold remarking on Gomes ahead of Saturday’s clash, Whelan told Football Insider: “He’s never been shy to come out and give a statement, has he?
“He obviously recognises Everton have a very good player with Gomes and maybe it’s a few mind games there, trying to say you left him on the bench maybe he needs a few more games.
“In a way, it’s a compliment to Everton as he obviously doesn’t want him to play as they know how important he is to Everton.”
Gomes managed to make a cameo appearance in the Toffees’ clash with Burnley ahead of the international break after missing their previous three league games.
The Hammers were widely reported in the summer to have been interested in signing the 26-year-old but he opted to move to Goodison Park instead after spending his 2018/19 campaign on loan with the Toffees.