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West Ham star offers to fight local journalist

West Ham summer signing Andriy Yarmolenko has reacted to criticism from a journalist in his native Ukraine in an usual way – by challenging Wladimir Kobelkov to a fight.

28-year old Yarmolenko, a summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, struggled, along with the rest of his team mates at the start of the season, as West Ham got off to a terrible start, losing their first five games. However, on his first start for the club in the Premier League, he grabbed a brace in their win at Everton, and then followed that up with a goal against Manchester United, albeit that his effort benefitted from a heavy deflection.

However, that has not stopped the criticism from his home country, with TV commentator Kobelkov being one of his fiercest critics.

Now Yarmalenko has hit back saying In my youth, I fought a lot. There was wins and there were losses. It’s normal for a boy, for a man. I want to announce my next fight. I don’t want to listen to that Kobelkov any longer. I want to call him out for a fight and get my revenge on all those things he’s said on air. I’m waiting for an answer.”

Yarmalenko is currently back in Ukraine preparing for international fixtures against Italy and the Czech Republic, but it is not clear if Kobelkov is ready to take him up on his offer.

West Ham fans meanwhile will be hoping he puts up more of a fight than he did in his limp display in the defeat at Brighton last Friday.

Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.