A helicopter? No way! Antonio and Carroll share their deadline-day memories
In our exclusive interview with both West Ham players, they discuss last-minute moves and helping team-mates settle in...
Transfer deadline day.
Accompanied by Twitter, Sky Sports News’ yellow ticker and large quantities of caffeine, it can be one of the most exciting days of the season for football fans.
But away from spurious internet rumours and reporters relaying information, what is it like to be a player involved in a last-minute deal?
Michail Antonio knows better than most, having moved from Nottingham Forest to West Ham on the final day of the summer window in 2015.
“It was quite hectic,” says Antonio at the Hammers’ Rush Green training ground.
“It was going through, then it wasn’t going through and then it was going through.”
“At the time, I was in Manchester and was told: ‘Michail, you need to get to London now.’
“But I didn’t have time to drive down and I was told to get on the train.
“So I went to the station and found out that the trains were cancelled for some strange reason.”
With time ticking down, there was one solution put to Antonio.
“They said that they’re going to send me a helicopter,” laughs Antonio.
“I had to tell them that I’m not getting on a helicopter, I’m scared of heights. That is not happening.
“In the end, the club managed to delay the process and I got a little bit more time, so I managed to drive down and get everything sorted.”
What a relief.
Antonio, of course, is not the only West Ham player to have been involved in a deadline-day deal.
Team-mate Andy Carroll moved from Newcastle to Liverpool on the final day of the January transfer window in 2011, aged just 22.
“When I left Newcastle it was really hard,” says the striker, shortly after Antonio.
“I ended up having to move, so it was a bit hectic and a bit crazy. That was a lot tougher than moving down here.
“I think once I left Newcastle, I'd left my boyhood club so the next move didn't really affect me as much.”
Not that it was hard to settle in at West Ham, though.
“Obviously, it was great to come down here with everyone as good and as friendly as they are,” says Carroll.
Now, as senior members of the squad, both Carroll and Antonio help new players integrate.
“I think the team does that,” says the No. 9, before recalling Aaron Cresswell’s move to club in 2014.
“When ‘Cress’ first came in, I asked him if he knew anyone and he didn't.
“The next thing you know, he was in with the group and everyone was just battering him for everything.
“He didn’t know what to do, he didn’t expect it.
“It was just the lads and the banter, and then from one day not knowing everyone he felt like he was mates with the lot of them.
“I think that’s what the dressing room does here especially.”
With both players set for a quiet deadline day this time around, will they keep a close eye on the news for potential transfers?
“Me personally, I sit at home and watch movies,” says Antonio, shaking his head.
“If someone turns up at training the next day, I’ll go: ‘Hello, I’m Michail.’”
And what about Carroll?
“I don't even know what channel they're on to be honest,” he says.
Additional reporting by Adam Drury.