Tag Archives: Slaven Bilic

dimitri-payet-sunderland-west-ham-goal

Will Bilic go where Allardyce feared to tread? Thoughts on Sunderland.

It is usually the case that when a team is struggling for results, the West Ham fixture is generally the one when they rediscover their winning form and turn their season around. And so it was very nearly the case last Saturday when the trip to Sunderland saw the Hammers go two goals down in the first half. A poor, lethargic performance saw yet another unforced error result in a goal against, and the signs were there that this was to be a bad day at the office. Victor Moses had a subdued half, and I was coming to the conclusion that he should be making way for Antonio when a bit of trickery down the left saw a good cross turned in by Jenkinson, whose needless foul resulted in Sunderland’s first goal. So the Hammers went in just one down, and the half time team talk probably turned out to be not quite so tetchy, and hopes were a bit higher in the second half.

The Hammers’ task was made an awful lot easier just under the hour mark, when Lens of Sunderland collected his second yellow and an early shower, and Payet duly obliged after 60 minutes, knocking in a rebound after a long range effort was fumbled by Pantilimon, who certainly didn’t “catch ’em all!” (Pokemon joke for the uninitiated). After the sending off Sunderland seemed to give up the ghost and West Ham should really have nicked a winner, but after the abysmal first half a point was not so unpalatable.

Things of note that came to me during the match:

1. Mark Noble is a great skipper and always puts in a shift, but he is noticeably lacking in pace these days. Add that to his habit of collecting cards and his error strewn passing, and we have a potentially difficult decision coming up for the manager. Drop the captain? Allardyce wouldn’t do it, but will Bilic?

2. Since the first game or so, Victor Moses has lost his spark a bit. Let’s hope he starts firing again soon.

3. Cresswell seems to be reluctant these days to get to the byeline and put in a cross. He nearly always just passes it backwards. He also gets caught out of position at the back quite often. Get Julian on the job!

Saying all that, we’re still doing great as a whole. When you consider that the manager is still making his mark, applying his football philosophy and getting the players a bit fitter, results have gone well. I just hope we are not flattering to deceive. Oh, and isn’t Bilic just a breath of fresh air? No excuses, no blame, just honesty and integrity.

COYI

angry-bilic

I’m the boss!

It’s nice to see that the new boss doesn’t take any shenanigans from any of the players. The Mirror is reporting that Morgan Amalfitano has banished from the first team to train with the kids, after turning up late to a team meeting. To quote the Moirror, “Amalfitano is understood to have “given the manager attitude” when he took exception to being confronted about his absence in front of his teammates.” It is understood that he “had a list of his misdemeanours read to him before he was sent packing by Bilic after his latest breach of discipline. And the Croatian’s no-nonsense approach has been noted by the rest the squad.”

Well, good for him (Bilic, that is). It looks like he has a touch of the Alex Ferguson about him, which should do the team no harm at all.

The Mirror went on, “Bilic has also impressed his players with his preparations for Sunday’s Premier League opener at Arsenal and the style of football he wants to implement.”

Happy days!

COYI

george-michael

Bilic out? You’ve got to be kidding me!

I must admit I am amazed how many people are clamouring for Slaven Bilic’s head before the Premiership season has even started. The poor guy must wonder what he has walked into. That said he seems to have a ruthless, no nonsense approach to the game, so it probably won’t even bother him, but come on!

The furore seems to stem solely from the decision to send a weakened team to Romania for the second leg against Astra Giurgiu, but I for one am pleased that he did. Let’s not forget that it was the first team that cocked it up against Astra in the first leg, and let’s also not forget that we all lambasted Sam Allardyce for not having faith in the youngsters in the squad. Well, Bilic does, and not only was it refreshing to see, but it was also invaluable experience that will improve them as players and as men. Yes, Maiga was his normal ineffective self, and Randolph seems a bit ropy, but Bilic was right to praise the young lads who gave their all for the club the other night.

The there is the common sense aspect of it all. We have already lost Valencia, do we really want to risk losing to injury the few other good players we have just for the slim hope of winning 23 matches in a row and winning a European trophy that, to be fair, we simply do not have the strength in depth to do? The main priority is surviving and progressing in the Premier League. Period. Bilic has his head screwed on. The fans that berate him for the side he picked against Astra Giurgiu are blinkered and need to see the big picture.

After watching the match on Thursday, sure I was disappointed that we lost. But it also gave me hope for future. We used to be renowned for bringing players through the Academy. It looks like those days are coming back.

So let’s give the manager a chance. Let’s give him till Christmas and then take stock.

As George Michael once said, “you’ve gotta have faith, faith, faith ahhhh!”

happy-lamb

This is how you do it, Mr Allardyce

Oh what a joy to behold. The sight of a West Ham side littered with promising youngsters giving a good account of themselves in the first team, backed up with seasoned professionals coaxing and encouraging them through the games. This is the way it should be. The future is bright methinks.

When I think back to the dark days of Allardyce’s reign when, as if to prove a point, he sent a team of young kids out to slaughter against Forest in the cup, out of their depth and bereft of support, without giving them an ounce of a chance in hell. That was the day that I turned against Allardyce, and it is a day I will never forgive him for.

Compare that to the way that the squad for the games against FC Lusitans has been prepared. Chalk and cheese. The kids have been nurtured and encouraged, and the teams are spiced with a backbone of experience. The first match was just a revelation, the way that the ball was knocked around, confidence in abundance. Terry Westley has done a great job getting these kids ready, and Bilic is to be commended for letting him run with it. This is how it is done, Mr Allardyce.

True, West Ham are playing a team who are no great shakes in Andorra, but that is not the point. Allardyce NEVER gave youth a chance. His percentage game plan didn’t give him that option. He was fixed in his ways and was a one-trick pony. Imagine if he was still in charge now. What side would he put out against Lusitans? You can bet it would look nothing like the one that is playing tomorrow. It would contain the same old journeymen that would give him the best chance in his eyes of not losing and maybe nicking a win.

Tomorrow, if luck prevails, I will be watching the game on the internet again, and I shall be smiling. This is how it is supposed to be. This is how I want it to stay. COME… ON… YOU… IRONS!

Alex Song

Going for a Song

Am I the only one that finds it a bit strange that West Ham are now interested in signing Alex Song on a permanent basis? There is no doubt that Song was a class act when he first joined the Hammers on loan last season, but it appeared that as soon as retired from international football his form dipped quite alarmingly. Defence splitting passes were now going astray, and he just didn’t seem to be as committed as we was when he first arrived. Some would say he was even becoming a liability.

Odd then, that after the end of the season when the club was reportedly no longer interested in signing him permanently because of the dip in form, we are now reportedly on the verge of signing him on a free transfer. Perhaps Mr Bilic feels he can get the best out of him and has intervened, who knows? One thing is certain, if Slaven can get him back to where he was at the beginning of last season, we are in for a treat.

COYI

Carl Jenkinson playing for West Ham

West Ham astonishingly lose out over Jenkinson loan?

If reports are to be believed, Sunderland have won the race to sign defender Carl Jenkinson on loan from Arsenal for a paltry £1.5m

If this is true I am gobsmacked. How could the Dave’s and/or Slaven Bilic let this happen? Jenkinson was one of our top players last season and made the right back position his own. He apparently wants to come back to West Ham, so what is the problem?

Sort it out!