Can Slaven Bilic save his job and West Ham’s season?

After a humiliating 0-3 home defeat to newly promoted brighton, slaven bilic and his west ham future looked bleak to say the least. However after an astonishing 3-2 comeback victory over fierce london rivals tottenham, does Slaven Bilic deserve more time at the helm?

Ever since Slaven Bilic arrived back at West Ham in 2015, (after spending a season playing for the Hammers back in the 1996/97 season) he has really faced all emotions of the beautiful game. From the heroics of his first 6 months in charge, to the steady decline following arrival at the London Stadium. Failed signings and poor results have led to this very situation before and now, Bilic only has a couple of games to turn round his and the clubs fortunes.

West Ham, along with struggling Everton, were both tipped for a successful season but yet both sides sit depressingly in the bottom five of the Premier League. So after both teams intrusted their managers with money for the summer transfer window, what exactly started the problems for Slaven Bilic and West Ham?



 Friday night disaster

In an awful display from West Ham which saw them easily brushed aside by promoted Brighton, every problem the Hammers have, appeared in that 90 minutes.

Firstly, on paper, the West Ham team should be stronger than Brighton’s and the players clearly think like this as well. Players such as Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic who are both internationals and proven players in the Premier League failed to play as a team and think they are better off as individuals, maybe because they think they are better than West Ham? Brighton had a game plan and looked organised, whereas Bilic’s men looked lacklustre and totally  without creativity.

A scary fact for the Hammers to digest is that they are ranked 20th in the Premier League in distance covered and most sprints during a game. The training run by Slaven Bilic and his staff are said to be basic and fun, something you might expect to hear about at a under 7’s training session. It certainly seems this way in matches as players look unfit and can’t cope with the intensity of other teams. Furthermore, the unbelievable number of injuries maybe due the poor standard of training and how the players apply themselves.

Bilic himself was a defender during his playing days as well as Julian Dicks, a current coach at West Ham. Both were renown as hard-hitting, no nonsense defenders but yet the way West Ham defend, a outside watcher would never believe that. The defensive system has been changed a number of times already this season. From 3 centre-backs, to a standard 4 at the back, Slaven Bilic still can’t find a way to organise his team.

These days, Premier League mangers aren’t given long to prove they are the right man for the job, as Ronald Koeman recently found out. However, the Brighton embarrassment isn’t all down to the inept management but also the dreadful display from the players on the day.

Somehow Slaven Bilic survived the night and was even given the dreaded vote of confidence from the owners David Gold and David Sullivan. Now though, he had two games to save his job, next up was Tottenham away in the Carabao Cup…

Has the west ham revival begun?

Just 5 days after one of the worst West Ham results in recent years, Slaven Bilic faced the daunting challenge of playing Spurs away knowing he needed a good performance at least to attempt to remain West Ham manager.

However the worst possible start was only the beginning of the uphill battle to come for Slaven Bilic. Moussa Sissoko put Tottenham into the lead within 6 minutes and already many believed the game was over for West Ham. Just over thirty minutes later, it got worse for the Hammers as Dele Alli put Spurs 2-0 up.

Half time and Slaven Bilic was now 45 minutes away from being jobless. West Ham had made no threat at all to Tottenham and were destined to be eliminated from the Carabao Cup.

With Bilic starring down the barrel, whatever magic he spoke to the players at half time, it worked.

West Ham begun the second half as a completely evolved team. Players looked confident on the ball and they even started to put pressure on the rotated Tottenham defence. Within 10 minutes, Andre Ayew had given hope to the Hammers as he poked home a rebounded Edimilson Fernandes shot, 2-1. Just moments later and another goal for West Ham and Andre Ayew. From barely threatening in the first half, West Ham had stunned Spurs and now had the game tied.

If the great start to the second half wasn’t enough, Angelo Ogbonna soon added the decisive third and the winner for West Ham in a stunning comeback. Whatever Slaven Bilic said or did at half time worked and with that shock win, he may have given himself more time to still prove he is the man for West Ham.

96th minute woes for bilic

Just days after the best West Ham performance of the season, the most important game was still to come as they headed to Selhurst Park. Having been cruising and 2-0 up at half-time, many including myself thought maybe Bilic can turn it around. However as much as the players may say they are playing for the manager, they must be joking. Firstly Angelo Ogbonna, the hero from Wednesday turned to a villain giving away the 4th penalty West Ham have conceded this season already, 1-2.

With half an hour of constant pressure failing to beat Joe Hart, (who was literally saving everything) it was inevitable that finally England’s no.1 would be beaten.

Slaven Bilic has been let down by Hammers favourite Michail Antonio. As the forward beat a man and headed to corner, he suddenly decided to instead to cross the ball. Consequently from that failed cross, 22 seconds Palace were up the other end, adding a 96th minute equaliser courtesy of Wilfred Zaha.

The picture below really speaks 1000 words…

What next for bilic and west ham?

After a heart-breaking result, Slaven Bilic remains at the helm for who knows how long. Next up for the Hammers is Liverpool this Saturday night.

Bilic seems to be fighting a lost cause with a number of key defenders already ruled out for the arrival of Liverpool. Pablo Zabaleta (suspended) Winston Reid (Injured) Jose Fonte (Injured) and James Collins (Injured) all set to miss out.

So how long does the Croatian have left? The West Ham board have given no clear direction for Bilic’s future so it is thought barring another home thrashing, Slaven Bilic may remain the West Ham boss for the foreseeable future.

 

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