When he first arrived at West Ham, on 9 June 2015, he came with only one mission. Do the best he can while managing West Ham United. And he did just that, for all of one season.
Now, I love the Gaffer as much as the next guy, but things this season have turned for the worse and we find ourselves hovering above the relegation zone... Again, I might add. So what’s wrong at the moment? Why have things turned into something you may find on the street?
You could say the increased pressure on Slaven Bilic to put us into the Europa League may be a good reason. Remember towards the end of the 2016/17 season when the two Dave’s and Karren all said “8th, or else?” I do. And where did we end up? 11th.
For this next part, I need to take you to the absolute pinnacle of his tenure at West Ham. This will bring back some emotional moments, but I cast you back to the final home game of the 2015/16 season. It’s the game against Manchester United at our beloved Boleyn Ground. The emotions, passion, love and dedication the boss showed during that game proved he’s as much West Ham United as we all are.
We finished that season in 7th place, if you remember.
However, he came into the 2016/17 Premier League season with one extra thing in mind. Get West Ham United back into the Europa League. After buying players we’d never even heard of, Slaven thought he’d built a decent squad for Europe. Well, Astra Giurgiu had other plans for that as we were knocked out of the Europa League qualifying rounds... Again.
No matter though. Premier League football as well as the EFL Cup and FA Cup to worry about. But what happened? Dimitri Payet departed in January, injuries, injuries and more injuries, then relief... Sort of.
The additions of Robert Snodgrass from Hull City and Jose Fonte from Southampton were supposed to have an impact, but Snodgrass seemed lost and Fonte was somewhat OK, despite letting a couple of goals past.
Slav took some responsibility for those, but then in this summer transfer window, revelations quickly surfaced as Snodgrass threw his toys out of the basket and slammed Bilic for playing him out of position.
That’s all very well and good if the team are facing an injury crisis, but when you’re buying players for a position that doesn’t need filling, then how on Earth are you going to play with one player on the opposite side of the pitch, playing completely unnaturally, because he’s not able to?
I’m not a manager, but that doesn’t make sense to me, either.
So what is going wrong for the Gaffer then?
Could those two have some form of an impact? It’s possible, but why have David Sullivan negotiate for Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic if David Sullivan’s a problem? Shouldn’t he get two lower-rated players, rather than those two?
Then is Karren Brady’s comments about “wanting Tottenham Hotspur to win the league” a potential reason, as well? Maybe. I’m sorry, but if you support West Ham United, you simply cannot say you want your biggest rivals in the Premier League to win the thing! That’s just like saying Millwall is a great club. And we all know what we think of them...
So, what is it then? Is it something personal? Maybe, but we’ll never know. Could Payet’s dramatic departure from the club in January still be having an impact on the boss? Surely not.
Whatever is it, can it PLEASE be sorted soon? We have a massive game against Spurs in the Carabao Cup this week and I’d absolutely love it for us to get revenge on that lot, following their League win over us.
But if you can’t fix this, then I’m sorry Slav, but you’re finished.