Slaven Bilic had many highs and lows during his reign as West Ham manager. Even though his tenure ended with more lows in recent memory than highs, the Croatian gave us some memories we’ll never forget. These are Slaven Bilic’s five most memorable moments as manager of West Ham United.
5. Spurs 2 West Ham 3 (2017/18 Carabao Cup)
By the time this cup fixture against Tottenham came around, Slaven Bilic was on his last legs at the club. Bilic was given two games to save his job, this being the first of those two. The game started out as the one against Brighton ended, the players looked uninterested and unfit. Tottenham looked like they were just going through the motions, cruising to a 2-0 lead at halftime.
But whatever was said in the dressing room at halftime, sparked an electric second half performance from the Hammers. It was all kick started by Andre Ayew, whose poacher’s instincts gave West Ham a life line, after he poked home after Edimilson Fernandes’ strike was saved by Michel Vorm. Ayew struck again five minutes later, equalizing thanks to Manuel Lanzini’s superb outside of the boot cut back pass for the Ghanian. Then, only 10 minutes later, Angelo Ogbonna headed home from a corner to complete the Irons’ incredible, improbable comeback against their fierce rivals.
4. West Ham 1 Spurs 0 (2016/17 Premier League)
With the Hammers needing a win to secure their Premier League status, and Tottenham needing a win to stay in the title race, this was a massive match for both sides. The game started out with West Ham looking dangerous on the counter attack, as Spurs enjoyed plenty of possession, growing into the game. As the game wore on, Tottenham looked more and more like they were going to break the Hammers down and get their goal.
But the Hammers got their goal at the perfect time. Cresswell floated a ball into the box, it bounced around before it perfectly fell to Lanzini, who smashed it home, sending the London Stadium into madness. Slaven Bilic and his team gave us our most memorable match at the London Stadium that night, and we can only hope for many more like it in the future.
3. Everton 2 West Ham 3 (2015/16 Premier League)
A game that at first seemed like it would be remembered as one of the worst performances of a great season, but then turned into one of the performances of the season. Being 2-0 down, and not looking a threat to get back into the game at all, most fans had accepted that the Irons wouldn’t be leaving Goodison Park with any points, even after Adrian’s penalty save.
However, with only just over 10 minutes to go, Michail Antonio headed home to give the Hammers hope. Then, only three minutes later, Diafra Sakho equalized, giving West Ham almost 10 minutes to find a winner. Then as the clock struck 90 minutes, 2015/16 Hammer of the Year popped up in the box to slot home the winner to cap off an amazing 10 minute comeback and steal the three points at Goodison Park.
2. West Ham 2 Liverpool 1 (2015/16 Emirates FA Cup)
The last ever West Ham FA Cup win at Upton Park, and what a memorable one it was. This game was full of chances, both teams really pushing for the win and a spot in the final 16 of the FA Cup. Both teams came close as the first half went on. Dimitri Payet and Joey O’brien rattling the post for the Hammers, as did Phillipe Coutinho for Liverpool. But, it was Michail Antonio who opened the scoring on the night just before the break, volleying home Enner Valencia’s cross.
Not long later however, Phillipe Coutinho leveled the scoring with a clever free kick, going under the wall from such a short distance, giving Darren Randolph no chance. The game headed to extra time, with scores level at 1-1 after 90 minutes, and things stayed that way until the 120th minute. Standing over a free kick on the right wing, Payet put a great ball into the box, which Ogbonna met with an even better header, making the Boleyn go berserk, and sending the Irons to the 5th round of the FA Cup.
1. West Ham 3 Manchester United 2
We will all hopefully remember Slaven Bilic for his incredible 2015/16 season, in which we said goodbye to the Boleyn Ground, and prepared to move to the London Stadium a few miles away. And there was no better way to say goodbye than this.
The Hammers started the night off amazingly. West Ham put in one of their most dominant first half displays of the season, if not the most. They played with emotion and quality, which paid off through Diafra Sakho’s 10th minute opener, giving West Ham the lead. Manchester United were lucky it was only 1-0 going into the break, but they weren’t prepared to go down without a fight.
United opened the second half fighting to get back into the game, their chances of breaking into the top four on the line. The Red Devil’s desperation was rewarded, as Anthony Martial scored twice in 21 minutes, to give United the lead. But, this West Ham team had fought back all season, and were about to again.
It all started with Dimitri Payet picking out Michail Antonio at the back post with a beautiful ball, which Antonio finished off with an incredible header. The Hammers weren’t done though. Only four minutes later, Payet stood over a free kick like he did so many times before that season, and put in an inch perfect cross into the box, which Winston Reid connected with, beating David De Gea, and beating Manchester United. The crowd went crazy, the players jumped on Reid out of joy, and Slaven Bilic hugged his assistants on the touchline. It was the perfect send off for the Boleyn Ground, and it was by far Slaven Bilic’s best moment as manager of West Ham United.
Those were our five best memories of Slaven Bilic’s tenure at West Ham, what moments will you remember most from the Slaven Bilic Era?