Imagine what it would be like to work for a boss who suffers from short term memory loss and operates on a ‘what have you done for me lately’ agenda. Slaven Bilic doesn’t need to imagine very hard. It was only a few months ago Bilic was being applauded for his bounce back from an awful start, and for keeping the team focused while Dimitri Payet acted out his hissy fit.
However, recently the results haven’t been so kind. The Hammers, who peaked right under West Bromwich Albion in 8th place barely a month prior, now sit in 11th looking up at Southampton. A run of two draws and two losses, including last week’s disappointing defensive efforts against Bournemouth, have once again cast a shadow of doubt on the Croatian manager. The Mirror is reporting West Ham United brass are now going to delay Slaven’s new contract until the summer.
It was only a few weeks ago where it appeared Slaven Bilic was on the verge of signing a new deal. And why not? Bilic steered the ship towards land during rough bouts at sea. Despite all the miserable conditions, he never wavered. As Jack Kavanagh points out:
He currently boasts a 40.96% win rate and has the most points per game of any West Ham manager in the Premier League era (1.50).
So why the sudden hesitation? Could you blame Slaven Bilic for the awful summer signings, most of which were perpetrated by David Sullivan? Can we point the finger at Bilic for management’s failure to secure a first team quality right back or striker? Certainly not. In fact, one might even argue, given the tools provided there are few who could have done so well.
As everyone is aware, David Gold, David Sullivan, and Karren Brady very much care about public opinion. So much so, it seems their attitude towards a player, an event, or even a manager can change with the social media wind. This rag tag group of club runners have even brought in local supporter fan groups to gauge their opinions on the state of the club, with the less obvious goal of trying to win over the voices of the fans. While effective, it makes one wonder if the long term goals of the club are as flippant as the short term.
On my way home. Bournemouth 3 West Ham 2— David Gold (@davidgold) March 11, 2017
We were well below par today 6/10 referee 7/10 West Ham away fans were at their best 10/10 dg
Two weeks ago fans were singing the praise of the wonderful Croatian that saved a potentially debilitating Hammers season. With that, rumors of a new contract began to take shape. Post-Bournemouth loss, social media begins to call for Slaven’s head for repeated poor tactics, and Gold & Sullivan pull out of contract renewal talks.
But you should absolutely renew your season tickets, RIGHT NOW.
Of course, it’s not all on the brass. Slaven Bilic has had his faults over the past month. Recent poor performances can be traced to Slaven’s inability to be more tactically creative. Hurling balls into the box and hoping for a head to find it will only get you so far. Another area that seems to be constantly questioned is the lack of faith or trust in the youth of the squad. We’ve seen the likes of Ashley Fletcher, Edimilson Fernandes, and Arthur Masuaku be pushed off to the PL2 side. Don’t get me started on Toni Martinez and Reece Oxford’s time with the club.
With the summer inching closer, David Sullivan has a lot of areas to address on the team. We’re constantly being promised big names to flash around the massive spotlights cast by London Stadium. But what message does it send to potential signings when you can’t even sort out your manager business?
The man isn’t perfect, he absolutely has flaws. He also happens to be one of the best managers East London has seen. Enough is enough, give Slaven his contract so the entire organization can start actually giving the supporters, and the players, the season that was promised.