There comes a game for every player or manager when you know your time is up. Our 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Newcastle is almost certainly that game for Slaven Bilic. Sure the board have said he gets time to turn it around, but lets face it this will be Slaven’s last season managing the claret and blue.
It will take an honest to god miracle for Slaven to earn himself a new contract if the form of the past 13 months in any indication. Without a huge surge in form and a top seven finish there’s no way he’s back next season. It will take one heck of a performance to turn this season around and for him to even see the end of this season at the London Stadium. Even the most ardet supports of Super Slav know this deep down.
It’s a shame, his first season filled us with such promise and hope. One of our own was back leading the team to heights we hadn’t imagined to start the year. However the last 13 months have been a long slow march to the point we’re at now. Most of the fanbase has turned and wants Slav out. The loyalty the board is showing Slav is certainly commendable, loyalty is one thing in short supply in modern football. However, by not sacking Slaven Bilic immediately after the debacle in Newcastle the West Ham United board have missed a golden opportunity to turn the page and hopefully this season around.
I realize there is no guarantee that the grass is greener on the other side. However, this was the perfect time to make a change if one was going to be made. The international break is here which would have given the new manager a chance to get in know the players and impose his system of play. He would have had ample time to assess the squad and see what needed to be done before what is now an important game against Huddersfield.
In addition the new manager would have had a week or so of the transfer window to still get a deal or two done. Making a change and spending in January has typically proven to be fairly unsuccessful. Our track record of January purchases doesn’t leave much faith that we could get quality in. The more important factor though is the time the new manager would have had with this squad.
Imagine for a second that we lose to Huddersfield in another at least semi-shambolic performance. The call for Slaven’s head will be even louder and almost impossible for the Davids to ignore. They sack him after that game. The new manager whoever it may be now only has four days with the team before the next game against West Brom and only four days after that is the EFL tie against Bolton. That’s an nigh impossible situation for any manager to be in, and if you ask me a completely unfair situation. We all know this relationship is ending might as well end it now.
Sacking Slaven would have been the smart thing to do a week ago but instead the board have decided to stick with their man despite the avalanche of evidence to support sacking and the crescendo of noise from fans.
The board have placed Slaven in a no win situation. With the end inevitably near the Davids have set up the end of Slaven Bilic to be a toxic and chaotic mess that has the potential to sink this season.
I wanted Slaven to succeed and be our guy but his time is up and I’m afraid we missed the perfect opportunity to end this in a reasonable fashion. I hope Slav can turn this around and we can go on and have a season worth talking about. The last 13 months don’t give me much hope though and that grass keeps looking greener and greener on the other-side.