Slaven Bilic has been on the ropes since around December 2016. Nearly ten months later and it’s starting to feel like the Croatian will perpetually be fighting for his job. Recently we’ve seen a change in the West Ham United manager, though — it’s like he’s adopted the demeanor of a man who just has no more f-words to give.
When you handle a question about "The Dildo brothers" in the funniest, best way. pic.twitter.com/nh140H3tft— Brace The Hammer (@BraceTheHammer) September 8, 2017
It’s one thing to laugh at something like “The Dildo Brothers” in the privacy of your own home, but to do it during a press conference that your boss will most certainly catch wind of, and in a contract year when you know that you’re under-performing? No bueno, Slaven. We can respect that you think it’s funny (because it absolutely is), but this probably won’t end well for you, pal.
I demand proof that David Sullivan is not a character from a unreleased Guy Ritchie film pic.twitter.com/5frzRChTBL— Ben Walsh (@BenDWalsh) September 20, 2017
David “Director of Football” Sullivan, whose ego is as fragile as his hair is thin, is suing Sporting’s owner for libel over the mess that is the William Carvalho transfer drama. If Sullivan is taking Sporting’s owner to court for an infraction as minor as mocking how he’s made his money, things do not bode well for Bilic.
Gareth Bale is trending on Twitter and i was half expecting the reason to be David Sullivan stating how close West Ham were to signing him— Stephen Clark (@weathermapper) September 12, 2017
This Saturday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur holds a lot of weight for Slav. The board waited just a tad too long to sack him when he started the season out poorly, which is classic West Ham (see: Avram Grant). Now it seems the manager will most likely be fired upon his next poor result — got to do it when it feels natural — which could very well be this weekend. Last time the Hammers played the Spuds this early in the season, it ended in a 4-0 result for the opposition. That could happen again to a West Ham squad that have had a string of three good, but not very convincing, results.
Aside from all of this, there has to come a time when one starts to blame the manager and not just the board for what’s happening on the pitch. We have always been very pro-Bilic at Brace the Hammer, but it’s getting harder and harder to justify Slaven being the manager that will move the team forward. From his weekly tactical ineptitude, to his poor transfer policy, to his lightweight conditioning, to his more recent insubordination (more like insuBOARDination am I right), it seems that Slaven has completely lost the dressing room. We love the guy, as many do, but he cannot continue to play marquee players out of their usual positions and then insist that they “sacrifice for the squad.” That is lunacy. Chicharito is a poacher; he’s never once in his career been a winger. The board did not buy Chicharito to have him waste away on the wing.
Also, don’t get us wrong; we don’t want Slaven to get the sack this season, and not just because there’s not a single good option out there to replace him. The board may part ways with him within the next few weeks, though, if he doesn’t dig this squad out of the trenches and have them playing to the level we all know they’re capable of.