Carroll decision shows enough is enough Slav

bilic-slaven-west-ham_3313638There’s one question above all others from yesterday’s game which is being asked on every CandH forum and needs an answer – not that we expect to get one.

How when you start a game with Chicharito as your main striker do you decide to bring on an entirely different type of striker when injury strikes given you have one on the bench that would suit your chosen system for the game far better.

That’s what happened yesterday when Michail Antonio went down injured and instead of calling up Andre Ayew or Diafra Sakho,the West Ham manager  – seemingly unable to control himself – decided Andy Carroll was his best option.


This is not a criticism of AC but of the manager who seemingly is so locked into this Carroll thing he can’t see beyond it.

Here’s how one CandH follower saw it and it’s difficult not to agree: ” Ayew would’ve been an option but I’d have gone with  Sakho.

Instead Bilic, trying to keep the SAME system, put on an immobile centre forward, who drops deep and thinks he can play as a number 10, and switched another player to a position he isn’t interested in.

That’s not Hernandez’s fault but he doesn’t have much interest in tracking back and helping Zabaletta like Antonio occasionally does  so it was definitely  not a like for like replacement).

Indeed basically, it’s NOT the same system at all.”

Given that for the period before Antonio’s injury the chosen system had worked just fine, is it any wonder that questions are being hurled in Bilic’s direction again.

Frankly, there are many others but this is not the place to be discussing them right now.

However, it was on that one substitution that my own opinion started to shift significantly.

The obsession with Carroll, the various poor signings, the regular playing of key players out of position and the inability to find a position for Chicharito – WHOM HE CLAIMS TO HAVE COVETED FOR TWO YEARS – has me believing that maybe the time has come to say goodbye to a hugely likeable man who in the end couldn’t hack it.



Kouyate calls for focus

kouyateCheik Kouyate has told the squad to stop making mistakes against very good teams but believes Michail Antonio’s injury had a big impact on the match against Spurs.

He told the official site :“We started the game very well and played very good for 30 minutes but we lost Michail Antonio after that, then we had five bad minutes and lost two goals in a crucial game,”

Speaking the West Ham TV he declared: “Everyone knows they are a very good team and that you can’t make mistakes against Tottenham, but everyone needs to keep their head up and work hard.

“After the first half, we spoke with the manager and players and said ‘Guys, we need to push because we are 2-0 down and we need to give everything’.

We gave everything, but the game was very bad for us so we need to stay focused and work hard.”

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Matchday Vlog: A view from the stands

Close but no cigar on this occasion I’m afraid as the bragging rights temporarily go to our foes from North London. To be perfectly blunt I’m getting as sick of Harry Kane as I am of Romalu Lukaku and I’m hoping that he won’t be involved when the League Cup clash comes around.

The flow of the game from my perspective seemed to  switch three times. West Ham had the upper hand until Antonio had to go off and we regained it again when Masuaku was introduced. Unfortunately during the interim we shipped three goals and even though Spurs had ten men at the end it was always going to be a hard deficit to overhaul.


After the game I had the chance to catch up with Moore Than Just a Podcasts Nigel Kahn to get his views on the match. I’m hoping to be able to get his post match opinions on a  regular basis although I’m yet to ask him (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Anyway, enjoy the videos as much as you can considering we’ve just lost to Tottenham.



Real Sociedad show the way to remove running track

anoeta_topReal Sociedad have revealed detailed plans of how they plan to remove their running track while continuing to use their Estadio Anoeta stadium.

Work has already started this summer and over the next two seasons, they will reconstruct their stadium to remove the Athletics running track while continuing to play there. The pitch will be lowered and spectators moved closer to the playing field while both end zones rebuilt entirely.

The total budget has been set at €50,745,132. The Basque Country government have agreed to contribute €10 million, while Gipuzkoa local council will add further €4 million, leaving Real Sociedad 20anoetawith €36 million to cover.

The scheme will give renewed hope that possibly one day a solution could be found to move spectators closer to the pitch should Athletics leave the London Stadium.

You can read  all about the Real Sociedad plans at http://stadiumdb.com/news/2016/12/san_sebastian_real_sociedads_detailed_schedule_of_anoeta_revamp

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Bike from the Boleyn

BikeDress up in claret and blue to join bike riders on Saturday 30th September to celebrate the special link between the old Boleyn ground and West Ham

Cycling from the Bobby Moore statue to the club’s new London stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, you’ll be part of a mass ride, on a mainly off-road route, along the historic Greenway. It will be supported by trained marshals, with thanks to Newham Cyclists.

This ride is open to anyone who can ride a bike, or are little enough to enjoy the ride from a child seat on a bike! Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Cyclists will need to be at the statue for 12:15pm for the pre-ride briefing.

Need a bike?

Hire one for free for the ride (one way only – you will need to make your own arrangements back from the Olympic Park). Just let us know when you sign up.


NOTE: In the interests of safety of the whole group, Bike from Boleyn reserves the right to exclude anyone who appears to be under the influence of alcohol from the ride. By registering you are agreeing to act responsibly in this regard.

Register for this event at   https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bike-from-boleyn-30-september-2017-tickets-36251700813?aff=Facebook


Zaba: “We never gave up”

( via Getty Images)

( via Getty Images)

Pablo Zabaleta claims there were a lot of positives from yesterday’s game notably their attitude after the third Spurs goal.

Speaking to the official site he said: “Of course, it’s a disappointing afternoon when you don’t win. It was a huge game for us, a derby, and we knew three points would take us to a better position in the table, so it was not good enough in terms of the result.

“I thought we were playing really well until the first goal, with great determination, but after they went 1-0 up the second goal came very quickly.

“They got the third goal after half time and it’s so difficult, but we did everything possible on the pitch to at least get a draw. And we should take that – there were a lot of positive things apart from the result.

“We never gave up, we went for goals. We scored two and there were a few minutes left in the game to try and equalise.

“We had a situation in the area when there might have been a push on Andy Carroll. It reminded me a bit of my penalty against Southampton at the end of the game, it was very similar, but different decisions and it’s a shame because it would have been a good chance to score a penalty.”



Masuaku looks the right fit

Masu1Artuur Masuaku was a major plus for the Irons against Spurs after his arrival on the pitch in the 73rd minute.

He added the thrust and pace required down the left side and has again put Aaron Cresswell’s position under keen scrutiny again.

His cross for Kouyate’s thumping header which dragged the Irons back into the game was a fabulous effort and his willingness to run at players and  force an opening is highly encouraging.

Cresswell, meanwhile, had a game to forget and his pace and crossing ability is nothing like as effective as it was a couple of years back.

Bilic will be thinking long and hard ahead of the Swansea game but the one drawback in Masuaku’s game is its inconsistency and the occasional lapse in concentration which has cost us in the past.

However, given the manner of his 17 minutes on the pitch yesterday (Sat) it is going to be very hard to ignore Masuaku for the game against the Welsh side.



Report: Hammers look at managerial names

ThomasTuchel2014_(cropped)West Ham are this morning reported as having added German coach Thomas Tuchel (right) to that of Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri should they sack Slaven Bilic.

The 44 year old Tuchel managed Borussia Dortmund for two years.

In his first season at Dortmund, Tuchel led the club to the quarter-final stage of the Europs League where they were eliminated by his predecessor Klopp’s Liverpool.

Sarri has caught the imagination  as West Ham consider a boss with no Premier League although he has a release clause in his Napoli contract believed to be in the region of seven million euros.

The club has not entirely discounted David Moyes, their first preference before Bilic ahead of Rafa Benitez.

Huddersfield’s David Wagner and Fulham’s Slavisa Jokanovied e also received mentions for West Ham as the pressure continues to build on Bilic with the crowd singing : “You’re getting sacked in the morning” at yesterday’s game against Spurs before the Hammers  pulled two back.



Bilic disappointed with Spurs result

Slaven11Slaven Bilic says he was disappointed in West Ham’s result against Spurs but not the performance insisting his team defended well, didn’t give space and showed pride to come back.

In his post-match interview he said:

“We are disappointed with the result. We started really well. We defended well, with shape and didn’t give them pockets of space. Before the first goal we had lots of attacking opportunities but we didn’t use it. Then we make a mistake and their finish was clinical. The first half was nowhere near 2-0.

“We came back and after the red card we pressed them. In the end we came to 3-2 but there wasn’t enough. The game was very hectic with fouls and time-wasting. We showed good pride to come back.

“When you play against the top teams, you give a little and from that little they create a chance and score.

“It was very even at 0-0. It is very hard to come back after 2-0.”


Bilic speaks to Chicharito again

Hernandez is different level

Slaven Bilic says he has spoken again to Chicharito saying he started as a centre-forward but had to change after the introduction of Andy Carroll after Antonio’s injury.

Again Bilic claims Chicharito was not played wide on the wing but as a striker. He admitted he is not easy to play him along side Carroll, Arnie and Antonio.

“I spoke to him after West Brom game and today he started as a centre-forward and then he had to change the position because we wanted to stay in the same system as it was working well. Bilic told reporters.

“Even then, he was in good areas so you can’t say he was out wide. Against top teams, everyone has to defend and he was in a position where he would have been if we were playing two strikers.

When we were attacking he was not playing on the wing, he was a striker. It’s not very easy play him with Andy, Antonio and Arnautovic and play with three centre backs.”