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Allardyce sword hanging over Slav

West Ham United v Cardiff City: nPower Championship - Playoff Semi Final 2nd LegBig Sam Allardyce will present a haunting figure when he swaggers into the London Stadium with his relegation threatened Crystal Palace side at the weekend.

Football is a game full of wicked ironies and sub plots and that will certainly be the case when the former Irons and England boss comes looking for points.

For the simple truth is that Slaven Bilic is now under the most severe pressure of his reign as West Ham boss and to put it even more simply: Allardyce could end it!

bilic-gloomA mood unlike anything felt so far this season has developed around the corridors of power within the club since the utter humiliation of Friday night.

Whoever you want to blame, another five goal drubbing – taking the tally of goals against at home to 21 – is proving too much for some stomachs.

Defeat by an Allardyce-managed team would be far too much for anyone to take and it could even be that Slav would be dismissed immediately should it happen.

The other sub plot is the availability of Alan Pardew following his sacking from the same Crystal Palace and a man who has admitted he has unfinished business at West Ham.

Slaven Bilic is an essentially good man and reunited the Hammers fan base almost at a stroke last season because we all knew he was one of us – a man with incredible passion for the club and a believer in playing open and attacking football.

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None of that will save him should it all go completely wrong over the next 90 or 180 minutes and Allardyce too may feel that he too has “unfinished business” at West Ham.

It’s a shoot-out where no prisoners can be taken.

ClaretandHugh was told today: “We cannot be beaten by Crystal Palace!” The message was clear. The manager is now in his Last Chance Saloon.

Some of us have everything crossed he doesn’t fall on an Allardyce-wielded sword but make no mistake we are in critical times.



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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

31 comments on “Allardyce sword hanging over Slav

  1. It pains me to read the number of ‘Slavs last chance’ posts these past few days.

    Why not post once to pass on the news you’ve received (which isn’t really news, just stating the bleeding obvious that its a crucial game) and not second guess what the board may or may not do should the worst case scenario happen next weekend. We all know the board are renowned for sticking behind their men, considering we are already in the transfer window the opportunity to replace the manager passed a month ago.

    Slav will be here until the end of the season at the very least. And I for one am fully behind him.

    Generally love the site, Hugh. But you have an opportunity to promote a bit of positivity and optimism to supporters, and ultimately the team, so lets get behind our manager and team.


    • I write stuff baed on what I’ve heard. I love Slav. It is a blog based on comments I’ve been given

    • As I point out the blog is based on information I have received. We are a site that reports on how things stand and much as I love Slav – which is obvious from many many blogs I have written – I can’t indulge in misplaced positivity when I am hearing the opposite. Your opinion on my news sense is noted and dismissed.

      • Luckily, opinions can’t be dismissed… 😉

        Like I say Hugh, I’m a big fan of the site. So please don’t take my opinions as criticism, or overly negative. I sense from your defensive replies that I’ve p’d you off!!

        I just wish that the ‘fans’ could get behind their team. There is so much negativity around West Ham at the moment, particularly in the media (infighting, stadium issues, Payet not giving a toss, not able to attract the players we want etc etc…), that I think fan sites such as yours would be more impactful to draw on the positives of the situation and use the Blog to voice common sense, rather than join and add to the general knicker wetting.

        • I’m not in the least defensive. I’ll write what I want mate. I’m trying to explain why I wrote it …cos it was based on what I was hearing. May change tomorrow. That’s football.

    • No 1: Blogs are allowed on what I or anyone else writes 2/ I don’t 2nd guess 3/ It’s quite clear this is not a news item based merely on it being a critical game and 4/ we are not a c and b rose tinted fan site but a news site and try to give it as it is. There are plenty of other sites telling us how fabulous everything is or will be

  2. As Payet might say “Balleaux”. We’re in a slump and been dumped out of the cup by an exceptional side assembled in an unlimited budget. But we’re not bottom of the league and despite riding our luck with some poor and error-strewn performances, the smell of panic is ridiculous.

    Maybe Mr Sullivan and Mr Gold (of whom I am otherwise a huge fan) may wish to stop talking and start performing in the transfer market before setting about replacing the manager. Calleri, Zaza, Tore, Feghouli, Fletcher are not the top line strikers we needed and so we lack – surprise, surprise – pace up front and a lack of firepower. I can’t understand why.

    At the back, the Antonio problem persists (although reduced lately), but a right back (not Evra, a left back) remains an urgent need if Byram isn’t getting back in. And much as I have liked Ogbonna, tell him if he passes back to the keeper you’ll break his fingers. I don’t know if Opta keep this stat (maybe a freedom of information request might yield it) but I’d love to how many of his passes a) go backwards, or b) go to the keeper. Either way, every attacker out there knows if you approach him in possession he will bottle out and go backwards.

    Finally, in midfield, give Noble a rest. Or at least, sit him down with a DVD edited to show nothing but hours of that time-wasting turn he does that slows play and gives opponents extra time to get back cover space. Get in a player who will carry the ball and drive forward quickly – like Kouyate in his first season, or Edimilson when he sees space.

    If all that fails, sack the manager. But don’t make him a scapegoat yet.

    • So it appears your logic is that if the signings are rubbish its down to the owners and if great the manager is responsible….yes?

      • Not really, but these things are rarely binary. And you should know better than to try and equate anything in football with logic.

        It depends on a) who’s conducting the transfer business, and b) how the transfers fit into the team. It strikes me that Bilic has very little to do with the transfers, the fees or the negotiations; all we ever hear is from David Sullivan. Whoever bought/scouted Obiang, Payet and Edimilson did well; whoever did Zaza, Tore and Calleri didn’t. If it was the same person, they need to get some consistency.

        I’m not convinced that using your own money makes you the best judge of potential outcomes. For example, Batshuyai is now rumoured (yeah, I know, only rumoured) to be involved in a swap deal with Llorente at Swansea. Surely someone on our negotiation side could have sold us better to him and OM than Swansea via Chelsea? The edict I’ve always been told to work to is that if you’re going early, go big. Get the first punch in and make it a knockout. If you want to sign Lacazette, bid £50m and go quiet. Either the selling club accept that offer or wait for a very small number of bidders to gazump you. Bid £30m and there are 50 clubs who can match the offer and look more attractive when they do. Go £50m and there are a dozen. Going in small then incrementally getting cranked upwards in the media makes you look tight and unambitious, neither of which I really think Sullivan is.

        Naturally the manager is at fault for duff tactics, selection and substitutions. Bringing on Payet and Noble (and risking injury) when we’re already being thrashed at home seems odd, and I can’t hope to explain the extended Antonio experiment. But overall, assuming the allocation of responsibility is correct, if the Owners buy the right players and Bilic manages them correctly, we will all be happy bunnies.

        Even you, hopefully.

        • Me…? I’m perfectly happy – merely reporting. Happy or unhappy – so what? I think you and others need to make up their minds who to blame when they KNOW who is responsible. Let me tell you for a fact. The manager signs off every transfer. Without that it doesn’t happen. The idea of something striking someone to use your wordsin discussing this are intriguing: How did it strike you? – were you told – or merely formed an opinion? To borrow your expression that appears to be an example of logic having little to do with football. Sullivan, Henry and Bilic discuss collectively but nothing is signed off until manager has said yes.

  3. I like Bilic, but if he is making the decisions on transfers we have a problem,he must be relieved of this duty. This lad from Brentford stinks of another panic buy. He is not physical and not blessed with great pace – a crazy buy imo. I love the signing Everton made, 19 year old Charlton winger who has skill, power and pace. I just feel we are thrown away so much money. I also believe we have too many pllayers with no pace in the team and I also think it is time to put young Oxford into the team in a back 3.

  4. The same Bilic who gave us Payet & Lanzini.I suppose that wasnt him now, was it in some else…
    Hogan is a very good player,much as Cresswell & Antonio were when the West Ham fan scouts reviewed them as just championship players not worthy of the premier league.
    Really do some of you make your transfer calls based on nothing more than bluff & bluster!

  5. When the owners give he manager £500m over a couple of years like Man city then they can expect their team to play like Man city, otherwise they need to get in the real world. We got beat by one of the most expensive assembled teams in football history, didn’t they beat Barca a couple f=of months ago.
    These owners are delusional.

  6. These owners are delusional, Man city spend £500m on their team, we have freebies, loans and kids. Yeah how did we get beat?
    Manager must be rubbish.

    • Its not the getting beat – its how we are getting beaten. No effort, no marking, no running, no moving into space, not playing as a team, sending the youngsters out on loan and/or not playing them etc. A committed league team would have lost 0-5 to City.

  7. You are wasting your time Dave.It is the same with a portion of our fans.The same fans will see us appoint someone like Rowett,Monk,god knows who & in a few months they will be moaning just as loud.It could be about something else to do with the team but they will still be moaning & wanting someone new.
    The next manager will be too defensive,too attacking,chews gum,his subustitutions are useless,his jumper is naff,he knows nothing about football compared to the fans,his post match interviews are rubbish,his pre match interviews are rubbish.It never ending..

    • You forgot to mention that the quality of the pies are Slav’s fault too.

      • Sorry bud you are right..still i wasnt pinpointing any of you only stating a fact that whoever came in a % of fans will find something to complain about..you only have to read our sites to know that.

  8. Why do people suddenly think that because we moved to the London / Olympic stadium that the team will miraculously become champions league contenders? Can we not accept that this will take time? There were plenty of quiet Boleyn games too. Maybe the fans need to take a little look in the mirror and do what fans do. Support the team.

    • Support the team is great in principal fenhammer but i think some supporters have forgotten how to.They are more consumed in their need to slag every little thing they can find.The worse thing about it is that its the same bloomin people everyday.Then when people say why the hell do you just moan & groan on sites they say they do it because they love the club.
      What a load of hot air.Most of them do it because they think they could run,manage & own the club themselves.They are embaressing jokers..

      • With respect Big Tone – whats worse… the fans who moan and groan or the fans who moan and groan about the fans who moan and groan? I think that everyone is entitled to their different views and the right to express it. Some people just do it better… although that doen’t make their views better

        • It aint about the moaners moaning mate.Its about the same moaners moaning every frigging day, regurgitating the same sh*t that they were saying in August,Sept,Oct…yeah we get what they think.Every man & his dog knows what they think
          Now i hold my hands up i was the same about Hippo Head & now i realise how effing boring it must have been for others 😁😁

  9. We win 3 on the trot before that we pick 2 good draws against the best teams and then we lose 1 game against a team that is ten times better then us on paper,
    It was always going to be a hard season for everyone but getting on the managers and teams back is not going to turn the corner,
    R/B was always going to be a big problem and sending off Burke or not giving Oxford a chance was our biggest mistake
    Finding a partnership in the middle of the defence was always going to be the next problem,
    But our main problem has been trying to play to much football at the back and not breaking fast and hard,
    Payer,Lanzini,Antonio, all play better when they move faster and are not surrounded by 2/3 players,
    We now need a team to go out and battle for every point and stop star gazing,
    Win the ball get up top quickly break with speed stop playing the ball backwards and square,
    We have the best manager for the job and need to get behind him,
    Stop panicking and buying players that will not improve the side,

  10. I can not understand this blind support for Slav. For what its worth I think he is a great man manager and I appreciate his love for West Ham. I understand that he came in last season and gave us one of our greatest seasons in decades but if you look at it now the warning signs for this season’s failures were there from the 2nd half of last season when we started conceiding two goals per game.

    This season has been a disgrace. If this was an Allardyce side you would all want blood but because this manager tells a few jokes in the press room he gets off? The whole point of Allardyce being replaced by Slav was that we wanted to play good football. We have not played good football in one game this season and again if these were Allardyce performances we would all be crying out for a manager who plays ”The West Ham way”. We need to open our eyes because it wasnt long ago that we had Avram Grant in charge and we didnt fire him when we had the chance.

    I dont believe that we have outplayed any team this season bar swansea. The wins against Hull and Burnley should have been a loss and a draw respectively so our position is actually inflated at the moment. That is rarely the case at the end of a season and It frightens me to think where that will leave us.

    • Mate it isnt blind support but you cant have it both ways.When fans got on Allardyces back in the fateful last half of his final season they were strung up others for not sticking by him.Now if there are fans who want to stick by Bilic & dont want to string him from the rafters you call them blind.
      Which way do some of you want it..

      • I wouldn’t call it blind support, some of us have one opinion and some of us have another, my opinion is on the same lines as East Ham, I like Slav and want him to be a success but to my mind ever since Song stopped being played we have been on a slippery slope, I am sure Slav had his reasons to stop playing him, supposedly there was a training ground bust up, possibly Slav was right and couldn’t play him after that who knows ? I judge it on whether I see players improving and other than possibly Antonio I can’t pick one player that is better now than they were when he started managing us, other than Reid the defence have been poor this season, the midfield has its moments in attack but generally don’t press anymore, the attack is non existent if you count the forwards goals up you can do it on one hand (excluding Antonio who is sometimes forward, sometimes midfielder, sometimes defender). There is no passion, no intensity and a lack of fight in many games, all of the pace has left the team and not been replaced, the most obvious transfer targets were a right back and a centre forward, I wasn’t overly disappointed with the forwards they bought all of which were gambles that failed but the decision not to buy a right back has really hurt us, we play slow ponderous football and in every match we have played this season the players have looked unfit, these are things in the managers control and for that I hold him responsible. I don’t think he will be sacked and based on past history believe the David’s will keep him in place until the end of the season but I hope unless Slav’s turns things around significantly they choose the next manager very carefully, if they want to be top 4 – 6 which is more than realistic in my opinion, they will have to get a great manger and invest even more heavilly in the team. We have a great squad I think but many of the young players are struggling because there is a lack of leadership on the field and probably also in training.

  11. give him a chance until the end of season. If we finish 15 or below sack him. cause that would mean we got kicked out of Euro qualification, went nowhere in League & FA cup and finished to low on the table. I think that is fair…

  12. No, I have to take issue with you there, Hugh. You’re not just reporting; that requires just facts, not your opinionated interference and questioning of everyone else’s view. I’m not sure what it is about this particular thread that irks you so much, but you’re actually being much more argumentative – and appearing to be unhappy with your posters – than I’ve ever noticed before.

    I get to rubber-stamp recruitment decisions in my job, but I know when the director has mad up his mind on someone, I’m going to be stuck with them, so I nod it through and make a mental note to make sure they’re top-notch or they don’t get past the probation period.. Slav wouldn’t be human if he didn’t do something along the same lines. David Sullivan mentions interest in a player in the media, Jack tweets about them, Karren pts them in her Sun column, Henry recommends them and . . . . . Slav vetoes them. Sounds unlikely to me.

    And to address one of your points, I don’t know who’s responsible for what – you’re the one saying you can tell me something for a fact, even though I doubt you’re actually present when the decisions are made and you’re only going on what you’ve been told as well – even if it is by one of the protagonists. Of course, if you really are there when they agree transfers, I apologise – and stand back in surprise. I am prepared to not be surprised in this instance.

    The truth is, none of us – me, you, any of the B&H posters – actually know what goes on behind closed doors. We all hear things, get told things, read things, form opinions, believe what we read/see/hear etc. or not. That’s what makes forums such as this entertaining and engaging – the speculation and assumptions we use in forming opinions. If we all knew everything for a fact, there would be no need for conjecture. But we don’t, so there is.

    My saying ‘It strikes me’ is, as you correctly assume, my opinion based purely on the evidence I consume in the media – and I don’t see Bilic talking incessantly about transfers, I see that attributed to Mr Sullivan, latterly ‘The Insider’ and occasionally Mr Gold and/or Lady Brady. So it strikes me that the manager may not be the centre of our transfer universe. Or maybe he’s outside having a crafty fag when they buy players.

    In fact – there’s that word again – my entire comment was based on the idea that because I don’t even pretend to know, I don’t attribute blame to anyone in particular. I have formed an opinion, which is that our recent transfer dealings have been patchy at best and awful at worst. A bit more Antonio and a bit less Zaza would be a good start.

    But between them, they need to sort it out if we are to flourish.

    • A man who makes much sense.I agree with almost all of what you say.Dont ask what i didnt agree with,i have already forgotten 😁

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