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Bilic defends ‘no kids’ decision and the fans hit back

Slaven Bilic has defended his decision not to call up the kids (beyond Declan Rice) claiming this is not the moment to pitch them into action.

He has claimed: “At the moment, we have to stick with those experienced players who have to make it up and take us out of this situation. Then we have a great platform for the kids to play. It was always like that and it is the best way for them.”


He added that players such as Ayew and Carroll were in form and that this was not the time to rest them in favour of the under 23 prospects.

Here’s how the fans at ClaretndHugh’s Facebook forum responded:


O What utter rubbish, Players in good form? Ayew has performed for about one and a half games apart from that he has been awful, Carroll awful as well, Sakho never fit, Sorry Slav your talking rubbish.
He says the experienced players have to make it up… how’s that working so far Bilic? You have lost me as a Bilic supporter.

 O They will do well next season, in the Championship!

O They should at least be given the odd bench place and last quarter of an hour run outs when possible so as to normalise first team involvement for them. I really don’t rate Bilic, wrong appointment, wrong that he’s not been replaced already. 
O Simple if your good enough your old enough

O Will there ever be a right platform for our kids to be introduced to first team squad. Surely at least one could be put on bench for experience and cone on as a sub. It is not as though our regular first team players are performing with distinction.
O They will be off, once they realize they don’t do enough to promote younger players coming through.
O I agree with Slav’s words but his actions are slightly different. There have been games when they could have been on the bench and given 20+ minutes but no. If he and the coashing staff don’t think they are ready  I trust them.

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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

12 comments on “Bilic defends ‘no kids’ decision and the fans hit back

  1. It’s difficult to bring in kids when your Club are in crisis – you have to go for experience, the Manager is always looking over his shoulder – a couple of losses and his job is being questioned.

    Bilic in particular is in a parlous position, every decision he makes is under scrutiny and is questioned and criticised – damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t!

    The promotion of youngsters is a big problem at all Clubs – just look at Manchester City or Chelsea who have huge youth set-ups. The last player who came through the ranks at Chelsea and went on to be a regular is John Terry – they let players like De Bruyne and Lukaku slip through their fingers – they can’t get right what hope have West Ham!

    • But Bilic has never been big on youth. Don’t start them but we have such a small squad 1 or 2 could be on bench. Wee aren’t getting pace or much passion from our 27 yos +. So throwing on Holland for 15m will see if he fits in help his confidence. Eben if they don’t play. But he doesn’t & from what been said never been to U23 game. So whether we were in top 6 or not I don’t think he would play them.
      And the few times he has w Ox & Rice they do well make 1 mistake & he pulls them right away tho the rest of the make mistakes all the time.
      Luckily Rice has found his way back bc injuries & now played in CB (tho plays mid well & for Ireland U21s) & he is great composed good passer good defender intelligent w some pace.
      And with OG & Reid injuries issues Fonte & Ginge 34 he should be starting every game esp in back 3 so he gets comfortable bc he is our future.
      I think Rice could play RB too strikes me as kid who could be put anywhere and do good

  2. This has gone on for years now with the possible exception of Zola who managed to get Hines, Sears and Stanislas to play above themselves in the absence of other options. Our only players to emerge in the last 10 to 15 years were Ferdinand (the younger one!), Tomkins and Noble. For Billic to mention that Sako is fit and will be ahead of Martinez proves the point. If Sako makes the bench tomorrow what message does that send out?
    I have to say that until recently we have not had the quality available but Bilic has some good options now coming through. Rice is worth his place no matter how it might disappoint one of the older pros. Holland and Martinez have been tearing up trees in the under-23’s and should at least make the bench. Our seven man bench seems to be selected on keeping people happy rather than providing a spread of cover and there should always be a space for two youngsters. In the 80’s there was only a single substitute but with the luxury of seven this should not be a problem. Watching W Ham used to be a real buzz as you could track reserves and juniors through to the first team. Our best sides always included a base of home grown talent. In 75 we had Day, McDowell, Lampard, Taylor, Lock, Holland and Brooking.For the next final in 80 we had Brush, Allen, Martin, Brooking, Lampard and Pike. In 86 Cottee, Martin, Pike, Dickens and Parris with Potts and Barnes on the fringes. Ok the current youth team are partially imports and times have changed but lets get a balance.

    • jonnyd
      I totally agree with you there. Since the golden days of Bilic’s tenure he hasn’t played the youngsters only giving them a token few minutes at the end of games,I actually think this is patronising and has more harm than a simple mistake a player may make given say 15 minutes. Young players get over these mistakes than say a player of Byram’s age who when he does make a mistake is not seen again until he is almost a last resort.
      Against Swansea at home when we/Bilic needed a vital win we had 5 defenders on the bench,5 for FFS a player like Holland could of been sitting there in place of one of those defenders to show willing at least. Like others have said before certain players are on the bench just to placate them and not as an alternative tactical solution
      Bilic has been so negative since the Payet problems it’s been his downfall.
      I watched again the review of the Palace fiasco with Carragher and Gary Neville (http://www.skysports.com/football/news/29327/11106541/jamie-carragher-fears-west-ham-could-go-down-after-shambolic-final-minutes-at-crystal-palace )slamming the team’s whole attitude,training and thinking.6 players were the wrong side off the ball when it was lost,not once but twice in identical circumstances in the last 2 minutes. As Carragher pointed out that is down to the manager then the players. Hernandez to me seems a totally selfish player,not in the Michael Owen way but one who doesn’t want to help the team out.
      I do believe that the U23’S under Westley would show much more fight if they came on but Bilic will not give them a chance. Bilic’s reasoning of playing the experienced players who have let him down time and time again just doesn’t add up in any way.
      Martinez should be on the bench at the least to reward his and Westley’s efforts but I see another wasted opportunity.
      Hurts me to say it as I thought Bilic was great but time to go fella.

  3. Please tell!! When does a 20 year old man!…… BECOME A BOY, Rooney for example was 17 when he was given his place……and our very own BOBBY MOORE debut at 17, England captain by 22!…….so let’s play some boys then!

    • seem to recall a young lad called Paul Allen being pulled down on the half way line in a cup final – he was fairly young too!

  4. Looks like Mane may be playing which is bad news if true for the left back and left sided central defender.

  5. If Martinez couldn’t get a game against the spuds in the cup after the goals he,s scored then what chance have the other kids got …just another example of poor management.. He wasn’t even on the bench which was truly unbelievable…

  6. JRS generally you are right but don’t forget this is the man who had the vision, foresight, luck (delete to fit your view) to play oxford as holding mid in his very first match in charge. Much of his approach now is founded on ‘better the devil we know’-he no longer has the ability or headroom to take risk. A feature of the two games and your out scenario.

  7. I am really looking forward to the game tomorrow because if Bilic thinks that Carroll and Ayew are in form then for his sake and his own job I hope they are – if not it just confirms to me he has completely lost the plot – all will be revealed tomorrow night.

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