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Great Expectations: Bilic Then and Now

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BilicberryWhen Slaven Bilic was first appointed  my first thought was that I hope we aren’t destined for a relegation dogfight in our last season before our move to the Olympic Stadium.
Although I wasn’t Big Sam’s greatest fan I respected the fact he stablised our club, got us promoted  at the first attempt and kept us in the Premier League.
We had to put up with his arrogance and his football tactics but that was worth pain to rebuild the club and team after Avram Grant and the Icelandic era. It was time to move on for both parties at the end of last season but I must admit I saw Bilic as a semi gamble when he was appointed.
My expectations pre season were that we would finish above the relegation zone and survive but  I  was worried that his attractive football would come at a cost and we would be found out and concede too many goals. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and we had the best start to the Premier League season ever, taking early scalps of Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City. We occupied Champions League places for much of the early season and all got carried away.  It all seemed too good to be true and it is was.
But we are West Ham and a run of ten games without a clean sheet and four games without a win means we have tumbled to eighth place in the League.
The honeymoon period for Bilic is well and truly over.  We have started grumbling about his tactics, team selection and why he insisted on buying Jelavic in the summer now that Sakho and Valencia are injured.
In reality  like Scott Parker said recently on Goals on Sunday, we are mid table team in a previously fake league position. I believe we will finish between 8th and 12th position this season.
Bilic will have his ups and his downs in his first season as a manager in the Premier League. But beat Manchester United at Old Trafford this weekend and he will be a cult like hero again in a heartbeat.
What ever happens we need to fully back our new manager. I was disappointed to read comments on social media on Sunday including  ‘Bilic Out Bring Big Sam Back’ ‘Boring Boring West Ham Bilic Out’ and ‘Nah 0-0 Bilic Out’
I would like to think they were joking but the sad truth is many West Ham fans are never happy and never will be!

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I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball,

I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh.

Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons!

Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

0 comments

  • bubs says:

    Anyone calling for the return of BFS and his boring football must hate the game itself and if all they want is to win at any price they should take a trip weekly and follow Sunderland because there won’t be a problem getting a seat then real football fans can get a seat to watch entertaining football,even though they are winning Man U fans hate pug nose with his boring tactics and it’s a shame Giggs and there squad have not stood up to him like they did Moyes,
    What ever any other fan wants at our club I want to watch us attack with style every time Lanzini,Zarate ,Payet or Moses get the ball my heart speeds up wondering what magic could come next and I have waited years to feel that way again,
    We are just a couple of players short of being a top 4 team and we need to make the effort teams like Leicester and The Spuds to raise our game,
    Peopl are saying we are not a top 4 team now but aperture from 3 players I would not swap with anyone Leicester have and they are kicking on,
    We spent most of last year getting shot of Hippo now we are being entertained just because some are poor losers and won’t admit we are a better side now does not mean the rest of us aren’t happy
    Long live Slav and the West Ham Way

  • JIMRSA says:

    Sean, some people will never be happy . . . your comments on BFS are spot on, and who would seriously still want that man here at the club?

    We are what we are West Ham . . . until we have a “sugar daddy” come in with billions we will play in the “second tier” of the premier league, I am quite happy with that . . . but then again 55 years of West Ham has conditioned me more than most.

    As long as we have some football an some good times, and what seems a return to some of the old traditions I for one will be and am delighted of the new era

  • MerryMichaelW says:

    I am amazed at all this negativity. Like Bubs, I was in a hateful position when BFS was here, and to me Slaven was – and IS – a breath of fresh air. Moreover the fellow is a gentleman.

    Football-wise, we haven’t even given Lanzini two games to get his feet under the desk.

    FFS – may we please all grow up, and get behind our great manager, and improving team?

    Mid-table side? I laugh in your face, Hugh. 😕

    • Dainon says:

      It was Seans article not Hughs .. just so you know whos face to laugh in – BUT I agree with what you say

      If anyone wants to see the Hippo return they must be MAD or on a wind up.. Slaven has been a breath of fresh air and he is still sorting things out as he has only been here a few months

      Im a happy hammer and things will improve soon.

  • WHU647580 says:

    Decent article Sean. To be honest I’ve not seen anyone want BFS back and if they did then surely they’re on a wind up?

    I don’t think too many are on Slavs case, well not seriously anyway.

    We’re not a top 4 side, we’re years away from that imo. But we are a 6th-8th side imo injuries permitting.

  • DJHammer says:

    I don’t comment on forums often during the season, but felt compelled to do so as this is a footballing identity conversation. I agree with Sean, we must all stay behind Bilic, his coaching team and the players. This season has seen a return to a more entertaining brand of football, going all out to win, as opposed to not trying to lose.
    I will always accept a certain degree of pragmatism from our managers, given the opposition and our personnel available to select from, which is why I implore all Hammers to remain patient for the next couple of months whilst our decimated front line players are out of action.
    One thing I know about Hammers fans is they really understand football, you can’t mug them off easily! We can all see that this return to old WHUFC values is a work in progress, it will take a few more upgrades in players over the next two transfer windows before we see a total Bilic team.
    I’m totally on board, even if we slip down the league a bit, so what, we’ve seen it all before with far superior teams to ours. Please stay onside with Bilic.

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