No Irons boss can beat Slav for visible passion


I have supported this club under 12 managers and I genuinely believe that Slaven Bilic is the most passionate I’ve seen. And he is most certainly the biggest and most likeable personality to ever hold the reins of our mighty Hammers. Only very special people make it onto my personal FB cover page. He just did. SUPER SLAV!

bilicI first wrote these words on the ClaretandHugh Facebook forum  @ last night.

I  have decided to bring them to a wider audience because too often stuff written and said here is either misunderstood or misrepresented because people come with their own agendas on what we supposedly believe.

On a very quiet news day and with the next match still eight days away it’s the perfect time to make it clear where I stand personally on Slav and there’s not much to add to the above.

Let me make it clear I am a massive Slav fan and believe that this time next year he will have become established as a regular top ten or top eight manager.

His intelligence and ambassadorial skills  lift him way above the vast majority of other bosses in the Premier League.

In less than two years he has suffered all the highs and lows – a fabulous first season despite an unwanted Euro campaign with half the squad in Ireland and the other half on the mainland whilst pursuing new players, getting rid of others and introducing a new style of play.

Despite that, he master-minded a fantastic goodbye to the ‘old lady’ which saw us leave the dour, although perhaps required, period under Allardyce.

This season he  has had to cope with a new stadium – which he always explained would be like playing away every week – a disastrous and confused summer signing situation and the Dimi Payet affair.

He has emerged as a man now totally in control having handled every scenario with enormous dignity, humility and grace simply because he is a highly intelligent man who has his own well mannered approach to life.

We now sit in tenth place and the football gets better by the match – the last 90 minutes against West Brom being probably the best we have played this season.

I’ve been around this game as a journo for a very long time and I can think of no manager with such an endearing and passionate personality, demonstrated brilliantly by his outburst against a microphone last weekend!

This man cares for WHUFC so much – he is one of us, and as one CandH FB forum member commented, “carries on exactly as we would if we were manager.”

So let me make this quite clear. If we run polls on him or any other manager it’s because we consider a situation of sufficient interest to give our followers a voice.

If I was marking the 12 managers in terms of VISIBLE visible passion Slav would be my pick.

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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


  • HamburgHammer says:

    Why were the ranking of the managers and subsequent comments deleted/removed?

  • CondorHammer says:

    The Phantom Deleter returns!!!

  • Radai Lama..Paid up member of Slavs Chavs. says:

    Must be that Der Deleter or whatever it was called on a day trip from Pants Palace 😂
    Never even saw any previous comments,some of us were too busy working 😁

  • The deleter returned because the ratings weren’t the point and drew attention away from a view of our manager that I needed to make!

  • John says:

    I did think the markings were a bit naff I must admit. The rest of the article s bang on the money. Slaven is a top potato.

    Hey Hugh is the 1895 after your name the year you were born? You are looking well mate I must say 🙂

  • Radai Lama..Paid up member of Slavs Chavs. says:

    Anyway it was a top piece Hugh.As for the polls,i always find them quite interesting to see how many nut jobs actually want to get rid of Slav.I love a good poll,get in,get out,yes or no.It saves sitting bullsh*tting about it all day 😱😁

  • Stan The Man says:

    I found the Bilic poll interesting as well Hugh.I wanted to see how many fans were losing faith in him.Fortunately it wasnt too many and im positive its very few now.
    We should count ourselves lucky the Russians didnt sabatoge or rig the voting lol

  • Hammer64 says:

    Sorry if I over stepped the mark with earlier post including my Pards story, which disappeared. Perhaps I should have said ‘alleged’ story. But I did hear it on a podcast put out by one of the national newspapers, so would not have thought it came under heading of libel. Think I have seen worse accusations about Pards, but hey ho…

  • HamburgHammer says:

    Fair enough, the grades did indeed look somewhat random and indeed Slaven is the main guy anyway. It is not just his passion, it’s the way he interacts with people, be they fans, players, referees, opposition players, journalists etc.
    He is a manager who will continue to improve, but on top of that is a great guy who also loves West Ham.

    What’s not to like?

  • Stan The Man says:

    Exactly young Hamburg,whats not to like.Now would you please try drilling that into the brain of the kid on your site who always seems to be on a mission to prove he is a superstar by pointing out he has been and will be critical of Bilic lol
    I am of course merely being playful and mean the boy no malice..

    • HamburgHammer says:

      Thanks for calling me young, at 44 years of age it’s all relative I suppose.
      Indeed I am VERY happy with Bilic, and that stance won’t change with going through a tough spell, losing some games…to quote the famous line used on Allardyce:
      If he got us relegated, I’d see him as the best guy to bring us back up.

      Seriously though I cannot even see Bilic relegating a side managed by him…

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