Replacing Bilic NOW is the toughest job of all!


Marco-Silva-576815Right! Let’s try to get to the heart of the issue because it’s no longer a case a case of whether Bilic gets the bullet …only when!

And it’s there that the real problem exists.

Truth is he should have gone at the end of last season. There had been enough warning signs but instead, and for whatever reason, they kept the faith…a huge gamble which right now looks like backing a 33/1 outsider  in the most important race of the year!

There is little doubt the club want rid but cannot find a top replacement at this stage of the season- nobody is ready to desert their clubs for West Ham as they hurtle towards bigger and bigger trouble – would you, would I?

DAVID wAGNERWe reported earlier that Manuel Pellegrini, Marco Silva, David Wagner and Sean Dyche were all on the club’s list of targets but there are snags in getting any of them in.

Pellegrini is coming to the end of a season in China with his club in third place which if they hold onto will be enough to clinch a place in the Asia Champions League – a position from which he’s unlikely to walk away.

The other three are set to see the season out where they are unless the Hammers really turn the screws and even then there’s no guarantees.

Meanwhile, the fans cry: “Do something .” Frustration, impatience, anger, hatred spills out in all directions and as always it does not a jot of good.

So with no permanent manager available at this moment and trust me, several clubs have been approached, we talk in terms of a caretaker.

That sends out a message of paralysis  and rarely works as Everton fans discovered at Leicester City today where Claude Puel took over as boss – wonder how Hammers fans would have reacted to him?

The relentless search continues behind the scenes but right at this moment we can only pray that Bilic somehow, from somewhere, starts pulling rabbits from hats.

If you want to blame the board for the situation do it on the basis that they should have fired him in the summer not because they aren’t doing anything about it now.

They are trying to find someone every minute of every passing day but there simply ain’t a suitable replacement 10 games into the season.

That could change as the Hammers get seriously tough in any approaches but I’m afraid that right at this moment we seem stuck between a rock and a hard place and it’s very much a case of relying on what we’ve got.

It’s not good….in fact it’s pretty bloody but the only thing certain in football is uncertainty and there lies our hope.


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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


  • JRS says:

    Very true Hugh.
    Tho I think they are more options then those 4. We agent going to get the big name managers the Baird want the most… But we just need someone to stabilize us, we def should have done it last summer if not for Spurs win we might have.
    But there are mgrs out there we could get maybe they won’t be around for 5 years but Watford have been successful in replacing every year… I like that we show Mgr loyality to a certain point but it is sad to think some of the Managers we could have got in summer who are doing great.
    I will support my team and back Bilic on game day (don’t think he reads my opinions anyhow) tho he doesn’t seem happy or the mgr he was either but I will still voice my opinion…. Our club is in shambles all over & am scared of doing a Portsmouth Leeds etc.
    Surely there has to be a mgr out there and if not a new mgr at least a new #2 bc I’m not sure the Handball coach offers much. So someone w fresh ideas & defensive know how who isn’t scared to hurt players feelings by not picking them would do.

  • Frenchie says:

    Great piece Hugh, everything you say is true I wish I knew the answer. I don’t only think it’s Bilic that needs replacing but also his training and coaching staff. The players don’t look fit ( has that a bearing on last minute goals?) Players who have left have said how their new clubs make the players work harder.
    I’m sure if Bilic goes his staff will leave with him so it’s not only a manager we need. It’s a huge ask at this stage of the season. A temporary manager is the only answer and we hope they will give the club, the players and the fans the lift we badly need

  • Billythehammer says:

    What a suprise I wonder what the snags could be?

    • CondorHammer says:

      At a guess Billy, I’d say it’s the diminutive Cossack not wanting to spend the £££’s on Slav’s compo payment, or any release clause any potential manager (as I’m sure that contrary to recent reports managers ARE available, just not on a freebie) has in their contract.
      God, as much as I (reluctantly) wish that Slav had been replaced by now, the day the jokers that ‘run’ our club feck-off can’t come too soon, for me at least.
      COYI ⚒⚒⚒

  • jj61 says:

    I understand all that about Bilic replacing,but what about players who are not able to pair two passing?Some of them are really unfit and would not have passed even in the championship..and there are more then few of them who are overated…who is to blame for buying such incosistent player as Arnautovic for,altough it is convinient to find a scapegoat,the problem is as usual more complex.

    • JRS says:

      Didn’t Bilic want Arnie… He was adament about getting him. Having PL experience and all. He didn’t want young players.
      I’m fairly sure Arnie was Bilic’s pick and he wasn’t shy about it in media when going for him

    • JRS says:

      But your point on the players is true but Bilic pushed some out & brought some in. But he wanted PL experience and got it. We have 2nd oldest and smallest squad in PL buy I agree the players are to blame too but can’t sack them all & we have a few good youngsters to pick from but Bilic hasn’t even been to a PL2 game doesn’t fnacy them.
      And reports say the players have Bilic’s back & want him to stay they we know that is not true for some….. & based on performances it def doesn’t seem so

  • Carrerageorge says:

    What is the source of your evidence that the board are “passing every minute of every passing day” to find a replacement for Bilic?

    • JRS says:

      Good point we are always linked w Managers but I would imagine they at least have a least whether they have been approached or not is a very good question.

  • SEHammer says:

    Laurent Blanc available!

  • kevin says:

    Well , Hugh most of what you wrote is very true and a lot of us , I’m sure agree .
    We shouldn’t really have started this season with Bilic but soft hearts for anything West Ham kept him with us . It’s not as if he was a legend at Upton Park , an ex Hammer yes .,but that’s all . He managed 🇭🇷 when they famously beat England . That’s the extent of it apart from some success in lesser leagues . I understand the gamble in taking him on but it’s obviously back firing . Our current squad is better than Mr .Bilic is showing us .
    Time for a change ?, yes of course and Now would be good . There are other managers out there who would take on the job . All we have to do is Buy One . Is there a risk of making things worse ?, yes of course there is but , not nearly as big a risk as keeping Bilic .
    Even at this stage of the season there is a danger of relegation . And I’m pretty sure Hodgson ( England fans ) will keep Palace up .
    Finding it hard to blame the owners because they put Thier faith in Bilic , fans went Bilic crazy just because he was an ex-Hammer . A lot of fans bullied Alladyce out but , it must be admitted he didn’t exactly warm up to them . It’s a shame to see what’s happening at West Ham United and it needs sorting before it gets worse . If the owners don’t react now or very soon then , yes , it will be Thier fault .

  • Innocuous Sparrow says:

    I disagree with this article on a number of points.

    1. There is no evidence that the “club want rid”. Sullivan said Bilic will stay until the season’s end. Hugh, are you saying he is lying? Or is your statement lacking integrity?
    2. Do you have any evidence to support the view that a “relentless search is underway”…”every minute of every passing day”? Or is it merely supporting a message from Sullivan, possibly to further his own agenda?
    3. The board lack competence in succession planning and decision making but you think they should not be criticised other than for not sacking Bilic in the summer? They only want “ready-made” managers and display no courage or acumen in finding the likes of Wagner, Howe, Pochettino, Silva, Dyche etc BEFORE they hit the PL. The truth is, they lack leadership and prefer to undermine their manager and push their agendas by supplying friendly journalists with half truths at best, lies at worst.
    In my opinion, you are not supporting our club or team by actively undermining Bilic, especially when you state that there is no replacement to be found. I personally didn’t want Bilic in the first place and his performance doesn’t surprise me at all, albeit he is a very nice man, but I try to support him while he is the manager and wouldn’t want to undermine him while he is trying to help us.

  • ChrisTheHammer says:

    Wtf pellergrini unlikely to walk out on the Asian champions league, really? It’s the Asian champions league, if the club can’t persuade him to forgo entry in this two bob cup we really are in big trouble

  • Max Willow says:

    I am not sure whether this is the temporary solution, but lets consider it..
    Our Pl2 team have been in superb form, and they are over-flowing with outstanding players.
    It makes you wonder whether Terry Westley has been doing something right?
    If Westley was given a chance to be given a care-taker role (till January or even Summer), we could see a far more interesting and creative style of play, and a much-needed integration of our best youngsters into the first team squad-something that Bilic has been avoiding (big-time)

  • Billythehammer says:

    Spot on Innocuous sparrow.

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    I agree with the comments that Bilic won’t be sacked, in honesty the last two performances have been an uplift even if we did throw the points away at Palace through the players exhibiting Bilic managed team traits in shooting themselves in the foot, and in the Tottenham game of giving the opponents a two goal head start. I think we could easilly get through to January with a great coach, I mentioned in a previous post about Steve Cooper with u17’s of England, he has drilled them into pretty much a perfect team able to win in a variety of different styles, they didn’t even have Jaden Sancho for the semi final and final because he had been recalled by Borussia Dortmund. Obviously a massive difference managing kids than adults but he had those players for a month and they started relatively slowly which would suggest his coaching improved them as the tournament went on… its upto SUGO to do the due dilligence but Benitez is not the messiah, he is an organiser a decent coach, same with Dyche, we want to see our team play the ball on the ground and play with flair, I want us to be competitive around the European places but generally couldn’t care less about winning the PL just as long as we play entertaining football and have the players give everything for the badge, shouldn’t be too much too ask should it ?

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