Slav gets it all wrong …and it ends in disaster

angry-bilic-624x447Match verdict

Irons 1 Swans 4

It was a total and complete Hammers  mess from top to bottom and for the first time this season the fingers are pointing straight at the boss!

It’s hard to criticise a man who has got virtually everything right during this wonderful season but this afternoon was his worst day at the office since his arrival at the club.

His decision to again play Michail Antonio at right back was quite simply WRONG with two of the goals coming from that side as the lad tried to cope with a position which is alien to him.

What made it so much worse was that when he did stride forward he was unquestionably the most serious threat on the pitch and caused havoc among the Swansea defenders.

Then after deciding to release him from his defensive duties – dropping Kouyate into the right back role – and watching him cause massive problems, Slav did a U turn, took off Kouyate and sent Antonio back into the role.

It was also hard to work out why if you are going to play Andy Carroll as your central striker crosses into the box aren’t the staple diet.

I can barely remember one.

Then to cap things off as Slav threw strikers on in a bid to save the game we saw midfield almost totally surrendered and the visitors controlled the game pouring through the central area to add a fourth near the end.

We had loads of possession at the outset but couldn’t create any real openings and in fairness to Swansea their goals were all well created and executed via Wayne Routledge, Andre Ayew, Ki Sung-Yueng and Bafetimbi Gomis .

Sub Sakho pulled one back late on although it looked suspiciously as though a defender had got the final touch but there was no serious pressure from the Irons after that, and with the score then at 3-1, a late breakaway gave Gomis his goal.

So we move onto the final game ever at the Boleyn on Tuesday night and we will want better – much better – to this final Saturday.

A sad stat: This was the first time in 60 years Swansea have beaten us at the Boleyn and the simple truth is they thoroughly deserved it.


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

24 comments on “Slav gets it all wrong …and it ends in disaster

  1. Sorry, it’s not the first time he has got it wrong. Ever since he has played Antonio as a ‘right back’. Antonio is a brilliant acting midfielder. Why ask him to attack an extra 40 yards each time, and then try to get back to defend. Toooo many passengers – my backside – yet again the wrong tactics. There’s none so blind, as those who won’t see.

    Only Vardy getting sent off got us a point at Leicester. Man U took us apart in the FA Cup.

    Valencia must be licking his lips for Tuesday – knock the ball down our right side and run into acres of space.

    So, if Antonio is a better midfielder than Moses, why play Moses ? If Byram is a better defender than Antonio, why play Antonio at right back ?

    • Where’s the too many passengers comment u seem to have taken great exception too Cranham. And who are those that are blind and won’t see – genuinely confused

  2. Slav still has to solve the problem that has haunted us forever,it seems…We just can’t get over the finish line.
    The only hope we have left is to hang on to sixth but even that looks shaky…and yes, I agree Slav really seems to have made a total hash of it today. Didn’t he have legitimate defenders available? He seems to have gone into total meltdown.

  3. He has gone into total meltdown?????
    No comment,don’t want to be censored or kicked off here by responding to that comment as I really want to.

  4. Seems I will have to take back my earlier statement about us having the best fans in the world.Having read some comments here & WHTID maybe we have some true plonkers as supporters.How many games is it since our previous defeat,how many all season.Maybe I am getting too old for the age of the internet or maybe I am better off without it if it makes me realise how fickle some of our support is.It saddens me to know this chaps.

  5. Don’t think Slaven is the type of cool dude who does finger pointing or the blame game.I’m pointing my finger straight at some of you,you deserve Hippo back.Nobes has it right,bad day at the office,get over it!

  6. I agree….. Just a bad day at the office. However, I did say to the guy next to me at the Watford game how I don’t like to see Antonio playing at right back. Two reasons, he’s not a right back, and secondly what a waste of a natural raw talent playing him there. To all those people pointing fingers at Slav. You have only had two games this season to justify it. Today and Tottenscum away. We got it wrong on today and we were all guilty of thinking Swansea would roll over. This is the Premier League; with the exception of Villa, anyone can turn anyone over on their day. Let’s move on, we know the reaction will be positive for Man U. COYI.

  7. Yeah I agree the Antonio situation is something I would like to be addressed but as far as I’m concerned pointing fingers at Bilic is a joke after 7 defats in 36 this season.These must be the delusional fans Fatman Sam talked of.

  8. The same ****ing fans that wanted to give Hippohead another contract after being useless but now want to question Slavens creds after one defeat.The same Wetpants who think they are the loyalist fans on the planet but want to tell Bilic what he is doing wrong & come up with blinders like Payet & Lanzini shouldn’t be in the same team.Joke site with some joke fans who only enjoy the match thread if we are losing so they can show their tactical brilliance in what they would do.But I guess it gives me something to pmsl at when I get home from matches.

  9. I agree 100% with your assessment Hugh.

    Funny how some people here seem to think that questioning any of Slav’s decisions is tantamount to high treason. The man is only human, and doesnt always get it right, learned as he is.

    lts ok to play Antonio at right back when an emergency arises and we have no option, but it is wrong to continue playing him there at the expense of proper defenders. He is a weak link as a defender and his attacking side of the game is severely curtailed to our detriment. We loathed BFS for placing square pegs in a round hole didnt we?

    Also, Payet and Lanzini cant play to Caroll’s strengths, and vice versa. They like to carry the ball but Caroll cant run the channels and create the space for them, and they cant make the kind of crosses that Caroll thrives on. Thats why we lack fluidity going forward and the whole thing looks contrived.

    This has been our best season ever as far as l know, and it could have been even better but for the hatchet job on Payet and the dubious decisions by the referees. lts also fair to say our own tactics cost us a fair few points.

    l dont know what the Wetties are saying about Slav which has caused so much consternation on here since l havent been on WHTID since last August, but l do know that one of the reasons l loathed BFS was how the Wetties placed him on a pedastal and would brook no questioning of their idol, and how BFS himself looked down and talked down patronisingly to us. How l hated that!!!! Now l fear some guys here are doing exactly the same thing, placing the “untouchable” Bilic on his own pedastal.

    • No one is putting him on a ****ing pedestal Muckraker but all these drama queens going mental after one loss is stupid.Also these finger pointing comments are well over the top.The first defeat at home in the league since August & fans want to point fingers.Absolutely ****ing mental.No one thinks he is perfect but he is a bloody improvement on Hippo!

  10. Just as we were looking good and feeling pleased with ourselves we go and throw it all away with a performance like that , unbelievable . Maybe Bilic got it wrong but the players also got it wrong . Thought Swansea was a won game before a ball was kicked . They let us all down when we were living a dream ,, it was , after all exactly that , A Dream .
    Now even the Europa League is a doubt . The whole team need to look at themselves in the mirror and realize what they have done . Nothing but wins against Man Utd and Stoke will be enough . It’s a case of wake up and do it . It has been a nasty day that will be hard to forget . Impossible , actually .

    • I will forget it,by the time Tuesday comes round & we play Manure.If you can t forget then I should see a shrink Kevin,you have problems.

  11. Felt a bit sorry for Randolph today couldn’t really point the finger at him for any of there goals unfortunately the whole back four just weren’t at the races all though once again Antonio does have some sympathy from me for the obvious reason that he is just not a Full Back and I’m at a loss as to why he keeps getting played there, what is the problem with Byram? Hopefully we wont see Mosess again get him back to Chelsea a bit sharpish total waste of space. I could go on a bit more about today and point the finger at quite a few more players but we just need to put it behind us and focus on Tuesday night and try to make sure we go out for the last time at the Boleyn and put in a performance that we all know we are well capable of producing. One final thought next term can we hold our Awards Ceremony (Hammer Of The Year etc) until after the Season has finished because I think one or two of ours today seemed to think it was all done and dusted. COYI

  12. why change a winning team? (Apart from the injured goaly) dropping Sakho for Moses was just stupid. One player runs the channels all day long and the other is just plain lazy.The sad thing about yesterday was at 2-0 down after 30 mins he could have made the change but for some reason waited another 30 mins and for another goal. It’s been a great season with some great highlights, but with Antonio, payet, lanzini etc we need to work out our best 11 for all games… No one apart from super Slav can see the logic of playing Moses yesterday…NEVER CHANGE A WINNING TEAM…Oh Well Atleast Spurs didn’t win the league.

  13. Good players don’t turn bad overnight and the same can be said of managers. The fact is there were too many passengers yesterday. In fact I believe only Antonio played well. Hoe Nobes got man of the match I will never know. Sure, he ran his legs off but was too often in the wrong position. As for Antonio at RB – totally wrong and I have been saying that for many weeks. In almost every game since Xmas, he has been our most potent attacker – absolutely brilliant. And in Byram we have a bloody fine RB – so for God sake why are we not playing him? And Moses – return him to Chelsea now! Even Dimitri was off yesterday and Lanzini was poor. Two thoughts to kick around. We again lost to a lower half team – do we have a mental or attitude problem? Should we ensure in the future that the awards evening (held last Tuesday) is held AFTER the final game of the season or is it a coincidence that so many players had an off day just 4 days after the merriment?

  14. Well Leicester didn’t have an off day & they have probably been on the p*ss most the week my old son 😀 (just got shown how to do smilies by my grandson,I’m going to be unstoppable now) 😀

  15. I think there is an overreaction to one bad game, even if we lose the last two it has been a season beyond what we could have expected, in my opinion anyway its not the bad performance and questionable tactical approach that cost us 3 points it is the 15 or so points over the season we have been denied by dodgy officiating that is the cause of this outburst because we could potentially lose out on Europe altogether. Slav seems to have the approach that if the team doesn’t lose don’t move the players about too much, the performances since using Antonio as a rb and with Reid and Ogbonna together have all been suspect but we should have won most of those games so who are we armchair generals to criticise the one game we lost miserably, lets see what team is played against Man U, I hope he plays Byram and Collins on the right side of defence, if Martial has done his hamstring we should have an easier ride of it, I would also love to see him play Alex Song although that is unlikely so maybe Obiang instead to nullify Mata and Rooneys best work. Onwards and upwards COYI !!!

    • Overreaction is an understatement my friend.It tickles my fancy when fans were willing to give Sam another two year contract after a disastrous second half of last season but are now going beserk after one defeat.Crazy days Mr.No32.
      I couldn’t give a tinkers cuss what armchair fans think.If they were up to it they would be managing us or some other poor buggers.God Forbid.

    • I think it’s the huge goal margin that feeds the disappointment; that and the woeful defence which shows no sign of being fixed. The prize of 5th place has been there for weeks but those behind us are not dropping points and anything but two wins now could see go down to 8th. So to say just a bad day at the office would be OK mid season but with only two matches left it’s a bit limp, as it might indicate no changes need to be made for Man U. Last August we’d be happy to finish 8th but as Slav says, we’re victims of our success as the expectation bar gets raised. I totally agree with the hopes to introduce a proper RB and possibly Obiang on Tuesday – not sure Ginge offers more than Reid but yes, I’d play Ginge as he’s good in the air.

  16. Slaven got it wrong.
    The team that must play on Tuesday is :
    COYI lets spank the Mancs

  17. sorry should have said VALENCIA or CARROLL

  18. No way should MOSES, EMINEKE or SONG be included as all are leaving next week anyway
    Get OXFORD & SAMUELSON on the pitch later , let them know we need them next season

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