Slav gets it all wrong as AC flops again

slaven-bilic-west-ham-andy-carroll_3358382It’s hard to say it but whichever way you try explaining this afternoon’s disaster it started at Slav’s door and was exacerbated by some very poor performances from several players.

The minute I saw the team sheet – probably like most of you – I knew we were done for! Andy Carroll through the middle and Diafra Sakho wide? Never…not in a million years – we’ve been here before and it doesn’t work. End of.

Sakho’s effectiveness was reduced by about 50 per cent and Carroll didn’t reach that percentage in another awful display.

We really can’t keep feasting off one winning goal against Chelsea from him however tasty it was at the time.

He is not a threat and his reputation is rapidly becoming a myth perpetrated by people with an agenda. Andy Carroll as the replacement plan for a team that plays around Dimi Payet – err sorry how does that work?

Blimey, even the £2 million Nikica Jelavic looked a far better player than him and produced a great ball for Lanzini’s goal. In other circumstances we’d be raving about it as Payet-like.

Sakho has to play through the middle. it’s as simple as that and as has been said many times, at best, Carroll is an impact sub.

Like the boss I didn’t believe we were out of the game at half time but not for the first time a defensive error – again by James Tomkins – sealed our fate.

That was most certainly not JT’s first error of the season that has led to a goal and today’s incident may be the moment when his run in the team came to an end with Anglo Ogbonna fit and raring to go being recalled.

After all an £8  million signing can’t sit out on the bench forever and Tomkins may have made it very easy for the boss to do what some of us have been hoping for over the last two weeks – recall the big Italian.

Talking of leaving players on the bench, where does Michail Antonio go from here? Surely the perfect moment to see what he’s got arrived when the third goal went in and there was nothing to lose.

That he didn’t get anywhere near the action was a shock to me and starts to pose big questions about his future. Mauro Zarate gave us nothing and could himself have been withdrawn to make way late on for the £7 mllion signing.

The sub-plot in all of this that went almost unnoticed was the arrival Alex Song taking the place of the man everybody has been naming as the victim of his recovery from injury – Mark Noble.

The captain can I think prepare for a difficult rest of the season should Song come back to anything like his best.

The manager has had a bad day at the office but I refuse to throw stones. In the words of an old song: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

We are gonna be fine but today was horrible. We simply have to suck it up and move on.


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

6 comments on “Slav gets it all wrong as AC flops again

  1. Right assessment in many things but missing a few.
    First, just sucking it up and move on is no answer. Slav made a bunch of rookie errors today and they were inexcusable. I think we should be very relieved we have that 21 points because we could be heading for another meltdown only earlier than last year.
    What always bothers me with many managers in these situations, is they pull in their heads and do an imitation of Einstein’s famous definition of an idiot and two of Slav’s actions suggest he might do just that.
    The Complete ignoring of Antonio is very concerning and is too much like the Sam/Zarate thing last year, not to be concerned. Then there’s the question of Jelavic. Sure he set up a great compensation goal, but does he get his chances to play over, say, Antonio because of where he hails from or because he warrants it.
    Last piece on Carroll. I have written endlessly and long before he ever kicked a ball this season, that his only value in our new style is as an impact sub. Now everyone is realizing it.
    But being right about that doesn’t answer the question of why he keeps getting picked. Either Slav is as obsessed with him as Sam, or, the question I have posed before is correct and it is the owners demanding his inclusion to get their money’s worth either by him finally justifying his cost or to help unload him

  2. Erm, maybe. For me, there’s also the Moses issue. Too many managers have this idea that if you play wingers on their ‘wrong’ side, when they cut inside, they’re in a good shooting position. Except that decent backs shepherd them wide so they have to stop and track back as they can’t cross on their weaker foot. Means Moses should play down the right so he can cross in his stride – then Carroll might have something to get on the end of. I’d also like to see what Antonio can bring, but I’m sure his time will come.

    We simply have to cut out the silly panisky errors at the back. Gifting goals just because you think you can outscore your opponents later is suicidal. Maybe decent cover from Song (probably at Noble’s) expense would allow Kouyste to get further forward where he’s much more dangerous.

    But we’re still sixth and at least we’re still seing some better football than we’ve become used to. I can’t see another post-Christmas countdown this year and in reality everything is about next season.

  3. Carroll and Noble are not of the quality we need and still smell of Hippo,
    Jenkinson is a defensive liability he only had a defender to play against today and Rose made him look like a mug,
    What’s with the short throw outs that put our defenders under pressure when the other defenders don’t make space to help out,
    Kouyate,Lanzini,Zarate and Sakho do not panic on the ball and look class,
    Slav got it all wrong and needs to make some tough decisions,
    We need Song and Obiang in the middle to give us a backbone,
    Tomkins at right back and Obgonna back in the middle,
    No more long ball crap,
    Next week is a big game for us to get our season back on the road

  4. Bubs totally agree, I cannot believe the selection of Carroll, crazy decision. Secondly we have two full backs who are totally out of form, Jenks is a liability, he simply cannot defend and he is not a natural footballer. Cresswell’s defending is a joke too at the moment, I would give the Scottish lad a run. Please Slav give Oxford a run at RB, he is pure class. Bring back Ogbanna, put Sakho down the middle and forget Jelavic and give Antonio a run if you believe he is good enough.

  5. Got to say Hugh that I’m surprised you didn’t call out Jenkinson. He’s been very inconsistent this season and not worth the money when we have Tomkins and Oxford who can both do a job at RB.

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