Slaven Bilic has demonstrated today that he has the ruthless streak demanded of all great managers.
James Tomkins – 20 years a Hammer and loved by the fans as a result – is no more… unhesitatingly sold to Crystal Palace for £10 million.
Slav takes no notice whatsoever of reputations and we revealed last summer that Tomkins was not a player who would be around for long under his management.
The only surprise to us was that he remained in the squad as long as he did.
We were told by a source very close to the manager last July that he was the one regular first teamer who would be allowed to leave if the buying club met the price – and whatever your view of the player £10 million is good business.
The big central defender, as loyal a Hammer as there has been, has served well but the manager wants to improve all areas and most will have no problem with that.
James is a competent central defender at his best but there have been the usual mixture of fabulous and hair-raising moments in his life as a Hammer.
Slav was a fine central defender – one of the best – and knows what he requires. I’m not here to argue with a bloke who has got all the big decisions right so far.
Everybody at ClaretandHugh wishes JT all the very best as he moves across London and it’s nailed on that he will always be a Hammer.
We move on and the watchwords have to be Trust Slav!