Slaven Bilic has shown himself to be a very big man by taking a back seat for tonight’s game.
He has decided to leave Terry Westley – who knows the players who take on Lusiantos well – to run the dug out and it really does take a big man to do such a thing.
I’ll be honest, had I taken over I’d have wanted to be in charge and take any credit coming but that’s obviously not Slav’s way. He’s proving himself a top bloke from the start but it makes perfect sense to allow the man who knows each of the players so well to take charge.
It wasn’t without significance for me that Slav appointed Julian Dicks to his coaching staff. Everybody knows Dicksie will say what he thinks and doesn’t suck up to anyone. That Slav wants him alongside him shows he doesn’t surround himself with ‘yes men.’
Everything that’s happening feels really West Ham and it’s brilliant that so many kids are being given their chance. The manager will be in the stands getting a much better view of them than he would from the dug out.
Those kids will have so much going for them tonight and I hope they don’t freeze. I don’t expect them to and I expect us to win well. There will be a lot of attention on Reece Oxford and we will all be hoping and praying the boy does the business.
He’s a massive prospect but tonight it will all be about his temperament. This is a wonderful start to a long campaign and I expect the old stadium to be rocking tonight.
There’s no better place to be on any night of the week – there’s no atmosphere like itat any other ground in the country and the excitement generated this summer is about to explode.