Slaven Bilic appears to be in deeply philosophical mood as he approaches yet another crucial game at the Emirates this evening.
The Hammers boss makes it clear “we are determined to bounce back” and that “we have belief in ourselves” but we are now at the point where only actions matter.
He adds: “The players have trained really well in the last couple of days, we have one or two back from injury” but we sometimes appear to be reading the same script.
However, the manager – almost seeming to muse aloud – adds: “There is a need for instant success, but that is only a reflection of life. People used to plan long-term, for example in three years we will buy a car, or change our car, but that is not happening any more. It is fast living, and people want that, that and that. As I said, football is only a reflection of life.
As managers, we accept that. I have been all my life in football, and so I know the situation. You have good days, you have great days, you have bad days. And you can’t expect things to be great all the time.
“You have to react when you have bad spells, and not get carried away when you have good spells. And like life, you just hope you have more good days than bad days.
Let’s hope today is a good day. It will be a great atmosphere from the start tonight. It’s a London derby, and Arsenal had a good result against Manchester City on Sunday, but that atmosphere can change depending on how the game is going, and it is up to us to give a performance that keeps the home fans quiet.
We had nearly 2,500 travel with us to Hull on Saturday, and there will be 3,000 of you cheering us on at the Emirates.
I can promise you that the players, my staff and myself are absolutely grateful for that magnificent support, and we will be doing everything we can to send you home happy tonight.
Come on you Irons!”
Slaven has to play a tight formation with a flat back 4 with ‘proper’ defenders. He has to play Nordtveit and Kouyate in front of the defence to cover our wings. The random shape we play now, where players play in no particular part of the pitch and float around leaving gaps, brings teams onto us at speed. And our defence can’t cope.
We need points now. We needed a point against Hull. If we keep playing this formation – er or lack of a formation – as we have been, we are in deep $h!t.
Slaven has to learn to play players in their best and most comfortable positions. If we have slow centre backs, we must protect them from midfield.
Yes, Slaven has to make the team play like Big Sam – able to hold onto one point.