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Slav’s job is on the line again

Slavin Bilic West Ham Manager Face Rafa Benitez Close UpMatt Law says in the Telegraph today that Swansea is a must win game if Slaven wants to keep his job.

Law writes ‘Slaven Bilic knows the script. After every defeat comes a must-win game, a game which he will be told he cannot afford to lose if he wants to continue as West Ham United manager. He has already got through one such encounter by beating Huddersfield Town, but just two weeks later Bilic is back in the same position after a London derby defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Bilic simply cannot afford anything but a victory against Swansea City in West Ham’s final game before the international break to be sure of keeping his job. But he also knows that, even if he secures a valuable victory, it will only be a matter of time until he is faced with another do-or-die situation.

As Bilic admits himself, the genie is out of the bottle in terms of his job security and it is virtually impossible for him to permanently plug it back in. “Once that’s opened, then it basically doesn’t stop,” said Bilic. “Game by game, or two games by two games, it’s the way it is in modern football. Once you open that page…”

He did not need to complete his sentence. Everybody standing in front of Bilic knew exactly what he meant. The question is increasingly when the Croat will leave his post, rather than if he will, which is due in part to the fact he is only contracted to West Ham until the end of the season.

“I don’t really think about that, I’m preparing for a game,” said Bilic. “I don’t think about that.”

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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

6 comments on “Slav’s job is on the line again

  1. After the first three games I was very much in the Bilic out camp. What worried me wasn’t so much the losses (can anybody seriously say they expected us to get much from old Trafford?) but the performance. We looked less fit than the other teams, less organised and like we were making all the same mistakes as the previous season. Our heads dropped so quickly you just felt if we conceded one, we’d concede seven.

    Since the Huddersfield game, however, things have been a bit different. The players still want to play for Bilic and there seems to be an improvement on shape and tactics. We’re by no means perfect, but have moved in the right direction. The defeat by the spuds is always going to leave a bitter taste in the mouth, but it wasn’t our worst performance by any means. Bilic is in an odd position too – he has effectively been given his notice for the end of the season yet still has to have 100% commitment. If the owners are going to replace him they should just get on and do it and stop penny pinching over severance.

    The main problem I have with him is not knowing his best team or formation after 3 seasons. I know players have come and gone, and we’ve had a silly amount of injuries, but some of Bilic’s decisions are baffling at times. It seems he has his favourites which bias his selection, and misses the bleedin’ obvious (like we are stronger with 3 at the back).

    The club has raised the expectations of fans with talk of the top six and the new stadium taking us to ‘the next level’ and is now struggling to deliver. The bottom line for me is whether Bilic can meet these aims and I’m just not convinced he can. He seems a nice bloke but that won’t win us games. But if he is here until the end of the season then I hope he can find a bit of confidence to through caution to the wind and set us up to attack more. And I hope that as fans we can get behind the team and give them the support to make sure we’re in the premier league next season – regardless of who’s in charge.

    • Mentioning mistakes, according to Whoscored?.com we have had more personal errors that led to opposition goals than any other PL team since August 2015. That is alarming!

      I think the backroom should have been switched up over summer bc Slav at least needs someone by his side giving him diff options & tactics etc.

      Training I think could have to to w Injuries but even so a lot of team have important players who are injured and make do bc they have another #10 more pace etc. Our training g as been called in to question do the boys not run a lot lacks intensity and that can make running as fast as u can on pitch turn in to strain or pull in muscle etc.

      And for me I’m not Sahkos biggest fan and can understand when Hugh said he didnt blame him for all the Renne incident. He is in line up everyday now and he is a good striker w pace and Bilic told him if he scores 6 goals & plays games then he will give him new contract & wage increase but he can’t do that in 5 min Cameos and he is more fit then AC. And Sahko when fit can cause havoc and can work RW has pace will take chances. So I don’t understand that of not gonna use him put in reserves and bring up Toni!

      Think it is done whether u want Bilic to Stay or think we should look elsewhere. I don’t see the board renewing his contract at end of season too much strain on that relationship & same thing w Sam would happen just run it out. But come December if we are in around Drop zone we can’t wait till April to make switch can have another Grant situation bc don’t want to be In Championship in LS and don’t think board won’t to lose that £100m plus.
      And if we don’t win at Swansea and win playing decent football and convincingly then over Intl break if someone like Tuchel would come on why we would not give a chance would be mad tho I think Jokanovic possible Inzaghi are more likely even Chris Wilder surprised Klinsmann hasn’t been mentioned Hannor 96’s manager etc.

      I just can’t see even if we say finish even 11th again Bilic’s contract getting renewed.

      One thing I would love is a Director of Football!

  2. 6 games played 4 points by my reckoning end of December we should have 14 so something has to change ?????

  3. It seems that Slav’s decision making and particularly his substitution policy is coming into question – Antonio going down injured and being replaced by Carroll instead of Ayew in particular was the problem.

    Presumably, West Ham had been working on their shape all week with Hernandez in the centre and Antonio and Arnautovic working down the wings. When Antonio went lame Bilic threw this shape up in the air and chucked Carroll on and Hernandez on the right. Lumping the ball up to Carroll in the hope of something happening – not very bright at all.

    The fact that Carroll was well off the pace, didn’t look fit, and gave the ball away for a couple of Spurs goal made a bad situation even worse!

    I’l admit to not being a tactical genius but this all seemed pretty obvious, even to me!

    • When I heard Slav’s interview about bringing Carroll on because he wanted to keep the same system at the time I thought he must have been mad, but now when I relate it to comments attributed to other players that good players can play in any position, I think he thought that by replacing Antonio with Carroll he was still maintaining the 343 formation because Carroll is after all a forward… I have no idea what the guy is thinking but I wish the chairmen would put him out of his misery and replace him with a competent football manager.

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