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Smart Slav needs those miracle working powers again

Slaven-Bilic (1)I can think of many reasons to worry and I’m trying hard to avoid them but in doing so dishonesty creeps in and that’s not on.

Ok, so we are still well alive in the Europa League – an invaluable away goal and another get fit week will help when we enter the London Stadium next week.

But last night’s entirely desperate performance against a team from Slovenia which finished third in their local league and of whom no one had heard before the game was worse than poor.

Being unfit this early is one thing, but being unable to pass the ball or create a worthwhile chance is quite another and it’s difficult to compare it with last year when we were playing kids.

There was also the excuses that half the squad was in England and the other in Dublin, the manager was new and there was a lot of player sorting out to do.

This year we can draw on no such reasoning yet if anything we look worse.

I am no prophet of doom. Everybody knows where I stand with Slaven Bilic. I think he is a top bloke and a top manager.

I think he will sort things out but the Aaron Cresswell situation and the news that Lanzini may be out relatively long term is of major concern given the shape we are in right now.

Yes, I believe we will turn the Europa Cup match around. To kick off our new era at the London Stadium by doing anything else would be disastrous, humiliating and embarrasing. It just can’t happen.

But at this moment a team not yet up to speed needs another right back, left back, striker and perhaps skilful mdfielder.

Finally …….Michail Antonio’s right back role!

It has to stop. It’s ridiculous, it cost us goals last season and last night the tin hat was surely put on the idea for the last time.

Michail can’t do the job, nor in my opinion should he be asked to. It’s not what he does and if Slav can’t see that then we really do have one hell of a problem!

You don’t need me to tell you the guy’s a fantastic performer going forward but his display defensively is worse than embarrasing.

Slav is the smartest managers this club has seen for many years so why can’t he see this? If there was one upside to last night let’s hope it was that this experiment has now been assigned to the dustbin.

I – probably like all of you – hope to God I’m not wrong!

In the meantime – more generally – the manager’s well known miracle working powers are required!

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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

22 comments on “Smart Slav needs those miracle working powers again

  1. One game in to the season & we are doomed this season according to some.We really do have some SH!T fans!!!!

    • Here I am, Tone…Covered in the stuff….Lovely!

    • This is our European football this year, an avenue that will surely have at least some effect on players joining (you know those decent ones rather than the ‘stars’ who already have no interest) should they be in two minds. That has nothing to do with panic or premonitions of doom, its just a very reasonable reminder that playing last night’s game without a first class fullback (arguably 2) and with a defensive midfielder in central defence is difficult to accept this far into the transfer. Especially when added to that problem a single experienced striker was available and no creative midfielder was available. Thats some level of inadequacy we had on show there for our first competitive match and this close to the season. What do you expect from the fans a firework display in celebration?

  2. I’m not a manager and never will be, I have absolute faith in Slaven Bilic, he’s intelligent and I’m sure he’ll manage to square the circle.
    I could write anything on a football site, but that won’t change anything. I want to be optimistic because we all know that our manager loves West Ham and he’ll do anything to win and make the supporters happy.


  3. Byram is a right back, play him there, Ogbonna has played left back for Italy , no less, play him there.
    If Tore is injured play Feghouli and Antonio as the wide men up front Play Samuelson in Lanzinis role what’s the problem.

    Come on Slav don’t mess up this time around, please.


  4. You can count on two hands what the main problem is , 7-10 players missing or injured and
    Other ?
    Truth is we have no strength in depth just yet , only promising young ones .
    Not a good place for Bilic to be is it, on paper we had a good side last night but it was a disaster as you say Hugh and evident to all that watched !
    It will come good but the question is when?
    Next week we come out with heart and soul and play with pride and put some much needed
    Feel good back in the squad .
    4-0. How’s that for belief ?

  5. We had a problem last night and that was crezza was injured,a left back dilemma.Why then do we end up playing ,Sam B. there.We then had to shuffle the already short pack more than once.I like you am a huge fan of Bilic and micky A. but as a right back he needs to much covering by too many people.Perhaps the problem was over analyzed and Lewis Page could have been the simple solution.COYI

  6. They ain’t sh1t fans Tone they are just too OTT.We win a game & we are going to win the league,we lose a game & we are relegation candidates.Some have no middle ground,it is either doom & gloom or hard ons all round haha.Its funny to read I think 😀

  7. Well that’s all well & good Sams P45 but why is it I sat in a pub with a hoard of fellow Hammers who were certainly disappointed but were very philosophical about events yet I come on Hammers sites & it’s a free for all of negativity.Do only negative fans use sites???
    It does seem to be the case in the main.Perhaps the more philosophical amongst our fans can’t be bothered to use them.Its a pity more don’t,it would lead to a far more reflective view of our fans rather than only the OTT fans as you call them.Have a good day guys COYI

  8. Well I think we all know Antonio is not the solution at RB. Never has been. Not sure why Slav can’t see it when we all can. However moreover a worry was the lack of cutting edge. Can’t recall a single shot on target aside from the penalty. Would have been better balanced with Antonio and Ferghouli out wide and AC to aim at. Long way to go this season but now concerned as injuries mount up and we are pretty thin unless we blood some of these youngsters we keep hearing so much about

  9. Agree with all about the Problem so why did we sell Tomo before bringing in a new right footed cover player ?
    Reid could have covered LB last night or Page and left a real RB to cover there danger man,
    We have spent to much time chasing players that were never going to come to our club
    Ayew could have been brought in ages ago,
    Calleri still has not signed,
    Barahino could have been captured using Sak as bait,
    Antonio was great last season but will only be a back up player to our other forwards so maybe we should sell him to to bring in the right players,
    No I am not Slav or a manager but my eye sight does not fail me,
    Novedt is a great signing and now we have him and Oxford we don’t need Poyet or Obiang so we need to sell them as well to get a good right sided defender and a good Left sided defender,
    We look like we are now going to get caught in a battle for the Leeds player and will probably loose when there are 3 other players in the championship just as good or better,
    Plus at least 3 good freebies out there and it will only be temporary until Creesie come back,
    Stop chasing dream players that won’t come to us
    Stop holding on to players that won’t perform because they want to go,
    Go out and make deals that will get done
    No more bull sxxt no more false dreams
    Give us some hope or truth
    I was quite happy with what we had and back in love with my club,don’t need this negativity,
    We should be on the crest of a wave, put these minnows to the sword and get the team ready to take Chelski a part,

    • Sell Antonio, Bubs?….I’ve heard it all now!..How about Payet?

    • Nice posting Bubs, with one important exception- Antonio!
      Antonio worked his butt off to deservedly get the RW position for himself.
      Of course he should not be playing at RB- clearly Slav has stuffed up big time on this aspect!
      However, Antonio should be our starting RW; it is up to the new signings to prove that they are as good as Antonio; remember, that last year Antonio was runner-up for Hammer of the Year Award. he has given everything to our club and should be treated accordingly.
      If we make Antonio our back-up player and/or think about selling him, then sadly, after 50 long years of devotion to West Ham, then enough is enough, I can’t stand the disappointment as the end of my life approaches. Give the lad (Antonio) a decent chance. In the past 2 years we stuffed up with Zarate, Nene (who at 34, is still playing very well for Vasco De Gama and scoring goals- BFS never gave him a chance; then there is the Sakho/Valencia saga- I agree that Slav is a great manager, but because of his ridiculous infatuation with AC, Sakho and Valencia have been left out in the cold- such a shame!

  10. We did bring in cover before we sold him.Nordveidt is a RB cover as well as a holding midfielder.Can we not wait till the window shuts before everyone jumps the gun.This is exactly what happened last summer.Fans shouting from the roof tops about no signings.
    Even Fatty just before he left Blunderland was saying this window is a nightmare.Whats the point in signing average players just to appease some fans.Give them time ffs.Its a sellers market & many clubs dont need to sell yet,they will wait till near the closing of the window when they can push the price even further through the roof as clubs fight for their assets.If buying quality players is so easy why have so few clubs done any real business yet.

  11. STAY CALM and PANIC!…I’ve been baning on about the waste of having Antonio at RB. I didn’t see the game; do people think he screwed up deliberately?
    The only possible way would be to have 3 across the back with Antonio as a wing back….but I don’t like that either.
    If the Slav + club won’t explain their logic, there was a long press conference before the game, WHY DOESN’T SOMEONE ASK THE Q?

  12. C the M don’t want to sell Antonio but is he going to play ?
    I don’t think he will be first or second choice on the right hand side,can we keep everyone and still buy cover,
    I don’t want to see Poyet or Obiang go but with Kouyate and Noble being first choice Novedt and Oxford playing in those positions can we keep them all,
    Don’t want to sell Sak ,Enner or AC really but they don’t give us up front what we want and we can’t keep them all.
    As I said if the owners had said we were not buying anyone this year just bringing in freebies and loan players to add to the squad I would have been more then happy,
    But someone started before the season even ended telling us how he was going to sign all greatest in the world and with that pisted off Sak Enner Tomo and other causing unrest,
    What is the Question you want asked ?
    Slav obviously thinks Antonio can do the job and maybe he can’t buy other players if there is no money ?

  13. Hi Bubs, I want someone at a press conference to ask Slav he is thinking about whether he sees Antonio as our no 1 RB, whether he is looking to bring in a top RB, and what role he has in mind for Antonio? I suppose it’s a sort of 3 in 1 Q, …like those new liquid 3 in 1 tabs for the washing machine, yeah? Eh up!…4 in 1: Also ask him if he is thinking about a 3 across the back with 2 wing backs formation? How about THAT? 4 in 1: BARGAIN! (I’ll ‘av it!)

  14. 100% agree with this article. The idea of playing antonio as a rb is madness, 1. there’s a reason why we bought him as a winger 2. while he has the tenacity and physical attributes it isn’t easy to teach positioning skills which isn’t in his skill set as showed over and over again last season 3. we’re losing out on the goals he scored as a winger.

    The players we have brought in have been quality signings, but our priority signings of a top class forward and rb are way off. What scares me most is that we don’t seem to be looking for a rb.

    • CTM you don’t half talk a lot of ****.I bet Wetlands must breath a sigh of relief when you log off there & come here.And please dont give me the ‘i dont use wet pants’ bolloxs.Of course you do lol

      • CTM what are you on? Have all those knocks on the head from the annual pillow fight at the WHTID sleepover sent you loopy?

  15. It was our first competitive game of the season and we scored an away goal , albeit a penalty . Theirs was dubious , but that doesn’t detract from the fact we played liked crap .
    But remember ; when west ham have a good closed season run of friendlies we kick off poorly , and when west ham have a poor closed season run of friendlies we tend to kick off better … Strange or what ?. I like to think it was only nerves before our big move to the OS.
    Our first game game at home will be electric and should wake the team up somewhat .
    Bilic was trying something different ( down to player availability ) and he wasn’t on the touch line to scream orders ,, but he will be for the return game on our big day .
    Keep the faith .. But some signings are becoming a matter of urgency now .
    Payet is going nowhere . , and west ham are renound for last minute transfers .

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