Hammers Chat

The Woe Needs to Go: Current Pain Points for the Irons



Guest post by Karl Bromley

“Slip slidin’ away / Slip slidin’ away / You know the nearer your destination / The more you’re slip slidin’ away.”

Folk artist Paul Simon sang it way back in 1977 on his hit song “Slip Slidin’ Away”, but such desperate words could double as an anthem for West Ham’s performances this season as they slip and slide down the Premier League table to a destination in the lower quarter.

After more than a century at the friendly confines of Boleyn Ground, the new tenants of London Stadium seem to be mired in under performing personnel and a prolonged adjustment to their new turf as the 2016-17 campaign storms on.

Head coach Slaven Bilic has to be considered at the center of any personnel controversy. The second year chief is struggling to match his side’s performance of a year ago when the Irons picked up 62 points and a seventh place finish.

An increasingly loud chorus is calling for the the 48-year-old Croatian to be ousted, but talkSPORT has confirmed he isn’t going anywhere. Bilic will need to garner more fan support going forward while demonstrating the side is unified behind his grasp on the reigns.

Speaking of fan support, the Irons must find a way to convincingly make London Stadium their own. In other words, they desperately need to post big wins on the home pitch. With the fifth worst record this season, West Ham haven’t given the crowds much to cheer about and London Stadium has been eerily quiet as a result. Apparently, the shippers neglected to deliver the raucous carnival atmosphere that once inhabited Upton Park.

Injuries have undoubtedly plagued the Irons’ season. Prized strikers Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho have proven to be less than a dynamic duo as both are presently inactive.

Carroll continues to battle a groin injury that has left him to spotty appearances this season, completing the full 90 minute battle just 12 times through the 4th of May.

There are hopes for Carroll’s imminent return, but Sakho is facing a season ending back injury that may indicate the Senegal international  has already suited up for his final match.. Bilic has pledged a proactive approach to addressing the situation with Carroll and Sakho in the off season.

Many fans would agree that defender Håvard Nordtveit has not lived up to the promise of strengthening West Ham’s midfield that was much anticipated upon his arrival last July. He has struggled to improve the defence this season, and the Irons have performed slightly better during his injury absences. Bilic might be willing to jettison the once heralded Norwegian should the opportunity arise.

Of course, crisis often gives way to catharsis and healing. While it looks like 2016-17 will be one for the salvage yard, there are signs of early optimism for next year.

Like it or not, Bilic’s continuation at the helm provides stability going into 2017-18. He has promised to tackle head on the weak spots in the roster, and the rumour mill is swirling with possible acquisitions that can only bolster the Irons. A few wise moves could even put the odds on their side for Champions League contention in the near future.

Here’s hoping to a reversal in fortune and a slip slide to a destination atop the table!

Share this article

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


  • Hammer64 says:

    Not sacking your manager at the drop of a hat, just because you are bottom or because you have lost four on the trot- that is to be applauded. If you are not sacking him because you don’t want to pay the compensation- not such a good reason. Not sacking him because you don’t want to admit you made a mistake, when there have been several awful runs, when your players have massively under performed over a whole season, not a month or two- that looks like bad decision making. I know everybody keeps telling me we are now safe. I heard Sean say that on the TS interview. He was also very firm that there is no way Bilic will be sacked. But what if the worst happens? We get 0 or 1 from the last three & Swansea win all three & Hull get to 41. Does Bilic still carry on then?

  • Wembley1980 says:

    You have just given hope to a million plus people who are rubbish at their jobs…use the “I bring stability by not sacking me” card! Champions league with a few wise moves since when has 9 been a few?! And I like Bilic but is he a good manager ?! I don’t think so and 5 or 6 players are not Premier league either. This year has sent the club backwards on a footballing level and you won’t recover it overnight, the reason I’m negative is because that’s how we play!

  • kennycandb says:

    Hugh. I have yo disagree in part. Norveld has played well in the last few games in a postion that he is comfortable with. He is not a RB but it took Slav too long to recognise this. We have a good RB in Byrum who is getting better with game time. Again it took Slav too long to recognise this. Cresswell has not been at the races for most of the season and the opposition has consistently done us a lot of damage down that flank. Slav took no action. We have had Callieri selected ahead of Fletcher for the past few games which no one could understand. We had Savs reluctance to give Obiang a run last season and we have all seen how well he has played this season. Then we have had the persitance of playing Toure and Feghouli when they were clearly not EPL standard, even to us plebs paying good money to wstch this shambles of a season. For me, i would give him another half season. But then again, if a change were to be made, i would not be upset.

    • Wembley1980 says:

      Everything you say is true so why give him anymore time? He clearly hasn’t got a clue!

  • Hammer64 says:

    Trouble is Kenny if you leave it half a season you have less choice of managers. Also, there is likely to be a mess to sort out. Get a new bloke in asap, try to strengthen, but let him decide who he wants to keep, what system suits the players he has etc. We have drifted for long enough this season. Let’s do some forward planning because that is what the successful teams do!

  • Slaven Bilics Claret & Blue Army says:

    Ha Ha Ha Lets all laugh at the three wise monkeys!!!!!

  • mooro66uk says:

    Glad i read these after the match or id be in the garage looking for a rope

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    In defence of the others and myself one swallow doesn’t make a summer, we were brilliant tonight but why haven’t we played like that in the majority of games ? There is no reason why we should have been fighting relegation but for Slav’s team selections and the teams lacksadaisical performances, he is a great personality but we should be approaching every game with close to the intensity we showed tonight and like it or not we have not. Slav will rightfully get a chance to put it right next season but he really needs to look at tonights performance and set it as the benchmark, if he does that we will be top 4 next season not loitering around 15th with 3 games to go.

Comments are closed.