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We didn’t throw in the towel – it was ripped from us

payetcityIt’s so easy isn’t it….spin loads of words on Twitter about how useless everybody is, recall past mistakes, demand changes from the top down – sit back,  and feel you’ve done your bit!

It’s all the fault of Sullivan, Gold ,Brady, Bilic, Henry an anyone else we can find as a scapegoat.

The only people who appear to escape responsibility for the most part are the people responsible for the various disasters we have out suffered this season – the players earning ,millions and millions.

The manager gets all the flak because he’s ….err the manager and really the only one who can be moved out.

Last night was a disaster – another horrible example of us having been caught on the horns of a ghastly decision, missing a big chance and according to some, throwing in the towel.

We didn’t throw in the  towel. We had it ripped from us by a team which cost around £400 million more to put together than ours and who by and large were superb.

And before the decision to give that spot kick we had looked more than ok! And had Feghouli buried a straightforward soon after chance it could have been a different game

I have yet to read one word of praise for City from the moaners who appear to love explaining why we are so bad without having a single suggestion on how we put it right.

Sack the manager? That wasn’t the cry after 10 recent points  lifted us to near midway in the League . One shocking defeat and we are off again.

It’s fine to blame whoever you want but if you are ready to be that self indulgent it’s fair to ask for answers and I’ve seen none so far apart from the need for a full back and a striker, a director of football and the introduction of an analytics expert.

We wrote here several times last season that we were facing the most difficult 2016/17 ever with the move to the new stadium with the manager himself declaring: “Every game will be like an away match.”

Yes the summer signings were awful, yes the stadium has played its part, But here we are in January sitting in 13th place with two games ahead of us against  Palace and Middlesborough which are  winnable before City return in the League.

The likes of Southampton, West Brom, Watford and Bournemouth follow with Chelsea thrown in for good measure.

I have said consistently I do not see us going down and that is really all this season is about.

But in closing may I ask of those who feel it’s time – or close to it – for the manager to go – : Who is your replacement?

We need a cracking January window – those responsible have a massive job on hand but we all have the right to expect it to be done and real money to be spent.



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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

20 comments on “We didn’t throw in the towel – it was ripped from us

  1. Last night was very very embarassing. even for a club who have lost to the lowest of the low over the last 50 years.
    The players are at fault and need to be fixed. I don’t support firing anyone else.
    In an ideal world, I would like to see several players who are not good enough leave now. These players are on my exit list:

    Arbeloa non-existant out
    Collins love him but now aged out
    Ogbonna weak defender – gives ball away out
    Masuaku disaster out

    Nordveit struggles to make grade out
    Feghouli struggles even more out
    Tore already out out
    Payet elsewhere all season out

    Zaza already out out
    Calleri already out out

    Of course it’s not an ideal world, so we can’t lose all these players at once. None of these players has any right to where the shirt, and before anyone defends Payet, I think he has had long enough to show some loyalty to the club who made him a regular France international.
    Kouyate has not had his heart in it most of the season, but I give him the benefit of the doubt. I think he just doesn’t like playing iat CB.
    I hope they are serious about getting british based players from nw on because they are far more resilient to going down 1-0 in a game.

  2. Absolutely correct Hugh. We seemed ok until that dubious penalty. And I do think the players are trying. Ogbonna absolutely lost the plot when the penalty was given. I just think that on their day City can beat anyone in the world and they were superb. We were chasing shadows all the game and it was a masterclass of football by them. I like Bilic and I think he is the man. You only have to look at the other teams in the EPL to see who they have replaced their managers with this season. I wouldn’t want any of them.

  3. I hear what Hugh is saying and to a certain extent it’s true but there are certain facts that can’t avoided – West Ham have a paper thin Squad, there are some real weaknesses in the Squad, the Summer Transfer Window was a disaster – none of the recruits have improved the Squad – someone is responsible for recruitment and should carry the can for these mistakes, if it’s Sullivan then he should stand back from the nuts and bolts and hand it over to someone else.

    I feel great sympathy for Bilic, he has been handed a poison chalice and not been given the tools to do the job, some of the recruits have been down to him and he must take responsibility for that, some of his tactics are very strange, some of his substitutions are bizarre, some of the team lineups have been odd. He looks like a broken man, he must be under enormous pressure – I wouldn’t be surprised if he jacked it in rather than wait for the inevitable bullet. Who would replace him I haven’t a clue – someone will come out of the woodwork and will be similarly hamstrung as Bilic unfortunately is.

  4. Totally disagree.
    Money buys you class not effort!
    Apart from Reid and Obiang not one player put any sort of shift in there lack of personal desire to compete and win the ball back was inexcusable. We have 3 out of the back 4 who don’t can’t or just can’t be ar@#d to tackle, at one point yesterday Reid sprinted past Ogbonna to make a last ditch tackle on Aguero. While Ogbonna did his usual hop skip jump routine .
    The manager needs to take the blame he is the one who coaches and picks the team .
    Interesting the 2 players who have been are most consistent this year are Obiang and Antonio. 2 players who slaven nearly showed the door too at different points and who only got into the team because of injuries to others!
    For a player who was a class defender you would think he could sort out the defence!
    There is virtually no pressing of the ball we stand off 5 yards . Must be a joy for opposition to play against us .
    It’s not the first time this season that we have capitulated and lost with a whimper.

  5. The simple reason I don’t want to shoot the recruitment team is, that we had spectacular summer windows in 2014 and 2015, so 2016 being a bad one I take without moaning about it.
    On the other hand it is the main reason for this season, so it has to be fixed. Of course that’s easier said than done. We need to bring people in before we let others go. A big inlux of new players half way through the season, does not necessarily boost a teams efectiveness.
    Everyone has their idea of who actually makes the transfer decisions. When Sam was here he apparently made all the bad decisions, and now Bilic makes all the good decisions. Actually the recruitment team does most the work to uncover players, and then convince the manager that he needs them. It worked well before and it will work well again. Hopefully in the next 3 weeks.

  6. Simple fact is that we gave city all the space in the world and only Reids heroics denied them goals earlier during that period of supposed equality. Yes thereafter the suspect penalty and missed chance finished us off and broke what was left of the fragile commitment but the simple fact is we gave City the opportunity to rip it from us as you put it. Never can they have experienced such space to exploit and in those circumstances as players tire it would have been only a matter of time before calamity happened. Blame goes from top to bottom and we are simply left with arguing percentages of blame and how they interact between the various elements in reality, which at this stage seems pretty pointless for we onlookers. But giving City credit for that performance would be delusional in the extreme considering their performances of late even if the cup will have released some of the pressure. I will be surprised if any team will make life as easy for them as we did in that match, this is shadow of the team we saw last year and that is true now as it was that first pre season game in North America where the same set of weaknesses was simply put down to irrelavent factors. There seems little sign of them being solved so only outside factors and luck will make any difference be it new players or coaches or investment.

    Most worrying is that assuming we survive and dont have an amazing run into the top ten, the Summer is going to be tough as we combine the total breaking of the myth of club progress and opportunity we and the players were fed, that project built on sand, with our better players inevitably becoming disolusioned and seeing better opportunities elsewhere, what was a one off opportunity last summer on a crest of a wave to move forward, will become a deep, dark whirlpool of struggle to stay relevant at the top level at all. That is a pretty scary thought.

    • For me it’s a trade-off. If we want to keep our shape because we are playing a devastating attacking force, then we can’t press so much, because if we play a pressing game it’s very hard to keep our team-shape.
      To press we have to allow more players to get forward. We all like to see players get forward, but I think Bilic decided that the team shape was the better bet. I’m inclined to agree with him, because before the dubious penalty put us 1-0 down, we were always in the game, but after the penalty more of our players began to react by pressing further up field, and 2 quick goals followed. From Bilic’s own comments afterwards it was not his idea to do that.

  7. I was watching it with my Chelsea (spit) brother & he said he was glad they hadnt caught a day when City play like they did.With their attacking line being lead by Silva few clubs would have lived with them.
    Move on to the Palace match.Its a game of football not the end of the world!

  8. Who knows the Alchemy that produces a great loss or win for that matter but I disagree. If the manager wasn’t important why have one. It is his job to pick and prepare the team and without faith and a plan poorly managed footballers are about as effective as poorly conducted orchestras. Look at England Rugby and Cricket: same players different manager different class. We have had half a dozen hidings this season..Watford. .Man U in cup Southampton Everton and West Brom and last night. Bilic has had a year to sort out right back and identify a striker and make do with what we have.it took him five months to ‘discover’ Antonio…a year to figure Obiang was our best player after Payet ..I could go on .We are not stupid many of us did not expect to win it was the lack of rudder and that is the manager’s job ..nice guy but time is up.

    • Kevin, losing by two goals v Everton and Watford is not a hiding, but last night was.

    • l make you just about right there Kevin. l mean on top of everything you said, the man is still to discover that Nobes is a liability, after all this time.

  9. Wise words Kevininmanchester!

    I wouldn’t go as far as to agree with the headlines! Once the pen went in we had lack of ideas, substitutes questionable, no motivation (which should come from the touch line), no plan b (i.e. Two up top) and worst of all NO FIGHT OR PRIDE ON THE PITCH!

    And I’m a Bilic lover!

    At least the embarrassing Insider has been silenced!


  10. Rubbish, absolute rubbish is how the club are performed last night and for quite a few games earlier. Nobody is doing the job properly the team, backroom staff, manager and even the chairmen who have too much input in transfers, rather than just finding the money for them.

    Team first. We don’t have an attack, AC wandering around all over the park except the opposition box leaves us toothless. Midfield seem lost, slow and clueless, defence is a shambles with the exception of Reid. What position was Creswell playing last night it certainly wasn’t fullback. Agbonna a statue who don’t tackle. Norveit never a defender, not much of a midfielder either what idiot brought him to the club.

    Manager seems to have lost the plot and the dressing room, then again the rubbish signed start of season don’t give him a lot of options. The teams he puts out don’t have shape, passion or bite, we need a leader on the pitch to kick arse and egos. Try 4-4-2 with 2 proper fullbacks and 3 solid midfielders plus playmaker and stick 2 upfront.

    Backroom staff, where are our returning players, keep hearing so and so fit in a month 6 weeks later he is still out or unfit. By now Oxford and Byram should be playing.

    Chairmen need to get a grip and fast, Sancton some proper proven PL buys but not old ones looking for 1 last payday move. Do it fast and quietly and reign in that mouthy son who loves to let the oppersition know our buying plans. If we are going to play big man up front, get Hogan in 24yo big and powerful, don’t muck about haggling he has age and resale value on the plusite side. Get a right back and another defensive midfielder who has pace and not scared to tackle. Noble has the heart but not the pace on our new full sized pitch.

  11. Same old every week. Although the (non) penalty came down the right, it seems obvious that every team has done its homework and targets our left flank. We have no pace in this position and for 18 months have tried players out of position or too slow (Antonio, Norgoodenough, Arbelo-average etc). I like Byram, but he seems too injury prone. Sterling has a field day every time he plays us, yet looks average in other games. We must give priority to a new right back, otherwise no matter if we get any decent strikers, we will always need to score more than 2 goals when we come up against a decent team.We get away with it against the lesser teams because they do not have enough quality, unlike City etc. Very similar to our problems at left back until we took a punt on Cresswell. There are decent specialist right backs out there at reasonable prices. Elmohamady, Iorfa, Christie for example. We were in for Tripper before he went to Spurs but as usual hesitated too long trying to get him on the cheap. And what about our younger players.Knoyle can’t be any worse than what we saw last night. Spuds and city give them a chance. We value Oxford at £18 million, yet he can’t get a game. So come on Davids Splash some cash where it is needed before we lose out again.

  12. Exactly Northern Hammer. Obiang and Antonia have been excellent this season and Billic didn’t fancy them, now he is forced to play them because they have proved how good they are. Song and Tomkins have been replaced by Nordveit and Ginge. Terrible decisions come to think of it. When Avram was at the helm I bet many fans were not blaming the owners, they blamed Grants ineffectiveness to galvernise the team, citing him as a weak manager. Managers get hired to manager a team and get the best out of them. Hugh don’t forget that Billic was the owners last choice for the managers role. With comments about “one season owner” speaks volumes about what Sullivan really fought of him. Usually it’s top managers that really do well in football and the rest are left behind apart from the odd good season. Billic should have never been taken on in the first place and the owner are to blame for that because. I would rather have Rafa Benitez, and he was not my first choice. Sullivan’s low budget transfer kitty is putting off many excellent managers from coming to West Ham. Top managers require top money to fight the top six.

  13. Agree with you Hugh about not sacking Bilic. But only cos he should have gone at start of Dec!! Too late now & again you are right there are no good alternatives NOW. You say nobody was saying much after 10 pts from 4, but I said ditch him before that because I suspected he would limp through those games & do enough to hide the fact that he has lost the plot. It would have been a hard decision but the right one.

    Even if we now survive it is just about that. ‘Moving on to the next stage’ etc is very much off the agenda for another year. Will be even harder to attract players any better than this year’s lot.

    I have kept faith with the owners up to now, but I think the bids for JD & Snodgrass are a joke. Struggling sides are not gonna sell us their star players. Those bids look to me like ‘ put in bids, that’ll shut the suckers up for a bit & it won’t cost us a penny’. They have a lot to do in next three weeks to convince me they are heading the right way.

  14. It sounds like you want a fans site so you can tell people what to think Hugh rather than let them express their view regardless of Wether you like it! That performance was embarrassing as have many others been this season! The pitch is too big for Noble, Carroll and Payet, Kouyati has to play in Midfield, Nortviet is not a right back the responsibility is shared but Bilic is the one person responsible for the group and it’s not working! Your support my support will not change anything but moaning is a right that comes with my £800 season ticket!

  15. If you want to know who should replace Bilic, it is Bielsa he understands football in a way very few do, he doesn’t accept second best and he was the originator of the style of play Guardiola, Pochetino etc have adopted. When he went to Lazio the players thought they knew better than him he took a few training sessions and said I can’t work with these players and left. Some might think that shows a flaky person but personally I think the opposite, it shows a manager that is incredibly brave and that knows time wasters when he sees them. He is also used to working with tight budgets and every player that I have ever heard that talks about him says at first you think he is mad, later you realise he is a genius, it will take time under Bielsa to turn things around so probably best to wait until the end of the season unless things get desperate but personally I wanted him before we appointed Slav and now I want him even more. FYI I hold nothing against the players for last nights result, City were playing at a level few can reach but my thoughts are based on the whole of this season and some parts of last season onwards and upwards COYI !!!

    • Lol dont mention Bielsa 32.I originally wanted him & dafishes never let me forget it that i wanted him.Apparently Bielsa is sh*t 😁😁

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