Yes, it’s been a nightmare – so what next?

angry-bilic-624x447Describing West Ham’s season as a “nightmare” devalues the word!
It’s been a horror show played out in a new stadium an eight minute drive away and a million emotional miles from the departed Upton Park spiritual home.
We all have a view on that – mine is that other avenues should have been explored before we sold up lock stock and barrel and decided to hire a place that will never be ours. The Boleyn will forever be my Hammers home.
Michail AntonioOn top of such emotional upheaval there were the numerous and very average summer signings and dire performances, which now see us heading towards the end of season simply wanting it all to go away.
Alongside it all came a move to a new training ground – too much change too quickly!
The biggest issue for most this year has been the right back problem brought about solely in my view by the manager’s insistence that Michail Antonio was going to become one of the very best in the Premier League.
Well that didn’t work did it – instead he became Diafra Sakho! Ah, now there’s another issue!!!
Gold and sullivanPlaying the blame game is pointless but, come on, surely that should have been addressed. The team has been exposed down that side all season and the Antonio calculation was a huge error of judgement.
Then there was the arrivals of flops Gokhan Tore, Simone Zaza, Havard Nortveidt and £35 million on Andre Ayew, Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass, none of whom have got anywhere close to changing our world for the better!
West Ham’s board are the most ‘media friendly’ in the Premier League so may I ask – via this piece – for them to explain the recruitment policy as none of us is clear on who is responsible for buying and recommending who. As a result blame continues to be apportioned to perhaps the wrong people.
There’s of course been the usual injures but every club has those and in fairness the manager never moans about such stuff.
In a poll on here over recent days 3,000 Hammers voted and gave Slaven Bilic a narrow nod to carry on next season.
Us Irons have forever been an edgy, paranoid, anxious and panicky mob – we have had good reason down the years.
But with the club now all but clear of relegation, the way forward looks pretty obvious despite all the “board out…Bilic out” cries.
Seems from where I’m sitting Slaven Bilic will take the club into the third year of his contract and should the team perform, get a new deal at some point after Christmas.
If they are struggling in November or December he will presumably be told: “Sorry mate, thanks for everything, but that’s that.” To remain on trial after two seasons is not how things should be!.
But given that.the buying policy is apparently a cooperative affair between board and boss it hardly seems fair that one person takes the entire responsibility for failure.
However, should it continue into the early part of next season – if that’s how it pans out – then there can be no other option.
He needs a big spending and successful summer plus a serious dead wood clear out.

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

46 comments on “Yes, it’s been a nightmare – so what next?

  1. I would love to offer an opinion on the subject but as we are all thick as pig poo according to TeddyBard on whtid i am not able to.

    • That’ll be deleted Stanley. Hugh is taking deletions to a new level mate. My whole discussionwith Stinger went, the whole article went, which I thought was a decent grown up discussion about the owners. Then yesterday the bit on HH’s article went and it really was tame stuff which I’m pretty sure HH would’ve joined in with. Shame really imo.

      • I am thick is pig poo lads,i dont have the intellect to disagree 😂😂

        • To be fair I think Wet Teddy was referring to you and Stanley and not us posters whose Poo is thinner.

          • Lol John.Theres only one thing that stinks worse than my poo & thats TeddyTurds play on word one liners that really are stench worthy & about as funny as sitting on a cactus 😂😂

      • John, I never caught that discussion about what I presume was my article.
        What was the discussion about in general? The gloomy and negative character and gist of it all or something specific ?

        • Young Hamburg it was nothing nasty or mean about you mate,i think John just asked you if you had a Samaritans you could call in Germany and a few other light hearted comments.
          Nothing spiteful or mean.You wont ever get abuse on here.We all know you are a good fella even if one of your fellow users on the other site does claim we are thick as poo lol

          • Ah cheers! Mind you, I got similar reactions from posters on WHTID, telling me to get rid of any razorblades or painkillers lying tantalisingly around in my bathroom cupboard…;-))
            I know my column can get a bit gloomy at times, but in fairness there hasn’t been much to cheer about as a Hammer on various fronts this season.
            I won’t pretend everythings hunky-dory when it ain’t.
            And I won’t call a hammer a screwdriver either.
            Know what I mean?

          • PS: I do not get offended easily anyway, I know there is banter and if you ask my mates on WHTID they are taking the mickey all the time, either online or especially when I’m over for a game.
            I know it’s all part of your cultural DNA, your special kind of humour by the way I have always found highly appealing ever since the days I was working in Barking.
            I suppose humour is the best way to deal with certain matters anyway.
            So you may actually struggle to find anything to offend me with.
            Which of course is neither a challenge nor an invitation to you for trying to insult me or finding my weak spot…;-)

  2. As to this article. Cobblers!

    The options for the stadium were explored. Enlarge UP and build a new stadium were explored over a period of 10 years and discounted by the board long before the Davids arrived. Can you imagine the mess we would be in now if the icelandics had sanctioned a new £750M loan and stadium? Equally I’m delighted West Ham do not have a stadium that has/will cost Arse/Spuds £750M. Chelsea is of course an irrelevance. I absolutely respect others views on the OS but honestly it was and still is the best and only option and in my humble opinion it is the “deal of the century” that will keep giving because we will own it for a knock down price within 5 years.

    There is nothing wrong with how much we spend or the Slaven/Henry/Sullivan axis, last season we got it right in Payet, Lanzini and Antonio whereas this season we didn’t in Zaza/Tore/Nordtvielt. I still think Ayew Feg and Snodgrass/Fonte will come good in a better team/squad.

    The move from Chadwell Heath to Rush Green wasn’t too much too soon. It’s just a training ground Hugh and a vast improvement on Chadwell Heath. You’ve just invented a new excuse for our poor season!

    lmao, I’m not edgy, paranoid, anxious or panicky, speak for yourself Hugh 😂😂😂

  3. Im really not doom laden like some,just as last season which was fantastic has been quickly forgotten so will this season.
    Come August its a clean slate 0 games 0pts and lets start all over again.The time spent worrying is pointless because come the end of the summer months it will all be history.

    I didnt know the leg pull about HH article had been pulled young John.I was hoping our buddy was going to come here and join in.Over zealous moderators probably,ones who havnt a clue what is nasty and what is only fun..sigh.

    • Let’s hope Hughie doesn’t have his grumpy hat on today otherwise us 3 will be gone at a press of a button, North Korea and Trump style 😂😂😂

  4. Your only problem in quoting the transfer business in the great summer was that it was clearly all done by and large before SB arrived because deals take weeks and months not a few days – this summer it wasn’t. He had a major hand

    • Are you saying it was all down to Big Sam Hugh? I never knew you were a fan.

      • You do make some odd points mate. He’d gone and part of the reason was that there was tension with the recruitment drector to the board who was making most of the decisions – as it turned out correctly. We were manager-less for many weeks you may recall. On the too much change too quickly I was discussing the move to the OS, the many new players AND the move to Rush Green.

        • I was teasing you Hugh!! I do know you are not a Big Sam fan!! I personally think this season is just a perfect storm, or more appropriately an imperfect storm. The Move, Payet, poor transfers, loss of form, stadium troubles, injuries and a few other issues. I think the owners have been unfairly targeted by the haters and I think Billic has struggled with all of the aforementioned, I’m not sure if a better manager would’ve done better but I doubt it. A lot has conspired against us this season.

          There are lessons to be learnt by everyone and I hope they are learnt in the summer by everyone.

          That’s my view for what it’s worth, no knicker wetting necessary, we start again once this season is over. Slav will still be here and so will the owners, definitely the owners! That’s why all the abuse nonsense is pointless.

          • CERTAINLY NOT WETTING MY knickers John altho I do sometimes pass a toilet and think “well I might as well as it’s there” 🙂 just trying to ensure things are properly understood.

  5. There isn’t a lot one can say really . We moved house and have to live with it or go completely down hill . I vote living with it and getting the furniture sorted out .
    The Boleyn wasn’t exactly suited to much development anyway . As John says , it will probably be up for sale in 5 yrs . And we would have first option ( although I reckon more like 10 yrs ) It will cause all kinds of poop to pop up , thick and thin . If the Board decide to sell up , which is not beyond the realms of possibility , there is every chance the new owners would put in a bid to buy .
    All speculative stuff I know but , in this Modern Football Age one can never discount the seemingly unlikelihood . Which would seriously **** off Spurs , Arsenal , Chelsea amongst others .

  6. The position on deletions is simple. Semi obscene or obscene, swearing for no good reason and posts driven by personal dislike which develop into bitterness and abuse rather than reason are deleted. Hope that makes things clear lads. The West Pants thing was put to bed weeks ago by Iain and myself. We are trying vey hard to be reasonable people 🙂

    • Yeah we know the score Hugh,even us thick as poo C&H users understand 😂

  7. I am more concerned with the management of the team and that is where Slav appears to be failing to me. New stadium was in my view inevitable, summer signings were poor especially versus season before and by all accounts we needed a new training ground badly. But its the lack of passion, application and tactics shown by the team on the pitch that worries me and when it’s going wrong no apparent plan to change it. Too many player issues, the Manager should manage those situations before they get to the press, that’s what a good Manager should do, manage….. we could all pick a team from the squad list.

    • That’s why I don’t bother trying to pick a team , PR . There are loads of supporters who love doing that and one more wouldn’t make an ounce of difference . I know how I would like the team to be organized but , I am not the Manager nor profess to be anything approaching a coach ; pardon the pun .
      I totally agree that there are too many issues that need addressing that seem to be escaping the office .
      One being ; the need for change , be it Bilic , his stafff or all of them .
      It does look as if we played above ourselves last season much like Leicester . The difference is though they realized the need for change and , not a moment too soon .
      I don’t think it’s the passion that’s missing ; it’s more like the organization , tactics , Man management and confidence which you neeed to apply to create that passion . For me the point has been proven by Leicester . They took the massive educated gamble , to Thier eternal credit , and it has paid off . West Ham Need to something similar before any decent player is attracted to the LS .

  8. There are lots of issues and most Hammers fans are not edgy and paranoid, more like realistic and resigned to our fates.
    I still don’t know why the east stand wasn’t developed and the corners closed in when the bus garage closed, surely that was why the west stand was moved back, but of course that would have cost a lot of money, so yes I do know really.
    A lot of people moan about the fact that we didn’t get the superstar forward we were promised, but the hard fact is that we could have had £50 million to spend (we didn’t) but you cannot force a young/good player to come to us when they yearn Champions League competition. The big problem was the fact that the Dave’s kept social media alive with plans that in the light of day could not be delivered (note to management – Best shut up until it’s in the bag!)
    Coming out of the Europa was a blessing really as we do not need any distractions from stabalising ourselves and we need to climb mountains when we have the right kit!
    I have already pinned my colours onto Bilic flag but there are concerns about team selection and man management. Is Sakho just getting fit to wander off or is his grievance justified? Randolph should have been dropped after recent poor performances and just because he waited a long time- yes he got his chance but now surely Adrian has bided his time and would want to advertise himself in the market place and make amends. Playing Carroll up front is clearly not working well but why give Calleri the last 60 seconds or so and why not give Fletcher his chance – I’ve said it before, Rashford was behind him in pecking order at Man U and look at him recently!
    All of this is perplexing and as my old grandad used to say – if things don’t change they’ll stay as they are!
    One thing is sure I will never change from supporting the Irons no matter what happens or where I am – COYI

  9. Hugh a lot is said about the disasterous recruitment, I have always and will always disagree that it was disasterous in evidence I will use the known quantities within the transfers, mostly Snodgrass and Fonte were well received they both looked very good players at their previous club as did Ayew (even if the fee was excessive) under Bilic they look very poor indeed, Zaza looked great in Italy, Tore looked good also and Callieri has good movement even if he hasn’t yet found his scoring boots, I would put almost all of the blame on the coaching of those players that there levels seem to have dropped significantly within weeks of joining us. The season has been a challenge but look at the amount of points we have dropped down to sloppy play and you say where our level is and it is between 5th and 8th with a team pretty low on confidence, the positive side of this is that without even playing well we can score goals against most teams (although not the top 6 this season), with high quality training and a team defending from front to back we will again be challenging at the top of the table, it is also why we should be careful to make the right appointment when we do swap managers, Sampaoli is the ideal manager that I can think of that would unite the team and change the culture but he has been speaking with Argentina although he hasn’t accepted yet so we would have to move fast if we were to appoint him at the end of the season.

  10. Well said Eastend, totally agree with you, yes we have “the deal of a century” but it will never be ours and we should have just extended the east stand. What were the Chelsea fans singing”you sold your soul for this Sh*thole” Ok the new ground is far from a craphole but selling your soul did hit a raw nerve with me as it did alot of fans I should imagine.
    As much as I love SB there seems to be a common problem coming through with man management for me also loyalty is one thing but you cannot keep playing out of form players it sends the wrong message to the squad in my opinion.
    We need a massive clean out at the end of the season and that includes the backroom staff!

  11. I just smirk when Chelsea fans sing that Rick.It certainly doesnt hit a raw nerve with me.
    A club whos fans couldnt be bothered to go Stamford Bridge not so long ago relatively speaking when getting crowds of about twelve thousand.
    A club who sold its soul to a dodgy oligarch who has bought success through billions of pounds.I find not one thing about that club that can still be called the old Chelsea.
    Only the ground and thats going soon.

    • Yeah agree with that Stan, of all the grounds other than UP the Bridge is the one I have been to the most even when doing well they struggle to fill out the Stadium for CL and Cup games there support has grown due to their success but a lot of that is Globally rather than in the UK, without Harding and Abramovitch they would have faded into obscurity.

  12. I missed the lastest round of abuse from certain posters towards us, why who when??

    • It comes and passes – there’s much to do Essex that impossible to remember

      • Essex. It was Hugh. He called Sean a lazy good for nothing. Hugh deleted himself and banned Sean. Rads now runs the site and we can all do what we like.

        • Lol John,yeah i say lets go all out anarchy,no banning,swearing compulsory and all Pampers wearers welcome as long as they clean up behind themselves 😂😂

  13. Hugh : nice to see our little tiff is over and done with . We are both life-long fans and love our club . Opinions can vary between fans . We both have our Club at Heart . Sometimes opinions offend people , that’s unavoidable but , it depends on how you say it .
    Regards , Kevin .

    • Tiffs are allowed Kev. With around 60k people following – stories to write, the FB group and Twitter to deal with sometimes it gets hairy and unconsidered responses appear but it’s never ever personal. And I think slowly the who debate hre is getting much better. My very best to you mate. H

  14. You’re a good man Kevin,i know we tease you sometimes but its always ment in jest.It would seem somewhat quieter without you about lol

  15. Yes Stan hear you mate Chelski and all that stuff. Maybe because we were sold the idea of being a top four club blah blah and the way things have gone this year that leaving UP leaves a bitter taste.
    Its obvious now that its gonna take more than a 60,000 seater to step up to the next level and frankly without a massive cash investment I cannot see it.

  16. R,JHB ; that’s exactly my point when I say the possibility of the owners selling up is in the realm of possibility . Don’t want us to become a Plastic Club , no History ect ect but , honestly without it we will be forever a mid-table club surviving on the odd bit of success and scratchings . We still have more history than most in the English League system but , wouldn’t it be nice to be just that little bit better off and challenging for higher prizes !! . Yes , we need a massive cash injection . New owners and purchasing the LS would certainly get us someway toward being what we aspire to be . You , me and thousands of others are tired of making up the numbers as just another of the 38 in the Prem . Well , at least I am .
    What has really galled me these past two seasons is the way we dumped ourselves out of Europe . I found it Embarrassing , Shameful and insulting . But hey , that’s me .
    We only need a few more points to be reallly safe . One at home to Everton Should be enough , and a surprise result over the following four games would nail it .

  17. Could be worse we could have the dung beetle rolling his ball of crap back towards us or Lou Macari making a reappearance ably assisted by Roeder 😀 For 30+ years we’ve seen ups and downs and this ain’t any different! Time to do what we’ve always done roll up our sleeves have a bit of a laugh, don’t take ourselves to seriously and just get behind the team however ****e they are 😀😀

    • Yeh , let’s roll up our sleeves and have a right old giraffe . But , my giggles are running out of chuckles . If you see what I mean ?! .

      • Kevin after spending another fortune again on watching that shower of ****e home and away all season, laughter is all I’ve got now 😀 The sooner we all realise we ain’t a big club and never will be with them two at the helm the sooner some fans will stop spontaneously combusting after every result 😀😀

        • i with GW on this, all this season is, is a dose of realism.
          Were no big player, players will use as as a shop window so if they are top draw they won’t hang around.
          Weave had different players managers and owners and yet we all ways fail to have a good season followed by a good season

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