Filed: Monday, 27th February 2017
By: Jamie Norwood
So Slaven Bilic’s contract is up next summer and I am getting a little worried. Rumours of Roberto Mancini having talks with David Sullivan, I find very strange and if true then it is incredibly disrespectful to Slav.
For me Bilic has been a breath of fresh air. I won’t bring up my thoughts on our last manager, but he is the complete opposite. He has passion on the touchline, he loves the club and when we lose you just know that it hurts him just as much as us fans.
In his first season he gave us some of the best days/nights – beating Liverpool (three times), Man City and Chelsea - and no one will ever forget that game vs Man Utd.
This season he has dealt with so many problems; the stadium move, the Payet situation, lack of investment in the team – all this and we’re ninth in the league. Even in the bad times this season the fans still sung his name I think the Board really have to look at that and the relationship he has with the fans. It’s been a while since there has been such a connection.
We had a great season last year and I was so disappointed that the owners failed to back him in the summer transfer window. We (he) was promised a '20-goal-a-season striker' and we ended up with Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri on loan deals.
Ayew came in for £20million eventually but he’s played the majority of his career as a winger/attacking midfielder and is clearly not an out-and-out striker. Other deals done were free transfers or small fees; Sofiane Feghouli, Havard Nordtviet, Edimilson Fernandes, Alvaro Arbeloa and Gokhan Tore.
A lot of ‘squad’ players yet none of them improving the first team. Not backing the manager going into the new stadium was a massive error, in my opinion.
Look at other teams in the league; Crystal Palace signing Christian Benteke for £30m (and then spending another £40m+ in January!), Bournemouth paid £15m for Jordan Ibe, Everton £30m for Yannick Bolasie, Middlesborough £16m on Patrick Bamford and Rudy Gestede…
A recent report from Deloitte says that we have the 18th-highest revenue in world football at £143.8million. What I would like to know, is where this money is?
We still have no first choice right back and we are, incredibly, still relying on Andy Carroll to stay fit. Bilic now has no other choice but to play Michail Antonio there, whose best position is clearly on the wing.
In January we had the chance to invest in the team and we purchased a centre back and a winger. No striker, no right back. Had we had those two positions filled we surely would have taken our chances against West Brom and Watford and picked up six points instead of the two. (I know poor refereeing decisions haven’t helped either).
The club stated it was Bilic’s decision not to sign anyone, but I personally don’t believe that for a minute. He said he wanted Defoe, yet the owners offered just £6m. Hardly backing the manager is it?
It looks to me as if the owners will come up with any excuse not to spend money. We made £7m profit (on transfer fees) in January – so you’d think there would be a big budget for the summer? Let’s wait and see, but we’ve heard that before!
Bilic dealt with the Dimitri Payet situation with class and to be honest, you’d expect nothing less from the man. His best player who Bilic invested so much into, a player he got playing his best football and back in the France set-up.
It must have really hurt Slav how it all came out. You can tell how let down he was when he revealed Payet was refusing to play. The way he handled it has brought the whole squad together and results and performances have improved. From ‘relegation trouble’ we now sit ninth.
Bilic and his coaching staff deserve massive credit for that.
If Sullivan is really thinking of changing the manager (Im really struggling to understand why) who is the alternative? Roberto Mancini? He did a good job at Man City, but he also had unlimited funds, which he wouldn’t have here. (He’ll have unlimited South Americans on loan, though!)
Mancini has no connection with West Ham and was sacked before the season started by Inter Milan after losing 6-1 to Tottenham in a friendly!
In my opinion there isn’t a better manager out there for West Ham United than Slaven Bilic. He suits the club down to the ground. He just gets 'us' - and we get 'him'. Come on West Ham, sort this out before the end of the season and reward Bilic with a new contract.
* Catch up with Jamie via twitter at @JimboNorwood.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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