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Is this really how people see West Ham?


Filed: Tuesday, 10th October 2017
By: Paul Walker


Iíd hoped for a quite fortnight, no chance of West Ham losing a match because it was the international break, and there was plenty of time for a short holiday for myself, family and friends to help consume as much of the Kent wine harvest as possible. We did OK, thank you!

You would have expected the West Ham circus to take a break too. No chance there, it seems, even though I had naively lived in hope.

Itís been all talk, talk about a new manager which gives the outside world a very poor impression of our club and how itís run.

Slaven Bilic had won the match we were all reliably informed he had to win to avoid the sack. He did just that, as he had on about half a dozen times previously in the past year or so when the pressure was on.

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It wasnít very pretty, dreadful in fact, but a win is a win and we were out of the bottom three having had to play a ridiculous game of catch up from what the Yanks would refer to as 0-4 (I put that in just to make our new director, Mr. 10 per cent from across the pond, a certain J.Albert (Tripp) Smith feel at home now heís managed to find out where, and what, London E20 is).

Fair to say, thereís a few of our lot who would wish they couldnít find Stratford either. But thatís a story for another day, Tripp, old boy!

Then we had every media outlet and website worth their salt being briefed that Slav would stay on now until the summer and the end of his contract. That, of course, hasnít stopped 22 names (my reckoning) being linked with his job.

It hasnít stopped perma-tanned, fake blonde Simon Jordan calling Slav "Dysfunctional"Ö Iíll get to him later. And the boy Jack being blasted as "inappropriate" by Graeme Souness, one of the finest footballers of his generation and a more-than-decent TV pundit.

Oh, and there has been the quite disgraceful (by Sky) attempts to play our home match with Newcastle on Christmas Eve. My Christmas Eve is spent trying to get a few sherbets down, ferrying turkeys, grandchildren and various dogs and relatives into appropriate position for the following days' festivities.

Thereís also that last minute, ten bags of shopping to negotiate from SainsburyĎs. I am sure that applies to most of my fellow Hammers (supermarket of choice, of course). The day does not include football. Enough said.

As for young Jack and his twitter stuff. Souness was a bit harsh, the lad has tempered his outpourings of late, but even so he still does comment on the club, and that looks like it's coming from his dad.

Many of us feel that club hierarchy should not do social media in this way, it leaves a very bad impression and is more trouble than itís worth. It leaves the perception - obviously picked up by Souness - that too many people chattering from on high damage the manager.

It's an image we just don't seem to shake off. I wonder how many players decide not to join us because of the image of chaos we create?

Jack did OK to respectfully praise Souness and state his view. Then he ruined it by inviting Souness to stand with him on a cold touchline in Essex to see his girlsí team play. I sense Souness would rather have pins pushed into his eyes first.

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As for Jordan. This is a man who is reputed to have lost £50m of his own money running Crystal Palace, and then took them into administration. And he calls Bilic "dysfunctional".

Back to the serous stuff, sadly. The stay of execution for Slav was tainted somewhat by the claims from someone inside the club that he was only still around because they couldnít find a successor from in house.

Before I continue, I wish to assure everyone that this is not going to be an attack on our good friends at C&H, and Hugh, a long standing former colleague and pal of mine who I admire immensely for setting up the best on-line newspaper in the Premier League. It is a newspaper, not a fansí website for opinions, people should remember that.

If someone offers him information on a "sources said" basis, he should use it. I certainly would. It is the vendor of this titbit that infuriates me. What on earth the players and Slav feel about such an under-handed slight I cannot imagine.

And itís also a load of rubbish. Every top flight manager employs loyal foot soldiers to run the show for them. They move with their man from club to club, clearly happy to trust them rather than the employers.

Rafa Benitez does not even have an assistant manager, just three Spanish coaches. Jurgen Klopp the same (but with Germans). Pep Guardiola has three coaches working under him, at Chelsea thereís also a coach, Steve Holland.

Names like Jason Tindall (Bournemouth), Paul Trollope (Brighton), Ian Woan (Burnley), Rui Faria (Man Utd), Erwin Koeman (Everton), Michael Appleton (Leicester), Eric Black(Southampton), Jesus Perez (Spurs, a coach), David Kemp (WBA), Christoph Buehler(Huddersfield) and Nigel Gibbs (Swansea) are the next in command at their clubs.

Mark Hughes at Stoke has old hands Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki watching his back. Not one of these coaches and assistants mentioned would be considered experienced enough to take over as manager of the respective clubs.

So to suggest that Slav is the only manager to surround himself with worker bees is nonsense. No manager employs someone who is capably of agitating for the top job, or would get it. Look how quickly Brendan Rodgers got rid of Steven Gerrard. Our owners should not find excuses to stop them doing what they feel is necessary. Even if it costs.

But once again, what enrages me is seeing a manager told he is safe until the end of the season, while the long list of potential managers keeps being paraded. It may more likely be agents ringing Sullivan and offering him their man rather than the club openly searching for a new manager.

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But I still believe there are off-the-record briefings going on. Martin Samuels, in a recent Mail report, suggested that there was time for a "period of silence", and that the culprits "know who they are".

Then he had another pop at the board by suggesting that Leicester, who have a reputation for sacking managers, are being very quiet about their current situation. While West Ham, with no history of quick sackings in recent seasons, cannot stop talking about new managers.

Just who comes up with this list... Walter Mazzarri, Quique Sanchez Flores, Carlo Ancelotti, Sean Dyche, Chris Coleman, Thomas Tuchel, Rafa Benitez (twice), David Wagner, Manuel Pellegrini, Roger Schmidt, Rudi Garcia, Slavisa Jokanovic, Simone Inzaghi, Roberto Mancini, Marcelo Bielsa, Maurizio Sarri, Ryan Giggs, Brendan Rodgers, Unai Emery, Gary Monk, Alan Pardew and Eddie Howe?

Everyone has been mentioned recently in the media, plenty in the last fortnight, as a replacement for Bilic. Come on gents, you sure know how to make a guy feel unwelcome.


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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