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They shoot horses, donít they?


Filed: Monday, 23rd October 2017
By: Paul Walker


I think Neil Ashton on Sky at the weekend got it just about right. When will Slaven Bilic be put out of his misery?

The Sunday Supplement anchor and Daily Mail man could hardly have put it better. However you look at it, how much you blame Slav for our current predicament. This is no way to treat anyone.

As usual the ítwo games to save his jobí nonsense was filtered out after a weekend in which our board had been clearly unable to find someone to step in at short notice to turn the ship around. So Slav has to carry on.

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You see, he is not trying to save his job, because he and us all know that decision has already been taken. If you tell someone that he can stay on only because they canít find anyone to take over, that is hardly much of an incentive.

And the players know it. They know the manager giving them instructions has absolutely no credibility any more, no clout, no position of an real authority.

Two games, Spurs at Wembley in what Sky may see as a very public execution (I thought we stopped all that a century back) and then a trip to an improving Crystal Palace who will be just baying for blood in a game they now feel that have a decent chance in.

And what next for Slav? Itís Liverpool at home on 4 November. After that we have another two week international break. Yes, another one. And it is there that I reckon David Sullivan feels he may have a window of opportunity to get someone in.

Bilic just has to suck it up. Maybe the are trying to force him to resign, but why should he? The board have given him so much grief over the months, he probably feels entitled to that £2m pay-off.

If he soldiers on, he will get that with his contract ending next summer. If he walks away, he gets nothing. Lovely jubbly, Sullivan.

There has even been rumours, rejected by the board that Bilic has offered to quit. That rumour has come from somewhere to reach social media, and may well be how he has spoken to the players in times if real strife and weakness of the soul.

Now I have never been one to start calling for his head, nobody really knows what goes on in our club behind Karrenís net curtains. But the Brighton disaster changed a few minds, the end of the road for many, who just cannot see how the tide can be turned.

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Funnily enough, I was pretty confident on Friday, having seen the side draw at Burnley with ten men, a defiant, resilient display that no-one can convince me was a case of the manager having lost the dressing room.

Sullivan may well have felt that way when he did that interview with Gary Neville pre-match to say Slav would get to the end of his contract, he could have believed he was on firm ground.

Having not raised his head or said a word since that ridiculous row with Sporting Lisbon and the statement he issued to prove we had made a bid for William Carvalho - something I understand David Gold and Karren Brady did not know anything about until it had been done - here was the time for him to make a statesmanlike interview.

Ninety minutes later all that had changed.

There is no going back now. No ítwo games to save your job.í Itís all hot air and will change the instant someone agrees to step into Slavís boots.

But three more defeats would force Sullivanís hand, he will have to sack the manager. Because by then, even now many feel, there is a need for strong leadership, not only to do the decent thing by a man who has been held in high esteem as a player as well, initially, a manager at the club. You canít go on treating a man with such distain, such lack of respect, such mental cruelty, even.

Yes, I know, Slaven is a big boy, he knows the game and knows the consequences of this sort of crisis. But I cannot recall a manager being treated like this over such an extended period. Almost a silent war of attrition. Slav looks drained, tired of it all, a man now without answers.

Nobody deserves that, it has been going on far too long. Many feel Sullivan should have acted before the season started. The signs have been there for a long time.
I frankly donít know what Sullivan should do next in this endless search for a new manager. But then I am not the owner, I am not the person who has accepted that responsibility. He has to make the call, end the cruelty of Bilic and move on.

Palace found a decent manager pretty quickly, there are enough out-of-work people around to take the reigns for maybe a year, Alan Pardew springs to mind. Sullivan could even try a very short-term move of asking Mark Noble and Pablo Zabaleta to take the reigns with Terry Westley doing the nuts and bolts on the training ground. Just to give the club time to come to a decent decision.

But Bilic should be put out of his misery, this situation reminds me of the íthey shot horses, donít theyí film!


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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