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Thatís the way to do it, West Ham - outfoxed again

Filed: Monday, 30th October 2017
By: Paul Walker

First things first - I like Slaven Bilic. I liked him as a player and I liked him as a manager who understood West Ham, who had charm and charisma and wears his heart on his sleeve.

But (and thereís always a but these days) our owners could not have made it clearer that they are looking for a replacement, as our season lurches from one scene of chaos to another.

Not in so many words, no. But in their every action, the amount of constant pressure from their briefings and interviews and social media garbage, nobody has any doubts where they are heading.

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Saturdayís near disaster at Crystal Palace, the very public hammering of Michail Antonio for his moment of sheer unprofessional madness that cost us victory, was just the latest chapter in a national football soap opera that reduces us to ridicule.

So here we go again. How long will Slav last, what are the club doing to correct a statistic that says we have won just 20 of our last 60 matches in all competitions and just 13 of our last 47 league matches? I will pause there so you can all let that sink in, are you reading this David Sullivan?

If you want to make a change, you have all the ammunition you need. But do you have the balls? Are you just letting things slide until the next international break, are you hoping beyond hope for a biblical change of direction, which is hypocrisy at its worst?

Everyone seems to know you wonít renew Slavís contract and you have been asking, pleading maybe, with agents and advisors to give you a way out of this mess before the whole thing explodes in a financial nightmare.

And the nonsense that comes spewing out, that itís tough out there, you canít find someone with Premier League experience, all your targets are contracted to others and nobody wants to step in at this precarious moment.

Well, Leicester City have just shown you how itís done. Now I know itís clever to be clever in hindsight, to trot out someoneĎs good fortune in a tough market place. A bit cruel really, unkind.

Tough. I have had enough of waking up every Sunday not just miserable, but angry at what has caused our latest calamity. Our board and owners have lost the right to be treated fairly, because they are frozen in some sort of football inertia.

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Off the field they are running into a brick wall with our London Stadium landlords who wonít let us do anything, from adding more seating to changing the different colour pitch surrounds for fear of upsetting the London Mayor. On the pitch there is a relegation battle smacking them in the face, and they are doing nothing about it.

Overall, the stagnation is stopping them making proper football decisions, from showing the level of responsibility and forward planning you expect from the executives of a multi-million pound business - we are the 17the richest club in the world.

Itís what you wanted gentlemen, away from the backwaters of Birmingham and into the big time, bright lights. With that comes responsibility, you are expected to make the big decisions and get them right. Thatís what the Premier League is all about.

But there has been weeks of fudge, no clear pathway, no seemingly, ability to get the right people and make the right decisions. So stop saying itís tough out there.

Leicester sacked Craig Shakespeare on October 17. They put Michael Appleton in caretaker control and he won at Swansea and sorted a League Cup quarter final birth by beating Leeds 3-1,.

Then Leicester appoint Claude Puel on October 25, a new assistant manager in Pascal Plancque a couple of days later and then they beat Everton. Thatís six points, one manager out and another in over just 13 days. And they are now in the top half.

Sullivan, in that interview with Gary Neville, claimed that a new manager would only bring in, on average, three or four extra points. Where he got that gem from I donít know. But it was too cute, too dismissive.

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Six points for Leicester is a big deal, and they have a decent new manager with European experience, Premier League experience with Southampton who he took to eighth spot last season before being axed because they didnít like his style of play.

But he has good experience at Lyon and Monaco, and knows what he is doing. So the theory from our owners that itís hard to find such a deal mid-season is so much rubbish. It is possible, with the right planning, contacts and decision making. Over to you Mr. Sullivan.

We all know this canít go on much longer. Slav left Selhurst Park shaking his head in disbelief. Joe Hart, after a great performance could hardly believe he had seen such poor professionalism.

It still amazes me that there are twitter twerps out there still slagging off Hart. Social media is just drunk people shouting at each other in a bar, thinking they are making sense. They are not. If you canít see that Hart is a top Ďkeeper I suggest you revert your weekends towards bowls or some other activity that doesnít tax your brain cell too much.

What we need now is serious leadership from Sullivan & Co. This time last season Sunderland had six points from ten games and were relegated by 11 points. We have just nine points from ten games.

Get a grip, gentleman, I hear you have four names at the top of your list. Last week I was told you had 12 people under consideration.

Itís too slow. The argument that you donít want to pay off Slav and his mates is eyewash. So itís about £3m. I recall Manchester City once having three ex-managers still on the payroll. You just keep paying them monthly, nobody has to get lump sums, and it also stops them slagging the club off in the media or revealing embarrassing details, because they are still on the payroll and cannot rock the boat in that way.

So if you are going to dump Slav, get on with it. There are people out there, although my initial suggestion of Alan Pardew last week wasn't that clever, I forgot the alleged stuff that got him the push in the first place!

We have a two week break after next weekendís home game with Liverpool, heaven help us. I expect Sullivan to get this nonsense sorted before the next game at Watford. Clear leadership and the correct decisions, seems simple, pal - just ask Leicester how itís done.

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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