West Ham need to think long and hard about this decision

Image for West Ham need to think long and hard about this decision

Slaven Bilic

As West Ham United confirmed on Saturday evening that they would not be renewing Sam Allardyce’s contract, I felt it was definitely the right decision at the right time.

I appreciate what the big man has done at the club, he got us out of the Championship when we were in a right old mess and he stabilised us in the Premier League over the next two seasons but his stubbornness in many different areas meant we never really warmed to him and he never made the effort to change that. So it was the time to thank him, shake hands, part ways and keep on marching forward with a more progressive manager, who has Premier League experience. Right?

Well, as the Bank Holiday weekend came to an end, I started to get a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach about this situation, that I really didn’t expect to feel.

My number one target Rafa Benitez looks like he is almost certainly off to Real Madrid. ‘Ok, that’s a big shame’ I thought. ‘Maybe we can get Michael Laudrup to come back to the Premier League? He did a great job at Swansea and is a big name’ Then I read that Laudrup has no interest in joining a ‘mid-table club’ Damn. Who else fits the criteria?

Even the most optimistic Hammers fan surely thought that there was more of a chance of an England recall for our loveable Sir Carlton Cole, than the prospect of Carlo Ancelotti or Jurgen Klopp seriously considering coming to the Boleyn Ground.

Suddenly there aren’t many manager’s available with Premier League experience. ‘Yeah but Brendan Rodgers looks like he will get the boot now and he would surely come to us and be a great fit?’ Well that may have been true a couple of days ago as Liverpool would have been eyeing up the possibility of either Klopp or Ancelotti replacing Rodgers at Anfield but according to reports, Klopp apparently wants to take six months out of the game and Ancelotti a year. So it looks likely that Rodgers will be given more time as a result. Bugger.

That leaves us with possible options like David Moyes or Steve McClaren, which would be sideways movements from Allardyce in my opinion. That to me would be pointless as it is better the devil you know if there is no one available that could be considered a step up.

Do we therefore now make a risky appointment of someone that has neither managed in the Premier League before, or successfully at the top of European football, like Slaven Bilic?

Now Bilic fits many of our criteria’s, he’s likeable, plays an attractive style of football and of course he was a former Hammer. Albeit for just one year. However, he is a big gamble, a gamble I just don’t think we should be taking right now but one that looks like we are indeed going to. Bilic could well be an inspired decision but if you study his record, his appointment could quite easily go pear-shaped as well.

After a very impressive start to life as manager of Croatia (Semi-Finalists at Euro 2008) Bilic failed to take his country to the 2010 World Cup and then failed to get out of the Group Stage at Euro 2012, although they were handed a very tough group with eventual finalists Spain and Italy.

After Euro 2012, he was offered a big job in club management, at Lokomotiv Moscow, which he accepted. However that season the club finished in their lowest ever position of 9th in the Russian top flight. Not impressive.

His next move was to Turkish giants Besiktas and whilst English viewers will have been impressed by his sides performances this season, against Arsenal in the Champions League Play Off  and then eliminating Liverpool in the Europa League, overall it hasn’t gone very well there either.

Besiktas failed to win the League in his two years at the helm and worse still, they failed to qualify for next seasons Champions League too, the bare minimum requirement.

I’m sorry if this comes across as a negative article. It’s not meant to be but as I’ve stated….I’m nervous. You have to remember that this is the same board that appointed Avram Grant and we all know how that ended up.

If it is Bilic, then of course he will have mine and all of our full support.

However my opinion in the current situation, is that I think the two Dave’s should be patient and bide their time over the next month and see what else develops. Sound out other ambitious targets abroad like Frank De Boer at Ajax, Seville’s Unai Emery whose side have a Europa League final coming up and the flamboyant Marcelo Bielsa of Marseille.

At the same time they should watch carefully the situation with Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool. He would be my choice now if he leaves. He’s been in the Premier League for a while, so knows the league, has good tactical ideas and has most certainly learned a lot from his time at Liverpool.

Otherwise we could be making a sideways step or the scary one into the unknown. Please get it right West Ham.

Share this article


  • Ian B says:

    Absolutely spot on article, bilic’s record as a club manager just doesn’t cut it, lots of people clammering for his appointment should take their claret and blue tinted specs off and digest this article, he is just not the right appointment at this point in time and we will be looking over our shoulders at the relegation battle if we aren’t part of it!

  • Haydn says:

    Great post 😉

  • Stockporthammer says:

    Completely agree. Bilic isn’t all sugar and spice – just remember his spineless play acting that got Laurent Blanc sent off at the World Cup some years back. Shameless…
    Board need to make a swift appointment with the new manager getting stuck in to pre season planning immediately or ensure the sports science and conditioning staff don’t follow BFS out the door and remain with our u21s as caretaker for June so we make the right appointment.
    Beauty about short break this summer is most of the squad that we keep won’t lose much fitness and those who were injured like Sakho and AC will come back fresh. Can’t see us struggling in first 2 leg fixture with those two starting whether we have a new manager in place or not. With Tony Henry in charge of recruitment I think we need a coach more than a manager so I would focus on a candidate with a proven and technical European CV rather than a top top name. e.g. De Boer.
    If Rogers were our manager where does that leave AC?! Not exactly bessie mates lol!

  • Stockporthammer says:

    P.S. Bilic was at Everton longer than West Ham so he’ll possibly use us as a shop window to replace Martinez if he has a bad year….

  • Dave says:

    Agreed, recruitment isn’t easy and will need a lot of thought. There aren’t any perfect managers out there though and Bilic finished third this year behind Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. Doesn’t sound terrible…

  • blimey says:

    Bilic does at least have experience of European football.
    Dont shoot me but no one has mentioned tve name’Paul Lambert’…..?

  • Casper says:

    Good post. Brendan Rodgers has gained invaluable experience at Swansea and Liverpool, good manager in my opinion

  • Gary says:

    Forget Rodgers, spent £211 m on transfers and only one has proven a success – says it all . David gold interview yesterday , said they want the best , so go the extra mile Dave and push the boat out and bring home jurgen klopp.

  • George Lee says:

    Di Mateo would be my choice.Or Di Canio.LOL

Comments are closed.