I've stayed relatively quiet on the whole Bilic 'in or out' argument, but thought I'd take the opportunity to comment, given today's announcement.
I don't think I've wanted anybody to succeed as much as I have with Bilic, but over the last month, I began to realise he had to go if we were going to change things before we got into a relegation battle. You can see he loves the club, and we had a great last season at the Boleyn but things simply haven't fallen into place for Bilic to take the club to new levels. It was sad to see him so broken by the end of his time as manager but I'm sure he will go on to succeed at other clubs as he's a great guy and is incredibly passionate about everything he does.
Is this season's failure so far solely down to Slav? Not at all. In fact I believe that the majority of mistakes have been individual mistakes… poor marking, lack of effort and giving away reckless penalties, all of which have cost us points. It looked as though the players had given up playing for Slav for whatever reason, and as is always the way with football, managers are replaceable and players not so much.
It became apparent that there was a serious problem when it was announced that West Ham had covered the least distance after 9 games and also had the lowest number of sprints in the Premier League. For me, work rate is the most important part of any game. I would rather lose 10-0 with a team that gave their all than draw 1-1 with a squad who jog around like they can't be bothered. There are millions who would give anything for the opportunity to play in the Premier League and if players have purposely not given their all to prove a point or get rid of a manager they'd rather not have… then shame on them.
We have a decent squad, and proved that when focussed we can play brilliant football. We made a miraculous recovery away to Spurs after going 2-0 down to win 3-2 and if we can do that, I believe we truly can beat any team. We just need the fight and hunger to make it happen.
I did three Twitter polls to see what everyone thought and as the months went on, there was a clear direction people were swaying. In August, 40% said Bilic out. In September, 59% said Bilic out and after our 0-3 loss at home to Brighton, an enormous 95% of you said that Slav had to go.
This morning, my Twitter blew up. Not only was the entire Twittersphere of West Ham fans on the verge of a mental breakdown, but Carroll decided to come out and criticise fans for leaving early. This is something I personally feel quite strongly about, and have also been slated for commenting on, but this was really not the time to say anything like that. I, personally, will never leave a game early. I go to watch the game and regardless of how awful the result is, I'll stick around, even if I want the ground to swallow me whole. If we've any chance of a comeback, the team do need everyone's support, however I completely understand why people do leave and wouldn't criticise anybody who left if they didn't feel the team were giving their all. There's certainly a time and place, and today at the London Stadium… was neither.
I've already made my opinion clear on Twitter that I do not want Moyes as the 16th Manager of West Ham, however it is looking increasingly likely. Most West Ham fans seem to be of the same opinion, and right now, I genuinely would have rather kept Bilic than take Moyes. Better the devil you know and all that. For me, we need somebody creative, enthusiastic and tactically astute with a proven track record. Moyes is said to have not worked well with Hernandez at Man U, being sacked there, sacked at Real Sociedad and sacked after winning only 6 of his 38 fixtures with Sunderland last season, leading to their relegation. Criticised for his negative outlook throughout his time at Sunderland, he is not the ideal choice for somebody to potentially save West Ham from what could be a relegation battle.
That said, if Moyes is made manager, I will get behind him and support him. We can all be angry and slate every move the club makes, or we can just get on with it and support the team that we love the best we can. We're not always going to love the decisions, but there's no recipe for disaster quite like slating the new manager from the beginning of his time in charge. I'll give him a fair chance and hope I'm wrong with my current views.
A lot of people were quick to call for Bilic's head but realistically we aren't a top 6 club. We were always going to struggle to find a replacement mid-way through the season and not every manager we want is going to be interested in managing West Ham, as much as I hate to say it. It was always going to be tough to find a replacement so fingers crossed whatever we do now works out for the best.
Lastly, I know I am often criticised for being overly positive but I want West Ham to do well and I deal with things by hoping for the best and facing the potential disappointment after. Something that unites all of us is wanting the club to do well and I genuinely think now is the time it goes one way or the other. We need to pull together and remind everyone why we love this club. We all have different opinions and that's cool. We might have had a horrific start to the season but we've always been the team that cocks up every now and again, but we sort it out again. So here's to un-cocking it up!
If anybody fancies an interview under the big screen, I'll be at the Leicester game eagerly awaiting your opinions. We also allow swearing so it could be like a free therapy session if anyone needs.
Until next time,