Recently, the sports pages have been full of stories about how West Ham are about to sack manager Slaven Bilic. Some reports even suggest that the club has already sounded out potential replacements.
Rafa Benitez, Jaap Stam, Roberto Mancini and Huddersfield Town boss Martin Wagner are all the apparent candidates to take over from the Croatian. The reports even suggest that Bilic could be sacked before the season is completed, especially if the team fail to win any of the next four games.
West Ham play three of the bottom four Premier League teams [Hull City, Swansea City and Sunderland] during the next three weeks, with an away fixture against Arsenal thrown in for good measure.
All of these games could prove to be tricky encounters. However, a couple of wins in these games would all but guarentee Premier League safety. However, failure to win any and West Ham will most likely be plunged into a another relegation battle. It really is a critical part of the season.
Back the boss!
No one knows if there is any truth in the sacking reports. But what I, and I suspect many Hammers fans would want, is for the owners to back the manager. This would help galvanise the team and most importantly put an end to these unhealthy and disruptive rumours.
Unfortunately, this has not happened. Co-chairman David Sullivan’s decision to offer a public apology to the fans after the recent 3-2 defeat to Leicester City only made things worse, and helped to stir up the rumours in the first place.
The board should not be apologising for results. It is the players and the managers job to take responsibility for their performances. The board are the ones that identified Bilic as the man for the West Ham job and then appointed him. They should let him get on with his job.
We should not forget that primarily there are two reasons why results have not been good this season.
Why has it been a poor season?
Firstly, the move to the London Stadium has presented a number of well documented challenges.
Secondly, most of the players purchased in the summer, to make the team better, have not performed. It is my understanding that the board play a big part in which players are signed. So when they fail, how can this be put down to the manager? Both of the these reasons are down to the board. Not Bilic!
Yes, it is Bilic that picks the team. Yes, he chooses the tactics and the formation. But he is not solely responsible for the players that he has had at his disposal.
At this vital point of the season, West Ham’s board should be giving the manager their full backing. They should back him both in private and most importantly in public. Personally, I still have faith in Slaven Bilic. I admit that some of his tactical decisions this season have been a little awry. However, I still think he is the man for the job. At least for the rest of this season.
West Ham play Hull City away on Saturday. The Tigers are desperate for points and although the Hammers have a few injury concerns, I am confident we can get at least a point.
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