It’s not as if we are all reacting to the first three games of the new season – West Ham under Slaven Bilic have been poor for the past 12 months.
It’s not just the three games this season he is being judged on either, it’s in fact three wins in the last 17 games and by anyone’s standards, that’s unnacceptable.
Saturday’s debacle at St James’ Park was one of the worst performances by a West Ham team under Bilic, it was just awful. If it were not for Joe Hart, it could have been five or six. There have been some bad ones – West Brom away last season, Watford at home, Liverpool at home to name just three – but yesterday was simply shocking.
Last seasons transfer windows were abysmal as only Andre Ayew, Arthur Masuaku and Edimilson Fernandes remain in and around the first team. Jose Fonte is woefully out of form and his fellow January signing, Robert Snodgrass, has been loaned out to Aston Villa just eight months after signing.
Simone Zaza, Havard Nordveit, Gokhan Tore, Jonathan Calleri, Sofiane Feghouli, Ashley Fletcher – all players signed last summer – didn’t make the grade.
The Croat needed a strong start to the season to even entertain the idea of extending his contract past this season – you can absolutely rule that out now. Whether it is this summer or sooner, Bilic is unlikely to be in charge of West Ham next season barring a miraculous turn around.
Tactically, Bilic has been found wanting and his team selection even more so. Fernandes isn’t ready for the first team, Mark Noble is clearly on a downhill slide, Declan Rice is – while extremely talented – very raw and young – yet that was the starting midfield against Newcastle with Cheikhou Kouyate on the bench.
Rice made a mistake that led to Newcastle’s opening goal by Joselu yesterday and what did Bilic do? Subbed the kid off which is poor man management. It was up to Joe Hart to give encouragement to Rce after the mistake, gee him up, then his manager hooked him at half time.
Snodgrass has since tore into the manager for playing him out of position, we’ve seen Fernandes playing left wing, we’ve seen Michail Antonio play right back as well, remember that?
Bilic persists with the one main striker too – Javier Hernandez this season – who is as far removed from a target man as you can be. It’s pointless lumping the ball up to him like Andy Carroll, Chicharito needs the ball to feet. The lack service up to him in the opening three games has been non-existent.
It’s a case of when, not if, Bilic is dismissed or he might even walk. The Hammers board have been very tentative when it comes to getting rid of managers but this time around, they can’t be.
Will Bilic be in the dugout for the first home game of the season? Who knows, but it’s not a definite he will be there.