It's been a pretty crazy weekend. We all expected that the current series of fixtures would severely test Bilic's team, but did not quite expect two performances quite as abject as the meek 4-1 surrender at Old Trafford in midweek and the 5-1 home capitulation against Arsenal. Then, as the media vultures sensed that SuperSlav was wounded, they seized upon his vulnerability during a painfully candid post match interview.
SuperSlav did nothing to deflect attention away from his under fire side as he lamented the lack of intensity in the squad and pointed to the training ground as the source of the problem. Bilic comes as a package, having three Croatian assistants who oversee training and conditioning of the squad. He also has Hammers legendary hard man Julian Dicks as defensive coach. One presumes that his comments were aimed at his players rather than these trusted hands but the blame for any lack of intensity ultimately must rest with the coaching staff.
Then, to add to the intrigue, ex-Hammer Rio Ferdinand publicly offered to lend a hand as a defensive advisor! Just how that might relate to King Julian's role is unclear but of note Dick's signed a new two year contract last Summer. Although Dicks was famed for his passionate displays in the claret and blue, off the pitch he is quite a gentleman and presents as a composed figure during matches.
It'll be fascinating to see what comes out of this mornings training session but whatever else, Bilic has ratcheted up the pressure and his staff - both players and coaches - will need to respond. One senses that he has started the clock ticking but the big testers will be the games against Burnley (H), Hull (H), Swansea (A) and Leicester (A) which follow our trip to Anfield next weekend and will bring us into a new year.