Sunday 4 December 2016

To Whom is Bilic Directing Training Ground Criticism?

After another humiliating trouncing to add to the midweek thumping at Manchester United, Hammers fans are becoming increasingly disgruntled with our porous defence. Yesterday's showing was revealing example of what lies at the heart of our woes.

Apart from Angelo Ogbonna, it would be hard to criticise any of Reid, Masuaku or Arbeloa. Reid repeatedly saved our bacon with last ditch tackles, Masuaku has a hard act to follow in Cressy but was tenacious in the tackle and looked confident on the ball, while for a player of his age with so little game time this season, Alvaro Arbeloa managed admirably with the endless flow of traffic down the right wing.

The real problem this season is that our defence has lacked stability - both in personnel and formation. We have certainly been unlucky with injuries, but the chopping and changing at right back has been painful to take in. It has been hard to watch Michail Antonio's upbeat demeanour being eroded by repeatedly finding himself played out of position in a role he clearly isn't suited to.

There can be no doubt that defensive stability is developed on the training ground and Bilic is simply getting to the crux of the matter before the posse inevitably realise that something is wrong. In his post match interview, Bilic alluded to the source of our difficulties saying "Somewhere down the line we lost the intensity in training". What was less clear is who he was referring to - players, his coaching staff or himself?

SuperSlav is a hands on coach - unlike some of the top managers who engage only minimally with the squad in the day to day grind. He also brings with him an experienced team of assistants in assistant manager Nikola Jurcevic, first team coach Edin Terzic and performance coach Miljenko Rak. Are these the focus of Bilic's concerns?

In addition, there is the Julian Dicks factor. A club legend, his recruitment by Bilic soon after his arrival was a masterstroke that helped to forge a bond between the fans and the new club set up. Dicksie is famed for his high energy and direct approach to football but one wonders what he makes of our defensive merry go round?  

One senses that for all his sophistication, Superslav is an emotional man who was hurting big time after the game. He captured the thoughts of the fans but may have inadvertently revealed that he believes a fundamental shake up is needed in our coaching set up.


  1. Bad training habits leading to poor displays on Saturdays all comes back to the manager getting fedup with all the excuses there comes a time to go spend time and money to watch my beloved w ham and this is what we get

    1. Totally agree if training not 100 per cent we will fail whatever division we end up in no more excuses unacceptable

  2. We spent all summer wasting our time on two strikers who we had no hope of getting.
    The majority of our summer purchases are either not ready or are no better than we had.
    Almost half a season gone and still have not seen 90 minutes from a stricker.
    Let's the board go out and sign a Goalkeeper, a centre back, a full back, a centre mid and two strikers.

    1. Don't matter who we buy billic keeps playing players out of position makes the player unhappy and won't get the best out of them he don't seem to learn and keeps making the same mistakes over and over again


Feel free to comment - bad language is strictly forbidden and please refrain from any nasty 'isms'