One of the big positives about having Slaven Bilic as club manager is that he oozes class. He is forthright but fair in his style and never shirks a question. When decisions go against his side he points out why he thinks the referee got it wrong without engaging in the type of vitriolic abuse that some managers celebrate.
However, the modern Premiership is an unforgiving environment for gentlemen as every manager is under pressure to deliver results or face the inevitable chop. Maybe SuperSlav's approach is out of time in the dog eat dog atmosphere?
Recently Slaven engaged in some uncharacteristic whinging about the treatment of Reece Oxford at Reading. Bilic bemoaned the lack of game time the youngster was getting, which was especially galling given that the Hammers wanted to recall him as back up for the injured Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna. Reading head honcho Jaap Stam was displeased but, lo and behold, Oxford has featured in the Royals last two games!
The youngster really impressed last night in their 3-1 victory over Blackburn, prompting many fans to query why he hadn't started a game bin the three months prior to that during which he had been overlooked. Oxford's performance will serve to remind Hammers fans how his starring role in the away win at Arsenal two seasons ago ushered in what appeared to be a new era under Slaven Bilic.
Sadly, since then things have not gone according to plan and the side are now in a relegation dogfight that, ironically, sees them visit Arsenal tonight desperately needing a result but with limited cover at centre back as both Reece Oxford and Reece Burke cannot be recalled under their loan contracts with Reading and Bradford respectively.
Either way, Bilic's bollocking of Stam seems to have had the desired effect - maybe it's time to extend the verbal manipulation to include match referees - it certainly worked for Alex Ferguson over the years and made it nigh on impossible for visiting sides to get big decisions going their way when visiting Old Trafford. Maybe he could also give a bit of guff to our board to get them to actually bring in a reliable and top class striker this Summer?
Careful though, it might be cheaper for the board to sack Bilic than to splash the cash!