West Ham: Bilic on his future; star signing demands reaction; defensive sale a mistake
Despite having lost the last four matches and seen his chairmen shelve talks over a new deal, with some sources claiming his job is on the line in the coming weeks, Slaven Bilic reiterated to the press that he is not concerned by his future and will continue in the same way as he has worked throughout his time at the club. He told the press:
I didn’t talk about my situation back in March and I am not going to start now. I didn’t discuss it with the chairman then because I was totally concentrated on the team and things haven’t changed. Back then all I said was I look at the next two games and that’s all.
Bilic will now set his sights on tonight’s EFL Cup tie up against League 2 side Accrington Stanley, where a defeat would be unforgivable and only heap more pressure on to the Croatian’s shoulders. However, he did acknowledge the difficult of his side’s current situation, saying:
Very soon it is that time in the league when you can get in trouble. We have to act, and very soon you can get out of trouble but it isn’t going to happen by default. We have to do it. We have three mega games, three cup finals before the next international break.
He’s not the only one to be talking up the importance of the visit of Accrington Stanley, with Algerian winger Sofiane Feghouli speaking of the desire of all of the squad to win and put them into the next round of the EFL Cup, with a cup run a welcome distraction from the poor league form which saw West Brom thrash the Hammers 4-2 on Saturday. Feghouli said:
We have another game on Wednesday and we need to react straight away and get the win to take us forward. Each and every one of us will take a long look at ourselves and we all know that we need to do more when we wear the West Ham colours. We are a good team with some great players, but we need more from everyone in the squad, and I will be the first to try to give more
Feghouli is expected to make his first start since picking up an injury in action in the Europa League qualifiers and is likely to be joined in making his debut by former Liverpool and Real Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa, who many hope will shore up a leaky back line.
Manchester United and England legend Paul Scholes has identified one of the reasons for the poor defensive performances in the opening weeks, saying that the club should not have sold James Tomkins to Crystal Palace. The Basildon born local lad came through the youth ranks at the club and was a key man in defence for years before moving on this summer.
Scholes’ claims match up to the beliefs of many Irons fans who are in complete agreement, despite few questioning the decision during the summer months but now believing that it was the wrong one. To add insult to injury, Tomkins even scored nine minutes into his Premier League debut at the weekend.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Craig Ballantyne.