Sunday, 5 November 2017

Vultures circle around West Ham manager Slaven Bilic after latest Liverpool defeat

West Ham 1-4 Liverpool

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic looked like the next likely victim of the sack a manager merry go round that appears part and parcel of the Premiership scene.

After this defeat it looks odds on that Bilic will become the next Premiership casualty, joining Frank de Boer (Crystal Palace), Craig Shakespeare (Leicester City) and Ronald Koeman (Everton) on the managerial scrap heap.

The beleaguered manager once again accepted responsibility for this latest lack lustre display from his team. “Ofcourse I believe in myself, my work, my staff and my players. I don’t feel a broken man, I feel very strong,” said Bilic, whilst admitting “the situation for West Ham is not good.”

“We are conceding too many goals. We are working hard, it is nothing to do with effort ,” said Bilic. “Are we playing well , no we are not playing well. I am taking responsibility for the situation and face the consequences.”

The sombre mood suggests  swirling discontent in the background at West Ham betrayed by the references in the club programme to last week’s draw at Crystal Palace drawn as though it were a defeat.

In this game, the home side began brightly matching the visitors for effort and invention. As early as the eighth minute striker Andre Ayew got through but saw his effort hit the side netting.

But once again come the 21st minute the concentration of the West Ham players faltered. A West Ham corner was picked up by the excellent Mohamed Salah, who ran three quarters of the length of the pitch, exchanging passes with Sadio Mane before finishing with aplomb past Joe Hart.

Two minutes later, sloppy defending saw a low driven corner bounce off Mark Noble, forcing Hart into a save which rebounded for Joel Matip to drive home.

West Ham got a goal back through Manuel Lanzini but the differential was quickly restored with Alex Oxlade Chamberlain finishing a move that began from the kick off.

The rout was completed by another Sane-Saleh combination, with the latter once again finishing clinically.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for his players, particularly Sane, who had just returned from injury. “It’s been a fantastic week, the boys wanted to fight back after Tottenham (1-4 defeat),” said Klopp.

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