If reports from the Guardian are to be believed, Slaven Bilic’s future as West Ham manager will be decided how his team fares against Tottenham and Liverpool in the North London club’s last two home games of the current Premier league season.
After finishing seventh last campaign, West Ham fans would have expected their club to push on for the Champions League spot this time around, however, the Hammers have failed to live up to the expectations. The London club have been repeatedly outplayed by several clubs in the top flight are currently laboring in 15th place in the Premier League standings.
The club’s board of directors are expected to make a call on Bilic’s future at the end of the season. A win against Tottenham at home will surely lift the mood of the supporters and will also end their fierce cross-town rivals’ rush for the title. A defeat, however, could spell the end of Bilic’s reign at the club.
Moving to the new stadium hasn’t helped the Hammers while they have also lacked a consistent goal scorer this campaign. Andy Carroll’s season has been constantly hit by injuries while Andrew Ayew hasn’t just lived up to the expectations. Moreover, the decision to sign Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri have been woeful.
The Hammers would also need to take a hard look at themselves having spent over £15m in the January transfer window on Robert Snodgrass and Jose Fonte, a significant amount which could have been spent wisely by the club management. Dimitri Payet’s exit left a gap to be filled in the squad, which has looked way out of depth at times.
It was expected that moving to a new stadium would have given the club an extra push for qualification for a top four spot, but the fans’ behavior off the pitch has added to the mess on the pitch. Moreover, Bilic’s naive tactics, the Croat’s inability to manage games and lack of leadership shown the players on the pitch has proved to be costly.
It would be interesting to see if West Ham stick with Bilic come this summer or would move for a new manager who can bring in fresh ideas and motivate players for the cause. Bilic though has the support of the fans and should he be able to avoid the sack, would have to bring in stability and be shrewd in the transfer market to add to the squad depth.
A goalscoring striker is a must have, while a midfield enforcer is also required to shake up things in the middle of the park. A realistic target would be to finish in the top ten next season while pushing to go farther in cup competitions will be the key for the club. It isn’t going to be easy though with Newcastle United back in the mix under the guidance of seasoned campaigner Rafa Benitez and Chris Houghton’s Brighton ready to spring up a surprise.