West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic is under pressure
Angry, humiliated and hurting.
West Ham ’s owners, Davids Gold and Sullivan, are in just as much despair at a demolition that has left the club in crisis.
Any Hammers fan that reckons they are simply sitting back, counting their money, is deluding themselves.
They are two men that usually back their managers, just as they did with Sam Allardyce until they realised he’d taken them as far as he could.
Now they have a massive decision to make with Slaven Bilic .
Manuel Lanzini looks down in the dumps
West Ham are winless in their last six, losing four. They sit a point above the bottom three. They will be sucked into that drop zone if Hull can win at Middlesbrough on Monday night.
Of course that 14-minute hat-trick from Alexis Sanchez was a thing of beauty. With the Chilean up front – instead of Olivier Giroud – Arsenal do indeed have a fantastic chance of winning the league.
The manner in which West Ham fell apart, however, was alarming.
The comments made by Bilic afterwards even more so. The Croatian spoke of players lacking a commitment to the cause. Of his squad lacking desire even in training.
Some are dining out on last season’s heroics, others have been up to it only fleetingly since last season. Dimitri Payet has been singled out but without him they’d be in even worse trouble.
Bilic too must take some of the flak. He will know this. Handed the chance to build on a campaign which saw the club challenge for the top four last season, his summer signings were poor.
Andre Ayew looks horrendously overpriced at £20million. Winger Sofiane Feghouli and defensive midfielder Havard Nordveit both look to have been allowed to leave by their former clubs for a reason.
And Turkey winger Gokhan Tore has not at any stage looked convincing in a West Ham shirt.
To be fair to West Ham, they prioritised and fought hard to bring in a high-class striker but Chelsea gazumped them for £33million Michy Batshuayi. A £40million fee was agreed Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette but the player wasn’t interested.
Then there’s AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca, another who believed he was too big for the Irons. A £26million fee was agreed but the player – having been offered a huge contract – kept West Ham waiting for weeks before deciding to stay in Italy.
The fact that Bilic didn’t fancy Christian Benteke, even though the Irons owners did, doesn’t cast him in a great light. Especially given the fact that his £25million move for Italy striker Simone Zaza has been an utter disaster.
Bilic knows that he has been backed by his owners. His decision-making during the summer just does not stand up well to scrutiny.
It is the reason why, with just three Premier League wins this season, he is in big trouble.
Mesut Ozil tapped in West Ham’s first, Sanchez hit a stunning second and third. Andy Carroll – on his return to the side – nodded in a consolation. But Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain smashed in a scorching fourth before Sanchez completed his hat-trick in cheeky fashion.
Fair play to defender Angelo Ogbonna, whose dithering cost his side the opening goal. The Italy defender was the one man with the courage to front up afterwards.
He said: “I believe we will turn it around. The expectations have been so high. There has been a lot of change, new stadium, training ground, new players.
“Maybe we have relaxed a bit. But this is now December and we need to get back.”
Fair play too to Bilic for calling for an end to the nonsense suggesting the club should have stayed at Upton Park. No fan should be against a move into the 21st century with a stadium and an increased revenue that will help their club to compete with the big guns.
Bilic said: “I am a little bit fed up trying to justify the move. This stadium will never be Upton Park like Emirates will never be Highbury, like Wembley will never be White Hart Lane for Spurs, or St Marys the same as the Dell.
“The main problem is the one I’ve mentioned (the intensity). I know it’s not great because it’s not something flashy or whatever but that’s the truth.”
Now it is time for the owners and Bilic to sit down and deal in some home truths.