Firstly, as I have not written in a while I would like to start by evaluating, briefly, the details of a season with lots of ups and downs.
A season that began with disappointing home losses to Tottenham and Southampton that actually inspired the catalyst to what was one of most exciting starts to a season I have witnessed as a West Ham fan.
My main highlights are of course, though, the emphatic wins we had against Liverpool and Manchester City coupled with some masterful performances in between.
However, December provided us with a reality check and following some high profile injuries and some, often, hopeless tactical decisions, we managed to finish last in the table in terms of league form in 2015 (thank god for the impressive start).
The season was summed up at the last game of the season against Newcastle; depressing and highly anti-climatic. Following this was the monumentally quick removal of Sam from his job after the owners decided not to offer him a new contract. To put the record straight, I am a big Sam Allardyce admirer and I appreciate everything he has done for the club, leaving it in much better shape than when he first took over.
Now we are one year away from our arrival into the new stadium and in a very good position where ambition has been greatly shown in the names that we are being linked with for position of manager this season and, hopefully, heading into the Olympic Stadium.
During this part of the argument, I want to explain the targets, other than Bilic, for why they are not the way forward for the club we all so love.
Two of the most exciting names to appear, in my mind, were Seville’s Unai Emery and Marseille’s masterful don Marcelo Biesla. Both were looking like very exciting prospects but, most importantly, also very likely to happen at the time that their names arose. However, in recent days we have learnt more about Seville’s fight to keep Emery and that the only chance of him joining West Ham is if his interest lies in the money we are prepared to offer him.
Biesla, on the other hand, showed like he was very willing to come to the Premier League, with early reports stating that he was starting to learn English and that he would be able to persuade Andre-Pierre Gignac to come over to the East side of London.
However, it has become apparent that Biesla looks set to stay at Marseille, some reports saying that West Ham’s lack of transfer funds were his main worries, which is unbelievable considering it is set to be the biggest in our history (referring to The Telegraph report by Jason Burt, it could be well over the projected £25million).
One very surprising candidate was Garry Monk and, according to The Telegraph this morning, is set to sprout up again over the course of the next few weeks.
The reason that he was hired in the first place was as cover for Michael Laudrup and, although he has the ability to go on and have a very successful managerial career, Garry and West Ham are in very similar delicate stages in their respective pursuits.
One can only assume that the owners are going for someone slightly more entrenched into the game in order to attract some big name players to the club, and to offer some moments of tactical genius.
Well then, look no further than one-time West Ham defender and fan favourite Slaven Bilic. I am very excited about the prospect of having this man join for a number of reasons.
Firstly, he is experienced, not only at a club level, but he is generally assumed to be one of Croatia’s best managers in recent memory, with his attitude towards the youth particularly praised during his six year tenure.
This shows that he is not afraid to use his youth if and when necessary, hopefully with the implication that he will give the likes of Elliott Lee and Reece Burke a lot more game time than they experienced under Sam.
But the fact that he has been successful as the manager of a country is something that speaks for itself and if he brings that wealth of knowledge and experience to the club heading into Europe, then he is sure to surpass our expectation and be sure not to roll over unlike Sam who had a constant battle with pleasing the fans and playing his very anti-attacking style of football.
Bilic provides us with a very methodical way of managing his teams. This is integral if West Ham are to gain any form of constant European football. The Croat is not just a manager; he is an artist, taking into account every element and every blade of grass when preparing for a game.
With this approach becoming rapidly a trend of the best football managers in the world, this is certainly a very exciting development in our time especially when we are about to begin a new era of football at a different stadium.
If we are to catch up with the evolving times, we need someone capable of just as impressive methodical madness as someone like Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp has cemented into their teams, therefore allowing a legacy to emerge and grow.
With this vast amount of European experience in his bank, he has managed to make contacts with some of the best footballers in Europe and has brought some high-profile players to Besiktas in his previous tenure, including Demba Ba and Gökhan Töre.
This will obviously be significantly boosted by the amount of ‘bob’ West Ham will have in their transfer budget heading into this season.
Finally, we need to show how ambitious he is, highlighted by keeping his name in the pot from day one of the search and never backing down from the likes of the big Euro dons.
For those of you who were around at the time, Bilic provided the Hammers with a sense of purpose in the squad he played in. He even rejected talks about his future transfer to Everton in order to put all of his time and effort into securing the safety of our beloved team in which he was successful at achieving.
It really does seem petty for some fans not to be on board with this manager just because he is not Sir Ron Greenwood. If West Ham has any chance of doing well this season, it will be down to a combination of the manger’s relationship with the players AND the fans. And if what I have said still doesn’t impress you, I guess it is just a case of repulsive ignorance that dictates your way of thinking and made the club impossible to adore during its hard times this season.
With the announcement set to come very soon (possibly even next week), we are all waiting in anticipation. But if Bilic is the name on the front of that door come next season,
I have the confidence that he will take us onto the next stage that the fans have been waiting for which could see West Ham become a European phenomenon and a genuine contender for higher aspirations in the future.