It has been a bad start to the season, I get that, but fans calling Bilic to be sacked are crazy. A massive overreaction. Is everyone forgetting last season?
We finished 7th in the league, beating Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool (three times) and Man United in the last ever game at the Boleyn. We reached the quarter-finals in the FA Cup. We watched exciting players like Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio etc. It was a brilliant season.
Are we going to forget all of that just because we have started this one poorly? We’re only five games into the new Premier League season and have already played Chelsea and Man City away, not many teams will go to those places and get results this season.
There is a lot of negativity about at the moment; the new stadium isn’t going to plan; the club didn’t sign the ‘marque striker’ that we were promised and our defence looks like they have never played football before in their life. But we have got to stick with the club and get behind the team. I have every faith that Slaven Bilic can turn this around and get us out of this little rut.
So what is going wrong?
The Olympic Stadium
I wasn’t a fan of the move. I loved Upton Park and I worry that we have lost the ‘fear factor’. Teams are coming here and rather than feeling intimidated, they are relaxed.
There has been fighting in the stands, fans wanting to stand, fans being thrown out for standing, etc. I get the feeling that we’ve moved in too early, it’s almost as if the club was not prepared.
The stewarding and security has been a big problem and it seems that they are employed by the stadium itself so are used to athletic events/concerts/rugby matches – all completely different to football. The club say they do not control this. I find that incredibly worrying. How is this going to get better? Where are the stewards from Upton Park?
A big problem with the standing/non-standing, as I see it, is fans at Upton Park in the Trevor Brooking Lower and Bobby Moore Lower who are used to standing have been relocated in the new stadium so are now jotted around.
Why wasn’t this addressed by the reservation centre before any tickets were sold. It’s almost as if they were told by the club to try and sell as many tickets as possible and that is the priority. Don’t get me started on the ‘bring your mates’ scheme. The club clearly panicked about not selling enough season tickets and now you’ve got 50,000 fans on the waiting list and thousands of members who have paid £40 to enter a ballot each home game in the hope they are successful with whatever amount of tickets are left.
The whole thing seems a like a big mess. The only thing we can do now is support the club and hope the board try and turn this around and make the necessary changes. A return to Upton Park is not going to happen, so we’ve got to try make the best of the new ‘home’.
Wrong positions ‘strengthened’, no marque striker and the starting XI hasn’t been improved.
It doesn’t help when Mr. Sullivan comes out at the start of the transfer window and admits ‘we’re bidding £20-25m on a striker’ and that we need a ’20-goal-a-season striker’.
Not only does that get fans expectations up but what does that do to our current strikers’ thinking? Sakho went AWOL whilst we continued to bid for every striker in Europe. Then we ended up spending £20.5m on a winger who has barely played as a striker in his whole career.
Not only that, but this guy was available on a free transfer just a year before. Ok, it’s not the owners fault Andre Ayew got injured on his debut, it’s the West Ham Way, but is he really what we needed?
We continued to play Antonio at right-back, eventually signing Alvaro Arbeloa on Deadline Day, who hasn’t had a club for two months and isn’t ready.
We sold James Tomkins for £10m, which looks a worse decision every week. Sullivan went for his ‘South American loan punt’ in Calleri, Fletcher has looked good but he’s only young and Zaza hasn’t done anything vs Watford and West Brom.
It’s pretty clear to me that the squad was strengthened in the hope/expectation that we would progress in the Europa League.
Where are the leaders in the team? I’m a massive Mark Noble fan but he has started the season poorly. What has happened to the James Collins of last season when he was a rock?
Watching us concede goals to West Brom on Saturday was painful, but where was the fight? Everyone was just looking around shrugging their shoulders; who is standing up? It looks like the players just aren’t bothered at the moment, which is the worst thing for me.
These are the main things for me. Starting with the new stadium, it is just filled with negativity and you really get the feeling its affecting the whole club, from the fans to the players to the manager.
We need to sort out these problems fast and get behind the team! We need a win; I don’t care how it comes, we just need a win.
Our next few Premier League games are: Southampton (h), Middlesbrough (h), Crystal Palace (a) and Sunderland (h) – huge games.
First we play Accrington Stanley on Wednesday in the EFL Cup. I’d like to see some of the younger players get a chance. Randolph, Arbeloa, Oxford, Ogbonna, Byram, Obiang, Fernandes, Feghouli, Tore, Fletcher and Martinez.
What can we do to improve our league form?
I’d like to see Bilic makes some big calls; like give Oxford a run of games at centre-back, bring Arbeloa in, play a proper defensive midfielder even if it means dropping one of Noble or Kouyate, try Antonio up front, allow Feghouli to come in at right midfield.
Lets get behind the team and the manager. COME ON YOU IRONS!