Three games into the new season; one incredible win against Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium and two disappointing consecutive home defeats at the hands of Leicester City and Bournemouth respectively.
Furthermore, being eliminated from the early stages of the Europa League could suggest West Ham United have not had the brightest of starts. The new management of Slaven Bilic is still, quite clearly, settling into life at the club and style the Croatian prefers with many first team players still at the club when they were taking orders from Sam Allardyce.
With two tricky fixtures against Liverpool and Newcastle United looming, is it time to panic for the Hammers, and would the East Londoners have more points on the board if they were guided by Big Sam instead of Super Slav?
On the basis of on the 8th August at approximately 3:15pm, many thought a successful campaign ahead.
Goals from Cheikhou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate in each half, as well as a marvellous performance from 16-year-old wonderkid Reece Oxford and some tactical genius from Bilic secured an impressive win in the red half of North London.
Under the guidance of former Bolton Wanderers chief Allardyce, playing 10 men behind the ball and maybe hope for a shot on target would be the usual outset for Allardyce. However, closing down the likes of Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil, all genuine playmakers, was the main reason why we picked up maximum points.
Bilic’s valuable European management experience, as well as a stint at international level, will prove to be pivotal for the season, especially ahead of the exciting move to the Olympic Stadium next year.
Adding to the tactical intelligence from Bilic, the playing style has very much changed. The long ball mind set of Allardyce has been eradicated, and short passing has been implemented. In the last two matches, the Hammers have tried to play neat and tidy football in the wrong areas of the pitch, hence the two defeats, where both the Foxes and the Cherries quickly closed down the West Ham backline, leaving them exposed.
Maybe this would not have happened under the stewardship of Allardyce, but neither would scoring four goals in two games!
The transfer window is still open for activity and there is no doubt the Upton Park outfit will be busy until the 2nd September. Under the management of Allardyce, the high quality and calibre of players such as Victor Moses, Adnan Januzaj and Alen Haliovic would not have been linked with the club, with the chance of at least one of them joining the West ham contingent is generally exhilarating.
So, is it time for panic to set in and the regret of replacing Allardyce with Bilic? Absolutely not.