Written by Daniel Fisk @fisko27
While I think some of the criticism from the Anti-Board and Anti-Bilic brigades is over the top, it seems that everybody can agree that West Ham are underperforming as a football club.
Away from Bilic’s tactical ineptitude and The Dildo Brother’s amateurish antics, one of our major issues is a complete lack of strategic direction.
Other clubs in the Premier League with less resource than West Ham punch above their weight because they have a clear game plan.
West Brom play a brand of football that even Big Sam must find turgid, but at least they back Tony Pulis by signing 6.4ft workhorses that buy into his philosophy.
People seem desperate for us to play 4-4-2 but do we have the players for that? Burnley are one of the few teams to play 4-4-2 because Sean Dyche has very deliberately built a squad designed to make things difficult for other teams by playing direct to big forwards. Bournemouth have a completely different style of play to Burnley, but it’s distinctive and they stay true to it. Both teams massively punch above their weight based on their revenue and net spend.
We may not be a selling club anymore but you look at teams like Southampton and Leicester and you question why their scouting is seemingly so much better than ours.
I think it’s brilliant that we now can sign players with the quality (and wage demands) of Chicharito, because that hasn’t always been the case. But it is was so obvious that absolutely no thought was given to a system which could accommodate him! Big Sam was hounded out for his style of play but 2 years later we still play the ball long because we haven’t signed brave, technically sound midfielders that are comfortable on the ball under pressure.
So whose fault is our lack of strategy?
I don’t think the board help matters with a Del Boy approach to the transfer market, but ultimately I think the buck stops with the manager.
Despite being a passionate, articulate, all-round top bloke, it seems highly unlikely that Slav will find an effective, consistent style before his contract is inevitably not renewed at the end of the season.
Which all adds up to what feels like a big missed opportunity based on the size of the club compared to the likes of West Brom, Burnley and Bournemouth.