Karren Brady’s obsession with all things Tottenham continued this week when she took to her newspaper column to talk about the Alderwiereld contract standoff and why Levy may need to change his ways.
They say those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and the West Ham hierarchy should look closer at their own shop and the complete shambles they are making of Slaven Bilic’s situation at the club. I wonder how successful he would be if he didn’t have these clowns as his bosses.
You can’t help but feel for Slaven Bilic on a number of levels. He is an excellent coach with a huge passion for the club therefore, to the outsider looking in, it seems like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, it remains anything but harmonious as for some ridiculous reason there appears to be a lack of faith in him from those upstairs.
Jurgen Klopp’s reward for an 8th place finish with Liverpool was a bumper six-year contract; however, Bilic’s reward for delivering a top seven finish and producing one of the most exciting Hammers side in recent memory was absolutely nothing, and it is easy to see that this lack of faith is clearly affecting him.
The move to the new stadium is one of the reasons I question the logic of these owners. History shows that any club making the transition to a new home does struggle initially as they adapt to their new surroundings. What the club need is stability for a few years as they go through this period of change and with Bilic you felt that he had proved to be the right manager to take them through this period of uncertainty, after what was an encouraging first season in charge.
The uncertainty over Bilic’s future has had an adverse affect on the players too, who have gone into hiding this season when the going has got tough. I can only imagine the frustration for West Ham fans coming away from the London Stadium on Friday and wondering where this new found commitment and energy for the cause had come from, something that would not have been lost on Bilic either.
Footballers are strange beings and you can’t help but feel that this performance would have been more apparent had their been a lot more security in the manager’s future. When there are genuine doubts players stop playing, probably best highlighted with what Arsene Wenger faces week in, week out at the Emirates this season. Backing Bilic in public is one thing, but showing commitment in terms of a long-term deal is quite another.
Whether Bilic stays or goes, nothing actually changes given the way the football club is currently run. West Ham must be the only organisation in the country that publicly states its movements in the transfer market – even stating how much they are willing to spend. I would like to know how much input Bilic actually had in some of the signings that joined the club last summer, another aspect of where they have continually failed.
Their short-termism is best highlighted by the failure to bring in a sporting director to oversee the recruitment policy and to ensure a firm long term strategy is in place for the club, someone who works closely with the manager on potential targets. The very fact Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass were brought in during January had smackings of panic buys written all over it and shows there is no long term vision in place at the club presently.
Wednesday marked the anniversary of the last match played at Upton Park and whilst West Ham fans had hoped they were moving on to bigger and better things, the club’s owners have screwed it up on so many levels and they seriously need to make changes if they want to move forward.
Sullivan, Gold and Brady need to take a step back, make a sporting director appointment a priority and realise that it is they – not Bilic – who are the major reasons for the club’s failure on the pitch.
Maybe the next time Karren Brady wonders over in the direction of Tottenham, she should perhaps not question their business methods, but in fact embrace some of them.