Friday 19 January 2018

Frailties at the back causing Bilic real stress

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic Photo: Reuters / Matthew Childs
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic Photo: Reuters / Matthew Childs

Slaven Bilic will spend a second successive week correcting West Ham's defensive frailties following another error-strewn performance against West Brom.

The Hammers arrived at The Hawthorns having spent the week working on their resilience after conceding four goals without reply to lose 4-2 at home to Watford and Albion, criticised by their supporters last season and so far this campaign for not being entertaining or scoring enough, found it equally simple to penetrate Bilic's men.

Former Tottenham forward Nacer Chadli, superb on his home debut, Salomon Rondon and Ireland star James McClean scored before half-time and Chadli grabbed his second goal of the game to put West Brom 4-0 in front after 56 minutes.

"I have to do everything as the manager to turn this around, that's my job," said Bilic, who saw his team reply with two goals in the space of four minutes just after the hour mark through Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini, from the penalty spot.


"We will go over it again - we can't concede so many goals. It is fundamentally defending as a team and if you add individual mistakes, it becomes too much. I mean, we've conceded 13 goals from the start of the season and that's simply too many."

The manner in which West Brom scored their fourth goal understandably annoyed Bilic.

Full-back Arthur Masuaku, who had an awful game, was at fault as his low cross following a short corner was cut out by Darren Fletcher who set Rondon, at this point midway inside his own half, clean through on goal. Chadli made a lung-bursting run to support the Venezuelan, who unselfishly set him up for a tap-in inside the penalty area.

Bilic said: "I was angry, disappointed and felt all sorts of emotions - their first goal was totally unnecessary and the fourth one - well. The fourth goal is like the one you can live with if you concede it in the 94th minute when you send your goalkeeper up and all that. But it was the 54th minute or something like that.

"It's not like a tactical mistake or you are not fit enough, it is that you are just not standing where you should be standing. And nobody is recognising the situation. That goal was hard to take."

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