Bilic Under Pressure With Liverpool Loomingby Andy Dillon / 25 August 2015, 11:53Tweet
WEST HAM are supposed to be on the threshold of a brand new era under boss Slaven Bilic with moving day to The Olympic Stadium looming.
A cheap and easy split from Sam Allardyce at the end of last season has been designed to kick start the process transforming The Hammers from mid-ranking East London team to Olympians ready for next summer.
Farewell to Upton Park is also meant to coincide with saying goodbye to the old frailties that have dogged the team for years.
At the same time Bilic's heavy investment in the squad during the close season should have signalled to the fans that the style of football they so despised under 'Big Sam' has been swept away.
Yet what are the supporters confronted with as they still come to terms with going down 4-3 to newly-promoted Bournemouth at home on Saturday?
West Ham are in exactly the same situation after three games under Bilic as they were under Allardyce last season.
Two home defeats and an away win.
Last year West Ham got off to the worst possible start losing 1-0 at home to fierce rivals Tottenham before a 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace and a 3-1 home defeat to Southampton.
So, nothing has really changed then?
The one big difference of course is that by August 30 last season when The Hammers were humbled by The Saints the fans were already on Allardyce's back.
Bilic is lucky that he and the club have played the 'legend' card perfectly to buy him time while he tries to buy the players that he needs to dig the club out of its worrisome predicament.
The former Hammers defender is also fortunate that when his team does get it together, it looks pretty.
New man Dimitri Payet is going to be one of those 'hairdryer' players - who can blow hot and cold and at times make your hair curl as you delight upon his skill.
Never mind the fact that the fans are turning more grey by the second as their team implodes with explosive incompetence.
Bilic has already claimed that his players may have let the opening game win at Arsenal go to their heads while he tried to keep them grounded.
What he really should be doing is encouraging them to imagine they are playing at The Emirates every week as that is clearly the incentive his squad needs to up its game.
Where Bilic is unlucky is that he has picked THE WORST season to come into a club and try to make his team the Harlem Globetrotters overnight.
Relegation is normally tolerated with a raise of the eyebrows a quick moan and a swift half down the pub by most Hammers fans - but with the Olympic Stadium beckoning it is simply not on the agenda.
It is also worth pointing out that having lost 3-1 to Southampton in 2014, Allardyce led his team to eight wins in the next 15 Premier League matches which took them to the heights of third at Christmas time.
With the next match a trip to Liverpool it is hard to imagine such a dizzying run starting at Anfield where West Ham have a worse record than anything recorded by The Beatles.
Bilic has got to stop the rot quickly but there are obstacles in his way in addition to the abject performance which saw his side concede four goals at home last weekend.
No.1 keeper Adrian is banned for the next two games as is right back Carl Jenkinson who claimed the Hammers' fifth red card of the season on Saturday.
Injuries are playing havoc with Bilic's forward line. Even with the pathway into the first team clear, Modibo Maiga can only get a place on the bench.
No keeper, a weakened defence and an injury ravaged front line heading up to Anfield for a must-win game. What could possibly go wrong?