As a surprise to actually no-one Super Slav was bid farewell this morning in a tea no biscuits conversation at the OS.
Actually it was probably yesterday, but why let facts get in the way.
Having left early enough on Saturday to catch his post match interview on Saturday after another hiding at home, it was all over his face. He knew, we knew.
To be fair, he did well to hang on this long. it was well documented that he was 3rd choice behind Rafa and David Moyes when BFS left. So nearly 2.5 years managing a team normally at the wrong end of the table and undertaking a stadium change probably isn’t that bad. But it could have been so much better.
That first season was one of the best since 86. Winning at Liverpool for the first time since God was a boy. The comebacks kept coming all season right up until we beat Man Utd in the last ever game at Upton Park (under lights Tm). We finished with a record points haul, he had the East End at his feet. I actually met him early on in that season in John Lewis in Canary Wharf (where else :)). Such a nice fella and very humble. We had just beat Palace 3-1 and he was at pains to say it was only the beginning and we had a lot of work to do. I, like others I think mistook that humbleness for a front and thought behind it laid a steeliness. Don’t forget this was the bloke who slung Amalfitano out on his ear.
That summer saw him take to punditry for the Euros and he excelled massively. Easily the right person for the job, and his intelligence and knowledge of the game and more importantly enthusiasm shone through.
And then the OS move. We bought a few players and they all turned out to be useless. I say we, actually we will never know who bought who. Also some of his existing players were on the turn , Mr Payet being the prime candidate. We had an amazing ground as the base to launch a real challenge on British football and he didn’t turn up at all. Noble was starting what has become a long downturn for the end of his career, and the newbies misfired everywhere. Fegouli, Tore, Zaza, Nordtviet. All shocking. All supposedly kickstarting our new era, not even justifying kickstarting my Vespa,
We got through last season just with a good finish and our 11th place seemed a little high. The signs were already there. We constantly played people out of position. Antonio at right back, Kouyate at right back. Me at right back.
But this last close season saw us invest supposedly well on players such as Hart and Anatovic and Zaba. But the downward spiral continues and Mark Nobles’ still there.
Consecutive home hidings to Brighton and Liverpool sealed his fate, but this was a long time coming, I’m afraid. Yes we beat Spurs, and we should have beaten Palace apart from a ludicrous mistake. But there it is, another mistake. How many have we seen?
This is one of the best squads we have ever had, and they look like chumps because no one is giving them a kick up the arse. Slav for all his qualities has tried to fit them all in, resulting in no standard formation, and no method, just play football. Admirable for Sunday League, unforgivable for the Prem. Just too nice. He was saying earlier in the season he doesn’t see intensity in training. That’s your job, fella.
Adrian should come back in, 4-4-2 will leverage Chica and Carroll. Ayew (or Carroll) as an impact sub. Antonio, Obiang, Kouyate and Anatovic in the middle, with Noble closing games out. The back line picks itself until they are all fit. Don’t like it , don’t want to be there ? No problem, there’s the door my friend.
Bring some of the kids at least to the bench. Bin Fernandez back to wherever.
So in short, lovely fella and will always have a piece of West Ham with him wherever he goes. I wish him well, if only for that last season at UP, but it wasn’t to be. Goodbye and good luck Super Slav.
Unless Moyes turns up, at which point his spot in the car park should be reopened immediately. EDIT. Seems Dave is in. That’s an issue. Moyes Out ? Too soon?
I haven’t seen the details but guaranteed it’ll be an on the cheap signing, buying damaged goods and palming off as the real deal. Harry in for Xmas ?