Tag Archives: Slaven Bilic

Have Fulham learnt from their disastrous £100m spending spree?

After the celebrations of the return of Fulham back to the Premiership at the first time of asking, it is time to take a step back and access their chances of surviving in the Premiership next season.

It is a well know fact in football that sides who get promoted through the play-off route in the Championship, normally struggle.

In recent times the likes of Aston Villa, Huddersfield, Hull City, Norwich City and QPR all finished in the bottom six places in the division.

Two points that may make it possible for Fulham to survive in next seasons campaign would be the Manager and the experience of being in the top flight of English football before.

In Scott Parker they have an astute man in charge of the Cottagers. In the play-off final against Brentford his master tactics came out on top. By spotting the gap at Brentford’s near post and Joe Bryan’s technical ability to find that gap was a pure master stroke from the former West Ham player.

Since Parker has been put in charge, he has turned around the club’s fortunes. Just two years ago on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2018, five players were signed as the clock ticked down to zero.

Fulham spent an astonishing £100 million on no less than twelve players, only to look considerably worse for signing these players.  In season 2018-19 Fulham sacked Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri but a second play-off victory in three seasons gives them a chance to heal some scars.

For the club to survive next season in the top flight of football they will have to learn by their mistakes of 2018. Pointless splashing out that amount of money to try and survive in the Premiership. In truth, it rarely works out.

Parker needs to keep the spine of this current side to have a chance of surviving. The key player to hold on to has to be Aleksandar Mitrovic. The goal machine will learn by his poor return when Fulham were last back in the top flight. If he does so and can get back to a return of around twenty goals in a season, then the London club have a good chance of staying up.

They also need to keep the likes of Tom Cairney, Aboubakar Kamara, Denis Odoi and Tim Ream. If they can hold on to this talented group, then they could realistically keep out of trouble.

Parker will know that the hard work starts now. It will be an interesting few weeks before next seasons campaign as to what he will do in the transfer market. Key to their chances of survival will also be who they bring in.

In terms of the other two promoted sides Leeds United and West Brom. For the Yorkshire club with the flamboyant Marcelo Bielsa managing at the main table this will b e a massive challenge for him. His toughest assignment to date and hardest task for the upcoming season will be to survive.

Under normal circumstances with Leeds outstanding fan base and home fans would be worth a lot of points for the club but the likelihood of having no full capacities for the foreseeable future, this could well go against the Whites.

West Brom under Slaven Bilic look like a side that could well survive next season. Having the advantage of previously being in the Premiership for eight seasons, the Baggies know exactly what is required not to face a relegation battle.

One thing is for sure, having three shrewd and intelligent managers in the form of Parker, Bielsa and Bilic managing in the biggest league in the world and pitting their wits against other more experienced managers is going to be a sight worth seeing.

 

West Brom vs Fulham- Preview

High flying West Brom host fellow promotion chasers Fulham tonight, looking to solidify their place in the automatic promotion spots with Brentford closing in.

The Baggies are now just three points ahead of Brentford, after they only drew against Blackburn at the weekend and Brentford defeated Derby.

Their next opponents Fulham are also hot on their heels, as they look to secure a quick fire return to the Premier League after they suffered relegation last season.

Fulham’s 2-0 win against Cardiff, coupled with West Brom dropping points, means that Scott Parker’s men are fourth, five points behind the Baggies, but with a chance to close the gap to just two points and put real pressure on West Brom with victory tomorrow night at the Hawthorns.

The sides last met in September at Craven Cottage, when Anthony Knockaert’s stunning looping effort was cancelled out by a late header from Ajayi.

West Brom have certainly kicked on since then, joining leaders Leeds as the only other side to occupy an automatic promotion place this season, although that is under threat with three games left to play.

Slaven Bilic’s men have had mixed results since the restart, winning three, drawing two and losing one, (a significant 1-0 defeat to Brentford) allowing other teams to make up ground on them.

Fulham’s comeback from the enforced break was initially disastrous as they suffered two damaging losses against Leeds and Brentford.

Scott Parker’s men have improved since then however, winning their last four games on the bounce, keeping three clean sheets in the process.

West Brom will have to contend with the absence of first choice left back Kieran Gibbs, who is still out after suffering a hamstring injury against Hull last weekend. Bilic hopes he will return for the final two games of the season.

He joins Nathan Ferguson on the treatment table as West Brom’s two injury concerns. Hal Robson-Kanu, Grady Diangana and Rekeem Harper all in contention to start, whilst Ahmed Hegazi is back from suspension for the Baggies.

Fulham captain Tom Cairney is still a doubt for the visitors, having missed the last two games with a knock. Stefan Johansen, Ivan Cavaleiro and Neeskens Kebano are pushing for starts after impressing off the bench in the win against Cardiff.

It is set to be a mouthwatering game between two evenly matched teams, and you can watch it live on Sky Sports, with kick off at 5pm.

Should West Ham stick with David Moyes beyond this season?

David Moyes came into the West Ham job in mid-November, replacing Slaven Bilic who had left the Hammers in a huge relegation scrap still in the first half of the season.

The Moyes era at the London Stadium has been mixed, with impressive results such as the 1-0 win over Chelsea, 4-1 away at Huddersfield Town and the emphatic 3-0 win at the Bet365 Stadium.

However, there have also been disappointing results including the 3-0 loss at home to Burnley, the FA Cup defeat to League One Wigan Athletic and the 4-1 loss in South Wales against Swansea City.

One noticeable thing about Moyes is that he is improving performances of the squad and compared to the Bilic era, the West Ham team are attacking more and are on the whole, improving the atmosphere in the London Stadium.

It is also clear to see that summer signing Marko Arnautovic has become an incredible Hammers player since the Scot took the helm, scoring all of his nine goals under the former Manchester United man.

West Ham, after the 1-1 draw against Stoke City at home, are in 14th place, with the opportunity to climb two places with their game in hand on Watford.

Moyes has guided the club to seven points ahead of the drop zone, just eight points off eighth place. If Moyes were given a full summer transfer window with the chance to bring in his players then he could build on the squad he has clearly improved already, build more and guide the club up the Premier League table.

West Ham do you want to see David Moyes in the managerial hot seat next season? If not who do you want to in charge of your team? Let us know in the comments section…

3 potential candidates as next Stoke City manager

Stoke City have recently sacked Mark Hughes, meaning that the club are looking for just their third manager since 2006, with Hughes having succeeded Tony Pulis who guided the club to the Premier League. So, which candidates are likely to take the hotseat at the Bet365 Stadium?

  1. Martin O’Neill

Currently manager of his native land, the Republic of Ireland, O’Neill couldn’t guide the Irish to the 2018 World Cup after being defeated by Denmark in the Play-Offs. This means that if he were to be given a chance in the Premier League, where he has succeeded with Leicester City, Aston Villa and Sunderland, so it would not be too unfamiliar territory for O’Neill and it may be one that he would grab with both hands.

2. Gary Rowett

Probably one of English football’s top young managers. Rowett has done incredibly well during his time at Birmingham City and currently works at his former playing club, Derby County, sitting second in the Championship. Many have called for Rowett to be given a job in the Premier League, a chance he may be given with Stoke. However, with his Derby County team doing incredibly well, and with him only being there a matter of months, he may want to see how it goes at Pride Park.

3. Slaven Bilic

Having recently been sacked from West Ham, Bilic is a man with Premier League experience who is currently out of work. He has been known for getting the best out of a West Ham side, guiding them to sixth in his first season and having two stints in the Europa League. Now he’s had some time off, he is fresh and good to start again. Maybe a good appointment for Stoke City.

Stoke fans who would you like to see in the hot seat next? Let us know in the comments section…