As West Ham come towards the end of a highly successful debut season under the watchful eye of Slaven Bilic, a question comes to mind. Has Bilic mastered the fabled ‘ West Ham Way ‘ ?
As the 14/15 Premier League drew to a close, West Ham fans knew a change was in the air. Big Sam was leaving the club , after what would be deemed a successful spell in charge with the Irons . Promotion from the Championship , solid placings in the Premiership and a respectable win ratio of 37.6% some said that getting rid of Big Sam would be a mistake. But he was never loved. The fans never sang his name and there was always a discord between him and the fans. The marriage of convenience was over and the hunt for a new manager was to begin.
And in entered Bilic
Bilic played 49 times for the Hammers during between 1996-97 and gathered a cult following amongst fans . After successful spells in management with Croatia and Besiktas , the stage was set for his return. He was appointed on the 9th June 2015 and feeling of cautious optimism filled the West Ham faithful. Interviews revealed Bilic to be a keen guitar player, holds a law degree and speaks four languages. He came across as charismatic, humorous and honest . A match made in heaven it seemed. An early exit from the Europa League however, dampened the spirits a little but as the first game of the season grew closer , the anticipation grew as fans awaited to see how Bilic would get on in his first BPL game .
A smashing 2-0 win and the seeds were sown . Wins against Liverpool , Man City and Chelsea in the coming months and the Hammers were in dreamland . Playing an attractive brand of football, with passion and aggression , West ham have gone from strength to strength . A fantastic FA cup run which is ongoing and an outside chance of a Champions League place in the last season at the Boleyn , it’s been a season to remember .
But the question remains . Has Bilic conquered the ‘ West Ham Way ‘ ?
Sir Alex Ferguson said he did not understand what was meant by the term The West Ham Way.Sam Allardyce said the same . The West Ham way is about being entertained. About preferring to lose 4-3 in an epic attacking performance than win a scrappy 1-0 . Its about character , passion , skill and hero worship . Moore , Brooking , Bonds , Di Canio and now Payet. There is a reason why this players and many others are worshipped by the Hammers faithful, It is because they capture the essence of the West Ham Way. So given all this , has Bilic mastered the West Ham Way ?
You better believe it