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Season already written off?

Filed: Wednesday, 1st November 2017
By: Jamie Norwood

I know we’re only 10 games into the campaign, but is this season already a write off?

From the way the owners run the club, you’d think they would be happy finishing 17th this season as long as we’re not relegated!

I have always been a big supporter of Slaven Bilic, but I think the majority of us know he isn’t going to be here next season, so why is he here now?

Every game there seems so much pressure on him to get a result, it’s almost as if we lose a game we’re in a crisis. He is then given two games to save his job. Which he seems to have done.

But what happens if we lose to Liverpool on Saturday? Does he have two more games to save his job again? Is this what this season is going to be like? Just repeat this cycle until his contract runs out?

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Not only is it a laughable way to run a football club but it’s also not fair on Bilic. He has always acted with real class since he has been in charge, he’s never spoken out against the owners (when it must have been really, really tempting) – he’s always honest and it is clear he loves the club.

I do however think it is time for him to go, as much as it hurts me to say it. You have to question his tactics and I think a lot of the players are letting him down at the moment. Are they not playing for him? The players look unfit and that has to be down to the manager and his coaching staff. In fact the stats back it up:

- Rank 20th in distance covered
- Rank 20th in sprints
- We have the second oldest team in the league
- We’ve conceded six goals in the last 10 mins of matches – the second-worst record

Not good reading. But not entirely surprising if you’ve watched us this season!

The performance against Brighton was the final straw for me, a truly shocking performance. Sluggish, no passion and literally looked like no plan was in place. Carroll was out because of suspension, so we had Kouyate up front as a target man (whose best position in my opinion is at centre back).

Now it wasn’t Bilic’s fault that Carroll stupidly got sent off vs Burnley, but on the previous weekend Toni Martinez scored a hat-trick for the under 23s; why not give him a chance? Try something different?

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Yes, we came back to beat Spurs, but was that because of Bilic’s tactics or was it that Spurs were so complacent?

The weekend game vs Palace. 2-0 up and two very good goals, so go for the kill. We are playing a team who have three points all season so their confidence must have been rock bottom.

Come out for the second half and go for a third goal - why are we set up to defend like we’re playing Man City/Arsenal etc? Backs against the wall stuff.

You look at the players on the pitch and there is a lot of talent there, but the game management was appalling (both manager and players). You would argue if Antonio keeps the ball in the corner (schoolboy stuff) we win, but you cannot say Palace didn’t deserve something out of that game.

And that has to be concerning when you are 2-0 up against them! Jamie Carragher showed on MNF last night that when Antonio crossed the ball, we had five players in an attacking position. 96th minute and 2-1 up – it’s ridiculous.

I would like to mention the transfer window, where our net spend was £17m (just 4m if you include the January window where Payet was sold for £25m). Is that really backing a manager that you believe in?

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Bilic came out at the end of last season and stated that he wanted to introduce pace (just have another look at that sprint stat above). So are these the players he wanted? Or was this Sullivan and Tony Henry?

Towards the end of the window Bilic wanted William Carvalho, yet Sullivan didn’t want him (or put in a derisory bid) and offered his own, alternative targets to the manager. So once again, you haven’t backed the manager? If you do not trust his judgement, why is he your manager?

Are we really going to throw this season just to save the compensation money of sacking Bilic? As I said, I am a big Bilic fan and I think the way he has conducted himself has been brilliant, but I do think his time is up.

It should be done with respect. Not where all the fans will turn on him, calling him all names under the sun. He deserves better than that.

We left Upton Park to move to the ‘London Stadium’ and were promised the ‘next level’ – is that next level the Championship?

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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