Slaven Bilic has finally left West Ham. The club are drifting perilously close to the relegation zone, and with Saturday's 4-1 hammering at home to Liverpool the latest in a series of desultory and ultimately miserable performances. Having been on the verge of the sack for months at the club, today he was finally given the nudge by Davids Gold and Sullivan.
(As an aside: David Moyes will replace Bilic, in spite of media reports earlier today throwing an element of doubt on the move. Remarkably, such has been the collective shrug among West Ham fans at the news, it did cause them to wobble, before eventually pressing ahead with the Moyes appointment. David Moyes: the first man on the verge of the sack before being appointed).
But thus ends Bilic's two-year stint in charge of his former side. His first year - and the final at
Upton Park The Boleyn Ground - was relatively successful, adorned by the performances of Dimitri Payet, but ever since, things have been on a downward slope at the club. Last season saw an eleventh-place finish, albeit only eleven points clear of the drop.
Among those not particularly sad to see Bilic leave is Alvaro Arbeloa. The former Liverpool and Real Madrid full-back ended his career at West Ham, retiring after a miserable season at the London Stadium last summer. Arbeloa made just three league appearances for the Hammers, and tweeted "better late than never" once he heard the news about his former manager.
Better late than never. https://t.co/JIATfzL9DY
— Álvaro Arbeloa (@aarbeloa17) November 6, 2017
It's a change in tune somewhat from Arbeloa's previous public comments about Bilic. Midway through last season, Arbeloa spoke to The Guardian:
He looks more volcanic than he is. Other coaches might have been more susceptible, they might have lost it, but he’s been quite calm. We’re not in this situation because of the manager and I don’t think changing means you’ll pick up more points. Inside the team, you won’t hear anyone saying he’s the problem.
Nope. They wait until they are no longer at the mercy of his selections.