Thursday, March 30, 2023

Winless In Five League Games: Should West Ham United Look To This Italian Already?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Having provided a lot of optimism for the first season at the new Olympic Stadium, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is off to a worst possible start to the new Premier League season. They were beaten 3-0 by the Saints last weekend at home and could only manage a draw against newcomers Middlesbrough which means they are still in the bottom three.

The manager made some smart summer transfers in the offseason but has not been able to get them together and play a similar brand of football that got them a European spot at the end of the previous season. These failures have seen the Croatian manager tagged as odds on favorites as the first manager to be sacked in the Premier League this season.

Recent reports have revealed that former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is eyed as a replacement for Bilic and that the West Ham manager may not have too many games to prove himself. The Italian mastermind who helped Manchester City to a Premier League title 4 years ago, is now without a job after being sacked by Serie A giants Inter Milan last month. A relatively young manager, with loads of Premier League experience, Mancini seems to be an exciting option for the Hammers but is the right man to take over Bilic’s project in London?


The 51-year old Italian took over Manchester City in 2010 and lifted them to the top of the table from the 10th spot in just two years. He is a manager, like many in the Premier League, who lays a lot of importance on the defensive side of the game. He wants his team to be compact, and defend in a miserly manner before thinking about scoring goals at the other end.

He was at times criticized for lack of excitement in his team’s play but West Ham, who have now lost 5 of the last 7 games in the league, will take results any-day over their style of play. The Hammers were brilliant in the previous season, outscoring some of the best teams in the league, while their defence also seemed strong for a team in the top half of the table. They have a set of players that can dominate teams in the Premier League but Bilic has just not been able to get them to play together since the start of the season.

This is where a change can work wonders. Mancini, having already lifted the League title, will add to the number of top quality managers that are already active in the league. Only Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti have a higher win percentage in the Premier League than the former Inter Milan boss which makes him a top class option for the London outfit.

He was not able to succeed in the Italian league after his reunion with Inter but the Premier League is something that he will thrive on. He has a number of star players in the squad like Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio (the joint top scorer in the league) and will surely have his effect on the squad.

Bilic is a decent manager who can get the team back to winning ways if given some time but with the Premier League becoming more and more competitive, he may not have too long to save his job. And with one of the best managers in Europe lurking over his post, he will need some results quickly. Else, West Ham will move into the safe hands of Mancini. Do you think West Ham should replace Slaven Bilic with Roberto Mancini this early in the season?

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