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    Slav's Priorities

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    Blakey
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    Slav's Priorities

    Post  Blakey on Thu 09 Jul 2015, 12:21 pm

    Good article by Rob Shepherd on Claret & Hugh


    Slaven Bilic made no bones when he was asked on his appointment by the West Ham owners what his priority in the transfer market was.
    A top centre half was Bilic’s reply.
    The club were under the impression they were well stocked in that area with Winston Reid, James Tomkins, James Collins, and emerging young players Reece Burke, Doneil Henry, Reece Oxford plus the ability of Cheikhou Kouayae to slot in at centre back.
    But Bilic was adamant. Which is why his first main target has been Juventus centre back Angelo Ogbonna who is now on the brink of signing  for the Hammers.
    Born to Nigerian parents in the Italian town of Cassino  Ogbonna began his career with Torino and has won 10 Italian caps but has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Juve side. But that’s largely because he has players of the calibre of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini have been ahead of him in the pecking order.
    On the face of it he might not be the stellar first signing Hammers fans had hoped for but at £8 million it could prove a shrewd bit of business by Bilic who is adamant that you have to build a team from the back.
    He is right of course. And those who have interpreted Bilic’s strategy as somehow similar to the Sam Allardyce approach are misguided.
    Bilic will promote expansive attacking football, he wants flair in the final third, he wants to win with some panache but to do that he insists you need a solid foundation.
    It is of course  the way all successful team are built.
    Brian Clough built some of the most exciting attacking teams at Derby and Nottingham Forest in the Seventies and Eighties but he always focussed on his back four first.
    That was the Liverpool way …Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson…. were just as key to the club’s success as Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush or John Barnes.
    And when Alex Ferguson convinced the Manchester United board he needed to spend big to rebuild the team then his first big money buy was Gary Pallister…then of course some years later he broke the British transfer record at the time to sign Rio Ferdinand.
    And look at how Jose Mourinho build his teams. There are those of course who have labelled his Chelsea boring. Really ?
    Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas produced some sublime football last season. But they could only do that with the insurance of warriors like John Terry , Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic behind them.Yes Chelsea are mean at the back. And why not ? It won them the title.
    As a centre half himself Bilic might be a bit biased but it’s the way all good teams are constructed ; from the foundations up.
    Even Hammers  fans who get misty eyed about the West Ham Way should know that.
    West Ham struggled in the late Sxities  and early Seventies despite all the attacking talent because after Ken Brown retired Bobby Moore lacked a decent partner. And when Mooro left Tommy Taylor lacked a consistent regular partner.
    It was only when Alvin Martin and Billy Bonds , later Tony Gale got together that the team enjoyed a period of success
    For a certain generation names like Alan Stephenson , John Cushley or Bill Green  Paul Hilton and Joe Gallagher make them whince.
    And the irony of the Allardyce’s final season was that so many points were dropped as a consequence of conceding late goals one of the things you would have though Big Sam would have sorted.
    Bilic has studied plenty of footage of  last season and has clearly concluded the team is not strong enough at the centre of defence.
    He feels that he has to sort that out before he can start thinking about adding some colour and gloss higher up the pitch. It’s not necessarily negative focussing on the back four first. It’s just setting up a team from a solid base. That’s plain sensible.
    That is why he has targeted Ogbonna whose best assets are regarded as his physical power and pace. At 27 he is experienced too and coming from Serie A ought to know a thing or two about the art of defending.
    Should Ogbonna sign then it is understood he would start the season alongside Winston Reid.
    With the likes of Burke Oxford and Henry coming through where would that leave James Tomkins and James Collins ? Fighting their West Ham futures I would suggest. Slav’s priorities may leave some noses out of joint!
    Bilic’s  ruthless streak will mean he will show no sentiment to the service both Tomkins and Collins have given.
    The heart of the defence is the rock on which the rest of the team can be built. That is Bilic’s philosophy or in other words it’s  about getting Back(bone) to the Future.
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    westhamonkey
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    Re: Slav's Priorities

    Post  westhamonkey on Thu 09 Jul 2015, 5:18 pm


    that's a shame, I was hoping he would say he'd gat rid of Noble...

    but maybe having a few "regular" players realizing they ain't gonna be quite so regular... might not be a bad thing.

    Arran H
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    Re: Slav's Priorities

    Post  Arran H on Thu 09 Jul 2015, 5:34 pm

    What with the fact we are in the Europa league plus with the league and also the two Cups I really cant see anyone leaving us Tbh
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    Tony P
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    Re: Slav's Priorities

    Post  Tony P on Thu 09 Jul 2015, 9:46 pm

    If Bilic had watched us towards the end of the season he would have seen that it was our inability to keep possession at the top end of the pitch (Valencia mainly) and our central midfield being so slow and porous that exposed a back 5 that, IMO, was pretty impressive in its own right

    Another centre half will not solve the problem of a weak midfield
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    westhamonkey
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    Re: Slav's Priorities

    Post  westhamonkey on Fri 10 Jul 2015, 1:28 am


    but changing our reliance on Noble and Nolan will

    Song (on his day) is solid.

    Kayoute is great

    Downing (in the right position) is great

    so we only have a decent midfield of three people... so cover and competition for places from new/quality players rather than our also-rans can only be a good thing.

    there's little point in bolstering the defense if there's no way to get the ball to the forwards - other than hoof-ball

    midfield is where you control the game - and we often fail to do that with depressingly familiar results
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    Tony P
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    Re: Slav's Priorities

    Post  Tony P on Fri 10 Jul 2015, 10:26 am

    Pedro Obiang has not been brought in to make up the numbers !!

    Arran H
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    Re: Slav's Priorities

    Post  Arran H on Fri 10 Jul 2015, 6:40 pm

    So far then Our Starting 11 with the players brought in and the players we currently still have could look like this come the Arsenal game providing we don`t get any injuries etc

    It seems by the two games so far that Bilic will play a 4-4-2 so .....
    GK-Adrian
    RB-O`Brien*
    CB-Reid
    CB-Ogbonna
    LB-Cresswell
    RM-Payet
    CM-Kouyate
    CM-Song*
    LM-Downing
    CF-Sakho
    CF-Valencia

    * Even if we get Jenkinson O'Brien will start as Jenkinson if we get him will be a loan deal so he cant play
    *Obiang or Noble if we don't sign Song which Tbh I personally think we will sign him
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    Campo
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    Re: Slav's Priorities

    Post  Campo on Fri 10 Jul 2015, 10:30 pm

    More a 4-2-3-1 Formation dude
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    alfiehammer
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    Re: Slav's Priorities

    Post  alfiehammer on Sat 11 Jul 2015, 6:35 am

    As Aran pointed out, lots of games (hopefully) to be played next year with our Europa adventure and good cup runs in the domestic competitions so we'll still get good use of of Tomkins and Collins.

    I agree with the principle of building from the back, but has been pointed out, the midfield and strike force hardly bathed themselves in glory second half. But by all means start rebuilding at the back and working your way through the team billic. hatsoff

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