This timely sacking came as no shock to Hammers fans, and most will be pleased with the board’s decision. Arsenal, after yet another poor display against a top club, can take some advice from Bilic’s exit.
The reign of Slaven Bilic as manager of West Ham is a microcosm for Arsene Wenger’s. Bilic, like Wenger, has brought some of the best years for the club in recent years.
Although a 49-game unbeaten run and a Premier League win is far more impressive than a seventh place finish, relative to the quality of the sides, they seem more alike.
Bilic transformed West Ham from an anachronistic team filled with target men and defensive ruffians into a side of free-flowing football, pace, skill and quality. Yet now, after this positive transformation, West Ham have shown their gratitude by sacking the catalyst of this change. And it’s completely fair.
The board’s attitude at Arsenal could not be more different. The high standards set, albeit by Bilic, were not met this season, and therefore there are reasonable grounds for his departure.
Similarly, the high standards set by Wenger have not been met in recent years. To sack Arsene Wenger is not cruel, it is part of the normal process of Premier League football.
With Bilic out and Moyes in for West Ham, and Sam Allardyce in talks with Everton, it seems that the two sides have swapped managers, swapped ideas, and swapped expectations.
While Everton employ a relegation specialist and West Ham employ a mid-table specialist, Arsenal keep their specialist in failure.