Bilic starts rebuilding job in ‘the most cruel league’
IN a gloomy start to the season on and off the pitch, there finally appears to be some light shining through. Not even West Ham’s warring fans, who have spent the majority squabbling with themselves, could have a cause for argument.
The only fighting was seen by their players on the pitch as they put their bodies on the line to defend Manuel Lanzini’s 19th minute strike with their lives.
The first win since 21 August moved them out of the bottom three and eased the pressure on Bilic following their the worst start since 1989. “This league is so cruel that you don’t have to lose a lot, only a little bit and you are dead,” said West Ham boss Slaven Bilic (pix).
“It’s the most cruel league in the world if you are 10% below par in any aspect of the game.
“Hopefully that’s over now. But we are still in a position we don’t want to be.”
A change of formation, to keep Crystal Palace’s wingers quiet and stop the ammunition to Christian Benteke, worked a treat even if the visitors had to ride their luck at times once Lanzini had diverted home Aaron Cresswell’s searching cross.
That was the start of an eventful evening for the outstanding Cresswell, back early following a knee injury that had sidelined him all season.
Cresswell’s 75th minute red card, picking up two bookings inside 51 seconds via a dive and a minimal tug on Wilfried Zaha, was the wrong call by referee Martin Atkinson.
Captain Mark Noble, who had not held back in branding his teammates as laughable last month, said: “Because I’ve been at the club for so long and care so much about how we play and how our results go, I felt I needed to be honest and say how it was.
“We’ve had meetings as players, with the staff. We got hammered for going out on a night out, but since that night out we’ve picked up four points. So is it a bad thing? I don’t know.” – The Independent