Slaven Bilic deserves more time at West Ham, says Danny Murphy

Danny Murphy
Evening Standard
Under pressure: West Ham have lost three Premier League matches on the bounce: AFP/Getty Images
Under pressure: West Ham have lost three Premier League matches on the bounce: AFP/Getty Images

Slaven Bilic has had a lot on his plate this season. West Ham have had problems at their new stadium, their best player from last season — Dimitri Payet — left in January and there has been a significant turnover of players.

Think of the managers who would be realistic targets for West Ham. How many of them would do a better job than Bilic? I’m not sure there are any who could.

Bilic set himself high standards by guiding the team to seventh last season but with so many new players, it takes time — no matter who the manager is. They are very reliant on Andy Carroll. When he is not fit, West Ham simply do not look as potent going forward.

They need to strengthen in the summer — but that does not mean signing a whole load of new players.

They need just two or three who can go straight into the team and produce in the Premier League.

West Ham cannot compete financially with the top six but if they work smartly, they can do well.

Defoe is still a wanted man

Win against Sunderland and Watford can start to enjoy the rest of the season.

They are currently on the 31-point mark, seven points above the relegation zone. If they get another victory, they can start to feel they have done enough. Sunderland, on the other hand, look doomed. If they fail to take three points here, I don’t see how they avoid relegation.

If they go down, Jermain Defoe will leave. He would suit a club like Watford very well — but with all respect to Watford, he has probably set his sights higher.

Although Defoe (below) will be 35 in October, he is still in great nick, he is firing in the goals — 14 this season — and has just got back in the England squad.

This would be very controversial but you could see Newcastle looking at him if they won promotion. Perhaps if Everton lose Romelu Lukaku, they will decide Defoe would do a good job for them.

Whatever happens to Sunderland, though, there is no way Defoe will be playing in the Championship next season.

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