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southbankbornnbred 1:04 Sun Aug 27
Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
I like Slaven Bilic - and was unashamed in supporting his appointment when he got the job. I still think he should remain West Ham's manager, as I'm quite certain that tucked away inside the current self-shackled leader is a very fine manager and coach indeed. He's proved it internationally, and I'm quite sure he''ll prove it elsewhere if he were to move on.

But I do think Bilic has to face up to some harsh realities about his tenure at West Ham to date.

In particular, it seems that he needs to decide what to do with the club's coaching staff - because the signs are that we are very weak on that front and have a current set of coaches who are failing to improve the players - and therefore the team - over time.

I say this through gritted teeth because of his status as something of a cult figure at the club (if not a "legend", whatever that means these days). But what, for example, does Julian Dicks actually add to the club in his current capacity as first team coach? Serious question, but can anybody show some examples of established first team players who have improved under his tutelage? It may well be that there are some, but I'm genuinely struggling to think of any.

Likewise, Nikola Jurcevic. Like Dicks, he's a friend of Slav. Tick. Former playing colleague. Tick. But does that make him the best man for the assistant manager's role? Again, what does he bring to the club that improves us?

Perhaps these coaches and others do improve us from where we would otherwise be - I'm open-minded. But people in the game tend to talk about good coaches. Word gets around. I don't hear very much at all about West Ham's coaching staff beyond Slav - and yet we're paying them rather a lot of money, supposedly to improve us.

What are the tangible, evidenced benefits of the current coaching staff? And, if there are few - are we not in need of a big overhaul of these positions?

Perhaps the biggest dilemma Bilic faces is whether he is prepared to put the club before his (admirable) loyalty to a group of coaches who, it seems, have yet to deliver.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

aldgate 12:36 Wed Aug 30
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
it's a real worry that our coaching staff don't seem to improve players while a lot seem to get worse
dicks on the staff screams amateur hour - great player and all that but seems dim and someone who relied on pure natural talent rather than hard work- hardly coach material!
the owners missed the chance for a clear out of dead wood while keeping bilic and now it seems they will all have to go as our performances tactically our now simply unacceptable

southbankbornnbred 12:16 Wed Aug 30
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
LH - many thanks.

Yep, agree with your points about Jurcevic. I can't say I know a huge amount about him (so I hope that what I'm about to say is not unfair) - but the feedback on him that I have had is not great. People say it's hard to gauge what effect, if any, he has had.

That's not a good sign for the assistant manager. Bilic needs somebody stronger alongside him.

Dr Moose 3:35 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
Swiss. 5:24 Mon Aug 28

They would have seen it all before agreeing to sign so they've not come in blind to the shambles of a club we seem to be at the moment.

El Scorchio 3:35 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
I love Bilic, but it pains me to say I don't think he's up to the job any longer.

The first season was brilliant, although I think a lot went in our favour. Last season was pretty disappointing, and a far amount didn't go in our favour.

However, there have been warning signs for a long time and we no longer have Payet to dig us out of holes with bits of magic or free kicks. There are basic things lacking such as coherent gameplan and solid organisation and man for man responsibility. The problems have been plain to see for some time and despite plugging in different players, we're not seeing improvements.

We don't have a bad squad. We certainly have one who should be doing better than they currently are. The players are decent but look a bit disorganised and clueless. Ultimately the responsibility for that falls at one man's door.

If we get less than three points from WBA and Huddersfield, I think he'll find himself in a difficult position to hold on to his job. Even if we win both it'll feel a bit like papering over the cracks.

I think the time is almost nigh, sadly.

master 3:27 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
members of supervised groups get to know the bare minimum they have to do in interactions with each 'supervisor' and what they can get away with.

mixing things up every once in a while prevents units/groups from becoming stale and bored. we haven't changed anything in 3 years i think.

i believe its why ferguson changed his number 2 so often.

madeeasy 3:11 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
I met Dicks in Dukes one night, stood at the bar with his agent.

He thought he was really funny by throwing his drink over the tub of ice every time they replaced it. Staff thought he was as much of an idiot as he looked for doing it.

Stupid thing to do, with a stupid attitude. Like doing it for the sake of doing it as he couldn't get kicked out.

I can't see him being able to motivate modern day players tbh, let's be fair however much i loved watching him in his day he would be a liability if he played for us today.

dealcanvey 3:10 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
Think the owners should force a change in the coaching set up. if Bilic refuses then he can go aswell. As said below a few british coaches in the mix would help. You need coaches the players will respect. These of course will be big names. Bilic wont have a 'big name' in his coaching set up as he will feel it would be easier for him to be replaced.

Sven Roeder 3:06 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
I suspect Dicks is the 'have another beer what harm could it do, Andy son' Cop

madeeasy 3:04 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
Good post with some good comments.

Fwiw my view.

When he came here as with all change you get that bounce. After Allardyce it must have been a breath of fresh air for the players. Add into the mix Payet turning up and it being the last season at UP and the fans being behind the team all the ingredients were there for a good year.

His second season syndrome as a manager was there and i feel he got caught short at times and didn't have the experience to switch things up when needed, nor did he have the people around him he needed to help and advise.

I am lucky enough not to have seen much so far this season but am certainly not in the Bilic out camp by a long shot.

Dicks as a player was great, as a coach he never cut it at management and from meeting him previously he doesn't seem to have that extra edge to be a good coach.

I like the fact that he has shown loyalty to his staff around him but what he could do is get some different people in as a consultant type basis.

Let older more experienced coaches watch and give positive feedback and then let Bilic and his team implement said changes.

That isn't failure but everyone can always learn new things and get better, always.

I like that our owners aren't trigger happy with firing the manager but he also needs to take it on the chin and get help where necessary.

It doesn't help with 2 of our midfield being Noble and Rice.

When we get a couple of players back then i am sure we will see a bounce back.

I just hope the fans get behind the team for our first home game.

Lily Hammer 2:55 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
He can be bad cop on the pitch, but I don't think he has it in him to do it vocally, or convincingly, if that's what it needs. Maybe Bilic's sidekick doesn't have to be scary, but the communication/ man management skills have to be up to scratch.

Anyone know how well Bilic's loyal Igor speaks English?

Far Cough 2:53 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
Dicks should have been the bad cop

Lily Hammer 2:50 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
So this is where the grownups hide.

Good thread, sbb&b.

I suspect Bilic's old right hand man is quite a 8Croatian) character and could communicate in a good way with Croation national players, but I'm not sure how well his character and communication skills work on a british and international group of players like we have.

Bilic is definitely a good cop, and I reckon he lacks anything close to a decent bad cop.

Mex Martillo 11:24 Tue Aug 29
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
I think we need to improve coaching to get 1) more motivation and fight to win the 50:50 balls and give that extra effort and 2) connect / link up better as a team, I do not thnk we look like a good team yet.

I am not sure what sort of coaching does that or who would be good. Also in some ways it needs time and getting to know each other, however, I am sure it can be accelerated some how.

I think skill levels and what I would call normal coaching are fine and not a problem.

Lastly, another skillful attacking midfielder would be good before the window closed.

rochesterjohn 10:16 Mon Aug 28
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
Tony Cottee has offered his services but was told no thanks.

southbankbornnbred 8:57 Mon Aug 28
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
AB - fair question, because it is never as simple as made out (even by me!). Most coaches are still generalists up to a point.

But at Arsenal, Bould and Primorac tend to look after the defenders and, while he was there, Henry worked with the forwards. But he left.

At Chelsea, Alessio tends to look after the midfield and attackers a little more often. Conte and others nail up the defence more regularly.

etc etc

Alex Bunbury 8:30 Mon Aug 28
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
Out of interest who are the "attacking" and "defending" coaches at other top clubs?

southbankbornnbred 7:54 Mon Aug 28
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
Re: Swiss - your point about Hart, Zabaleta and Hernandez.

It's a good question. Hard to know the answer, of course. But my gut feeling is that Chris Woods will be a good coach for Hart. Not so sure that Dicks can teach Zabaleta an awful lot. Bilic himself could make good use of him. And we simply don't have an attacking coach capable of maximising Hernandez's skills.

southbankbornnbred 7:48 Mon Aug 28
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
Cheers Swiss. And, yep, I take the point about what happened after Dec 2014. I was merely using that interview as an example of how a decent coach can make some rapid improvements with the right players. I don't know whether Teddy is a good manager, but my gut feeling is that he has a lot to offer as an attacking coach.

Eerie Descent 7:39 Mon Aug 28
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
Tony Cottee? A near on 70 year old Trevor Brooking?


Yarmouth 6:43 Mon Aug 28
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma
fkn good post this. IMO re should approach Rio Ferdinand as defensive coach, Cottee as
strikers coach, & try to persuade Brooking to get his tracksuit on and coach the middle of the park.

This is not so far fetched as it may seem. The game hasn't changed from the basics of pass and move, pass via the triangles and retain possession (thats the big one we're failing in right now) - yes the games got much quicker, but the basics are the same and won't ever change, its the fundamentals of the game.

I play walking football up here and there's some tidy blokes, ex players, who are in their early 70's who make it look so simple - pass into space or feet and move & keep possession. They make the younger lads chase shadows.

It's a simple game after all.

Swiss. 5:24 Mon Aug 28
Re: Coaching at West Ham: Bilic's dilemma

A lot of very vaild points. We could do with improvements in coaching staff. I wonder what Zabaleta, Hernandez and Hart make of our setup?

However the Mirror article of Dec 2014 doesn't reflect what happened next.

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