Defensive display disgruntles Bilic


Slaven Bilic was pulling no punches after watching his side floored 4-2 by Watford on the night West Ham United fan Gennady Golovkin fights in London.

While the Kazakh boxer remains undefeated – at least until he gets into the ring with Kell Brook at the O2 Arena – the Hammers slumped to their third defeat in four Premier League matches.

Michail Antonio’s first-half double from two Dimitri Payet crosses looked to have put West Ham on course for a routine victory, but Watford came off the ropes to score twice in each half to leave the Hammers floundering.

The nature of the Hornets’ recovery angered Bilic, as Odion Ighalo’s shot was deflected in, Troy Deeney capitalised on a mix-up between Adrian and James Collins, before both Etienne Capoue and Jose Holebas were given time and space to find the net.

“It’s hard to explain,” said the manager. “Their first two goals were way too easy. OK, the second one was a classic for YouTube with no communication between two players, but that happens. Of course it shouldn’t but it happens.

“Their third goal came from a very predictable attack and we should have made it more difficult for them to hurt us. It had already happened twice in the first ten minutes, when we had five chances and they had two, and it was too easy for them to get in positions out wide in space.

“Then, when they have the ball, you shouldn’t allow a two-against-one situation to develop and allow your player to be exposed and hurt, because then they can use their quality.”

The bottom line is that if we defend like this, we’re not going to win too many games
Slaven Bilic


 Before Watford’s recovery, West Ham were the better side in a lively and chance-ridden match, with Antonio nodding in Payet’s corner, before using his head to convert the Frenchman’s outrageous rabona cross to make it 2-0.

At that stage, West Ham were well on top and Watford looked ragged, only for the hosts to concede twice in the final five minutes of the first half, and twice more in the opening 18 of the second.

“Basically, it was a really good opening 40 minutes, we controlled the game, we were two-up and we were happy with the way we pressed them and were getting the second balls,” he continued. “If anyone looked like getting another goal, it was us. You can’t concede goals like we did. The second one didn’t decide the game, but it changed it.

“We tried to get them back, but what I don’t like is, while I agree that the confidence of a team or individuals depends a bit on what the result is, it shouldn’t happen as obviously as it did to some of our players.

“The bottom line is that if we defend like this, we’re not going to win too many games.”