Bilic - We have a problem that we have to solve


  • Manager unhappy following 4-2 Premier League defeat at West Bromwich Albion
  • Defensive mistakes punished severely at The Hawthorns
  • Boss admits he has a defensive 'problem' that he needs to solve quickly

Slaven Bilic admitted his West Ham United side had simply not defended well enough after slipping to a 4-2 Premier League defeat at West Bromwich Albion.

In a brutally honest post-match interview, the manager struggled to contain his frustration at the way the Hammers conceded three first-half goals and a fourth shortly after half-time – despite controlling possession and territory for long periods at The Hawthorns.

A Michail Antonio header – his fifth Premier League goal in five games – and Manuel Lanzini’s penalty gave West Ham hope of completing a miraculous comeback against an increasingly nervous and defensive Albion, but they were unable to find the two goals needed to snatch a point.

“I was angry, disappointed and felt all sorts of emotions – their first goal was totally unnecessary, and the fourth one…” said Bilic. “We can’t plan for individual mistakes, but some of them were collective and they created the chance after eight or ten seconds of the game, and that’s what I’m talking about.

“I don’t want to say ‘We’re unlucky’, but we were also unlucky and when it rains, it pours. It’s up to us and we’re letting it happen too much.

“We are playing a little bit slowly, and this wasn’t the first time. We are playing from one side to the other side and letting the opponent get quickly behind the ball and rest for the next situation and hit us on the break, like they did early in the second half.

“OK, though, we were the side that was dominating in the second half and had one in the first half at 1-0 for Antonio, which their ‘keeper saved well. We did more than enough as a team going forward, but we are conceding way too many goals.

“We had 70 per cent of possession but that was misleading, because we know they are a team that don’t have the ball and like to break quickly. There were some good moments and goals in the second half, but we want action and not reaction.

“It is not a good situation for us at the moment and we have a problem that we have to solve. I have to do everything as the manager to turn this around, that’s my job.”

It is not a good situation for us at the moment and we have a problem that we have to solve. I have to do everything as the manager to turn this around, that’s my job
Slaven Bilic


After conceding four goals in a home defeat by Watford, Bilic and his players spent the week working on their resilience, but that preparation was not in evidence as West Brom took advantage of every defensive error made by the men in Claret and Blue.

Arthur Masuaku’s handball allowed Nacer Chadli to fire home a penalty, before Angelo Ogbonna’s clearance was charged down by Matty Phillips, allowing Salomon Rondon to lash past Adrian.

James McClean diverted in the third before a defensive communication breakdown allowed Rondon to race 60 yards before squaring for Chadli to put the game beyond the Hammers.

“It happened for the second game in a row, and if we continue to defend like that, it will be hard for us to win any games,” Bilic observed. “The same happened against Watford and it is a problem.

“It is fundamentally defending as a team and if you add individual mistakes, it becomes too much. I mean, we’ve conceded 13 goals from the start of the season and that’s simply too many.

“Going forward, we created enough and against Watford also, but you can’t concede so many goals.”

West Ham return to action with the League Cup visit of Accrington Stanley to London Stadium on Wednesday evening – a tie that takes on greater importance considering the Hammers’ indifferent start to the Premier League season.

Bilic will undoubtedly make changes to his starting XI, but will still expect his side to be more than strong enough to see off their League Two opponents.

“It’s an ideal chance and it’s good that we have a game in three days in a different competition and we’re going to approach that game with big desire to win it, but we need to pick up points in the Premier League – that’s what we really need to do,” he concluded.

“The cup game is important, but we need to start getting points as quickly as possible to climb the table.”