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West Ham pulled off a superb comeback against Tottenham in the 1/8 finals of the Carabao Cup at Wembley and probably saved their manager’s job for a little while.
Spurs got to an early 2-0 lead through Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli, and the situation looked far from great for Bilic at halftime.
However, after the interval, West Ham responded with the quick Andre Ayew’s brace, so the score was 2-2 in the 60th minute. Angelo Ogbonna completed the comeback with a header in the 70th minute, and the Hammers fought bravely and managed to deter all the attacks from the hosts.
Slaven Bilic’s job was quite precarious prior to the clash following poor form and the recent 0-3 home loss to Brighton, but he survived, and it seems that the players played for their gaffer.
West Ham are visiting Selhurst Park this Saturday to face Crystal Palace, another struggling team, and the fans hopeful they can repeat inspiring performance.
Could this win be a turning point?
Defeating the city rivals who were 11 consecutive matches without a loss is undoubtedly a huge achievement, even enormous considering the halftime result and the current situation at West Ham.
Usually, the teams tend to play better after the change of management, just look at Leicester City who are looking rejuvenated following Craig Shakespeare’s sacking. Apparently, West Ham players don’t want to see Bilic go and the atmosphere in the locker room is great, which was evident on the pitch when the match ended.
Heroics like this can be a much-needed catalyst for a struggling club such as West Ham as it will lift the spirits to the sky and give the new hope to the players and fans.
Bilic is surely aware that his squad gave the maximum to record a victory and buy him at least few more games, so the connection between manager and the players could play a vital role in the fixtures to come.
What’s next for West Ham?
The Hammers are playing Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Leicester, and Everton in the next four rounds of the Premier League, and I think Bilic deserved that much to turn the things around on the standings.
I believe seven out of possible 12 points should be enough for owners to keep Bilic at least until the New Year. The upcoming period will be vital for the Croatian’s chances to stay at London Stadium because, after the mentioned four matches, West Ham will play against Man City, Chelsea, and Arsenal.
I am not saying that the tilt at Selhurst Park will be a breeze for the Hammers, especially with Palace’s current form as they also need a win, but it will definitely be more comfortable than playing at Etihad.
The 16th position is far from satisfying, but there’s space for improvement and Bilic has the ability to change fortunes, while knowing that the players are right behind him will only boost West Ham chances to get out of the crisis.
Written by Oliver Zivic
Follow Oliver on Twitter @guli86
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