NEWS

\nFA Cup title sponsors Emirates are set to allay fears that they will end their tie-in with the famo...
\nOlivier Giroud has told the Lyon president he still wants to be the No.1 striker at Arsenal next se...
\n The Championship is NOT a difficult league according to Dwight Yorke - and Aston Villa owner Dr To...
\nFrank Lampard has backed Antonio Conte to lead Chelsea to more glory next season. \nAfter speculatio...
\n Sven Goran Eriksson has lifted the lid on life in China — and told Wayne Rooney he will be treat...
Read More
Burnley-v-West-Ham-United-Premier-League.jpg

STEVE STAMMERS: Walcott’s form has been severely disrupted at Arsenal – West Ham could kick-start his career

Date Posted,May 31, 2017

Slaven Bilic is facing one of the most exacting seasons of his managerial career at West Ham .

Allowances were made for a mid-table finish in the last campaign for the teething problems generated by the relocation to the London Stadium.

True, there were memorable moments like the League Cup win over Chelsea and the Premier League win that ruined Tottenham’s hopes of catching Antonio Conte’s men in the title race.

But there were disasters – the heavy defeats to Manchester City ( twice), to Arsenal and to Liverpool.

Slaven Bilic is set for a busy summer of transfer activity (Photo: 2017 Getty Images)
Video Loading

Video Unavailable
Click to playTap to play
The video will start in 8Cancel

Play now

A less tolerant hierarchy than Karren Brady, David Gold and David Sullivan might have summoned him for a little heart-to-heart at the end of the season.

They didn’t – but changes are needed if West Ham are to avoid last season’s brief flirtation with the relegation zone.

And with just one year left on his contract – and no sign of the offer of an extension – Bilic needs to invest.

He has started well enough with the experienced Pablo Zabaleta signed from Manchester City and a strong interest in young striker Kelechi Iheanacho from the same club.

Video Loading

Video Unavailable
Click to playTap to play
The video will start in 8Cancel

Play now
Pablo Zabaleta became West Ham’s first summer signing (Photo: West Ham United FC)

Bilic could do worse than turn his attention to Arsenal where Arsene Wenger has secured his future and who is about to embark on a major revamp.

There will be a significant turnover of players at the Emirates as Wenger looks to mount another title challenge. Two players who could leave spring to mind – Theo Walcott and Lucas Perez.

Walcott was a peripheral figure when Wenger changed tactics. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the main beneficiary in his new wing back role. Walcott suffered.

He may have lost his place but he has not lost his class. A winger with genuine pace …. perfect for West Ham. Perez has struggled to make an impact since his £17.1 million move from Deportivo La Coruna. In front of him were Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck.

Arsenal’s Lucas Perez is also set for a new challenge (Photo: REUTERS)

But in flashes, he showed he has goals in him – and he scored a superb one against Bournemouth when he helped Arsenal come back to draw 3-3. More playing time would help his confidence – and around £ 35 million could well secure the pair.

Off the field, Bilic has also been positive in appointing top physiotherapist Gary Lewin – for more than 20 years he filled that role with Arsenal and with England. Impressive credentials.

Now Bilic needs to improve the depth and quality of his playing staff.

poll loading

Will Lucas Perez leave Arsenal this summer?

500+ VOTES SO FAR

Back to previous page

payment with

Security