Slaven Bilic was extremely complimentary about the challenge Crystal Palace posed to his West Ham players yesterday, as the Hammers ran out eventual 3-1 winners at Selhurst Park.
Describing the victory as his “proudest moment so far” at West Ham, the newly installed boss is placing the victory over Alan Pardew and co. above the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool in terms of effort and importance, which if nothing else, serves as a huge accolade to us as a football club.
Making direct reference to the work-rate and desire that our players show on a weekly basis, the Croatian assures Jonathan Pearce that they have nothing but respect for us and approached the game in a manner which made allowances for the strengths we have running throughout the side.
Having garnered the most points away from home of any Premier League side so far this season, it’s fair to suggest that the West Ham boss has struck upon a winning formula, but in truth, we were a matter of mere minutes away from securing an extremely impressive point in the circumstances, before being undone by a mixture of tiredness and positional complacency at the death.
Whilst no one would suggest that our home points tally is anything to boast about so far, last-gasp losses to both Manchester City and West Ham have seen us miss out on two points that we were probably more than worthy of in the grand scheme of things, which when added to our overall points haul, would see us sitting pretty in fourth place, above yesterday’s opponents after nine games of the campaign.
It may not mean much to some, but Bilic’s comments regarding the fear with which he and his players approached yesterday’s game highlights the change in attitude there has been towards us throughout the top flight since Alan Pardew arrived at the turn of the year. Reputation alone may not win you points, but it’s certainly heartening to know that we are now viewed as a genuine force to be reckoned with.
To see Bilic’s extremely positive comments regarding the Palace side in general, click on the link attached above.