Pardew backs Hammers counterpart

14 Oct

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has no doubt Slaven Bilic will inspire West Ham to recover from their poor start to the season.


Crystal Palace: Pardew backs Hammers counterpartCrystal Palace: Pardew backs Hammers counterpart

After an encouraging year in which Bilic impressively led West Ham to a seventh-placed finish, they are now in the bottom three following seven league games in which they have won only once.

Comparisons can be drawn with the time Pardew took the Hammers to within minutes of winning the 2006 FA Cup before an unexpectedly poor run at the start of the following season led to his sacking in December.

Pardew’s first full-time job in management came at Reading in 1999, shortly after they moved to the Madejski Stadium from Elm Park. Ahead of West Ham’s visit to Selhurst Park on Saturday, the Crystal Palace manager said of Bilic: “He’s an experienced international manager, and he’ll know how to deal with it. Better than I will. I have no doubt he’ll get it right sooner rather than later.

“It’s part of the managerial role we have that everything is centred on the results. Sometimes all the stuff that goes on around them makes it difficult to get those results.

“Moving into a new stadium is always difficult. You’re taking away years of traditions, of West Ham fans taking their sons and grandchildren to Upton Park.

“I felt that at Reading from moving from Elm Park to the Madejski. Some are going to find it difficult. Your heritage is based somewhere else. It’s problematic for every club, but West Ham will find a way.”

Pardew also understands the impact that playing in Europe can have on a side, with West Ham involved in the Europa League play-offs.


“The Europa League is always disruptive,” he said. “It kicks in very early, causes a bit of logistical issues, and some of the games aren’t the quality of the Premier League.

“You can lose your way a bit, and maybe that’s affected West Ham. (But) you can’t fault the manager or the players he has.”

West Ham’s summer recruitment has also been questioned, when a year after the arrival of Dimitri Payet, the unconvincing Arthur Masuaku and Simone Zaza were among those signed.

Bilic spoke on Thursday of his admiration for Palace’s summer transfers, with Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke and James Tomkins added to those with Premier League experience.

“It was a problem that kept surfacing (when I was) at Newcastle, signing players without Premier League experience,” said Pardew, whose only absentee on Saturday is injured captain Scott Dann.

“It becomes very difficult thrusting four or five on a manager and expecting him to try and get them up to the little moments you need to be a Premier League player. The crowd, the atmosphere, the environment you’re going into. I do have sympathy if he feels that’s the case.

“(Tomkins has) nothing to prove to West Ham fans. He was born and bred there. He’s playing for us, but he’d go and watch West Ham if he had a choice.

“I’d tried to take him to Newcastle. He’s got his best years ahead of him.”

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