Slaven Bilic wants to change the colour of the perimeter around the London Stadium pitch from green to claret – but there will have been blood on the carpets after this one.
This was as shocking as it gets for West Ham and for their manager as they slumped to a horrific defeat against an organised, resilient Brighton. It was the kind of performance and loss that can be defining, that can have significant repercussions and Bilic got the customary “sacked in the morning” chant from the gleeful Brighton supporters.
“It’s very hard for me to say anything clever now. I take full responsibility for it. I don’t want to hide,” Bilic said with typical candour afterwards. “It is not a good situation and the board will do what they are going to do. It’s their decision … I have to say sorry to the fans. It’s not the first time. They deserve better than this.”
He knows the score. His contract is up at the end of this season although the club want to honour it, it is hard to see him surviving beyond then. If he gets that far. .
For Bilic this was particularly bad as it was a televised match, on a Friday night, and it gave the terrible impression that he could not rouse a response from his players, which was strange because they had been in good form. But they ran out of ideas. They never looked like scoring. It was supposed to be a showcase. It ended being a showing up.