Slaven Bilic's positive management what Sam Allardyce always lacked at West Ham

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The fresh, exciting air that whistles around West Ham United at the moment has been long craved by so many.

It has vortexed and played around the halls of Upton Park and blown away all vestiges of the last management team that huffed, puffed and plodded along to mediocrity.

The atmosphere on offer was stodgy, tired and plain like the man who served it up, like a bored chef craving home-time. A new master chef was urgently need.


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On Saturday, we saw all that was good about Slaven Bilic and his brave, but balanced, management style. Here was a man confident, but quiet; elated, but controlled; forceful, yet respected. He is a joy to behold on the sidelines - prowling, bending, hands on knees in a peculiar posture as if resting, but always thinking about his next step.

Crystal Palace were reduced to ten men against the Hammers on Saturday thanks to the excitable Dwight Gayle forcing his unwanted attentions on the limbs of both Dimitri Payet and Cheikhou Kouyate in quick succession.

The red card swiftly emerged into daylight as Gayle played an embarrassed hide and seek with the Palace faithful as he left the field of play, visibly distraught.

The game was West Ham's for the taking, but for all their possession created nothing to concern the criminally underworked home 'keeper. The immediate past regime would have been happy with an away point - it was high-flying Palace, after all.

Not for Bilic, though, as a succession of attack-minded players were introduced to ensure Palace were penned back for the remainder of the game.

'Attack is the best form of defence' is a football cliche often thrown around, but it couldn't have been truer about West Ham's play. With a swarm of claret and blue buzzing around Palace's overwhelmed defence, the return fire was looking less hostile by the minute.

Hammers skipper Mark Noble was sacrificed in the 62nd minute because it was the right plan of action. Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll, Mario Zarate and Nikita Jelavic were all on for one reason - goals.

The winner eventually came, as did another, courtesy of Lanzini in the 88th minute and then Payet, whose clever chip epitomised the Hammers' new-found confidence and positivity.

Here is a West Ham side that are scoring for fun; playing with style; looking the real deal; and playing in the managers' image. Chelsea will not be relishing the challenge on Saturday.

West Ham United
Premier League

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