Harry Redknapp praises West Ham boss Slaven Bilic for bold decision

Slaven Bilic

The former boss reveals he texted the new Hammers manager about the decision to start Reece Oxford against Arsenal on Sunday.

Writing on Kicca, Harry Redknapp has revealed he text West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic about the brave decision to play Reece Oxford against Arsenal.

The new Hammers boss handed the 16-year-old his Premier League debut, making him the club’s youngest ever appearance holder in the division, and the second youngest in the league’s history.

He did not disappoint either as went on to put in a solid display in the centre of the park against Arsenal’s star studded midfield.

It was a bold decision from Bilic, and Redknapp says he text him before and after the game to say just that, while also praising Oxford for his performance.

“I texted Slaven before and after the game and told him it was a bold and brave decision to play the lad,” he wrote on Kicca.

“[But] it was amazing, the gamble paid off. Reece Oxford had a fantastic, amazing debut and it was a great and bold move from Slaven Bilic to play him. He got it spot on and it speaks volumes for him.”

Praise for Payet

The former boss also praised the performances of both Dimitri Payet and Mauro Zarate after they starred in the 2-0 win.

Payet managed to set up the first goal in the game while Zarate bagged the second himself, but the Frenchman in particular was another who impressed on his Premier League debut.

And Redknapp says it looks like he may turn out to be a great signing based on Sunday’s performance.

“Dimitri Payet looks a great signing for them,” he added.

“The reports I had on him were excellent. He looks strong on the ball; he’s a real good player. They deserved their result and a great first game for Slaven.”

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch