The three Englishmen Slaven Bilic must axe to get West Ham's season back on track

Slaven Bilic

West Ham United's brilliant start to the season has fallen flat of late and Slaven Bilic must find the answers to turn things around.

The Hammers were unceremoniously thrashed by their fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 on Sunday.

In truth the margin of victory could and probably should have been more.

Aside from their exit to FC Astra in the Europa League qualifiers - which was deemed something of a blessing in disguise - it was Bilic's first humiliation since his return to East London as boss.

It also stretched the club's winless run to three games following the draw with Everton and 2-0 defeat to Watford beforehand.

The loss of star player Dimitri Payet and £12 million striker Enner Valencia to long term injuries has made things difficult for the former Croatia boss.

Time to use the squad

But he does have plenty of options to change his side around, and he needs to start using them because it is just not working of late.

This season more than any other West Ham have a very good squad and it is time Bilic wielded the axe.

West Bromich Albion, fresh from their 2-1 win over Arsenal last time out, are up next for the Hammers on Sunday lunchtime.

Here are the three players Bilic must drop to get the Hammers back to winning ways.

Andy Carroll

Any West Ham fans that still clung on to the belief that Carroll could adapt to Bilic's style of play before the Spurs mauling must surely now be seeing the wood for the trees.

Carroll, once again, was poor, offering very little and making the Hammers far too predictable.

It wasn't for the lack of trying but Carroll is so limited as a footballer and is one of the slowest strikers around.

Even more frustratingly for Hammers fans, Diafra Sakho - the club's main goal threat and the player who essentially makes West Ham tick - was shoved out wide to accommodate the big Geordie.

The only time Carroll has looked effective since his comeback from injury was as a late second half sub against Chelsea where he got the winner. And that is the only way he should feature for Bilic, as a plan B when plan A hasn't worked.

Sakho must take his place up front if West Ham are to get back to their potent attacking best.

Mark Noble

Bilic made a rod for his own back by naming homegrown Hammer Noble captain after Kevin Nolan's departure.

Any West Ham fan worth their salt would have told him Noble was not a guaranteed starter in midfield and so cannot be the skipper.

And so it has proved. Noble has been one of the club's poorest performers of late and was once again completely ineffectual against Spurs.

Spanish star Pedro Obiang, signed for £5 million from Sampdoria in the summer, has had little game time due to a combination of injuries and, when he is fit, Bilic electing to play Noble ahead of him.

But classy pass master Obiang has been so impressive each time he has played for the Hammers and started in each of West Ham's away wins over Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Obiang has a better passing range, is quicker and more mobile than Noble and West Ham could risk losing him long-term if he doesn't get enough game time.

James Tomkins

A few weeks back Tomkins looked majestic at the heart of the West Ham defence.

But he has been out of sorts of late and in each of the last three games has been directly at fault for a costly goal.

At Watford his terrible hashed clearance allowed Odion Ighalo to seal the game with a second goal after a Carroll howler had gifted the Hornets the first.

Against Everton Tomkins was again at fault when Romelu Lukaku split him and Winston Reid down Tomkins' side, defending Bilic later labelled 'cheap'.

Then against Spurs just after half-time with West Ham 2-0 down and the next goal crucial Tomkins played the ball straight to Harry Kane who lashed in a third.

Italian international Angelo Ogbonna was signed for £8 million in the summer and has been sat kicking his heels on the bench for the last few weeks since returning from injury.

The former Juventus defender had forged a solid partnership with Reid and that must be reinstated if West Ham want to improve.

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