Enner Valencia strop will test Slaven Bilic's famous man management skills

Slaven Bilic

West Ham United striker Enner Valencia threw an almighty strop which will test his manager ahead of crucial games against Southampton and Liverpool.

The jet-heeled striker had endured a difficult night in the 2-0 win over Aston Villa last time out as the visitors sat back following the early sending off of star man Jordan Ayew at Upton Park.

With very little space to operate in the Ecuadorian struggled to get a sight of goal.

When he did have a chance he actually stopped what looked a certain goal from James Tomkins by blazing his goalbound effort over the bar from close range.

Valencia has been in good form recently scoring a brace against both Bournemouth and Manchester City and picking up a number of assists.

And he added another assist to his tally when he broke away at lightning speed from a late Villa corner to set up midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate for the decisive second goal on 83 minutes.

Childish but passionate

But when he was sensibly substituted moments later Valencia showed his displeasure, gesturing, throwing his hands up in the air and shaking his head towards the bench.

He blanked Bilic's outstretched hand as he stormed towards his seat on the bench and ignored the manager as he tried to call after him to shake his hand properly before throwing his gloves to the floor in a prolonged sulk.

The strop was childish and took the gloss off a very good win for those who witnessed it. And it was also disrespectful to the player waiting to replace him.

However it at least shows Valencia's passion to play for the Hammers and that he wanted to stay on the pitch and try to get his goal.

But the £12 million star should have taken it in the spirit it was intended which was to save him for the important games coming up.

Selection headache looming?

One thing it will do is test Bilic's famous man management skills ahead of crucial games at Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday and at home to Liverpool in the FA Cup replay next Tuesday.

With new signing Emmanuel Emenike available after signing on loan from Fenerbache and Andy Carroll fit again to take his place on the bench at St Mary's Valencia's place could be under pressure.

Fast forward to Tuesday and the Hammers could even welcome back the likes of Manuel Lanzini and Diafra Sakho to give Bilic a real selection headache going forward.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch