Jamie Carragher analyses Slaven Bilic, claims Dimitri Payet epitomises 'the West Ham way'

Slaven Bilic

Jamie Carragher has been impressed with Slaven Bilic at West Ham.

Former Liverpool defender and current pundit Jamie Carragher has told the Daily Mail that he thinks Slaven Bilic and playmaker Dimitri Payet understand 'the West Ham way'.

The Hammers beat Sunderland 1-0 at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon, as Michail Antonio's winning goal temporarily took them above Manchester United into fifth, before the Red Devils' win over Arsenal pushed West Ham back down to sixth.

Still, West Ham are just four points off a Champions League place, and with a crucial London derby against Tottenham coming up in midweek, they will remain confident of qualifying for Europe.

Much of the praise must go to Croatian boss Bilic, who has certainly repaid West Ham's faith in him. The Hammer chose to part company with Sam Allardyce at the end of last season, taking a gamble on progression under Bilic over solid mid-table football under Allardyce.

Bilic's history with West Ham - he played for the club as a defender in the 1990's - gave him an immediate head start, but his West Ham side have lost just six Premier League games this season. Only Leicester and Tottenham have lost fewer, and they sit in the top two places in the table.

Now, Bilic has been praised by pundit Jamie Carragher, who has told the Daily Mail that he could still see Bilic winning the FA Cup this season, and launded West Ham's 'brave decision' to appoint Bilic after allowing Allardyce to leave in May 2015.

Carragher also offered praise to playmaker Dimitri Payet, stating that both Bilic and Payet understand 'the West Ham way' - playing attractive football and offering entertainment on a regular basis, something both men have done this season.

"Compare the way West Ham fans feel about Allardyce to the backing they have for Slaven Bilic, whose first season in England has gone better than expected and could yet end with him lifting the FA Cup," said Carragher. "The way West Ham beat Blackburn 5-1 last Sunday left a big impression."

"West Ham’s board took a brave decision not to renew Allardyce’s contract last year. It was also a gamble, as Allardyce would have guaranteed their status in the Premier League, which was imperative ahead of the move to the Olympic Stadium."

"But he never got the West Ham way. Bilic does. Dimitri Payet, Bilic’s flagship signing, is the West Ham way, with his inspirational form and the goals he has scored. He has got the crowd happy and believing again. Just because he was a popular player, there was no guarantee that Bilic would be a success in the dug-out but the signs over the last six months have been nothing but positive," he added.

What have you thought of Bilic and Payer this season?

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