Jamie Carragher suggests rift is developing between Slaven Bilic and reluctant West Ham star

Jamie Carragher during the press conference

Jamie Carragher has suggested there could be signs of a rift between West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic and one of his players.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte and West Ham United manager Slaven BilicChelsea manager Antonio Conte and West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic's side were poor for long periods as they lost 2-1 to Chelsea in the season opener at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

Antonio Conte got life in West London off to a winning start thanks to a penalty from Eden Hazard and a fine late strike from Diego Costa.

West Ham gifted Chelsea the lead when reluctant makeshift right back Michail Antonio tried to play his way out of the box but instead gave the ball away and then a penalty in a desperate attempt to atone for his error.

The Hammers looked like they may go on to snatch an unlikely point when James Collins smashed home a superb half volley in the box to make it 1-1 in the second half.

Some lackadaisical play in possession on the halfway line again gifted Chelsea a counter attack and Costa punished the Hammers with a fine finish into the bottom corner from outside the box.

West Ham's Michail Antonio looks dejectedWest Ham's Michail Antonio looks dejected

Spotlight on Antonio

Much of the focus after the game was on Antonio , particularly after he was hauled off following his mistake.

The powerful winger told Four Four Two earlier this summer that he does not want to play at right-back, where he has been deployed for much of his time under Bilic despite scoring and assisting 15 goals since breaking into the team in December.

And Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher suggested on Monday Night Football that a rift could be developing between Bilic and Antonio.

Jamie Carragher during the press conferenceJamie Carragher during the press conference

'It was strange'

"I think when you maybe make comments like that (attributed to Antonio in FourFourTwo) before a season, maybe it plants something in the manager's head because it was interesting when he came off," Carragher said on MNF.

"Normally a manager, no matter how badly you've played - unless you've been sent off and really let the team down - will shake your hand or pat you on your way off.

"It seemed Slaven Bilic just seemed to turn away from him as he came off, maybe it was nothing, it was just strange seeing the reaction coming off."

Chelsea's Eden Hazard in action with West Ham United's Michail Antonio and Mark NobleChelsea's Eden Hazard in action with West Ham United's Michail Antonio and Mark Noble

Antonio situation reaching boiling point with Hammers fans

If you lined up every single West Ham fan on the planet and asked each one whether they thought Antonio was a right back not one would say 'Yes'. Why then does the only person that matters, Bilic, not see it.

The former Croatia boss has persisted with the powerful winger-cum-forward at right back despite a brilliant contribution of 15 goals and assists between December and May last season.

Not only is Antonio not good enough to play at right back for West Ham, he is also completely wasted there.

West Ham United'Tricky' Trevor Sinclair

West Ham favourite Sinclair agrees

It is the biggest bone of contention Hammers fans have with Bilic and it is fast becoming his Achilles heel at West Ham.

The fans aren't the only ones thinking it either.

Former Hammers favourite Trevor Sinclair took to Twitter during the game to air his views on a player who has been dubbed by many the club's best winger since 'Tricky Trev' himself.

He said: "Clever play by Azpiliqueta and definite pen! Antonio wasted so deep in my opinion."

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