By Danny Wright
Alan Pardew has admitted he felt sorry for Slaven Bilic after West Ham were beaten 3-2 by Tottenham at the London Stadium on Saturday.
The Hammers went three goals down after an hour before staging an impressive late comeback which almost saw them rescue a point after Spurs’ Serge Aurier was shown a red card.
Michail Antonio was taken off the pitch with an injury in the first-half and ex-West Ham boss Pardew has made it clear that moment was the one that cost his old club from potentially causing an upset.
“I had real sympathy for West Ham manager Slaven Bilic against Tottenham,” said Pardew on the Daily Mail website.
“He will have spent all week devising a plan to beat Spurs, putting the hours in with tactical work on the training ground, and having meetings with his staff and the players.
“He went with three at the back but what he really wanted was energy down the flanks, hoping that Marko Arnautovic and Michail Antonio would test the Spurs defence.
“And then what happens? Antonio gets injured after 28 minutes and Plan A goes out of the window.”
West Ham stay in the Premier League’s relegation zone after failing to earn any points against their London rivals at the weekend, although it is still and early stage and there is plenty of time for Hammers man Bilic to turn things around.
However he will no doubt need Antonio back as soon as possible, and judging by his recent track record with injuries, that may not be the case.
Up next for the Irons is a home clash against Swansea on Saturday, which on paper is a much easier fixture than the one they just battled their way through.
A performance that matches the last 10 minutes against Spurs will surely give the Hammers a much-needed win against the Welsh side.
In other West Ham news, Bilic has given an injury update on Antonio.