Slaven Bilic blasts his West Ham side for their lack of intensity
LONDON -- West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said he felt "humiliated" after Saturday's 5-1 loss to Arsenal and admitted that his team have lost the required intensity even in training.
A downcast Bilic gave a frank and honest assessment of his team after the loss, which left the Hammers just one point out of the Premier League's relegation zone.
"I'm very disappointed, I feel frustrated and humiliated to be fair," Bilic said. "I want to say sorry to the fans and to the club and to everybody who has anything to do with West Ham United, because it was really bad."
West Ham were only 1-0 down after 70 minutes but collapsed late as Arsenal turned the game into a rout.
And had Arsenal been sharper in attack in the first half, the game could have been decided much sooner. It continues a disappointing season for West Ham, which entered the campaign with hopes of fighting for a place in Europe.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said after the game that he thought West Ham were struggling with confidence at the moment in connection with their move to the London Stadium from Upton Park. But Bilic said that assessment was "very polite, and he knows it."
"Of course you can't have confidence when you are 16th in the table and your expectations are maybe to be seventh or eighth or whatever," Bilic said. "But I feel responsible for this because somewhere along the line we lost the intensity in trainings.
"We don't do it in every training, we do it occasionally. And that's why we can't do it over 90 minutes in the games. And we have to bring that back. Without that, we can't rely only on quality."
Bilic said the Hammers have had good spells throughout the season but simply can't do it consistently at the moment. And he refused to blame a slew of injuries for their problems.
"We can't hide behind [excuses]. We had eight injuries today, yeah, yeah, that's all true. But no, this [intensity], this is the main reason. And that's a fact," he said, hitting the podium with his palm for emphasis.
"We are not the first and not the last to lose it. We are not the first and not the last to not look like the same team from fives games before or from the last season.
"It is there, it is in us, starting with me. It's in the players. So we have to start doing it. But consistently.
"This intensity and dedication to the cause is missing. We didn't forget to play football. We didn't forget how to be creative. But somewhere along the line, we lost it."
Asked if his team are now in the relegation scrap, Bilic was equally blunt.
"Of course we are," he said. "It's definitely about time for us to realise what position we are in, and what our situation is at the moment."
But the Croatian was also defiant, and ruled out any chance of him stepping away from the job.
"I'm very optimistic. I never give up," he said. "I'm positive I can turn this around."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.