Tuesday, June 9

Super Slaven Bilic

So West Ham finally have a manager and it's Slaven Bilic. He's already shown himself to be better at PR than Sam Allardyce, by producing a nice quote that, "I remember West Ham as a special club… this is a cult club." With a degree in law and the ability to speak four languages he's certainly an academic at the Academy. In other ways it's also a risky appointment, having let go a manager who would have kept us up next season.

Bilic starts knowing that he wasn't the board's first choice and  he probably ranked behind Benitez, Moyes, Ancelotti, Klopp, De Boer, Bielsa and 'Dick' Emery. Slaven undoubtedly has a fine record in his seven years managing Croatia, although that, of course, did not involve buying and selling players. His club record is more worrying. His year at Lokomotiv Moscow saw him sacked after the side's worst finish (ninth) since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 and he followed that by two seasons of finishing third at Besiktas in Turkey.

On a more positive note, he's played for West Ham (and was a great defender, though he did leave for the chance of more trophies at Everton) and nearly all the fans will be behind him, at least initially. We won't have a club at war with itself any longer. Another plus is that Bilic has played guitar in his own rock band, which makes him a little cooler than Big Sam. With the Europa League coming up we had to make an appointment quickly and let's hope Slaven is the right man. Irons!

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