Cleat Geeks

West Ham name Bilic as new manager

West Ham have appointed Slaven Bilic as their new manager on a three-year deal.

The 46 year-old, who played 54 times for the Hammers between 1996 and 97, becomes the clubs 15th full-time manager in their 120-year history. slav

Bilic left his post with Turkish side Besiktas last month while the London club parted company with Sam Allardyce after a 12th place finish in the Premier League.

“I’m really glad to be back with West Ham United,” Bilic said. “It’s in the Premier League, which is among the best in the world. It’s a big challenge and you are competing with the best and what better club to do it with than West Ham.

“I remember West Ham as a special club. I love these kinds of special clubs. My last club, Besiktas, was that kind of club. It’s not about the size – West Ham is big Club – there is something special about them – they are cult clubs.”

Bilic began his managerial career with Hajduk Split in his native Croatia, before coaching the Under-21 national side.

croslaHe rose to prominence when he became Croatia’s first-team manager in 2006, leading the Balkan nation to the European Championships in 2008 and 2012. Overall, he lost just eight of the 65 games he was in charge for.

A disappointing spell in charge of Lokomotiv Moscow followed, before he took charge of Besiktas in 2013.

The 2015-16 season will be the last at the Boelyn Ground for West Ham before they move into London’s Olympic Stadium, something that excites Bilic:

“It is a great place to play and I felt like I was at home. It is a big privilege and a big responsibility to now be manager and I hope that I will prove it to the Board, players and fans.

“My first priority when choosing a club is to look at its ambitions. When I spoke to the Chairmen and Karren Brady, they made clear that it is not only the fantastic new Stadium we are moving into, but they showed their determination and ambition to make what is a big club even bigger.

“I saw their determination and passion that they want to do that. That was the number one reason. I could feel that they really wanted me so it was an easy choice.

“I would say to the West Ham fans that I will give my best and together we will achieve great things.”

Bilic’s first competitive match in charge will be a Europa League qualifier in July after the club won a place in the competition through UEFA’s Fair Play League.

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