Slaven Bilic: West Bromwich Albion name ex-West Ham manager as head coach

Slaven Bilic
Slaven Bilic has not managed in England since being sacked by West Ham in November 2017

West Bromwich Albion have appointed Slaven Bilic as their new head coach on a two-year contract.

Bilic, 50, has not managed in England since being dismissed by West Ham in 2017, and he has agreed a two-year contract at The Hawthorns.

He succeeds Darren Moore, who was sacked in March with Albion fourth in the Championship table.

Coach Jimmy Shan led the Baggies to the play-offs, but they were beaten by Aston Villa in the semi-finals.

"From the moment we spoke to Slaven, we were struck by his enthusiasm and excitement about this challenge," said Baggies technical director Luke Dowling.

"He is determined to get back to the Premier League and believes passionately that he can do that with Albion.

"We believe he is a great 'fit' for us - his presence, experience and management qualities are just what we need."

Bilic back in management

Former West Ham United and Everton defender Bilic spent six years in charge of Croatia between 2006 and 2012, leading his country to two European Championships.

He has also had spells in charge of Hajduk Split, Lokomotiv Moscow and Besiktas.

He joined the Hammers as boss in the summer of 2015 and led the east London club to seventh place in his first season, and 11th in 2016-17.

After being sacked in November 2017, his most recent club role, with Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, lasted just five months.

"We want to improve on the pitch," said Bilic. "Albion have convinced me they want to return to the Premier League.

"Albion have a short-term project and a long project and they do not clash.

"They made it clear they wanted me to be the one to lead them in this and I didn't think twice once they had spoken to me."

Analysis

BBC WM's Rob Gurney

After what has felt like a painstaking search, lasting more than three months, to replace Darren Moore, Slaven Bilic now faces the task of galvanising the Baggies for a second season in the Championship.

His charisma and passion could be a big asset to unite a fractured fanbase at The Hawthorns.

But, with instructions to reduce the wage bill from chief executive Mark Jenkins, Bilic will need to wheel and deal in a hectic couple of months before the start of next season, to make his appointment a successful one.

The squad he's currently got reports back for pre-season training a week on Monday, but is likely to have a very different look by the time the new campaign starts on the Third of August.

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