According to Sky Sports reports, Championship West Brom are close to appointing Slaven Bilic as their new head coach. Bilic has reportedly held a number of meetings with the Baggies hierarchy.
It seemed that the two parties were too far apart in Bilic’s wage demands and what the club were prepared to offer the Croatian. However, it now seems the two have compromised and now have a formal agreement.
Bilic has a mixed managerial record
Slaven Bilic has a mixed managerial record in international and club football. The 50-year-old’s best spell as a head coach arguably came as Croatia’s national team boss from 2006-2012.
His last and only spell in English football managerial was at West Ham from 2015-17. Bilic’s debut campaign in the east end started well, as he guided the Hammers to seventh place in the Premier League. The season saw the Irons pick-up their highest points total in the English top-flight.
However, he only lasted until the next November, as the team from the capital struggled near the foot of the English top-flight table. His last spell in managerial came in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad last year, which produced just three wins in 15 games and saw him sacked in late February.
West Brom are one of the promotion favourites
Even without a boss, West Brom are one of the favourites for promotion to the Premier League next season. The Baggies were expected to compete for a quick return to the top-flight last season but ended up suffering a semi-final play-off defeat against Midlands rivals Aston Villa.
By the time of the play-offs, the Baggies had dispensed with the services of club stalwart Darren Moore as head coach, and caretaker James Shan had taken charge. However, Shan’s appointment was only a short arrangement. If he had got the club promoted, then maybe the scenario would have been different.
The decision is an interesting one
The appointment of Bilic as West Brom boss would be an interesting one. Bilic has obviously never managed in the cutthroat world of the Championship. He is a high-profile figure, who enjoyed an excellent playing career.
However, his playing career was far more impressive than his career as a coach so far. Can he get the best out of players in the second tier of English football?
At times he seemed to struggle to get the best out of quality players at West Ham. The Croatian looked to have lost the players and the fans faith by the time of his dismissal. Some may see it as a gamble by Bilic taking the job. Whereas it could be a major gamble by the Baggies hiring the Croatian boss. The decision could well be an inspired one or a disastrous one.
It would be hard to say Slaven Bilic is a poor appointment, simply because of his profile. It is not a safe appointment by the Baggies hierarchy by any means. It will be fascinating to see how Bilic does in the Midlands.
After his last season at West Ham and his ill-fated spell in the middle-east he certainly needs his next job to be a successful one.
Will Slaven Bilic be a good appointment for West Brom?