West Brom manager sacked after 18 months in charge

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Slaven Bilic was appointed West Brom manager in June 2019
Slaven Bilic was appointed West Brom manager in June 2019

WEST Brom manager Slaven Bilic has been sacked after 18 months in charge, with the club 19th in the Premier League.

The Baggies have gathered seven points from 13 league games, with eight defeats, though they earned a surprise 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Tuesday.

Assistant coaches Dean Racunica and Danilo Butorovic also depart, as does first-team coach Julian Dicks.

A club statement thanked Bilic and his coaching staff “for their efforts in achieving promotion last season”.

Bilic, 52, signed a two-year contract when he took over at the The Hawthorns in June 2019, replacing Darren Moore.

He guided Albion to promotion on the final day of last season, as they finished second in the Championship.

But they have won only one Premier League match this season, beating bottom club Sheffield United 1-0 on 28 November.

It emerged after the draw at Manchester City that West Brom were considering whether to sack Bilic.

Tuesday’s match was the Croat’s 100th Premier League game as a manager. He led West Ham from June 2015 to November 2017, taking the club into a Europe as they finished seventh in his final full season, recording their highest placing since 2002.

Prior to that, he had led Croatia to two European Championships, with a quarter-final appearance in 2008 coming after they had knocked England out in the qualifiers.

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

Bilic’s managerial record at club level (all competitions)

Club Played     Won Drawn      Lost  Win ratio

Hajduk Split (2001-02)    17    11    4      2      65%

Lokomotiv Moscow (2012-13)        32    13    7      12    41%

Besiktas (2013-2015)      92    48    22    22    52%

West Ham (2015-17)      111  42    30    39    38%

Al-Ittihad (2018-19) 17    3      5      9      18%

West Brom (2019-20)     65    26    22    17    40%

Sam Allardyce, Nigel Pearson, Mark Hughes and Eddie Howe are all reportedly candidates to replace Bilic.

Allardyce has been out of work since leaving Everton in the summer of 2018, while Hughes left Southampton later the same year.

Pearson, who is a former Albion caretaker-manager, had a 20-game spell at Watford last term, while Howe left Bournemouth in August after his side were relegated from the Premier League.

Analysis

BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

Although West Brom were promoted back to the Premier League in Slaven Bilic’s single full season in charge, uncertainty around the manager was triggered by a run of three wins in 11 matches, which started at the end of February, just before lockdown.

That uncertainty increased during the close season, when issues arose over player recruitment, and again when the sale of defender Ahmed Hegazi was sanctioned by the club’s board in October – with the manager saying explicitly that he did not want the player to leave.

With results remaining poor, a decision was taken after Saturday’s defeat at Newcastle, so the draw at Manchester City had no impact on the situation.

Bilic and his staff were informed of the news early on Wednesday in a face-to-face meeting. It is understood that the discussion was amicable but after collecting seven points from 13 games, the club had no confidence that the situation could be turned around in the short term to allow them to preserve their Premier League status.

The club regard the way the news leaked out on Tuesday night as unfortunate; it was not the way it was intended to be communicated.

BBC Sport

– Dec. 16, 2020 @ 14:10 GMT /

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