Five things waiting for Slaven Bilic on his first day at West Ham

Slaven Bilic has been named the new manager of West Ham on a three-year deal.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at the 5 things waiting in the Croatian’s in-tray on his first day.

1. Note from board – don’t get relegated

While it may seem like stating the obvious, with a pending move to the Olympic Stadium on the horizon, the east London club simply cannot afford to go down.

While tens of thousands more fans would flood through the gates in Stratford to see the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, the appeal of Ipswich and Huddersfield would prove a somewhat harder sell.

2. Get the squad match fit

The Irons will have less of a shortened summer break than their rivals given the early kick off of qualifying for the Europa League.

While the matches will certainly add a competitive edge to often laboured pre-season warm-up games, if the players are not completely ready for a trip to one of the Continent’s footballing outposts, then the dreams of seeing European nights back at the Boleyn Ground on her farewell will remain very much a pipe dream.

3. Bring the fans onside

Bilic already knows what having the Hammers faithful fully behind the team can do, having been part of the squad which finished in the top-10 at the end of the 1997/98 campaign.

Although only making a short stay at the east London club, the Croatian defender had earned himself cult status with the supporters, a relationship which will be put to the test should results not go his way.

4. How do you solve a problem like Andy Carroll?

There is no doubt when Carroll is fully fit and firing on all cylinders, he is a handful for any defence in the Barclays Premier League.

The Irons have not really seen the best of the club record £15 million signing because of injury. However, when he is available, Bilic will then face a dilemma of how best to utilise the former England targetman and still satisfy those who crave the West Ham way.

5. Keep a cool head in the dugout

Bilic was known for his passionate style of play, which endured him to fans, and has also taken that into coaching, often falling foul of Uefa during his stint in charge of both Croatia and domestic clubs in Europe.

The 46-year-old may well be suited and booted on the touchline these days, but will no doubt still be kicking every ball in the technical area – and he will have to show his tactics can match up to his undoubted enthusiasm.


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