Bilic confirms Beşiktaş exit amid West Ham interest
AA PhotoBeşiktaş coach Slaven Bilic has confirmed that he will leave the club at the end of the season as media speculation grew that he may replace Sam Allardyce as West Ham United manager.
“I won’t be Beşiktaş’ manager next season. I’m proud of what I’ve done here,” Bilic told reporters after May 24’s 2-0 Istanbul derby loss to Galatasaray in the Spor Toto Super League, which saw Beşiktaş miss out on Champions League qualification and all but clinch Galatsaray’s 20th league title.
“As I said before, I am the first one who is going to take responsibility for not winning the league for two years. I have already made my decision,” added the Croatian coach.
A fan favorite, Bilic has been working with Beşiktaş since June 2013. Despite his popularity, Bilic goes into the record books as the first-ever Black Eagles’ coach to fail to win a derby match against city rivals Galatsaray and Fenerbahçe.
Bilic spent six successful years with the Croatia national team and then took over at Dynamo Moscow for one season before signing as Beşiktaş coach.
The 46-year-old spent a little more than a year at Upton Park as a player from 1996, making over 40 appearances for West Ham.
Former West Ham United manager Glenn Roeder believes that Bilic’s time at Beşiktaş would stand him in good stead should he take charge of the Hammers.
West Ham is looking for a new manager after the club announced on May 24 that it would not renew Allardyce’s contract after the bench boss came under fire from some of the club’s supporters.
Roeder insisted that Bilic would be able to handle the pressure at the East London club because he has already dealt with the hostility of Turkish football.
“He’s as good a fit as anyone else,” Roeder told the Sports Breakfast show. “It’s always a gamble getting a new manager, you can only judge them on their past records. Slaven has done well with Croatia and at every club he’s managed. Turkish football is a very difficult place to manage and he’s come through that with Beşiktaş. He seems a tough guy.”