Slaven Bilic returns to West Ham as manager

The Hammers have appointed the Croatian as their new manager, on a three-year deal at Upton Park. The former Hammers player, who left Turkish side Besiktas last month, has replaced Sam Allardyce.

Bilic, who played for the Hammers between 1996-97, now returns 18 years later as manager. The charismatic boss may not have managed in the Premier League, but he has a decent CV, and is perhaps most (in)famously remembered in England for masterminding Croatia’s win over the Three Lions, which prevented England from qualifying through to Euro 2008. In the Euro Croatia played quite well but were beaten by Turkey in the KO phase aet on penalties. Meanwhile, Bilic he has also had stints in charge of Besiktas, Lokomotiv Moscow and Hajduk Split.

The Hammers were linked with the likes of Marcelo Bielsa, Unai Emery, Jurgen Klopp and Rafa Benitez, but in the end have named Bilic as Big Sam’s successor in the dugout. The 46-year-old will be West Ham’s 15th manager.

His first campaign in charge of the Irons will be the club’s final season at Upton Park, before they move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016.

The Hammers play in the Europa League, having qualified for the competition after topping the Premier League Fair Play table.

BBC: Rockstar, lawyer and now West Ham Manager -> bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/33069209

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