Poll: What can West Ham expect this year under Slaven Bilic?
Two weeks after Sam Allardyce left the club, West Ham ended all the speculation by announcing Slaven Bilic as the club’s 15th manager on Tuesday.
The Croat is a well known face to the Upton Park faithful, having turned out 58 times for the Hammers between 1996 and 1997.
After their season faltered despite a bright start, Irons fans will be hoping for a campaign of consistency from the former Besiktas gaffer.
So today’s poll is simple. We want to know what is in store for the east London outfit in the Premier League in 2015-16?
A relegation battle
Many point out that sometimes qualifying for the Europa League can have a negative impact on a club when they do not have the personnel to cope with the addition games.
We saw Ipswich relegated after entering Europe in 2002, while another of Bilic’s former club’s Everton weren’t a million miles away from being dragged into a scrap last season.
How the new man in charge recruits to his squad in the summer could be key to avoiding such a situation, with the club priced at 6/1 for the drop.
A position many Irons fans will surely accept if it means a cup run or two along the way, having finished 12th, 13th and 10th in the last three years.
Bilic wouldn’t be the first man to take time to adapt to the Premier League having never managed in England before.
A decent two years in Turkey followed a poor season in charge of Lokomotiv Moscow, in which the club finished ninth, their lowest position in 22 years, so his record is not as solid as some may make out.
A steady top-half finish
A solid end to the campaign in the club’s final season at the Boleyn Ground could be just the catalyst to build on ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium.
It’s been 10 years since the club went three seasons outside of the top 10 in the Premier League, and with the signing of Pedro Obiang set to be completed today, many will believe recruits of this ilk can ensure another finish in the top half of the league is achievable.
Ronald Koeman proved that managers can take clubs on to bigger and better things in their maiden campaign in the Premier League, when guiding Southampton to seventh last year, having threatened the top four at one point.
Surely any such story is beyond the Hammers next year, with the demands of a busy schedule, but the most optimistic of West Ham fans may well believe the former fan favourite can have a similar impact on the Upton Park outfit.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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