Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Slaven Bilic Sacked as West Bromwich Albion Manager

December 16, 2020 - After winning just seven points in 13 Premier League games, Slaven Bilic was sacked as the West Bromwich Albion manager. Fans of the club are outraged.

HRT reports that English media announced last night that the club had decided on that move, so last night's sensational point won against Manchester City - one of the most expensively compiled teams in the world - did not help the former Croatia national team coach.

"I'm very calm. I love my job, I enjoy it, and I'm working hard for myself and my staff for the club. Everything else is out of my control," Slaven Bilic said after the match at Etihad last night. Bilic is extremely well-liked by the fans of West Bromwich Albion, after getting the club promoted back into the Premier League. His dismissal has been met by them with disbelief and anger.

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WBA, however, announced today he would no longer lead the club:

"West Bromwich Albion have today parted company with Head Coach Slaven Bilić. 

Assistant Coaches Dean Računica and Danilo Butorović, and First Team Coach Julian Dicks have also left the club with immediate effect.

The Baggies are currently 19th in the Premier League table with seven points from 13 fixtures. 

Albion would like to thank Slaven and his coaching staff for their efforts in achieving promotion last season and wishes them all well in the future," WBA wrote on their official website, adding that they would make no further comments at this time. 

Slaven Bilic thus became the first coach in this Premier League season to be fired.

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The former coach of the Croatia national football team, who also led London club, West Ham, for two years (2015-2017), took over the West Bromwich club in June 2019 and was responsible for directly promoting them to the Premier League. This was no small achievement considering the squad had been predicted to struggle even in the Championship 

Unfortunately, without louder reinforcements and with many unfortunate circumstances, such as VAR decisions that were to the detriment of WBA, the club achieved one victory in 13 Premier League games under Slaven Bilic's leadership, with four draws and eight defeats. Most Albion fans are directing the blame at the board of West Bromwich Albion. After promotion to the Premier League, they failed to obtain the key new signings Bilic had requested to ensure success. The club currently has Chinese owners. The first player they brought in was a Chinese player. He was immediately loaned out. To a Chinese club.

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West Bromwich Albion enjoyed a terrific run of form under Slaven Bilić's guidance and he was recognised as Manager of the Month in the English Championship League in March 2020, having taken over at the club in only summer 2019.

Commenting on the sacking, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said, “I’m very sad to hear that Slaven lost his job. I think he’s done great for them in getting promotion. I know him from years back. I’m sure he’ll get a job again, when he wants to.”

“Hopefully more clubs think long-term. Of course, it’s a short-term business, and we need results in the short-term, but everyone knows that continuity is the key to success.”

At the time of the dismissal, British media cited the experienced 66-year-old Sam Allardyce as the main candidate to be Bilic's successor. Allardyce has saved clubs from relegation from the Premier League on several occasions during his career. His last engagement was at Everton, which he led from December 2017 to May 2018. Many West Bromwich Albion fans have expressed dismay at the thought of being lead by Allardyce for the rest of the season. Allardyce was announced as West Brom's new manager later in the afternoon.

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Friday, 25 September 2020

BREAKING NEWS: Finally, Manchester United Sign Croatian Star!

September 25, 2020 - Eight years ago, Manchester United were rumoured to be in for Luka Modrić, but he famously ended up going to Real Madrid. Although the Manchester legends have since featured Serbians Nemanja Matić and Nemanja Vidić, they failed to attract a Croatian to Old Trafford. Until, finally, now... Manchester United sign Croatian star!

Manchester United is one of the most historically famous teams in football. Every transfer season, rumours of who they will bring to their ground, Old Trafford, cause a flurry of clicks on the internet from fans all around the world. Most of these rumours turn out to be false, just like when they were linked to signing Luka Modrić from Tottenham Hotspur back in 2012. As we all now know, Modrić went to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

800px-ISL-HRV_(7).jpgLuka Modrić was linked to move to Old Trafford back in 2012. In 2020, when Old Trafford finally gets a Croatian star, is it him? Ne. © Svetlana Beketova -

Since then, although the Manchester legends have featured several players from the Balkan region, including Serbian aces Nemanja Matić and Nemanja Vidić, Belgian Adnan Januzaj, who is of Kosovar Albanian descent and Swede Zlatan Ibrahimović, who is of Bosnian descent, they have failed to attract a single Croatian star to Old Trafford. This despite a golden generation of Croatian players coming to fruition during the period. But, now, the wait is finally over. Manchester United sign Croatian star!

1280px-Old_trafford_february_2010.jpgManchester United sign Croatian star, but just who is the chosen one from Croatia who will soon appear at the Theatre Of Dreams? Manchester United's home, Old Trafford hosts almost 75, 000 spectators and reaches full capacity at every first team match. Like United, many other Premier League clubs are located in the northwest of England, such as Liverpool FC (Anfield capacity under 54, 000) and Manchester City (Etihad stadium capacity 55, 000) © Parrot of Doom

However, the star that looks set to appear at Old Trafford over forthcoming seasons isn't a replacement for their woeful rank of current defenders, nor a fall back for the seemingly unobtainable Jadon Sancho. The Red Devils will not have an Ivan Perišić racing down the wing, nor an Ante Rebić hovering dangerously close to the box. No, for this Croatian star will be located in the concession stands.

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In a Facebook post from earlier today, Kvarner-based businessman Andrija Colak announced the entry of his Surf'n'Fries food stands into the grounds of elite European football. “Stade de France, Old Trafford and many more... Here we come!!!” he wrote.

His Surf’n’Fries French fry company has been dishing out their savoury golden delights at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart, Germany for several years now and had planned to be at the Stade de France at the end of the Tour de France, but a precautionary move in response to the ongoing pandemic means that will now not go ahead. A Croatian company, Surf’n’Fries has franchises in four continents and earlier this year opened the world's first French fry vending machine on a dog beach in Crikvenica.

The potential access to football grounds as prestigious as these comes as a result of a new contract with English company Rapid Food & Beverage, who have signed to take the franchise to stadiums in the United Kingdom and France. Their parent company is Rapid Retail, the UK’s leading supplier of pop up shops and kiosks (kučiće).

Ole Gunnar Solskjær's Red Army have recently made a dreadful start to the new campaign, losing in a pre-season friendly to Aston Villa and again losing in the opening match of the Premier League to Crystal Palace. It's understandable that United fans who watched Croatia's brilliant progress in the last World Cup may have wished for a more famous revelation when reading 'Manchester United sign Croatian star'.

1920px-Manchester_United_Panorama_(8051523746).jpgOld Trafford, where Manchester United play, is one of the most beautiful football grounds in the world. The same cannot be said about the team's football since the retirement of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson, in 2013 © Steve Collis

Well, Manchester United have won more trophies than any other club in English football and hold a record number of 20 league titles in the world's current-best domestic football league. Sometimes, you can't have your cake and eat it. Although, when fans return to the stands at Old Trafford, they might well be able to do so with Croatian Surf’n’Fries.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For all of the real news about football, Croats in the Premier League, and all other sports, we advise you ignore this particularly foolish writer and instead focus your attention on the rather amazing Daniela Rogulj on TCN's dedicated sports pages 

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Thursday, 23 July 2020

Croatia's Greatest Coach, Slaven Bilić, Back in UK Premier League

July 23, 2020 – Croatia's greatest football coach, Slaven Bilić, secures a return to the UK Premier League for West Bromwich Albion after only one season in charge

Slaven Bilić has secured promotion for West Bromwich Albion from the UK Championship back into the Premier League. From next season, Bilić's side will compete in the world's most competitive national football league and play against the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

The former Hajduk Split, West Ham United and Everton player is widely regarded as the current best football coach from Croatia and has previously managed the Croatian National Football team and West Ham United. It is no small feat to have returned West Bromwich Albion to the Premier League during his first season with the club.

The 'Baggies' have enjoyed a terrific run of form under Slaven Bilić's guidance and he was recognised as Manager of the Month in the English Championship League in March 2020, having taken over at the club in only summer 2019. That appointment was the Croat's first return to English football since being sacked by West Ham United in 2017.

Slaven Bilić's first season at West Ham in 2016 was their most successful in living memory. Slaven guided them to their first win over Liverpool in 52 years and earning their second-highest ever finish in the Premier League (7th). They also broke several club records of the Premier League era, including highest number of points in a season (62), highest number of goals in a season (65), the fewest number of games lost in a season (8) and the lowest number of away defeats.

Slaven Bilić pictured during his time as manager of West Ham United © joshjdss

His departure from West Ham can partially be attributed to the club selling star players against the manager's wishes, with a failure to adequately replace them. Since Slaven Bilić left West Ham, they have appointed new managers no less than three times. They were able to narrowly secure their place in the Premier League next season by scoring one point against Manchester United yesterday, but have dwindled at the bottom end of the league all season.

After eight continuous seasons in the Premier League, West Bromwich Albion were relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2017–18 season. Bilić has returned them to form in a surprisingly short time and it would come as no surprise to see his contract as manager extended within the next few weeks (he was taken on for an initial two years).

In 1888, West Bromwich Albion were one of the founding members of the English Football League. They have played at their home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. The club itself is some 22 years older still. Based in the area of England known as the Midlands, their greatest rivals are local clubs Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City. West Bromwich return to the Premier League alongside Leeds United.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Mateo Kovačić Makes Premier League Debut: "Chelsea Believes in Me"

Mateo Kovačić and Eden Hazard came off the bench to join Chelsea in the 60th minute at 2:2. 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

It's Official: Mateo Kovačić Goes to Chelsea on Season-Long Loan

Mateo Kovačić will take a one-year loan at Stamford Bridge as part of a trade with Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. 

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Nikola Vlašić Debuts for Everton!

From Hajduk Split to Everton Football Club, what a week it has been for this Split footballer!