Sunday, 6 March 2022

Slaven Bilić Assistant Dean Računica to be 4th Šibenik Coach of HNL Spring Season?

March 6, 2022 - Dean Računica would be the fourth name on the Šibenik bench in the spring part of the 2021/2022 Croatian First League season. 

Hajduk legend Dean Računica should take over the Šibenik bench until the end of this season, according to unofficial but verified information this weekend, and Sportske Novosti.

The management of the Šibenik first league team has announced a press conference for Monday, at which the new coach should be presented.

They announced a press release today in which they will explain why they fired Marko Kartelo the night before playing Dinamo but also suspended two players, Stipe Bačelić-Grgić and Antonio Jakoliš.

Kartelo lasted only two rounds on the bench of the Šibenik club and is surprised by how he was fired above all.

Although he held a press conference on Friday morning announcing the 26th round match of the First HNL against Dinamo at Maksimir, a few hours later, he was greeted by the shocking news of his dismissal.

Thus, he was succeeded on the bench by assistant coach Ivica Matas, who also failed to wake Šibenik up as they lost 3:0 to Dinamo on Friday.

Dean Računica would be the fourth name on the Šibenik bench this spring.

Računica is a 52-year-old from Šibenik, a great player who played 175 appearances and 37 goals in the First HNL for Šibenik and Hajduk. The noble midfielder, who played two games for the Croatia national team and scored one goal, led Uskok from Klis, Junak from Sinj, and Primorac from Stobreč at the beginning of the last decade. Before that, he worked as an assistant coach at Hajduk Split.

In recent years, Računica has been an assistant to former Croatia coach Slaven Bilić, working with him at West Bromwich Albion and, until recently, in Beijing Guoan FC in China. In 2017, he also went to Australia to serve as assistant coach to the Melbourne Knights.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Slaven Bilic Goes to China, Signs Two-Year Contract with Beijing Sinobo Gouan

January 6, 2021 - Slaven Bilic goes to China and has signed a two-year contract with Beijing Sinobo Gouan. 

24 Sata reports that only three weeks after West Bromich Albion sacked him, Slaven Bilic (52) has a new job. Without any big announcements, and almost out of the blue, the former Croatia national team coach went to China, where he signed a two-year-contract with Beijing Sinobo Gouan.

The financial details are still a secret, but it is no surprise that China likes to offer attractive salaries.

Bilic replaced Bruno Genesi, who left the team in second place below Shanghai SIPG, a club taken over by another Croatian, Ivan Leko, just a few days ago. Soon, there will be a Croatian derby in China.

Beijing will be another step in Bilic's coaching career after Hajduk, Croatia, Lokomotiv Moscow, Besiktas, Al-Ittihad, West Ham, and the last stint at WBA.

In China, a team awaits him whose most valuable player is the Frenchman Cédric Bakambu. Among the more famous players is former Brazil national team player Renato Augusto and Spaniard Jonathan Viera.

"People thought I was expecting a dismissal, but I felt comfortable. I said I don’t bother with those things in the post-game interview because I was happy we won a point against City, and I wasn’t thinking about the future. When we got on the bus and headed back, one of my colleagues read the news on his phone that a change was coming. It was only then that I realized that something was happening," Bilic said in an interview with the Telegraph after being fired in England.

"I can’t say I was shocked, but I didn’t expect it. I am aware that in this business, there is always a danger of getting fired. In every league, several coaches are constantly mentioned in this context in the media and with bookmakers. The biggest signal a coach can get that he is not doing well is that of the audience and fans at the stadium. But this is a weird period with empty stands, so you don’t have that feedback. No one can say we played great since we recorded seven points in thirteen rounds, but we definitely made progress. Everyone was saying before the start of the season that we would definitely fall out and that we would be convincingly last. But we coped well with the opponents, and I think we were in the game in every game. On paper, we are certainly the weakest team, but the players have shown that they can fight to stay."

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


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.

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Slaven Bilic Named Championship Manager of the Month

March 14, 2020 - Former Croatia national team coach, Slaven Bilic, who today leads the Championship team West Bromwich Albion, has been recognized for the good job he’s done in England. 

T.portal reports that after poor results in December and January, Slaven Bilic and his West Bromwich Albion squad were victorious in February and returned to the top of English second-league football thanks to a winning streak.

Unfortunately, in the last two Championship games, Bilic and his players lost again, winning only one point to give Leeds United the lead.

However, regardless of his current drop from the top, Bilic achieved an excellent February, scoring 16 points in seven games, for which he received and is recognized as the best coach of February in the Championship.

The competition included Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds), Paul Cook (Wigan) and Scott Parker (Fulham).

“Of course, it was very important to us. At one point we settled down a bit, but it's important that we were able to come back and show resilience, passion, willingness, and more importantly, our quality. Now we want to stay at that level, though it is not easy, because the hardest thing to do is to be constant, especially when that constant is not your average, because we want to win the Championship. This is a reward for everyone, the entire professional staff, and of course, all the players,” said Slaven Bilic proudly.

The club's official website also boasted monthly recognition for their player, Callum Morton, who is currently on loan from Northampton Town.

Recall, after coaching Premier League club West Ham from 2015-2017, and a short stint in Saudi Arabia leading Al-Ittihad, Bilic went back to England in June 2019 to manage West Bromwich Albion on a two-year-contract. West Brom is currently in second place just one point behind Leeds United. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Luka Modric Presents Autobiography in Zagreb: "I've Achieved More than I Have Ever Dreamed"

November 18, 2019 - A formal presentation of Luka Modric's autobiography, titled My Game, drew a crowd at the Emerald Room of the Esplanade Hotel on Sunday night. In fact, the majority of those present make up the strongest forces of Croatian football in the last quarter of a century. 

Novi List reports that Real Madrid's Director of Institutional Relations Emilio Butragueno and Brazilian footballer Marcelo even came from Madrid. Of course, Modric's family took center stage, without whose support his career might not have had such success.

Modric's autobiography was presented by the Croatian hero himself and Robert Matteoni, an outspoken sports journalist who recorded everything in the book. With them was Tarik Filipovic, who played another leadership role. Slaven Bilic arrived from England for this occasion, who led Modric for eight years in Croatia, under the auspices of the U-21 and A national teams.

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“Like all other children, I had my dreams, desires and hopes, but all that I have accomplished is more, much more than anything I dreamed of. When I look back, I can only be proud and happy,” said Modric, who was greeted with a great round of applause by the entire Emerald Hall.

On Saturday night at Rujevica, Croatia's secured their spot at the Euros. Since Modric will lead the national team at the tournament next year, it could easily happen that in the next twelve months, another expanded edition of his autobiography will be published. Namely, as he pointed out, the result from the World Cup in Russia was crucial for his cooperation with Matteoni.

“The idea of writing a book has been on my mind for a long time, and it has always been a great wish for me. However, I was missing more success in the national team jersey. That came true in Russia, and then we started writing. Robert and I have had an excellent relationship for many years and he pushed me towards it. When I decided that the time was right for an autobiography, I called him, and that's how things went,” explained Modric.

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The intense collaboration lasted for over a year and the end result is My Game, which will be translated into twelve languages.

“For me, it was a great pleasure and privilege. In my humble opinion, Luka’s autobiography is one of the most important things to happen after the World Cup in Russia. He simply had to explain his life to people. We all know his football journey, and now we have a peek behind the scenes and are told the story of his family, which is immensely beautiful. I couldn't wait to write it and I hope we were successful,” Matteoni pointed out.

Judging by the reactions of those who have already read the autobiography, the work has been done at the highest level. It should be noted that Modric was also a guest of Interliber, a book fair in Zagreb before the Esplanade ceremony, where he aroused the interest of many. A multitude of young children came to greet their idol and obtain a signed copy of the book. According to Bilic, all of them will hardly find a better role model than Modric.

“It’s a great honor to be a part of the whole story about Luka. A man is the wisest when he grows old, but if he waited a few more years, volumes of books should be written about him. So much has happened in Luka’s life in very little time and he had to share it with the whole world. It is the duty of all the greats, and Luka certainly is one of them,” concluded Bilic.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Slaven Bilić Goes Down in History as First Coach Sent Off in England by New Rules

August 27, 2019 - Slaven Bilić became the first victim of new football rules and, quite frankly, poor reffing in Saturday's meeting between West Bromwich Albion and Derby County.

Namely, the former Croatia national team coach and current West Bromwich Albion leader has become the first coach in England to be eliminated after receiving two yellow cards, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

However, Bilić fell victim to errors by the referee. In both instances, he received yellow cards for protesting after a quite dubious decision by the referee. 

Recall, as of this season, as a part of the Laws of the Game by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), yellow and red cards have generally been introduced for coaches (and members of the staff on the bench). Namely, Premier League managers will only receive verbal cautions, though, in the FA Cup, Football League, Carabao Cup, EFL Trophy and National League, they will be shown cards. Bilić was the first to pay. 

In Saturday's draw between WBA and Derby County (1:1), the Split strategist went down in history as the first coach to leave the bench due to the exclusion of a second yellow card earned in the same game. Bilić earned his first yellow card near the end of the first half when he protested to fourth official Ross Joyce after referee Gavin Ward awarded a penalty to the hosts for playing a hand, even though WBA’s Filip Krovinović hit the ball with his shoulder. 

The referee showed Bilić a second yellow card at a result of 1:1 because he protested the ball going to the Derby goalkeeper instead of a WBA corner. And in that case, it seems Bilić was right, though it makes no difference now. Bilić will thus watch the next game against Blackburn Rovers from the stands. If it's any consolation, WBA fans chanted for Bilić as he left the pitch. After five rounds, WBA is still undefeated with two wins and three draws.

“I cannot be satisfied, not only with this, but with the whole range of decisions that affected us. I just politely gave my opinion, there was nothing on a personal level. It just was too much for me. It was obvious at the end of the meeting that it was a corner for us. I'm like that. I will never be rude to the people, it’ll never be personal, but I don’t understand why I can’t voice my opinion when it’s not about fashion weekend in London,” Bilić said after the game. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Slaven Bilic Appointed New Head Coach of West Bromwich Albion

June 13, 2019 - Slaven Bilic is back in English football, having just been appointed the new head coach of West Bromwich Albion, according to a club statement.

Bilic, the former Everton centre-half and manager of West Ham United, takes over the Midlands club shortly after their playoff heartache, losing to local rivals Aston Villa in the Championship playoff final at Wembley. 

“I’m delighted with this opportunity of course. “I’m delighted with this opportunity of course.

“We want to improve, we want to improve on the pitch and Albion have convinced me they want to return to the Premier League. Albion have a short-term project and a long project and they do not clash.

“They wanted me to lead them, to help improve them. They made it clear they wanted me to be the one to lead them in this and I didn’t think twice once they had spoken to me."
Technical Director Luke Dowling said: “We had the opportunity to ensure we conducted a wide range of interviews and were determined to take it.

“We have spoken to some outstanding candidates and I would like to thank them for their interest in the post.

“But from the moment we spoke to Slaven, we were struck by his enthusiasm and excitement about this challenge. He is determined to get back to the Premier League and believes passionately that he can do that with Albion.

“We believe he is a great ‘fit’ for us - his presence, experience and management qualities are just what we need.”

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

"Croatian Football Coaches Belong to Upper Echelon in Europe"

Despite Slaven Bilić's sacking from Al Ittihad this week, Croatian football coaches do not rank poorly in the wonderful world of the sport. 

Friday, 28 September 2018

Slaven Bilić Signs With One of the Biggest Clubs in Saudi Arabia

The coach has decided to continue his career in Saudi Arabia - and we have no doubts the money is good. 

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