Report: Slaven Bilic to be sacked by West Brom; linked with Celtic post in 2019
Yes it looks like the Celtic board are going to stick with Neil Lennon for the foreseeable future, but one of the names that could be about to come back onto the market is Slaven Bilic.
Bilic is close to being sacked by West Brom according to the BBC. This is due to their struggling return to life in the Premier League. The Baggies are in the top division after securing promotion last season.
The BBC states that senior figures inside the Hawthorns club are pleading for the Croat to be given more time. However, they currently sit in the relegation zone with one win in 13 games. The source says the club’s Chinese owners could be leaning in a different direction.
It’s been reported by the BBC that Bilic could be sacked as early as today.
This could be of interest to Celtic should they decide to go in a new direction in the coming weeks. Bilic was said to be extremely interested in the Celtic job back in 2019 before Lennon got it. The BBC said back in May 2019 that the club’s history and fanbase appealed to the current West Brom manager.
There’s no doubt Bilic was flavour of the month at the start of the last decade. Knocking England out of Euro 2008 qualification before winning all three group stage games for the first time in the nation’s history had his stock brimming.
A name that will divide opinion these days
Helping to revive the Croatian national team between 2006 and 2012 has always been something that’s stuck with Bilic. As has his spell at West Ham where he broke several records in his first season. He also led the Hammers to seventh too.
However, there have been several clubs that don’t quite make the highlights package on Bilic’s career. He led Lokomotiv Moscow to their lowest ever league position back in the 2012-13 season, before failing to take Besiktas to the top of Turkish football over a two-year period. Nobody talks about his unsuccessful five-month spell at Al-Ittihad either, where he only won four of his 17 games.
So there have been plenty of ups and downs for Bilic, with his spell at West Brom perhaps being a fine reflection of his overall career to date so far. But even so, there were plenty of Scottish football supporters on social media who believe the former Croatia boss to be handed the Hoops gig:
See if Celtic miss out on Bilic, lose Elhamed and play Scott Brown another MINUTE this season . . .
— Joshua (@jawshoeahhh) December 16, 2020
Bilic is a top top class manager, if I was Celtic I’d hire him right now or at least get a deal in place https://t.co/Whr3q3wbSr
— The Garv (@StuartGarvin) December 16, 2020
Slaven Bilic to Celtic plz
— Paul McStay Euro 92 Rebrand (@Filp_Your_Wig) December 15, 2020
Slaven Bilic: Get ready to steal @CelticFC https://t.co/H4QUdrdbOJ
— Got the Tshirt (@yecannywhackit) December 16, 2020
Some may say it’s disrespectful to talk about getting a new manager in when Lennon is quite clearly being chosen to take on the next run of games. That’s fine, but there’s no harm in looking at what alternative options are out there.
In an ideal world, Lennon wins all of his games this month and next to build up some much-needed momentum and get Celtic on course again. That’s what we all want, but the club must also be prepared for their next move should that not happen.
And if they end up looking at potential successors to Neil in the coming weeks, we could do a lot worse than take a look at the seemingly soon-to-be unemployed Bilic.