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EPL: Slaven Bilic becomes first coaching casualty

By Vincent Ashitey
Slaven Bilic
Slaven Bilic
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Slaven Bilic has become the first coaching casualty in the Premier League after he was sacked by West Bromich Albion on Wednesday.

Albion battled to a 1-1 draw against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday evening, but that took their tally to just seven points as they lie in 19th place in the table.

Bilic had six months left to run on the two-year deal he signed in June 2019, with the Croatian guiding the Baggies back to the top-flight last season, when they clinched automatic promotion as runners-up behind Leeds United.

He had been appointed by the West Midlands outfit after a brief stint at Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Professional League, where he was dismissed by the Jeddah-based club after winning just four of his 17 matches in charge.

Bilic had two-and-a-half years in charge of West Ham prior to that appointment, with the Hammers finishing in seventh and then 11th in his two full campaigns before he was sacked in November 2017.

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Following their promotion in the summer the Baggies invested in permanent deals for players who had previously been at the club on loan, with Matheus Pereira, Callum Robinson and Grady Diangana all moving to The Hawthorns, the latter for around £20million.

Forward Karlan Grant and experienced defender Branislav Ivanovic were also added to the squad, with Conor Gallagher and Filip Krovinovic joining on loan deals.

Their only win of the campaign came against Sheffield United, the only club below them, last month, and they possess the worst defensive record in the top-flight having conceded 26 goals.

Veteran boss Sam Allardyce has been tipped by many to take over from Bilic, with Mark Hughes and Nigel Pearson also linked with the now vacant position.