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West Ham appoint Slaven Bilic as Manager

He broke English hearts once, can he mend those of West Ham by guiding them to a successful 2015/16 season?

Slaven points the way ahead
Slaven points the way ahead
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

After Rafa Benitez sensationally turned them down for Real Madrid, West Ham United have now appointed their new manager to replace "Big" Sam Alladyce.

Slaven Bilic will lead the side out on matchday 1 of the 2015/16 season and the owners will hope into the same coming into opening game in their new loaned Olympic stadium a year later. When you take into account how important the owners have started that it is to be in the EPL when the 2016/17 season starts, it has to be viewed as a gamble.

Bilic left Besiktas in May after two years in charge.  He was unable to deliver the title and failed to make the Champions League next season.  Prior he managed Lokomotiv Moscow to a 9th place finish, their worst position since 1991.  Perhaps the best or from my view worst management memory of Bilic, was as Croatia's head man.  Making the next Newcastle manager Steve Mcclarren look the "Wally in the brolly" (check out Youtube) he eliminated England from Euro 2008 qualification and ruined my summer fun in the process.

In Sam, the Hammers had a manager proven at both keeping his sides comfortably in the EPL but also raising their results.  Fans of Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers can both look longlining at the joy of the EPL.  Both clubs have suffered quick relegation to the Championship on his leaving.

West Ham actually had a great opening half of the 2014/15 campaign before a disappointing ending saw them finish midtable in 12th place.  The biggest issue he had was the style of play.  Hammers fans expect flair and plenty of attacking play when watching their side.  Many times when listening to phone in shows you would hear the fans pine for that type of entertainment.  Alladyces sides since the days of Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff, Fernando Hierro and Nicolas Anelka have lacked that get off your seat look.

One year away from the new stadium, West Ham above all else just need to be in the EPL.  Much like Tony Pulis, Sam virtually guarantees you that as manager.  Bilic played one season in the league and therefore has experience of some of its subtleties.  He may bring a more enjoyable approach and he may yet also take the club to the next level.

As a neutral I love attacking football and it should be fun watching how their season progresses. I suspect the fans will be happy come the opening week of August. As West Ham finished a comfortable mid table in 2014/15 it could be that the owners see their squad as a safe bet to be too strong to go down. Using that logic they may feel that now's the time to move onto the next part of club progression. But it is a very big gamble.

What do you think?