Slaven Bilic is expected to be told he is no longer West Ham United’s manager during a meeting with the club’s co-chairman, David Sullivan, on Monday with David Moyes expected to replace the Croat on an initial six-month contract.
Bilic’s position has been under threat for some time but the plan was for the former West Ham defender to leave in the summer after seeing out the three‑year contract he signed when appointed as Sam Allardyce’s successor in June 2015. But that has appeared increasingly unlikely given recent results and it is believed the 4-1 home defeat by Liverpool on Saturday has proven to be the final straw for Sullivan and his co-chairman, David Gold.
West Ham delivered a listless display against Jürgen Klopp’s side, enduring their sixth defeat in the opening 11 games of the season to leave them 18th and in the relegation zone. Many supporters left the London Stadium early, with boos ringing out among those who remained when the final whistle blew.
Bilic insisted later that he was not a “broken man”, but the 49-year-old also accepted he was “under pressure” and generally appeared resigned to his fate.
With the international break having started, this is an ideal time for the Hammers to make the change and it is believed Sullivan and Gold have targeted Moyes as the man to take over. The Scot, who has been out of work since resigning from Sunderland in May after their relegation from the Premier League, said on Sunday that he had not held talks with club officials but would be interested in doing so.
“I’ve always said I want to go back into club management,” Moyes said in an interview with Bein Sports. “I am interested [in becoming West Ham manager] but at the moment that vacancy has not become available. I know what Slaven must be going through.”
Moyes could well be in place for West Ham’s match with Watford at Vicarage Road on 19 November and begin what would be his fourth spell in charge of a Premier League club following tenures at Everton and Manchester United, prior to joining Sunderland. The 54-year-old’s stock has fallen considerably in recent years, with an unsuccessful spell at Real Sociedad also damaging his reputation, and that might explain why West Ham are supposedly reluctant to hand him a long-term deal.
Bilic has enjoyed mixed success at West Ham. He led the club to seventh at the end of his first season in charge but endured a difficult start to the following campaign, which in part was put down to the team adjusting to life at the London Stadium having departed Upton Park.
He eventually guided them to 11th and was given the funds to strengthen the squad during the summer, bringing in the likes of Javier Hernández, Pablo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic, the latter for a club record £25m fee.
The pressure fell back on Bilic almost immediately, however, after West Ham lost their opening three games, which led to his position being discussed by Sullivan and Gold last month, after the 3-0 home defeat by Brighton. It was reported that Bilic was subsequently given two games to save his job and he went on to guide West Ham to two creditable results – a 3-2 win at Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup and a 2-2 league draw at Crystal Palace. But following the game, and performance, on Saturday his time finally appears to be up.
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