West Ham appoint Bilic

The 46-year-old Croatian, who becomes the??15th??full-time manager in the club’s 120-year history,??joins the Hammers having left his previous job as head coach of Besiktas at the end of the season.??

Bilic has an affinity with West Ham supporters having played over 50 times for the club during the 1996-97 season, and had maintained a strong desire to manage in the Premier League.

“I???m really glad to be back with West Ham United,??? Bilic said. “It???s in the Premier League, which is among the best in the world. It???s a big challenge and you are competing with the best and what better club to do it with than West Ham.

“I remember West Ham as a special club. I love these kinds of special clubs. My last club, Besiktas, was that kind of club. It???s not about the size ??? West Ham is big Club ??? there is something special about them – they are a cult clubs.

“It is a great place to play and I felt like I was at home. It is a big privilege and a big responsibility to now be manager and I hope that I will prove it to the Board, players and fans.??My first priority when choosing a club is to look at its ambitions.

“When I spoke to the Chairmen and Karren Brady, they made clear that it is not only the fantastic new Stadium we are moving into, but they showed their determination and ambition to make what is a big club even bigger.??I saw their determination and passion that they want to do that. That was the number one reason. I could feel that they really wanted me so it was an easy choice.

???I would say to the West Ham fans that I will give my best and together we will achieve great things.???

The lub had narrowed their search to two candidates over the weekend – Bilic and the Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa – after failing with audacious swoops for Rafa Benitez and Carlo Ancelotti.

A key priority for Bilic will be ensuring the London club is still a Premier League team for the 2016-17 season, when it starts playing in the Olympic Stadium.

Tony Cottee, a Sky Sports football pundit and former West Ham striker, told SSNHQ: “I’m absolutely delighted and as an ex-team-mate I’m thrilled. He’s a great lad and he can take the club forward.

“The fact that Slaven has played for the club, he knows what the fans want and what it means to be a player. You’ve got to get the balance right though. There’s no point playing entertaining football if you lose 5-4.

“It???s a big task and he’ll need to look after the fans and at the same time he’ll need to get results.”