Slaven Bilic "phoned the West Ham players" after he was sacked
Slaven Bilic took a very unusual step after being sacked as West Ham United manager.
The Croatian was dismissed following Saturday's 4-1 defeat at home to Liverpool, a loss that left West Ham in 18th place after 11 games, with just two wins from the opening two months of the season. He has been replaced by David Moyes, which was a surprise for anyone who has followed his career since 2013.
However, Bilic's sacking wasn't a surprise. He had an excellent first-season as manager, when West Ham finished seventh, but the last year has been very tough for the Croatian. Big money signings failed to make an impact, and the club lost momentum on the field following their switch from Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium, and the loss of Dimitri Payet.
"The first Manchester United manager ever to win a trophy in his first season in charge" https://t.co/GItcPQRTbG
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) November 7, 2017
Bilic seemed unlikely to turn it around, and probably should have parted ways with the club in the summer. Not all problems at the club or with the squad were his fault, but it was clear that it wasn't going to get better for the former Besiktas manager.
The Croatian seemed desperate for it to work out at the club he used to play for, and even after he left was still trying to figure out what he could have done better. According to a report in The Mirror, Bilic phoned some of the West Ham players after he was sacked, to ask them where he had gone wrong during his two years at the club.
Bilic was reportedly told that:
- The squad liked him as a person, but he was too lenient with the players.
- He didn't punish poor time-keeping. He didn't make an issue of them arriving late for training and also allowed them to finish early.
- Players were allowed join training sessions after they had already begun.
- They reportedly told the Croatian that the intensity in training was low, and the quality of sessions was below the standard expected.
It's very unusual for a manager to phone his former team after being sacked, asking for feedback on what he did wrong. Something tells us Moyes won't do the same if and when it goes wrong for him at the Hammers.