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Tuesday 7th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

Croatian leaves club as – statistically – Hammers’ most successful manager

SLAVEN BILIC insisted yesterday he is leaving West Ham with his “head held high” after he was sacked with the club languishing in the bottom three.

Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat by Liverpool was the final straw for the Hammers hierarchy, who axed Bilic with just over six months of his three-year contract remaining.

While West Ham have won just two of their 11 games so far this season, Bilic is statistically their most successful manager.

In 87 league games, Bilic’s men brought in 116 points — an average of 1.33 points per game. That’s more than Alan Curbishley (1.32) and Harry Redknapp (1.31) — the latter of which spread across seven seasons.

Former Everton and Sunderland boss David Moyes is anticipated to be named as his successor, and could be appointed as early as today.

After ending a decent spell at the Toffees in 2013, Moyes has been sacked by Manchester United and Real Sociedad. He resigned as Sunderland manager at the end of last season after seeing the club relegated to the Championship.

Bilic guided West Ham to seventh in his first season — the club’s last at Upton Park — and despite a tough maiden campaign at the London Stadium they rallied to finish 11th.

The Hammers’ two wins this season were against Huddersfield and Swansea. They began the campaign with three successive defeats — shipping 10 goals in the process.

Bilic said yesterday he understood millionaire ex-pornographers David Sullivan and David Gold’s “desire to make a change” to get West Ham away from the danger zone.

“I am sad that it hasn’t worked out in the way we wanted this season,” Bilic said in a statement.

“I was confident that we would be able to progress this season and continue to close the gap between expectation levels and reality, but unfortunately it has not been the case.”

Sullivan and Gold will hope Moyes can shore up a leaky defence and maybe get a tune out of big-money summer signings Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez.

Club-record capture Arnautovic has been such a disappointment he was booed off during the recent home defeat by Brighton.

Bilic’s assistants Nikola Jurcevic, Edin Terzic, Julian Dicks and Miljenko Rak have also left the club.

Goalkeeping coach Chris Woods, who worked with Moyes at Everton and Manchester United, is the only member of the coaching staff who still appears under “staff” on the club website.