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Bilić Headed To China

January 6, 2021



Well, we know there’s no loyalty in England, so Bilić has packed his bags and is headed to Asia.



Former Croatia manager, Slaven Bilić, has signed a 2-year deal to coach Beijing Guoan in China. Bilić was sacked two weeks ago after bringing West Brom back to the Premiership in the summer. However, West Brom didn’t pick up any key players on their arrival, got off to a slow start in the uber competitive Premiership, and will see their former Croatian manager go down as the scapegoat.



This will be a quick money grab for Bilić and he will be back to Europe before we know it. There is zero chance he completes his two-year deal in China. Bilić started off hot for West Ham three years ago and then got sacked. He brought West Brom back to the top flight before getting the boot. Maybe lower tier English clubs aren’t for him. In his defense, West Brom should have bought some players in January and give Bilić the full month to tinker, but in the end, football is a business.



Could you see him back with the Vatreni after Dalić?


Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 31 comments

  1. Maminjo says:

    These quick money moves to Saudi and China will hurt his reputation.
    If he does well there, no one will care. If he does poorly, then people will question even more why he can’t get results in such a weak league.

  2. Eric says:

    I don’t blame him for taking the quick money, but this can’t be good for his career. They loved him in England, and I think it was only a matter of time before he landed a good job there. Everyone except for the West Brom ownership thought it was a huge mistake to fire him. Maybe its different for a coach, but players go to Asia to cash out and end their career. Ask Mandzo how things worked out for him. As for re-hiring Bilic…it depends on the situation. I think he would be OK, but if Bjelica was available, he should be considered first.

  3. Maminjo says:

    I agree.
    Bilic has a bit of a ‘brand’ in England as a pundit and a decent coach.
    He could easily have a coaching career like Big Sam Allardyce, who is usually a very good stop-gap coach.
    …and when he’s not coaching, that’s fine. He can pick up gigs on SkySports as a pundit, and the fans/media love his very Croatian personality and his takes.
    Bilic tends to do well with clubs who suddenly have bigger ambitions, like he’s some sort of a “start-up” coach…but he does tend to plateau.
    He did this with us, with West Ham, and WBA.
    China is a waste of time (though I’m sure he is paid well). But I would rather live in London, work on SkySports, and be a candidate for every new EPL coaching position (which he could be).
    Plus, Split would only be a short Easyjet flight away.
    Going to China? Blah. You lose all of that.

  4. Maminjo says:

    Not sure how I feel about Bilic as NT coach again.
    I think he can make a bad team good….but hard to make a good team great.
    Not to say we were bad when he took over for us in ’06, but we were in a transition, and he turned it around instantly.
    He made all the right picks in building the team (pushing in Modric, Dudu, Corluka, Petric, etc) and phased out the old favorites (Prso, Rapaic, Simic, etc) before they crashed.
    But we’re currently a very good team, who has ambition to be great. Not sure how he would do.
    Dalic did a good job playing to our strengths and using our size and strength (with that pressing game) in addition to our already skilled midfield.
    Bjelica is a pretty quality coach, and does extremely well with limited resources.
    I would be curious to see how well he does with the quality our NT has.
    He’s my pick as next coach.
    (which is probably the case for many on here)

  5. ARMADA87 says:

    Slaven has always been touted a ‘smart guy’ but this isn’t a smart career move. Sure, you get a truck full of money in the Chinese League, but in terms of long term earning potential – to Maminjo’s point – no one will care what he does in this mickey mouse league, whether its good or bad. If he does get bad results and wants to go back to Europe, feel like he would have to start back up in a mehhh type league, like the HNL.

    Plus with this move now and the lack of talent he will probably be managing, it absolutely moves Bjelica into the next hire for NT manager.

  6. Eric says:

    Hrvatska should just march into Slovenija and takeover. Then we can use Oblak and Handanovic as keeper, and Kek as our coach. Problem solved.

  7. Zivot says:

    Would take Bjelica over Kek as head coach any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  8. Branko says:

    I’m guessing Bilic might have a craving for some of China’s finest food offerings..”sumyunguy!” Or “me soohoknee!” Soup!

  9. caine says:

    Well he could return but with what Igor is doing with the Mladen Vatreni…if he continues and improve in performance,getting us talents then my hope is on him after Dalic.
    Dalic will stay for sometime because of what he did for us,as a way of rewarding him or saying thank you.

  10. Maminjo says:

    Bjelica has gotta be next in line.
    Bišćan seems to do well everywhere he goes, plus he’s still very young… So he is an interesting coaching prospect in the future.
    Kek is also a good pick too, but not as good as Bjelica.
    Petković would probably never coach us, and may as well be considered a “foreigner” option. He’s probably grown too accustomed to the soft and lame Swiss media, fans, and Football association to ever cross over to our side of the jungle.
    Jurić is also another one to keep an eye on. A few more years in Serie A, as he’s still proving himself…but he’s doing well so far.
    Bilić and Kovač already had their runs. I wouldn’t want them back unless they do something remarkable at club level… and for several years too, not some “flash in the pan” success.

  11. Maminjo says:

    No need to keep Dalić on as a “thank you”.
    He’s being paid more money than he’s ever made to coach us, and that is his thank you…in addition to having a great resume at the World stage for his next gig.
    If he’s not meeting expectations, then you make a change. We’ll see how well he does in those qualifiers in March and how the Euros go. If we fall below expectations in both, then a change is needed for World Cup 2022.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I hope he likes Dog and bat soup on
    the menu.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “Oh, why do you always bring up race?”
    Because that is exactly what is taboo for white people to talk about, UNLESS it’s antiWhite TRAITOR speech.
    It must be important if they are so desperately trying to prevent you from talking about it. No?

  14. caine says:

    @Maminjo yeah you are right somehow…but don’t forget Dalic rejected many huge money contracts in the gulf and china. Chose to be with us and how he love to coach the Vatreni.
    Am also not convinced by Dalic’s recent game results and static formation ( 4-2-3-1 ),teams are trying out the back 3 system to have more depth in Midfieldn,we are talented in Midfield and Dalic is simply refusing to explore.

  15. caine says:

    the 4-1 thrashing we got from Portugal really got to…Dalic seems to be helpless when gameplans are not working…Spain thrashed us also,Spain always knew the threat we pose whenever they are to play us (Euro 12 and Euro 2016).
    I don’t hate or love Dalic that much but I think he is still there because of reward!
    for taking us to the first ever Worldcup Final

  16. Maminjo says:

    Dalic did well at the World Cup, but he was still a nobody before that, and his Arab club coaching resume is worth nothing within any respectable European league.
    We took a chance on him, and it paid off (for both sides). Dalic got offers after the World Cup from Egypt and some other crap teams. Sure, he could have made some money, but he knows that those are dead end career-killing gigs.
    Dalic still needed more time as Croatia coach to build that resume. He’s not young enough to be considered an “up and comer”…but not experienced enough to be a valuable older coach. No serious club team would hire him, as he was coach for such a small sample size (he was only coach for 10 games, including the World Cup, lol).
    His inability to speak English also hurts him a lot too.
    He’s still with us because it works for both sides, and there is no reason to replace him yet (as Nations League results should not be weighed as heavily as qualification games).
    These March qualifying games, however, will be important for Dalic. If he botches those games, there will be ‘chatter’ about replacing him. If we underwhelm at the next Euros, then he’s gone for sure.

  17. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    Dalic is definitely done after EURO 2021. That’s the way the winds are blowing. I think we will see Bilic v2.0 but it won’t happen for another 3-5 years unless the new coach after Dalic implodes and the HNS needs someone quick with experience.

  18. Soul Champ says:

    Dalic had an historic run with the greatest nogometaš ever flanked by a veteran core.

    It is 2021 and that was 2018.

    Dalic has grown as a coach over these 3+ years.

    At this point nothing is “owed” to him.

    Let’s see how March goes?

    Hopefully he will have a healthy COVID free squad to choose from.

  19. BEĆAR says:

    I’m not a Dalic fan but he does speak English.

  20. Eric says:

    I met Dalic in Canada, when he first took over the repka. He didn’t realize that I spoke Croatian when we met, and his English was good. He had been outside of Cro for many years, and almost considers himself as a diaspora Hrvat. He is a very professional person, who took this job mainly because he loves Croatia, and couldn’t refuse the opportunity. He believed it was his duty to serve our “narod”. Remember, the situation was really bad when he took over, and he was taking a huge risk with his career. Obviously the risk payed off in the end, but he would have been dragged through the mud if we didn’t end up qualifying for the WC.

  21. Maminjo says:

    Ah. For some reason I recall him being made fun of by English media for not speaking English. Maybe it was by choice then.
    I’m sure (like many of us) he is a proud Croat who took the job because he wanted to serve the narod…
    But let’s not pretend that his career was in jeopardy, and that this was some big risk for him.
    It wasn’t.
    It was a low risk, huge reward move for him.
    His Arab footballing career would have been just fine (if not better) had he taken over, and even did poorly.
    I’m glad he took over for us and that it paid off, but I never want us to hire coaches as inexperienced as him again. Our situation was dire, and he stepped in (because coaches with real reputations didn’t want to risk it). Nobody knew who he was before he stepped in.
    Now that things are stabilized, he can move on if he wants to, with both sides benefiting from each other.
    I still keep him on, but he stays based on tournament and qualifying RESULTS alone (and not for some favor that people feel we owe him). He gets paid, his resume is better than it could ever have been otherwise, and he can comfortably move on (if his results do not meet expectations).

  22. Eric says:

    I completely agree with you. Its not that his career was at risk, but the extreme pressure and scrutiny that came with this job is the reason why many others would have declined the offer. I think that during the WC the HNS had a strict policy to only speak Croatian in the interviews (not exactly sure why). This is why we never heard Dalic speaking english publicly.

  23. caine says:

    If Croatia had exited the 2018 worldcup in the group stage Dalic wouldve been axed by now…because he took us to our first ever worldcup final…HNS owe him something,yes he gets paid i know that.
    Back to 98 worldcup…after Ciro did well with the Vatreni in our first worldcup debut(3rd place)…he performed poorly in the Euro 2000 qualification which i remember we came 3rd and didn’t make Euro 2000,he was never axed but given time as a way of saying THANK YOU. He was just pressured to resign.
    Same with Dalic i guess.

  24. caine says:

    @Maminjo…Dalic was a NOBODY and coached unkbown teams in the gulf right!
    He took over as Vatreni coach and butted so called SOMEBODY’S in the worldcup and even friendlys.
    Beating Senegal ,Nigeria , Ukraine , stopping Lionel Messi and even France won on pure luck and unfair refree decisions.
    Coaching in the Gulf or China doesn’t make you NOBODY.
    Xavi,Iniesta are likely to takeover Barca…where are they coaching now?
    I remember my friend asking we didn’t win the worldcup soo why that joy and massive welcome by our people? And i simply said,
    It was our first FINAL after 20years in the wilderness…that’s what i mean when i say HNS OWES HIM…soo many coaches failed even with our Top Class players.

  25. Soul Champ says:

    @ caine

    Well said.

    It’s 2021.

    We are all square.

    Let’s see how it unfolds this spring and summer.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Liverpool Scouse

  27. caine says:

    @Iggy all this while you never new Liverpool stole from us…and disrespected us too by selling Lovren lol.
    A good coach always has a remedy tactic handy just in case others fail in a game.
    Bilic was simply poor in the premiership,shouldve stepped down when West Brom refused to buy needed players. I think it would be a gamble now when he returns to coach Croatia.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t know he was born in western bosna, a lot of us good hrvats from bosna..let’s pray we still have some of us there in bosna .like strong holds around mostar..frig you have to be tough sob to live there now.just ask the Srebrenica muslims who trusted commy Yugo serbs,look what happened.

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