Monday, September 8, 2008

Croatia boss must say no to West Ham jokers

Watching "new" countries perform well against the more established nations is one of the few enjoyable activities international football has on offer. Even as an England fan (but not a fanatic), it was somewhat heartwarming to see Croatia reach Euro 2008.

One of the key reasons for their recent success has been their coach, Slaven Bilic. The young manager is a breath of fresh air in what can be the grey and drab arena that is international football. For that reason, I hope he doesn't decide to jump ship and replace Alan Curbishley at West Ham.

Although I would love to see Bilic in England one day, as he could surely show some of the other managers how to behave, the circumstances surrounding Curbishley's departure will hopefully rule-out a move to Upton Park. Bilic still has work to do with Croatia, and would be wasted at West Ham.

Bilic was quoted by as saying: "
It is great that I'm linked to the club from the best league in the world but it doesn't make my work with the national team harder. In training we always make jokes. Players tease me to take them to England as well. The interest of West Ham is proof that we are doing a great job with the national team."

Of course, Bilic played a season-and-a-half for West Ham in the mid-1990s and may me tempted. My message for him would be this: Slaven, you are far more appreciated where you are and the more you do for Croatia, the more your profile grows in England. West Ham are in a mess and you would do well to steer clear of it until things improve...assuming they do.

Then again, Bilic may realise the English league is not as good as he thinks when his Croatia side play England later in the week. After dispatching England at the qualifying stage for Euro 2008 (well, the fact the team was awful didn't help), would anyone bet against Croatia doing exactly the same again?