Allardyce Appointed Manager Of Struggling West Brom

Everton Have Golden Opportunity To Beat Liverpool, Says Allardyce
File photo of Sam Allardyce.


Sam Allardyce has been named manager of Premier League strugglers West Brom to replace Slaven Bilic who was sacked earlier on Wednesday, the club announced.

Allardyce who signed an 18-month contract with the Baggies will immediately begin the quest for the revival of the club with a game against Aston Villa on Sunday.

“In Sam, we have a man who has a proven Premier League pedigree with a track record of improving every club he has managed,” Sporting and Technical Director, Luke Dowling, said.

“We believe and, more importantly, Sam believes we have a group of players that have the quality needed to give the club its best chance of Premier League survival.”

READ ALSO: Lewandowski Hopes To Break Messi, Ronaldo Monopoly As World’s ‘Best’

Bilic was sacked just hours after drawing 1-1 with Manchester City but with West Brom second from bottom of the table after 13 matches.

While the club described the manager as an “experienced boss,” the Dudley-born coach is returning to the team he started his coach career with more than 30 years ago when he worked with Trian Talbot.

The gaffer with 512 Premier League games to his name arrived The Hawthorns with his long-time assistant, Sammy Lee, the club added.

West Brom is the eight Premier League side that the 66-year-old will be working with after coaching Bolton Wanderers, West Ham United, Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Everton.


West Brom Sack Slaven Bilic, Allardyce Among Favourites To Take Over


Slaven Bilic became the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season when he was sacked by struggling West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.

The 52-year-old Croatian’s sacking comes with the side 19th in the table but on the back of an encouraging 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Tuesday.

Bilic had been at the club for only 18 months but had earned the admiration of the fans after leading West Brom to automatic promotion from the Championship last season.

Although results had been generally poor this term Bilic had been given little funding to bring in players in the close season. His budget for transfers was limited to £20 million ($27 million).


READ ALSO: Zidane Hails Benzema As Best Ever French Centre-Forward

West Brom have garnered seven points from their 13 matches so far and have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded 26 goals.

Bilic’s relations with the board appeared tense from the start of the campaign with no discussions talking place about extending or renewing his contract which was due to run out at the end of this season.

“West Bromwich Albion have today parted company with Head Coach Slaven Bilic,” read a club statement.

“Albion would like to thank Slaven and his coaching staff for their efforts in achieving promotion last season and wishes them all well in the future.

“The club will make no further comment at this time.”

Former England manager Sam Allardyce is among the favourites to fill the vacancy.

The 66-year-old’s last managerial post was with Everton, who he left in 2018.

Media reports suggest Allardyce will be offered an 18-month contract. In a sign that his appointment may be imminent, he has cancelled scheduled work with a radio station.

Bilic’s sacking makes him the latest first managerial departure in a Premier League season for six years, since it took 18 games for Cardiff City to dismiss Neil Warnock in the 2014-15 season.


From Suarez To Keane: Meet The World Cup’s ‘Bad Boys’


From Luis Suarez’s teeth to Roy Keane storming out on the Republic of Ireland and Toni Schumacher pole-axing Patrick Battiston in ’82, AFP Sport selects a team of 11 bad boys in World Cup history:

Toni Schumacher (West Germany)

Battiston lost two teeth, cracked three ribs and was left unconscious after Schumacher’s hip smashed into his face in the semi-final of the 1982 tournament in Spain.

The German, who to this day insists he was going for the ball and is still an unpopular name in France, escaped a booking and showed no remorse as West Germany won the match 5-4 on penalties, as it had finished 3-3 after extra-time.

Khalid Boulahrouz (Netherlands)

A record four red and 16 yellow cards were shown during ‘the Battle of Nuremberg’ when Portugal beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the Round of 16 at the 2006 World Cup.

Boulahrouz was booked for a studs-up tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo, which forced the Portugal superstar off, and was sent off for a second yellow in the second half.

Amidst the carnage, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, plus Portugal’s Deco and Costinha all received double yellow cards while Luis Figo was booked for head-butting Marc van Bommel.

Nigel De Jong (Netherlands)

De Jong’s flying kick landed on Xabi Alonso’s chest in the 2010 World Cup final, dubbed the ‘Battle of Johannesburg’, earned the Dutchman a yellow card and warning from English ref Howard Webb in another bad-tempered display by the ‘Oranje’.

The kung-fu kick set the tone for a brutal final as the Dutch earned nine yellow cards, including a pair shown to John Heitinga, who was sent off in extra time.

The Spanish, themselves no angels with five yellow cards, took the trophy when Andres Iniesta slammed home the extra-time winner.

Zinedine Zidane (France), Marco Materazzi (Italy)

The key moment of the 2006 World Cup final came in extra time when Zidane’s sudden headbutt floored Materazzi.

Zidane was apparently retaliating for a verbal provocation. But reports differ as to what Materazzi actually said that triggered the attack and saw the French legend sent off on 110 minutes in his last international appearance.

Italy won the final 5-3 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 as Zidane’s seventh-minute penalty was cancelled out by Materazzi’s first-half header.

In this file photo taken on July 09, 2006 shows the infamous Zidane headbutt on Materazzi. John MACDOUGALL / AFP

David Beckham (England)

Beckham was sent off for a petulant kick aimed at Argentina captain Diego Simeone, who had just clattered England’s midfield ace, early in the second-half of the quarter-final defeat in the 1998 finals.

It finished 2-2 after extra time before England lost 4-3 on penalties, but for Beckham, the ordeal was just beginning.

The Manchester United star bore the brunt of a national outcry on his return to England and “God Forgives Even David Beckham” appeared on a poster outside a church in Nottingham, appealing for clemency on his behalf.

Slaven Bilic (Croatia)

Hosts France were 2-1 up against Croatia in the semi-final of the 1998 tournament, when Bilic theatrically went down clutching his head after a scuffle with Laurent Blanc in the area.

The Frenchman was sent off, for the first time in his career, but the replays showed Blanc had barely touched Bilic.

‘Les Bleus’ held on with 10 men to win, but despite clear evidence, FIFA refused to lift Blanc’s suspension for the World Cup final in Paris which France won 3-0 against Brazil.

Roy Keane (Republic of Ireland)

Issues with the equipment and pitch at Ireland’s pre-World Cup training camp in Saipan saw the tough-tackling Manchester United boil over with rage as Keane stormed out on the Irish before the 2002 finals even started.

A foul-mouthed tirade at the Republic’s manager Mick McCarthy was his parting shot as Keane-less Ireland went onto to lose to Spain in the last 16.

Diego Maradona (Argentina)

The midfield maestro made World Cup folklore with his ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the last eight of the 1986 finals, then moments later beat five defenders on a mazy run for his second as Argentina went onto win the title.

However, Maradona finished his World Cup career in disgrace after failing a drugs test in the 1994 finals held in the USA.

His primal scream into the television cameras, eyes bulging, after scoring against Greece was repeatedly shown after it was discovered he had taken a stimulant.

Luis Suarez (Uruguay)

Sent off for a deliberate handball in Uruguay’s quarter-final win over Ghana in South Africa 2010, Suarez was banned for four months for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder four years later in Brazil.

With the Italians protesting to the referee for not penalising Suarez, Uruguay won a corner and scored to eliminate Italy with a 1-0 victory in the group stages.

Suarez did not escape punishment, however, and FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee handed him a nine-match ban, two days after the match, ruling him out for the rest of the tournament and the 2-0 defeat to Colombia in the Round of 16.

Jurgen Klinsmann (West Germany)

Klinsmann had earned his reputation for diving, but his most outrageous tumble came in the final of Italy 1990 when he threw himself over Pedro Monzon’s tackle and convulsed on the floor, earning the Argentinian a straight red card on 65 minutes.

Replays showed it was a blatant dive and playing against 10 men, the Germans won the final in Rome when Andreas Brehme converted a penalty five minutes from time.

(COMBO) This combination of 11 pictures made on May 29, 2018 shows from left:
(Top row) Germany’s goalkeeper Harald Schumacher (on June 29, 1986), Croatia’s defender Slaven Bilic (on June 26, 1998), Italy’s defender Marco Materazzi (on May 27, 2008), The Netherland’s defender Khalid Boulahrouz (on May 31, 2012), Italy’s defender Fabio Cannavaro (on May 26, 2010) and The netherland’s midfielder Nigel de Jong (on June 19, 2010).
(Bottom row) France’s midfielder Zinedine Zidane (on August 18, 2005), Argentina’s midfielder Diego Maradona (on June 29, 1986), Barzil’s midfielder Deco (on September 9, 2009), Republic of Ireland’s midfielder Roy Keane (on September 1, 2001) and Uruguay’s forward Luis Suarez (on October 11, 2013).
AFP Photo



West Ham Fire Slaven Bilic

West Ham United’s Croatian manager Slaven Bilic gestures during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Liverpool at The London Stadium, in east London on November 4, 2017. Ben STANSALL / AFPBREAA

West Ham sacked manager Slaven Bilic on Monday after a poor run of results that have left the club in the Premier League relegation zone.

“West Ham United can confirm that Slaven Bilic has today left his position with the club,” the Hammers said in a statement on their website.

READ ALSO: West Ham’s Bilic Admits ‘Difficult Situation’ After Liverpool Defeat

The 49-year-old was relieved of his duties at the club two days after the Hammers lost to Premier League rivals Liverpool at The London Stadium.

After a damaging 4-1 defeat, Bilic admitted he was in a “difficult situation”.

The club said the decision to sack the Croatian was necessary to move on in line with its resolve to achieve success.

They said: “The Chairmen and board of West Ham United would like to place on record their thanks and gratitude to Slaven and his team for their services over the past two-and-a-half years, but believe a change is now necessary in order for the club to move forward positively and in line with their ambition.

“West Ham United can confirm that Bilic’s coaching assistants Nikola Jurcevic, Edin Terzic, Julian Dicks and Miljenko Rak have also left the Club with immediate effect.

“The Club’s search for a new manager to take West Ham United forward is underway and an announcement regarding Bilic’s successor is expected to be made over the coming days.”


West Ham Allege Payet Not Committed To Club

 Dimitri Payet, Marseille, West Ham,West Ham have accused Dimitri Payet of displaying a lack of “commitment and respect”.

The allegation was made on Monday after the Hammers agreed that the France international rejoins his former club Marseille.

The club’s chairman, David Sullivan, said although he wanted Payet to stay with them, Slaven Bilic approved the sale in “the interests of squad unity”.

The 29-year-old, however, said he needed to “return to his roots” at his former club.

The English side had turned down an offer from the French club for a second time.

The offer was reported to be £1 million higher than an initial £19 million bid.

Payet joined West Ham from Marseille for £10.7 million in June 2015 and signed a new contract in February 2016 to tie him to the English side till the summer of 2021.

West Ham Finally Agree Payet Joins Marseille

Payet, West Ham, MarseilleWest Ham forward Dimitri Payet will rejoin former club Marseille after the Hammers agreed a £25 million fee for his move.

The agreement was reached on Sunday after the English side turned down an offer from the French club for a second time.

The offer was reported to be £1 million higher than an initial £19 million bid.

Manager Slaven Bilic said that Payet had lost interest playing for West Ham.

The 29-year-old Frenchman joined the Hammers from Marseille for £10.7 million in June 2015.

He signed a new contract in February 2016 to tie him to the English side till the summer of 2021.

Again! West Ham Decline Bid For Dimitri Payet

Payet, West Ham, Marseille, David SullivanEnglish side, West Ham, have rejected a second bid from Marseille for Dimitri Payet.

The Hammers’ chairman, David Sullivan, turned down an upgraded offer from the French side on Monday.

The offer was reported to be £1 million higher than an initial £19 million bid.

It appears Sullivan is taking a tough stance and refusing to be bullied into a quick sale, with the club having no financial need to sell.

Manager Slaven Bilic, however, said Payet had lost interest playing for West Ham.

The 29-year-old, who is out training with the first team, is expected to continue to work with the under-23 team.

The Hammers have recommended that the French forward apologises to fans and return to training with the first team.

Ranieri, Kane Win Premier League Awards For March

Premier LeagueHarry Kane and Claudio Ranieri have won the March Barclays Premier League awards for Player and Manager of the Month respectively.

Ranieri guided Leicester City to a draw and three 1-0 wins over Watford, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, to maintain their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

He was voted for the award ahead of a managerial shortlist that featured AFC Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe (W3 L1), West Ham’s Slaven Bilic (W2 D1) and Swansea City’s Francesco Guidolin (W3 L1).

It is the fourth time Ranieri has claimed the Barclays manager award, the joint-most for an Italian alongside former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. Ranieri is the 15th manager to have won the award four times.

Ranieri won the award in November this season and also was awarded it twice during the 2003/04 campaign when with Chelsea.

No Leicester manager has won the award more than once in one season, although Martin O’Neill claimed it three times in a three-year period from September 1997.

Ranieri has the chance to join Joe Kinnear (1993/94 with Wimbledon) and Sir Alex Ferguson (1999/00 with Manchester United) and Ancelotti (2010/11) to have won the award three times in one season. That feat is also possible for Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who was named manager of the month in August and February.

Five goals in four matches won the Barclays Player of the Month award for Kane, a tally that has taken him to the top of the race for the Barclays Golden Boot with 22 goals so far.

He beat a shortlist that also included Southampton’s Graziano Pelle, Swansea City’s Ashley Williams, Leicester duo Wes Morgan and Riyad Mahrez, and West Ham United’s Dimitri Payet.

It is the third time Kane has claimed the award, after winning it in January and February last year.


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Aguero and Koeman Named EPL’s Best For January

agueroManchester City striker, Sergio Aguero, and Southampton manager, Ronald Koeman, have been named the Premier League’s Player and Manager of the Month.

Both completed individual hat-tricks after winning the Barclays awards for the third time.

Five goals and one assist in January helped Aguero to claim the Barclays Player of the Month award for a third time. The previous occasions were in October 2013 and November 2014.

Aguero, who won the Barclays Golden Boot last season, scored once against Watford and twice each against Crystal Palace and West Ham United in January.

He completed 70 successful passes and had a shooting accuracy of 57% in his 349 minutes played in the month.

The 27-year-old Argentinian beat Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe, Liverpool forward, Roberto Firmino, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Dele Alli, the Leicester City goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel, and Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk to the award.

Koeman is the only Dutchman to have won the award and scooped his third Barclays Manager of the Month trophy thanks to victories by Southampton over Watford, West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United in January.

He piped Man City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham’s Slaven Bilic and Spurs head coach, Mauricio Pochettino, to the accolade, which he previously won in September 2014 and January 2015.

West Ham Sign Emmanuel Emenike On Loan

emenike_clubNigerian international, Emmanuel Emenike, has expressed delight to join English Premier League side, West Ham United on loan.

The 28-year-old is confident he will have an instant impact for Slaven Bilic’s squad, having known the manager from his spells coaching in Russia and Turkey.

Emenike, was capped 37 times by Nigeria and spent part of this season on loan at the Arabian Gulf League side, al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

The Hammers have the option to make the transfer permanent in the summer and the forward would provide options for Bilic with Andy Carroll side-lined again by injury.