Slaven Bilic reveals why he didn't become West Ham boss in 2008

Upton Park

The Croat says he was linked with West Ham in 2008 and 2010.

New West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic has revealed that the 'special' nature of the Croatia job was all that stopped him from taking over the Hammers in the past, according to the club's official website.

Indeed, the 46-year-old says he was linked with the manager's post at Upton Park (he doesn't quite make clear whether this amounted to a job offer or not) twice in the past: in 2008 and 2010.

Both times, however, Bilic was in charge of the Croatian national side.

And, while the coach says West Ham was 'always good enough' for him, Bilic says the personal draw of managing his own country meant he could never leave in the middle of the job.

The Croat explained: "Why now? Because I was free and also West Ham were looking for a new manager! I have been linked a couple of times in the past but, while it was never the case that I didn’t want to come to West Ham, in 2008 and 2010 I was national team manager.

"That was more than a job and was totally personal, so it was impossible because I had committed myself to Croatia. West Ham was always good enough for me but, at that time, I was not free and was in a special kind of job, as national team manager of my country."

Since leaving Croatia, the 46-year-old has managed Lokomotiv Moscow and Besiktas, now returning to the club where he played as a defender in the Premier League.

It will be Bilic's first manager's role in the English top flight, of course, and he has signed for West Ham on a three-year contract.

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