Slaven Bilic faces fight to keep West Brom job as Baggies future in doubt
Slaven Bilic’s future has been plunged into fresh doubt after West Brom’s shocking collapse at home to Crystal Palace.
Palace recorded their biggest ever away win in the Premier League in Sunday’s 5-1 rout of promoted Albion.
The Baggies fell apart in the second half after the dismissal of Matheus Pereira in the first half at 1-1.
The heavy loss saw Bilic’s side drop a place to 19th in the top-flight on goal difference after Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke each scored twice after the break.
Croatian Bilic, 52, is now fighting to save his job at The Hawthorns after clashing previously with the Chinese-owned club’s hierarchy.
Bilic remains in his post and looks likely to get at least one more game at Newcastle on Saturday.
But his position is under greater scrutiny than at any stage in his 18-month reign.
His contract is up next summer and the club have previously considered alternatives including Charlton’s Lee Bowyer.
Now Albion could soon have a huge decision to make after just one win and six points from 11 games amid 23 goals conceded – the worst in the division.
Bilic, appointed in June 2019 on a two-year deal, said: “We conceded five goals and it is unacceptable no matter if you are one man down.
“Our reaction was a really disappointing one.
“It was too easy for them , we didn’t mark.
“OK we were one man down and you can’t stop them getting close to your final third.
“But then you should have enough players to defend.
“Everybody was relying on their team-mate to do the job without man marking.
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“It was more up to them how many they were going to score.”
Albion’s poor results have piled on the pressure following strained relations between the club’s board and Bilic.
Bilic is unhappy with the financial backing he has received for new players since promotion to the Premier League.
West Brom managed to bring in nine new men after going up by spending £20million but four were re-signing men already on loan last term as Pereira, Grady Diangana and Callum Robinson joined permanently and Filip Krovinovic returned on loan.
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Even the signing of striker Karlan Grant was protracted as Albion spread the cost over a six-year deal.
Bilic was also left fuming and hit out publicly at the club’s decision to sell defender Ahmed Hegazi against his wishes to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad in October.
Bilic has previously insisted he won’t quit as he is still under contract and his family are settled in the Midlands.