Slaven Bilic’s first game as Watford manager could not have gone any better as his side defeated Stoke City 4-0 last weekend.
Ismaila Sarr gave them the lead early on as he headed in from a Hassane Kamara cross. Their lead was doubled in the 64th minute when Ken Sema bundled the ball in.
They then made it three as Sarr turned provider, playing in Keinan Davis who finished into the bottom corner.
The rout was then completed in the 84th minute, Imran Louza’s cross was turned in by Vakoun Issouf Bayo.
Speaking to the BBC after the impressive win, Bilic said:
It’s the dream start. A great win for us. A clean sheet, four goals, the strikers scoring goals. That’s what you dream of before games.
We aren’t going to rave now because we won, but this is the blueprint that we want to follow. This is the pattern. This is a great of example of what we should do.
We should try and improve on this. We wanted something to build on and we showed that. I want us to play like that and play with confidence.
That’s not always easy because you have the crowd, you have the media, you have those question marks rising when you are losing. But that’s the goal. That’s the aim, to still play confidently when we are losing.
Bilic’s experience will be crucial at Watford
Bilic is well known to English football fans as he was a West Ham and Everton player. Playing in the Premier League, he learnt from managers such as Harry Redknapp, Walter Samuel, and Howard Kendall.
He also led the Hammers during their final season at Upton Park, where they finished 7th and beat Manchester United 3-2 in the last game at their Old ground. He had a fine team that had Dimitri Payet starring for them, scoring nine goals and accounting for 12 assists.
However, Bilic’s second season at the Olympic Stadium was difficult as the club were getting used to their new surroundings and Payet leaving. The side finished 11th and he was sacked at the start of the following campaign.
Following West Ham, Bilic had a short spell in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad before taking over at West Bromwich Albion.
“They don’t want to sack me, they want me to do good!” 🤷♂️
Newly appointed Watford boss Slaven Bilic is not fazed by the club’s manager history.. pic.twitter.com/UEaNiHr23P
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 30, 2022
He got them promoted in his first season at the club as they finished 2nd in the Championship. He knows what to do to get out of this division and if he has done it before he can do it again.
However, Bilic was sacked after just 13 games in the following campaign back in the top flight with his side in 19th place. They had only won one game but had just drawn 1-1 away to Manchester City.
Watford is known for being ruthless in its decision making and Bilic has experienced the brutality of clubs if they are on a poor run of form.
After his time at the Baggies, Bilic managed in China with Beijing Guoan. He is now back in English football at a club where no manager is expected to last a reasonable time in charge.
Although, Bilic has led a team to promotion from the division before and with his experience from playing and managing all over the World he could be the perfect fit for Watford at this time.
Watford is at home to Swansea tonight in what will be Bilic’s first home game with his new side.