West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has likened the Premier League to a Hollywood action movie, and he loves every minute of it.
The former Croatia boss is entering his second full season in charge of West Ham as they kick-off a new chapter in their illustrious history having moved from their traditional home of Upton Park to the Olympic Stadium and while he faces a potentially extraordinary campaign at his own club, he is as excited as ever to take part in the Premier League.
“It is the best league to work in, to play in, the most competitive one and the most covered one in the whole world,” he told the Daily Mail.
“This is the NBA, this is Hollywood. And we are human, so we want to be a part of something big.”
And joining him this season are the likes of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Antonio Conte at Chelsea, while Jurgen Klopp is set for his first full season at Liverpool, while Jose Mourinho has traded Stamford Bridge for Old Trafford with Manchester United.
Bilic said all the best managers and coaches wanted to work in the Premier League because – even for the likes of Guardiola who arrived from Bayern Munich – winning league titles with big teams elsewhere is no longer considered a big-enough challenge.
“In France, there is a big difference between Paris Saint-Germain and, say, Montpellier. So Mourinho goes there, he wants to compete, but there isn’t the competition in the title. In the end, you win the league at those clubs, you may still get the sack because it is not enough anymore,” Bilic explained.
“People were looking at Guardiola at Bayern Munich and saying, ‘I can do that’. So they come here because they want to compete.
“This league is particularly difficult because everyone gets the same money. The League basically says, ‘Stuff you, Manchester United — we are going to give Bournemouth enough money that they are not down there, they are up here, and they are going to compete with you…’
“This is reflected in the managers that come. The best managers are happy to take any job in England. Not just the top five. Rafa Benitez goes to the Championship, because Newcastle is a massive club; Puel goes from Lyon to Southampton; Quique Flores — he is a world-class manager. He went to Watford! Now Walter Mazzarri, who did great with Napoli and Inter — he is at Watford, too!
“Managers aren’t just looking for Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. West Ham? That’s great — because you feel you have the ingredients.
“Of course, Manchester City and Manchester United are better than us on paper, we know that. But we are good enough that if we play well, and they play a little bit below par — not s***, just a little off — with a bit of luck we can win.”