Slaven Bilic: Easier now for foreign players to settle
Slaven Bilic believes it is now much easier for foreign players to settle in England – with the head coach more than happy to look abroad for new signings.
The Baggies bolstered their ranks in the summer by snapping up Matheus Pereira and Filip Krovinovic, two players who have never previously played on these shores.
During his playing days, Bilic got used to moving to different countries, with the defender leaving Croatia to join German side Karlsruher SC.
He then moved to England, where he enjoyed spells with Everton and West Ham.
But he says it is now much easier for foreign players to settle in a new country – with both Pereira and Krovinovic already feeling at home in the West Midlands.
“Pereira and Filip have settled in easily,” Bilic said. “Pereira found a home in no time, he found a house before I found mine. He came six weeks after me!
“It was very easy for them.
“It was different before. When I moved, every club only had three foreign players.
“They basically got you to play straight away, I had to be better than the Germans, because they didn’t want to waste a space. Now you can buy a foreign player and tell him to train and don’t play him for six months, you can buy him as a squad player, or for cover.
“There’s the language, but they’ve got people around them, agents that we didn’t have in that time.”
Pereira and Filip Krovinovic are two of 10 new recruits at Albion this season.
And Bilic feels all new signings settle quickly when things are going well.
“What makes it easy is that it’s going well, everybody is smiling,” he continued.
“Make no mistake, the atmosphere depends on the results – at Real Madrid, at Hadjuk Split and at West Brom.
“What’s imperative is not breaking the atmosphere during a bad run.
“That is the art, the aim. You don’t need top people to create an atmosphere when you’re winning, because everybody is good. In the bad times – and I don’t want bad times of course – but when it comes we’re going to have a stable atmosphere which is going to help us making those bad times shorter.”
Krovinovic, meanwhile, has revealed is enjoying life at Albion so much – he doesn’t even mind the English weather.
Asked how he is settling in, the midfielder said: “It’s very good, I like the city, I like the people here. The weather is also very good. I have got nothing against the weather, I know it rains sometimes but that’s normal. I am very, very surprised I didn’t expect that.
“But it’s everything else that is important and the people around me are perfect. We are unbeaten and the atmosphere around the club is very good.”