Phlegmatic Dicks accepts the brutal side of football following West Brom departure

He was part of the coaching staff that helped guide Albion into the Premier League.

A dejected Julian Dicks first team coach of West Bromwich Albion  leaves the pitch at the end of the game after losing 5-2.
A dejected Julian Dicks first team coach of West Bromwich Albion leaves the pitch at the end of the game after losing 5-2.

But Julian Dicks is philosophical when it comes to how he and former boss Slaven Bilic left the club back in December.

Five months after guiding the team back into the top flight, Bilic, Dicks and fellow coaches Dean Racunica and Danilo Butorovic were relieved of their duties at The Hawthorns.

The decision was made with the team having taken seven points from their opening 13 fixtures.

But while Albion did not start the season well, Bilic’s dismissal was still a controversial one.

Appointed with remit of getting the club promoted within two years, the Croatian did it in just one.

News of his imminent sacking also leaked into the media – with it first entering the public domain immediately after the Baggies had just secured an impressive 1-1 draw at Manchester City.

That meant Bilic, Dicks, Racunica and Butorovic first discovered their fate on the coach home from The Etihad.

But while Dicks described the way he is time at The Hawthorns ended as ‘brutal,’ he says you have to accept that is the way football is.

“When you draw against Manchester City at the Etihad, you don’t expect the sack – of course you don’t because it is a magnificent result,” the former West Ham defender told a podcast produced by the Official Croatian West Bromwich Albion Supporters group.

“But we were coming back on two coaches, one for the staff and one for the players because of Covid.

“One or two of the boys at the back said ‘have you seen Twitter, the gaffer is getting sacked tomorrow.’

“I said ‘really - after that result?’

“But nothing surprises me in football anymore. Nothing surprises me.

“We went into work the next day as usual. If Slav had had his thinking hat on, he would have given everyone the day off!

“But we were in and we got pulled into the office and they told us they were getting rid of us.

“That is football. If you think you are going to have a job for 10 years you are mistaken. You have to go into it thinking we are going to do the best we can and see what happens.”

Asked how he felt about the news of his sacking first breaking in the press, Dicks said: “Something had happened, somebody had leaked something and it got out.

“But it is what it is. It’s not nice to get sacked. But that is football. Football is brutal.”

Overall Dicks hopes Bilic and his coaching team will be fondly be remembered by Albion supporters.

“To achieve promotion in the first season was fantastic,” he added.

“Whether that’s by one point or one goal, it doesn’t matter – we did it.

“The job given to Slav was to get promoted in two years and he did it in one.

“I remember texting Slav after and I said to him you have to take all these plaudits because when things don’t go right – you are the one who will get the criticism.

“I won’t get it as the coach, or Danilo or Dean. It’s always the gaffer’s fault or the players’ fault.

“So when you get promotion you have to take all the plaudits with the players.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News