Sam Allardyce’s future at Upton Park has been up for debate on more than one occasion this season but will West Ham’s performances of late prove to be the final nail in his coffin? The West Ham gaffer was shocked after hearing fans boo their team off after beating Hull City which promoted many fans to debate whether it is right to boo a win and whether Allardyce will still be in the hot seat come the summer.
Reports indicate that Allardyce retains the backing of the West Ham board but if the Hammers put in more performances similar to Hull and fans continue to boo, Gold and Sullivan might feel they have to act. But of course, sacking a manager is not only about deciding the current man isn’t good enough, but that anyone new they bring in will do a better job while making survival more entertaining. So, who could do that job for West Ham?
Names mentioned include Michael Laudrup, who could replace dour pragmatism with the style the fans want to see; Slaven Bilic, who would reportedly be open to the job in the summer; Glenn Hoddle, whose reputation has bafflingly grown in his absence since he made such a horrible mess of Wolves some eight years ago; and former Hammer Stuart Pearce, who has been out of work since being relieved of his duties as England Under21 boss after a disappointing campaign at the European Championships in Israel last summer.
Another name often mentioned by many West Ham fans is Harry Redknapp, currently labouring over getting Queens Park Rangers back into the Premier League after taking them out of it last season. A return to West Ham for Redknapp might seem logical to some but his performance at QPR hasn’t been anything to shout about.
He was given an expensive and talented squad but failed to keep them up. In addition, one of the reasons cited for West Ham sticking with Allardyce is their reluctance to pay the estimated £6million it would cost to dismiss him and his coaching staff. One assumes that QPR would not just let their man (and his own entourage of Bond, Jordan etc.) go for nothing, so Gold and Sullivan could be looking at the ugly end of around £10million to change managers.
The obvious candidate would seem to be Malky Mackay. Available after his dismissal by Cardiff, Mackay is a former Hammers player, which is obviously fairly insignificant to his abilities as a manager, but the Boleyn Ground has been a mutinous place at time this season, including last Wednesday night, so small populist moves like this are not to be underestimated in such a situation.
His success at Cardiff started more or less straight away, with only one defeat in his first nine games, and their promotion campaign was arguably derailed by further success, as a drop in league form coincided with reaching the League Cup final, where they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool. Of course, Cardiff ran away with the Championship and were promoted with games to spare the following season.
Given his treatment at Cardiff, Mackay is a rather obvious option but sometimes the obvious ones are so for a reason. Either way I feel it will be far more entertaining having Laudrup, Mackay, Bilic, Hoddle or even Redknapp at the helm and surviving in the Premier League than Allardyce.