Good, bad and ugly: West Ham’s managers ranked best to worst

Brian Williams and Julian Shea evaluate every single man to have led the Irons

When David Moyes replaced Slaven Bilic in November he became the fifth permanent manager to work for owners who assumed control of the club in 2010.

The first five men to hold the post were in charge of West Ham United’s destiny for a total of almost 90 years. How times change.

What hasn’t altered is the importance of the role. When the manager gets it right, everyone is happy. If he gets it wrong the consequences can be disastrous.

More than any other single person, it is the manager who is the public face of the club.

It’s a job that calls for many talents: tactical awareness, man-management skills and an ability to operate successfully in the transfer market should be basic requirements for any successful candidate.

For some West Ham fans, having a previous connection with the club is also an essential qualification.

But, as Bilic demonstrated, having been a great player doesn’t always make someone a successful manager.

And, as Ron Greenwood proved, being an “outsider” isn’t an automatic barrier to a prominent place in the hall of fame.

Some managers have clearly been better than others. But ranking them in order is tricky. Greenwood or Lyall? Pardew or Allardyce? Grant or Zola?

In trying to rate them we have factored in what they won, how the club progressed under their stewardship and — probably the most debatable issue of all — how much enjoyment their teams gave us as supporters.

They are a mixed bunch: good, bad and indifferent. But, together, they tell the West Ham story, from the early pre-Upton Park days to our latest incarnation at the London Stadium. Love them or loathe them, these are the men who have shaped our history…

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