With the promised land of the so-called ‘next level’ as far away now as ever, the inevitable speculation about the manager’s position is in full flow.
Performances and results are at an all time low under Manuel Pelligrini, and whilst it is debatable how much of the blame should be laid at his door or whether the common denominator, the board, should be called to task, it is clear that something has to give.
After yet another dismal display and defeat against Spurs left us winless since beating Manchester United in September, and our manager amongst the favourites in the Premier League managerial sack race, I wanted to take a look at some alternatives to the Chilean should the board take affirmative action and produce his p45.
Currently one popular bookmaker makes former Newcastle and Brighton boss Chris Hughton the 2/1 favourite at time of writing. The idea that a man sacked by Brighton is the answer to our problems is laughable at best and only goes to demonstrate just how much disarray the club really is in.
Former player and current Charlton Athletic boss Lee Bowyer is priced at 4/1. Bowyer, a Hammers fan himself, has done a remarkable job at the Valley under difficult circumstances.
He has led Charlton to a return to the Championship via last season’s playoffs and his side sit comfortably in mid-table.
Another feather in Bowyer’s cap is that he has experience in dealing with difficult owners, which is a necessity at our club. However questions must be asked if he can make the step up to the top level.
Also priced at 4/1 is the forever linked Rafa Benitez. Benitez is currently working in China, having left Newcastle United last summer.
He brings with him a wealth of experience but some won’t like a much more pragmatic style.
Whether the Spaniard would want to come to the club given the similarities with his time with the Magpies and their unambitious and interfering ownership remains to be seen.
Another name mentioned has been Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, although it seems Everton is his most likely destination should he leave the Cherries.
Howe has done a fantastic job at Bournemouth across his two spells, however, his time away managing Burnley was less impressive.
This leads us to current boss of the Lancashire side, Sean Dyche.
The Englishman has worked wonders at the clarets with significantly limited resources and would certainly bring organisation, work ethic and discipline that is obviously lacking currently.
Dyche certainly deserves the chance to step up and could well do for us.
His style of play may well be an issue but some would argue that he is simply working to the strengths of the tools that he has at his disposal.
Speculation has also been circulating that our former short-term boss David Moyes may return for a second spell at the helm.
Although like Howe, Everton seem a more likely destination for the Scot.
I was not impressed with Moyes first time around and feel the club were right not to renew his contract and certainly wouldn’t welcome this appointment.
He did the job that was asked of him in keeping us up but the style of play and his general demeanour didn’t allow me to warm to him.
One would suspect that having been tossed aside Moyes may not want to come back to the club anyhow.
Another Englishman to be linked is Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, he has done a phenomenal job in the steel city, but his love for the club and the feeling of unfinished business leads me to suspect he may prefer to stay where he is.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has also been suggested as a possible boss.
The Liverpool legend has done great work at the Glasgow giants and has them very much in the mix for the title as well as enjoying success on a European stage.
But like Wilder, I feel Gerrard would want to continue his current work and push for honours.
Former Spurs and Bayern Munich bosses Mauricio Pochettino and Niko Kovac respectively are amongst the outsiders and I am sceptical about either having real interest.
Kovac has previously worked with Sebastien Haller which would be a bonus, but he lacks any experience of English football.
Pochettino is widely expected to replace the disastrous Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when he and Manchester United finally part ways.
One thing we have to ask ourselves is out of all these candidates are they the answer and an upgrade on what we currently have?
I am of the opinion that it doesn’t matter who we have in charge, as nobody will be able to succeed and the club will be unable to make real strides forward under our current ownership regime.
Regardless of all those possible candidates, I simply can’t see our owners stumping up the cash to pay off our current boss and these days managers don’t resign and forfeit said payoff so I believe the Chilean will remain in charge at the London stadium for the foreseeable future.