There is one West Ham manager of recent times that really splits supporters opinions.
Some will say he was a necessary evil, others will state that despite what he achieved at the club, he was still a step too far and we would have been better without him.
I give you Sam Allardyce. I was there that night when West Ham beat Hull City in what can only be called a dismal performance despite the win.
As a chorus of boos rang out at the final whistle, I could not believe the arrogance displayed by Allardyce as he cupped his hand to his ear and then rather with hindsight attempting to calm things down, ended up by calling those who had booed delusional.
Well I didn’t boo that night despite suffering the pain of that dismal 90 minutes, but from that moment on I knew that Allardyce had to leave our club. And so he did soon after.
Since that time he has turned up every so often as a bad penny and many relish the opportunity of us Hammers getting one over on the teams he later managed.
Due to Covid-19, we were not there to see Allardyce’s recent visit to the soulless bowl but I bet I was not in the minority in celebrating that little bit extra when his West Brom team left empty handed.
It did make me think about our previous managers and how they had fared on a return to West Ham, did they end up victorious getting one over on our owners or did they leave with their tails between their legs?
So let’s stick with Allardyce and that recent visit was not the only time he had brought a team to West Ham.
We only have to go back a few years earlier when amazingly he was in charge of Everton.
Now those of us of a certain age will be aware that we do not have a great record against teams from Merseyside, after all we have even lost to lowly Tranmere in the past.
And so as a spirited Everton team arrived in London in what for us was a meaningless game but for Sam a win at all costs, I was fearing the worst.
However the Liverpool Echo the following day had this to say about the Everton performance: ‘They stink, it’s all over…Everton ended the season by making West Ham look like 1970’s Brazil’.
Soon after the game Big Sam was confined to the history books. And so with his recent defeat as manager of West Brom he has clearly found a return to the east end one to forget.
Sticking with West Brom just a year ago we were visited by another past manager in the name of Slaven Bilic.
West Brom at the time were a Championship side, albeit a good one but it was believed that the might of the Premier League would win the day in what was an important cup tie.
It was such an important tie that due to family commitments I was absent. Fortunately I had managed to swerve a dismal performance during which West Brom had a man sent off and we still failed to get a positive result.
Now out of club management, Slaven holds a winning record on his return to the Hammers.
We have to go a little bit further in the past to find the next return of a previous Hammers manager, and that the return of Alan Pardew.
Pardew is a real journeyman of a manager and actually brought three different clubs back to the east end.
Those clubs being Newcastle, Crystal Palace and surprise surprise, as Cilla Black once said, West Brom.
Over his four years at Newcastle, the Geordies recorded a win, a draw and a loss away against the Hammers.
Pardew recorded a better return when Palace made the short journey north of the river. The two visits left Pardew with a 100% unbeaten record albeit of one win and a draw.
Pardew continued with his only game as a West Brom manager registering a 2-1 win. And so over seven return visits, Pardew only lost once. Love him or hate him that’s an admiral record.
Then finally we have Harry Redknapp. Now the number of teams Harry has managed against West Ham is surprisingly only one more than Pardew with eight.
But his record is so much better. Harry recorded a 100% return with Portsmouth, a 66% return with Spurs and finally a mediocre one draw and a loss whilst at QPR.
And so in conclusion, what does all this fact-finding mean? Well on a points per visit scoring system Bilic is 100%, Harry is 67%, Pardew sits at 52% and Allardyce with err 0%.
But of course I may be wrong. Either that or delusional.