Who could be the next boss at West Ham United? Let's assess the bookies favourites with appearances from a Celtic man.
Effectively, this period is not so much an intense spell of philosophy and calculus - it’s simply a hunt. If the David’s (Sullivan and Gold) can find a more appropriate, progressive figure to lead West Ham into the new season – or even someone less likely to spend their cash on Downing-shaped-dross, then Big Sam is for the chop.
The bookies have their list of favourites to succeed the ex-Bolton and Blackburn long-ball specialist, so let’s assess their credentials.
Gus Poyet – 13/8
League One Winner 10/11, League One Manager of the Year 10/11, League Cup Runner-Up 13/14
The enigmatic former Chelsea star recently saved Sunderland from an almost certain slide into the Championship. Relatively new to management, the Uruguayan highlighted his motivational talent by steering a faltering Brighton side from relegation threat to League One champions in just over one full season. With a managerial career win percentage of 44% over 234 matches, Gus will certainly win games, but his outspoken manner might ruffle some higher-perched feathers.
Neil Lennon – 13/5
Scottish Premier Winner (3) 11/12, 12/13, 13/14, Scottish Cup (2) 10/11, 12/13, SPL Manager of the League 11/12
After dominating Scottish football since his managerial inauguration, the SPL’s longest serving current manager is pursuing a new challenge. It’s difficult to judge the capabilities of the high-flying Northern Irishman due to the comparative weakness of the SPL, though his 70% win percentage across 228 games is quite a feat. The sometimes confrontational, often contemplative ex-Leicester City midfielder will find his challenge in East London – whether he’ll thrive or dive remains to be seen.
Malky Mackay – 9/2
Championship Winner 12/13, LMA Championship Manger of the Year 12/13
Recording a brief history with West Ham, Mackay played 18 games en route to Premiership promotion after his 2004 signing by Alan Pardew. The recently sacked Scot appears intelligent and affable, though his charms didn’t much impress his last chairman. Like the other candidates, Malky’s managerial years have just begun. However his win percentage of 39% over 229 games positions him marginally bottom of the pack. This popular footballing figure is looking for a chance somewhere, and West Ham could do far worse.
Slaven Bilić – 9/1
Croatia Manager 2006-2012
West Ham’s former record signing is the most experienced short-odds contender. The intellectual eccentric has managed in Croatia, Russia and Turkey, even having six year stint at International level. Boasting an impressive win percentage of 56% across 165 matches, the compelling Croat peculiarly has only one full season of club management under his belt; however, the gifted multi-lingual motivator with West Ham connections might just be perfect for the job.