Sam Allardyce - the best manager in the Premier League?

Sam Allardyce Press Conference 12/02/2014

Southampton, Chelsea and Swansea City have all impressed so far this season - but as much as West Ham?

There are very few success stories round Europe that will match West Ham United's this season. After battling against relegation last campaign, the Hammers currently sit third in the Premier League table - and it is December.

What a turnaround from boss Sam Allardyce, who has transformed his side's approach to the beautiful game but also showed yesterday he is just as capable of sticking to his guns and winning through the use of a big man up top.

And is the sheer magnitude of his rise to the top three proof that the West Ham boss is the best manager in the top flight right now?

Chelsea are top of the standings, of course, and so Jose Mourinho would be the first name you'd naturally turn to in such a debate. The Chelsea boss has proven once again that he is capable of building a winning team this season - even if they did lose to Newcastle United at the weekend. But look at the resources available at Chelsea compared to Upton Park?

Swansea City's Garry Monk, meanwhile, has also done a fine job this term. West Ham put Swansea to the sword convincingly yesterday, though, perhaps showing they are a class apart.

The biggest rival, then, has got to be Southampton's Ronald Koeman.

And there is no doubting the fine job he has done at St Mary's. Should Southampton draw with or beat Manchester United tonight, they will leapfrog the Hammers. Indeed, the Saints have been the surprise package of the Premier League season so far.

But the key argument in Allardyce's favour is the fact that he was nowhere near that accolade last term. Yes, Koeman has been superb at Southampton - but he always had the reputation of a top coach.

The West Ham boss, meanwhile, was close to relegation last season - close to the sack - but stayed on, fought on, and is now scaling previously unimaginable heights. That's some achievement.

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