Poor old Sven, eh? Another massive pay-off for another botched job, no doubt another gullible football club owner with more money than sense on the other end of the phone ready to offer him another route to untold riches.
But while the future for football management’s yesterday-man is sadly predictable, what will become of his former charges is less clear. With Eriksson sacked, will Leicester City begin to live up to their billing as pre-season Championship favourites?
The money the Swede spent would suggest that they should, though much will depend on the Thai owners’ managerial appointment – Martin O’Neill has apparently ruled himself out – and how the new boss can convert Sven’s haphazard recruitment policy into a winning side.
But that is for later. Leicester’s pressing concern is the imminent trip to fellow big-spending ante-post favourites West Ham, who are faring rather better with their own big ‘personality’ at the helm.
A man for whom delusion holds no bounds, Sam Allardyce may still think he’s in line for the England job if his recent Sky Sports News interview is anything to go by (please Sam, you’re not, make it stop) but he has West Ham in second place, five points ahead of their opponents, who lie in a lowly 13th place.
And say what you like about Fat Sam, whether you hate him or just dislike him intensely, his ‘brand of football’ works more often than not and West Ham should have enough at 19/20 to see off the managerless Foxes on Saturday.
The draw with bwin is priced at 23/10, with an away win a 14/5 shot.
Leicester have drawn a blank in three of their six away games, haven’t won away from home since a fortunate opening-day win at Coventry and judging by the 3-0 reverse at home to Millwall last weekend that did for Sven, look in no sort of shape to stop that rot at Upton Park.
The Irons’ home form has hardly been rock solid either, but after a shaky start in which they lost to Cardiff and Aldershot and drew with Leeds, West Ham have won three of the last four, scoring nine in the process.
With John Carew’s fitness improving and former MK Dons striker Sam Baldock finding his feet at Championship level, West Ham now have some decent attacking options that should result in a sustainable automatic promotion push.
Say what you like about Fat Sam, whether you hate him or just dislike him intensely, his ‘brand of football’ works more often than not and West Ham should have enough at 19/20 to see off the managerless Foxes on Saturday.
That said, I’m not expecting a goal-fest on Saturday. Only one of Leicester’s six away games have produced more than 2.5 goals – a 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest – with three producing less than 1.5 goals.
This has much to do with Eriksson’s innate negativity towards away matches, and while there is a case to argue that with Sven out the picture at Leicester will surely be more positive, I think we will have to wait for a new manager to see that come to fruition.
West Ham’s home matches have fallen into one of two categories – three have had under 1.5 goals, three have seen over 3.5 goals – but I think Allardyce will be happy to keep this one tight.
Under 2.5 goals is 17/20 and that looks good to me, though I wouldn’t put anyone off the 5/2 that there are under 1.5 goals either. Considering that, 1-0 West Ham is at 13/2, whereas 2-0 to the Irons is a 33/4 chance.
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