Sam Allardyce’s identity reformation and the rewards this has reaped mean West Ham are unlikely to be looking for a new boss any time soon.
But when the time comes for the Hammers to appoint a successor – no doubt on account of Big Sam landing the Barcelona job – there’s a smorgasbord of candidates in the betting mix.
At the summit of this mountain of names sits Tony Pulis, a man with greater survival skills than Bear Grylls himself.
The former Stoke and Crystal Palace supremo is 9/2 favourite to assume the reigns at Upton Park once Allar-Allar-Allardyce absconds, but don’t be duped punters, the Welsh tactics board wizard stands absolutely no chance.
Renowned for a heavy-handed, pragmatic style of play, Pulis and the man he’s fancied to replace were once teacher’s pets at the school of unattractive football.
Allardyce has since grown too refined for the grisly side of the game the legions of Hammers detested so.
Weekly terrace revolts against his management of the club and aversion to the mythical phenomenon familiar only to soccer fans in east London, known simply as ‘the West Ham way’, rang out at the Boleyn Ground throughout last season.
A strategic makeover has since coerced the dissenters to turn their coats, but Pulis’ ‘hard work first, fancy footwork second’ approach will be seen as a reversion to the dark ages of guaranteed mid-table Premier League finishes. Perish the thought.
But who then, will take the reigns when the great Big Sam, cape a-wafting, rides off into the sunset?
If it’s attractive football West Ham crave, Arsene Wenger could well be available by then, while it might be worth giving Pep Guardiola a bell too.
Sadly, it’s more than likely both would turn down the opportunity, but 14/1 shot Glenn Hoddle could be worth a bet, assuming the Tottenham ties don’t factor in the decision.
A believer of expansive, attacking play, the current QPR coach has been looking for a return to management in recent months.
Steve McClaren is another former England boss who rates a decent bet at 40/1.
His Derby side top the Championship and no other outfit has been able to best them in the goals scored department this term, while his penchant for placing faith in academy players will no doubt appeal to the frugal brains trust calling the shots at West Ham.