We’re now well over a week into West Ham’s next manager saga, and there’s suddenly a near-complete dearth of realistic candidates who have ever held coaching jobs in English football.
The Irons’ 2015/16 campaign starts on the ludicrously early date of July 2nd, after Allardyce’s final act was to lead his side into the Europa League, despite West Ham winning just four of their last 25 matches with the 60-year-old in charge, through their fair play efforts.
Owners David Sullivan and David Gold clearly need to crack on with the search, and numerous media sources have stated that West Ham’s long list has been slimmed down to four names – former player Slaven Bilic, Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa, Sevilla chief Unai Emery, and Ajax’s Frank de Boer.
The quartet are all prominent in the market, with Bilic still 4/5 favourite having opened up odds-on following news of Allardyce’s departure, while Bielsa is 6/1, Emery 8/1 and De Boer 9s.
None of these four have ever held a coaching position in England, unlike all bar one of West Ham’s 14 previous managers during their 113-year history – the exception being Gianfranco Zola, who admitted a couple of years after being fired in 2010 that he lacked experience at the time.
There are now only four men at 14/1 or shorter in the market for next West Ham boss with any English coaching previous, and at least three of them seem totally out of the reckoning for the gig.
Former Manchester United and Everton gaffer David Moyes, priced up at 11/1, looks likely to at least see out his Real Sociedad contract, which runs until next summer, having only rocked up in Basque country last November.
Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe is unlikely to get the gig at 14/1, having never managed at a higher level than the Championship, and it’s unclear whether the 37-year-old would take it anyway, while Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers’ price is too bad to be true at 7/1.
Unless the Northern Irishman gets tinned by the Boston Red Sox’s board over the next few weeks, Sullivan and Gold can forget about pulling off what would be seen as quite a coup.
That leaves freshly-relegated Burnley’s boss Sean Dyche at 10/1, which might not be such a bad shout if the Irons’ faithful can forgive his 78-game spell with hated rivals Millwall around the turn of the last century.
Dyche managed something Howe could not when taking the Clarets up to the Premier League on a shoestring budget, having previously surpassed Malky Mackay’s achievements at Watford after taking over the Vicarage Road hotseat from the Scot in June 2011.
Who’s to say he can’t surpass Allardyce’s modest achievements at West Ham? The Davids may be missing a trick that’s right under their nose.