West Ham have endured a turgid 2015 thus far, scratching around for wins as they plummet towards the Premier League’s nether regions.
The Hammers pinged the lid on 2014/15, with early-season showings that brought goals and victories aplenty far removed from the pragmatic style that has become synonymous with boss Sam Allardyce.
But since the turn of the year they’ve beat just two teams of identical divisional stature – lowly Hull and Sunderland – which has prompted the renewal of age-old speculation that their manager’s days at Upton Park are numbered.
A strong end to proceedings may yet keep the jowly decision-maker in a job and if the previously successful ‘Greenhorn Theorem’ proves accurate once again, the Irons are verging on a point-filled finale.
The ideology first surfaced ahead of West Ham’s Premier League meeting with a Tottenham side under the guidance of newbie coach Tim Sherwood and was based around the idea that such a wily and experienced campaigner as Big Sam would have no trouble exploiting the naivety of those not as familiar with top-flight management as himself.
Spurs were duly defeated 2-0 in a perfectly conducted road test and this season’s results have followed the trend first established in this game.
With that in mind, the Eastenders’ remaining fixtures against QPR, Burnley, Aston Villa, Everton and Newcastle are sure to be laden with triumphs.
A price of 11/10 says the Irons will pocket over 7.5 points from this quintet, which is as good as free money based on previous results.
In his first job, R’s supremo Chris Ramsey has ‘greenhorn’ stamped to his forehead and four defeats from as many London derbies doesn’t bode well for their survival prospects.
Sean Dyche is toiling through a first campaign of managing in the top flight.
Allardyce masterminded victory over the Ginger Mourinho’s Burnley side at Turf Moor earlier in the piece and their current inability to find the net will only aid the Hammers’ cause.
Sherwood now holds the fort at Villa; Big Sam overseen two victories when tackling his Spurs side last term, once in the league, once in the Capital One Cup.
Everton are the only outfit not to be under the instruction of a novice, so points may be hard to come by here, but a game against Newcastle after this will rectify any potential Toffees reverse.
Magpies rookie coach John Carver has been busy proving himself to be entirely incapable of managing a football club, as six successive defeats will attest in his first stint in the boss’ seat.
Other examples of milked greenhorns take the shape of Alan Irvine, who was taken for a 2-1 ride when in charge at West Brom, while Allardyce also got the drop on Dick Advocaat in the Dutchman’s maiden Premier League outing.
This 1-0 victory over Advocaat’s Sunderland was the corresponding fixture to a 1-1 draw earlier in the campaign that ensured Big Sam remained undefeated against former Black Cats chief Gus Poyet, while Swansea helmsman Garry Monk is another yet to snare the spoils against the veteran in two attempts.