The race to be West Ham’s new manager will hot up in earnest following news the east Londoners qualified for next season’s Europa League, thanks to their fair play efforts, meaning there are just over five weeks of preparation time before their final campaign at the Boleyn Ground kicks off.
Here are the six managers currently bossing the betting for next West Ham boss:
Slaven Bilic – 2/5 favourite
The former Irons man was as short as 1/5 with bwin to replace Allardyce shortly after the 60-year-old’s departure, so his appointment is no sure thing, but after Bilic pledged to leave his role at Besiktas at the end of the current campaign, it’s easy to see why he leads the market.
Bilic coached his native Croatia for six years between 2006-12, bringing through stars such as Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Peresic and Mario Mandzukic during that spell, and advocated an attacking philosophy that will appeal to the Boleyn Ground faithful.
However, the fact that he left West Ham for Everton back in 1997 after just 18 months in east London may mean not all fans are so excited by the 46-year-old’s seemingly-likely return, while less-than-stellar stints in charge of Lokomotiv Moscow and Besiktas hardly recommend him.
Roberto Di Matteo – 5/1
Another who looks to have jacked-in a job at just the right time, Di Matteo left Schalke after leading the German side out of the Bundesliga’s top four, meaning they’ll be settling for Europa League fare in Gelsenkirchen next term.
It’s hard to see the Davids Gold and Sullivan going for another ex-Chelsea manager after Avram Grant’s dreadful spell in charge three years ago, particularly after Di Matteo’s Champions League-winning spell with the Blues looks more an anomaly than the norm in hindsight.
David Moyes – 5/1
The former Manchester United and Everton manager ranks as by far the least-risky choice the Davids could go for, but it seems highly likely that Moyes won’t leave Real Sociedad this summer, after only moving to Basque Country in November.
He has said as much on Sky Sports in recent days:
“I’ve told everybody I will be in Spain next year. I had plenty of opportunities before I went to Spain to stay in England, and I had made a decision that I would go and work in Spain.”
Unai Emery – 8/1
An interesting shout, especially if Emery can lead Sevilla to a second successive Europa League final victory against Dnipro this week, for which they’re priced up at 2/7.
Having missed out on La Liga’s top four again this term, it’s hard to imagine what else Emery can achieve in southern Spain, although Milan are thought to be keeping tabs on his situation.
Steve McClaren – 11/1
Seems unlikely, considering the former England boss is 1/4 to be Newcastle’s next boss, but he’d surely rather be in east London, preparing for a move to the Olympic Stadium, than part of Mike Ashley’s north-east clown show.