Following a flurry of bets, West Ham attacking coach Teddy Sheringham has whittled down from 80/1 no-hoper to 10/1 contender to be the next Irons manager.
A downturn in results has prompted Hammers fans to revert to their anti-Sam Allardyce stance of the previous season, with pre-Christmas strides up the Premier League table now a distant memory for those Upton Park frequenters favouring backroom changes.
Last weekend’s home defeat to Crystal Palace was the Hammers’ ninth failure in ten to best a top-tier opponent, a far cry from a haul of nine wins and four draws from their opening 17 league outings.
Those resolutely opposed to Big Sam’s occupancy of the manager’s office credited Sheringham’s summer arrival for this stellar form.
The former Tottenham and Manchester United favourite was recruited by West Ham head honchos David Gold and David Sullivan in response to supporters’ demands for more attractive football to be played.
Underwhelmed by the two seasons of success Allardyce’s pragmatics enabled them to savour, recent results and subsequent slide towards the Premier League’s bottom half indicates Hammers fans weren’t careful about what they wished for, which is why they should be dreading the potential appointment of Sheringham.
With just two clean sheets in nine – against toothless Hull and out of sorts Southampton – it would appear the defensive foundations their current boss established have crumbled following a forced strategy switch to pursue more goals.
Assuming Sheringham’s recruitment brought about this tactical revamp, this defensive neglect is sure to continue if he takes over when Allardyce’s contract expires in June, which spells disaster.
Whether the West Ham fat cats would be willing to risk their all-important Premier League status by appointing a rookie remains to be seen, especially with so many experienced tacticians touted for the post.
Harry Redknapp, Slaven Bilic and David Moyes can all be backed at single-figure prices, with the latter ranking shortest at 3/1.
With Allardyce just 13/20 to still be Hammers boss on the first day of next season (as opposed to 11/10 that he isn’t) it appears a Boleyn Ground summer manager search may well be on the cards.