Wednesday, May 27

West Ham gaffer: the candidates

Still no hard news on who will be in the Upton Park hot seat. Some of the names mentioned were always wildly over ambitious, and it's hard to believe there was ever much chance of Rafa Benitez, Jurgen Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti coming.

The early favourite is Slaven Bilic, who I'm not so sure about. He was a great player and would be a crowd-pleasing choice — and the first West Ham manager to speak four languages and play in his own rock band. Bilic was a good manager of Croatia too, although international management doesn't involve buying and selling players. As a club manager he's not been so great, getting sacked at Lokomotiv Moscow for finishing ninth and coming third in the league at Besiktas, though clearly a strong character capable of improvement.

Steve McLaren wouldn't be that popular, but has won the League Cup and got to the Europa League final with Middlesbrough. After the England job he led FC Twente to the Dutch title, a big achievement, but was less successful at Wolfsburg, resigned at Forest and got Derby to the play-offs only to blow it. But an upgrade on Big Sam's CV and he has also worked at Man United with Alex Ferguson.

The Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa, has also been mentioned. He comes from Argentina and would be an interesting choice, but would have to learn English and adapt quickly to the Premier League. Another name was Roberto Di Matteo, who has resigned from Schalke, who has won the Champions League at Chelsea, but then Avram Grant nearly did that too. There's also Dick Emery, sorry, I mean Unai Emery, the Sevilla coach, linked with WHU by the Daily Mail and Michael Laudrup, who won the League Cup at Swansea but was sacked after losing at West Ham the following season.

With European football coming in July West Ham need to make an appointment soon, as we don't want whoever gets it to feel like they were third or fourth choice. The board have been considering candidates for several months it seems, so let's get it done quickly. Though maybe we should rule out John Carver…


mj said...

According to Fifa on Xbox, I'm the best manager ever.

Pete May said...

Right, we'll throw £3million a year at you then… you just have to say we need to be more clinical after every game.

mj said...

And with Andy Carroll & Valencia up front!! To be fair, it is set on "easy"!