We’ve got it straight from the biscuit tin – the shortlist of managers West Ham’s owners are considering and the man who is odds-on favourite to manage the Hammers, at least in September 2008.
But first, the candidates:
West Ham’s Final Five
1. Roberto Mancini: Popular choice amongst the fans, can’t speak English (or Icelandic for that matter) and is unlikely to jump to a club outside the Champions League. Maybe if the board weren’t so skint this year they’d bribe him a la Dhabi, but expect Mancini to wait for Hughes to be fired (he’s learning Arabic as we speak – as are a host of other managers).
2. Harry Redknapp: First to issue a denial, just like he did with Newcastle. Not happening, although give Pompey 6 months and if they’re not in the top-10, Harry could be interested.
3. Slaven Bilic: Really, the man who’s odds-on favourite to take his country to the World Cup and lost in the Euro 08 quarterfinals to the strongest-willed team of them all, he’s going to come to West Ham? It will be a coup bigger than Robinho – maybe if they paid extra for the nightlife?
4. Sam Allardyce: The main gripe against Curbs was that his teams (Bolton or Newcastle) didn’t entertain. It’s a bit of a surprise then to see Allardyce on this list, but I assure you that he’s a genuine candidate and may even be a front-runner considering that no one else is interested in the job….
5. ???: The identity of the 5th… short-listed manager is unclear with many different names being suggested – Stuart Pearce, David O’Leary, Paolo Di Canio, Glenn Hoddle, Gary Johnson and even Kevin Keegan and a shock return for Glenn Roeder. However, Curbs is not returning to the post (no one comes back from the dead, right?).