And they’re off!

PLACE your bets as we assess the runners and riders ahead of the great Manuel Pellegrini sack race.

A pitiful two points from the last 21 are nowhere near good enough for a side claiming top six status. Plus, it has been said no Premier League manager can withstand five consecutive defeats and maintain their job. West Ham’s Chilean boss is currently on three with tricky away trips to Chelsea and Wolves looming. So let’s have a scan at the potential appointees for the claret and blue hot seat. In no particular order:

Sean Dyche

Pros: Seems keen and would sort the lamentable defence out. Has plenty of Premier League experience with Burnley, readily confounds the expected goals metric and is in possession of a strong work ethic.
Cons: Would cost a bit prising him from Lancashire. Certain fans (among them the Chairman) might not appreciate his unremitting honesty.
Hair: Brave nineties industrial.
Odds: 5/1

Chris Wilder

Pros: Brilliant and inventive tactician who encourages signature moves such as the overlapping centre-back. Has done wonders with an average Sheffield United squad. Liked by the West Ham Board.
Cons: Less than six months experience in the Premier League. Sheffield United wouldn’t let go of the former full-back without a fight – and especially not to West Ham!
Hair: Silver fox.
Odds: 6/1

Rafael Benitez

Pros: Has worked at the top level including Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid. Stabilised a similar basket case to West Ham while at Newcastle. Good relationship with David Sullivan.
Cons: £££
Hair: Max-era Peter Kay.
Odds: 8/1

Eddie Howe

Pros: An up and coming manager, he has established Bournemouth as a Premier League side.
Cons: He doesn’t want to come to West Ham and the Board don’t want him.
Hair: Luvverly!
Odds: 50/1

David Moyes

Pros: Knows what it is all about and did a brilliant job of keeping West Ham up last time around.
Cons: Wants the Everton job above all. Was treated shabbily by Hammers fans and employers.
Hair: Well seasoned – salt and pepper.
Odds: 15/1

Chris Hughton

Pros: Out of work. Has top flight experience with Newcastle, Norwich and Brighton. Sullivan can sell him as an ex-West Ham player.
Cons: Out of work. Limited tactically, ultra-defensive.
Hair: No fixed abode.
Odds: 5/4 Lump on!

Scott Parker

Pros: Loved by the fans. Would get Sullivan off the hook. Er… That’s it.
Cons: Lack of experience.
Hair: Who would ever forget that razor sharp parting?
Odds: 50/1

Slaven Bilic

Pros: Inexplicably loved by those of a claret and blue persuasion.
Cons: He’s a rubbish coach with very limited tactical awareness – particularly when Dimi isn’t around to bail him out.
Hair: Ludicrous hair transplant. Just For Men’s the lot, beard included.
Odds: 50/1

Paolo Di Canio

Pros: See Scott Parker.
Cons: More baggage than EasyJet.
Hair: Solar panel.
Odds: 1,000/1