West Ham United have now won one of their last dozen Premier League games, and this dramatic downturn in form makes manager Sam Allardyce's prospects bleak.
Big Sam is out of contract at Upton Park this summer, and for the first time this term he has seen his Hammers fall out of the top half. Club co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan set Allardyce a clear brief of playing better football and finishing in the top 10.
While West Ham are still even-money with bet365, Betfred, Betway and Coral to accomplish that, their recent struggles suggest that price is somewhat short. Allardyce may once again become a victim of his own earlier success, should the slide not be addressed and this key performance target missed.
Managers from left, right and centre seem to be linked with taking over the Upton Park hotseat. Swansea City head coach Garry Monk, a relative rookie compared to Allardyce and his 25-year managerial career, was the latest name mentioned in the tabloids.
It’s former Premier League bosses Rafa Benitez (a best-price 2/1 with BetVictor) and David Moyes (9/4 with the same bookie) who currently head the next Hammers manager market.
Ex-player Slaven Bilic (a top price of 5/1 with BetVictor also) would be a popular choice with the West Ham fanbase, while recently axed Sunderland coach Gus Poyet (8/1 with that firm) is mentioned largely because of his son Diego’s presence on the Upton Park books.
That begs the question where will Big Sam go? Taking over at Sunderland, despite Allardyce’s ill-fated spell at bitter Tyne and Wear rivals Newcastle United, is his most likely destination, if the Unibet market on which club he will be at next term.
Odds of 5/4 say Allardyce will be Black Cats boss by the opening day of the season, but remaining with the Hammers is a 5/2 chance ahead of QPR at 7/4.
There are four games to go this term yet, and West Ham battle Burnley at home, then Aston Villa away and host Everton before a final day duel at Newcastle. Win two of those and Allardyce’s side shall reach 50 points, a threshold that has been enough for a top 10 finish in eight of the last 10 campaigns.
Betting tip: West Ham beat Burnley @6/5 with Paddy Power.