West Ham manager contenders: part one

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Croatia (2006-2012)

- Having temporarily managed Hajduk Split and then a stint leading Croatia’s Under-21s through the European Championship qualification group stages before losing the play-off to Serbia & Montenegro, he led the senior side to the Euro 2008 quarter-finals, a tournament they competed in without one of their star players, Eduardo.

- Failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, but then made it to the European ChampionshipS two years later.

Lokomotiv Moscow (2012-2013)

- Led Lokomotiv to ninth in the league - their worst finishing position since the formation of the Russian league in 1992.

Besiktas (2013-2015)

- Came third in each of his two seasons there.

Former Hammer who was a favourite with fans during his year-long stint before he left for Everton where he spent three years. His job with the Croatian national side is still the best period of his career, both the achievements and the style in which they did it.

And attractive style is what West Ham crave more than anything, although Bilic had the likes Eduardo, Luka Modric, Vedran Korluka and Niko Kranjčar at his will, so it was a task/style made easier.

Lokomotiv was a low point, while coming in the top three of Turkey’s top-flight as manager of one of the country’s ‘Big Three’ is the least to be expected, so again, not impressive. The fact that his most successful post was in international football where matches and get-togethers are few and far between means that the jury is still very much out on his credentials as a manager in any of Europe’s top leagues let alone the hustle and bustle of the most competitive one in the Premier League.

Verdict: RISK


Brondby (2002-2006)

- Won Danish Cup and Danish Superliga.
- Finished league runners-up for three seasons.

Getafe (2007-2008)

- Reached the Copa del Rey final and quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in his one and only season at the Spanish club.

Spartak Moscow (2009-2010)

- Sacked after seven months.

RCD Mallorca (2010-2011)

- Just survived relegation before resigning.

Swansea City (2012-2014)

- Guided The Swans to their first major trophy in the League Cup and an impressive 9th place finish before being sacked for.


- League and cup double for the Qatar based side.

Has the profile, so can possibly attract players with his name alone, has done pretty well, particularly in cup competitions, and plays the kind of passing game that the stereotypical Hammers’ fan wants to see.

I know it’s the way of the game now, but apart from Brondby, which is in his homeland anyway, he doesn’t hang around clubs for long.

Verdict: RISK/HIT


Swansea City (2014-present)

- Just guided Swansea to their highest league position in 33 years.

Good showing in his first season as a first-team manager and has been brought up with a style of play that would go down well at the Boleyn Ground/Olympic Stadium, but he knew the club inside out, which is something that cannot be said about his knowledge of West Ham. Certainly not a guarantee to keep them up.

Verdict: RISK


Bournemouth (2009-2011)

- Took over halfway through 2008-09 season stayed up in League Two despite a transfer embargo and a 17 point deduction.

- Promotion from fourth tier the following season.

Burnley (2011-2012)

- Average spell with the Clarets as they finish eighth, with Howe having taken over just over halfway through the 2010-11 campaign, then 13th the following one.

Bournemouth (2012-present)

- Having joined in the October, Howe and his side secured promotion to the second tier for the first time in 23 years - his second promotion in more or less two full seasons with the club.

- Consolidated position in the Championship then won promotion to the top-light for the first time in the Cherries’ history.

Howe has not managed in the top-flight, but his record is there for all to see. Yes, Bournemouth have had some investment, but considering where the Cherries were when he joined – favourites for relegation to the Conference with no defined style of play – it is pretty remarkable.

It would and has been so in the past when the likes of Watford and Wimbledon made their way through the divisions to the top playing somewhat ‘anti’ football (hoofing it up to the strikers many a time).

Bournemouth have done it like Swansea and I think they will adapt to the Premier League just as well. As far as West Ham are concerned, Howe’s brand of football would go down well, but there is no way he will leave The Cherries this summer.

Verdict: HIT

Who should be the new West Ham manager? Let us know below!

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West Ham United
Eddie Howe
Garry Monk

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