Here’s a boss who could sing the right song!

By Rich Sprent
With Rafa Benitez being reportedly too expensive, Diego Simeone, a 100/1 shot, David Moyes is enjoying life in Spain and promised money to spend in the summer, the Irons managerial options seem to be narrowing.
Jurgen Klopp is surely also unlikely even if we were to look at the Dortmund manager, Eddie Howe and Sean Dyche are too inexperienced leaving the ‘usual suspects Hoddle, McLeish, McClaren and the like.ls. So who does it leave?
Michael Laudrup has a cloud over him following his odd exit from South Wales although there’sno doubting his fledgling managerial ability although he may be carrying too much baggage for the owners.
Frank Rijkaard had an excellent pedigree as a player. He steered Barca to success and dallied in Turkey and is  currently unattached having last managed the Saudi national team.
He has the coaching credentials for sure as does Frank De Boer. Both are schooled in the Ajax way but neither has experience of the Premier League and it is arguable whether they have a ‘Plan B’ if the possession football doesn’t work.
Cut from similar cloth to LVG, they could have a slow start in English football if he is anything to go by. Mind you, at the last look, that other (more junior) United weren’t doing too bad if a little ‘direct’ in their approach play.
Slaven Bilic only played 48 games for us and some fans have voiced disapproval at his leaving the club to go to Everton but how many players play for one club? And how many of those make good managers?
His managerial record is interesting one. National team plaudits for his work as the boss of the exciting Croatia team that beat England 3-2 at Wembley all those years ago.
Club management at Locomotiv proved tricky and he was dismissed after their worst finish, 9th, in the Russian Premier League. At Besiktas he is again trending. Excellent team performances v Sp*rs in the Europa League and his side currently top the Turkish league. He is understandably the bookies’ favourite.
There is one name, however,  that hasn’t been mentioned in connection with our job although his team have gone from being relegation fodder to actually competing for the Champions League spots.
He has been described over the past five seasons as being astute in the transfer market; playing a recognisable brand of free flowing attacking football; has a working defensive ethos which allow his teams to play. He is also apparently open to offers in the Summer and has expressed interest in managing in the Premier League.
Sounds impressive? Well Christophe Galtier is! He is the 48 year old coach of Saint Etienne. No, not the 90’s indie band but the Ligue 1 side that currently sit 4th behind only Lyon, Marseille & PSG. He reportedly turned Newcastle down but has indicated that he will consider his options in the Summer.
St Etienne sang that ‘Only love can break your heart’. If the Daves do their homework right then we could be onto the real thing to take us forward. And it’ll be us breaking our rivals hearts.



About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

18 comments on “Here’s a boss who could sing the right song!

  1. There seems to be a notion going around, that anyone with a funny foreign name is a good manager. It just isn’t true.
    Most foreign managers who come to the premiere league, soon disappear back to where they came from. Only a select few succeed here, and those ones require big wages and 200 million to spend on players.( and yes, of course that’s why they succeed here ) Our club cannot afford them, so we are left with the second rate managers with funny foreign names.

    Let’s see now; oh yes. Avram Grant. Yes that’s a very funny foreign name, and a very funny manager too, if I remember.
    Of course they are not all so bad. We could be lucky like Southampton. I like Ronald Koeman very much, but one look at his record shows, that nobody at Southampton could have dreamed that he would have them in 3rd place this season. It really was luck.
    Spurs have tried endless funny foreign names in the last 20 years, without much luck. The last one they fired had 3 funny foreign names, but it was still not enough.
    I would love to think that we could find a surprise package manager who would do the business for us, but I really think the two davids don’t want to take the same foreign risk again so easily.
    Leroy suggested Rijkaard, and went on to say that he had a good spell at Barcelona, before it all went wrong. I don’t want to risk a good spell before it all goes wrong.
    Moyes is the safest bet, but his style is not exactly the open risk taking that everyone seems to want. ( he only has a short contract in Spain)
    Billic would be nice but also not proven.
    Teddy Sheringham should have stayed with us as a coach 15 years ago, then he would have been ready now.
    Nope, at the moment I can’t see past Moyes.

    • sorry Sheringham 9 years ago

    • I’m all for Sam moving on, and it seems that his time with us is very limited. However, I am worried about replacing him with a steady Eddie – someone who will be stable and reliable but not really push us onto greater heights. With our move to the Olympic Stadium just around the corner it is the ideal time to bring in a manager who truly reflects the ambition that this move signifies.

      Of some of the names bandied about, Moyes just represents someone who is just that, a steady Eddie. OK, he had a harsh time at Man Utd and he kept Everton on safe ground but is that really what we want or need? Besides, he has had such a hard time from the media in England during the past year would he really want to come back so soon?

      Then there’s Bilic. OK, West ham fans love him but again, is he a step up? Unproven in the premier league. Not for me, thanks.

      Eddie Howe? Yes, great prospect but still relatively inexperienced and has never managed in the top flight.

      We need someone who has a record of success. Someone who can carry the weight of expectation from Hammers fans as we move into a new era.

      Which brings me to Rafa Benitez. He has a track record of silverware in management.


      Segunda División promotion (1): 1997–98


      Segunda División promotion (1): 2000–01


      La Liga (2): 2001–02, 2003–04
      UEFA Cup (1): 2003–04
      Champions League Finalist 2000 and 2001 (lost to Bayern on penalties in the latter)


      FA Cup (1): 2005–06
      FA Community Shield (1): 2006
      UEFA Champions League (1): 2004–05
      UEFA Super Cup (1): 2005


      Supercoppa Italiana (1): 2010
      FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2010


      UEFA Europa League (1): 2012–13


      Coppa Italia (1): 2013–14
      Supercoppa Italiana (1): 2014

      Individual awards

      Don Balón Award (1): 2002
      UEFA Manager of the Year (2): 2003–04, 2004–05

      Quite a lot of trophies. Certainly more than the other names in the frame. His name has been mentioned a couple of times linked to the Hammers (he has also been linked to the Newcastle job)

      Do you know if Gold & Sullivan have considered him? He surely should be on their shortlist. There is talk that he would cost too much. He’s on £3.5m at Napoli. How much are we paying Sam? Surely he wouldn’t break the bank. You have to pay more to get the best available. Surely, the Davids will not consider just going for a cheap (and unproven) option. I hope not anyway.

      He loves the Premier League and life in England. He would love nothing more than to come back to the right club and push for regular European football.

      Why are we not in for him? Or are we?

      • I agree with your comments and feel Rafa would be a good choice.

        3.5m a year is not too much for a top manager especially compared to what some of the players are on (and cost once taking into account transfer / agent fees)

        We need a Manager who will help atttract top players to the club.

  2. I like this manager, he’s doing well with St Etienne which is fourth in Legue 1, and Saint Etienne is not PSG, Lione or Marseille…

  3. Moyes has a track record of playing survival football, if you want that type of manager go for Pullis, neither of these managers despite long careers have ever won anything better than promotion. There is a reason for that, despite them thinking that they are successful for never being relegated they are risk averse, which is the same reason we are in 8th and not in the top 4, because when he should have twisted our manager stuck with the survival formula turning 3 points into 1 on too many occaisions. This season competing for the top 4 was well within our reach but his team choices and negative substitutions have denied us. I can agree with the sentiment that English/British managers could do it but the English managers cannot attract the big names without paying over inflated salaries. The guy you mention in this article possible he could be a solution but he is not a name that has any international weight yet, I think most of the support is up for a change, with the elections coming up I think I would vote an end to the austerity football provide by SA but thanks for turning the club around you were successful in that.

  4. When I look at it, I wish I could see a manager that I would like, but I don’t see one. Good british managers just don’t seem to exist anymore. The clamour for foreign managers is not something I join in with, because it’s always a guess as I said earlier. I can only look at what the 2 davids are likely to decide. To me it still seems like Moyes.

  5. The trouble is that whichever way you dress it up about foreigner managers in the premiership the fact is that there are 8 in the Prem,6 of them are in the top 6 positions in the league.Of the other two Martinez took everton into the europa league last year.That only leaves Poyet at sunderland & im not sure anyone could perform miracles up there at the moment.The highest placed English manager is BFS,says it all really 😉

  6. I don’t think Moyes will come back life is to good out here,the players and managers mix with the locals they are not treated like pop and film stars if you go up to a famous player and ask for an autograph they look at you as if your stupid,I sit at bars and restaurants surrounded by Valencia football and basketball players and to everyone they are just punters.the weather is just a little better and the beer is very very cheap.
    Moyes swapped Manchester for that pain and he earns nearly as much as BFS,
    Would you swap that ?

  7. My choice before Sam came was Steve Clarke. He was never given a chance by West Brom or Liverpool, but had good foundations under Mourino at chelsea. He actually argued with Zola that defence was as important as attack, but sat back in their second year to allow zola a free reign.
    I would still like to see him come back, perhaps with Ricketts ( keen ) as coach.

  8. Don’t think you can catch Ricketts at his age,
    But agree he was a good manager just not the right time,
    Problem is there is no going back and we need a new face,
    The problem is it’s easy to say bye bye BFS but not so easy to pick a new face who will keep the majority happy, boring and safe feels good to some but if I wanted that I would not have supported this club,there can be entertaining and safe but I think that’s what the minority’s worried about,they would sooner finish 11 th or 10 th every year and watch the crap we have been fed for the last 3 months.

  9. I think the change always face fear: BFS can (but I’m not so sure about it) guarantee a middle League table position. Ok, but the question is: are you satisfied about this and do you have fun? My answer is NO. So the only solution is to change. No pain, no gain.

  10. We need to be careful here if Allardyce is to go at the end of the season, next couple of seasons are huge and this new appointment would have to be for the long term. Ther eis only one candidate for me and that’s Eddie Howe. He’s young but not as inexperienced in management, on his second spell with Bournemouth and also managed Burnley and has done really well in each job. Perfect to bring in the new era, top young English manager, play attacking football and could be in for the long haul. His image would be fitting to the new era at West Ham and would be a popular choice, a real breath of fresh air.

    Lets remember that David Moyes took the Everton job at 38, look at Martinez and AVB. Howe is the perfect and should be only choice should Allardyce leave.

  11. The only safe way to finish nearer the top is to buy 5 more quality players so that when we get injuries we don’t have to rely on the aging likes of Nolan Cole and Demel etc to replace them. That way we get a more even season of results.

    But of course a new manager who can take us forward is also a good idea.

  12. Howe sounds interesting on his record so far, but I’ve not seen enough of him myself.

  13. My point is avout his age, I’ve seen him ruled out because of inexperience but how many paters have been successful going straight into management? Look at Moyes going from Preston to Everton at age 38, or AVB’s age or Robert Martinez. So Eddie Howe should be treated no differently. And he has experience from his first spell at Bournemouth, then Burnley and now Bournemouth again and he’s done really well at each job.

    Young, likeable, attach minded, great new image for the club to bring into the new era. We should be looking to build this club up from the ground roots, have someone oversee the development of youth to the first team. Going foreign is too risky and the other names mentioned have too much baggage and that include Moyes which is Allardyce esqe as is Martin O’Neill.

    In saying that Allardyce may sign a new deal but I cannot see it happening

  14. Moyes will be the chairmans’ 1st choice but he don’t inspire me much. My point about the foreign names being mentioned is that they are just names, totally unknowns when it comes to the prem league, and as you say too risky at this crucial time. it seems a lot of people just want change for the sake of it and are prepared to throw it all in the air hope it comes down the right way. I would rather have a brit because they already have a good knowledge of the hardest league in the world. If Eddy Howe gets Bournmouth promoted against all the odds, perhaps he’ll want to step up to a much bigger club.

  15. It is all very well and indeed very easy say sack BS and bring in a new manager. But the reality that none of the names currently being bandied about make much sense, for the following reasons;

    They are out of our league and are unrealistic for money or class reasons.(top class managers go to top class clubs for top class wages).

    They are too young/inexperienced.

    They are just a safe option and are no better than what we currently have.(so why bother wasting all that money to preserve the status quo?).

    They are completely wrong for the club or represent such a left field option that it is ridiculous.
    Finally they are not good enough to be manager of our great club.

    So all things considered although I’m not against the idea of a change of manager there just hasn’t been an outstanding candidate shouting out “I’m the man!”

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