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Sunday, 24 November 2013

West Ham: Will Allardyce be the next manager axed?

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According to the bookies there are four managers in real danger of losing their jobs before Father Christmas delivers joy to the masses. One of them is struggling West Ham chief Sam Allardyce.

The Hammers boss was never the fans' choice following relegation to the Championship in 2011 but he has succeeded in every challenge laid down by the two Davids. He took them back up at the first time of asking and kept them in the Premier League comfortably last season, however, this campaign looks to be his toughest assignment yet.

Big samWith his number one striker Andy Carroll injured, and with no sign of a return to action, the Irons are struggling for goals and hovering just above the relegation zone. Their infamous 4-6-0 system has produced only one result - but what a result it was - away at rivals Tottenham, but the fans are starting to get restless. Although they have the likes of Downing and Jarvis, who can whip in dangerous balls into the box, there is simply no-one in the box able to react to them. 

Yesterday it took West Ham deep into injury time before they even registered a shot on target - AT HOME! That is simply not good enough and something has to change. Whether that be the manager, who although will never be a legend at the Boleyn Ground has begrudgingly won the respect of most of the West Ham fans, or a change in system, something must happen.

David Gold and David Sullivan though are incredibly loyal to the men they hire and it would be a huge shock to see Big Sam taste the bullet once again. That is demonstrated by the bookies' odds of 14/1 for Sam to be the next manager to lose his job. But, West Ham face all three sides below them in their next four games. Lose them and it could be a black Christmas in the Allardyce household. 

However, it's Martin Jol at Fulham who is the odds on favourite for the chop, and West Ham travel to Craven Cottage next weekend. The Dutchman, who has just been joined in the dugout by former Manchester United number two Renee Meulensteen, is 1/3 at Paddy Power and has been on the ropes for almost six months. 

Fulham were gliding through the back end of last season and were almost sucked into the drop zone, but have been unable to shake off that losing mentality. Jol could well be on his way soon.

Norwich City's Chris Hughton is another of the bookies' favourites. They lost their fourth game in six yesterday against his former side Newcastle United and, like Jol, Hughton has been strongly linked with getting the boot. Their recent victory over West Ham may have bought him some much-needed time but the Canaries face their own six-pointer next week against Crystal Palace. Lost that and it could well be curtains for Hughton. If you want to benefit from his demise, head down to Sky Bet where they are offering odds of 7/1.

Also in the mix is Cardiff City boss Malkay Mackay. The former Celtic and Norwich defender has worked wonders with the Bluebirds but has an unstable chairman above him and their relationship is thought to be anything but easy. But one thing's for sure, Malkay's stock in the game is rising with every single weekend and he would have no problem finding another club.

Here are the current odds in the managerial sack race.

Martin Jol 1/3 Paddy Power

Chris Hughton 7/1 Sky Bet

Malkay Mackay 10/1 Sky Bet

Sam Allardyce 14/1 Sky Bet

After that the market goes out to 33/1 where you'll find the high-flying Newcastle chief Alan Pardew. Has he turned his fortunes around at St James' Park or could he be unceremoniously axed at the drop of  a hat?

Calling all West Ham fans: Do you want Big Sam to be axed? Do you think he can turn your club around? Does he deserve time to turn it around? Who do you think will be the next to go? Can West Ham see off Fulham next weekend? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

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