Hughton or Curbishley are the only real options left for West Ham
Sullivan has backed himself into a corner
Vacancy: Manager of West Ham United. Must be experienced, British, preferably from east London and more than anything, he must be thick skinned.
Insensitivity to criticism probably didn’t make it onto the job description, but former incumbents Avram Grant and Gianfranco Zola will tell you it’s a necessity. Zola in particular faced a season of co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan questioning the ability and belief of his players.
After relegation and the sacking of Grant, the West Ham rumour-mill has gone into overdrive and in the main it has been driven by co-owners Gold and Sullivan.
Never ones to shy away from the media spotlight the duo have, within three days of dismissing the Israeli set out what they want from the new boss and decided they want him to sign on the dotted line within a fortnight.
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“We will wait to see who applies and wait to see what happens generally, but it will be resolved within two weeks, I should think,” Sullivan said. “I think we will definitely get an English manager, or a British manager.
“We do need someone who understands the culture and if you get someone with a knowledge of the East End that’s so much better.”
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Sullivan has backed himself into a corner and the very Scottish but former West Ham defender Malky MacKay is considered one of the favourites.
He has done a fine job at Watford but has only been in charge for two full seasons and his lack of experience could hinder his hopes.
Gus Poyet and Steve McClaren have publically announced they would not be interested, while Martin O’Neill and Sam Allardyce are alleged to have turned down the opportunity in January and managing in the Championship is unlikely to appeal.
Dave Jones is another who has been linked and now his current club Cardiff City won’t be going up his odds have shortened.
Jones however is a Liverpudlian who has never managed or played for a team based in the capital and his inability to take a team like Cardiff, with their spending power and budget into the top flight will also count against him.
Caretaker manager Kevin Keen wants the job on the full-time basis, but despite his long-standing ties to the club, his lack of experience will most likely prove to be his undoing.
So, if Sullivan’s comments are anything to go by it just leaves Chris Hughton and former boss Alan Curbishley.
Stratford-born Hughton played 32 times for the Hammers during his career and after 14 years as a coach at Spurs, was made caretaker then full-time manager of Newcastle.
The owner Mike Ashley is as ruthless and hands on as those in charge of West Ham so the aforementioned thick-skin is something which fits well with Hughton.
He took Newcastle from the Championship to the top flight and his credentials and links to the area make him the favourite with the bookmakers.
Curbishley reluctantly left West Ham as boss in September 2008 and has been out of work since.
The Forest Gate born boss left after not being given the say on transfers in or out of the club, but that was under a different regime and when interviewed by the Advertiser when he first took over the club, Gold promised that “the manager will have the final say on any transfer dealings”.
Curbishley had previously said he would only return to a Premier League club, but the lure of returning to a club obviously so dear to his heart may be a temptation too big to turn down.