With speculation intensifying, West Ham have released a statement regarding their search for a new manager.
David Moyes was released on Tuesday and instantly Rafa Benitez was one of three main candidates linked with replacing him.
Whilst Newcastle fans remain in fear of losing Rafa, if Mike Ashley doesn’t change his ways, the idea that he could supposedly end up at West Ham is a thought beyond the comprehension of most NUFC supporters.
However, until Rafa Benitez signals any improvement in how he is being treated at St James Park, by signing an extended contract, nothing can be said for certain.
The bookies made Rafa third favourites on Wednesday, after Moyes left, however he has now come in from 8/1 to even money favourite ahead of Manuel Pellegrini and Paulo Fonseca.
Like Mike Ashley, the West Ham owners aren’t shy of using the media to push their agenda, and Hammers Co-Chairman is surely up to mischief with his quotes in today’s official statement.
David Sullivan declaring ‘We are preparing to appoint a manager who has a proven record of success at the highest level of the game.’
The question is…if they have somebody definitely lined up, why is there any need to put this teaser out, unless of course the idea is to further unsettle things at another club, as well as placating their supporters?
When you talk about ‘highest level’, well at the moment Rafa Benitez is in the Premier League, whilst the other two main candidates are in China (Pellegrini) and the Ukraine (Fonseca).
As for ‘proven level of success at the highest level’…
Has won the Portuguese Cup with Braga and Ukrainian league and cup with Shakhtar Dontesk.
After managing in the likes of Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, he eventually came to Europe in 2004 and apart from winning the Premier League and League Cup at Man City, he has only won the Intertoto(!) back in 2004 at Villarreal.
He won two La Liga titles and UEFA Cup with Valencia.
Champions League and FA Cup with Liverpool.
FIFA Club World Cup with Inter Milan.
Europa League with Chelsea.
Italian Cup with Napoli.
With success at the highest level as the supposed benchmark, Fonseca clearly wouldn’t fit that description, Pellegrini could but only in that spell at Manchester City with one PL title in three years and more money to spend than any other club. Rafa Benitez clearly the most successful of the trio…unless David Sullivan has somebody else in mind, or of course, if it is simply more fantasy from him?
West Ham Official Statement:
‘West Ham United would like to assure supporters that the Board are extremely confident of appointing a high-calibre first-team manager, who has a proven record both in the Premier League and European football.
The Club expect to make an announcement within the next seven days, following a thorough and strategic process that has identified the best possible candidates.
Joint Chairman David Sullivan said:
“I would like to reassure our supporters that we have left no stone unturned in selecting the individual we believe is the right man to take West Ham United forward.
“We have followed a process that is progressing entirely to plan and are now very close to reaching an agreement.
“This is an exciting time for our football club.
“We are preparing to appoint a manager who has a proven record of success at the highest level of the game.”
Next Permanent West Ham Manager Betting from BetVictor (odds yesterday in brackets)
1/1 (8/1) Rafa Benitez
6/4 (6/5) Manuel Pellegrini
4/1 (5/2) Paulo Fonseca
25/1 Sam Allardyce
33/1 Mick McCarthy
33/1 Martin O’Neill
33/1 Chris Coleman
33/1 Steve Bruce
All next Permanent West Ham Manager betting see HERE