Could West Ham Tempt Rafa?

Last updated : 25 September 2017 By Footy Mad - Editor

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic still heads the Premier League sack race betting, with troubled Toffees counterpart Ronald Koeman a close second. Here, our Ian Ogg looks at how the Sky Bet market is shaping up...

Image result for Brighton 1 Newcastle 0The sack race - or the kinder 'next manager to leave his post' betting - is intriguing.

Normally you would expect the bosses of clubs in danger of relegation to dominate this market but there must be some sense of realism. As the excellent Sean Dyche often reminded journalists during Burnley's first Premier League season that they were not underperforming or struggling, that their season was just broadly in line with expectations.

Obviously it depends on the common sense employed by the board and their relationship with their employees which could bring us around to Brighton and Newcastle. Chris Hughton and his team failed to land any significant deals for strikers and has been left short of firepower.

The Seagulls are expected to be involved in a relegation dog-fight and are 6/4 with Sky Bet despite a solid start to the season which sees them lying in 13th after Sunday's defeat of Newcastle.

The Geordies are 15/2 for the drop and Benitez is 12/1 'to win' the sack race whereas Hughton is 28/1 and that is perfectly logical once Mike Ashley's often (seemingly) fractious relationship with his manager is taken into account.

Crystal Palace, 4/6 relegation favourites, have already got one manager and it would be a little surprising - and a little amusing - if they were to act again before any other club and ask Roy Hodgson to clear his desk.

Ronald Koeman (7/2) and Eddie Howe (6/1) will surely be given more time and having initially been keen to look beyond the obvious, it's hard to escape the view that Slaven Bilic is the correct favourite and not that bad a bet at 7/4.

The Hammers are struggling on the pitch and the relationship off the pitch is clearly uneasy with neither Bilic nor David Sullivan and David Gold pulling any punches.

It is not just a poor start to this season that may count against Bilic but a disappointing second half to the last campaign that saw them lose nine games after December, winning six.

If Serge Aurier hadn't been sent off at the weekend, their 2-3 defeat to Spurs may not have had such a flattering scoreline and if the next four games against Swansea, Burnley, Brighton and Crystal Palace don't yield at least seven points then we can expect to be bidding goodbye to the colourful Croatian.

Sack Race Odds:-

Slaven Bilic - 7/4
Ronald Koeman - 7/2
Eddie Howe - 6/1
Mauricio Pellegrino - 10/1
Roy Hodgson - 10/1
Paul Clement - 12/1
Rafael Benitez - 12/1