West Ham’s FA Cup ejection was highly anticipated even before Sam Allardyce named the youth team to play in-form Nottingham Forest in the third round, but no one would have forecast the 5-0 margin with which they were despatched by.
The nature of this pasting rocketed Allardyce into short-price favourite to be the next Premier League manager to vacate his post, with odds as short as 4/11 saying Big Sam will be the next boss to face the axe.
Having put Allardyce’s price through the liposuction process, the fat extracted was spread around a host of managers with teams in only marginally better positions than the Hammers, meaning the best value punts in this market must be found elsewhere.
His Aston Villa side were also sent packing from the FA Cup by lower league opposition, but the Villans’ 2-1 home loss to League One strugglers Sheffield United with a side almost as strong as it could’ve been is arguably more embarrassing than getting thumped by a Championship promotion contender on the road.
For both clubs, the fact remains that the FA Cup sits somewhere close to the bottom of the priority list when drawing up season expectations and going out in the third round, regardless of the manner of defeat, will not factor into the employability of whoever their manager is.
Villa have lost four from their last six league games, while West Ham have suffered five losses in seven. Not entirely dissimilar records; yet Lambert’s name is rarely mentioned in relation to the sack race.
Norwich’s Chris Hughton must also come into consideration at 8/1.
A major outlay aimed at improving the team’s attacking threat hasn’t had the effect that those bankrolling the transfers would’ve hoped and with the Canaries just three points above the drop zone, should a run of results that’s brought no win in six worsen his price will definitely waver.
Further cause for avoiding Allardyce’s next manager to go price is the open letter of support issued from Irons’ owners David Gold and David Sullivan, so look at the longer odds suspects when placing bets on this market.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date
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