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West Ham United

Who are the bookies’ favourites to replace Slaven Bilic at West Ham?

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As reported by the Daily MailWest Ham United have begun searching for Slaven Bilic’s replacement, despite the Croatian having a year left on his contract.

The news comes towards the end of what has been a difficult season for the Hammers, who have already lost 14 matches this campaign compared to just eight last year. The club also entered the international break with the 2nd worst form in the Premier League.

If Bilic were to be replaced, he would leave as a victim of his own success, after raising expectations in East London with a 7th place finish and impressive 62-points haul in his first year in charge.

However, as is so often the case in football, memories are short-lived. The club hierarchy is sounding out potential candidates, someone who they believe can guide them to a stature befitting of the London Stadium.

Roberto Mancini – 5/2

The current favourite to be next permanent manager, 5/2 via Paddy Power, is Roberto Mancini. The Italian was instrumental, albeit in more favourable circumstances, in building Manchester City up to become Premier League giants, successfully delivering their first league title in 44 years.

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Prior to his success in England, Mancini won three straight league titles at Inter Milan. However, his second stint, and most recent managerial role, ended with him leaving by ‘mutual consent’ last August.

Despite this, and a mediocre spell at Galatasaray, he is still a strong candidate for the position. Knowledge and experience in the league, performing at a club with high expectations and an FA Cup victory, are all good reasons why he should be considered. His current availability explains the short odds.

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Joe is a suffering Blackpool fan. Having banned himself from matches in protest at England's worst club owners; he now watches any other game, often writing about them here for The Boot Room.

Leicester City

West Ham and Leicester should pounce for Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri

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One player certain to be on the move this summer is Stoke City midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who will put an end to an unhappy spell at the bet365 Stadium, but could still stay in the Premier League to West Ham or Leicester.

Sky Bet offer odds as low as 1/10 that Shaqiri will depart this summer, with West Ham the leading Premier League club in the betting at 8/1 and Leicester City not far behind at 10/1.

That’s not to say that a stay in England is certain, particularly given that the two Milan clubs are favourites with Inter at 6/1 and AC Milan at 13/2, with Lyon also in the running at 8/1 level with the Hammers.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The winger has not hidden his disappointment with the team’s struggles this season and the Potters now face an uphill battle if they are to avoid relegation from the top flight.

The Swiss international will not entertain the idea of playing second tier football after a decorated career has previously seen him play for the likes of Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.

Having failed to live up to expectations since Mark Hughes brought him to England in 2015, he may be keen to make the move abroad, but with finances likely to be more attractive to remain in the Premier League he may not rule out such a move.

Leicester could be forced to sign a replacement for Riyahd Mahrez whilst West Ham will also be looking for options out wide when Joao Mario’s loan spell comes to an end.

His pace, power and strength could catch the eye of both sides but they will have their work cut out to convince him to remain in England this summer.

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West Ham United

England hopeful Joe Hart’s latest West Ham error has harpooned his World Cup hopes

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Everything seemed to finally be falling into place for West Ham’s loanee goalkeeper Joe Hart. Having been benched by David Moyes, he made a man of the match return against Chelsea as he emerged the hero on his return to Stamford Bridge.

Then everything came crashing back to earth in disastrous fashion at the London Stadium on Monday evening.

Hart has gone from a steady and reliable option for one of the best sides in the Premier League and a clear first choice for England to a calamitous liability for a team fighting relegation and his spot on the plane to Russia is in doubt.

With Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland excelling, the latter in the opposite net on Monday night as Hart slipped up by producing his fourth error leading to a goal this season.

(Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Not only did Joe Hart fumble the ball but it was just the latest reminder for Gareth Southgate that he cannot trust his most experienced man in Russia.

He will likely make the 23 man squad, partly out of loyalty and thanks for his role in securing qualification as Southgate has previously suggest would be the case, but also for his experience of such tournaments which could be key for novices like Butland and Pickford.

Burnley‘s Nick Pope may feel aggrieved if he is to miss out, but Hart’s experience and leadership role within the England dressing room may be too important to risk by not selecting him. Even with that in mind though, Southgate has proven himself to be ruthless as he did with his easing out of Wayne Rooney.

Whilst Rooney’s struggle for form saw him dropped from the side, leading to his international retirement, Hart’s can surely only have the same influence.

As Southgate looks to build a new look set-up with the Three Lions, featuring a young back three full of new names such as Harry Maguire, Alfie Mawson and James Tarkowski, Hart will no longer have such a key presence and it seems an opportune time to blood a new first choice in his place.

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West Ham United

West Ham’s decision to retain David Moyes next season is a mistake

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David Moyes is set to remain as West Ham manager, say The Times, as the newspaper has revealed that the Scotsman is in talks to extend his contract beyond the end of the current season.

The ex-Sunderland boss was brought in to the club in November after the dismissal of Slaven Bilic tasked with keeping the Hammers in the Premier League after a woeful start. Five months on, safety is far from secure but looks more likely than not.

Though he is yet to be officially offered a new deal, he is in talks with David Gold and David Sullivan over a long-term deal to secure his future at the London Stadium.

However, the decision to keep Moyes on will not be a popular one with fans. His defensive tactics, questionable signings and lack of substantial improvements on the field have done little to convince.

(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Coming in to the club with a trashed reputation having taken Sunderland down, Moyes had a point to prove and has done that to some extent by stabilising a club in turmoil off the field with fan protests continuing in the stands and around the ground.

Good results against Southampton and Chelsea were quickly forgotten though as the ex-Everton boss selected a team with five defenders and no natural striker at home in a must win game against second from bottom Stoke City.

His tactical reluctance to attack and stubborn desire to defend first almost harks back to the days of Sam Allardyce, a manager with an acceptable record at the club but who was detested by fans for failing to ‘play the West Ham way’.

His only major signings to date, Jordan Hugill from Preston, who is yet to start, and Patrice Evra on a free transfer, have had next to no impact on the first team and have only fueled criticism of the club’s transfer policy.

The decision appears to do little to aid the club’s owners in their quest to please fans and equally shows a short-term focus on the club’s goals given that many fans remain unconvinced by Moyes.

If he is to stay, Moyes will need backing in the summer in financial terms and that will have to be substantial if it is to entirely convert Moyes’ style in east London to capture the imagination of Irons’ fans.

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