Avram Grant 2010-2011
Avram Grant always seems like a lovely bloke but he is comfortably the worst West Ham manager in living history. Having taken Portsmouth down the year before he became West Ham manager, the man who Chelsea players described as having idea’s 25 years behind the times came into the hot seat replacing Gianfranco Zola. While not a blue-ribbon side the club still had some very good players with Parker, Green. Ba, Noble and others at his disposal West Ham finished bottom of the League and were quite frankly abject winning only 7 games in the League that season.
Grant started the season by leading the club to its worst ever start in the Premier League era, tellingly West Ham gained their first point when Grant could not take charge of a game against Stoke due to his observance of the Jewish holy day Yom Kippur.
West Ham actually managed to win more Cup games that League games that year but Grant received less abuse than other managers mainly because of his treatment by the board where an ill-advised attempt to approach Martin O’Neill was made public and people felt genuine sympathy for Grant.
Grant was eventually sacked immediately after the team’s capitulation to Wigan which confirmed relegation captain Scott Parker famously had to ensure Grant travelled home with the team after his sacking. A terrible appointment but a very nice man.
Glenn Roeder 2001-2003
Roeder became West Ham manager following Harry Redknapp’s departure in 2001. West Ham had made no secret of their desire to have either Alan Curbishley or Steve McClaren but failed in their approach for both and so Roeder was offered the opportunity and became according to reports at the time the lowest paid Manager in the league.
West Ham fans were immediately underwhelmed by the appointment and Roeder had a mountain to climb. West Ham did well in his first season finishing 7th despite consecutive thrashings by Everton and Blackburn. West Ham still had a very strong side with the like of Cole, Carrick. Defoe Di Canio Kanoute James so hope were high of a good season with what appeared to be a progressive young manager. The next season was a disaster the club were relegated with 42 points with comfortably one of the most talented squads the club had assembled in recent years. Roeder also collapsed due to a benign brain tumour after a match which meant Sir Trevor Brooking had to oversee first team affairs leading the side to wins and a draw in the final 3 games of the season.
Roeder had fallen out with Di Canio and clearly had lost the ability to motivate the side, despite this he returned after his illness but was quickly fired after a 2-0 defeat to Rotherham.
Roeder was an accomplished player and by all accounts a very good coach but he was very obviously out his depth at West Ham, he has had spell in Charge of Norwich and Newcastle with varying degrees of success he currently acts as a managerial advisor for Stevenage.
Lou Macari 1989-1990
Lou Macari was appointed following the sacking of John Lyall after relegation in 1989, he was the first person to manage the team who hadn’t previously worked for the club in some capacity and amazingly was only the 6th manager in the clubs history.
Macari had a very distinguished playing career and had managed Swindon Town to successive promotions seeing the Robins move from the then 4th Division to Division 2. Macari joined the club and immediately earned a reputation as a harsh disciplinarian demanding complete commitment on the training pitch and a professional approach to diet and “refuelling” of it, his managerial style led him to clash with senior players such as Julian Dicks and Tony Gale and despite signing some players who would go on to be West Ham stalwarts Ian Bishop, Trevor Morley, Ludek Miklosko and Martin Allen, the club were languishing 10th in the old second division having been beaten by Torquay in the FA Cup and thrashed by Oldham in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final. Macari was also facing FA charges relating to alleged betting irregularities while at his former club Swindon.
Macari resigned in mid-February 1990 to be replaced by Billy Bonds.
Macari went onto to manage other clubs most notably Stoke and Celtic with success, he no longer works in coaching but acts as a pundit on MUTV and has set up a street retreat to house those sleeping rough in Stoke on Trent.