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With every defeat and every supine performance, Slaven Bilić edges closer to the exit door at West Ham United. The likeable Croatian is hanging on for now, but sections of the fans have already turned on him. It might not be long before the players do the same.

The Hammers' terrible start to the season has brought Bilić's lack of tactical nous into focus. Against Newcastle on Saturday, they were a clueless, directionless mess, there for the taking and powerless to stop Newcastle's relentless surge of determination.

Bilić has reportedly been given more time to turn it around at the London Stadium but, if improvements aren't made, he will surely be relieved of his duties. Here are five managers who could replace him.

Rafael Benítez

A coach of considerable experience and clout, Benítez knows how to organise a group of players. He is immensely popular with Newcastle fans but the West Ham board will be acutely aware of the Spaniard's fractious relationship with Mike Ashley.

If Newcastle fail to add further quality to their squad before the end of the window, Benítez will be left unsatisfied and disillusioned, potentially leaving the door open for the Hammers.

It wouldn't be easy, of course, and convincing Rafa to join a team so desperately short on confidence and ideas is less-than attractive, but he has never been one to shy away from the big job and, if he gets to the point where he views his position at Newcastle as untenable, a move to London may seem like the best option.

Sean Dyche

Thanks to five hugely productive years at the Burnley helm, Dyche has become one of the most respected English coaches in the country. He has guided the Clarets to the top-flight and established them there, too, and his vision for building a foundation for long-term success has not gone unnoticed at other clubs.

Despite West Ham's current position in the league, they are viewed as a ‘bigger club' than Burnley, and the idea of managing at a bigger stadium with a more generous budget may be appealing to Dyche, who may feel he has earned the right to be given such an opportunity.

Although he wouldn't be viewed as a particularly exotic or exciting appointment, Dyche would offer sustainability, honesty and graft. It's worked out pretty well for him at Turf Moor.

Brendan Rodgers

Between his impressive work at Swansea City and his ultimately tortured spell in charge of Liverpool, the Ulsterman may feel he has unfinished business in the Premier League.

People have their opinions of Rodgers, but he did come as close as any coach to winning the Premier League title with Liverpool, while he has done a fine job restoring his reputation at Celtic by going unbeaten and winning the treble in his first season north of the border.

Rodgers' insistence on playing high-pressing, attacking football may come as a refreshing change to the lethargic displays that have become a regular feature of Bilić's reign. However, Rodgers is happy at Celtic Park having already won the league title with the Hoops and is also in the Champions League.

West Ham may find it difficult persuading the 44-year-old to return to the Premier League under such risky circumstances. And Rodgers might feel – with some justification – that he would command a job at a top-seven club.

Slaviša Jokanović

The Fulham manager has been a name on the lips of West Ham fans for a while now and, with the mood plummeting under Bilić, some have called for the board to make an approach.

Jokanović has been outstanding at Fulham. Appointed in December 2015, the Serbian steered the Cottagers away from relegation before launching a bid for the top-six the following season. They eventually lost in the play-off semi-finals but the Fulham's boss won himself plenty of admirers.

Jokanović has proven to be an astute tactician and operator in the transfer market, too. He has nurtured impressive teenage left-back, and Liverpool transfer target, Ryan Sessegnon, as well as Celtic hot-shot Moussa Dembélé and overseen the best season of Tom Cairney's career.

Under Jokanović, Fulham have been transformed into a high-energy, intricate attacking side and West Ham are believed to be mulling over a potential move for the 49-year-old.

Roy Hodgson

Again, the former England manager may not an appointment to set the pulses racing, but when in need, it's never a bad idea to bring in a seasoned veteran who has seen it all before.

Crystal Palace's appointment of Sam Allardyce last season proved to be a masterstroke as he guided the Eagles to safety and Hodgson can have that same galvanising impact on West Ham's players.

Hodgson is still well-regarded as a Premier League manager thanks to his impressive stints at Fulham and West Brom and, while he may be 70 and not the most long-term solution, his extensive experience and knowledge of the game may be just the antidote to arrest West Ham's worrying slide and steady the ship before things turn really ugly.


Premier League