Our Greatest Managers – Part 7 (The Outcome)
Part seven of my search to find the greatest ever West Ham top-flight manager continues with the final part.
If you haven’t read parts one to six yet then it is probably best that you do so first. Part one explains how each manager’s performance will be judged and the formula.
So, in my quest to find who is statistically the greatest West Ham top-flight manager ever to guide us through top-flight league campaigns.
We now head into the last round, so let’s recap the current standings that we rolled over from part 6.
The last round covers average points per season. To achieve this, I had to even the scores between those who managed 42 league games and those who contained 38 league games. To do this, I worked out the average point per game, then multiplied it by thirty-eight to give me an equal figure for all managers. The same was done for those who were dismissed during a season.
The first four managers, King, Fenton, Greenwood & Lyall, managed under two points for a win. So, to achieve their average points over 38 games, I multiplied all their wins by 3, added a point for each draw, and divided that by the number of games, and times it 38, which would give the equivalent average of a 38-game season.
Syd King won 136 games = 408 points at 3 for a win; he drew 82 games, taking his point tally to 490. Divide that by the number of games he managed, 378, giving an average point per game of 1.29. Multiply by 38, and we get a 38-game average point score of 49
So, Here we go with the last round scores.
Bottom of the pile with an average of just 33 points, achieved in the worst Premier League Season West Ham have ever had;
1 point goes to Avram Grant.
2 points go to Franco Zola, who still averaged 10 more points than Avram with a score of 43 points.
3 points go to Sham, who averaged just 44 points across his three seasons with West Ham in the PL.
4 points for Billy Bonds. The greatest of players but not so great as a manager. His average was 45 points.
5 points to Pelllegrini. Only afforded 57 games as manager. His average points per season is 47 points. Glen Roeder is next up; his average points per season is 48, scoring him 6 points. (Seven points in Roeder’s second season were under Sir Trevor Brooking who stood in for Roeder when he was taken ill)
7 Points to Ron Greenwood, who also averaged 48 points, but his were achieved over far more games.
8 points to Alan Pardew. A great full season in the Premier League sadly fell apart the following season despite the signings of Carlos Tevez and Mascherano. His average is 49 points.
9 points also with 49 points is Syd King. He led West Ham to our first seasons in the top flight before being relegated nine seasons later.
10 points go to the legend that is John Lyall. Twelve top-flight seasons give him an average of 49 points, buoyed by the record points tally of 84 in 1985/86.
11 points, Slaven Bilic. Under him, we had our best PL season, 2025/16, until we were super-seeded by Moyes in 2021. The last season at Upton Park will live forever in the memory of those who lived it. Slav averaged 50 points a season.
12 points to Harry Redknapp. Managed more PL games then any other weve had, also one of two managers to achieve three top 10 finishes in a row.
13 points with an average of 51 points, Alan Curbishley. Led us to the great escape and steadied the ship the following season. Maybe if the Icelandics hadn’t had their financial troubles, it could have been different for him.
14 points, also with an average of 51 points, Ted Fenton. The founder of the academy process. Born in West Ham, they played for West Ham and helped restore the Hammers to the top flight after 25 years in Division 2.
The winner scores a maximum of 15 points and that goes to….David Moyes. So far, his average points per season sit at 55. He delivered our best PL season in 2021, followed by another top-10 finish in 2022. 2023 disappointed in the league, and his style of play is not easy with many fans, but there is no doubt that he has brought stability to the club, not seen possibly since the Redknapp seasons.
So that completes the six rounds of scoring; now for the final table where we find out who is, statistically, West Hams’s greatest manager in top-flight football.
So there we have it, David Moyes is a clear winner to be crowned, statistically, the greatest top-flight manager of West Ham United. I use the word Statistically because you can’t quantify fans’ feelings towards a certain manager or playing style.
My Top 3 are John Lyall, Harry Redknapp and then Slaven Bilic. Moyes will sit 4th for me.
What we can’t argue about is that while he divides the fan base to this day, David Moyes deserves a lot of respect for what he has achieved while at West Ham.
By the way, this is not the end of the discussion; next up, we will be judging who is the greatest manager we have had in Cup football. Once we know who that is, we can combine the two to crown whoever is the most excellent manager of West Ham United.
Wow Nigel, that is some work you have put in there – great job !
For me, I am not a Moyes fan but I have come to terms with the fact that statistically he comes out on top. If the football became a bit less passive then I would be on board as the relative success he has brought us is undeniable.
I am exactly with you on my favourite three, Lyall, Redknapp and Bilic, although I can’t make up my mind in which order. Bilic being in both of our top three’s may surprise a few, he did lose the plot at the end but I really think that was down to the board, who didn’t seem to really want him and definitely didn’t back him. But that last season at Upton Park was unforgettable.