The Managers – Our Greatest Cup Manager

20 Feb, 2024
written by Nigel Kahn

 

The Managers – Our Greatest Cup Manager

In West Ham United’s 123-year history, they have only had 17 full-time managers, from Syd King’s appointment in 1902 to David Moyes’s current times. That is a short list, and that shows that West Ham has generally been a club that gives managers time and shows loyalty to those in charge.

The Premier League era does muddy that water, though, as in 30 years since the re-branding of the top flight of English Football, Moyes is West Ham’s eleventh in that period, so with him currently in his 4th season in charge, he looks to have done well in lasting a lot longer than those he followed.

Ask who is the greatest West Ham manager, and the arguments will begin; mostly, it depends on your age. Under 20, Moyes is the most successful manager they have seen. The over-20s have Billic and Payet in the brief but memorable Farewell Boleyn season. People over 30 will look back fondly on the later years of Harry Redknapp, his three top 10 finishes in a row propelled by the talent of Di Canio.

My age bracket of the over 50s has John Lyall to worship, West Ham through and through, and they gave us the club’s only shot at winning the top flight. The Over 60s have the glory years under Ron Greenwood to go misty-eyed over, with his general on the pitch the greatest Englishman, Bobby Moore.

How do you judge the performance of each manager? I decided to use each manager’s available statistics to compile a formula to judge every manager on their league and separately their cup form. We have completed the league comparison, with David Moyes coming out on top.  However, with his recent results being considered, and if they were to continue, that situation could change.

THE FORMULA

To try to come up with a fair way of scoring, I decided that as we have 17 managers to score them in different factors, the manager having the best record in each factor would be given 17 points, which drops down until the man with the worst record receives just one.

First, I had to list every season’s cup competition record under each manager and every win, draw and defeat. How many goals were scored and conceded, and how far in the cups did they reach?

From those figures, I determined each manager’s win, draw, and loss percentages, average goals scored and conceded per game,  If a manager were to come out with the highest percentages in every factor, he would score a maximum of 85 points.

Then I looked at how to reward those who were the most successful, awarding 5 points for reaching a quarter-final, 10 points for reaching a semi-final, 20 points for getting to a final, and 30 points for winning a competition.

THE MANAGER’S

Starting with the manager with the lowest cup points scored, working our way up to the greatest (Reverse order).

FRANCO ZOLA 2008-2010
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 8 cup games across the F.A Cup and League Cup
Won 3, drew 1 and lost 4
Had an average win ratio of 37.5%
Scored 11 goals, 1.38 PG and conceded 10, 1.25 PG
He never made it into any quarter-final stages.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 22 points

BIG SHAM 2011-2015
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 18 cup games across the F.A Cup and League Cup
Won 6, drew 4 and lost 8
Had an average win ratio of 33.33%
Scored 20 goals, 1.11 PG and conceded 36, 2 P.G.
He reached 1 Quarter-final, continuing into 1 Semi-Final in the League Cup and losing to Man City over the two legs 9-0.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 36 points

GLEN ROEDER 2001-2003
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 9 cup games across the F.A Cup & League Cup.
Won 3, drew 3 and lost 3
Had an average win ratio of 33.33%
Scored 13 goals, 1.44 PG and conceded 15, 1.67 PG
He reached 4 Quarter-finals, losing them all.
He never made it out of the round of the last 32 teams in either competition.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 39 points

PELLEGRINI 2018 – 2019
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 7 cup games across the F.A Cup and League Cup
Won 4, drew 0 and lost 3
Had an average win ratio of 57.14%
Scored 18 goals, 2.57 PG and conceded 12, 1.71 PG
He failed to reach any Quarter-final.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 41 points

TED FENTON 1950-1961
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 46 cup games, all in the F.A Cup.
Won 21, drew 9 and lost 16
Had an average win ratio of 45.65%
Scored 102 goals, 2.22 PG and conceded 83, 1.8 PG
He reached 1 Quarter-final, not continuing into any Semi-Finals and beyond.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 42 points

ALAN CURBISHLEY 2006-2008
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 9 cup games across the F.A Cup and League Cup
Won 5, drew 1 and lost 3
Had an average win ratio of 55.56%
Scored 13 goals, 1.44 PG and conceded 7, 0.78 PG
He reached just 1 quarter-final, not continuing into the semi-finals.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 56 points

LOU MACARI – 1989-1990
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 12 cup games, the majority in the League Cup and 1 in the F.A Cup.
Won 5, drew 4 and lost 3
Had an average win ratio of 41.67%
Scored 16 goals, 1.33 PG and conceded 17, 1.42 PG
He reached 1 Quarter-final, continuing into 1 Semi-Final, but did not make it beyond.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 60 points

SLAVEN BILLIC 2015 – 2017
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 24 cup games across the F.A Cup, League Cup and then into Europe
Won 12, drew 4 and lost 8
Had an average win ratio of 50%
Scored 36 goals, 1.5 PG and conceded 28, 1.17 PG
He reached 1 Quarter-final, losing to Man United after a replay in the last-ever cup game played at Upton Park.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 61 points

HARRY REDKNAPP 1994 – 2001
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 57 cup games across the F.A Cup, League Cup and then into Europe
Won 27, drew 13 and lost 17
Had an average win ratio of 47.37%
Scored 79 goals, 1.39 PG and conceded 56, 0.98 PG
He reached 4 Quarter-finals, losing them all.
He did win one against Aston Villa in the League Cup, but that had to be replayed after an admin error led to an illegible player taking the field.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 70 points

ALAN PARDEW 2003-2006
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 23 cup games across the F.A Cup, League Cup and then into Europe
Won 11, drew 5 and lost 7
Had an average win ratio of 47.83%
Scored 32 goals, 1.39 PG and conceded 28, 1.22 PG
He reached 1 Quarter-final, continuing into the Semi-Finals, and made it to the final of the 2006 F.A. Cup, losing to Liverpool over on penalties.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 78 points

AVRAM GRANT 2010-2011
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 10 cup games across the F.A Cup and League Cup
Won 8, drew 0 and lost 2
Had an average win ratio of 80%
Scored 24 goals, 2.4 PG and conceded 11, 1.1 PG
He reached 2 Quarter-finals, continuing into 1 Semi-Final in the League Cup and losing to Birmingham City over the two legs 4-3.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 84 points

BILLY BONDS 1990-1994
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 38 cup games across the F.A Cup and League Cup
Won 19, drew 9 and lost 10
Had an average win ratio of 50%
Scored 64 goals, 1.68 PG and conceded 42, 1.11 PG
He reached 2 Quarter-finals, continuing into 1 Semi-Final, losing that 4-0 to Forest at Villa Park.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 86 points

SYD KING 1902-1932 
TROPHIES WON 0
Managed 86 cup games, all in the F.A Cup.
Won 36, drew 24 and lost 26
Had an average win ratio of 41.86%
Scored 144 goals, 1.67 PG and conceded 108, 1.26 PG
He reached 3 Quarter-finals, continuing into 2 Semi-Finals, and made it to 1 final, the first at Wembley Stadium in 1923, losing 2-0 to Bolton.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 95 points

CHARLIE PAYNTER 1932-1950
TROPHIES WON 1
Managed 30 cup games, all in the F.A Cup.
Won 10, drew 7 and lost 13
Had an average win ratio of 41.86%
Scored 44 goals, 1.47 PG and conceded 45, 1.5 PG
He reached 2 Quarter-finals, continuing into 2 Semi-Finals, and made it to 1 final, the 1940 War Cup, Beating Blackburn Rovers 1-0 to lift the trophy.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 111 points

Only three managers left now; all three have won trophies, but only one can be crowned, West Ham’s greatest cup manager.

DAVID MOYES 2017/18 2019 – 2024
TROPHIES WON 1
Managed 60 cup games across the F.A Cup, League Cup & Europe
Won 37, drew 8 and lost 15
Had an average win ratio of 63.33%
Scored 99 goals, 1.7 PG and conceded 50, 0.79 PG
He has reached 3 Quarter-finals, continuing into 2 Semi-Finals, and made it to 1 final, the 2023 Europa Conference League, beating Fiorentina to lift the trophy 2-1.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 128 points

RON GREENWOOD 1961-1974
TROPHIES WON 2
Managed 105 cup games across the F.A Cup, League Cup and then into Europe
Won 54, drew 21 and lost 30
Had an average win ratio of 41.86%
Scored 209 goals, 1.99 PG and conceded 149, 1.42 PG
He reached 8 Quarter-finals, continuing into 7 Semi-Finals, and made it to 3 finals, the 1964 F.A. Cup, Beating Preston 13-2 to lift the trophy, the 1965 European Cup Winners Cup betaing T.S.V. Munich 1864 2-0, and the 1966 League Cup Final, losing to W.B.A. over two legs.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 285 points

JOHN LYALL 1974-1989
TROPHIES WON 2
Managed 151 cup games across the F.A Cup, League Cup and then into Europe
Won 72, drew 39 and lost 40
Had an average win ratio of 47.68%
Scored 249 goals, 1.65 PG and conceded 179, 1.19 PG
He reached 12 Quarter-finals, continuing only into 5 Semi-Finals, and made it to 4 finals, the 1975 F.A. Cup, Beating Preston 13-2 to lift the trophy, the 1976 European Cup Winners Cup losing to Anderlecht 4-2, the 1980 F.A. Cup, BeatingArsenal 1-0 and the 1981 League Cup Final, losing to Liverpool over two games.
MANAGERS CUP SCORE – 308 points

So, there you have it! A close-run competition by the top two, but Lyall sneaks home by 23 points to win. There is, though, another argument to have there. Lyall took West Ham to victory in the 1975 FA Cup final, but should that trophy have gone to his predecessor?

I will look at that argument next time.

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2 Comments

  1. The last fifty five years have been the clubs most successful, the last 4 have been the best in my lifetime.

    Currently, the club enjoy the most favorable conditions to reevaluate its long term objective.

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