Could Sam be the man to take the reins at Upton Park?

FOLLOWING the shock departure of Sam Allardyce from Blackburn on Monday speculation is rife that the 56-year-old is set for a swift return to management and replace under-fire Hammers boss Avram Grant.

Publically the West Ham board have backed their Israeli manager when the question has arisen of how long they will continue to keep faith with their boss.

Since his arrival in June, the Hammers have made it through to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup, but sit bottom of the Premier Division table with only two home wins from 17 league games.

The former Chelsea manager was sacked from the Stamford Bridge club after their Champions League penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester United in 2008 and was unable to save troubled Portsmouth from the drop last season, winning only seven of their 38 games.

Should co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan decide that now is the time to dispense with their much maligned manager it appears there is a more than able replacement waiting in the wings.

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Allardyce was relieved of his duties at Ewood Park by new owners Venkys, as the Asian poultry giants feel their departing manager is not the man to fulfil their long-term plans and ambitions for the club.

Having started his managerial career with Blackpool and Notts County, Allardyce moved to the Reebok Stadium in October 1999 and during eight years with the Lancashire club led them from the Championship to a seventh place finish in the Premiership and European football.

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After an ill-fated 24-game spell in charge at Newcastle, he returned to management with Blackburn Rovers and transformed them from strugglers to mid-table certainties.

Despite Grant being only six months into a four-year deal, it is understood a clause in his contract entitles him to just six months salary as compensation, approximately �650,000.

And if its stability the Hammers board want then Allardyce may well be the man.

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