Rafa Benitez ‘on standby’ for West Ham job as report claims decision is imminent on David Moyes

Rafa Benitez Everton Credit: Alamy
Rafa Benitez Everton Credit: Alamy

David Moyes will be in the dugout for West Ham’s clash against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, but Rafa Benitez is ‘on standby’ and ready to take the job.

It is believed that the Hammers hierarchy will be forced into a decision if they lose to fellow strugglers Forest, with fans making their feelings known in recent matches.

Whoever takes over at the London Stadium will have a big challenge ahead to keep West Ham in the Premier League, so they need to get the appointment right.

The London club have been linked with a number of potential new bosses as the speculation around Moyes’ future continues.

As previously reported by TEAMtalk, the Hammers are keeping an eye on former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino, which would be a huge statement of intent.

Additionally, according to the Daily Mailthey have considered bringing in former Wolves man Nuno Espirito Santo, and ex-Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.

However, the report suggests that Benitez is very interested in taking up the role, with the former Liverpool and Everton manager currently without a job.

West Ham would need to negotiate a contract with the Spaniard, who allegedly wants a long-term deal, whereas they are more likely to offer an 18-month contract, similar to that signed by Moyes in December 2019.

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Could Benitez keep West Ham up?

As mentioned, West Ham are currently in the midst of a relegation battle after picking up just 20 points from a possible 69 so far this season.

They received another hammer-blow to their survival hopes last Sunday, losing 2-0 to London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Sources close to West Ham have generally maintained that they back Moyes to turn their form around, but the reality is that they have won just once since October – beating Everton 2-0 in a game billed ‘El Sackico,’ which led to Frank Lampard’s departure from the Toffees.

Now, it looks like the Scotsman could be replaced by his old nemesis Benitez, who was Liverpool’s manager during his time at Goodison Park.

With West Ham already 18th in the Premier League table, a defeat by Forest would leave them with a mountain to climb to survival.

Benitez has had experience in relegation battles before – he took over at Newcastle in the 2015/16 season with them in the relegation zone with just 10 matches remaining.

The Spaniard helped the Magpies to three wins, four draws and three losses, but was unable to prevent their drop to the Championship.

However, he remained at St James’ Park and got them instantly promoted to the Premier League once again, and is still a popular figure on Tyneside.

Pros and cons of Benitez

Also, everyone knows how successful Benitez was at Liverpool, but his last job at their Merseyside rivals Everton never seemed likely to work out, getting sacked after the Toffees plunged to 15th in the table, after just six-and-a-half-months in charge.

West Ham will have to weigh up the pros and cons of appointing Benitez. He has shown he can turn a team’s form around in the past, but at Everton, he seemed to struggle massively.

For now, though, Benitez is the current favourite to replace Moyes, if the Hammers lose to Forest on Saturday.

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