3. ENGLAND: Hammer falls on Pardew

Just 10 days after West Ham United was sold and its new owner, Icelandic Eggert Magnusson, gave Manager Alan Pardew his full confidence, the English Premier League club fired Pardew.

Pardew was said to be in Magnusson's camp as the Icelandic tussled with Kia Joorabchian in the fight for control over the Hammers that ended with Magnusson's winning bid of $165 million. But West Ham's dismal showing this season gave Magnusson no choice but to dump Pardew.

Pardew's dismissal followed Saturday's 4-0 loss at Bolton Wanderers, West Ham's fifth loss in its last six league games. Earlier in the season, it lost eight matches in a row -- a run that included an early exit from the UEFA Cup before the group stages and a humiliating League Cup loss to third level Chesterfield.

The Hammers' record signing Dean Ashton broke his ankle in August, and Argentine signings Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano have been a bust.

Former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley, a former West Ham player in the 1970s, is the favorite to replace Pardew. Curbishley had brought young American Jonathan Spector to Charlton last season on loan from Manchester United. Spector has since been sold to West Ham, for which the defender has made 10 starts this season.
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