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Avram Grant Out, Martin O'Neill In At West Ham: Sky Sports

Update: Confirmation from the BBC.

Well this is unexpected.

Avram Grant has been on the proverbial hot seat for months now and if Sky's sources are to be believed his time at the helm has finally come to an end. If any further proof of the fungibility of managers were needed, this is it; less than three years ago Grant's Chelsea side were defeated in the Champions League final by Manchester United on penalties. After leading a doomed Portsmouth to the FA Cup final Grant left to take over a West Ham side that had barely avoided relegation in the previous season and nothing but turmoil followed. If this is the end of Grant's tenure at Upton Park it would be no surprise; there is little to suggest that Grant is anything less than a competent manager but West Ham are a bit of a mess on multiple fronts and the board's sacking of Gianfrano Zola after he somehow managed to keep the team in the Premier League last season should serve as evidence.

Whether or not Avram Grant was hard done by West Ham is of course the lesser of the two major stories of interest to Villa supporters; the bigger deal here is obviously the man that is rumored to replace him, none other than Martiin O'Neill. There are a great many things worth discussing as it relates to O'Neill, his decision to leave Villa and his decision to take the reigns at West Ham (should that end up being the case) but I will leave those for after confirmation of this news is received. This is quite honestly a massive shock to me and though Sky is as reliable a source as they come (particularly in these sorts of instances when their choice of words is so assured) a big part of me has a great deal of trouble believing it.

I'm firmly in wait-and-see mode, and I hope this turns out to be a jumping of the gun on Sky's part because otherwise some of the portents as they relate to Villa make me feel anything but comfortable.