A sixth might still appear in the dugout after a heavy FA Cup third-round defeat for the London side increased the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce. His job is still simply to keep his team in the Barclays Premier League but it is the club's belief in their manager which will determine his future. It is inevitable that some will have lost heart as West Ham succumbed to Sky Bet Championship side Nottingham Forest.
A hat trick from Jamie Paterson, a goal from Andy Reid and a penalty from Djamel Abdoun - who chipped it cheekily down the middle - would leave West Ham bruised. The side's chances of progress would seem harmed from the start, too, given that Allardyce named such an inexperienced team. Seb Lletget, Danny Whitehead, Callum Driver each made their first-team debuts from the start, before Reece Burke and Blair Turgott came on later.
Their inclusion was as a result of injuries and suspensions, but likely also to preserve more experienced players for a league campaign which has already left West Ham embattled and a potentially debilitating Capital Cup semi-final first-leg tie with Manchester City on Wednesday.
"I'm the manager, I make the decisions for the benefit of everybody at the club," said Allardyce, whose side are one point off the bottom in the Premier League. "My changes had to be severe. I didn't want it to be but it had to be."
Forest would cause further distress when Abdoun put them ahead after just 12 minutes. Paterson then scored his hat trick within 14 minutes during the second half and Reid added a fifth and final flourish at the end. "I think someone was waiting to be hit for four or five here," said Billy Davies, the Forest manager. "I'm delighted with the way we played."