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Gold banks on Allardyce pulling power

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Phil McNulty | 15:38 UK time, Friday, 17 June 2011

West Ham United co-owner David Gold likened the mood around Upton Park after relegation to "a death in the family" - now the grieving is over and the rebirth is ready to begin under Sam Allardyce.

Allardyce returns from holiday to get behind his desk at West Ham's Chadwell Heath training headquarters on Monday but Gold is convinced the road to recovery from the drop into the Championship has already begun.

The Hammers' hierarchy reacted to relegation after defeat at Wigan Athletic by sacking manager Avram Grant within minutes of the final whistle and Gold revealed the hard work started after a short period of reflection.

Now he believes West Ham have put "a stake in the sand" by appointing Allardyce and following up the manager's arrival by persuading Newcastle United captain Kevin Nolan to sacrifice life in the Premier League for a journey back to the top tier starting in Green Street.

Gold, his co-owner David Sullivan and chief executive Karren Brady received heavy criticism as West Ham dropped out of the top flight - especially after a turbulent January when Grant looked out of a job only to survive with dire consequences.

But there is no disguising the passion in Gold's voice and the desire to make West Ham's stay in the Championship a brief one as he enthuses about the two high-profile newcomers.

He told BBC Sport: "In football terms we were grieving after relegation and that's allowed. Then it was important to get over that as quickly as possible. We had the priority to bring in a new manager as quickly as possible and we are thrilled that we have Sam Allardyce.

"You are always nervous until it is signed and sealed but now it is like a marriage. We are committed to each other and committed to getting West Ham back in the Premier League.

"Sam is a Premier League manager. We have appointed him and we have signed a top-class proven Premier League player in Kevin Nolan. This is the impact Sam can have. Kevin Nolan knows him and his quality and was happy to come and play for him again.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce

Allardyce made Nolan his first major signing

"He is a manager who can attract players. He has proved it before and he has done it again here. He played a massive part in getting Kevin to Upton Park. Even if he doesn't bring in any other players of that quality he has still achieved what I regard as the coup of the transfer window with that deal.

"For a number of reasons we had to put a stake in the sand and show our commitment to the fans. We have done it and it is important that our negotiations continue to keep our young players, senior pros and also ensure we continue to work with our academy, which is one of the best in the business.

"It is important the fans get behind us and Sam's appointment and Kevin's signing is a statement of our intent. And Kevin has shown a statement of faith in signing for us. It shows we mean business at West Ham United.

"Many clubs haven't done any business yet - and I'm confident we will pull off one or two more surprises before the window closes. We are working our socks off."

Allardyce's appointment, while welcomed, was regarded in many areas as coming five months too late. If he had arrived in January, when Grant was starting to look like a lame duck, then West Ham's renewal might have been able to start in the Premier League.

Gold told me: "When you look back it is, of course, with hindsight. When we were bottom of the table on that last Sunday you ask could you have done more and the answer is obviously 'yes'.

"By the same token we still brought in extra players when this decision could have been made. We felt we brought in three top class players in Wayne Bridge, an England left-back, one of the most exciting young strikers around in Demba Ba and a record goalscorer for the Republic of Ireland in Robbie Keane.

"We also had an England goalkeeper in Robert Green, an England centre-back in Matthew Upson, an England midfield man in Scott Parker and an England striker in Carlton Cole. That wasn't a bad side and we added three quality players to it."

Now Gold is getting to grips with the reality of getting West Ham back into the Premier League - and says spirits have soared in recent weeks and the club is up for the fight.

"When we went down the whole football club was despondent," he said. "It was like a death in the family. It was painful, painful and we couldn't see it coming. We believed we had done enough. You lose staff and it is a very sad time. Let me promise you it is an horrendous experience for a football club.

"Now we don't say we are relegated we say we are in the Championship. We've been relegated three times before at Birmingham so we know what to do to get out of it. We ask ourselves: 'What are we going to do about it?' And we now have a new manager in Sam and a player of Kevin's calibre who can be our talisman.

"One of the few redeeming features of getting old is that you have been around the block and you have experience that you can bring to bear on this situation. And we have experience of what it takes to win promotion to the Premier League.

"We are in the Championship and with all due respect it is better than being in the Conference. I believe we are going to be big players and big challengers in the Championship. It is going to be so exciting and David Sullivan and myself will do everything in our power to ensure we have put everything possible in place so we keep our record of going straight back up after relegation."

There is little doubt fences needed to be mended with disaffected, but still fiercely loyal, West Ham fans and this is a process Gold also believes is under way.

He said: "I went on to Twitter - whether that was a good idea or not I'm not sure - but it is a good barometer of how the fans are feeling and you should never underestimate them. Of course you get some who are not very complimentary but there are thousands who are so knowledgeable and I get the sense that they are fantastically supportive of what we have done in bringing in Sam and then making a signing like Kevin Nolan.

"You are allowed the period of grief and cursing your luck as far as football is concerned after what happened to us, but we have already started the hard work to get West Ham back up to the Premier League.

"Someone like Kevin Nolan hasn't come to Upton Park to play in the Championship, he has come to help take West Ham back up into the Premier League. That is what we all want here and we will do our utmost to make it happen."

You can follow David Gold on Twitter


  • Comment number 1.

    I'm really not convinced that Sam Allardyce is the right man for West Ham.
    I expect Kevin Davies will be the next signing........

  • Comment number 2.

    As a West Ham fan I was bitterly disappointed with the showing last season and I have to say that I wasn't overly enthused with the appointment of "Big" Sam.

    However one good signing of Faye and the superb coup of signing Kevin Nolan has made me more optimistic of a straight return to the Premier League. He was outstanding in a Newcastle shirt in the Championship and my brother, a leeds fan by the way, thinks that signing alone will win us the league.

    That maybe a bit fair fetched and I know we will still lose a few more big players but if signings continue to be in this vain the future looks somewhat brighter than it did a month a go.


  • Comment number 3.

    I'm wondering why Nolan gave up premiership football for a team that has £35m+ to spend on bolstering the side? Either something is rotten at his previous club or his love for Big Sam is too great. I'm also wondering what will happen to Nolan and his ex-Bolton team mates if Allardyce can't get his side in to the top two before Christmas. Probably a mass exodus at a guess. Success or bust methinks!

  • Comment number 4.

    @1 - Kevin Davies would help get West Ham out of the Championship, as will Kevin Nolan, who lead Newcastle two years. Who would you sign? (I mean realistically...).

  • Comment number 5.

    The owners at West Ham are terrible. They always have to be in the spotlight themselves rather than sitting back and letting the manager get on with the job. They should have never sacked Zola, he was the best manager West Ham have had, he commanded complete respect from all of his players. He simply needed time.

    As for the appointment of Big Sam, he is an average manager who once the team get into the premier league should guarantee they stay there. However, this is done at the cost of playing boring football. I would have appointed Chris Hughton instead, did a great job with Newcastle deserves a shot somewhere. For West Ham to succeed the owners need to learn to keep quiet.

  • Comment number 6.

    @3 I think there is something rotten at Newcastle, Ashley has always found a way to chase off there best players. But, I would agree that it is strange he gave up premiership football, surely someone else in the premier league would love to have him?

  • Comment number 7.

    I've been a loyal Hammers fan since 1964, precisely because they have always espoused the ethos of playing exciting, attractive football. I will give Sam a few weeks to show he can allow us to do that - otherwise I will have to give up my allegiance. I will not tolerate boring, defensive, ugly football at the Boleyn Ground.

  • Comment number 8.

    How are you Weat Ham fams unhappy with these two signings? Big Sam is proven, and you were never going to do better. Nolan is proven quality. This is from a Bolton fan who has nothing but great memories of the two.

  • Comment number 9.

    I honestly think that Big Sam will have West Ham straight into the Premier League and following that up to a mid-table finish. Allardyce has an excellent record at least in terms of results and at the moment that is very important. Teams who linger in The Championship following delegation often end up falling away. The likes of Leeds, Charlton and Middlesbrough are prime examples of this. Obviously the owners made a grand mess of things last season but I firmly believe that they are now taking the right steps to try to rectify their errors.

  • Comment number 10.

    Should be interesting to see what Big Sam does. Nolan and Faye are brilliant signings for the Championship. Sam likes to build around a strong spine and he does buy the odd flair player, though he always likes them to have an edge. If I were a Hammers fan I'd be delighted if he brought in Davies, but worried if he signs his old buddy, El Hadji Diouf!

  • Comment number 11.

    Forget SKD and the rest of the Reebok boys they are staying put.
    BSA will get you promoted, Nolan and Faye will do a great job for you, they are Premier Class and know how to win football matches.
    I am plesasd Gardner is staying put, you will miss his flair but not his passing ability.
    The interesting move could be if Robert Green goes whether Jaaskalinen heads south.
    The goalie position is a conscern at the Reebok and Al Habsi has done his time , and did well for Wigan, he will be a No 1 somewhere in the Premiership , and just maybe it will be at the Reebok.
    Good luck for next season, hurry back we need the points.

  • Comment number 12.


    I share your fears. West Ham are at times a great team to watch, and indeed SA may achieve promotion for West Ham using more defensively orientated approaches, but then how much further could he go with the Hammers once you're back in the PL?

  • Comment number 13.

    Awful manager with an even worse style of play, hand on heart was happier that my Newcastle got relegated and able to clear away the dross that he brought in & also watch actual football instead of launching it at every opportunity.

    Players like Viduka, Smith, Cacapa, Geremi etc, he always states he didnt spend much but the money he puts on the wage bill is massive for players with no re sale value

  • Comment number 14.

    I think this is the right appointment on two levels; West Ham have looked so vulnerable for a couple of seasons now, they need someone to halt the decline and get the winning mentality. I agree with those who say that sticking around for more a relegated club to stick around in the Championship more than a season or two can be disadvantageous in the extreme. Sam Allardyce can sort of “guarantee” an immediate return to the Premier League.

  • Comment number 15.

    West Ham need a proper experienced manager to sort out the mess and Allardyce is the right man for the job. Nolan will get 15 goals from midfield, Faye will shore up the defence, we should be able to keep Noble, Collison, Tomkins etc. Throw in a few more signings and a promotion challenge should be on the cards.

  • Comment number 16.

    As a long standing West Ham fan i was delighted by the appointment of Big Sam. I am sick of watching our so called attractive passing style of football, which might look good on occasions going forward, but whenever a long ball was pumped into our box we would concide a goal. We have been unable to hold onto a lead for a number of seasons now. I for one would be happy with 1-0 wins and three points rather than depressing draws or last minute losses.

    I would be happy to get back to the premiership at the first attempt and then consolidate a mid-table position. We are not a big club and should be happy if we could finish around 10th each season.

  • Comment number 17.

    They've signed someone who is a long overdue England international footballer. Well done West Ham. Faye was great at Bolton and at Stoke so best of luck Allardyce

  • Comment number 18.

    Allardyce doesn't have pulling power!! He is a poor manager and the only reason Nolan does well under him is because Nolan is hard working. There's no skill to him.

    West ham will be the Birmingham of last year, playing poor defensive football.
    Nolan will bang a few goals in and they may get promoted, but then once they're in the PL again, they will languish in the bottom half until allardyce gets the sack!

    And did anyone see the Sky Sports news interview with David Gold this morning?? What a muppet this guy is, sat in his big house, with his initials on his shirt, Helicopter parked up just behind his putting green.

    Could he be any more out of touch with West Ham United??

  • Comment number 19.

    @5 no offense but to be honest Zola was rubbish, he had longer than grant yet we didn't really propel with him. And just cos he had respect doesn't make him a good manager. There are other factors...discipline,which let's face it he can't do, tactics,which worked a little at first even with no prevail, got abit more successful but failed completely. Lay off G&S. yeah they are no angels but they aren't devils either. They do things to be money savvy (money savers if yu didn't know) and because of such stuff like I dunno our debt they have to be. Hense why we waited. Because when we got relegated we got rid of grant for a mere £1m compensation instead of 4.5m which it would of been if there was no clauses in his contract, we reduced the wage bill astronomically, gain funds from sales of unwanted players and we get parachute payments and to top it off a fresh chance, what more can you want at this moment in time. I'm pretty pleased I must say...well not that we are down but the fact that we are slashing about £19m+ off of our wage bill meaning wen we are back up we won't have hefty wages to pay.

  • Comment number 20.

    I think Allardyce will get West Ham promoted - the second tier is dreadfully poor. When Newcastle were relegated a lot of us expected our side to struggle and we were shocked by just how inept most sides down there were. West Ham will have enough to come back up in spite of Allardyce.

    After that the problems will begin. His 'style' of football is painful, his ego often gets in the way (Barca beckons, eh Sam?) and his signings are frequently pathetic. Some of the dross he brought to Newcastle beggared belief.

    Nolan will be fine at that level, as should Faye be - but those two will be on a big wedge I dare say, so if Allardyce does not bring instant results there will be huge problems.

    I think of all the quality players and lovely footballing sides West Ham have produced and I honestly can't see them being happy with Allardyce beyond promotion. Fair play, promotion is what it's all about, but he won't still be there in 2 years, I've no doubt about that.

  • Comment number 21.

    West Ham supporter for 30 years and we have not seen West Ham play the 'West Ham' way for years'. Any one who thinks we have been is kidding themselves. What we have been playing is gutless, uncommitted football where we are way too easy to roll-over, with a fragile and weak collective mentality with players who appear that they are just interested in themselves.
    If Big Sam brings a committed, hard-working, hungry team to my beloved club and we actually start winning matches.....that'll be alright for me.
    We need to stop living in the past and start winning football matches again.

  • Comment number 22.

    Ah, the "west ham way". The easiest response to that is that old quote from Bill Shankly along the lines of "nice family club, passing football, 3 points to Liverpool". The reality is, that even when West Ham had their world cup winners in their side, the club were near the bottom of the league. There have only been a couple of times, in the mid-80's and briefly when Harry Redknapp was manager, that we played great football at the top level. The rest of the time we played our best football at championship level.

    The reality is that yes, under Ron Greenwood we developed a decent passing game but quite frankly everyone else is better than us at doing it now and we cannot afford the players skillful enough in order to play that way. Then the other side of the coin is we don't have the muscle or passion to compete with the Stokes, Birminghams and Boltons of the premier league, that is why we were relegated.

    West Ham fans need to temporarily forget the "West Ham way" because this team needs to get back to basics. Our possession and passing is frankly awful, as is our predictable attacking and then there is our shocking defence. Sam Allardyce will get us back to basics and in a couple of seasons will get the club to where they should be, comfortably mid-table of the Premier league. Butwith the prospect of filling the Olympic Stadium in the future. Then with the money from that, we can then start talking about getting back to the "west Ham way", once we have the money to buy players who can compete playing that style of football.

  • Comment number 23.

    At last a proper manager who will motivate the team and leave no hiding place for the slackers. We will finally sort out the defence and win a few games. We beat Liverpool and Man U last year but there's a big negative there, the squad showed they could raise their game when it suited but couldn't do it every week. If only we could keep Parker.

  • Comment number 24.

    I think the fans complaining here have their finger way off the pulse. If the Hammers don't bounce right back you could end up stuck in that division, as so often happens as younger, more vibrant teams take the lead and charge up the table. Allardyce is an excellent choice to accomplish what you need the most, a return to the PL. All the complaints about attractive football or not are ridiculous. Beggars can't be choosers folks. The lost revenue as a result of 4 or 5 seasons in the Championship could affect you massively. Protracted Championship football would be disastrous for a club like WHU, and prioritising attractive football would be the catalyst of that disaster. West Ham are in a precarious position and Sam is a good bet to remedy that. He may or may not do it but if you want any relevant precedent, look no further than Notts Forest. They were the best and most attractive footballing side ever to drop out the PL. Where are they now? Recruiting the manager nobody in England wants, the wally with a brolly, desperately trying to return to the big time after the club was all but ruined by relegation and lower-tier football for a decade and a half or so.

    Smell the coffee fans - you're in no position to be dictating terms. You are a club in need and you'd better pray that the need stays a pressing one rather than a protracted and desperate one.

  • Comment number 25.

    @21 and @22. I've been supporting the Hammers for 40 years and couldn't agree more with both of your comments. I'll take a winning side that doesn't get beaten in games we are winning, out muscled or rolled over far too easily, any day. Apart from the odd cup final win/ appearance, in my lifetime we have always struggled and had a soft centre. Only the season 85/86 when we came third in the old Div 1 did we have proper side and we are still lauding them 25 years later! My dad always said to me 'Don't support West Ham they will break your heart over and over again'. he wasn't wrong! I just hope that Allardyce can get a couple more DECENT signings in and toughen us up and make us a hard side to beat while at least attempting to play the odd bit of football!

  • Comment number 26.

    Unfortunately, it's difficult to see a good future for West Ham. The owners have got exactly what they deserve with their treatment of the last two managers.

    The fans have been betrayed.

    The appointment of Allardice must seem like the death knell to most of them. West Ham have always been about the more attractive side of the game For which the new maqnager has never shown any aptitude.

    Allardice has only ever achieved success at non footballing clubs with the long ball and cloggers.

  • Comment number 27.

    Difficult time for West Ham fans:

    On the one hand, Allardyce will likely get them promoted ASAP. So they ought to be happy.

    On the other hand, what style of footie will he have them playing? If it's not pretty stylich, they won't be happy.

  • Comment number 28.

    As a lifeelong Hammers supporter I was immensely disappointed with the appointment of Grant and the deplorable way Zola was sacked after he had done exactly what was asked of him by keeping West Ham in the Premiership in 09/10.
    For the owners to say, when asked about Zola, that they 'don't sack managers' and wanted to steady the ship etc, etc... It was the first sign of the mercenary attitude they've shown since.
    It was blatantly obvious to pretty much everyone that Grant couldn't cut it at West Ham, and the inevitability of relegation soured the last 3 months of the season.
    So, now we're 2 managers down, and it's very likely the 'cream' of the first 11 will be sold on.
    A new manager comes in now, "Big Sam"... A man I have no doubt will have a more positive impact than Grant. But then again the old woman who runs our local chippy could have done a better job last season.
    Right now it's hard to predict the future of the club. I am hoping that we can build a strong defence and work forward from there, make Upton Park the fortress it used to be. We'll have to wait and see what signings are brought in, and perhaps have an enjoyable season in 11/12.....

    But this is West Ham. It won't be comfortable viewing!

  • Comment number 29.

    I think Sam Allardyce is one of the most successful and under-rated English manager. We tend to complain over the fact that we have too many foreign managers in the top leagues, then we have Big Sam who did exceptionally well with Bolton and did well for Newcastle and Blackburn with the little time he had - yet we are moaning that he's not good enough!

    I back him, even if he does buy some Bolton players. I'd expect Andranik to get interest and also others like Kevin Davies and even get Ivan Campo in the coaching formation. West Ham will be back to the Premiership and Karren Brady, David Gold and Sullivan must be on cloud nine now.

  • Comment number 30.

    19. At 01:36 18th Jun 2011, TheIron90 wrote:

  • Comment number 31.

    19. At 01:36 18th Jun 2011, TheIron90 wrote:
    Hense why we waited. Because when we got relegated we got rid of grant for a mere £1m compensation instead of 4.5m

    So your saying that the owners stayed with a manager who they knew would get them relegated, just to save 3.5m. That doesn't exactly sound like good ownership. As had West Ham changed their manager they would have done a West Brom and ended the season in a comfortable position, they certainly had the team to do it.

    As for relegation benefiting the Hammers it might, but it could have definitely been avoided had Grant been sacked much earlier, or never appointed in the first place. Gold and Sullivan are bad owners.

  • Comment number 32.

    He just needs Gudni Bergsson and Per Frandsen to come back from retirement now...

    In many ways, being clear promotion favourites at the start of the season works against West Ham as it adds to undue pressure. If by January, the team are struggling to make the playoffs - the knives will be out and many of the bigger name players who hung around after the transfer window will be wanting out.

    The Championship is not exactly the best league to play in if you are attempting to undergo a rebuilding process. Its imperative they get off to a good start.

  • Comment number 33.

    The early signs are not overly promising; we've been delivered a manager who shapes his tactics and formations around physical and industrious players, while that's excellent in some respects, he's betraying the deep-rooted and illustrious values and footballing principles at Upton Park, the devotion and dedication to attacking and artistic football, now we can't even offer that!

    Kevin Nolan is a good signing, but the importance of his transfer in my opinion is greatly exaggerated because the team is still flawed and he is a player who has reached the pinnacle of a verly flattering career. Still, good replacement for the inevitable loss of Scott Parker who in my opinion deserves a statue erected outside Upton Park in acknowledgement and appreciation of his contribution to the club, which whilst in vain was no less embraced by the supporters.

    West Ham should try to sign some good young Championship players, Chamberlein could be hijacked possibly if West Ham offer an assurance that they will be swiftly promoted, I see possible raids on Blackpool and Birmingham as crucial and useful, and we need to start shipping out expensive, overpaid players who have hampered the club, their values will have radically decreased but we can still get good fees on them.

    I really anticipated us to have pursued Curbishley instead with the gurantee that transfer signings and anything management-related will have been guided by only him, he was an immaculate manager who rescued us from a looming relegation before confirming our safety with top-ten finishes, that's quality!

  • Comment number 34.

    The problem at WHU is not the manager, or the players. The problem has been the owners for a long time now. Just maybe, they have now appointed a manager who will stand up to Gold, Sullivan and Brady who are not football people and never will be. I would not be surprised if Parker and Upson stay where they are.

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm not a West Ham fan, but I've always had a soft spot for them, and it pains me to see Sam Allardyce at the helm. He'll probably get them promoted again, but never further than that. He'll take West Ham to finishing about 15th most years, which most fans would probably settle for, but I'd like to see West Ham aiming higher. I think Alan Curbishley would have been a much better choice. Much better.

    Oh, and #9: "Teams who linger in The Championship following delegation often end up falling away. The likes of Leeds, Charlton and Middlesbrough are prime examples of this".
    Leeds and Charlton, certainly, they've gone massively downhill and Leeds are only just now recovering, but Middlesbrough were doing absolutely fine and looking like coming back to the Premiership at the first time of asking until Gordon Strachan came in. Now that he's gone I expect Boro to be pushing the playoff places this season. Quite why anyone thinks Strachan is/was/has ever been a good manager is beyond me.

  • Comment number 36.

    There is no problem with Gold, Sullivan and Brady. The trio did a great job for Birmingham but I think they picked up on West Ham at the worse possible time. West Ham had Icelandic owners who, like most of us never expected to be bankrupt! With the appointment of Allardyce, West Ham will go straight back up.

  • Comment number 37.

    Give the fact that the CCC is arguably stronger this season than the season NUFC where in it then I'd be nervous as a WHUFC fan - all three relegated clubs will try and make a serious shot at the automatic promotion spots - then there's Cardiff as well as the newly promoted clubs that want to go straigh thru into the PL. I think WHUFC will finish 5th.

  • Comment number 38.

    Allardyce at West Ham? Quite a step down from winning the treble with Inter or Real

  • Comment number 39.

    Yeah it must really have been boring for Bolton fans seeing players like Okocha and Hierro playing for their club and getting them into positions that teams like Spurs were spending 10s of millions to get into. Really boring....

  • Comment number 40.

    I really like sam hes straight talking and knows how to get results, whether he is the right person for west ham is very debatable.

    At least starting from championship should give him time to swap out a few players and build his team.All managers need time to do this its not a quick fix thats required its a rebuild.

  • Comment number 41.

    I honestly can't believe some of the negative comments regarding Allardyce posted on this forum. Utlitmately, regardless of the style of play he adopts, he will be judged on results like any other manager. If he can lead West Ham back into the premiership at the first attempt he will be lauded, whatever system he plays. How many table-topping clubs do you hear being booed off the pitch? Thought so. Of course, if he can do it playing attractive football then so much the better.

    As for Nolan, he is a rare breed nowadays - not afraid to step down a division to a club with ambition (and yes, I know the 5-year deal would be a big factor in his decision). He doesn't regard every division outside the PL as some sort of wasteland and will be a standout player at Championship level, and as a leader on the pitch.

    All in all, you have recruited 2 hugely influential people that could ply their trade at the highest level, yet have been prepared to put their reputations on the line. Give them a chance, especially Allerdyce, he doesn't even start work until Monday!

  • Comment number 42.

    For as long as I have followed English football, I always thought that West ham were a club who were genuinely proud of their long running tradition of playing attacking and attractive football. In light of this, I don't make sense of the appointment of Big Sam. He did do a good job at Bolton and I feel that he was gravely mistreated at Blackburn. But at both clubs, his teams never played football that was attractive on the eye at any station.

  • Comment number 43.

    Agree with #5 completely that the owners are to blame and should of stuck with Zola although Allardyce will do a great job for them if the owners keep their nose out.

  • Comment number 44.

    "radicalpoz", I have never heard such a ridiculous comment in my life. Even if Allardyce plays long ball "boring" football with west ham, I couldn't care less when all that matters is results. We've tried to play "attractive" football and look what its done for us....."give up my allegiance", you'd stop being a west ham fan after 45 years on account of not playing "attractive" football. I'd choose boring football and 3 points over attractive football and winning 5 games a season! You sir are talking completely out of your rear end!

  • Comment number 45.

    No disrespect to West Ham, but when I read the list of England players being reeled-off by Gold, I couldn't help thinking that the national team is not going past the quarter-finals of any competition any time soon.

    I also have a strange vision of Allardyce and Brady fighting in a car park. I'm not sure who would win, though.

  • Comment number 46.

    #41 spot on

  • Comment number 47.

    can we just get one thing straight-kevin nolan didnt sign for us because of bfs or because he wanted a new challenge.he signed for us because we offered him more money than newcastle.

  • Comment number 48.

    Like most West Ham fans I suspect, the words "Sam" and "Allardyce" seem like an antithesis to what we supposedly celebrate at Upton Park.

    The fact is however that the Championship is a Tar pit where even the biggest clubs get stuck and don't come up again. I'm thinking of Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday in particular, who have suffered greatly since being relegated. West Ham have a huge amount of debt and can't really afford to be wallowing in second tier football.

    Furthermore, what all West Ham sides have suffered from is a lack of backbone. It's alright saying that aesthetically pleasing football should be the norm, but you have to apply pragmatism as well - look at Stoke, who 3 or 4 years ago were certainties to be relegated and now enjoy mid-table bliss and even a crack at Europe.

    I feel that you can only go forward with pleasing football when you have the players to do it with. West Ham lost more leads than any other club in the Premiership last season and deserved to go down. What they need is a manager who knows who get promoted, then stay up, work with little in the way of money and to motivate the players. Looking around, I don't think there is anyone better or willing to do it than Sam Allardyce.

    West Ham will win games with Allardyce - which is something we've singularly failed to do with either of the last two incumbents. People forget that Zola was lucky to stay up the season before, purely because the other clubs who were relegated played even worse than us.

  • Comment number 49.

    West Ham were always going to get relegated last season - keeping Grant ensured that. It was, I feel, a sound business plan by Sullivan & Gold to get the clubs debt under control. Relegation: slash wage bill, parachute payment, sell Boleyn Ground rebuild on an even financial footing
    We'll get promoted straight away under big Sam
    Relegation was the best thing that could've happened to the club. Had we avoided relegation and remained in the Prem, I fear the club could've gone bust

  • Comment number 50.

    West Ham were always one of those sides you could bank on to match and beat any of the big sides on their day. Now I have a feeling we will see none of that anymore if they do get promoted, just a few bruised legs for players from the big sides not deemed as friends by this man.
    I guess the only consolation hammers fans can have is this is by no means the worst appointment of the decade; that came this week at Villa.

  • Comment number 51.

    I also don't agree its a certainty they'll bounce back up straight away. I saw some fast paced, flowing football in the play offs this season to suggest the championship is not as poor as many would have us believe. Also, championship sides aren't scared to get stuck in, and will be pretty much a match for cloggers like Faye,Nolan, Davies, etc or whoever Sam signs up.

    Its sad to note how low our expectations have sunk that many of us are happy to take any result at the expense of actually playing football. I doubt these are fee-paying fans who actually go to the stadium; anybody who does part with their hard earned dosh and braves the cold weather deserves better.

    On a different note, is it me or Ferguson has a tendency to speak highly of managers who hoof the ball up the pitch at every opportunity;Stoke,Birmingham, Blackburn before Kean and now no doubt Villa? His sides don't play this type of football so its a bit intriguing he always lauds managers playing hoofball. Will someone enlighten me please.

  • Comment number 52.

    51. Every single word of that was a lie!

  • Comment number 53.

    I do think everyone has a point, as the majority are life long West Ham (god our parents have a lot to answer for!) fans we all need to be heard.

    One of the comments that struck me this past season was made by Julian Dicks, he stated that a team needs to defend from their strikers, you only need to look at the work rate of Rooney to see the commitment he shows on the pitch. how often did we see Cole lose possession and stand around waiting for someone to pass the ball back to him, admitedly with his back to goal.

    for too long our team has had a weakness at the back and since the departure of James Collins to Villa have not been able to handle crosses. how often this season did Upson show that he wanted to be anywhere other than Upton Park leading the less than mighty Hammers.

    I also feel its a little unfair to blame the David's as i beleive that no matter how misguided some of their comments might have been i do believe that they are also frustrated fans at heart.

    as a positive the recruitment of Nolan should help to solidify the midfield and with Collison, Sears and Noble we should have an excellent midfield that will be more than a match for any team in the Championship.

    and breathe......!!!!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    West Ham should be grateful to some extent that Gold and Sullivan are their, because they have good experience of going down and bouncing back up. They keep a tight budget and play to their means, and always do what they can to bring in the best players.

    I think they are true football men, they speak their minds as business men but also as football fans.

    In january this year they bought in quality players and the sqaud that west ham had should never have gone down. AG has to take all the blame for this, not exactly the most enlivening manager the world has ever seen.

    I think big sam will be a hit at west ham, and the board will trust and back him as much as they can. Sam will bring a bit of steel to west ham.

    For me West Ham have to be considered the favourites to go straight back up.

  • Comment number 55.

    West Ham must be favourites to go straight back up. As a Coventry fan, I would love to have West Ham's owners and manager at Coventry. The same probably applies to most clubs outside the top eight Premiership sides.

    Big Sam was always underestimated at previous clubs and he reminds me, as a manager, of Jack Charlton. They both know exactly what needs to be done with the players at their disposal, to achieve success. West Ham might not become a really top side, but they will surely establish themselves as a solid premiership team within two years.

  • Comment number 56.

    As a West Ham fan since I was 5 I remember the following:

    1975: Being outside East Ham town hall watching the FA Cup being lofted after beating Fulham

    1980 FA Cup win against Arsenal

    1981 lost to Liverpool in League Cup replay (when Sammy Lee distracted Phil Parkes in first match and goal should have been disallowed)

    1985/86: 3rd place in old 1st division with arguably our best ever team

    and then what???

    2006 lost a winning lead in best FA Cup final in living memory against Liverpool

    and since then???


    That's the WHU way people, we've got use to it!

    Take the blinkers off. We need REAL man management. I've warmed to the idea of SA. He's built teams to suit the area/towns almost I feel and given time could make me proud to be a WHU fan again, with a strong spine and flair in equal measure.

    Let's give him a chance. Time to forget who's to blame (it started with the Icelandic biscuit baron madness and sacking Pardew for me) and move on....even if I now follow them from Los Angeles. Relagtion still stung from here!

  • Comment number 57.

    In our dreams would we get Kevin Davies. He would be awesome for us but not even big Sam could tempt him down I think. Be great to get Barton and also re-sign lee bowyer on a free. We have to let this 'west ham way' delusion go - we've not played well since harry left us, and before that you have to go back to john loyal and the classic 85 team.

  • Comment number 58.

    The real problem at the club is the playboy owners.

    Despite Gold being a revolting man it does seem like his heart's in the right place. As for Sullivan, a disgusting self-styled Hugh Hefner who made his fortune in the porn industry. During the past two seasons he has constantly criticised and undermined the players and mangement. And of course Vice-chairman Karen Brady and her constant drivel in the tabloids.

    Can you think of any other football club where the owners are so outspoken and self publicising? Well, I can't. Then they wonder how they got relegated..? The writing was on the wall for a long time and it was entirely self-inflicted.

    I sincerely hope that West Ham gain promotion next season. It's sad to see any club get relegated but with a one so rich in history as West Ham, it's criminal what happened.

    The sooner you ditch these clowns the better.

  • Comment number 59.

    Ultimately, Big Sam aint gonna be your problem, he is a solid if slightly dull manager and is just what the Happy Hammers need at the moment.

    If im reapeating whats already been said then I apologise, but the two muppets in charge of your club are going to be the biggest problem. They are two of the most shambolic 'business men' in football, and if they stay in charge they will most likely ruin your grand old club.

    Good luck for next season thou, if you guys can make it back with Big Sam at the helm, we at Ewood Park will be sure to give you a warm welcome! ;)

  • Comment number 60.

    Considering the Gold Standard is based around plastic tubular vessels being inserted into various parts of the female anatomy, Alladyce really doesn't have a lot to aspire to . Nor should he.He has proved to be the most mediocre,negative and defensive manager possibly in footballing history.West Ham confirmed their place as a joke through ownership-now they can look forward to being the Benny Hill of football through the sheer inept idiocy of Big Sam.Well done!

  • Comment number 61.

    A few others hit the nail on the head - until the owners pipe down, stop undermining professionals at the club and allow some unity to wash over then WHU will be at best a yo-yo club. Sam doesn't appear to be the type to take too much nonsense from people and hopefully he will be able to run the team as he sees fit.

    The most important thing for a relegated team is to get back up, even if it means clawing their way out of the Championship.

  • Comment number 62.

    What is it with the BBC and Gold?! I've must of seen him about 5-10 times on match of the day, football focus cameos. And he is always looked at in a good light. I seem to remember a really cringeworthy match of the day 2 one where he was shown in the training ground asking how everyone is, shaking hands (surprised i didn't see him kissing babies!) I know it looks like he is a nice guy and everything, but it looks so forced, as though he only does it when a camera is near. They then followed him to a game where he was 'avin a go from his box etc....I dunno it just seems like the BBC like to improve his image, when quite frankly he hasnt done anything right since taking over.

    Even in this blog, even thought you state in one sentance he has been criticised you still seem to credit him for his 'passion'.

    I am most likely reading into it too much but I just find the bbc-gold relationship suspicious and odd.

    Here is one of this features:

  • Comment number 63.

    If i were a West Ham fan i'd be pretty pleased to have a manager like Allardyce on board to get you back into the PL. I reckon if anyone can do it, he can BUT you'll have to sacrifice some of the pretty football if Big Sam is to work to his strengths and play a bit more direct. Allardyce is never going to have his side knocking the ball about...
    As for Gold, Sullivan and co, i'd find the statement "We've been relegated 3 times before at Birmingham' at bit worrying!!

  • Comment number 64.

    The Club of Moore Hurst and Peters are now the Club of Allardyce, Nolan and whatever other pre historic meatheads he brings in. As one who has always liked the Hammers its quite sad in my view. Just cant see the Allardyce 'culture' taking off at the Hammers to be honest.

  • Comment number 65.

    west ham are a pointless prem league team , always fighting relegation, at least in the championship they may win 2 games in a row or at least get in the top half of the table.

  • Comment number 66.

    Match made in heaven, the PL's worst boardroom clowns with Real Madrid's next manager!!

    Watching Allardyce teams play football makes Stoke look like Brazil, can't wait to see Kevin Davies arrive and elbow everyone in the face and then Diouf can spit in all the fans faces, interestingly a few years ago he managed to spit at more people than score goals (4 spitting incidents and 2 goals!!!)

    Seriously looking at West Hams squad how on earth did they get relegated below Wolves and Wigan!!!

  • Comment number 67.

    Allardyce is not going to be building anything. He has limited abilities, is over rated as a 'tough' guy (just think of who exactly he has stood up to?), has no time for youth teams, and makes his own stats up to support his argument that he is the 'greatest manager that has lived'. I particularly like the Arsenal rantings - when compared to the facts he's in a bit of trouble - 4 wins for Allardyce, 9 for Wenger and 7 draws. Doesn't look like a good record to me.

    But the concern I have irrespective of all that is that this is all short term. He has 2 years and if he gets us up I'm sure then he will be touting for the England job. If he doesn't then he'll be out. Either way he ain't gonna leave no legacy or have done anything to rebuild. In fact the opposite may prove to be true. And his whole entourage circus will disappear as soon as they arrived. He is yet another shipped in manager with no vision, and given a cheque book.

    And 2 other things for the Allardyce luvveees that are all patting themselves on their backs for 'supporting' him. Are Nolan and Faye replacements for Upson, Obinna, Green, Parker, Ba, etc. And if you think that just appointing him guarantees we'll get promotion, you're in for a hard season - he only got Bolton up in the play offs.

    The worst case scenario for me is that he gets us up with youth but dismantles the youth setup and Tony Carr retires. It would be a false dawn before a huge fall yet again.

  • Comment number 68.

    Some of the critisism levelled towards Big Sam on here is bewildering to say the least. Sam Allardyce is one of the few managers in the premiership who has the ability to keep the ship steady. Yes his style is not exactly silky. A bit old school perhaps, but it is incredibly effective. Bolton Wanderers were always a consistent team in the premiership and during that time several exiting players were brought in. Can no one remember the likes of Jay-Jay Ochocha(on a free), Youri Djorkaeff, Gary Speed and Anelka at Bolton. He then took them to a league cup final and into Europe for the 1st time ever.
    Or the fact he brought in Jose Enrique and Joey Barton for Newcastle. And Nolan. All regarded as among the best in that team (and most sought after). He was never wanted at Newcastle by their new owner Mike Ashley having previously been appointed by Freddy Sheperd. And thus despite being midtable by January he parted company with the club. It all went wrong after that.

    At Blackburn he had a solid premiership outfit and was sitting fairly comfortably in 13th before again new owners took a dislike to the man and sacked him for little reason. His replacement kept them up... just.

    He is well reknowned as one of the leading users of sports science in the premier league which helps in regards in the physicalities of his teams no doubt. You dont get anywhere in the Premiership without a little steel as I'm sure many Arsenal fans and likely West Ham fans will testify to.

    If given time, like he had at Bolton I predict he will both make them a solid Premiership outfit and attract some interesting and exciting players to boot.

    If there is perhaps one critisism i can think of it is perhaps his use of youth systems with few i can think off coming through, but he makes up for that with excellent use of the free market.

    And what is this stylish style of play West Ham seem to think they have had. Maybe in the 60s before my time or when Harry Redknapp was in charge but all I see is a soft belly. Much like Hibs in Scotland, they have delusions of self grandeur.

    As for Alan Curbishly. Perhaps a prime example of those unrealistic expectations. Mr 10th place. Will keep you up safely and have you flirting with Europe before finishing right in midtable. He did well at West Ham before and the fans didn't really take to him. I dont see why he'd go back even if approached (Im very surprised he has remained out a job as long as he has now.)

    Some might think if the West Ham owners did plan on keeping "The Count" Avram Grant to save them a few bob as a cynical move. In my mind it looks like fiscal genius if such is the case. West Ham players are bound to, unlike Newcastle, have relegation clauses that reduce wages or activate release clauses (ie Demba Ba) and this would obliterate some of the wage bill. A few high earners have already had their contracts expire also and it is very likely Parker will depart for a decent fee. It allows them to start from scratch on more realistic wages. Then you have parachute payments and if the West Ham fans are truly loyal a solid backing to get the team back up.

    If you are a West Ham fan and know your recent footballing history and your football you can be relieved, if you dont know then rest assured, most people in football would see big Sam as a shrewd appointment with Faye and Nolan as perfect 1st signings. It should see you back up there before long.

    And if you're still not convinced, well, not much one can say. I just hope you'll be happy if proved wrong as I suspect you may.

  • Comment number 69.

    I agree with everything you've said - you make the case for Allardyce superbly. Why do some fans (and some directors) refuse to judge managers on their records? This isn't a popularity contest. Last summer West Ham appointed a manager who'd won sympathy with Portsmouth by sounding defiant and optimistic after every setback. If they'd looked at Grant's record as a coach they'd have realised his "defiance in failure" routine was all he had to offer because he has zero ability to influence a team to success on the training ground, in the dressing room or from the bench. Now they've seen sense and appointed a man who'll probably take them straight back up. West Ham fans should be relieved to have a leader again.

  • Comment number 70.

    #69 I could never see why they even considered Avram Grant. His record as a coach is hardly superb. Zola did well to keep a financially turmoiled West Ham up, Grant took one down with little great resistance and then took the formers job. Though at least, for whatever reason good or bad, the owners have a history (certainly recently) of supporting their man and not sacking on a whim.

    "defiance in failure" sums Grant up perfectly. Yes he managed to take Chelsea to the Champions league final but it was him hanging in the backgound that saw the end of Jose anyway. He has little else to show from his efforts. Many would be wise to steer clear. He'll never have big Sams eye for a player, thats for sure.

  • Comment number 71.

    Not particularly relevant, but why is it that in the world of football, anyone over 6 feet tall is labelled "big"?

  • Comment number 72.

    It might not be relevant but it's a very good question. I blame managers and pundits with dodgy memories. It's easier to call someone "Big Sam" or "the big fella" than it is to remember everyone's surname. Also in fairness, I've listened to half time team talks where the boss had very little time to get his point across and it was easier for him to say "Big Dave take the near post, little Dave take the far post". Tragically for me I was little Dave. It's a cruel game.

  • Comment number 73.

    This year: London.

    Next year: Real Madrid!

    (Hey, it worked for Juande Ramos)

  • Comment number 74.

    The snobbishness of some whammers fans is beyond belief. You have been relegated twice now in a few years..There has been precious evidence of your flowing passing football recently and you are where you are.

    Allardyce will have you well organised and working as a a team in no time.

    Dont belief all the rubbish about hoofball. If Big Sams ethos was good enough for the likes of Okocha,Hierro and Djoerkieff then its good enough for you lot.

    Stick with him and he will get you up...PS 1966 was a long time ago!

  • Comment number 75.

    I think its about time, WHU started waking up.

    Its gonna be about 5 years until you lot get back up to the Prem.

  • Comment number 76.

    I worry that the West Ham brand will be diminished if the club languishes for any time in the second division at the same time as moving from Upton Park to a large, half empty Olympic stadium. This could lead to the type of demise that was inflicted on Leeds, Sheff Wednesday, Southampton and other clubs. My advice is to reconsider the stadium option until (or if) the club returns to the top flight. Allardyce has made a good start securing Nolan so I am quite optimistic on the playing front. But I have no faith in the owners or Brady, who destroyed morale in the club under both Zola and Grant. I hope Allardyce insisted that there will be no press statements from the Big Three without his approval.

  • Comment number 77.

    There is no doubt that the current owners have made serious errors of judgement since their purchase of the club. Mr. Sullivan has said some unneccessary inflamatory remarks which is not good for the club or the relationshion between the board and the players. However, they inherited a mess. Most of the blame must lie at the door of the previous owners, who sold off the clubs best players for a quick buck. The day that Collins was sold for a measly 5mill was the day I knew things were on a slide. I believe that Sam Allardyce was a good decision by the board, and one which will reap benefits over timeOne word of advice to the board, let the manager manage...


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