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Vinny 10:27 Fri May 22
Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/sam-allardyce-my-future-will-be-sorted-while-im-away--but-i-look-back-on-four-years-at-west-ham-with-pride-10268878.html

I have a lot of time for John Carver, while Steve Bruce is one of my best mates in football. Sadly, one of them will be in charge of the team who will find themselves in the Championship late on Sunday afternoon — and we at West Ham have a big influence on how things pan out.

My responsibility is neither to Newcastle, who we play at St James’ Park, nor Hull City but firmly to West Ham winning and finishing the season with 50 points.

My future at West Ham will be decided after this weekend. I will be on holiday with my grandchildren, something I’m looking forward to immensely, but my representatives will be talking to the club. There’s nothing more I can say on that. I’m not in control of the situation so we’ll just wait and see.

I would just like to take this opportunity, in this final column of the season, to look back on my four years at West Ham.
Progression is always the key word for any manager when he joins a new club. To do that, he must ask questions and find the answers. What are the difficulties? How do you overcome them? How do you achieve the targets set by the owners?
The ambition of the owners has to be balanced by financial availability. If they want to move forward quickly then you have to spend more money. If, however, you want to progress at a steadier pace, then you have to spend the money available more wisely. If you have little or no funds, then it’s difficult to move forward at all.

There’s always been investment since I’ve been here and that money has served the club very well in terms of bringing in players. Over the four years, the player turnover has been astronomical, particularly in that first season in the Championship.
That presents a huge task for the manager and you see many lose their jobs because, as their critics often say: “There was too much change, too quickly.”

We made those wholesale changes and not only coped in that first season but built a better team, one good enough to go back up to the Premier League at the first attempt. I had signed a two-year contract and my task was to help win promotion in that time. One of the hardest things in football is to do that in the first year — very few achieve that — but we managed it.

You can’t over-exaggerate the feeling of depression around a club when they are relegated and West Ham were no exception. There was desolation everywhere and you have to help rebuild the confidence, both of the club and the players — and do it quickly.
I remember sitting down at our pre-season camp, talking to the players individually, and 50 per cent wanted to leave.

We needed to work hard and quickly and the club sent out a big statement of intent when we signed Kevin Nolan. I thought the club’s financial commitment there was fantastic, signing an experienced Premier League player — one who scores goals and is a great captain — and convincing him to come to a club in the Championship.

That gave us a rock-solid base on which to build and then, later, around Christmas when the goals dried up, we signed Nicky Maynard and Ricardo Vaz Te, with Ricardo in particular adding that scoring power.

I thought then we were headed for automatic promotion but no one expected the surge from Reading, who came up on the rails and pipped us.

The play-offs did, however, provide me with my greatest moments of my time here at West Ham. The pleasure and delight of that play-off final win over Blackpool is a memory I will never, ever forget.

Since then we have built and established this club in the Premier League from the first season, where we exceeded our expectations by a distance, through to the second season where we probably didn’t bring in quite enough players. For six weeks around Christmas, we had to worry about relegation but we pulled back up a couple of months later and there were no more concerns.

Which brings me to this season. The summer recruitment was the best I’ve experienced as a manager. There is no doubt we could and should have finished higher this season. This squad, as a result of good investment, is the best since I’ve been at the club and there’s never been a week where we’ve had to look over our shoulders.

It’s a great shame we haven’t finished the season stronger and last weekend’s match against Everton was a perfect example. It’s a terrible feeling deep in your gut when, as a manager, you lose a match like that, in the last minute yet again, particularly when you don’t deserve to be beaten.

No, we won’t finish seventh or eighth as we should have done after our terrific start but overall it’s been good progress — better players playing better football, scoring more goals and even though it might only be one, although we hope it’s four by the end of Sunday, finishing with more points.

The overall picture is very bright, we have a younger squad who will continue to improve. With similar investment this summer, targeting the right players at the right age, we should continue to make good progress although trying to break into the very top echelon will be extremely difficult given some clubs’ financial resources.

As a manager, I’m in it to win it. You stretch yourself as much as you can so that everyone can share in the success. That brings its own rewards, in terms of pride and reputation, and in the knowledge that although you’ve cut it at previous clubs, you’ve done it at this club, too.

There’s a different mentality at all clubs and I’ve always taken into account, no matter what anyone says, the type of football the club wants to play. It would be stupid of me to go against the tide of all that tradition and history. It can’t be done overnight. Unless you spend £200 million, you have to wait to get what you want.
I enjoy living and working in London. So does Lynn, my wife. If she hadn’t wanted to stay here I would have gone at the end of my last contract but we’ve both been happy to stay as long as we can.

The next big challenge is choosing the next crop of players and how much we spend on them. That’s the hardest part of the job today, particularly if they’re from abroad.
That’s it then for another season. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this column half as much as I have writing it.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Sven Roeder 4:12 Mon May 25
Re: Ken Dyer Evening Standard Column
In a blog on the West Ham Facebook feed Ken Dyer talks about Sam leaving and says he has GHOST WRITTEN his Evening Standard column for the last 4 years.

And I thought it was the word of Sam.
It's like hearing there is no Santi Cazorla

Gavros 3:54 Sun May 24
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
He's actually a good analyst. I enjoy reading his stuff far more than I enjoy watching his teams.

Billy Blagg 2:53 Sun May 24
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Fair column that and can't argue with any of it. Nicey 9:56 Sat May 23 Actually all bar two or three of those mentioned will be an improvement. Perhaps the majority of WHO'ers might want them but an improvement? Nope.

Hermit Road 10:47 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
He manages to make our huge investment as a championship club, look like a hindrance that we only overcame due to his genius.

Nicey 9:56 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column

riosleftsock 9:29 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
So, pick your manager Nicey....


Why?

There are loads to look at and it isn't my decision.

Anything will be an improvement bar some ludicrous ones like Mcleish etc

Just wait and see. No prizes to be won here pal x

riosleftsock 9:29 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
So, pick your manager Nicey....

BRANDED 9:22 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Isnt Sulivan the dof?

Nicey 9:16 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column

:^) 7:30 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
If we were to go down the Director of Football route, I'd go for Brooking.


So would I. 100% if that was an option. It should be the only option for a progressive football club.

:^) 7:30 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
If we were to go down the Director of Football route, I'd go for Brooking.

riosleftsock 7:02 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Assuming, Reed wants to stay at Southampton, which manager would you choose?

Nicey 6:56 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Nobody before serious thought is given to club structure hence Les Reed being the most important appointment

riosleftsock 6:56 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
But that's what West Ham have done Nicey apparently.

So, which one out of those, based on what you have seen or heard, would you pick?

Lily Hammer 6:55 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Good man.

What about Ancelotti?

Nicey 6:47 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
De Boer
Klopp
Benetiz
Billic
Howe
Robinson
Garde

Just for starters

I wouid draw up a shortlist and then work through the merits for each before making approaches


The biggest appointment I wouid make wouid be Les Reed

:^) 6:44 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
I know, that's why I asked 'who WOULD it be' as in, if it was your choice...

So to clarify, if your were the chairman, who would be your top target?

riosleftsock 6:42 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Nicey, nystify my curiousity.

Who do you want as manager?

Nicey 6:39 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Why would I have a target? I don't make the decision at the club.

:^) 6:38 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Who would be your no1 target Nicey?

Nicey 6:29 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Lily what would be easier for all is for me to tell you that I have never ever named any other managers that I would prefer to allardyce

That way your false assumptions can become true and the upset you have created for yourself can be nystified in your minds


Or just pay attention

Lily Hammer 6:16 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Go on, Nicey. Tell us one more time who you would back. I honestly don't ever remember reading you name anyone.

Name the manager(s) now, and I'll cover you in future if any one is ragging you for names and you don't want to keep repeating yourself. Nobody likes repeating themselves over and over and over and over again.

Be a sport, old bean.

Tell us.

chad sexington 6:13 Sat May 23
Re: Sam Allardyce Evening Standard Column
Yeh youre the defender of West Hams virtue.

Suggest taking your frustrations out elsewhere rather than flailing wildly about on here. A funeral pyre for the shed perhaps?

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