Sam Allardyce will be staying on as West Ham manager next season but must meet his side's owners' demands in order to see out the remaining year of his contract.
The decision was made for 59 year-old to remain manager following an end-of-season meeting between Allardyce and the club’s board on Tuesday, with the predominant message coming out of the meeting being to 'ensure the team provides more entertainment next season'.
‘Big Sam’ led the Hammers to a 13th placed finish in the Barclays Premier League last season, although in doing so he received heavy amounts of criticism from the club’s fans.
The club statement read: “West Ham United can confirm that manager Sam Allardyce will lead the Club into the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season after constructive talks with the Club's Board.
“The Board and Allardyce have held lengthy and detailed discussions on the Club's direction, values and philosophy and a positive way forward for next season has been agreed.
“After listening to feedback from supporters, the Board have insisted on improvements to the set-up of the playing and backroom staff to ensure the team provides more entertainment next season.”
Joint-chairmen at the club David Sullivan and David Gold had the following to say about the decision to retain the services of Sam Allardyce as manager of the club for next season:
“We have a very clear vision of how we want West Ham United to operate under our joint ownership. Although not everybody understands the West Ham Way, we do and we respect it as we have been supporters all our lives. We believe this is about a philosophy that is not just about the style of play, but the whole ethos that surrounds the Club.
“Sam was asked to give us a detailed presentation on his vision for next season and during this he assured us that he can deliver that ethos to West Ham United and we have agreed to support him with the resources that he needs. We have mapped out a way forward with him that will ensure our much-deserving fans have more to cheer about next season.”
Whether this is a popular decision in the minds of the Upton Park faithful will be found out in due course.
The statement continued: “The manager has agreed to recruit a new attacking coach to complement the existing coaching set-up as well as an overhaul of the Club's scouting and recruitment operation that will see the Board have a greater involvement in the players who are signed, as the Board will once again be investing considerable funds into the Club this summer.”
The primary message from the statement was that: “The Club have made clear that they want to see progression on the pitch and at least a top-ten finish as a result.”
Allardyce took charge of the Hammers in 2011 with his main task being to achieve promotion back to the Barclays Premier League in his first season with the club. He successfully achieved this target as the Hammers were promoted back to the Barclays Premier League via the play-offs, defeating Blackpool 2-1 at Wembley.
In his two seasons of managing West Ham in the Premier League they have finished 10th and 13th in 2012-13 and 2013-14 respectively. Although maintaining Premier League status West Ham finished the 2013-14 season with eight defeats in their final 11 matches, a run which has seen the fans seriously doubt whether Allardyce is the right man to take the club forward.
Another reason why fans are concerned is because big money signings like Andy Carroll, Matt Jarvis and Stewart Downing haven’t been consistent during their time at Upton Park, despite being on heavy wages at the club.
With West Ham due to move into the Olympic Stadium in 2016 the club cannot afford to be involved in another relegation dogfight next campaign. Money will be spent in the summer months with a new striker thought to be top priority in order to ease the pressure of England international Andy Carroll.
The club statement finished: “The 2014/15 campaign is crucial to our future and we are confident that Sam has the passion, experience and determination to make sure it is a success.”
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce had the following to say about staying on as manager next campaign: “I look forward to taking the Club forward and improving the squad for next season to try and achieve the plans we have set out in our very productive meeting last week.”
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