ALLARDYCE APPOINTED

This morning the club has announced the worst kept secret of the last two weeks – Sam Allardyce is the new manager. This from the official site:

West Ham United are delighted to confirm the appointment of Sam Allardyce as manager.

One of English football’s most prominent managerial names, Allardyce has taken charge with immediate effect and spoke straight away of his desire to get the Hammers back into the Barclays Premier League as soon as possible.

With full backing from the Board, he intends to sign several players to achieve that ambition and has pledged to instil “a winning mentality” from day one at the Boleyn Ground.

He said: “It is an honour to be the new manager of West Ham United. It is a fantastic club with a great tradition and loyal supporters who deserve to be in the Premier League. I can’t wait to begin pre-season training as I am determined to get this club back where it belongs.”

Pride and passion will be watchwords for the new Hammers boss, the 14th man to take charge of the club, with Allardyce saying there was no job out there “that excites me like the prospect of managing West Ham”.

The 56-year-old added: “I wouldn’t have taken this job if I didn’t think we could bounce straight back into the Premier League. More than that, I wouldn’t have contemplated the job if I didn’t think there was the opportunity to build something substantial at West Ham.”

The former Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers manager forged his strong reputation during eight highly successful years at Bolton Wanderers.

A tough-tackling defender with more than 400 appearances from his own playing days, he has also been talked about as a future England manager with his vast knowledge of the game, respected coaching credentials and innovative approach to sports science.

After winning promotion in 2000/01, Allardyce firmly established Bolton as a Premier League club including regular top-eight finishes and also took them all the way to the League Cup final.

He also guided Bolton to their first UEFA Cup campaign and followed that up with another European adventure as he made the club an established top-flight force used to looking up rather than down. His shorter spells at Newcastle and Blackburn also saw him leave both clubs in safe mid-table positions.

Allardyce will spend the next month honing his new squad and identifying players that can help him achieve his aims. He is committed to using the best Academy talent in tandem with high-quality experienced performers that will be up for the battle ahead in a competitive Championship.

“There is a core of very talented young players at the club who’ve come up through the youth system, have West Ham in their blood and who I know I can build a successful team around.

“That’s what I’m looking forward to, managing a club that wins more games than it loses and competing at the top of the table. We need to create a winning mentality and give the fans a team they can be proud to watch.”

Allardyce explained the club needed to move on quickly from the pain of relegation and think for the future on and off the field, with the exciting prospect of the Olympic Stadium in 2014/15 also a positive incentive.

Mindful of the club winning just two of the last 37 away league fixtures, Allardyce will naturally focus all of his attention on playing matters. He is determined to make the Hammers successful wherever and whenever they play – but will not sacrifice the club’s traditions in the process.

“I know there will be West Ham fans asking whether I’m going to abandon the style of play that’s been the club’s heritage over the years. All I’ll say is it will be a tale of home and away.

“At Upton Park we’ll attempt to play the kind of passing game the fans want. We will aim to continue in the same way on our travels but we’ll also be tough, hard to beat and utterly resilient.”

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