Sam Allardyce said today that he had never wanted to stay on as manager at West Ham beyond this season after the club announced that they would not be renewing his contract this summer.
The widely-anticipated announcement about Allardyce was made just after full-time following the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United, with Slaven Bilic the current favourite to succeed him next season. Rafa Benitez, previously lined up to succeed Allardyce, now looks like he will take the Real Madrid job.
Allardyce said that he wanted to spend time with his family and relax before coming back into management, possibly before Christmas. “I didn’t want to stay,” he said. “I suppose you can say it is a mutual [decision], if they say they didn’t want to give me one [a contract] anyway! That’s a bit of tit for tat, but it’s done and dusted now, it’s settled, we both move on.”
He added: “It’s a massive commitment as a manager. You just ignore your family 24-7 when you do this job and it’s time for me to give them a bit of time and for me to enjoy the time with them and then see what happens in a few months.
“I thought it was the right time to leave. Four years is a long enough spell, you don’t want to overstay your welcome. You have to commit your whole life to being a Premier League manager and you’re under scrutiny the whole time, and you have to be totally obsessed with job to get it right.”
The West Ham fans sang “Fuck off Sam Allardyce” during the second half, their disenchantment with him longstanding. The club say it made the announcement so soon after the game on order that it could be discussed in Allardyce’s post-match media appearances.
Allardyce was told on Friday and the new appointment will be made by co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold, who already have a shortlist. David Moyes and Unai Emery are also in the running.
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