West Ham manager Sam Allardyce on weak ground to fight David Sullivan’s claims

Manager also says he will pick fringe players for Wednesday's League Cup tie

Sam Allardyce is in no position to take issue with David Sullivan, an owner for whom the term quixotic could have been invented. The veneer of his acceptance as West Ham manager is so thin it is virtually translucent.

He is obliged to balance understandable resistance to Sullivan’s suggestion that West Ham’s season is a “write-off” with a practical assessment of the weaknesses of his case. There is justifiable doubt he will survive the season, let alone be around for the tenancy of the Olympic Stadium.

“David is in a position where he gets extremely anxious. It is the way he is as a person,” Allardyce acknowledged after a grim goalless draw against Sunderland which reinforced Sullivan’s acutely-timed questioning of the wisdom of placing inordinate faith in the haphazard fitness of Andy Carroll.

“The pressure comes on to him as much as it goes on to me. He looks after the football club. That is a huge commitment, going forward, and a big responsibility for us all. This club has to be in the Premier League, going into the Olympic Stadium. We have to make sure we sustain our place.”

When a club of West Ham’s limited horizons effectively sacrifice the chance of a League Cup semi-final place to prepare for a League visit to Old Trafford, the extent of the challenge becomes clear.

Allardyce confirmed his intention to select fringe players for Wednesday’s quarter-final tie against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. “We have to prepare to do what others have done, get points at Manchester United,” he said. “As much as I don’t like to admit it, that’s the more important game.”

The paucity of his attacking options also underlined the significance of next month’s transfer window. He is ready to extend his search for viable loanees to South America if his current sweep of the European market for an experienced striker is frustrated.

According to Allardyce, a foreign signing of appropriate quality will not countenance a move unless he is paid a “net” wage, to protect him from a tax burden. “That doubles the deal,” he admitted. “Most of the time that is beyond our financial capabilities.”

He was in no mood to appreciate the irony of the dilemma. West Ham might be guaranteed a new home, at questionable cost to the taxpayer, but in football, as in life, it is rare to get something for nothing. He might pay for his problems with his job.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions