West Ham hires Allardyce as new manager
LONDON (AP) -- Sam Allardyce joined West Ham as manager on Wednesday, charged with leading the east London club back into the Premier League.
The former Bolton and Newcastle manager said he could lead the newly relegated side back to the topflight but warned fans that his team will not always play the attractive style of football associated with the Hammers.
"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,'' Allardyce said. "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.''
Co-owner David Gold said he was happy with Allardyce's tactics.
"It's a myth that Sam got labeled with, that he plays only with the long-ball man,'' Gold said. "I think Sam plays the winning way. If you're 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go, you tell me a side that doesn't play the long-ball game.
"It's horses for courses.''
Gold denied a claim on Twitter by Lotus F1 team principal Tony Fernandes that he had made a renewed bid for the club, but told SkySportsNews that the cost of relegation meant that he and business partner David Sullivan could welcome extra financing.
He did not say whether the duo would consider taking Fernandes as a partner or sell their entire stake.
Allardyce, who has been out of work since he was fired by Blackburn in December, replaced Avram Grant. West Ham fired the former Chelsea and Portsmouth coach after its last-place finish in the Premier League was confirmed with a game remaining.
"I wouldn't have taken this job if I didn't think we could bounce straight back into the Premier League,'' Allardyce said. "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.''
West Ham is likely to lose several of its key players following its relegation, with midfielder Scott Parker, striker Carlton Cole and goalkeeper Robert Green all linked with transfers to Premier League clubs.
Allardyce said he will build a squad upon youth team players, bolstering it with a handful of signings.
"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,'' Allardyce said. "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.''
A former defender who spent time with clubs including Millwall, Preston and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Allardyce built his reputation as a coach at Bolton, which he guided into the Premier League in 2001.
Noted for his use of sports technology and regularly wearing the communication headset common in the NFL but unseen in the Premier League, Allardyce established Bolton as a Premier League team and took the team into European competition for the first time.
A year after being passed over for the role of England manager after the 2006 World Cup, Allardyce quit Bolton for Newcastle in an attempt to win trophies. But he left just seven months into a three-year contract following a poor run of results.
Blackburn then improved gradually under him but he was fired by the club's new owners in December despite the club sitting comfortably in mid table. Blackburn slumped after his departure and avoided relegation only on the final day of the season.