Allardyce: West Ham had no soul when I arrived
13:25 26 April 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Hammers boss pleased with how his first season at Upton Park has gone
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has revealed how the club had ‘no soul’ when he arrived at the start of last summer, following the Hammers’ relegation from the Premier League.
The former Bolton Wanderers and Newcastle boss was appointed by co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan in June of last year, and has guided the Upton Park outfit to an outside chance of automatic promotion heading into the last game of the season.
However, the 57-year-old admitted that when he arrived, things were very different to what they are now.
“This is now a happy club, it has a soul,” he said.
“It didn’t have a soul when I arrived so we’ve enjoyed the season, but we are disappointed that we are where we are as we were good enough to clinch one of the top two spot, but then again from where we have come from it is still a magnificent season.
“The club got relegated and it was not very nice, the doom and gloom that was around the place was something that you could smell, taste and feel as a manager.
“It was something that I had to rip the backside out of and start again, which I did as quick as I could.
“To have only lost eight games all season is a magnificent achievement considering the turnover of players that we have had, and considering the state of the club when I walked through the door.”
The Hammers were hot favourites for automatic promotion at the start of the season, but a succession of poor results at home during the last few months of the campaign has seen West Ham slip out of the top two.
However, Allardyce is adamant that his men have had a strong and successful season.
“We are kicking ourselves, but that is football,” he said.
“We have had to live with the expectation all season, and that has made the opposition always give that bit more where were the big scalp.
“In the end we slipped up too many times by drawing at home.
“It’s disappointing but we have still had a very good season.
“To play 45 games and only lose eight and to beat the club’s away record is fantastic.”