Sam Allardyce was brought in as the manager of West Ham in 2011, and led them from the Championship to the Premier League his first year in charge.
At the end of last season, Allardyce and the club parted ways despite the fact that they never finished lower than 13th in his three seasons in the PL.
Recently appointed the manager of struggling Sunderland, Allardyce has called out the supporters of West Ham, calling them “brainwashed” and “deluded.”
During his time at Upton Park, Big Sam and the supporters didn’t see eye-to-eye, as fans accused the team of relying on the long-ball and playing too direct, rather than playing the “West Ham way” of free-flowing, attractive football.
I felt the West Ham way was about wearing your heart on your sleeve and showing passion for the club and winning.
But the fans were being brainwashed into thinking that, historically, the club had a particular style of play which was akin to Barcelona, which was potty. I once called the supporters deluded and I stand by that. I don’t know who invented the West Ham way phrase, but it’s a millstone around the club’s neck.
None of the players would admit it but they used to sit in the dressing room at half-time going: ‘Listen to them, never f****** happy, slaughtering us all the time.’
It must be a big anxiety for the owners, who need to fill the 54,000-seater Olympic Stadium with entertaining and successful football next year. The fans won’t turn up if West Ham are playing fantasy football and losing 5-3 every week. Slaven Bilic is the new man in the hot seat and good luck to him. He will need it.
Tell us how you really feel, Sam.
West Ham’s new manager Slaven Bilic has the club sitting sixth on the table, and actually has them playing the “West Ham way” that Allardyce didn’t deliver. Through eight matches, the only club to score more goals than the Hammers are league-leaders Manchester City.
Allardyce won’t make his return to Upton Park until late February, but mark that match on your calendar, as Big Sam clearly has a chip on his shoulder.