West Ham boss questions whether job speculation has affected players

Sam Allardyce Press Conference 12/02/2014

Since Sam Allardyce has been linked with an exit from West Ham United, the Hammers have struggled in the Premier League.

Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Sam Allardyce has questioned whether West Ham have struggled due to the speculation surrounding his job.

The veteran coach has been linked with an exit from the Boleyn Ground this summer, with his contract expiring and no renewal yet on the cards. A report in the Daily Mail has linked Allardyce with moving club at the end of the season, with Sunderland and QPR named as potential destinations, while the Sun claimed that the Nigerian Football Federation wanted him to take charge of their senior national team.

Having scaled as high as the Premier League’s top four prior to the turn of the year, the Hammers have dropped off in the second half of the campaign and will now struggle to even qualify for the Europa League. They have not won a league game since the middle of January and are currently on a run of eight games without victory, including three successive defeats.

The suggestion that players can be affected by the future of their manager is not a new one, with Tottenham the main subject used in such a debate. Under Harry Redknapp, Spurs looked set to clinch a top-three finish in the Premier League, but as soon as he was linked with the vacant England job they dropped off, finished fourth and were not entered into the Champions League due to Chelsea winning the competition.

West Ham may be undergoing a similar crisis, with Allardyce’s future under threat, but the experienced coach has told the Standard that he does not believe the speculation is having such an impact on his players.

Allardyce said: “I do not believe that any of this speculation about my future has affected the West Ham players, not based on their performances anyway.

“A lot of the same lads went through something similar two years ago when my contract came up for renewal [and it didn’t affect them].”

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