Sam Allardyce was the bitter medicine West Ham needed but we're all better now

Sam Allardyce

If reports are to be believed, Sam Allardyce's four-year tenure at West Ham United is coming to an end, but is that such a bad thing for both parties?

The world and its wife has seemingly been linked with the Hammers hotseat ever since the club's fairytale start to the season hit troubled waters after Christmas.

From David Moyes, to Eddie Howe, Marcelo Bielsa to Jurgen Klopp and more intensely Rafa Benitez and Slaven Bilic in recent weeks, a host of managers have been mooted as replacements for Big Sam.

Speculation has engulfed West Ham's season and must have had an effect one way or another on both the manager and some of his squad.

There has quite obviously been some kind of disconnect between the manager and co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold.

But the manager has not done himself many favours this year. Three wins in 2015 tells its own story, and no matter how much Big Sam complains that the football world is full of short memories, there is no getting away from the fact that is relegation form.

Fans are bound to be unhappy after such poor run of results but there has, in the main, always been a level of respect from the terraces, even if some of it was begrudging.

The fans, like Allardyce, are also equally sick of seeing their key players spend long spells out injured every single season.

It has been reported in the Mirror that the 60-year-old has been giving utility companies his final meter readings ahead of an anticipated move from his Canary Wharf flat.

The writing is on the wall. But why does the departure have to be controversial?

The former Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers boss has always divided opinion at Upton Park.

But while a noisy section of fans have made their feelings clear periodically throughout his tenure, he still has support from some of the Upton Park faithful who feel the club has progressed steadily under his stewardship.

The owners - and Allardyce himself - had always insisted they would talk contracts at the end of the season, as is club policy.

But if he isn't given a new deal, are West Ham so wrong? They hired Big Sam to do a very specific job.

His skill set was what West Ham needed. He picked the club off the floor, rejuvenated the dressing room, made as many bad signings as he did good, and by hook or crook - and a fair slice of fortune - got them promoted back to the Premier League at the first attempt through the play-offs.

Season two, the Hammers finished 10th in the top tier, season three 13th and now season four they will be around mid-table again.

A solid record if ever there was one but nothing that will live too long in the memory of even the most dedicated Hammers fan.

The straw that broke the camel's back is that this season could have been so much better.

Should his contract not be renewed, Allardyce could well have left the Irons in the Europa League, by virtue of the FIFA Fair Play standings. What a way to go out, the CV improves again. Clubs will be queuing up.

But West Ham have their eyes on bigger and better things now. They don't want apathy from the crowd in their last season at their famous Boleyn Ground.

They want enthusiasm and excitement ahead of their move to the 54,000 seater Olympic Stadium. This is a big club on the verge of some of the most important seasons in its entire history.

Allardyce did a good job. Nothing more, nothing less. He has in no way looked to the long-term future stability of the club by bringing through young players over the four years.

He has been all about results and all about his own CV. But everyone knew that from the start, it was one of the reasons he got the job in the first place, so it is churlish to complain now.

It has worked well for both parties but it has now reached its natural conclusion.

Allardyce was the bitter medicine West Ham United had needed for a long time and continues to prove he is a safe pair of hands.

But West Ham are all better now, thanks, and it is time to shake hands on a job well done, part on good terms and ride off into the sunset ready for new challenges ahead.

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