Stuart Pearce has, in an exclusive interview with 888sport.com, been discussing Sam Allardyce’s departure at West Ham United and the arrival of Slaven Bilic in his place.
The Hammers decided to overhaul their coaching team this summer after enduring mixed, to say the least, fortunes in 2014/15.
Life was rosy at the Boleyn Ground over the first half of the season, with Allardyce seeing fresh faces settle quickly and spark a surge up the Premier League standings.
Storm clouds quickly started to gather in east London, though, with West Ham’s efforts after the turn of the year dropping them back down the top-flight table.
As they faltered, Allardyce’s position became increasingly untenable, with speculation building to the point where a changing of the guard became inevitable.
As his contract ran down, little time was wasted in taking the decision to part with his services, with a new direction sought after four years under the guidance of ‘Big Sam’.
Former West Ham defender Pearce considers the ex-Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers boss to be ‘very unfortunate’ to find himself out of work, but has also suggested that Allardyce may have been looking for a fresh start after becoming an unfortunate centre of attention.
Pearce was interviewed by 888sport ahead of England's opener in the European U21 Championship against Portugal on Thursday, and had this to say: “Big Sam was very unfortunate not to have his contract renewed – or maybe he didn’t want his contract renewed.”
Whatever the thinking behind the parting of ways, West Ham have moved quickly to fill their managerial void with the enigmatic talents of Bilic.
The Croat is another passionate, larger-than-life character and one, as an ex-Hammer, a loyal fan base can relate to and a figure they are hoping will get the bubbles blowing again in the right direction.
Bilic has been afforded the honour of overseeing a final season at Upton Park, and will be hoping to make the switch to the Olympic Stadium in 2016, and Pearce believes he could be the ideal candidate to carry the club forward.
He added, with it possible to read all of Pearce’s thoughts on England's Under 21 chances on 888sport.com: “He’s a fantastic coach and manager with a top CV. West Ham is a wonderful club that should always be looking to push forward.”
With the fixtures for the new Premier League season having been released on Wednesday, Bilic now knows that his first challenge in a new post will be a testing one, with West Ham opening the 2015/16 campaign away at capital rivals Arsenal.
His bow at Upton Park will be made a week later against Leicester City, while emotions will be running high when the Hammers bid farewell to their famous old home in May when Swansea City provide the opposition.