'West Ham way' target for new boss after Sam Allardyce exit

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
Allardyce happy with 'mutual' decision

West Ham have set a list of criteria as they sift through a shortlist of candidates to replace Sam Allardyce as manager of the Premier League club.

Allardyce, 60, will not be signing a new deal to remain Hammers boss.

Owners David Gold and David Sullivan want an ambitious boss to take the club to "the next level" and win trophies.

The candidate will be expected to understand the club, its fans and culture, and can encourage the 'West Ham way' of playing attacking football.

Gold believes the Hammers, who finished the season 12th, are almost certain to have qualified for the Europa League via a Uefa Fair Play place.

What is the 'West Ham way'?
Generally thought by some West Ham fans to be a brand of attacking football where the team goes for goals, such as when the club won the FA Cup three times between 1964 and 1980Critics question whether such a philosophy can exist alongside a target of winning trophies, and bringing young players through from the club's academy
Based on the approach where defenders bring the ball out from the back as typified by Bobby Moore, and later through the likes of Alvin Martin and Rio FerdinandIn his biography, former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: "I hope that before I die someone can explain the 'West Ham way'. What is it? They last won a trophy in 1980, the FA Cup."

Allardyce, after four years with the club in which he won promotion and ensured Premier League stability but was criticised by some sections of the fanbase for a supposedly negative approach, was told on Friday his contract would not be renewed.

West Ham are content with taking their time over appointing a replacement, with the club preparing for their final season at the Boleyn Ground before moving across East London to the Olympic Stadium in time for the 2016-17 season.

Gold and Sullivan themselves are leading the hunt for Allardyce's replacement and have drawn up a list of candidates, although one contender - former Liverpool manager and current Napoli boss Rafael Benitez - is being strongly linked with a move to Spanish side Real Madrid.

The new boss is likely to oversee a European campaign starting in July, with Gold saying the club is "99.9% certain" to have reached the Europa League through the Fair Play criteria, which is expected to be confirmed this week.

Club sources say Gold and Sullivan are looking for a manager who understands the culture surrounding West Ham, and will be enthused by the stadium move.

The successful candidate will also be expected to promote the club's academy and give young players a chance to break through into the first team.


Bookmakers' favourites for West Ham job

Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic (Odds as of 23:00 BST, 24 May: 1-2. Age: 46) Wants the job and has just left Turkish side Besiktas, but has no managerial experience in the Premier League and would be a big risk. Former head coach of the Croatia national team, was a popular player at Upton Park in the mid-1990s.

David Moyes(Odds: 4-1. Age: 51) Stock is higher following successful six months with Real Sociedad after flopping at Manchester United. Did a creditable job previously at Everton, although may fancy more time in Spain before any return to the Premier League.

Unai Emery (Odds: 5-1. Age: 43) Sevilla head coach considered a hot property, and has drawn comparisons with Jose Mourinho. Also linked with a move to Read Madrid if Carlo Ancelotti is replaced.

Steve McClaren (Odds: 10-1. Age: 54) Former England manager would fit West Ham owners' prototype of going for managers with top-flight experience. McClaren's future at Derby County is unclear, although he could be courted by Newcastle.


As players paid tribute to the departing manager, Allardyce said that attacking options were likely to be a focus for his successor.

"We can't finish and we can't score and that's become ever more apparent in the last few weeks," he told West Ham's official website.external-link

"Our build-up is fine, but the depth of our quality of finishing is just not there and that's an area for someone else now."

James TomkinsWinston Reid