From the Newsroom

Evening Standard football correspondent Ken Dyer offers his take on the departure of Sam Allardyce
Evening Standard correspondent Ken Dyer has been covering West Ham United over land and sea for more than 40 years. He has also spent the last four seasons ghost-writing Sam Allardyce's column in London's daily newspaper...

Quite frankly Sunday’s announcement that the Club will not be renewing Sam Allardyce’s contract did not come as a great surprise considering all of the speculation over the past few weeks. From a purely personal perspective I’m a bit sad as I’ve ghost written his weekly column for the Evening Standard for the past four years and have built up a relationship and a friendship with him. 

Looking back at his time at the Club, I think he’s done everything asked of him and has brought the club out from what was a very low point to a period of stability. He took them out of the Championship and in to the Premier League at the first attempt, which is no mean feat. He gave the fans a marvellous time at Wembley and some other great wins, most notably against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool.

It’s just a shame that during the second half of the season it fell away, largely due to injuries to key players, especially the strikers.

Overall, he gave us a real spine - West Ham over many years have had a reputation for playing some good football but maybe being a bit flaky and easy to beat at times. He changed that and made us a resilient team. 

He established us a mid-table Premier League Club and it is a terrific achievement in such a short period of time. I think that will be his legacy.

I’m sure in the fullness of time he’ll get back into the game. I think he’ll now take a well-earned break and I wish him all the best.

I watched Sam’s post-match interviews and he talked with dignity and there doesn’t seem to be any hard feelings between him and the Club, which is good to see. I think as he said it’s probably right time for both parties – the Club and him - to move on. 

David Sullivan and David Gold have now started their hunt for a new manager and I think they need someone to take Sam’s legacy forward. The number one priority is to stay in the Premier League next season and I think it’s important we don’t get too ahead of ourselves. In future years we can set our sights much higher but next year it’s all about staying in the Premier League.

In terms of style of play we will be looking for, I think the fans were frustrated in the early days of Sam’s time that we played a little too direct and the new manager has to recognise that and appreciate the history and tradition of the club. 

They just need to keep the continuity and stability and potentially deal with the added challenge of starting the season early due to Europa League qualification.

It is a big challenge but an exciting one for the right man.