Sam set for Hammers hot-seat

The Hammers sacked Avram Grant last month after their relegation to

the Championship was confirmed with a game to spare, and a number

of names, such as Dave Jones, Neil Warnock and Malky Mackay had all

been touted. But it’s now understood that 56-year-old Allardyce has

impressed Gold and Sullivan so much that he could be unveiled on a

two-year deal. If Allardyce is the man, it will be his first job

since he was dismissed by Blackburn in December and it will be the

first time he has managed outside the top flight in a decade.

Having cut his teeth with Blackpool and Notts County, he made his

name as a manager with Bolton and took them to the Premier League

through the play-offs in 2001. He then established them as a

Premier League club and even took them into Europe in 2005. His

work on a relatively low budget did not go unnoticed and he moved

to Newcastle in 2007, only for Mike Ashley to take over the club

two weeks later and sack Allardyce after just six months. After an

11-month absence he returned to management with Blackburn in

December 2008 and was thought by many to be doing a reasonable job,

again on a low budget, when he was sacked six months ago. Again his

dismissal was authorised by an owner that did not employ him, but,

if Gold and Sullivan make the decision to appoint him, Allardyce

can hope to get the time he needs to reshape the east London club.

One of his first tasks will be to resolve the future of the club’s

leading names, the majority of whom are expected to leave. England

quartet Carlton Cole, Rob Green, Scott Parker and Matthew Upson

will all have suitors, as will midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger.