Despite their current struggles in the Premier League and embarrassing FA Cup exit, Sam Allardyce retains the support of the West Ham United owners.
The Hammers have failed to win a league game since a 3-0 win against capital rivals Fulham on 30 November, and this has seen them slide into the relegation zone over the festive period. And although they have progressed into the semi-final of the League Cup, they were humiliated in the FA Cup on Sunday when they suffered an embarrassing 5-0 third round defeat at Nottingham Forest, currently of the Championship.
A number of supporters have now suggested the time is right for a change, with club legend Paolo Di Canio amongst those who would likely be interested should Allardyce be sacked. However, in an open letter to the club published on Monday afternoon, co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan insist they already have the right man for the job.
“Like all West Ham United supporters we feel frustrated and hurt by our recent results. We understand how you feel and we, the board, feel the same,” the open letter read. “It is never enjoyable being knocked out of a cup competition and losing by such a large scoreline to a lower division side is hard to take for us all.
“Sam has been handed a near impossible task of coming through three crucial games in the space of six days with a squad of only 14 fit and available senior players. This is not an excuse it is a fact. We know Sam has not lost his ambition or desire and is committed to making West Ham United a great Premier League club.
“Make no mistake, though; we are under no illusions as to the seriousness of our current predicament. We have experienced difficult times before and we know what will get us results – hard work, determination and perseverance. To that end, we are all working round the clock to do everything in our powers to help arrest our slump in form.”
Allardyce’s plight has not been helped by the number of injuries he has had to cope with this season, not least star striker Andy Carroll who has yet to kick a ball this term. James Tomkins, Winston Reid, James Collins, Mark Noble and Ricardo Vaz Te are all currently sidelined, whilst captain Kevin Nolan is serving a suspension.
It is of utmost importance, then, that reinforcements are brought in this month. Defender Roger Johnson has joined on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers for the rest of the season, and more additions are expected. Indeed, the open letter went on to reassure fans that everything is being done to give Allardyce more options.
“Our second priority is to bring in the new talent needed to bolster our squad in the most needed areas,” the note continued. “January is not an easy time to do business but we are pleased to confirm we are close to securing one of our key striking targets. A defender is high on the list of priorities as well and progress is being made on that front.”