Allardyce reveals Sullivan's surprise gifts

  • by Staff Writer
  • Monday, 27th January 2020

Former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce says that he was frequently gifted players by David Sullivan he knew nothing about.

It has long been rumoured that the current co-owner has enjoyed a far healthier interest in player transfers than he perhaps should have.

And now the only manager to have survived to the end of his contract under the current administration has revealed that, during his four-year spell at the club, it was not unusual to arrive at training and find players he was unaware of had been added to his squad.

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Big Sam, big interference

"David will have his own mind on his own players," Allardyce told TalkSport. "I always found that dealing with him directly was the order of the day - but you'd get the odd present from David now and again, where he fancies a player and brings them in anyway.

"Once he just turned up in pre-season and said 'here's one I fancy'. And it's normally a centre forward, one who scores goals. Which is fine, because you think 'well, if he can come and score goals' this'll be a major one."

But Allardyce also revealed that should such a player fail to hit the ground running or prove to be a valuable investment, it is the manger who is left facing the flak for making the signing.

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Who are ya? Brian Montenegro failed to make a single appearance for West Ham's first team

"You have to live with that [as a manager of West Ham]," he added. "You just hope that it works, because you have to take the can for that. It's your cultured techniques not bringing the best out of him."

Although he refused to name the individuals he was referring to, it has often been suggested that Sam Baldock - who West Ham signed from Milton Keynes Dons - was one such arrival.

The Hammers made a series of speculative signings during Allardyce's tenure including forwards Brian Montenegro from Deportivo Maldonado and Cruzeiro's Wellington Paulista plus defender George John from FC Dallas.

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