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Cottee Column: Stop stalling over new Allardyce deal

16:30 14 February 2013

Tony Cottee

Tony Cottee

Archant

I can’t understand why West Ham are making statements saying that they will sit down with Sam Allardyce at the end of the season and discuss a new contract.

If anything is guaranteed to unsettle a squad, it is not knowing who is going to be in charge next season. It makes them wonder what is going on and also can give them an excuse on the field when things don’t go well.

How can Andy Carroll make a decision about staying if he doesn’t know who will be in charge?

Just remember the chaos that ensued at Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson said he was going to retire, so I think this has to be sorted out now before it really has a detrimental effect.

I know that the owners want to make sure they are in the Premier League before committing to give the manager a new deal, but for me, even if the worse came to the worst– and I don’t think it will, there is no one better than Sam to get the team back up again.

There are some fans who are hinting that they would like Sam replaced by Paolo Di Canio, but although Paolo has the passion and has done well at Swindon, the Premier League is a very different challenge.

For me, Sam is the man and I would like to see him on a one-year rolling contract and soon. The fans should be careful what they wish for. Just remember who came before Sam – Avram Grant was absolutely shocking!

Sunday’s game was very disappointing, especially in the first half when the team didn’t manage a single shot on target against a struggling team who to my mind were there for the taking.

I just think that we need to start sharper in our away games and here we could have been behind after just one minute.

We gave away two bad goals and you have to say that it was a penalty and a free-kick and although we got a lucky goal back and put on a bit of pressure, I still wasn’t confident we were going to get anything.

► I like to look towards the positives, but on the day, I really couldn’t say we deserved a point.

The players have jetted off for some warm winter training in Dubai and I have to say it can be very helpful.

A lot of people talk about pampered footballers, but you have to remember they are human beings doing a job like the rest of us and they can get jaded and need a break.

When I was at Everton they always took us to Malaga when we had a break, while Martin O’Neill at Leicester was a big supporter of that sort of thing and I certainly felt the benefits.

To get out in the sunshine, have a break and do a bit of training can be a real tonic and hopefully it will have the same effect on the West Ham boys and they will come back and beat Spurs.

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