West Ham prepared to play waiting game
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Hendon: I hope club get the right man in to replace Big Sam
As West Ham supporters wait for a new manager to be appointed, former first team coach Ian Hendon insists Sam Allardyce would have guaranteed Premier League football in the opening season at the Olympic Stadium had he been offered a new contract at Upton Park.
Allardyce, assistant manager Neil McDonald – now with Blackpool – and first-team coaches Hendon and Teddy Sheringham (Stevenage), have all left after the club chose not to renew their contracts.
But the 43-year-old Hendon, who was appointed as Leyton Orient’s head coach last week, has discussed the decision made by co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold to appoint a new manager ahead of Hammers’ final campaign at Upton Park.
“We were all coming out of contract and the club have made the decision not to renew our contracts,” said Hendon.
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“If you ask me if that is the right decision at the moment, well it is not for me to say. The proof will be at the end of next year, but I wish West Ham well and I hope they stay in the Premier League and move into the Olympic Stadium in that position.
“In my opinion Sam would have kept them in the Premier League and made sure they went into the Olympic Stadium as a Premier League club, but it is the club’s decision.”
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Sullivan said at the weekend that a new Hammers manager would not be appointed for “at least a week”. But with their Europa League campaign starting on July 2, a new man will need to be in place soon.
One of their top targets, Unai Emery, was this week offered the chance to succeed Rafa Benitez as Napoli boss, having led Sevilla to the Europa League title last week, but was reported to also be in talks with West Ham.
Club president Jose Castro told Sevilla TV: “Unai Emery has an offer from Napoli. He informed us of meetings with other clubs to evaluate all the options. There is an offer from Napoli, certainly. I hope Unai will stay with us, but he will do what he sees fit.”
Another Hammers target, Marcelo Bielsa, is due to hold talks with current club Marseille tomorrow (Friday).