West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has admitted former manager Sam Allardyce "never really bought into" the club's philosophy. The 61-year-old boss left Upton Park in 2015 after a four-year spell in charge, but Sullivan has claimed his style of football did not chime with West Ham's ambitions.
Sullivan thinks Allardyce, who has subsequently taken charge of Sunderland, did a good job during his time at the club. However, he admitted Allardyce's direct style of play was not embraced by West Ham fans.
"Unfortunately with Sam, although he did a good job, the supporters never warmed to him. Nobody ever sang his name. Maybe because Sam swaggered a bit. Maybe it didn't help," Sullivan said, according to the Daily Mail. "When we were booed off after winning, it was the weirdest thing. I felt the same. That's one of the reasons we knew we had to make a change. Sam had done his job well and we thanked him for doing it.
"But, physically, he was tired. He needed three months off and he has had it and come back like a tiger as we all knew he would. With luck he will keep Sunderland up. He is a good manager but he does it his way and at West Ham we do it our way. Sam never really bought into that. West Ham fans want a dream, they don't want reality."
Sullivan thinks the Hammers' current manager, Croatian Slaven Bilic, plays a style of football that is more in-keeping with the club's traditions. He said Bilic's cause is helped by the fact he played for West Ham in the 1990s.
"Judge every manager over three years but I think we have got a very good one," he said. "He played for the club, knows what the supporters want, knows that the FA Cup is important to us. He tries to play good football. Yes, it's possible that we could review his contract and do something in the summer. But it's more likely that we would do it next January. You do get one-season wonders, after all."