Allardyce: Foundations are strong
Sam Allardyce is convinced his successor will have a firm foundation upon which to build as West Ham look for a new manager.
Allardyce's departure after four years was confirmed after Sunday's 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Newcastle following months of speculation that his reign was drawing to a close.
The 60-year-old leaves Upton Park proud of his achievements in returning the club to the top flight and keeping them there, and confident that, even if he has been unable to silence his critics, he has established a basis for future success.
He told West ham TV: "I think, like at any football club, there is always somebody who is discontented with what you are doing and I've said before that the club in itself, in terms of its support, is exceptionally good.
"When things are not going well, they like to make themselves heard and you accept that as a manager. I think, if you look back at what we've done and how far we've come, you can't be too dissatisfied.
"You've got to look at the facts and look at what we've built with what we've had to spend and how hard we've worked - and I'm not just talking about me, my staff and the players, but the relationship with the owners in terms of how to get that money for recruitment comes from them and their support.
"I think we've done great. We've made mistakes but I don't think we've made too many and, in the end, you've got a younger squad for someone else to manage which has learnt an awful lot in the last 12 games, particularly those who were in their first season in the Premier League.
"Up to Christmas, they might have been thinking it wasn't as hard as they thought, but they certainly know it's hard now.
"That experience of the downside will form the basis for the next manager and hopefully make them better and more consistent for whoever is in charge next year."
Former Hammers defender Slaven Bilic, who has confirmed he will be leaving Turkish club Besiktas, is the bookmakers' odds-on favourite with David Moyes and Steve McClaren also figuring prominently.
What proved to be Allardyce's final season in charge at Upton Park started at a sprint, but ended in a limp as they slipped from the upper reaches of the Premier League table to eventually finish in 12th place after a run of 16 league games which yielded just two victories.
The reverse at Newcastle was their third on the trot, and came courtesy of a blunt performance as goals from Moussa Sissoko and Jonas Gutierrez eased the Magpies to a first win since February 28 and ultimately, top-flight safety.
Allardyce said: "We can't finish and we can't score, and that's become ever more apparent in the last few weeks. Our build-up is fine, but the depth of our quality of finishing is just not there and that's an area for someone else now.
"Looking at the overall season, to a certain degree we have overcome the defensive problems, but on the front line we have not had Diafra Sakho. Without him, we've found goals hard to come by.
"Because Stewart (Downing) hasn't kicked on, because Kevin Nolan hasn't done what he normally does and because Enner Valencia hasn't scored enough goals, that has been the biggest effect on our results.
"I've had no complaints about the way we have played until the second half on Sunday, which I thought was really poor. I thought it was poor the way we went about our task when we had Newcastle very nervous in the first half. We let them off the hook and that was really disappointing.
"It's for somebody else to take the reins now and take the club forward."