Belfast Telegraph

Allardyce has say on Diame exit

Mohamed Diame was allowed to leave West Ham for Hull after failing to build on his impressive opening season, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has revealed.

The 27-year-old central midfielder was an instant hit with the fans at Upton Park having completed a free transfer from Wigan and was soon attracting reported attention from the likes of Arsenal.

West Ham kept hold of the player but, with his contract running down, Allardyce decided the time was right to sell - with Monday's opponents Hull signing him on transfer deadline day.

In a parting shot at the club, Diame hit out at Allardyce for 'shunting' him around the team and putting off prospective suitors.

"At West Ham I was shunted around all the different positions," he told the Daily Star earlier in the week.

"I remember one time I had to play as a striker. At least with Hull I will be certain of playing in my favoured role. That was not good for my career. I wanted to play for a club that is high in the Premier League table.

"At least with Hull I will be certain of playing in my favoured role. I should have left West Ham a long time ago, as with them I wasn't permitted to play in central midfield.

"I wasn't able to get the biggest clubs interested in me, as when they came to watch me I'd been put in a position that was not mine."

But now both Allardyce and co-chairman David Gold have had their say on the situation, with the latter taking to Twitter to put his view across.

"Mohamed Diame said it was always his aim to play for a team higher up the league table," Gold wrote. "Good luck at Hull Mohamed."

Allardyce went deeper into the reasoning behind his willingness to allow Diame's departure - and confirmed a last-minute deal was struck with Marseille winger Morgan Amalfitano to fill the vacant space in his squad.

"Mo was running out of contract and there was a fantastic offer from Hull City which meant that, with Mo coming to us on a free transfer, we made a very handsome profit on that deal," he said.

"He had two seasons with us. I think that his first season was something we expected him to improve on.

"He didn't quite go as fas as we expected from thereon unfortunately. So it was good business all round from our point of view because it allowed us to get Morgan in and Mo got what he wanted in the end and that was a move and obviously a bigger contract.

"Mo would have continued to play in central midfield had his performances been as his first season with us. In the end, those performances didn't quite live up to the ones he gave us in the early part of his career here.

"My responsibility is the team and the whole team, not one particular player. If there's a particular position you need to play somebody to find if they can play that little bit better than they did, then you try and do that. That's why I moved Mo around.

"If he wasn't happy with it and he's moved on then that's fine. From my point of view, I have to look after 25 players throughout the season and then select the best team available. Within that, a player picks himself. That's what a player does. And a player drops himself. It's not me, they do it themselves by calculating and keeping track of their performances.

"When their performances don't meet the level you expect then their position is in jeopardy. And if their performances do meet expectations then they stay in the team."

One man who does not appear set to leave Upton Park is assistant manager Neil McDonald.

The 48-year-old was linked to the vacant manager's position at Sky Bet League Two strugglers Carlisle, but Allardyce quashed the speculation and said he intends to keep working closely with McDonald.

"No we are not going to lose him," he said.

"I think we have had a huge amount of changes and when you have got somebody you trust and is your right hand man over many years, you don't let that go."

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