Sam Allardyce says, in the wake of midfielder Alou Diarra's reported outburst in a French newspaper yesterday and his comments that he was duped into signing for West Ham, that the first time he was aware that the French international was unhappy at the club was when he read the newspapers this morning.
Quoted in The Sun, the Hammers boss said "if Alou is unhappy, he just has to tell me and we'll see where we go from there." Diarra's first team opportunities have been limited this season because of a niggling injury suffered during pre season and has since struggled to adapt to the pace of the English game and so has played only twice in the Premier League this season. It is hard to sympathise with the former Marseille man- after all, he has only been available for selection for a month or so; and as Big Sam says, "I pick what I consider to be the best team." Given that the French utility man has hardly covered himself in glory when the manager has given him a chance, it is difficult to see what grievance he can have with Allardyce's team selection policy.
In more quotes becoming clear from last night, Diarra claims that West Ham tricked him into signing over the summer by "an officer who arrived in Marseilles in a private jet who promised me the moon." The central midfielder also claims that "money was made off my back" but does not elaborate. Big Sam's door is clearly very much open, with the manager describing Diarra's feelings as "understandable," but the big Frenchman claims that he is "positively at breaking point" currently. The trial continues...
By Alex Shilling