Benayoun blames Big Sam
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: 07/10/05 9:37am
Yossi Benayoun has revealed Sam Allardyce talked him out of a move to Bolton Wanderers.
The Israel international had the choice of a move to Bolton or West Ham United over the summer and appeared primed to head to The Reebok Stadium.
Hammers boss Alan Pardew was all but resigned to missing out on the playmaker before Benayoun plumped for a switch to Upton Park.
Benayoun spoke to Bolton manager Allardyce when West Ham registered their interest and he tried to dissuade the player from moving to the capital.
But Allardyce's chat with the 25-year-old had the opposite effect and persuaded Benayoun to snub The Trotters in favour of the Premiership new boys.
He has made a fine start to life with West Ham since his move from Racing Santander and claims Allardyce only has himself to blame for the failure to complete a deal with Bolton.
"I'll tell you what the difference is between West Ham and Bolton," Benayoun told the Israeli media.
"When West Ham thought I was signing for Bolton, Alan Pardew called me and said, 'I wish you all the best at Bolton. If we can still change something, we are always good on our offer and we will welcome you'.
"I told him I hadn't signed for Bolton, and when I told Allardyce I was going to sign for West Ham, he said, 'You are joining the number one contenders for relegation. West Ham will not play real football and you won't get any playing minutes. You will not advance. They will get relegated'.
"That was the main reason for my decision."