Stuart Pearce says West Ham’s owners blocked his return to the club as part of manager David Moyes’ backroom team.
The ex-England and Hammers defender had questioned the decision not to keep Moyes on after his first spell as boss. Pearce had been an assistant along with Alan Irvine and Billy McKinlay but said he will not be returning this time.
“It won’t happen. I think the owners felt I was a little bit critical of the regime when we left last time and put the block on it,” said the 57-year-old.
West Ham have declined to comment, although it is understood owners David Sullivan and David Gold deny blocking his return and were happy to leave the decision to Moyes.
Speaking to Talksport, former Manchester City, England Under-21 and Nottingham Forest manager Pearce said: “They make decisions, they own the club, and I respect that. They were humble enough to pick the phone up and say to David: ‘Will you come back in?’ I’m just delighted to see Dave back working in the Premier League, which I think his talents deserve.”
Moyes was appointed as interim manager in November 2017 and helped the club avoid relegation, but was not kept on for the following season as Manuel Pellegrini was brought in.
The Hammers have turned to the former Everton boss again after sacking Pellegrini, and he has won his first two matches in charge – following up a 4-0 over Bournemouth in the Premier League by beating Gillingham 2-0 in the FA Cup.
Pearce played 42 times for West Ham between 1999 and 2001, towards the end of his playing career.
After Pellegrini’s appointment, he said: “It’s a wonderful club – I had a fantastic seven months there [as assistant] and really enjoyed my time – and they’ve now got a very good manager.
“They’ve decided not to go down the David [Moyes] route. I was a little surprised by that as I saw first-hand what a good job he did in a situation that could have gone either way.”
“He recouped around £25m in one transfer window. So it wasn’t a case of going in there and having money to spend – he recouped money. So that money is somewhere around the club.””