England striker Lambert has scored 11 goals for club and country this season and has a good chance of making Roy Hodgson’s final World Cup squad for Brazil.
And ahead of the meeting between the two sides at Upton Park this afternoon, Allardyce admitted he expressed an interest in the 32-year-old hitman.
“We were [in for Lambert]. There was some interest that the chairman expressed but it never materialised in the end,” he said. “He is the master of his position because he scores all different types of goals. He continues to get better and better.”
Allardyce has likened Lambert to Teddy Sheringham for his passing, through balls and the ability to find space and also admires the 32-year-old for the way he has developed his game through the divisions.
He added: “Rickie has had an outstanding career and is a good example to young lads of starting at the bottom and saying never ever give up or stop trying to achieve your dreams or goals.
“Every question mark that has been put to him has been answered 10 fold in that every time he has gone up a level, he has produced. He is the role model for any youngster.
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Rickie has had an outstanding career and is a good example to young lads of starting at the bottom and saying never ever give up or stop trying to achieve your dreams or goals
“Muhammad Ali had a great saying, ‘The will must be stronger than the skill’. You must have that desire and belief in yourself to achieve a successful career and that is what Rickie has done.”
Lambert will have to beat in-form West Ham goalkeeper Adrian, who has kept five clean sheets in his previous six games.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, believes eighth-placed Saints will have to raise their game if they are to make it a club record it six Premier League wins on the road if they beat West Ham today.
He said: “West Ham have improved a lot in recent games. They are doing a great job defensively. They are strong and hard to play against. They have good players and know what it is to fight in these situations.”
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