West Ham’s dressing room is reportedly in a mess ahead of Saturday’s match against Southampton with Manuel Pellegrini’s approach allegedly causing division and dispute!
It seems impossible that the 66 year old can hold onto his job should the team be beaten at St Mary’s amid alleged player protests at his approach and training ground attitude.
We at ClaretandHugh have been hearing for weeks that the players are confused by his stereotyped approach tactically and lack lustre attitude on the training ground with the squad finding it a chore given the lack of motivation from the sidelines.
And this morning The Sun has this morning has claimed that striker Seb Haller is among the unhappiest of the players after being dropped to make room for Michail Antonio.
The tabloid reports he feels he has been saddled for the miserable run of form which has seen him fail to score in two months.
Beyond that – despite the manager concentrating largely on midfield since his arrival – the shocking lack of pace and support for the front players is causing grave issues.
According to The Sun other players are entirely underwhelmed by the Frenchman believing he can’t compare to departed Marko Arnautovic.
There have also been widespread rumours alleging that Pellegrini failed to go into the dressing room following the defeat against Arsenal although that was denied by a source last night when we put the question.
The players – as reported yesterday – were far more impressed when first team coach Enzo Marasca took training before the game against Cheslea and worked out the tactics which saw us record a brilliant 1-0 win.
And that’s a ‘report’ that has been confirmed to CandH by three different sources and which could shoot the coach into a position where he could be considered strongly as an interim boss once Pellegrini’s day is done.
Marasca’s tactics ensured that Frank Lampard’s team were forced to attack wide rather than through the middle making it easier for the defence to deal with crosses rather than rapid forward movement.
However, following that, we understand the manager immediately oversaw training for the games against Wolves and Arsenal which of course both ended in defeat.
All of this coupled with the Roberto, Jack Wilshere and Albian Ajeti signings has created a mood of deep anxiety in the boardroom where it is accepted that action cannot be much longer delayed unless a miraculous run of wins comes along!
The most worrying feature for any incoming manager however remains the awful lack of pace in midfield with one candidate – who wants to remain anonymous – telling me: ” How on earth do you sort that it – incredibly difficult.”
David Moyes, Chris Hughton and Tony Pulis are all names thought to be in the frame but Enzo Marasca remains a favourite to oversee training should Pelle be gone next week with some assistance from Kevin Keen during matches.
There’s little point left in attempting to hide the troubles inside the squad as Pellegrini looks to be heading into his last days.