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Just one question left: WHEN will the axe fall?

It feels like Slaven’s second season all over again

By Hugh Southon

To be honest it feels like Slaven Bilic’s second season all over again!

I’ve always believed Pellegrini’s second season was crucial – the campaign where he went from stablising the club to pushing on into Europe – OR NOT!

It’s not happening and to identify reasons – although we all like simple answers – really is not that straightforward.

I was never going to be surprised by seeing beaten at Wolves despite the improvement at Stamford Bridge.

The minute I saw Antonio’s name missing from the team sheet I realised the game was up and that’s a frightening situation.

When you becoming reliant for a heart and soul in the team on one player who can genuinely cause big problems but has a regular  injury background that’s a huge concern.

Fact is however,  in the space of two games we have seen £7 million Mikey perform around,  however many times you want to count, more effective than the very poor Sebastien.

Then you see Ajeti arrive and you start to despair of a player who frankly has nothing in his game on the basis of what we’ve seen so far.

Maybe, and it’s a big one, our biggest problem is having a manager who is trying to play football above his station – Real Madrid and Manchester City could not be much further from West Ham United.

The reality last night and far too many times before is that too many of them just can’t get the basics right – touch, tackling, passing and pace were all missing.

Wolves are not a great side but they are a very good side who find their men, play with pace and possession and like to manage the game – things they do very well indeed.

We meanwhile look laboured and pedestrian in midfield where for all their virtues we have, in Snoddy and Nobes, a couple of midfieders now both aged 32 – not ideal in a Premier League where pace is utterly crucial.

We have been unlucky to lose the Fabianski but what was proved last night was that our problems were always deeper than the very dodgy Roberto.

Yes, there was a big lack of confidence through the team as a result but what we saw again last night was a lack of ability in other areas by several players.

So where do we go from here? Given that Eddie Howe remains unavailable those calling for a new boss could hopefully suggest where we go for a new manager.

Given the uncertainty of attracting the right man in a hurry I believe Pellegrini will be around for the next two games and both are winnable which would put us on 22 points at the halfway stage.

Nothing like good enough and in the end I have to believe this can only end way with Pellegrini being sacked.

The only question remaining is: WHEN?

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

10 comments on “Just one question left: WHEN will the axe fall?

  1. Generally agree with your assessment but really puzzled why so many players gone off the boil! Haller, Karmalenko, Anderson
    , Lanzini in first few games great, since where are they?
    As for manager issue it’s not only when but who!

  2. Im afraid Pellegrini has very little time left. We need players to drive forward and hurt the opposition, however we persist in playing crossfield and backward passes which is hurting us more than our rivals. Our passing is not so good anyway, our defending from set pieces is poor. In fact we can’t set up our own set pieces either. All these faults are training ground issues. Oh, and did I mention the lack of pace.

  3. I think it’s nothing the manager can do when he go useless players lazy strikers haller, anderson, he need good centre halfs more players he is one the best manager after john llyall west ever had….

  4. The strongest argument for finding that axe quickly is that Pellegrini not only had two pretty generous transfer budgets, he was able to spend it on ‘his’ players. Pellegrini looks as if he has no idea what he wants from players he chose to bring in!

    But I hope you are right about Howe being unavailable. Any Hammers fans still wanting us to sign him up can’t have seen Bournemouth’s appalling display against 10 man Palace on Tuesday, or a totally negative & cynical performance against Man U earlier in the season. Massively overrated, & no longer even playing sexy football. In my opinion.

  5. The Pelligrini slump started way before this season started. And yes “in this moment” every good player who arrived at West Ham have weakened … Anderson, Yarmo, Haller. Other players are natural strugglers … Noble, Snoddy, Ogbonna etc. Then the last batch of non-Premier league players … Roberto, Sanchez, Ajeti, Fornals … and injured Jack W and Reid. • So whose left that can make up a decent West Ham Premier League side? All Pelligrini and Husillos’ doings. Get rid now, so the new manager has enough time to save us from relegation.

  6. If you do not play the ball forward with pace and use the wings you are banging your head against a wall like we did last night.Like you Hugh i knew the game was up when it was announced that Antonio was not playing.No hindsight needed there.It is frightening that we have become so reliant on 2 players who have barely played this season in Fabianski and Antonio and it speaks volumes for the rubbish recruitment since Husillos arrived in that we do not have quality backup.Wolves have played 14 matches more than us and their team barely changes week in week out.Something fundamentally wrong at our club in getting the right players on board.

  7. Yeah, always players injured , generally team stuck in a rut and manager has no idea how to get out of it. As for replacement If wolves can find right man so can we.

  8. The board are not going to sack Pellegrini with the money he’s on and any manager coming in will basically be from the bargain bucket! Mark Hughes is available, even Sam. We should have stuck with Moyes, he did ok and is the level this board really want.

  9. When my kids were young and they misbehaved I would shout at them to behave till at one time or another I would say ” I’m sick of my own voice ” behave? ( they’ve grown up all right by the way,) the purpose of this statement is I’m getting sick of my own blogs on how bad Pellegrini is and how long can he keep his 8 million job? I don’t personally pay him but if I did I would take it ‘ that I’m being done’! That’s me though and not our board. How many times is he going to continue with 4-2-3-1? Answer ALWAYS . Has he ever tried 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 or 3-5-2 ??? By the way Wolves played the latter last night so that system works but not I repeat not in Pellegrini’s mind set! He’s 4-2-3-1 system worked at the beginning of the season because the playing surfaces were dry and the ground was not so heavy, as we get deeper into the season the grounds get softer and heavier thus slowing his or our gameplan down especially someone with older legs ( no names no pack drill) . So my big beef is 4-2-3-1 works with a young leggy zippy side but not with a ageing side as ours seems to be Getting ??
    So in comparison to that of a few important positions in our team to say Crystal palace,? Now Palace adjust to different teams with different tactics and they have a few older players but adapt with different tactics and good luck to them, its playing to their advantage and league position.
    Haller is finding his role as the one up top hard to adjust and god bless him it’s all new and hard in a new league, and if Pellegrini doesn’t change ( which he won’t) Haller will continue to struggle I.M.H.O He is used to playing two up top ? Thats why the ( beast) Antonio god bless him is good at it ( playing one up top) learning from doing it under Moyes when Arnie went missing!!!
    So the way I’ve looked at it since Saturday 3 points gained from Frankie’s side and they did not get one yellow card against us ( cheers Frankie boy) so let’s say we drew away to Chelski = 1 point and drew last night with Wolves =1 point and we lose against Arsenal Monday, think of it as the 3rd point against Chelski like we drew against Arsenal???
    Mad thinking I know but thats me🤔
    So the Southampton game is going to be the deal breaker in Pellegrini’s reign??
    Or as I’ve said it before ( hoping someone on the board takes heed) “if things don’t change they will stay as they are”

  10. Does Pellegrini not take the first team in training? How can he moan about goals given away week after week from set pieces as thought hat were nothing at all to do with him?
    Did he notice that Wolves had a right winger with pace and a right foot. It meant he didn’t have to check his runs and turn back every time he wanted to cross the ball. Makes a hell of a difference doesn’t it.
    Did he notice that when Wolves took a corner the ball was delivered at pace at a headable height into dangerous areas? Makes a difference when you can actually clear the first defender doesnt it?
    Did he notice that their forwards appeared able to control the ball quickly, not taketwo hard touches and waste the best chance of the match?
    In fact, whstgamewas he watching if he thinks we dominated large chunks of it. Not the one zi was watching that’s for sure!

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