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The final word: Team selection smacked of arrogance

Manuel Pellegrini’s team selection – against an Oxford outfit on a huge confidence bubble  leaves many questions in its wake and this will be my last word on the debacle that followed

Unfortunately I don’t have the precise stats available  but it contained seven players with about an hour’s first team football behind them collectively since the game at Newport County plus one who has has none – Nathan Holland.

I’m talking about Roberto, Balbuena, Zaba, Wilshere, Snodgrass, Sanchez and Aljeti.

That we believe we can go to a League One outfit with some top results behind them and brush them aside in those sort of circumstances frankly smacks of arrogance and needs to be exterminated from the manager and team’s thinking.

Tony Cottee nailed it in an interview on this site a couple of says back when he said that he wanted to see a team with no more than two changes – we got the opposite.

His view was that Oxford would have wanted to see largely the same team run out as had beaten Manchester United and he was spot on.

Beyond that, a team would have taken the pitch on an even greater confidence level than the Us after their results but the manager blew it in a big way.

He takes the praise when we are doing well and must expect the blame when it’s due.

He has admitted it was down to him, how could it be otherwise, but it will take more than that for the disappointment won’t go away.

The wholesale changes were crazy at a stage of the competition when teams are starting to take the affair seriously – just not acceptable.

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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

20 comments on “The final word: Team selection smacked of arrogance

  1. Totally disagree, the team put out last night, should have been plenty good enough to have beaten a league one outfit.

  2. The team put out last night was pretty much the exact one the fans voted for on this very site! The purpose of these games is to take a look at the fringe players and give them game time. The players should have given a better account of themselves however, I fear that last night demonstrated just how far off our squad depth is to seriously challenge the top 6 and think about European competition.

    • I’m not sure why it should matter that the fans voted for it or that it was on this site! Do either of those two points make it the right team? Just asking

      • I think it matters, because it means a lot of us would have picked the same team as Pellegrini, so should it be the players, abd not the manager, taking the bulk of the blame? I was fairly happy with the team, but wanted 1/2 fewer changes. Disapppointed, but would rather lose 4 0 to Oxford than Man U.

      • I mentioned it was on this site as a point of reference and nothing more. And I believe it is relevant that the majority of supporters would have picked a similar team given that the article was criticising team selection. It is interesting that after similar changes against Newport where we scraped through there was no mention of arrogant team selections? I think we just need to put this down to a bad day at the office not over react- and concentrate on Saturday.

  3. The Oxford players had a similar game stat before this game. We could of put out the U23’s and had a better performance.
    I think this show’s what we saw last year that some players are incapable of performing at any level for more than a few minutes. Zabaletta has repeatedly looked spent,the same for Sanchez and Snodgrass. Pellegrini relies on these old players and gets the same results. As I’ve said before he has a relutance for playing younger attacking players. One youngster in that line up,disgraceful. What message does it give to the players in the U23’s when they repeatedly see opportunities go missing.The likes of Powell and Coventry would of given us more than Sanchez and Snodgrass.
    If Pellegrini has any balls he will ditch Zabaleta,Sanchez and Snodgrass from the bench on Saturday to show they do not deserve to be there.Replace with Johnson,Powell and Holland.Any sign of the same old will show that he thinks they are adeqaute. We need to intergrate the youngsters with potential not dismiss them when there are inadeqate alternatives.

    • I completely disagree Lanzini. Snodgrass and Zaba are true professionals, workhorses and inspirational to our young players. If we played all of our youngsters and lost, they would lose confidence and no doubt be bagged by our brave Keyboard Warriors. We played a.poor game and paid the price. We are 5th in the most competitive league in the world. We have a real chance of playing in Europe after this season. Support the team, don’t bag them. WHTID COYI ⚒⚒.

  4. Don’t think that the line-up was the issue. It is typical west ham to be great one week and shocking the next, all of us should be used to it. Until that gets fixed i fear we will always be a mid table team. BFS was disrespectful with the line-up versus forest a few years back, this was just a shocking performance by the players.

  5. You can’t inject 6 players who don’t get regular game time, plus an U23 player, into a side and expect it to be a cohesive unit. Yes, they should have been good enough but that wasn’t the reality was it?
    I can take a defeat by any side – and congratulations to Oxford by the way – but only if there is a committed performance by us.
    And herein lies the problem. An arrogance in making too many changes resulting in zero commitment & very little in the way of performance.

  6. Agree with Lanzini, can’t say who should be ditched from the bench as didn’t watch the debacle but can say this team of players supposed to be pushing for first team starts let the fans down. If there is any defence for them its that they haven’t had a chance to play regularly together as a team in competitive matches. For players like Holland though or even Ajeti who is new to the club they should be put into teams that are playing well and integrated into that style with a team playing competitively. Knowing that we supposedly have a second team of quality and that Pellegrini would based on past record play an almost entirely changed team on paper it had everything I hoped, Holland playing, Ajeti eventually in a 442 system and a back 5 that is vey experienced. I think it y shows how if Noble and Rice don’t lay the team is easilly over run, we need for definite in Rice case to find someone to compete in that position with him and cover injuries, we also need another striker to provide goals.

    MP has taken the blame and said the team to look at themselves which is right, lets see in the FA cup if he has learned his lessons because if we don’t change we have no hope of competing in the cups which is a very nice distraction for us fans.

  7. That team should have been good enough to win at Oxford instead was an embarrassing performance however I do think if we had scrapped through 1.0 then then your headlines would not say smacked of arrogance more like crap performance but good that we rested players for the weekend and we in the next round etc …you can’t have it both ways

  8. Had we have played our 1st team,and say Rice,Haller,Fab got injured,where would we be then.For all MP saying we have 2 players in every position,the squad is not deep enough in quality.
    As for the Cups,giving us our best chance of silverware.History shows the so-called top 6 have dominated both competitions for over 20 years,more chance of finishing top 8 in prem.
    Finally MPs game plan is built around possession and outmanouvering the opposition.Hence teams that play a high press and attack at pace to make up for their lack of quality will often do us!. Such as Bournemouth,Burnley,Cardiff etc,last season .

  9. We all feel bad about the result. As a fan for over 60 years, I have become used to this type of result. Yes the blame stops at Pele’s door. But I think a lot of it is down to the players past and present.
    We have had pundits claim today that Zab will not be there next season. We knew that when he was given an extension this year was his last. Some prediction what.
    Our supporters must remember our previous history in Cup Campaigns we have not ventured that far.
    Here I am looking forward to Bournemouth and hopefully 3 points.
    “Come on you irons”

  10. We have a dozen or so first team level players and some very promising kids. In between its a wasteland. Worrying. What happens if Haller gets injured? Surely time btw to get Holland and Johnson more involved.

  11. Good points Lanzini – and Hugh I agree that if we praise Pelle when he deserves it we should also be free to criticize. Perhaps sending Josh Cullen out on loan was a mistake. I did not watch last night so cant really comment – but one guess is that for our defensive performances we are heavi;ly dependent on Declan’s covering ability

    If Ajeti cant adjust then we are seriously short of striker cover

    I agree – we are not yet ready for top six – when we would need to regularly rotate

  12. Wouldn’t mind seeing the wage difference between each Hammers player ,to that of the Oxford’s player’s, man to man ?? Bet it was a huge gulf in pay ? But sadly it gave no motivation or performance on the Hammers part ? Could not match Oxford’s willingness and performance and professionalism. West ham should dock the players money who played and the manager’s and give it to the away fans who went to to the game last night??? At least they turned up!!!!!!!

  13. well said lanzini i totally agree
    also it shows that if we do qualify for european football and pelle rotates our squad how will we get on
    we can not compete in europe with this squad
    great achievement if we get there but for how long
    play the young players now give them experience now
    lampards doing it at chelsea no good so far but next season will be a good strong and young team if they persevere and stick with the belief
    maybe the idea of young players playing is a younger managers idea

  14. Good article, stimulating different view points. Just my penny’s worth….. How come Liverpool and Arsenal did well in the cup, with a 2nd string team? = Because they were young, hungry energetic, and knew ea other’s play !!! • Some of our 2nd stringers certainly dont have the passion, fitness, and skills as the 1st team players, and cannot be considered to win any match. • Learn Mr manager, learn. The FA cup is almost on our doorstep … please, please, please !!!!

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