The honeymoon is over for Pellegrini

The honeymoon period is now well and truly over for Manuel Pellegrini and he should not be exempt from criticism now he has entered his second season in charge.

He is a world-class manager reportedly earning £8m a year at West Ham; he spent over £90m last summer and another £81m on three attacking players this time around.

Yet his team this season appears to lack any real defensive qualities; we still leak far too many goals and will struggle to regularly keep clean sheets.

We look complacent at the back at times and some fear we will made to pay for investing in a more attacking midfielder in the shape of Pablo Fornals instead of a defensive one.

We were promised a step change when Pellegrini joined with a push for European football. Whilst there is no doubt he is most experienced manager we have invested in to date but I am still waiting to feel like we have a team that can challenge for a top-seven spot.

I am not suggesting that the board even remotely consider replacing him but he should not be immune from criticism or pressure in delivering on the job he was brought in to do.

About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

38 comments on “The honeymoon is over for Pellegrini

  1. Mp cannot be blamed for how players perform on the pitch his job is to put the right players on the pitch. Our problem is we have players that make school boy errors and lack concentration

  2. criticize all you like but until your knowledge and experience comes anywhere near his, forget it.

  3. Agree no improvement this is now a young managers game is pele past his best we neededholding mid and left back befor window opened looking at our line up I can only se 10 11 not good enough

  4. Maybe for you Sean, in truth he has never been immune from criticism, I think most of us like and respect him, our club is a work in progress and I think this season we will be better than last. Haller will ensure that if he stays fit, Fornals looks like he will take longer to adjust. Nearly all fans are surprised that we couldn’t find a partner for Rice in central midfield and a left back that can defend but in honesty if they can’t get their targets I.e. Andre Gomes or Lobotka in cdm why waste more money on average players ? If there are 23 players registered should we want too we can fill another couple with free transfers or January additions. The start of the season is always a best guess, hopefully we will win our next two or get at least 4 points and we will already be in a better place than last year COYI !!!

    • We don’t need a partner for rice, we already have one in noble. The problem is we can’t defend. It’s quite clear. The manger has to take responsibility for not buying defenders. I expect us to beat Watford on Saturday. Whether he does the coaching or not the back four need to be drilled on training pitch and he if can’t sort it it’s his head on the line.

      • The back four are not the only ones responsible for defending it should start from the striker with all 11 players defending as a unit. Agree that we are not defending well enough and that is MP’s job to fix.

  5. Good post Sean – I worry about “second season syndrome” as teams now know what to expect from us and where we are vulnerable

    As for top 7 – we are competing with Leicester, Everton and Wolves among others – so it is a tough ask

    I think this season we will see what Pelle is truly made of

  6. 100℅ agree. Concern I have is that I am unsure whether we have the defensive qualities to play the attacking style that he and us enjoy. Hopefully he gets the balance right sooner rather than later.

  7. Agree,the squad is unbalanced,well look good at times at home with the attacking players we have but will always struggle away because we don’t work hard enough as a team and possess too many lightweights

  8. We all know what we needed a defensive midfielder but did we get one !!!

  9. We seem to have lots of posts being written about how MP has to deliver top 7, or else. Why the negativity? The style of play since the Moyes era has improved beyond recognition. And this summer we did not out spend teams who finished around us in the league last year. So another solid top half is what we should expect. Instead of setting the guy up for a fall, maybe we should all just get behind him and the team, and enjoy the rollercoaster ride. COYI.

  10. I agree with West Ham Fan No 32. I don’t think Pellegrini is immune from critisism and he’s been taking a fair bit of it this weekend from myself included.

    The perception of some fans being staunchly loyal to Pellegrini is in my view level headed fans pushing back against those floating voters who don’t seem to know their own minds. We finished 10th last season. I can remember being robbed of 7 points by poor officiating against Liverpool (home), Man Utd (away) and Leicester (home) and those 7 points would have had us in Europe. So to play two games, one against the best team in the Country and another away at a bogey team and to suggest Pellegrini should move on (Not you Sean but seen it elsewhere from some supporters). I just think these people are living in a fairy land where West Ham have 15 league titles and a pot of gold.

    I suspect they are the same people who wanted him out after four defeats at the beginning of last season and think Mourinho should be our manager.

    Yes we played rubbish, lets move on and get better.

  11. 2 games into the season . A good point against Brighton. Maybe some of you need to calm down a bit. Picking up points when out of form isn’t that bad in my opinion. 2 important players missing through injury. Come on you lot

  12. It’s not necessarily another DM we need it’s a CM with the mobility to cover the ground. All we have is Noble, Sanchez, Snodgrass, Wheelchair. Even Rice isn’t that quick. This issue with our team pre-dates Pellegrini and some years before that. Disappointed that this still is nor being rectified. Also agree not enough sleeve rollers, too many lightweights as was said above

  13. I am trying to think if we ever won a PL game with Wiltshire starting. He gets caught out of position to much for my liking. No defensive cover. Most annoying is our center backs are always far to close to one another allowing room either side. And our full backs are all below Premier League quality. We still look really disjointed and far too expansive for a defensively fragile team.

    • I agree about Wilshere…great player, but not a holding midfielder.. In the first four games last season I recall him repeatedly not tracking his player on defence. Then he got injured and we were forced to change. Rice took his opportunity, alongside Noble. I think that partnership needs to be resumed asap,

    • Well said mark. Wilshere for me is not the answer. I’d prefer noble in there over him. The problem is we can’t defend. We look a shambles at the back at times. At least Moyes got us tight at the back. Pellegrini seems to play about 4 attacking midfielders and say there you go, outs ore the opposition. It worked at Man City because of the players he had. All that said I expect us to beat Watford on Saturday.

  14. I’d settle for another mid table finish and decent cup run this season, then next summer we can invest in some decent full backs and a cdm. 2 strikers was the priority this summer, and they don’t come cheap!

    Don’t know about you lot but I spent enough of my summer obsessing over transfers – must have checked newsnow for updates at least 10 times a day! Now it’s time to focus on the football.

    I quite fancy a midfield diamond with rice as the anchor. But any formation can work as long as we defend as team !

  15. Whats the point of criticising after 2 games 1 against champs the other with our best out and our new striker out, our football on the whole is so much better under Pelle, both skill wise and we have improved a hell of a lot.H
    ow long do honeymoons last and why look for a divorce so soon? have you seen someone else you like.

  16. I think the signing of Fornals was the key indicator. While i think he is a really promising player we bought just before he did so well at the U21 championships, we needed a solid DM/MC far far more. It baffles me that he plays Wilshere in this role, the lad is not a tackler and without Mark Noble we look completely pedestrian in midfield.
    This exact same thing happened last season when he played a 4-4-2 with noble/wilshere. Can he not see we need more depth in midfield, lads who can actually tackle?

    The wingbacks have been crying out for replacement. I still think Zab/Fred is a good partnership, but Cresswell needs to be gone, strengthened and solidified.

    It’s frustrating to see the positions strengthened so well in attack, i think haller/fornals were a great capture, but if we are so unable to be solid in defence, then whats the actual point?

    We have a few more games before things start to get worrying. Some nicer fixtures for us, where we need to pick up full points.. Time will tell, but our reliance on Mark Noble to come back from injury just proves how lacking we are in depth in midfield. (ps. i love noble, but we should have improved on him)

    • Both first team left sided full/wing backs, whatever they are supposed to be, not sure they know should have been replaced. Was really surprised by the new deal for Masuaku. No one seems to be organising defensively, no communication, encouragement or bollockings whatever is needed; surely they all know enough English. No one doing their own jobs like marking, what is happening in training/match preparation

    • Get Nobes back in, he actually finished last season superbly. We also need a centre half of repute in January.

      • It takes a full team to defend. The front 5 midfielders and attackers do not show anything near the required high work rate or agression to continue an attack or win back the ball and go again. It’s often left to someone else to do this work. Look at Wolve, it’s an attitude to win possession and they can play great football in possession.
        Our defence would grow in statrue and confidence if this were to be the norm during EVERY game.

  17. 100 percent agree, he can attract the quality players that Allerdyce and Moyes would probably never of heard of and he is a step above those managers but this league is the toughest it’s ever been. The quality of manager at the unfashionable clubs such as Norwich and Wolves shows how the game has moved on. Any weakness will be found out and it won’t take a top manager to figure ours out. The system is all wrong, the balance of the team is poor. We have quality players but we were crying out for a defensive midfielder with an engine possibly 2.
    If he thinks Wilshere and Cresswel are premiership starters we are in trouble, Wilshere looks good when it’s non competitive but he’s legs have gone and Cresswel is a full back that doesn’t tackle has no pace and no strength, plus he made made him CAPTAIN!
    You have to pick a team and a system with the players you have in the squad to be competitive. We have a top centre half (rice) playing in midfield. You know things are bad as we are praying for Noble to come back, don’t get me wrong the man has been a legend but to rely on him when he’s legs are going is embarrassing.
    We need to play a back 5 with 2 holding midfielders so the full backs can do what they do best, get forward.
    Plus Haller Antonio and Lanzini, then interchange those players with the other quality forward players we have.
    You can’t play Chico up top on he’s own EVER! Play Antonio play Yama on their own but not Chico, can he not see that, Chico is at he’s best with at least one up with him and probably 2 where he can ghost in and score.
    To play him on he’s own when you have options shows a complete lack of tactics, how many times does he need to see it doesn’t work.
    I want you to succeed MP but unless he completely changes he’s mentality on system and tactics we will fail and he will go.
    For the first time the board have backed a so called top manager, now he has to prove he can do it, top 7 and decent cup runs a bare minimum.

  18. Whether it 2 games or not you can see a lot from the way we play and it’s not good ..watching teams like wolves and Lester you can see what there about and they are decent sides … again yes it’s only the second game but you can still see the same problems we had last year which havnt been sorted even though most people can see what we needed,, m.p has had time now and money and for me personally I thought we would see a lot more even if it is just our second game

  19. It was clear we needed a left back and a dm. However, losing Perez, AC and Arnie meant we needed at least 2x forwards and hopefully we have 2x young diamonds. Fornals is the question mark as to whether this money should have been invested in a dm. If he turns out to be a top signing Pelle will be a hero, if not and we struggle defensively then he may be zero! We had a chronic start last season and improved steadily throughout the year (if you exclude the embarrassment v Wimbledon). If we show the same level of improvement with, say, 3x extra wins and a couple of draws compared to last year I will be delighted. Pelle is building a team and squad that could be very exciting. If (and maybe a big if) we don’t lose any key players next season, the defensive issues can be focussed on then. Don’t lose the faith! COYI

  20. I get tired of reading about aspirational European football and a top 6 finish.The reality is that until WHUFC get owners with the cash and true resolve we will be mid table or lower for the foreseeable future.

  21. This is our first point in August since 2016. That means it’s the best start (2 games), in several years. People here shouting doom, get a grip of yourselves! LB and CDM needs looking at, but we’ve all been shouting West Ham Way, and then angry the focus is on attack rather than defence? Damn hypocrites…. If we start using 5 at back, then the system breaks with 1 CD injury, until Reid is back fully – worth the risk?

  22. I don’t want to hear this far into MP’s reign that he is still searching for the formula. If he hasn’t found it yet then it’s a worry. It does suggest we are buying players and then trying to fit them into a formation, when we should be buying players to fit an existing one.

    The majority of teams above, around and even below us have an identity in their system, players know their role, the system and the formation. Under MP we never know what we are going to get in system and formation week to week.

    When you look at the first eleven he started with at the end of preseason and start of full season you think wow, that’s a team to challenge for the top six. And then you see us playing some very clever stuff with the ball and then over-run in midfield when losing the ball and transitioning back to defence.

    His emphasis on attack makes him popular and unquestionably it is great to watch when it works. But we need a defined system that solidifies the midfield, especially against lesser teams.

    I was much more upset by the way Brighton outplayed us than the loss to City. Its kinda weird, but there were more positives from the City game.

    In my view he needs to nail the system and quickly, not many managers get two transition seasons these days.

    • At the moment we are ourselves amongst the , as you say , Lesser Teams .
      We were lucky to come away from the Amex with a point . It’s still a very poor start to the season no matter how you paint over it . Ok we needed a LB , DM or other added to the squad but Pelligrini decided on which way to go . It’s up to him to sort it out . I agree with the thoughts and comments that suggest he needs more time but the clock is ticking no matter what . We should fully expect 3 points away to Watford ,, it will depend on who wants it most . At the moment the whole team looks as if they have a dead-leg .

  23. I have to disagree with this, most managers dont get to play ‘their way’ for 18-24 months. No matter how much he is on thats not his fault, many clubs have a basis from previous managers to build their teams on and we have not had that. Slav never established his side (Payet too distracting), Moyes started too (Was not given time) and the only person who has done so in recent years is Alladici (Which arguably made it harder for Slav to establish his own ideas). I also think Pellegrini has had difficulty removing dead wood and is still doing that.
    For me the honeymoon period ends nearer end of this season and into the next.

  24. I won’t criticise Pelligrini he has a clear style of football which is nice to watch . I actually blame the owners in not investing in CDM & LB plus the players we signed . So now it is left to Pelligrini and the players to work on the defence as a unit and attack as a unit leaving some defensive cover when we push up . I am sure we can improve COYI ⚒

    • Agree Mark, MP says as much, he wants us up to speed quicker than last year and to maintain that across the season.

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