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Trying to understand the real problem

It is easy to blame the manager, the players, the backroom staff, the director of football or the board but it doesn’t solve what the actual problem is for West Ham at the moment.

Manuel Pellegrini didn’t suddenly become a bad manager overnight,  the squad who were being tipped as challenging for a top-six finish this season didn’t suddenly become awful players, blaming the director of football for the summer transfers or the board for lack of investment over the summer also doesn’t really cut it in my view.

How did we suddenly become a different team from last season or even a few weeks ago when we were playing full of confidence.

I don’t think Pellegrini has lost the dressing room and I believe the players still respect him.

I still think Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals will come good eventually and it’s unfair to write them off already.

Yes, it was a big gamble to sign a less experienced keeper assuming Fabianksi would stay fit but again I don’t think you can lay all the current problems at Roberto’s feet.

It’s obvious from today that the team lack confidence at the moment and that can become a self-destructive spiral the longer it goes on.

I don’t think sacking the manager, the director of football or demanding the board sell up will solve anything.

We all need to do our part as supporters in stopping the blame game.

We expect them to work hard over the International break, then come back and beat Spurs at the London Stadium in a fortnight.

Given time I still believe that the confidence and results will return.



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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

29 comments on “Trying to understand the real problem

  1. Sorry but that’s rubbish imo..they are not playing for him ..this needs to stop now before he takes us down…

  2. Let’s not have a player of the season this year instead have a joker of the season. Who can makes the best silly video for us fans to laugh at. Its obvious the players are more interested in that then trying to play football.

  3. Your article does nothing answer the question you raise in the headline other than banal belief what solutions do you offer ?

  4. I agree confidence is low. It is clear we start games almost expecting to lose now, you can see it in the silly mistakes we make, then the heads drop after going behind. Having who I can truly say is the worst goal keeper in the division behind you hasnt helped either. That was a huge own goal.
    Forgive the poorly timed pun.

    Trouble is how is this ever rectified without something radical. We saw what happened when the rot was left with Avrams disastrous season, and odds on the mess that would have resulted if bilic stayed on. Clearly the problem at west ham is much deeper and that can only be from the top. A complete lack of a coherent strategy over the last decade.

    Back to the here and now. The game against spurs is do or die for Pellegrini imo

  5. The problem is we are too obvious on how we are going to play and that we never change. Why not 2 up top? Why not put in midfielders to fight. Maybe even look at how another team plays and try to counter it?
    I’m surprised to say it but I think Pellegrini has lost his way and something fresh is needed for the team and for results. We have the players but just not the tactics.

  6. A weak excuse from someone on the SAB.
    We need seismic change. The board need to go

  7. This team is going downwards and I don’t see the characters and organisation on the pitch to change it. After Spurs and Chelsea we will be right in it. Simply not good enough

  8. You’re in Cuckoo land, Sean.
    Pellegrini is clueless – players, tactics, probably the slowest team in all four divisions.
    Anyone can lose a football match, but the players are not even turning up to compete !
    Absolute disgrace – oh, and Spurs will smash us as Kane is due a couple and what better way to start than against the whipping boys !!

  9. Buck stops with the manager, you are deluded if you think otherwise.
    He doesn’t change the system to fit the squad we have forgetting the in balance of it.
    Get Pelle out ASAP, fabianski has been papering over the cracks, we play with no tempo no aggression no plan, we’ve beaten 3 poor teams and got slaughtered at Oxford, he hasn’t become a bad manager over night he’s been poor for a while now, think Wimbledon last year unforgivable.
    We could go down that’s how bad it is, we have no one in central midfield, no back up forwards and a defence that doesn’t know how to defend not forgetting a non league standard reserve keeper.

  10. I;m sorry but you don’t buy a player hoping his not going to play. And that’s what Pellegrini and Husillos have done with Roberto. He was clearly not good enough in La Liga last year. He was known for not being great on crosses and in the air. So why do you buy him knowing that the Premier League is renowned for being one of the toughest leagues, especially tough on keepers with crosses. If a player is not good enough to step into our team, DONT buy him.
    I also hate to say this but I don’t think David Martin is any better.
    If his not good enough to get into the Millwall team why oh why are we buying him?
    It’s as simple as that.
    Other managers know we are a team with no pace. They plan and work on that.
    Tactically we are being out thought at each game. Sean say’s we don’t become a bad team over night. I think last season we played above our abilities. Individually we don’t have the players to play at the highest levels week in and week out. We can do it in the odd game or two but not consistently. I’m afraid if you look at each individual player their just not good enough. Look at our back four. Which ever players are chosen, we just concede so many goals, particularly in the air and from corners. There just not good enough. And the rest are no better.

  11. That’s a typical Sean whetstone article , promises something delivers nothing , just like West Ham at the moment. Sean if your going to write articles at least try to explain why you think the players and team seem so inept at the moment , we are the leagues whipping boys , if you haven’t scored , or are on a bad run , who do you call …. Why West Ham of course.

  12. I don’t care they need to put it effort a shift with blood swat and tears not do nothing . Unacceptable from the players !

  13. I have had a good old rant and commented a couple of times tonight after todays latest disaster.The problems are deep rooted and have been for a long while.The move from Upton Park for starters.Then i always use Leicester as a yardstick as they came back to the prem at the same time as us but are light years ahead in what they have achieved,in honours. style of play, finding hidden gems like Vardy (who we baulked at).Look how they are playing now again..We just cannot find that formula even though our net spend is about the same.The whole club needs a whole root and branch overhaul and rebuild because with us there is no continuity or formula.and we still live in the shadow of past achievments.1980 when we last won proper silverware.Even the famed academy is being overlooked by Pellegrini as he bangs his head against a wall with the same out of form players.

  14. Can’t see where the goals are coming from
    The need to stop the rot ASAP, get in someone like To train in defending dead ball situations

  15. Haha no ones fault apart from pellegrini he was given full control of West ham! He wanted his mate as head of recruitment and he got him the first season of recruitment wasn’t bad but this seasons?? Blimey Roberto, Martin, fornal, ajeti no way is this upgrading a squad! I love haller I watched him closely at frankfurt last season he was untouchable there but he had player called jovic next to him who he would link up with him so that’s where pellegrini and husillo messed up with no pacey striker helping haller up top! Almost amateur how they went about there business! The only we can turn this season around is try by some miracle to get jovic on loan from real Madrid and get fabianski back or start bringing some young blood in like scully who is banging them in at development level!

  16. The first XI is weak and the bench is weaker. The problem stems from the owners. The mangers are merely a symptom of the lack of investment and absence of a cohesive strategy at the club. Which other team would start the season with 1 forward, who has never previously played in he PL and Ajeti as the only back up. And claim they were challenging for the top 6? What happens if Heller gets injured? They knew Roberto was a risk, which if probably why they also signed Martin, who is probably no better. Do well to avoid relegation with such an unbalanced squad.

  17. Problems:

    1) Owners know nothing about football and don’t have a Director of Football who does.

    2) We have very few quality players that could play in any team in Europe.

    3) The players are not motivated.

    4) Pelle does not have specific tactics to deal with diferent teams.

    5) Roberto is just not good enough.

    6) There is no long term plan to make this club a serious contender to win anything.

    We could be in a relegation fight soon if something does not change. Old Bilic must be wondering why Pelle is getting so much slack. Their winning percentages are in the same range.

  18. Since the midfield are not performing why not use some of the under 23 squad we can only lose so what would be different, look at Chelski

  19. You are right, he did not become a bad manager overnight, he became a bad manager / mercenary over the past 5/6 years. China is usually the last hurrah for some retirement cash for players and managers alike, which should have indicated where his career was going.

    Last season we finished 10th, you were predicting 14th with 3 games to go. Them last 3 wins but a flattering look on a very average season.

    Personally I never wanted him (Or Benitez) but everyone else seemed to think it was a great move and when he got loads of money to spend, I did think it must be me and started to believe.

    I have refrained from calling for his head as it dont do any good, but when Noble comes out and practically questions his tactics you have to think there’s something really bad going on in the dressing room/in training.

  20. The buck stops with the manager in my opinion. Pelle has concentrated on buying technical players who are great in a team like Man. City but we do not have that overall quality available in most positions. By recruiting in the way the club has we are exposed in defence to say the least. A decent backup to Fab was not found as it needed to be a free transfer the kitty had been spent likewise the wing back and central defender situation.
    Of all the players that we have recruited under Pelle we have never had the type of player that is a tough competitor when we need them. Antonio is missed, Snoddy is the toughest player available at present but plays in an attacking position, Flair players only survive if the defence is on top of it’s game. We are always chasing a goal deficit.
    Time for Pelle to go. Get a young manager or if not Raffa. But I feel the future is with the Lampards or Gerrards of the game if the board would back them..,

  21. If something good has come of this current mess, it’s the deluded talk of top 6 has gone. Thank God, said all along we are absolutely no better than last season in any way and will not finish any higher. Reality bites

    • You nailed it.
      We are a mediocre team with mediocre ownership. Until we get new owners I can’t see much of a change if we really want to be a team that competes for a spot in European competitions year after year.

      As that is not likely to happen (who would want to buy this club unless it is a rich oligarch?), we are stuck with this cold porridge menu.

  22. Managers live or die by their recruitment. Summer 2018 saw a lot of recruits and on balance they worked out quite well in the first season, although there were low points even with the better signings (Anderson; Dion) and other signings were awful (Sanchez; Perez, Wilshere??). But summer 2019 seems to have been a disaster: Adrian and Hernandez were wrongly allowed to leave and this dreadful batch of signings came in (Halle excepted, although he is yet to prove himself – perhaps understandably). But why Lanzini has been quite so awful and why the manager seems unable to motivate anyone is a mystery. Anyway, the squad is too thin, out of form and badly prepared and motivated. End of.

  23. What a stupid article.. The MANAGER is 100% responsible for the team selection and the tactics…
    That’s what he gets paid for!! He CLEARLY has lost his way and there’s NO way back now without him leaving!!
    Rodgers, Howe, to name but 2 do amazing jobs with very ordinary squads, certainly no better than ours..
    MP is too old for the modern game…
    Sadly we are burdened with 2 muppets as directors who won’t have the courage to do what’s needed!
    Once we lose the next 2 games they’ll be FORCED to do it because relegation is way more expensive than firing the manager.
    If MP had any honor he’d quit and take a settlement

  24. Whstever you’re taking Sean, can I have some? Blind, illogical optimism with no one, apparentlt, to blame. 1) I don’t care what Pellegrini’s done in the past – now he’s absolutely useless. Tacticallt bereft of any idea. After the Everton fiasco, the game when he lost me, he said on MoTD “They (Everton) were in a bad position and just ran and ran.” Well, that was perceptive! Completely destroyed his masterplan by – running! The new signings, his signings, have been flops. I seem to be alone in thinking Haller’s not much cop either. Okay, he isn’t getting much service. Well then move around a bit more, don’t just stand in the box. Marko was mikes better. He doesn’t look like he’s up for a fight. Fornals, less said the better. Roberto, dear me! Even Rice has gone backwards. Anderson and Lanzini both drift in and out of games. Wilshere signing also, predictably, going not going well. When Snodgrass, a hard grafting but technically limited journeyman, is your best player you’re in deep doo doos. We’ve got four very tough games coming up, hard to see many points there. Act now board before we’re dragged into yet another relegation battle. Are there really three worse teams? Hard to see one worse.

  25. Joe Harvey, whatever you are taking please give me some….. BECAUSE you are a 100% correct…. 👍

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