Sunday, October 21, 2018

Manuel Pellegrini could be a shrewd appointment for West Ham

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 22 May 2018

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West Ham have been treading water for a couple of years in the Premier League. This season saw the Irons in a relegation battle for much of the campaign.

In the end, boss David Moyes guided the side from East London to safety. However, the former Everton boss was only on a short-term deal with the Hammers. The club decided not to renew Moyes contract and looked elsewhere for a new boss.

In truth, their choice of Chilean boss Manuel Pellegrini could prove to be an inspired one by the club hierarchy, who really need to get the fans back on side following problems on and off the pitch in recent years.

A succesful boss

In terms of experience and quality, I highly doubt that West Ham could have attracted a better or more experienced boss to the club. Pellegrini is the sort of boss that many very decent clubs would have been looking at appointing this summer. The Irons have pulled off a bit of a coup with his appointment.

Pellegrini was the man who turned Villarreal from a little team in a tiny town in Spain to an outfit that regularly gave bloody noses to the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona. The Yellow Submarine are still in the top-six of La Liga because of the belief he instilled into the club.

This is a man who has managed Real Madrid, while guiding Los Blancos to a club- record La Liga points total at the time of 96. Unfortunately, for the Chilean, the men from the Spanish capital finished second in the table to arch-rivals Barcelona, who notched a massive 99 points.

However, in 2014 he did win a title in a big European league, guiding Manchester City to the Premier League title in his first season in charge of the Citizens.

Can work within a budget

Pellegrini is a boss that has worked on very different budgets at clubs as diverse as Villarreal and Real Madrid. At Villarreal, he had to find hidden gems and polish them, which he did on a regular basis. The players he found were good enough to keep the Yellow Submarine competitive for a long time.

Ironically, at Real Madrid the experienced boss was not fond of the clubs Galactico transfer policy, as he liked to sign players that were right for positions, not just players who would good for branding and sell shirts in the club shop.

The West Ham hierarchy backed then-boss Slaven Bilic to spend relative big by the Irons standards last summer. However, the big-spending backfired, as the likes of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Javier Hernandez have proven to be poor signings.

The only summer signing that proved a success was Austrian star Marko Arnautovic, who made a vital contribution to the Hammers fight against relegation.

It seems unlikely that the Irons hierarchy are going to give Pellegrini a fortune to spend this summer. However, he must have had some sorts of reassurances that he will be able to bring players in, as the Irons squad needs strengthening.

Top-ten is a realistic aim for next season

After a few seasons of fighting relegation, West Ham fans must be looking forward to a stronger campaign in season 2018/19. Last season’s Premier League was short on quality below the top-six.

Teams were much of a muchness. West Ham could realistically finish in the top ten next season, which they are odds of 9/2 to achieve.

There are some quality players in that Hammers squad. With Pellegrini’s eye for a player and contacts, I am sure the Irons squad will be much improved next season, even if a number of their mid-table rivals also improve their squads too.

The Chilean is a high-class safe pair of hands. He is a cut above his predecessors in terms of win rate and style of play. I would be very surprised to see the Irons struggle under Pellegrini next season. He looks like a stellar appointment for the London club.

Is Manuel Pellegrini the right man for the job at West Ham?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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