September 22, 2019

Pellegrini on way out?

September 6, 2018
West Ham
Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham manager

West Ham fans always have a super high impression of themselves and their club.

This sense of superiority came from 1966 when the club produced the main stars in the English world cup winning team.

Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst were and still are, English heroes when they brought the whole world to its knees with their magical footwork in the 1966 world cup.

West Ham fans have made sure the rest of the world does not forget this.

The sad part of it all is that West Ham fans have not forgotten this, they have not moved on from the glory of yesteryears to face the reality of today. They pass on the folklore from generation to generation, that is why nothing, absolutely nothing or no one, seems to be good enough for them.

The club has always been family-oriented and they always want things to go the way they want. They are closely knitted and are very suspicious of new people and changes to the norm.

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They have a standard and they want to stick to it. There was a time they felt Frank Lampard was not good enough to play for them that he only got into the team because his uncle, Harry Redknapp was the manager and his dad, Frank Lampard snr was assistant manager!!!

Now, we know Manuel Pellegrini.

We know he has won the premiership with Manchester City. We know he has managed Villarreal in Spain, breaking the Real Madrid/Barcelona twosome grip on La Liga by coming second in 2007-2008 season. We know he broke club record of end of season points at Real Madrid when he got 96 points in the 2009-2010 season.

So why suddenly is he being rated as a bad manager, one who is not good enough for a mid-table club like West Ham? Why are the fans already calling for his head? Why after four games do the fans want him out?

Well, it is probably because he has lost his first four games of the season despite having spent over 100m pounds in the transfer market to bring in nine new players.

Most likely though, it will be because the high maintenance fans of West Ham believe he is not good enough for them.

They wouldn’t pause to think about the fact that the new players didn’t have a proper pre-season and are taking their time to gel, they care not about Pellegrini’s CV and his achievements at other clubs, what they care about is he has not put them on top of the premiership league table where they feel they rightly belong, based on the achievements of their players in 1966.

It is a shame that Pellegrini is fighting a lost cause.

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Whatever he does at West Ham will be considered not good enough, except he wins trophies. Poor sod.

If I were his friend, I would have advised him to start looking for another job because when West Ham fans are in this mood, it is a matter of when and not if the manager is getting the sack.

Ask Sam Allardyce and David Moyes among others.

Soft touch Spurs

Ever since Mauricio Pochettino has launched his campaign of turning Tottenham Hotspur into league champions, there has always been something or the other that would make them fall by the wayside in the home run.

They always seem to collapse in the last lap, fall short at the last hurdle.

Perhaps Spurs’ best chance of winning the league was in 2015-2016 season when Leicester FC won it.

All the usual suspects of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, etc had a bad season that year and the battle for the title was between Pochettino’s Spurs and Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City.

Chelsea fans and players have been taking credit for destroying Spurs’ title ambition following the bad tempered 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge which handed the title to Leicester.

However, the title had slipped out of Spurs’ hands way before the Chelsea match, that game only made it mathematically impossible for any club, Spurs included, to catch Leicester City in the title race.

Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs manager

Spurs had dropped so many unexpected points along the way that even if they had beaten Chelsea in that game, they would only have been postponing the judgment day.

In 2017, Spurs also had a great chance of beating Chelsea to the title only to lose unexpectedly to West Ham, effectively putting paid to their ambitions once again.

There is no doubting the fact that Spurs have one of the most talented teams in the league who can give anyone a good run for their money. However, two factors have mainly been their Achilles’s heels in their title challenges.

One is the fact that they don’t have enough quality players on the bench, so they hardly have game changers to come on when plan A has failed.

Also, deep into the season, Spurs can’t afford to rest key players when they are getting tired and need a few days off to recharge their batteries, that’s when mistakes happen, that’s when valuable points are dropped.

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The second reason Spurs remain title contenders as against league champions in what Troy Deeney refers to as cojones, they seem to lack the courage and desire to do battle.

Spurs are at their best when they play the big boys who are satisfied with letting their footballing skills do the talking but when the going gets tough, when they face clubs who have come for a battle,  Spurs’ players will disappear into their shells.

Spurs beat Manchester United very comfortably at Old Trafford, a week later, they were reduced to cry babies, moaning to the referee after almost every tackle, as they were manhandled to a 2-1 defeat at Watford.

Until Poch’s boys learn how to maneuver these tough and physical games against the so called smaller clubs, they will remain title contenders and not title winners.

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