Since You Gotta Go, You Had Better Go Now! Can Someone Please Put Us Out Of This Misery?

In a low budget, poorly produced sequel to the Avram Grant season, the West Ham board continue to dither over compensation payments in a further blow to the next level credibility.

Baffled Of Santiago

I was expecting to wake up this morning to discover that Manuel Pellegrini had finally been dismissed. Now just a single point away from the relegation places (with an inferior goal difference) and with a manager who: admits he is baffled; has been largely responsible for assembling this current one-paced squad; has seemingly no idea how to set up and organise a team to compete in the modern game; and is completely out of touch with current tactical trends. No-one in their right mind can surely believe that Pellegrini has got what it takes to turn things around; or, based on past performance,  would want to trust him with any further funds in the upcoming transfer window.  The season is a poorly produced, low budget, remake of the Avram Grant Season. There is no footballing rationale whatsoever for keeping him on – compensation payment is the only issue on the table. The longer a decision is put off, the greater will be the imperative to hire a manager specialising in ‘ugly’ tactics to sort it out. Stop the dithering, bite the bullet and pull the trigger – even if it is with a caretaker in charge for the next run of games.

Insider Dealing

The ubiquitous club-insider is suggesting that the manager will be given another two more games (again) to save his job. Also that if he does go then David Moyes is the probable replacement. Now I have no idea whether the insider is just making stuff up like the rest of us or is being fed information from the club (which would be massively unprofessional, but easy to believe) but if it is true then it is a deeply worrying scenario. Not that I don’t think Moyes would be a better option than Pellegrini but that is not the point. He is not the right person for the type of club we need to be. Someone who would be able to take the team in a direction that most supporters want to travel. Ultimately, football is meant to be an entertainment. It has to offer more than just doing enough to hang on to your place at the top table so that we can see the top players in the world come to tear us to pieces every season. As supporters, we need something to believe in, to be proud of, and at least be given a glimmer of hope of an a honest tilt at the occasional cup competition.

Not Fit For Purpose

Yesterday, we looked doomed right from the start. Any side with probably the three slowest players in the Premier League (Mark Noble, Robert Snodgrass and Pablo Zabaleta) is going to struggle. Throw in a comedy goalkeeper and whatever hope there was disappeared over the horizon. To be fair, Roberto was not at fault for either of the goals and made a couple of decent saves. The bench looked a little brighter with the return of Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson but neither ultimately made any impression. As usual there was no sign of any young legs and energy among the substitutes. There may have been a desire to ship out what was thought to be deadwood (Obiang, Fernandes, for example) but they were far better than what has been left behind. Is there some kind of collective madness at the club?

Two Poor Sides

The match was, as the one at Southampton, a contest of very poor quality. The Hammers nominally adopted the same 4-4-2 formation that had triumphed just over a week earlier but on this occasion the gaps between each block of players were far too great. Having won one game it was apparently beyond the players to put in the same level of effort for two matches in a row.  Michail Antonio was the only real threat, and the only one to come away with any real credit, but he cannot maintain those energy levels for a full ninety minutes. In a re-run of the past few matches, once Antonio starts running on fumes, the whole team shape collapses and becomes fatally exposed.

New Formation, Same Failings

Although there were now ostensibly two layers ‘up top’ the supply line to them was as ineffective as ever. Snodgrass despite his goal (and almost getting a second) was pedestrian throughout and again demonstrated that perseverance with the winger on the wrong flank is complete madness. Mark Noble’s only notable contribution was a bust up with Angelo Ogbonna (not sure why, but possibly due to Noble’s lazy pass putting Aaron Cresswell under pressure.) The formation, as implemented, doesn’t suit Declan Rice as his ability to break forward is seriously curtailed – he is utilised as a holding midfielder only and gave one of his least effective displays for some time as a consequence. The upshot was that Palace were given acres of space both in the centre of midfield and down their left wing where Zaha ran Pablo Zabaleta ragged all afternoon. If only we had known that might happen. Even at a goal up, it was clearly only going to be a matter of time (and Antonio’s battery running flat) before the home side breached the West Ham defence. I would take one (a defeat) for the team if it meant the end of our bewildered manager.

Ratings: Roberto (5), Zabaleta (3), Ogbonna (6), Balbuena (5), Cresswell (5), Snodgrass (5), Rice (5), Noble (4), Fornals (6), Antonio (8), Haller (5) Subs: Lanzini (4), Anderson (5), Ajeti (?)

2 thoughts on “Since You Gotta Go, You Had Better Go Now! Can Someone Please Put Us Out Of This Misery?”

  1. Hi Geoff – top article, as always but I do think we need Moyes at this current time.
    Need some organisation and spine and a poker up the players backsides to make them run ( although some of them probably incapable ! ).
    Pellegrini is the most clueless manager I’ve seen at the club ( that’s saying something) and it’s a disgrace and insult to the fans that Laurel & Hardy keep giving it this ” you’ve got another game” rubbish – I expected the same as you; to wake up this morning and see that he had gone – but no, the clown is still there.
    Never in my life wanted Hammers to get beat but I do tomorrow.
    I hope we get absolutely mashed if that’s what it takes to get the Chilean out and
    Leicester getting stuffed in their last two games gives me hope.
    Unfortunately, I don’t think a decent manager would touch us with a barge pole at the moment- so that leaves Allardyce, Pulis and Chris Hughton – lol.
    That’s exactly why Moyes should be given a 2 year deal as he won’t except another temporary position to drag us out the shit yet again – and quite rightly.
    In that time, we look for a good hungry young manager to take the club forward.
    Most worrying for me, is I’m not sure our current board have any idea about recruitment, so unless they sell up I don’t see the club going forward at all.
    Very sad days……

    All the very best
    Ken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ken,
      Great points. I don’t dislike Moyes. He got the best out of Arnautovic, had the defence much better organised and was prepared to switch tactics and formations according to circumstances. Certainly, a cut above Allardyce – and I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near Hughton or Pulis.
      Perhaps a younger, innovative manager is a pipe-dream but there must be someone out there. It is still be an attractive job as far as money is concerned and as almost all managerial appointments end in failure to some extent why would it not appeal? It might be more difficult mid-season but it didn’t stop Rodgers moving to Leicester.
      Agree it is very worrying and the board haven’t a clue about running a football club. Unfortunately, they think they are experts and don’t need a clued up football savvy Chief Exec to help them out.
      Goodness knows what will happen tomorrow.
      Best
      Geoff

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