The First Days Of Pellegrini And Last Days Of Moyes Under Review

Since arriving at West Ham, serial winner Manuel Pellegrini has prioritised the need for bringing as many young players through the once legendary Hammers' academy and to totally reconsruct the club's defence. Just as well, because along with relegated Stoke City it was the most porous in the Premier League, conceding 68 goals in 38 matches! West Ham eventually finished 13th last season, but only because of the seven point haul achieved against Leicester City, Manchester United and Everton in the closing three matches, it is quite obvious that without Marko Arnoutovic's goals it would have been West Ham instead of Stoke that would have been relegated, the £24 Million paid for the Austrian International looks like small feed compared with the potential £150 Million loss in TV revenue that Stoke will experience, and despite the parachute payments this was the worst year to go down because it is the first of the really big payments that 'lower' eschelon clubs are able to share equally.

As part of his player recruitment, Pellegrini is close to signing 22 years old Barcelona centre back Marlon Santos who spent last season on loan at Ligue 1 side Nice, this move is the beginning of the bringing in of "four or five players" in order to strengthen the team for next season that he mentioned when taking over from David Moyes. Although the agreement is not yet finalised, sources in Spain have confirmed that negotiations between Barcelona and West Ham are well underway with Hammers willing to pay the £15 Million asking price, following a year at Barça B and debut in the league with the first team, Marlon has settled in France, where he has played 27 games, 25 as a starter, between League, Cup and the Europa League. Negotiations with West Ham are being made directly by Barça's CEO, Òscar Grau, and the player's agent. The five year deal being negotiated will have a 20% sell on clause as well as a 'right to buy' at the end of 'Brando's' contract should Barca want to take up the option. This will not be the only bit business conducted in Spain by West Ham, however given the clubs' recent good relationship, the signing of Alex Song on loan for two seasons, it was an obvious choice to begin working with 'friends'.

Manuel Pellegrini has not inherited a bad team, in fact once the 'shackles' of relegation were removed the team played some entertaining and exciting football, the team would have qualified for the Champions League if qualification had been judged on the final games only! What a difference between the dark days of the mid to the end of the season, culminating with the pitch invasion during the home defeat to Burnley. The fact that the team were able to perform with such freedom and fluidity once they were safe suggests that something major was amiss before hand, therefore once sorted the team could go forward, unfortunately David Moyes' brand of 'pragmatic' football was never going to win over the West Ham faithful despite him saving the club from relegation, whereas the 'Pilgrim' is about as much as a direct opposite as one could probably hope for and has already seen the club earmarked as a top six side.

Pellegrini's entire footballing ethos is based on attacking free flowing possession football whereas Moyes' was the completely different, in fact many fans, some say they are deluded, reckon that West Ham with it's huge fan base and inspirational new manager can finally fulfill it's enormous potential next season. The club most definitely under performed last season so some form of improvement was always going to happen, but with the 'Plgrim' in charge fans genuinely believe they will at last have a manager capable of dealing with the interference from the club's hierarchy that other managers have suffered from in the past, indeed lengthy advanced negotiations that included the manager's say so on new signings took place well ahead of Pellegrii's arrival, and it currently appears that the board are sticking to their promises, although for how long more for is a matter of some debate.

As if to illustrate just how keen Pelegrini is to get his signings in early, news is also breaking with regards to West Ham being in talks to sign Genoa defender Armando Izzo, 26 year old Izzo joined Genoa from Serie B side Avellino in 2014 after beginning his career with Napoli. Izzo's impressive performances this season have seen him linked with a number of Serie A clubs, but despite his current deal running until 2022 it appears that Genoa are keen to cash in due to their precarious financial position. The mooted transfer fee of £12 rising to £15 Million is par to the course value wise, with the potential to recoup much of the purchase price on a resale basis, in fact Pellegrini's vision is beginning to take place, he wants young fit players which he feels is vital in order to revamp an ageing squad which is the second oldest in the entire Premier League.

Although arrivals are important, the list of those chosen to be given their marching orders will be a matter of some conjecture, essentially most of the squad are too old to carry out Pelegrini's high action game plans, but the 'Cull' will have to be a balanced one otherwise the team will be 'empty'! Who will Pellegrini retain? Several of the clubs ageing players are on healthy and lengthy contracts and will be hard to shift, therefore the club will either have to take a big hit to get rid of them or bite the bullett and retain there services, word is though that the clean out will be comprehensive to say the least, and the fall out will be felt far and wide among the current playing staff. - Ed



asheshammer's picture

Santos, Fredericks, Loftus-Cheek. But let's not count our chickens! I don't believe anything until the signature is on the dotted line. And don't forget that we could get a few people in and still see Marko go at the end of the transfer period. We'll just have to wait and see how determined WHUFC is.

And a new rumour has appeared: Anderson. I suspect this is all just hype, but would be nice.

Also: they are saying SUGO want Mario on loan again for another season. That doesn't make sense. His value won't go down. Now's the time to make the full transfer. Sadly, I don't think this is going to happen.

40 users have voted.
Essexhammer's picture

I think Santos and Fredericks are all but done,Anderson would be a great capture.I heard that Carvahlo has terminated his contract at Sporting Lisbon ,so he is looking for a move,whether Pellegrini wants to pursue Bilic's man we wait and see.But it's that holding midfield role which has been so lacking in this Westham side,that's the position where the big money should be spent.I would like to see Mario stay ,I think his game was improving each match ,linked well with Lanzini and Arnautovic.Still questionable what the transfer budget is ,most seem to think £75m plus any sales made,if so,would be a decent pot for Pellegrini to do some business with.May not be enough to challenge the top six but should give a big boost in challenging that 7th place ,but much will depend on who Pellegrini brings in.One things for sure we won't be battling relegation

29 users have voted.
Dartford Bhoy's picture

I agree with Ashes, dont count the chickens but I am a little more optimistic but.. I am at the start of most seasons :o)

Looking back the start of last season was horrid for us with 3 away games on the bounce and starting badly is always difficult to recover, it has a marked effect on moral and Spilic looked at times like a rabbit in the head lights with no answer. We dont, I think, have any dam athletics meeting to worry about so hopefully a home game to start in the sun and the London Caldron of noise Stadium... No popcorn or selfies allowed... COYI's!!!!! :o)

24 users have voted.
asheshammer's picture

A home game to start the season would be encouraging. Whatever else happens, we need a good start to the season. Like you, I feel a little more optimistic than I did at this time last season.

29 users have voted.

Im also hoping for a few home friendlies aswell to settle into the season early,as there was nothing like that at all last year.

32 users have voted.
asheshammer's picture

there will be no home friendlies this season. World cup and all that. Could have been a bad dream though.

26 users have voted.
Dicks is the man's picture

you bunch of chicken counting fools!

35 users have voted.

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