West Ham have lost their opening three games this season, which suggests Manuel Pellegrini is already up against it.
The Hammers finished seventh in 2015/2016 but, since then, they’ve really struggled to cement their place in the top 10. Last year they really struggled and just about secured their Premier League status, and if they don’t have a good run in their upcoming fixtures, they could well get sucked into another relegation battle.
So what can Pellegrini do from now until the end of the season to ensure West Ham stays in the league they belong?
He needs to let the players know they’ve been unlucky
West Ham have been one of the unlucky teams in terms of their opening fixtures. They started their campaign with a trip to Anfield and lost to an in-form Liverpool side. They also lost to an improving Arsenal side last weekend – a team that’s looking to make a difference under a new manager this term.
They almost certainly could have done better against Bournemouth at home, but things didn’t exactly go as planned and they came away from home without any points. Pellegrini will need to have a chat with his players to ensure that, although their opening fixtures haven’t been kind, they know it’s time to look towards their next fixtures and not dwell on the past.
Pellegrini could look at changing shape
Pellegrini isn’t short of options going forward. He’s got more than capable players in Lucas Perez and Javier Hernandez, both of whom have heaps of Premier League experience.
Neither player is exactly getting the service from midfield that they deserve and, if that does happen to change in the next few games, they aren’t players who waste a lot of chances. Pellegrini doesn’t have a lot to lose right now and if he were to change his formation slightly, or even give his midfield more freedom, they could have the attacking ability to finish teams off. Could West Ham change formations and become successful over the next few weeks? If you are a punter looking for betting strategies to ensure your bets are successful, why not make use of smart stats for betting to improve your chances?
West Ham need to get better at the back
The Hammers have already conceded nine goals in their opening three fixtures, and that isn’t good enough for a Premier League side that has been competing with some of the best teams in the world for decades.
Pellegrini’s current defenders aren’t short of experience and having a goalkeeper of Lukasz Fabianski’s quality works in his favour. Regular training drills, and ensuring his defenders know where they need to be and when they need to be there, could make the world of difference. T
his change needs to happen sooner rather than later, otherwise they will continue to concede goals that could prove costly come the end of the campaign.
Transfer changes need to be considered now
The January transfer window will quickly come around but there’s no point in waiting until then to get business prepared. Manuel should already be looking at transfer targets and he should be getting his list in to the owners sooner rather than later.
Wilshere is fit and ready to play but he’s always been injury prone, so even looking for another midfielder or two could work in Pellegrini’s favour. As stated above, the defence he has now is all he has got until January, so he needs to do what he can with the players he has, but that shouldn’t stop him from lining up defensive replacements in January.
West Ham have the quality to stay in the league but if Pellegrini overlooks the above changes, he could well be sacked before he has a chance of making West Ham top four contenders.
West Ham’s owners will need to ensure there is a pile of cash available for Pellegrini in January to make sure he gets the players he needs to make the club a success.