Manuel Pellegrini could be the next on the Premier League chopping block as West Ham hold talks about his potential dismissal should the club drop into the relegation zone.
After surrendering a lead against Arsenal on Sunday, the Hammers found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline and now sit just one point outside of the bottom three.
Their record for this season is a measly four wins and four draws out of 16 games played in the league. Since September 22, West Ham have secured maximum points on just one occasion – a shock victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
“In our last five games at home we got one draw and conceded three goals in our last three. I am more worried about that,” reflected Pellegrini after the game when asked about relegation worries.
The Chilean joined the East London club in May 2018, succeeding David Moyes and the Hammers finished 10th in the league last season, a ten-point improvement on their previous campaign.
After joining the club on a three-year contract in 2018, Pellegrini announced: “My mentality is always to have a winning mentality. I think that West Ham had a difficult season last season and I hope that next season we are going to play football that will delight the fans.”
The club are hesitant to sack the 66-year-old, stressing their preference to honour contracts. Pellegrini’s deal with West Ham does not expire until 2021 but it’s been widely reported that it could be the final curtain if the team suffer a loss against Southampton on Saturday.
However, West Ham’s board aren’t the only ones questioning Pellegrini’s status as head coach. Captain Mark Noble recently spoke out in his column for The Evening Standard and expressed his frustrations with his side’s current form.
“I’ve talked about this problem [conceding from set-pieces] so many times I’m beginning to sound like a broken record,” Noble wrote. “I’m struggling to work out exactly why we keep giving away set-piece goals, since we work on them constantly in training.
“At the moment it seems like it’s a toss of a coin which team will turn up.”
Following their defeat to Arsenal, Rafa Benitez told reporters that he believes West Ham are a “top 10” side and should be in the top half of the table with “the squad they have”.
“I think that Pellegrini is a great manager, I think he can fix the problems,” said the former Liverpool and Newcastle manager. “I think he has the experience to do it.”
The Hammers travel to St Mary’s to face 18th in the table Southampton on December 14. If the Saints find their third home win of the season and Aston Villa beat Sheffield United, Pellegrini’s side will fall into the drop-zone.
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