Where did it all go wrong for West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini?
PUBLISHED: 11:30 30 December 2019
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Dave Evans looks at Pellegrini's time at the London Stadium
So where did it all go wrong for Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham United?
The only time he had been sacked before in his managerial career was at Real Madrid despite finishing second in La Liga with a club record points score at the time.
This was a very different scenario for the Chilean coach. By the end at the London Stadium he looked like a bewildered rabbit caught in the headlights and unable to work out where it had all gone wrong.
Remember back in September when the Hammers eased to victory over Manchester United? Expectations for this West Ham squad to that point were so high.
They had spent big in the summer including splashing out over £40million on Sebastien Haller to replace China-bound Marko Arnautovic and they seemed to have cracked it.
There was talk of a top six finish and a win after that match would have put them in the top three in the Premier League.
But from this point the wheels came off and some of it was self-inflicted.
Pellegrini clearly doesn't like the cups as he picked a weakened side at Oxford United and was spanked 4-0 in an embarrassing capitulation.
In the very next game, despite a decent 2-2 draw at Bournemouth, Hammer of the Year Lukasz Fabianski was injured and from then on the wheels came off.
Pellegrini stuck with Roberto in goal despite the Spaniard proving that he was not up to the job.
He stuck with a lone striker formation, hampered by the unavailability of Michail Antonio and Haller suffered accordingly.
Once the defeats came with some dreadful performances, he simply could not inspire his players to turn things around.
Jack Wilshere remained on the sidelines, a disastrous decision to sign him. The manager failed to get the best out of star man derson and often substituted him, much to the Brazilian's chagrin.
The defence was too often a disorganised shambles, too easy to cut open and Pellegrini seemed to have no idea as to how to sort it out and what his best back-line was.
The coach had won the title at Manchester City and been a success everywhere he had managed, but this was a step too far and he didn't seem too bothered about it.
His efforts talking to the media were disastrous which is fine when your team is winning, but when things start to go wrong, saying the same thing at every press conference is simply not good enough.
Was Pellegrini at the Hammers for one last big pay day? He certainly has made some cash out of West Ham and he did not seem too bothered about the prospect of being sacked.
Many have criticised the board for the shambles that is surrounding the club at the moment, but it is tough to back up that argument.
They spent over £150m on new players in the 18 months he was in charge and they had already splashed the cash on bringing a proven winner to the club as manager.
Most fans were behind the appointment and felt it was a chance to take the club to the next level.
But maybe Pellegrini was a little too old and a little too over the hill to perform the task he was assigned to.
He finished with a total of 24 wins and 29 losses from his 64 games and after four consecutive home defeats, time was finally called on his time at the helm.
Recent wins at Chelsea and Southampton gave fans some hope that Pellegrini could turn it around, but those wins were a false dawn and in the end, his departure became inevitable and the right decision.