David Moyes replaced Slaven Bilic as West Ham manager last November and it was expected that he would then extend his stay at the club after steering them away from danger and up the Premier League table.
However, Moyes decided to leave following the expiration of his short-term deal and this prompted a search for his successor. Names such as Paulo Fonseca and Rafa Benitez were bandied about but it’s Manuel Pellegrini who has taken control at the London Stadium.
Pellegrini, 64, had been tipped by various sources to be on the club’s shortlist as they looked to get a manager in place ahead of what they expect to be a busy pre-season, but some doubted they could pull the deal off, especially with the Chilean being highly paid in China. However, Pellegrini called time on his reign at Hebei China Fortune over the weekend, before flying into London for talks.
The former Manchester City boss has penned a 3-year deal with the club and will be joined by his trusted lieutenant Ruben Cousillas at the London Stadium. While Moyes did earn the support of some, including that of joint chairman David Gold, some fans felt he wasn’t the man to take the club forward, especially with his cautious style of play. Pellegrini though has insisted that he will get West Ham playing attacking football, which will be music to the ears of many.
Pellegrini is seen by many as one of the most respected figures in the game and boasts a very impressive record since becoming a manager. He was in charge of Manchester City for three seasons, winning both the Premier League title and the league cup in his maiden campaign at the helm. He also went on to oversee another successful league cup campaign in 2015/16 before leaving the Etihad. His win percentages for each of his three seasons stood at 71.1%, 63.2% and 50% and this shows just how capable he is as a manager in England.
It’s believed that Pellegrini is now the highest paid manager in West Ham’s history as the club look to get back on track following a dismal time since their move to the London Stadium. Joint-chairman David Sullivan had spoken about bringing in a manager who had experience working at the highest level, and he probably couldn’t have done much better than Pellegrini who seems to fit the bill perfectly.
Attentions will now turn to what the Chilean can do in the transfer market to begin reshaping the squad that has underperformed for the last two seasons. It’s likely that Pellegrini will want to bring in four or five players of good quality to help propel the club forward, and if he is backed financially, West Ham should have a very good season in 2018/19. The fans will be delighted the club have finally got their man, and his attacking brand of football should bring a smile to everyone’s face.