It was a long time coming. Manuel Pellegrini’s debut campaign in charge of West Ham was hardly the worst, but neither did it fill you with optimism. A tenth place finish in the Premier League, with more defeats than wins, and more goals conceded than goals scored.
So heading into this new season, the pressure was well and truly on the Chilean in terms of his long-term prospects at the club. A lavish summer spending that saw them sign Sebastien Haller for a club-record £45m deal certainly proved that the Hammers were intent on making progression. But, their form – particularly in recent weeks – has been nothing short of abysmal, with the loss against Leicester at the weekend marking their fourth defeat in as many games at the London Stadium.
Sacking Pellegrini in the immediate aftermath of the game felt like the misery and torment was finally being ended. The decision will no doubt help to reset things at the Hammers, and gives the board another opportunity to find the right man to lead the charge. But taking the decision now, and not later, gives West Ham one crucial advantage for any potential incoming boss: the January transfer window.
The Hammers lie just outside of the relegation places, and there is no question they can do with some reinforcements. Their 21 goals scored is the same amount as 20th-placed Norwich, whilst their 32 goals conceded is only better than four other sides. New additions at both ends of the pitch would be most welcome, and in sacking Pellegrini just days before the winter window opens, means that they can plan and prioritise their transfer targets accordingly.
Did he really play for us?! No West Ham fan has managed to name all of these obscure Irons signings….
They no longer have any necessity to go after players Pellegrini will have wanted, and can perhaps think more longer-term if necessary. Or they can move for targets being demanded by the next man in. It gives them some much-needed flexibility at a time when they can really do with it. So whilst the decision to sack the Chilean may have been done for footballing reasons on-the-pitch, it undeniably has the added bonus of affecting things off-it.