Manuel Pellegrini takes charge of his first West Ham home match this weekend, with the Hammers welcoming Bournemouth to the London Stadium.
The east London side were dismantled by Liverpool on the opening weekend, suffering a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool that left the heavy-spenders rooted to the bottom of the Premier League at the very, very early stage of the campaign.
Improvements are needed for the hosting of Bournemouth, who beat Cardiff City last weekend, and we have identified three key takeaways from Pellegrini’s pre-match press conference.
West Ham need all the good news they can get their hands on after last week’s mauling at the hands of Liverpool and Manuel Pellegrini has provided that. While his comments are as you expect, naming the three long-term absentees, it’s what he doesn’t say that is interesting.
Fans will notice that Aaron Cresswell is not mentioned, suggesting that the experienced full-back will be available for selection after not being risked for the defeat to Liverpool due to fitness concerns – and he could therefore come into the side to replace Arthur Masuaku.
“We have no new injury news. The same three players – Andy Carroll, Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini are still out, but all the others are OK.”
Eddie Howe became the darling of English football after he led Bournemouth to the Premier League and kept the Cherries in the top-flight. While that love affair may have come to a close, with the club crashing back down to earth, he still earns plenty of praise.
Pellegrini has spoken highly of his competitor ahead of the hosting of Bournemouth and he may need to be careful, as Howe is the sort of manager West Ham should probably look towards if things do not work out well under the Chilean boss.
“Eddie Howe has done very well. He’s a very good manager and keeping them in the Premier League in that first season was a very good job. They have been there a number of years now and he’s doing very well.”
Asking fans to be patient is usually the kiss of depth and Manuel Pellegrini avoided using those specific words during his pre-match press conference. However, he did make it clear that it will take time for the dust to settle after a frantic summer window.
Fans will want a positive result at the London Stadium this weekend but the Hammers enter the match with a newly assembled squad still learning the ropes, many of whom are in the Premier League for the first time, while the majority of Bournemouth’s squad is well accustomed to the rigours of English football – many of whom have been with the club for a while.
“I hope our fans can understand that this is our first game at home but we are continuing to work with the squad. I don’t think we will have any problem with the fans.”