West Ham enjoyed an exciting summer transfer window, with the most notable arrival at the London Stadium being striker Sebastien Haller. The £45 million that the Irons paid Eintracht Frankfurt for the attacker was another indication that the club are serious about pushing for European football this season. Of course, whether or not the Hammers achieve this ambition remains to be seen.
Manuel Pellegrini will be hopeful of a positive campaign. So too is former West Ham defender Nigel Winterburn. The English left-back spent three years with the east London outfit before retiring in 2003. He said to Sportingbet, “when you look at quality of players West Ham have, as well as their manager, you would expect West Ham to have a strong season. The problem is West Ham are their own biggest enemy…West Ham are a team that should be pushing for a Europa League space this season”.
Pellegrini has certainly built an impressive squad over the last two seasons. Haller has joined an exciting attacking unit that already boasts the likes of Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Andrii Yarmolenko. However, Winterburn seems concerned that the Chilean coach may be running out of time to prove his own worth. The retired defender said, “Pellegrini needs to be given time to build his team and deliver results, but such is the demands of the Premier League, he could be out of a job by Christmas…the owners will be expecting results. Let’s see where West Ham are at Christmas time but if things aren’t going well, I don’t think he’ll last to the end of the season”.
West Ham’s prospects do indeed look good this season. On paper they have all the elements needed in their squad to compete in the top half of the table. They should certainly steer well clear of any relegation trouble.
The West Ham board clearly have faith in Pellegrini too. They’ve certainly backed him in the market. Even if the club do suffer a poor first half of the campaign, despite Winterburn’s fears, it’s likely that the Irons’ hierarchy will keep faith in such an experienced and proven manager. Sacking Pellegrini, other than in the most dire circumstances, would be a mistake for West Ham this season.