Football News

Manuel Pellegrini struggling to understand why West Ham’s form has nosedived

By CJ Smith

Published: 14:28, 3 November 2019

Manuel Pellegrini has admitted he is struggling to understand the reasons behind West Ham’s recent poor form.

The Hammers succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at home to Newcastle United on Saturday to leave them winless in their last six games across all competitions.

West Ham’s nosedive: Five things to know…

  • West Ham lost just one of their opening save games in all competitions this season.
  • That run included a 2-0 home win over Manchester United.
  • But they lost 4-0 in the League Cup against Oxford and are now winless in six outings.
  • West Ham lost 3-2 to Newcastle on Saturday, finding themselves 3-0 down after 51 minutes.
  • Pellegrini is struggling to put his finger on why his side has been so poor recently.

Even that was a flattering scoreline after Newcastle had taken a 3-0 lead within 51 minutes at the London Stadium and, speaking after the match, Pellegrini aired his frustration at West Ham’s inability to defend set-pieces and perform consistently over 90 minutes.

“It’s really difficult to understand why we started the game with that attitude and without the pace that we need to win the game,” he told the club’s official website. “In some games, before we lost here, Crystal Palace was two set-pieces, today also was two set-pieces.

“They’re important points. In the second half, we reacted a little bit more but that’s not enough. You need [to play well for] 95 minutes in the Premier League to win.”

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Pellegrini is at a loss as to how West Ham have gone from beating Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in September to losing 4-0 against Oxford in their next match – the first of their six-game winless run.

The Chilean tactician also hailed goalkeeper Roberto for his hand in keeping the score down before West Ham’s late comeback attempt, with the Spaniard making no fewer than six saves against Steve Bruce’s side.

“We start the season well and then we lose to Oxford, after that we start losing games so we need to know why,” he added.

“The second half, we improved a little bit but I repeat you cannot play 45 minutes in a game. I need to find the reason to understand why we start the game in that way.

“The other two games that we played here at home we had the possession from the beginning, we went in front, we create chances and maybe the score depends on a lot of things.

“Today, for me, we cannot believe that the score was 3-2. Newcastle had a couple of chances first half that Roberto saved but we need to have a good meeting to review what we are doing.

“You must try to recover after that. We’ve been in worse positions than now but we need a strong reaction. We can’t play like we did against Everton. I hope the squad understands.”