Ask Manchester City fans to describe West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini and ‘This charming man’ will be the reply.
The moniker sums Pellegrini up really, a class act and one West Ham are lucky to have make no mistake.
West Ham fans have grown increasingly frustrated with co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold over the years and the rap sheet is lengthy and wide-ranging.
One of West Ham fans’ biggest bones of contention, though, is their preference to seemingly appoint ‘Yes men’ who are grateful for the chance to manage a club of West Ham’s size, and are therefore subservient to the whims and ways of Sullivan and Gold when it comes to openly discussing club business, taking charge of transfers and recruitment and even commenting publicly on team selection.
Pellegrini is not that man, though, and West Ham fans are already seeing the benefits.
No disrespect to the Hammers but after spells as boss of clubs like River Plate, Real Madrid and Manchester City, managing West Ham will not faze this charming man.
West Ham supporters have been livid about a lack of investment since their move to the London Stadium two years ago.
Many feel their protests last season have triggered the whopping £90 million spend so far this summer.
But what is entirely more likely is that the owners finally have a man they feel they can trust with their money and aren’t they proving it.
Pellegrini is ambitious and will not be taken for a fool. He will demand a certain standard from his employers, his staff and his players.
Football London reported Sullivan had performed a U-turn over plans to take a step back from the recruitment process and employ a director of football instead.
But after being appointed Pellegrini put his foot down and got his trusted old sparring partner from Malaga – Mario Husillos – in to help him sign the players THEY think can take West Ham to that much-vaunted ‘next level’.
And not only will that benefit the club in the transfer market and on the pitch but off the pitch too.
According to The Daily Mail Pellegrini has been so unhappy with the club’s Rush Green training facilities – they have astroturf in the hallway for running drills and rehabilitation because the gym isn’t big enough – he has demanded urgent improvements.
And guess what, this charming man gets what he wants – The Mail reports Sullivan and Gold have sanctioned an ‘urgent upgrade’ and ‘work is to start imminently as West Ham have planning permission to work on the 29-acre site’.
Rumours on social media also claim the club will finally have a contrasting coloured carpet – most likely claret – around the pitch at the London Stadium which will make it feel more like home and help players with sightlines.
Whether Pellegrini has had anything to do with that or not we don’t know but he would surely have been consulted and asked his view.
Now, if he could just ask for more bar staff at half-time, he will be a legend before a ball is even kicked.