West Ham United got their first points under Manuel Pellegrini but do concerns remain after comments from a trio of key players?
The Hammers pulled off something of a shock win at Goodison Park.
But it was the performance which pleased West Ham fans just as much as the three points.
West Ham looked infinitely better than in the four defeats that got Pellegrini’s era off to such a woeful start.
The Chilean was made second favourite for the sack and many pundits and supporters questioned his credentials to manage a club like West Ham after years in charge of elite teams.
Many saw the change of system and hardworking display as evidence Pellegrini CAN turn things around.
Player intervention needed just five games in?
Do doubts still remain, though, after comments from star trio Mark Noble, Marko Arnautovic and Declan Rice?
And all three players suggested the improved performance at Everton was down to intervention from Noble, Arnautovic and Pablo Zabaleta.
He and Arnautovic then reiterated the importance of that incident when interviewed after the Everton win (Sky Sports).
Then Rice told the club’s official website that Noble and fellow experienced pro Zabaleta were at it again before the Everton game.
The youngster revealed that a pre-match meeting led by Zabaleta and Noble had ‘inspired the Hammers to produce their most complete performance of the season so far’.
“That was the thing before the game, we all got together and Zaba and Nobes said ‘Whatever happens today, go out and give 100 per cent because that’s what the fans want and that’s what West Ham are about’,” he confirmed.
Heartening to see the player care, but what does it say about the manager?
It is great to see the players care and are willing to take matters into their own hands.
Indeed it could be argued Pellegrini has afforded them that freedom in the knowledge it could help galvanise the side.
But the fact Pellegrini has had to lean on his senior players so soon into his tenure is a worry.
Time will tell whether those concerns prove unfounded with a tough run of fixtures on the horizon.