Is West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini in danger of making the same mistakes as doomed former Hammers manager Slaven Bilic?
Bilic was sacked back in 2017 and had been accused of running West Ham like a holiday camp (Daily Mail).
It was suggested Bilic had been too friendly with players and that his ‘soft standards’ ultimately proved his undoing.
At the time of his sacking West Ham were second bottom of the table and had the worst and second worst running and sprint stats in the Premier League.
Is Pellegrini making same mistake as ‘soft’ Slaven?
Fast forward 18 months and is Pellegrini falling into the same trap?
A new report claims the Chilean has been giving his Hammers squad two days off after every Saturday game (Claret and Hugh).
“Unlike David Moyes, Manuel Pellegrini now gives two consecutive days off to the players when playing on Saturday (Sunday and Monday),” the C&H report claims.
“This means they can jet off with their families on Saturday night and fly home Monday evening and many take advantage of these two-day breaks.”
That is sure to anger some Hammers fans who have been frustrated by the attitude of their team this season, particularly against sides outside the top six.
The Hammers have been accused of not being at the races on too many occasions. They have also been accused of ‘being on the beach’ ever since they hit the 40 point mark back in March.
Fans felt instead they should have been kicking on to try and achieve seventh spot and a possible European place.
Running stats and poor attitude more than a coincidence?
Supporters were also angered when Pellegrini arranged a warm weather training camp in Spain after the club were dumped out of the most wide open FA Cup in recent memory by League Two-bound AFC Wimbledon.
Now it has emerged the club’s running stats are no better than they were under Bilic.
The Sun has reported that West Ham have the second worst running stats in the Premier League.
On average Pellegrini’s Hammers run 66.5 miles per game. That is only better than Cardiff and nearly four miles less than leaders Arsenal.
Charming man must tread carefully
Fans will see that as more than a coincidence given the two days off policy.
Pellegrini cannot claim it has been to prevent injuries. Because West Ham have had the worst injury record in the top flight this season. An average of seven players have been missing per game.
Pellegrini was known as the ‘charming man’ by Manchester City fans.
The boss must have had a ruthless streak to win titles and be successful elsewhere.
But he is playing a dangerous game with West Ham. Cutting his players too much slack may have made West Ham soft.
And that is a major problem given the fiercely competitive nature of the Premier League.