Perplexed West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has called on his players to prove they don’t have an attitude problem.
West Ham may have dramatically improved under Manuel Pellegrini but a poor approach to some games had held them back.
West Ham started the Chilean’s tenure by losing their opening four Premier League matches.
That saw Pellegrini installed one of the early favourites for the sack.
The title-winning former Man City boss turned things around, though, to push the Hammers up the table and into genuine contention for a European place.
West Ham sit 9th in the table with 31 points from their opening 22 games.
The Hammers are just one point off seventh spot.
Pellegrini’s questions West Ham attitude
The club have taken more points off the top sides this season than anyone else except Wolves.
West Ham deservedly beat Arsenal 1-0 last time out to further improve that record.
But with the less illustrious prospect of Bournemouth away looming on Saturday the Chilean tactician has called on his players to prove they don’t have an attitude problem in games against so-called lesser sides.
“It’s difficult to know the reason (why West Ham don’t perform as well against lesser sides),” Pellegrini said in his pre-match press conference (whufc.com).
“But of course, when you have a good win against a big team like Arsenal maybe the players can think that will be enough to win the next game.
“The only way to win the next game is to play the same way you did against Arsenal.
“It’s a mentality that we will to try and improve and I hope this time we are not going to make that mistake.”
Do Hammers have a glamour problem?
Those ‘mistakes’ have been all too regular this season.
Victories over Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and away at another bogey side Newcastle and a draw against Chelsea have been offset by defeats or the failure to beat the likes of Bournemouth, Wolves, Brighton, Huddersfield and Watford.
In most of those games West Ham looked like they expected to simply turn up and roll over the opposition.
Saturday’s trip to the Cherries is against the backdrop of star man Marko Arnautovic wanting to leave.
The Austrian is unlikely to feature at the Vitality.
Of course it is nothing new, West Ham being accused of only turning up for the big teams.
But now is the time for West Ham to rally together and show Pellegrini they do approach games against less glamorous opposition in a professional manner.