West Ham United are in freefall after a promising start to the season.
The Hammers lost 3-2 at home to Newcastle United on Saturday. But the scoreline flattered West Ham, and could have been a cricket score.
It means Manuel Pellegrini’s side have failed to win for six games since beating Manchester United 2-0.
And one point from home games against Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Newcastle will give everyone connected with the club real cause for concern.
The real cause for concern at West Ham
But what should worry every West Ham fan most is Pellegrini’s comments in the wake of the demoralising defeat to the Magpies.
Speaking after the game Pellegrini said he does not know why things have turned sour. And he even praised hapless goalkeeper Roberto.
That is despite fans calling for changes to team selection and tactics for weeks because they could see this coming.
“We start the season well and then we lose to Oxford, after that we start losing games so we need to know why,” the Chilean told whufc.com.
Pellegrini comments more baffling than his tactics
“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.
“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.”
And when asked whether Roberto Pellegrini was a Premier League standard goalkeeper, Pellegrini defended the Spaniard, despite the fact he has been at fault for a goal in every single appearance except Newport County.
“Roberto has a career behind him, with big teams in other countries. I do not think today is about him,” Pellegrini said, as reported by the likes of Football London.
“They scored their first from a set piece which is not his responsibility, he save a couple of counter attacks, I do not think we can find one reason why we lost today, I do not think Roberto is the reason.”
You can’t defend the indefensible
West Ham fans identified the problems in the team weeks ago. Some would even argue they have seen this coming since the summer.
There is a lack of pace in the side and a lack of tempo.
And a paltry £25million net spend in the summer means Pellegrini was forced to shop in the bargain bin for signings like Roberto and David Martin, neither of whom are up to standing in for Lukasz Fabianski.
The simple fact is that while Roberto made a couple of saves against Newcastle and away at Everton, he still made huge howlers which ultimately cost the team at crucial times.
And his presence is unsettling the entire defence in front of him.
The fact Pellegrini cannot see any of this is a cause for concern and things could very easily get worse.