West Ham United legend Trevor Sinclair has fired a stark warning to Manuel Pellegrini over his tactics.
The Hammers got the season off to a dreadful start with a 5-0 drubbing from Manchester City on Saturday.
The fact it was all-conquering, mega-rich City was undoubtedly a mitigating factor.
But plenty of West Ham fans were unhappy with what they saw, particularly in the second half.
Pellegrini’s tactics in the spotlight
Pellegrini’s tactics and summer transfer priorities have been called into question since.
One particular phase of play attracted a lot of attention from fans on social media this week.
West Ham had no less than six players in close proximity to one another out on the left-wing leaving acres of space for City to score one of the easiest goals of the season.
Fans’ favourite Robert Snodgrass highlighted some worrying tactical naivety in an interview with the club’s official website.
Hammers legend Trev calls for balance
And now Hammers legend Sinclair, who was back in East London to watch the game between his two former clubs at the weekend, has warned Pellegrini he must adapt his tactics if West Ham are to be a success this season.
“I’ve seen a lot of the boys and a lot of the old squad are here, so it’s great to come back,” Sinclair told whufc.com.
“This team is full of players who can create and work hard and I just hope they work as hard defensively as they do going forward and enjoy the defensive side of it, keeping clean sheets and working hard for the team.
“If they can do that and get the balance right, I think it will be a successful season.”
Sinclair makes a sobering point that won’t be lost on West Ham fans.
Wolves show the way
Yes West Ham want to play attacking football and entertain the fans. But they must also be disciplined and do the hard yards to ensure they are a competitive force.
City do both, although they can hardly be used as a yardstick for West Ham. But one look at the Hammers’ best of the rest rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers should be enough for Pellegrini to see both can be achieved.
The problem is West Ham’s summer business largely ignored what was the weakest aspect of the team last season and for several seasons before that, the defence.