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West Ham fans call for an end to 'idiotic' Manuel Pellegrini free-kick tactic
Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images

West Ham fans call for an end to 'idiotic' Manuel Pellegrini free-kick tactic

It is fast becoming the sight every West Ham United fan dreads, the award of a free-kick near the opposition’s box.

Of course most teams and their supporters relish such an opportunity.

For it is usually a chance to get the ball in the box or to conjure a strike on goal.

Photo by James Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

Bizarre free-kick routine persists

But under Manuel Pellegrini free-kicks in the final third of the pitch are becoming a running joke.

Supporters finally lost patience with Pellegrini’s bizarre free-kick routine in the 2-2 draw with Leicester City last time out.

The not-so-special move usually sees record signing Felipe Anderson exchange a stationary one-two with Robert Snodgrass before trying to deliver it to a teammate or into the danger area.

Photo by GLYN KIRK AFP Getty Images

To me, to you

Except the chuckle brothers’ ‘to me, to you’ routine of Anderson to Snodgrass, Snodgrass to Anderson fails to either change the angle of the cross or pull the opposition defence out of shape.

It therefore only serves to give the opponents time to close the ball, step up and play West Ham offside and be in a better position to react and win any second ball that might come from the free-kick.

This invariably leaves West Ham wide open to a counter attack too.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

Answers on a postcard

Quite why a manager with a CV as illustrious as Pellegrini’s persists with the maddening tactic is anyone’s guess.

But the repeated failure of the set-piece against the Foxes prompted an angry reaction from fans on social media and fans forums.

This Twitter post from Hammers fan Dan Lawless summed up the groundswell of opinion among supporters alongside a video of the tactic at its worst.

Perhaps our untrained football brains are missing something?

Answers on a postcard please.