An inexplicable substitution by Manuel Pellegrini in West Ham United’s Boxing Day defeat to Crystal Palace could be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
West Ham were looking solid and in line for back-to-back away victories after Robert Snodgrass gave them the lead just before the hour mark at Selhurst Park.
Snodgrass had been having a really poor game until his goal.
Snodgrass scoring saved Scot from substitution
The Scot looked leggy and although he was giving his all as usual he just couldn’t get his game going.
West Ham fans were calling for him to be substituted on social media and fans forums.
And that is exactly what Pellegrini was planning to do with Manuel Lanzini waiting on the sideline for the next break of play.
That break of play came by virtue of Snodgrass’s fine finish.
And Pellegrini then switched his plans and withdrew Pablo Fornals instead.
‘Bottler’ Pellegrini’s inexplicable Fornals mistake
Fornals has been one of West Ham’s better players of late. And while the Spaniard had not been outstanding at Palace he did not give the ball away once and was doing a superb defensive job for the team.
Lanzini came on and West Ham instantly lost their solidity. The little Argentine was anonymous for the last half an hour and was strolling around for long spells, failing to track back at all.
In ended up costing West Ham dear as Palace equalised and then got another last gasp winner in a carbon copy of the reverse fixture at the London Stadium.
Substitution was typical of Chilean’s weak management
Pellegrini bottled it with his substitution. If anything he should have left the team the way it was after Snodgrass’s goal if he did not want to take off the goalscorer.
In the end he did withdraw the midfielder, in the 91st minute after Palace had struck the winning goal.
It is a substitution which typifies Pellegrini’s weak management this season.
And ultimately end up costing the Chilean his job.