Last week West Ham United captain Mark Noble lifted the lid on Manuel Pellegrini’s softly, softly approach to management.
Speaking in his Evening Standard column, Noble compared Pellegrini to former boss Sam Allardyce.
West Ham had put in an abject performance in defeat at Everton the weekend before and followed it up with equally uninspiring performances at home against Sheffield United and Newcastle.
Noble has said on record that he likes Pellegrini.
Noble’s random Allardyce and Pellegrini comparison
But his random harking back to the days of Allardyce came from left field. And it begs the question – reading between the lines – was it a little dig at Pellegrini’s management style?
Pellegrini has the nickname ‘the charming man’ from his time at Manchester City.
And Noble reinforced that reputation with his comments.
“The manager was angry with the way we played… there were no tea cups thrown, but Manuel Pellegrini knows the quality we have in this squad and we didn’t show it, which was the most frustrating thing for him,” Noble said in The Evening Standard.
“I’ve played under eight managers at West Ham and the one who would ‘lose it’ the most after a bad defeat was Sam Allardyce.
Has captain made a statement?
“Sometimes you’d come back to the dressing room and he’d be screaming at you and then, when you got back on the coach, he’d say: “Right lads, see you tomorrow morning at 6am. You’ve made me sit through that rubbish today so you can all watch it again then!”
“But the great thing about Sam was that he didn’t bear a grudge. He’d tear into you one day and the next morning he’d come and sit with you at breakfast and chat about world politics.”
Based on recent performances, Pellegrini’s softly, softly approach is not working.
‘Pellegrini never loses it’ Well maybe it is time he did
West Ham have not won in six and have dropped like a stone down to 13th. They also face a daunting run of fixtures. It starts at Burnley this weekend where softly, softly won’t get you too far.
Maybe Noble was suggesting it is time Pellegrini started to lose it a little like Allardyce used. Perhaps he is hinting that’s what some of his teammates need to get them to up their game.
But one thing is for certain the pressure is on and sometimes you can’t charm yourself out of a sticky situation.