West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini was quick to lay the blame squarely at the feet of his players on Saturday.
The Hammers turned in what the Chilean described as their ‘worst performance of the year’ in a meek 2-0 surrender at home to Everton (Sky Sports).
That was some statement given some of the dross West Ham have served up at times this season.
It was always going to be a transitional campaign.
The usual glut of injuries have not helped. But a questionable attitude from Pellegrini’s side and rank inconsistency has been West Ham’s biggest downfall.
Pellegrini’s glaring omission
Pellegrini’s analysis of the Everton debacle had a glaring omission, though, self-assessment.
West Ham fans were already fearing the worst when they saw the line-up before kick-off.
The enforced absences of Ryan Fredericks, Felipe Anderson, Samir Nasri and Mark Noble obviously did not help.
But Pellegrini left out Michail Antonio from a side sorely lacking any semblance of pace.
Even Arthur Masuaku should have been considered given the alarming lack of speed and athleticism in the team.
Aaron Cresswell and Pablo Zabaleta were torn apart.
No pace, no points
The manager also left out young Grady Diangana who is super quick. Javier Hernandez has been in fine form yet was left on the bench.
West Ham were so slow compared to Everton it was a tough watch.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But Pellegrini made some fundamental errors against the Toffees.
Then when he made the changes the visitors were so dominant they made very little impact.
Pellegrini is an experienced manager but he is far from perfect.
Pellegrini should have shouldered some of the blame
He should have shouldered some of the blame rather than hanging his players out to dry.
The season has been in no man’s land since the dreadful FA Cup exit against League Two bound AFC Wimbledon.
Pellegrini keeps reiterating his belief West Ham can finish seventh.
But his players don’t even buy it as proved by Pablo Zabaleta’s contradictory comments on the club’s official website.
Chelsea away up next.