One of Manuel Pellegrini’s biggest tasks at West Ham is to overhaul the style of play at the club.
The move to the London Stadium was supposed to usher in an era of attractive football; that stylish play and a brand new stadium would entice elite talent to join the Hammers.
After a near-constant relegation battle since the move, this summer was the first time an adventurous style of play has even seemed like a possibility.
It was a shaky start but the win over Manchester United last weekend felt like the moment it finally arrived.
The Pellegrini revolution
Where under Moyes West Ham would have sat back even against a vulnerable United side, as he did in May, Pellegrini’s side went for the jugular.
High pressing, quick passing and an attacking outlook is the order of the day. Moyes certainly preferred a disciplined, long ball approach that often left Marko Arnautovic isolated.
West Ham have needed to establish a style of play for quite some time now and it looks as if Pellegrini is doing just that.
One stat bears it out…
The numbers have been run to see how many long balls each Premier League team makes.
Of course there are nuances; short passing does not necessarily make for good football and strong results; long ball football does not necessarily mean the inverse. Overperforming Watford play the second most, for example.
The Hammers came in 11th; playing just a handful more than Tottenham, Wolves and Everton. All three have rightly drawn praise for their passing football and West Ham are now competing with them.
That is the direction the club has to go in; the numbers suggest Pellegrini’s revolution is taking shape.