I was in Florida during the build-up to and the announcement of Pellegrini being the next West Ham manager. Whenever we go to our house out there, we tend not to get or search for much news from the UK – certainly not West Ham-related news – so we missed all the stories about Pellegrini being seriously touted as the new boss.
A friend of mine – a big West Ham fan – messaged me asking me what I thought about Pellegrini and I texted something very uncomplimentary about him and the two men who would have appointed him. I was, however, thinking about former Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino – that’s the type of manager I thought we’d end up getting.
I genuinely thought we had got rid of David Moyes – who to be fair had done what he was asked to do and got his street cred back – and then gone and appointed Pellegrino. Imagine my surprise a few days later when we were watching the TV in a bar and it was the former Manchester City manager – not the ex Southampton boss – being announced as the new manager.
I may have cursed under my breath and texted my friend back to take back my earlier comment because Pellegrini is the real deal. He is a very good manager. I thought he was unlucky at Manchester City but they, like Chelsea, are always looking to change and do something different.
I think he will be a good fit for us but he needs a free role and have a choice of transfers. He certainly won’t want any interference from above – he won’t take it. What he says goes. This is the first time in a while that I’ve looked forward to the season – let’s see what Pellegrini can do. I spoke a lot last season about the goalkeeping problem we have at our club at the minute. I can’t remember a time when so much was said and discussed about this one position.
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again – I never rated Joe Hart. I remember when he got his first game for England and he looked shaky and nervous. The last few seasons he has made so many mistakes – hence the reason why he’s not going to the World Cup. As for Adrian,I am disappointed with him. When he first came into the side, he did really well, became a favourite with the crowd and I felt he had his best years ahead of him but I don’t think he has kicked on. He hasn’t improved and at his age, you’d have thought he would have.
‘Keepers – as a general rule – get better with age but Hart and Adrian appear to be the exceptions to the rule! Where did it go wrong for Hart? Some say he started going downhill after that Iceland game but he has always been prone to these mistakes. I think a lot of West Ham fans were wondering why we brought him to the club in the first place because we had two decent ‘keepers but others pointed out he was England’s number one at the time.
I’m sure signing a new ‘keeper wasn’t Bilic’s top priority but you can bet that after being told we were going to get Hart that he had to play him. I think Hart will say his time at West Ham was a huge mistake. He wanted to come back to England to stand any chance of going to the World Cup. He will be disappointed not to have made the plane but he’s only got himself to blame.