In a season that started full of promise but seems to have not only gone downhill, and fallen off the edge of a cliff, there’s been no end of moments where you thought things couldn’t get any worse, and then they promptly do.
One example is Jose Mourinho taking over at Tottenham. The minute that happened, you knew that we were going to be beaten, as this is what years of supporting West Ham has taught me, and most likely beaten well.
And that’s exactly what happened – forget the apparent closeness of the 2-3 scoreline: they were miles better than us all over the park.
Whatever you think of Jose – and if I’m honest, I’ve never warmed to him, and thought his ego was the size of London – you can’t deny that he gets people talking.
And when he does that, and the focus is on him, that seems to suit both him and the clubs that he’s managed – Manchester United aside, which was a shambles from start to finish. Look at the success he achieved with Chelsea and Porto.
Let’s put our claret-and-blue tinted specs aside for one moment and acknowledge that in all likelihood, he is going to do very well with Tottenham.
They’re through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, he knows how to manage players, and he will bring a buzz to them.
They’ve underperformed so far this season, but I would be very surprised if he didn’t have them moving very quickly up the table. Personally – and I’m saying this through gritted teeth- I think that the Premier League is overall a better place with Mourinho in it.
Now, before you start writing in and complaining that this is a West Ham magazine and I’m eulogising Tottenham, I’m really not.
I have an irrational hatred towards them. But I think in part that my irritation is that they are just better than us. Frankly – and I’m talking here off the back of what feels like several years since our last win, so I’m a bit grumpy – we appear to be stuck in the dark ages.
Classic case in point: our very ill-advised social media post mocking Mourinho before the match, and then being made to look utterly stupid afterwards.
I am a huge fan of Pellegrini and I supported his appointment but it seems as if he does not have an answer to some of our well-documented issues at the moment.
Oh, and to have a backup keeper the ‘class’ of Roberto is close to unforgiveable. Would Mourinho – or indeed his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino – have made that mistake? No.
Does their team appear, tactically, to be better set up under either of those managers? Yes. Do they seem to care more? Yes. Man alive, it is so frustrating.
Going back to Pochettino for a moment, I’m just thinking about what might change if he ever came to West Ham, and I’m aware that he won’t, because why would he?.
Would I be happy with that as an appointment? I don’t even need to think about that answer – of course I would. I’d drive him to Stratford myself. I don’t care if he was at Tottenham, he’s a brilliant manager.
He demonstrates passion for his club – watch him at the end of the match against Ajax last season.
He is very astute tactically and is an excellent motivator.
He gets the most out of his players (first part of this season aside), he exudes energy on the touchline and you sense he is heavily invested in his football ‘projects’.
He took Tottenham to the Champions League final, for goodness sake, and got them regular football in that competition.
When could we ever say these things about any of our own managers? Has any manager even come close? And if you say ‘Alan Pardew’ I think our conversation ends here.
Piers Morgan said that he would have Pochettino at Arsenal in a heartbeat, and I think he’s on the money with that one.
If he was backed with cash, I think he would turn an underperforming team such as ours, one that seems to aim for mid-table at best and limps to draws and defeats against mid-table sides, into much more solid, consistent performers in the Premier League.
Of course, like I say, it isn’t going to happen.
The chances of someone like Pochettino coming to West Ham are about the same as us not folding to a Championship team at their ground in the FA Cup any time soon – non-existent.
Although there’s a chance that by the time you read this, Pellegrini may have been removed, and we might now all be singing Pochettino’s name at our games this Christmas.
But probably not. Bah humbug. Merry Christmas, and a very happy New Year.