Following the departure of David Moyes, West Ham confirmed on Tuesday the managerial appointment of Manuel Pellegrini, who has signed a three-year contract at the London Stadium.
The Chilean boasts an impressive CV, including a Premier League title win with Manchester City, a spell in the hot seat at Real Madrid and impressive stints at Malaga and Villarreal. For a club looking to disrupt the Premier League’s top seven, it seems like a solid appointment.
But is Pellegrini the right fit for perhaps the most idiosyncratic club in the English top flight? Football FanCast’s expert writers give their verdicts below…
“I think he is the best managerial appointment West Ham have made during the Premier League era. While he may appear quite withdrawn, Pellegrini is hugely experienced, knows the Premier League well and he can finally get this West Ham team sorted and organised from a defensive point of view. His appointment will certainly provide more of a pull factor for potential new signings, and the club should be fighting for a top 8 finish minimum under the Chilean, who has never finished lower than seventh while managing in Europe.”
“Yes, quite simply because who could they get that’s better? Rafael Benitez is the only linked name with a better track record than Pellegrini, and fans would quickly turn against his tactical, defensive style if things went south. Fonseca brings the charisma and style, but without a proven record in a top league. Pellegrini is the best of both worlds, and with a few smart additions to the spine of the team he will have the Hammers comfortably in the top ten.”
“How can you not love the Charming One? More importantly this is a man with the pedigree and the CV befitting of a club with a 50,000+ seater stadium and who are looking onwards and upwards. His time at Manchester City, most importantly, shows that he can unite a squad which had been divided in the final year of the Roberto Mancini reign, going on to win the league and League Cup double in his first season. He even took Manchester City and Villarreal to Champions League semi-finals, showing he’s a cup manager as well as a league one, and a man who can have his teams punching above their weight.”
“He’s pretty much as good as West Ham could get at this stage. His serene persona is the perfect antidote to the pressure cooker in east London and he plays the attacking football the fans crave. He has experience of managing elite players and also of getting teams to punch above their weight. I expect him to take West Ham into the top ten.”
“I think it’s the appointment West Ham have owed their fans for some time now. It’s an ambitious appointment; Pellegrini has experience of working wonders with a limited budget at both Villarreal and Malaga and he plays attacking football, which Hammers fans have been crying out for under the likes of Sam Allardyce and David Moyes. If he’s backed in the transfer window then I can see this paying off well for West Ham. Exciting times.”