New West Ham Manager Pellegrini: “We Are Going To Play Football That Will Delight The Fans”
New West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has excited members of the Claret & Blue Army in his first Interview since arriving at the London Stadium, promising “We are going to play football that will delight the fans.”
The Chilean signed a three-year contract on Monday, believed to be worth around £10 million per year, having left Chinese Super League outfit Hebei Fortune China over the weekend.
The news was announced early on Wednesday morning and shortly followed by his first Interview since returning to the Premier League after a two-year absence on the club’s official website, having the following to say about his delight at putting pen to paper at Rush Green training ground.
“I’m very happy because I return to a league that, for me, and I always say the same thing, is the best league in the world, and especially because I come here to West Ham because every time I spoke with the owner Mister Sullivan, I always had the feeling that he wants me.”
“I think that West Ham had a difficult season last season and I hope that next season we are going to play football that will delight the fans. I always play attacking football and we must try to reach important targets in the season.”
The 64-year-old continued, “Every time you have a meeting you have feelings about whether it was a good meeting or a bad meeting and I had the meeting with him, just talking about football and talking about West Ham. We agreed on a lot of things he wants for this Club in the way I think a football club must be managed, so we have a lot of common ideas.
“That’s why I just said that I always feel that he wants me as a manager, because we agreed on a lot of things he wants for this Club in the way I think a football must be managed, so we have a lot of common ideas. I hope now we can do it in the performance of the team.”
The former Chile International centre-back has worked in football all over the world, succeeding in three different continents throughout a 30-year managerial career and his experience will be key in taking West Ham forward over the next couple of years.
The veteran will need all of it too as he must try to settle fans, who have watched their team become embroiled in consecutive relegation battles despite a move to London Stadium, and many of whom are unhappy with the way their club has been run since relocating from East Ham to Stratford.
However, despite the difficulty of the job in hand, Pellegrini is ambitious that he can guide the Irons to new levels, something that the previous two bosses, also centre-half during their playing days in Moyes and Slaven Bilic, were unable to do.
“I am excited about this project. My mentality is always to have a winning mentality and I will hope that I can repeat here what I did with all my clubs here in Europe, where I have always arrived in European competition.” Announced Pellegrini.
“I know that this league is very good and it’s not easy to do it, but I think that working all together with the owners, the technical staff and the fans, we have an important power and can think about reaching important targets for the season.
“I think West Ham has a very good team. I know all of the players and I saw most of the games that they played last season, so I am sure that, with the players we have in this moment in the squad, and bringing maybe another four or five players in, we are going to have a strong team.”
The South American is clearly confident that he can deliver the aspirations of European football to West Ham, who have flirted with the UEFA Europa League in recent seasons but never reached the group stage.
He has a pedigree of exactly this, appearing in the UEFA Champions League with all four of the sides he has taken charge of in Europe so far, Villareal, Real Madrid, Malaga and Manchester City, two of which he picked up from mid-table and lifting them into the La Liga top four.
In his first and third stint in Span, Pellegrini guided cash-strapped Villarreal and Malaga to the knockout rounds of Europe’s premier domestic cup competition, reaching the semi-finals with the Yellow Submarine and while at the Etihad Stadium.
Another cause for optimism for the West Ham faithful will be the Chilean’s record in English football, possessing the seventh highest-win rate of any manager to work in the division’s history.
He is also the first Hammers boss out of 17 to have won the PL as a gaffer, the first non-European to do so, guiding Blue Moon to their second title in the space of two years in his first season in 2013/2014, defeating the East Londoners on the final day to secure it.
The East London outfit have not lifted a major honour in almost 40 years and he managed there while in Manchester, adding a pair of League Cups in his maiden and final campaign to that elusive title triumph, the fourth of his career, having been victorious in three previously, one in Ecuador and two in Argentina with San Lorenzo and River Plate.
But for many, the club’s third foreign manager in history won’t just bring results, however, a trademark style of fluent, attacking football too, as promised by the man himself in the above Interview.
His City team set a record for the most goals, 150+, in all competitions on an English football, the season the year he took over, but can West Ham fans expect much of the same this time around with as slightly lesser-calibre of players?
Pellegrini has hinted that he is familiar with most of the squad, watching many of their matches last season, although he still wishes to add to it, proclaiming that he wants five more additions to the team.
It has been well-documented that to achieve his aims, in terms of style and level of success, he must be backed by the Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold, more than previous bosses have in previous transfer windows.
However, with a big and expensive name from the upper echelons of world football now in place and speculation and reports of a £75 million war chest being put in place, for fans in East London, things certainly now do appear to be looking up, heading into a vital summer.