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Best wishes Manuel, from Pablo

Filed: Wednesday, 30th May 2018
By: Staff Writer

Pablo Zabaleta has wished new Hammers boss and long term acquaintance Manuel Pellegrini the very best of luck in his new role.

The veteran defender, 33, probably knows West Ham's new boss better than anyone else in the squad, having previously worked alongside Pellegrini at both San Lorenzo and Manchester City.

And Zabaleta believes that the 64-year-old will bring the kind of entertaining football West Ham fans have been yearning for to east London next season.

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"Manuel Pellegrini is a very successful manager with great football experience, not just in England but in many different leagues," he told whufc.com.

"When I was a teenager with the San Lorenzo club in Buenos Aires, in Argentina, I was in the second team and he was the first team manager. He did well and had success there, built a good team, won the Primera Division title and set some records.

"After he left San Lorenzo he went to River Plate and won another Primera Division title. He was always keen on youth development, bringing through good young players who went on to do very well.

"He went to Spain with Villarreal and did a great job, taking them to the Champions League semi finals. I played against his teams many times when I was with Espanyol and they were always very tough opponents.

"He did well at Real Madrid and Malaga then he came to Manchester City, where we worked together for three seasons and won the Premier League title and some other big competitions.

"He has always been a good manager and I am sure he will show that again with West Ham. I welcome him to the club and wish him good luck."

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And with regards to his personal demeanour, Zabaleta revealed that Pellegrini is a very private man - not dissimilar to former Hammers boss Avram Grant - but possesses the kind of steely determination that tends to bring the best out in his players.

"Hes a very quiet person, but he is also very determined and very strong in his belief about how football should be played," confirmed Zabaleta.

"He likes to play good, attractive football, and he plays to win - which the fans of all the clubs he has managed have always enjoyed."

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