From hero to villain in 29 days

One moment Manuel Pellegrini is the key to our future - and less than a month later, he is an outdated old fossil taking us nowhere.

One minute the fans and critics are hailing his managerial qualities, as are a variety of bloggers; the next they are howling for Jose Mourinho.

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Sometimes I wonder about what goes on inside some peoples' minds. Why would he come to work for us? He wouldn't get out of bed in his posh west London mansion without a minimum spend of ?250m up front, and the likes of Bayern Munich, Spurs or Arsenal are more to his liking.

Maybe, just maybe, there's a place for some reality here. Sack Pelle and David Sullivan's great plan goes up in smoke, at exorbitant cost to get rid of the Chilean and to then bring in a new man.

Lets face it, if Pelle walks away from us now he takes a shed load of money back to South America. Or he sees out the final 20 months of his contract and also wanders off into the sunset with a shed load of add to shed loads from China, Manchester City and Real Madrid.

I am not even sure he wants a contract extension. He will be almost 70 by the end of his deal and unless we have really improved and are in Europe, he may well want to go home after so long away from his home country. I have friends in south America (yes, I know, none here) who I met at a World Cup and keep in touch with. They expect Pelle to return home after his contract ends.

It gives me no pleasure to remind folk that I questioned his appointment 18 months ago, but we have no choice now but to stick with it, and the board clearly agree, with the position leaked to the media early on Monday morning.

But the questions are still there. Had he seen his best years? Was he only in China for the cash? Did anyone else in Europe fancy him? Had his hunger gone and was he taking our money to top up his pension before finally retiring back to Chile and the family?

There have been all sorts of polls and opinions since Saturday's debacle. Maybe the real poll should be "Who leaves us first, Declan Rice or Pellegrini?" Or "Pick a window, any window, that Rice leaves in".

Because sooner or later Manchester United, having leaked their interest earlier this season after a high level meeting, will be in for him. Of course Rice will say all the right things, but it is inconceivable that his 'people' do not know what Man United will offer and what the contract would be. West Ham say all the right things too, no wish to sell etc. But they will be tested sooner or later.

Anyway, it's our Charming Man's position that has been dissected this weekend. It took just 29 days. From the Crystal Palace match when a win would have put us third in the Premier League, to the numbing home defeat by Newcastle, which left us 13th and people calling for Mourinho to be West Ham manager.

Now this is not going to be a whitewash of Pellegrini, and the shambolic last six winless games that have seen us dumped out of the League Cup at Oxford, beaten by Palace, Everton and Newcastle, while scrambling a face-saving point against Sheffield United.

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Things have gone badly wrong somewhere, a collective loss of form and confidence. Collective, it seems, uncertainty about tactics and positioning. Too slow, surely not lacking fitness, but too easily mugged and robbed of the ball by quick, mobile, pressing midfielders.

Pellegrini is paid ?9m a year to sort this sort of stuff, and I still believe he knows what he is doing having handled big clubs, big players and big leagues. It's up to him to find the key, and Burnley will be a good place to start.

Another capitulation there and the brown stuff will really hit the fan. It's two years to the week that Slaven Bilic was sacked, and Sullivan has had tough decisions to make ever since. He can do without any more of that ilk.

Since the win over Manchester United, we haven't won a match. That win and the previous five games saw us unbeaten and talk of Europe echoing from all the usual club orifices.

The way it's going, the nearest we'll get to Europe is when the booze cruises are revived after Brexit finally happens.

Pellegrini has showed a stubborn streak, some very dodgy decisions over tactics and team selection, with a side that has lost its way big time. Everyone has had their say about Ryan Fredericks' omission in favour of a pedestrian Pablo Zabaleta. Had Pelle lost the plot?

But the reasons you appointed Pellegrini in the first place do not disappear in a 29-day spell when virtually everything has gone wrong. And you don't find a serious replacement in that time either.

The noises now coming from the club, after a weekend of serious blood letting, is that he won't be sacked and the board will back him. But we are being told tactics and signings are being questioned.

But I'm not sure Sullivan and the board have much option, any more dramatics will just increase the sense of crisis. Although David Moyes is still available, I hear!

Eddie Howe? Well, yes. Bright young manager, plays the right way. But he gets to top up his tan in Dorset, where he is very comfortable. He's under no pressure to reach the next level and, again, why would be come to work for us?

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Sometimes I sense our fans have a misplaced sense of our importance. We have not won a proper trophy for 39 years, and have no serious European pedigree. His next step will be when Spurs comes up for grabs, but even then he may well decide the quiet life on the south coast is more to his liking.

Steven Gerrard? Yep, he'd do. But he's being lined up for Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp goes in a couple of years or so (as the rumour from Merseyside goes). And as long as he still has the excellent Gary McAllister alongside him like he does at Rangers, then the pair are a shoo-in for an emotional Anfield return.

Like Frank Lampard, Gerrard would want something bigger than West Ham United FC.

So there's no obvious candidates, none that we could afford and none that can produce a quick fix to the unbalanced, lacking in depth, squad we have.

It has been pointed out that although Pelle has had money to spend, the budgetary demands from the owners have not exactly helped. Ok, I'll say what everyone says. We need a left back, and a young, vibrant central midfielder and another striker. Oh, and proper goalkeeping cover, not the cheapskate situation we now have.

We wouldn't pay Adrian ?60,000 a week to sit on the bench, preferring to bring in two free transfers and gloating that we have saved ?30,000 a week from the wage bill. Don't worry, Lukasz Fabianski never gets injured! Well he has, and it's the biggest damage to our side possible.

I don't like slagging goalkeepers, it's a thankless task and you get the blame for all the nonsense happening in front of you. Like constantly not marking properly for second phase possession. Count how many goals we have conceded from far post knock backs this season.

But Roberto, although a decent shot stopper, is shipping goals. Two on Saturday against Newcastle, the Palace winner, the near-post goal at Everton, Sheffield United's equaliser. Sorry, but he is costing us points.

It has also been pointed out by someone elsewhere on KUMB, that our back five on Saturday (omitting Issa Diop and including Fredericks), cost just ?8m for the lot. Someone, somewhere thinks we don't need to buy defenders.

And then there's midfield. Clubs have started to work out Rice. He is not quite quick enough and gets pulled all over the place trying to plug holes. Not replacing Pedro Obiang was a serious mistake.

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But then in the two significant windows under Pellegrini, the onus has been on strikers and attacking midfielders, not defenders. Not a holding midfielder to give Rice and Noble competition who can handle the frantic pressing that is now the norm in the top flight.

It is believed Pellegrini had potential candidates, but they were either too expensive or had high wage demands. And the plug was pulled on serious midfield recruitment way before the end of the window. We ended up with Carlos Sanchez.

Saturday night was a shocker, Sunday morning worse, and a day sifting through the social media bedlam didn't help. But I enjoy reading this stuff, everybody has an opinion whether I agree with them or not. They all deserve respect for the time put in getting their views across.

The discussions were varied and in general, constructive. The thread about Sullivan and David Gold's future plans on KUMB's forum is worth a read, as is a new blog I have discovered ,

I have no idea who is behind it, but it has a professional sheen and is worth a read. Although one or two folk at the club may not feel the same way! Such is life.

The clickbait stuff you can take or leave, but it is faintly amusing to be told that social media should calm down to be followed by lengthy discussions about potential new managers.

But it's all part of the accepted fabric of our club now, if folk don't like what you say they will tell you. Lets face it, I was accused of being "snivelling", and "whiny" by a parrot last week (only my wife gets to talk to me like that, and she's always right) because said parrot didn't like a piece about the Sheffield United saga.

It did make me think of a Monty Python sketch... but I think I'll leave it there.

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