Could this be the end of Manuel Pellegrini’s reign?
Rumours suggest that Saturday’s matchup away at Southampton could spell the end of Manuel Pellegrini’s time in charge of the Hammers if West Ham fall to yet another successive defeat.
Such stories floating about have divided the fan base, with the argument suggesting that a positive result on Saturday may only hinder the Hammers further, just prolonging the inevitable sacking of Pellegrini and Co. Some fans may wish for a Southampton victory on Saturday, in order for Pellegrini to leave the club.
Meanwhile, some fans point to the board to blame for yet another uninspiring season at the London Stadium. Of course, the promise fans were given prior to the move was a “world class team in a world class stadium”, yet it seems neither of these promises have done to light.
The unfortunate injury to Aaron Cresswell comes as the only doubt as of late, perhaps giving way for Arthur Masuaku to finally try and prove some doubters wrong. Albeit, after replacing Cresswell against Arsenal, he could be considered at fault for a couple of the goals at least.
Here is our predicted starting XI for West Ham United for the game on Saturday:
GK - David Martin
If Fabianski is back, then expect the obvious.
RB - Ryan Fredericks
Fredericks continues his stay in the side, keeping Zabaleta out.
CB - Angelo Ogbonna
This guy should be playing up top with the number of goals he’s got this year.
CB - Fabian Balbuena
At the moment, it seems as if this partnership would keep Diop out for the foreseeable future.
LB - Arthur Masuaku
It’s Arthur’s time to shine. Perhaps not as good as Cresswell defensively, it’s undeniable that he offers the left flank more going forwards, and if Haller plays this will only benefit him more.
CDM - Declan Rice
This guy is mustard. Again another outstanding performance in a lacklustre side against Arsenal.
CM - Mark Noble
Skipper stays in the side, hoping to inject some passion in this team.
CM - Pablo Fornals
Another assist for this man against Arsenal, and I think we’re beginning to see what he’s made of. We’ve stuck him in the mixer here because if Masuaku plays, Anderson offers more defensive work rate out wide alongside Masuaku.
RW - Michail Antonio
The right flank lacked pace against Arsenal, therefore moving Antonio to a more natural position will offer this.
LW - Felipe Anderson
Anderson will hopefully get back to his best if Masuaku plays alongside him. Hoping to show glimpses of magic that he provided in this fixture last season.
ST - Sebastien Haller
Get this guy playing and give him some service and he will work his socks off for the team. It’s hard to chase the ball for 90 minutes when you get one cross to attack a game. Hopefully that changes in this game.