Under-pressure Pellegrini concerned with Hammers form

West Ham United

West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini has admitted his concern with his side’s poor run of form that continued with defeat against Newcastle on Saturday.

It is not that long ago that Pellegrini’s Hammers were being touted as possible contenders to break into the top four of the Premier League and qualify for the Champions League this season.

However, they have been on an alarming run of form recently which reached new lows at the London Stadium as they slipped to a 3-2 defeat against a struggling Newcastle side.

The haphazard Hammers found themselves 3-0 down inside an hour thanks to goals from Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey, and were lucky to not find themselves even further behind as Steve Bruce’s side ran riot.

They staged a belated comeback through Fabian Balbuena and Robert Snodgrass, but the 3-2 scoreline could not mask a truly calamitous display from Pellegrini’s expensively-assembled side.

The Chilean was at a loss to explain the performance, and unless things improve, he could soon be staring down the barrel of a gun.

“It is really difficult to explain why we played the way we did in the first 45 minutes,” said Pellegrini.

“The last two games we played at home we started by pressing from the beginning, playing in the opposite half. Today I do not understand why we played so, so bad.”

The Hammers are now without a win in six games, a sequence that began with a 4-0 defeat at Oxford in the Carabao Cup.

“I’m very concerned,” said Pellegrini. “I think that this lapse started against Oxford and from that moment we have not won any more. We need to try and find the reason why this is happening.”

Part of the blame must lie with West Ham goalkeeper Roberto, standing in for injured first-choice Lukasz Fabianski.

The Spaniard, a free transfer signing in the summer, was rooted to his line when Fernandez headed in his first Newcastle goal, and was painfully slow to get down to Shelvey’s free-kick.

However, Pellegrini said: “Roberto has a career behind him, with big teams in other countries. I do not think today is about him.”