West Ham have now finally confirmed that Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager.
After David Moyes was shown the door, many West Ham fans believed that they could land Rafa Benitez.
With the Spaniard in a stand-off with Mike Ashley over transfer budget and so far refusing to sign an extended contract, Hammers supporters thought they could take advantage.
A poll of thousands of West Ham fans had seen Rafa Benitez the overwhelming favourite to follow Moyes, with soon to be unveiled Arsenal boss Unai Emery a distant second choice with just less than 16% support.
When David Sullivan declared ‘We are preparing to appoint a manager who has a proven record of success at the highest level of the game’, the West Ham fanbase automatically hoped it was Rafa Benitez and indeed, he became the bookies favourite at that point.
With two La Liga titles, one Champions League (and runners up in the comp as well), two Europa Leagues and an FA Cup triumph in his career, Rafa fitted that description
However, Hammers fans have instead discovered it is Manuel Pellegrini, who has only won one Premier League and one League Cup in his managing days in Europe and those successes were with money no object Man City.
Newcastle fans have been proved right that a job such as West Ham would have no appeal for Rafa Benitez, no matter how much the media & West Ham tried to drive that story.
As for Manuel Pellegrini, a bit like players, it isn’t a normal career path to see somebody heading off to China before coming back to the Premier League.
As for what Alan Pardew thinks about his old club (one of the many he has been sacked from…) appointing an ‘old c…’ like 64 year old Manuel Pellegrini will be interesting to hear.
West Ham Official Statement:
‘West Ham United are delighted to confirm the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as the Club’s new First Team Manager.
The former Villarreal, Real Madrid, Malaga and Manchester City boss – a Premier League title winner and Champions League semi-finalist – has signed a three-year contract at London Stadium after leaving Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune.
Joint-Chairman David Sullivan said: “I am delighted to welcome Manuel Pellegrini to West Ham United. He is one of the world’s most respected football coaches and we look forward to working with him.
“It was important that we appointed someone with knowledge and experience of the Premier League, who already has an understanding – not only of the teams and players we face – but of West Ham United and our ambitions.
“Manuel brings a reputation for attacking football and getting the best out of his players. We believe he will attract new talent to the London Stadium as well as improving the current squad.
“Above all, he is a winner, who knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level and is driven to continue that success. Manuel is the first West Ham United manager to have a Premier League title on his CV, and we believe that his experience, quality and proven record of taking teams forward quickly will ensure that he is successful here.
“We have listened to fans who asked us to be ambitious. We hope they agree it is an exciting appointment.
“Manuel will shortly announce the names of the new staff he will bring in and he will then get down to shaping the squad he wants. We all wish him the very best of luck.”
Chilean Pellegrini returns to England just two years after leaving Manchester City, where he enjoyed the fifth highest win percentage in Premier League history during his three years in charge, and arguably helped lay the foundations for the stunning success subsequently enjoyed under Pep Guardiola, having signed the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Otamendi in 2015
In a magnificent debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium in 2013/14, Pellegrini led City to Premier League glory, becoming the first coach from outside of Europe to win the title, and also lifted the League Cup in the same season. City finished that campaign having scored 151 goals in all competitions – still an English record.
Pellegrini won another League Cup in his final season in Manchester, before making way for Guardiola in the summer of 2016. For the past two years, Pellegrini has been in charge of Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune, but recently stated his strong motivation to return to the Premier League if the right opportunity came along.
The 64-year-old’s managerial career stretches back 30 years to his early days coaching in his native Chile and then Argentina, where he managed the mighty River Plate in 2002/03, before heading to Europe a year later. In his first season in Spain with Villarreal, he led the club to Champions League qualification after finishing third in La Liga, and repeated the feat in his first full year with Malaga in 2012 – reaching the competition for the first time in their history.’