Manuel Pellegrini looking forward to playing Newcastle after claiming unlucky 4-0 defeat to Manchester City
At least Manuel Pellegrini won’t have to put up with the classless Alan Pardew on Saturday.
Pardew forced to apologise after the embarrassing incident when he openly swore at the then Manchester City manager on the St James Park touchline.
Rafa Benitez was allegedly the number one target for West Ham after dismissing David Moyes but instead Manuel Pellegrini came in and was given serious money to spend.
After a decent start the Hammers have dipped, only winning once since September, dropping below Newcastle on goal difference.
Despite the 4-0 scoreline on Saturday at home, Pellegrini claims his side were actually unlucky.
The West Ham boss believing that in many aspects his team were better than the visitors, apart from when it came to defending.
Indeed he claims it was Man City who were the more defensive team in the game and that their keeper had far more saves to make than Fabianski in the West Ham goal.
Do the stats back this up?
Well up to a point maybe but not really overall.
The BBC Sport stats say that West Ham only had 31% possession and whilst both teams had nine shots, only one of the home side’s ones had to be saved, whilst Man City had six on target.
Only with corners did West Ham dominate, eight to Man City’s one.
Looking ahead, Manuel Pellegrini sees winnable games throughout December.
West Ham have a very similar fixture list to Newcastle and the pressure is on both to pick up points before a tougher schedule of games lies ahead.
In December West Ham have home games with Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Watford and trips to Newcastle, Fulham, Southampton and Burnley.
Whilst Newcastle have home matches with West Ham, Fulham and Wolves, as well as aways at Huddersfield, Everton, Watford and Liverpool, the latter the only one of the ‘big six’ Newcastle have to face before 2019.
Newcastle beat the Hammers home and away last season, scoring three goals each time. Only two other times since promotion have Rafa’s team scored three goals coming in the home wins over Southampton and Chelsea.
It would be great to see three or more on Saturday for Newcastle after scoring in the first seven and four minutes of the last two matches, it would be a massive boost if the Magpies can once again get off to a flying start.
Manuel Pellegrini telling the official club site:
“I think we gave our all to beat them and we didn’t lose the game because it was Manchester City.
“We created as many chances as they did but they scored and we didn’t.
“I am not happy about the goals we conceded, it is difficult to understand how we conceded such easy goals, but I am happy about our spirit and the way we played from the first minute to the last, and the fact the players always believed they could win.
“It doesn’t matter if you are playing against Manchester City, if you are mark the way we did in our box then you can play against a second division team and they would score too.
“They didn’t score beautiful goals because they are Manchester City, anyone would score those goals.
“Most of the game was played in their half and they had nine or ten players around their box to try and ensure they did not concede a goal, and their goalkeeper made more saves than our goalkeeper.
“Our next seven games are against teams who are around us in the table and we must try to add as many points as we can, but it doesn’t mean they will be easy games.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to firstname.lastname@example.org