West Ham fans singing in the rain and sleet as they pay homage to Pellegrini
PUBLISHED: 13:30 17 December 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Four wins in a row for happy Hammers
Big Sam Allardyce never managed it in all his time at the club, neither did David Moyes despite keeping the Hammers in the Premier League – but Manuel Pellegrini did it on Saturday.
With the biting wind and sleet cutting into the faces of the West Ham fans, they couldn’t care less as they sang the manager’s name.
“Pellegrini’s claret and blue army” rang out around Craven Cottage as the boss was heralded for the first time and it is easy to see why.
“I was very happy to hear it,” said a drenched Pellegrini after a 2-0 win made it four Premier League wins on the trot.
“We are just near the middle of the season, so maybe at the end of the season we can sing together, but for now we must keep our feet on the ground.”
It is a familiar statement from the experienced Chilean whose reputation at West Ham is growing with every game.
“We are playing well and I know that West Ham fans enjoy the style we play,” he added.
That terrible start to the campaign seems a very long time ago. Four defeats in the first four games put them rock bottom, but now four straight wins in December has put them ninth and just two points behind the European places.
This latest instalment was a similar story to the last away game at Newcastle United. Fulham, like the Magpies, looked good going forward and created plenty of chances, but it was clinical West Ham who got in front and stayed there.
“I am very pleased,” said the boss. “It is not easy to win four games in a row and this was a tough game against Fulham.
He was right. Aboubarkar Kamara could have had a first-half hat-trick, but Lukasz Fabianski was equal to the task.
And at the other end, West Ham always looked likely on the counter and Felipe Anderson was at the heart of it.
First he received Mark Noble’s stunning pass, had a shred of luck and then pulled it back for Robert Snodgrass to thump home.
Then Anderson’s cross was flicked on by the head of Javier Hernandez and the unmarked Michail Antonio was there to take a deft first touch and then put it through the keeper’s legs.
“It was game where we didn’t create too many chances, but we scored the ones we did create,” said the manager.
“I think that we defended very well, especially in the second half when we didn’t really do too much going forward.”
They should have had more, but the last pass was missing in that second half. But praise must go to Antonio as he caused problems for an abject Fulham defence.
Declan Rice had another brilliant game, while Fabian Balbuena lived up to his nickname of ‘The General’ with an assured, calm display.
But it was wingers Snodgrass and Anderson that were the big difference again.
So can West Ham get into those European places? Pellegrini has achieved that at every club he has managed, so it it possible now.
“Maybe, we can,” he said. “We started with no points so now just to be two points behind the European spots is good, but we must go game by game.
“Our target for this season, we know that the first five teams have a lot of points but we will try to continue winning and at the end of the season, we will see.”
Considering the injuries they still have, it tells you just what a magnificent job he is doing.
No wonder they are singing his name.
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