Manuel Pellegrini was announced as the new West Ham United manager this week, taking over from the sacked David Moyes.
The Chilean had been coaching in the Chinese Super League, but has returned to the league he won back in 2014 with Manchester City.
And if Hammers fans have decent memories, they remember that City side as a highly-entertaining football team. The East London outfit can be lampooned at times for the ‘the West Ham way’ style of football.
But there’s no doubt Irons supporters like their attacking football down at the London Stadium. And it’s mostly why David Moyes – and before him, Sam Allardyce – were never going to last.
Similarly, it’s why Slaven Bilic was such a success at the club for a large majority of his stint. Manuel Pellegrini will bring those attacking principles back to West Ham. Arguably, he could be a huge success if he’s given proper backing, too.
For the first time in a while, you get the sense that owners David Gold and David Sullivan have made an excellent appointment. That the former City coach is the perfect fit for the Hammers.
Not only has Pellegrini won honours in four different leagues – including titles in England and Argentina – but he’s also managed the might of Real Madrid.
So, politics and a difficult fanbase will be nothing new to the 64-year-old. He’s garnered enough experience to be able to handle anything West Ham can throw at him.
And there’s also the aspect of taking mid-table clubs and transforming them into contenders, too. His work at Villarreal, in particular, is well-versed. He took the unfashionable Yellow Submarine from La Liga obscurity to the semi-finals of the Champions League in little under two years.
The Valencia-based outfit also broke the Barcelona-Real Madrid cartel, finishing ahead of the Catalan giants in Frank Rijkaard’s final season at Camp Nou.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Pellegrini then managed to take Malaga into the top-four and Champions League football. His side were defeated in heart-breaking circumstances at the quarter-final stage by Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund.
You get the impression that Pellegrini took the job on the basis that he would be given funds to strengthen the squad. And when it comes to being well-connected, the ex-River Plate head coach will be looking to his continental contacts for some transfer business.
When it comes to ticking the boxes West Ham fans should be very pleased with the appointment. Attractive, attacking football? Check. A title winner? Check. Ability to take a mid-table club to greater success? Check. Good in the transfer market? Check.
Messrs Gold and Sullivan may just have made the best signing of the summer already.
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