A Change Would Do You Good
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 29 November 2019 at 9:19pm
Written by : @JGriffithJourno
Manuel Pellegrini’s days as West Ham boss are numbered. As of now, the number of days is unknown as the board seem relatively content with the Chilean despite a horrific run of results. Fan polls tell a story and if we got our way Pellegrini would be gone; but who comes in?
We have been linked with a few obvious and not-so-obvious names. The board have to get this call right otherwise another protest could be on the cards. The gut feeling says they will get it wrong and hire another ‘Moyes’ rather than be progressive. Brighton hire Potter, Barnsley hire Struber, Leeds have Bielsa and we, despite the move to Stratford, will end up with another short-term fix. We need progression, and now is the time the board should deliver it.
Here is a tactical analysis of West Ham’s potential new managers and how they could line-up:
The Top Target – Eddie Howe:
Howe’s achievements with Bournemouth have been monumental and he is highly-regarded in England given the success he has enjoyed on the South Coast. His attractive football has seen him linked with Spurs, Arsenal and the National side in the past but these moves never came to fruition.
He switches between a 4-4-2 and 3-4-3 regularly. His style of play is very pretty as he looks to utilise players with exceptional speed in all areas of the pitch and create chances by exploiting space. His midfielders tend not to be technically brilliant but instead fantastic workhorses. Howe likes his full-backs to push on and create overloads, which explains Bournemouth’s questionable defensive record ever since their promotion in 2016.
The Old-School – Sean Dyche:
Paradoxical to Howe, Dyche is very traditional in his style. He has seen huge success as Burnley manager, despite his football being branded ‘ugly’ by pundits. But it certainly has got results, with a seventh place finish in 2018; a ridiculous achievement given the minuscule net spend of the club in recent years.
Dyche’s style is clear; physicality trumps all. He relies on a compact back four, with two centre-backs who can pass the ball long into the channels for his players to chase. The midfielders must be energetic and willing to fight for every ball. Haller’s height will be appealing to Dyche and he would be the target man, with Antonio buzzing around behind him to unease defenders. The football may not be pretty, but it is certainly effective.
The Unknown – Lee Bowyer:
The tenacious midfielder has started his life in management brilliantly. A promotion to the Championship with Charlton was impressive in itself, but he is holding his own there too. The club are 14th and look in no real danger of relegation.
Most exciting about Bowyer is his tactical flexibility. Whilst a 4-3-1-2 is his favourite system, he has been known to use a 4-2-3-1 and a 3-4-1-2 on occasion. In his diamond he deploys a creative hook at the tip, and a defensive midfielder tasked with breaking up any attacks at the base. This allows for his pacey full-backs to push on and create chances for a front-two composed of a target man and a runner. Antonio would thrive in the runner role, given his pace and strength.
The Pragmatist – Rafa Benitez:
The man we have wanted for years. It is no surprise that Benitez is heavily linked given his managerial pedigree and also the fact that he is currently managing below-his-level in China means he may be open to a move.
Although he deployed a 5-4-1 at Newcastle, this was more down to his poor squad needing as much defensive protection as possible. It is actually 4-2-3-1 that is his favoured formation, meaning he is similar to Pellegrini in that sense, except the Spaniard can coach a competent defence; which would be a welcome change. Work-rate is very important to Rafa, meaning Anderson could be preferred to Lanzini through the middle.
The Safety Net – David Moyes:
This is like De-Ja-Vu. There would be backlash against the board if any boring tactician was named boss, but there would be Armageddon if it was Moyes. The man we sacked due to ‘not playing attractive football’ returning would really be the icing on top of the cake that is a decade of horrendous decisions from the board.
On Moyes’ style, we do not need reminding. A 5-3-1-1 was his go to last time he was here and while he may have kept us up, it was not pretty. Watching Cheikh Kouyate bomb into the box over and over doing his best Marouane Fellaini impression was really not the kind of Groundhog Day experience anybody enjoyed enduring. Masuaku did thrive under the Scotsman however and if his arrival means that Cresswell sees limited minutes, then perhaps that is one benefit!
In conclusion, Howe would be a fantastic appointment as he is young and progressive. Dyche and Benitez would guarantee results and the defensive stability we so desperately need. Moyes would be a hysterical U-turn on the progression we were promised with the stadium move and would really show off the board’s incompetency. Bowyer is perhaps the unknown quantity, and that could be just what we need. He gets my vote – but who gets yours?