West Ham United captain Mark Noble has hinted some of his teammates are not buying into Manuel Pellegrini’s tactics.
Expectations were high in East London after West Ham appointed the title-winning Chilean in the summer.
A £100 million spend on new players was meant to bring a more comfortable season.
The reality has been quite the opposite.
Four defeats from four Premier League games so far and a daunting fixture list has Hammers fans biting their nails already.
Pundits and supporters have been highly critical of Pellegrini’s tactics.
Many feel they are outdated, unrealistic and have left the Hammers exposed.
‘If I was Pellegrini they wouldn’t play’
Alan Shearer branded the team ‘lazy and pathetic’ after the home defeat to Wolves while others have noted West Ham look like a team of strangers.
Now skipper Mark Noble has hinted some of his teammates are also not convinced by the manager’s tactics.
Speaking in his column in the Evening Standard, Noble suggested those not towing the party line should be dropped.
“As for playing systems and formations, that’s down to the manager,” Noble candidly told the Evening Standard.
“We’ve made some slight changes already in games but you do what the manager asks of you.
“If I was him and a player didn’t want to play the system I wanted, then they wouldn’t play — simple.”
Noble comments designed to spark a reaction? Let’s hope so
Who Noble is talking about is open to debate.
It says a lot that Noble has decided it is necessary to make potential dissent in the ranks public.
He has probably done so to spark a reaction from his teammates.
And it it helps galvanise the team ahead of a tough fixture list then all the better.
West Ham face Everton away on Sunday before home games against Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in three of the following four.
The Hammers have made a habit of turning it on against the so-called bigger sides over the years.
This season it seems they are going to HAVE to.