West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta has stressed the need for time ahead of the club’s opening day match against Liverpool.
Speaking to the official club website, former Manchester City man Zabaleta warned of the time it takes players to adapt to English football.
Manuel Pellegrini has brought in nine signings since arriving at the club back in May. This has seen a wave of foreign players coming in such as Felipe Anderson and Andrey Yarmolenko.
However, Zabaleta, who’s been at the Hammers for a year, feels patience is required as the squad begin to gel.
The atmosphere has been fantastic. All the lads that have come in this summer, they all look like good players and they are all professionals, and good people, which is something that you need in the dressing room to create a good atmosphere. They need time to settle in, some into the English way of life, and adapt to the Premier League, which is very tough and difficult because of the pace and intensity of the game. The players that have been here for many years, we need to help them. This is the best way to create a strong mentality.
Pellegrini’s men have been paired with a tough clash Liverpool on opening day. A trip to Anfield awaits in the Chilean manager’s Premier League debut with the club later today.
However, whilst acknowledging the trip to Merseryside was always going to be a tough one, Zabaleta believes the players are raring to go under their new-man.
We need to be positive. That’s all we need when we go into a game like this, and then we can see if we can get something from the game. We need to go to Liverpool thinking we can get something from the game and need to be positive. We know they are a very strong team going forward. They can score goals and they have a strong midfield as well. But we also have quality in our team. As we know, Manuel is a manager who likes us to play attacking football and to keep the ball. That’s what we are trying to do. There were some moments during games in pre-season where we really enjoyed the quality we have in the team.
Zabaleta will have to be in fine form if selected today, given West Ham’s recent meetings against Jurgen Klopp’s side. The Hammers have shipped 12 goals in their last three games against Liverpool.
The game will kick off at 13:30 GMT, and a debut win for Pellegrini would only increase optimism about a new dawn in East London.