West Ham United captain Mark Noble has taken a not so subtle dig at Manuel Pellegrini over his tactics.
The Hammers face Everton in a crunch clash.
West Ham have lost all four Premier League games so far and sit bottom of the fledgling table.
The club faces a daunting fixture list starting at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.
Pellegrini has been installed as second favourite for the sack after the dismal start.
His tactics have been widely criticised by fans and pundits for being outdated and naive.
‘Trying to play like Barcelona isn’t going to work’
Now cracks seem to be appearing within the dressing room after the Chilean’s captain Mark Noble took a not so subtle dig at the tactics being employed by the new regime in his Evening Standard column.
“Teams like Burnley, Bournemouth, Brighton know exactly what they’re about,” Noble said in the Evening Standard.
“They all graft together. At the beginning of the season they’re not thinking about the Champions League. They’re thinking about performing consistently well and earning points. Everything else comes as a bonus.
“It doesn’t matter how much money you spend — you have to perform. Yes, clubs like Manchester City can go and buy the best but the rest of us have to fight and earn our place.
“The only way forward is to work hard, and dig in for each other. Trying to play like Barcelona isn’t going to work at the moment. We need to grind out a result — 1-0 will do — starting at Everton on Sunday.”
West Ham Divided?
Pellegrini has rigidly stuck to his philosophy since arriving in East London.
They are tactics that served him well when he won the title with Manchester City.
The problem is that was an eternity ago in football terms.
Tactics and systems in the Premier League have evolved beyond recognition in the last two years.
Much of that has been dictated by the arrival of some of the world’s finest managers such as Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.
Noble’s comments will not be lost on Hammers fans who feel Pellegrini’s insistence on playing a back four and a high line is leaving them dangerously exposed.
Ten goals conceded supports that argument.
It is disappointing to see divides appearing within the club, though, and that rarely ends well.