Manuel Pellegrini’s stint at West Ham United is beginning to take off in tandem with Felipe Anderson’s mesmerising performances.
That the Hammers’ results have been markedly improved in recent weeks during a period of time in which Anderson appears to have found his feet is certainly no coincidence. Even the absence of talisman, Marko Arnautovic, has not deterred their progress, and that’s partly due to Anderson’s goal scoring exploits.
Reasons for the West Ham supporters to feel optimistic about the future are rising and the return of Manuel Lanzini in the new year is a major one. The Argentine playmaker has been sorely missed this season, leaving Pellegrini without a source of genuine creativity in midfield with Jack Wilshere also sidelined.
His return will undoubtedly be significant for West Ham’s ambitions this season. The success he enjoyed when combining with Arnautovic last season was there for all to see. Between the pair of them, they were responsible for driving the club forward, with direct dribbling and a willingness to be brave in their decision-making providing the lions share of the incisive spark they needed to remain in the top-flight.
Add a winger of Anderson’s star quality into the mix and it becomes abundantly clear that Pellegrini has an incredibly exciting trio at his disposal. Between them they cost £65 million; Anderson arrived for £36 million, Arnautovic £20 million and Lanzini just £9 million.
In the modern economic climate that’s cracking value for three players who, collectively, can install a fear factor into the London Stadium which has been missing since their 2016 arrival. Clubs have rocked up to West Ham knowing full well that they can unsettle the atmosphere by taking the game to the hosts but, with Pellegrini’s impact beginning to make a difference and an attacking trio of star quality set to link up in 2019, results should be set to improve.
Pellegrini has established his reputation as a manager who swears by a free-flowing style of entertaining football, and there have been glimpses of his style in action throughout the season. But the full extent of his genius will remain untapped until Lanzini returns to full fitness and starts in the same eleven as Arnautovic and Anderson.
An exciting future looms on the horizon for West Ham.
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