Manuel Pellegrini: West Ham sack manager after defeat by Leicester
West Ham have sacked manager Manuel Pellegrini after a 2-1 home defeat by Leicester City – their ninth loss in the past 12 games.
The Hammers' latest defeat on Saturday leaves them 17th, one point above the Premier League relegation zone.
Pellegrini departs after 18 months in charge, having been appointed in May 2018 on a three-year deal.
“It is with great disappointment that we've had to make this decision,” said joint-chairman David Sullivan.
“It has become clear that a change is required to get the club back on track in line with our ambitions this season.
“We felt it was necessary to act now in order to give the new manager as much time as possible to try and achieve that goal.”
West Ham made the announcement within two hours of losing to Leicester.
Asked after the game whether he was the right man to guide the Hammers out of trouble, Pellegrini said: “Of course. I am confident. I have a lot of experience of being in this position.
“When you don't get the result people talk about you being sacked. For me I only worry about managing games.”
West Ham entertain Bournemouth on New Year's Day (17:30 GMT) but the club are yet to announce who will take charge of the game.
Pellegrini led them to 10th last season but becomes the sixth Premier League manager to lose his job this campaign.
As well as their poor form in the league, West Ham were also knocked out of the Carabao Cup by League One side Oxford United, losing 4-0 in September.
West Ham won 24 of their 64 matches under the Chilean, losing 29.
The Hammers have broken their transfer record twice under Pellegrini, paying £36m for Brazil winger Felipe Anderson in 2018 before a £45m deal for French striker Sebastien Haller in July as part of a £71m summer spend.
They have spent £155m while the former Manchester City boss has been in charge.
‘West Ham need new manager bounce'
Former West Ham keeper Rob Green told BBC Radio 5 Live he was not surprised by Pellegrini's departure.
“West Ham have reached that point in the season, much like Everton, where they were close enough to the relegation zone and have made a decision,” said Green, who made 177 Premier League appearances for the Hammers between 2006 and 2011.
“The trick is whether you are able to get that new manager bounce like Watford have.
“That's certainly what West Ham need right now.”
Green says former Arsenal manager Unai Emery is an “obvious shout” for the job.
Spaniard Emery was sacked by the Gunners last month after 18 months in charge.
Green added: “Rafael Benitez? He will be expensive. Unai Emery is an obvious shout. I imagine West Ham will have irons in the fire as you would expect every modern day football club to have.
“Is it a fair decision? I think so, yes. He has been there a while, and was talking about shaping the team and having a say in the signings.
“For one reason or another it's not worked.”
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