Pellegrini: Birmingham City, Arnautovic and the FA Cup


Manuel Pellegrini spoke with members of the gathered press ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup third round match at home to Birmingham City. 

The boss talked about the prestige of the competition, the opposition, and much more. 

Read Pellegrini’s full quotes below:

‘I’m targeting a trophy with West Ham’ 

The manager made clear his intentions to win a title with West Ham United during his press conference. 
Pellegrini won the Premier League and the Carabao Cup during his time with Manchester City, but wasn’t able to lift the FA Cup during his previous spell in England. 

The boss knows the prestige of the FA Cup and is eager to win a trophy with the Hammers.

Pellegrini said: “First of all, I think to win a title with West Ham is a very important thing. It is one of my targets in the way I think and my mentality is I always try to win.

“I think the FA Cup is a very important trophy, a good cup, the whole country plays it, so of course for any manager it is always beautiful to win.”



The Chilean insisted that the priority for his side is always the next game, but is hoping his team can continue to progress in the tournament.

“At this moment, we are at the beginning of the cup,” he added. “We will try to continue in the cup. 
“It's another option to win a title, another option to arrive in a European spot, so for the moment we will give maximum focus to the cup.”

‘I’m expecting the best from Birmingham’

Saturday’s opponents, Birmingham City, sit just outside the Championship play-off places, and are unbeaten in the last five league matches. 

Currently sitting on 39 points, Garry Monk’s side are only four points outside the top six, and Pellegrini is anticipating a tough test at London Stadium. 

“I suppose most managers think exactly the same,” Pellegrini continued. “Birmingham are near the play-offs but they have to play so many months more. 

“I think they will play their game tomorrow with the maximum to continue in the FA Cup.”


‘We will try to win every game in every competition’

Pellegrini was asked if he felt the FA Cup should be reformatted due to the number of games professional players are required to play at the moment. 

“It's a difficult question,” he said. “Some years ago, I made some protests about the amount of games with Manchester City, that it was impossible for us to compete if we continued in all the competitions.

“I remember the first year we were in the quarter-final of the FA Cup, we won the Carabao Cup, and we were fighting for the title with Liverpool. 

“It’s impossible to win all of the competitions because they are not able to play so many games. We will try to do our best.”

‘Good players have offers, but they aren’t reality’

The turn of the year means the January transfer window has opened but Pellegrini has denied suggestions any of his players could depart West Ham United this month. 



Marko Arnautovic has started 2019 strongly, scoring twice against Brighton & Hove Albion, prompting speculation of interest in the Austrian, but Pellegrini is certain the No7 will remain a Hammer. 

He said: “I am sure that Marko will stay with us.  He is happy here. Of course, good players always have offers but they are just rumours and not reality.”

When asked about Andy Carroll’s immediate future, Pellegrini offered a similar response.

“I think Andy will stay here with us, he is an important player for our team. He is just coming back from a long injury,” he added.

“The way he is taking advantage of his minutes he will return to the player that we all know.”