Pellegrini: We played like a big team in Arsenal win
Manuel Pellegrini says West Ham United’s 1-0 Premier League win over Arsenal was an example of how the club is embracing a ‘big team mentality’.
The Hammers scored their second home win of the season over a top-six opponent, following their 3-1 victory over Manchester United in September with a deserved success against Unai Emery’s Gunners.
Since his appointment last summer, the manager has spoken consistently of the need for West Ham to play on the front foot and make their opponents worry about them, rather than the other way around, and the Irons’ sixth win in their last nine matches saw them put Pellegrini’s words in to action.
“I’m very happy for the club and for the fans that we beat a big club like Arsenal, but more pleased with the way we played,” he told the media. “From the beginning, like I always say, we tried to play as a big team, to have the mentality of a big team, to have an ambitious mind and I think the team reflects all what I am talking about.”
One player who knows exactly how Pellegrini likes to work is his former Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri, who produced an eye-catching Premier League debut against his old club and supplied the assist for Declan Rice’s second-half winner.
“Samir is a top player and as he gets more minutes and gets more fitness, he will make the difference, as he always did for Arsenal and Manchester City,” the Chilean observed.
“For us, in that [No10] position it was very important to have those kind of players because the other three, Wilshere, Lanzini and Yarmolenko, are injured, so Samir is improving and I am sure, because I trust a lot in his game, that he will continue to do so in the future.
“He was behind the striker and I don’t think he is able at this moment to play on the wing or as a holding midfielder but in two or three games more I think he will be able to play in any of those positions.
“He can play on the right wing, he can play on the left wing or he can play in the position I play Mark Noble. He doesn’t have any problems as he’s a football player.”