Darren Gough claimed West Ham would sack Manuel Pellegrini if the club finished below Aston Villa or Burnley in the Premier League in the 2019/20 campaign.
The retired English cricketer made the remarks as himself and Adrian Durham conducted a poll during their talkSPORT drivetime show, via Twitter, to ask which team in claret and blue would finish higher in the league this season.
Gough shared he thought that on paper the Hammers should finish above both Aston Villa and Burnley, but then quickly implied that if they didn’t, it would be curtains for Pellegrini at the London Stadium.
“I’d have to say on paper, West Ham,” said Gough on talkSPORT (17:23, Wednesday, July 24th).
“Cause if they don’t, if they don’t, their manager won’t be their manager next season.”
Aston Villa are set for their first season back in the Premier League after winning promotion through the Championship play-offs last season, while Burnley finished 15th in their 2018/19 campaign, so the Hammers likely will finish above them if their squad deliver the performances they’re capable off. After all the Hammers finished above both of them last season, with them coming 10th in the Premier League. West Ham finished on 52 points, 12 more points than Burnley, and it’s fair to say they’ve strengthened in the transfer market this summer. The Hammers have made four signings as they’ve welcomed experienced goalkeepers David Martin and Roberto, while also adding playmaker Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller to their squad. Given that Martin and Roberto are unlikely to feature much, it’s the acquisition of Fornals and Haller that will surely make the difference. The Spanish playmaker was involved in getting 11 goals for Villareal across his 50 outings for them in his last season, while Haller scored 33 goals in 77 appearances for Eintracht Frankfurt during his two-year spell with them; so surely the duo will be able to help the Hammers improve on their 10th-placed finish.