Ian Holloway and Ian Abrahams argued over who deserved to be blamed for West Ham’s surprising 4-0 loss to Oxford United in the EFL Cup.
The former Premier League manager and the Hammers-mad talkSPORT broadcaster discussed the Hammers’ loss to the League One club, with Abrahams opting to put all the blame on Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini.
“It’s not just Pellegrini, it’s David Moyes before him, Slaven Bilic before him, Sam Allardyce before him, they just go to this grounds, turn up, make nine changes and oh we get beaten and then it gets embarrassing,” said Abrahams on talkSPORT, as seen in a clip uploaded to the station’s Twitter account.
Holloway then asked what team Abrahams wanted Pellegrini to play against Oxford United and asked if he wanted the same team that beat Manchester United in the club’s last outing to line-up.
“Oh wouldn’t that be great Olly? Yes, they’re professional footballers, a professional footballer cannot play twice a week? Really?” angrily questioned Abrahams.
Holloway then made clear he disagreed with Abrahams: “No, I’m not saying that but what we do, is look at the balance, when to play etc, as you’re risking injury so listen whatever you’re moaning and groaning about, I understand as you support that club.
“The likes of Snodgrass and Wilshere they should be able to turn up and roll over Oxford, I’m sorry.
“You can’t blame the manager for that, why can’t they pull their finger out and give a performance worthy of that shirt? So why aren’t you blaming them rather than the manager.”
Abrahams agreed that some of West Ham players deserve blame, but then shared how teams previously used only 13 players across a whole season in order to question Pellegrini making nine changes.
Holloway then continued defending the West Ham boss’ part in the loss to Oxford and made clear he didn’t think Pellegrini deserved to be blamed as the Hammers had a good enough squad to rotate.
Holloway has a wealth of managerial experience and it’s hard not to side with him over Abrahams on this occasion. While Pellegrini isn’t blameless, he doesn’t deserve to be ripped apart for making nine changes against Oxford United, as the side he fielded had more than enough quality to get a job done. Jack Wilshere, Robert Snodgrass and Fabian Balbuena all have enough Premier League experience to suggest they should be a level above many of the players they faced on Wednesday night, yet the trio hardly stood out for the right reasons, and how was Pellegrini meant to know they would let him down? For example, focusing on Wilshere, the 27-year-old should have been going all out to stake a first-team claim, but his latest performance should see Pellegrini not even think about deploying him in a league game anytime soon. Wilshere saw plenty of the ball, he touched it 55 times before being subbed, but failed to make any key passes and only managed to complete a disappointing two dribbles (Source: WhoScored).