Going, going... last rites for Pellegrini?

It will be the last rites, won't it? Surely nobody believes now that a win at Southampton will keep Manuel Pellegrini in a job for much longer.

Too much poison has been put down, too many briefings have been staged, too many people thrown under too many buses for any going back now.

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There will be 3,345 of us, another away sell-out, at St.Marys on Saturday. The long-suffering away fans (and yes, I know you home lot suffer too), who have seen West Ham win just five of their last 21 away games in all competitions. Those who have witnessed the debacles of Burnley, Wolves, Oxford and Everton this season.

And Chelsea - ahhh Chelsea - an oasis in a desert of lost dreams. So why will it be much different on Saturday, considering we now know of the disharmony in the camp, the shredding of Pellegrini's reputation - his alleged lack of preparation for matches - the utter contempt shown to the director of football, Mario Husillos, Pellegrini's own appointment.

Sadly much of this anger and frustration is justifiably aimed at Pellegrini and Hussilos. But it's much more than just the signing of calamity 'keeper Roberto, or the inadequate Albian Ajeti, or the slow-to-settle Pablo Fornals.

We all know that now. What hasn't helped David Sullivan much is the perfect shitstorm of forensic analysis of his ten years in command, likewise the erratic transfer policy and now absolute shambles on the pitch and a relegation battle before Christmas again.

So away we go again. We thought things would change after the win at Chelsea; we now know a third choice coach did the preperation but Pelle was back for Wolves and Arsenal. How nice of someone to leak all that, you would think they were trying to undermine the manager... surely not?

Wolves was back to normal. Just not good enough or quick enough against Jorge Mendes' Wolves. The top agent has put together a decent side and because he is not employed by the club, the Midlanders have neatly sidestepped financial fair play regulations. Sorry, but the way they have got to where they are will always temper my view of them.

The Arsenal horror show, and the criminal lack of effort and professionalism by some, has been expertly dissected elsewhere on KUMB. Far be it from me to add anything.

What to expect now? Well for a start, a decent 90 minutes effort for an indecent day's pay. Players can 'finish' managers, and that looks like what is happening now.

They know before anyone whether the boss is dead in the water. And from what we are hearing, the atmosphere has been rubbish at Rush Green for some while. Hardly surprising that.

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Rumours abound of players with the hump. There are plenty of candidates. Seb Haller is sulking because he was dropped to allow Michel Antonio back in. He has a point, he was never bought as a target man. In Germany he was used on the right with a partner up front.

You wonder what the spiel was when he joined us. Something along the lines of, "You will be back in European competition within 12 months", you can bet. Not happening though, is it?

Issa Diop, suspended after the ordeal of playing in front of Roberto, now can't get his place back. Someone suggested he and Pelle had words. If true, again you can't blame him, he is a far better and quicker player than Fabian Balbuena.

Felipe Anderson was seen exchanging views with Pelle after being hauled off recently yet again. The Brazilian is the most frustrating player in all this. He has the skill, technique and pace to run the show, but has invented a disinterested amble when ever not in possession. I refer you all to the afore-mentioned article on the Arsenal match.

Arthur Masuaku is alleged also to have had words with the boss. Mind you, after his disastrous late entrance into the Arsenal game, and three goals scored within nine minutes, the substance of his argument will have disintegrated somewhat with two goals being partly his fault.

Do I need to go on? It's not a happy ship. This is West Ham, we have been here before. So the away travellers will be on their way from all points; many travel far, far more than me and spend a lot more than me, so I'm nothing special in all this.

For me it's a train down from the frozen north, an overnight stop and a train home at the crack of dawn on Sunday, to be back to see my little grand-daughter in her Christmas ballet show (guess what I am looking forward to more?)

My dear lady says I don't have to do this, she thinks I am mad anyway. But you do it, don't you? You and your 'away' colleagues are West Ham. More West Ham than our flamin' board.

But don't dare be critical, don't dare not show the correct amount of gratitude they expect for 'what they have done for this club.'

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Win, lose or draw, you must feel that Pellegrini will be gone soon. At this time it gives me no pleasure to say that I wasn't sure about him for the start. How much due diligence did our board do into the Chilean, who did they talk to at Manchester City?

He was never going to be retained there, even if it had not been Pep Guardialo lining up to take his place. And there were plenty of worrying reports from Spain about Husillos and what had happened at Malaga.

But our board will probably admit now that allowing the manager to pick, in effect, his own boss, was wrong.

Pelle should have been told that was not on. But maybe the club were frightened of losing their man. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but they should have stayed firm and if that meant Pelle not joining, then so be it. There would have been other candidates.

Now various options have been mentioned for holding the fort. The club have put their minds to that, with Italian coach Enzo Maresca being touted. Steve Potts and Kevin Keen- as an in-house double act - could also step in.

But we are so far down the line now with potential replacements and caretakers Pellegrini - who has us over a barrel to an extent with 18 months of a ?7m-a-year contract still to run - will know the score.

The League Managers Association (LMA) usually handle the aftermath and experience says that the club will be able to negotiate a reduced compensation package. Don't forget they will axe him because they don't believe he can do the job anymore.

The players are awaiting a new man by now. It would help their cause if they pulled their finger out and fought for the club AND the fans, at Southampton.

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