Pablo Zabaleta brings his West Ham teammates back down to earth with a dose of reality

West Ham Manager Manuel Pellegrini speaks to Pablo Zabaleta during a training session on the West Ham Pre-Season Tour to Switzerland on July 3, 2018 in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland.

West Ham United veteran Pablo Zabaleta has dished out a dose of reality to his Hammers teammates.

Manuel Pellegrini manager

West Ham endured a torrid start to life under Manuel Pellegrini this season with four consecutive Premier League defeats.

Expectations were raised when the Chilean agreed to succeed David Moyes in the Hammers hotseat.

An unprecedented £100 million splurge on 10 players as part of Pellegrini's rebuild only served to feed building excitement among supporters.

The dreadful start saw Pellegrini under pressure but West Ham turned things around with a fine 3-1 win away at bogey side Everton, a superb 0-0 draw against unbeaten Chelsea, a record-equalling 8-0 cup win over Macclesfield and a 3-1 triumph when they faced Manchester United.

 

The turnaround ushered in a wave of renewed optimism.

But if a 1-0 defeat at Brighton last time out did not bring West Ham back down to earth with a bump, some home truths from veteran defender Pablo Zabaleta will.

Speaking to the club's official website over the international break, the former Argentina fullback suggested an element of complacency had crept in after recent results.

"We’ve got seven points and I would like the team to have at least 10 or 11 points by now, because we could have got more from the Bournemouth, Wolves and Brighton games," Zabaleta told whufc.com.

Pablo Zabaleta of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester United at London Stadium on May 10, 2018 in London, England.

“At the end of the day, those dropped points make the difference in the table as, if we had three or four more, we’d be a few places higher, six or seven points from the relegation zone and just three or four points from the European positions.

“OK, let’s say the situation is not a crisis but also it’s not perfect. The most-important thing we can learn from those games is to understand that to become a better team we need to improve our consistency.”

A shot across the bows from Zabaleta if ever there was one.

And if anyone can dish it out in the Hammers squad it is Mr Consistent who never gives less than 100% week in, week out despite his advancing years.

West Ham Manager Manuel Pellegrini speaks to Pablo Zabaleta during a training session on the West Ham Pre-Season Tour to Switzerland on July 3, 2018 in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland.

West Ham fans will be hoping his teammates sit up and take notice.

The Hammers' first half performance against Brighton was lacking intensity and smacked of poor application.

It gave ammunition to the age-old criticism of West Ham that they only get themselves up for the big games.

It is time to change that if Pellegrini wants to have a successful season.

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