West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that the January transfer window had a damaging effect on the club following a poor recent run of results.
The Hammers dominated many of the headlines throughout last month as the transfer saga surrounding star striker Marko Arnautovic brought a cloud of uncertainty over the club. Pellegrini’s side suffered Premier League defeats at the hands of Bournemouth and Wolves in the process.
The east Londoners were also eliminated from the FA Cup by AFC Wimbledon in a stunning upset. The League One side subsequently drew Millwall in the next round and Pellegrini told the Daily Mail: “We watched the draw together having dinner ahead of the Wolves game.
“The reaction when it was Wimbledon vs Millwall was, ‘Oh, look what a chance we’ve lost,” but it’s too late now.
“It is something that has happened to every big club and you can say it to the players 10 times before the game, they will never believe you.
“In football, if you give time and space to any player of a professional level – be it Premier League, Championship or League One – he’ll score a goal.
“There is still nothing worse than losing a game, that feeling when you wake up the next morning.”
Pellegrini acknowledged the negative impact which the January transfer window had on his side at a crucial time in the season, as the Hammers boss admitted he was frustrated by other clubs creating distractions for his players.
“The transfer window brought a lot of damage to this club,” Pellegrini added. “The focus went away from the team, and I’m not just talking about Marko Arnautovic, there were others considering leaving.
“If two clubs are in agreement over a transfer, I accept it, but if it’s just one club turning a player’s head only to then not offer an amount of money that matches what he’s worth, it’s different.”
Speaking on the future of the January transfer window, the Chilean added: “I would regulate it. Stop clubs doing as many deals as they want to. I would make it so that a player cannot play for two clubs in the same season.
“It doesn’t seem serious to me. Let clubs change one player. Or let them change a player who is injured.
“We’ve lost Andriy Yarmolenko and Carlos Sanchez for the whole season, so let that be a change. Primarily, I blame the rules that are based on the financial side – the more money that can be earned the better. There has to be some respect for contracts and supporters.
“Secondly, the agents have a responsibility to not be constantly dizzying players’ heads, so as to make money. It’s fine they do it, but at the end of the season.”
Sad that Marko Arnautovic’s dreams of winning trophies in China will not be realised.— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) January 31, 2019