Pienaar said: "This season has been all about surviving for David and I wouldn't have backed West Ham to do that the way they started the season. But he has picked up good results and the signs are they can build for the future as long as the club allows him control to do things his way.
"David has his moments as a man-manager, he can lose it, but he is a straight talker. He is honest with you and if you work for him, he'll work for you.
"You can see the way they are now, it wasn't down to the manager, it's deeper than that. I was one of a number of ex-Everton players who went there and if maybe you ask Joleon Lescott or Darron Gibson the same question, we had a feeling of, "You're not welcome here", as if we were teacher's pets.
"Certain people didn't have the right attitude. We needed to pull together but some there just wanted to pull things apart."