We’re missing the Marko of old
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 25 April 2019 at 5:19pm
Written by: Daena_Bodie
Transfer sagas have started to become a major problem for West Ham. As a club looking to steadily climb the table and push for European football, seemingly there’s always something bigger and better out there. Whether it is more money, winning trophies, or regular European football, the Hammers seem to be sitting in a no man’s land that lacks incentives for current and prospective players.
The most recent example of this is Marko Arnautovic and his supposed move to the Chinese Super League. Money was the real motive despite his claim of wanting to win trophies, but nevertheless, he wanted out and threw a massive strop to get his move. Unfortunately for both parties, it didn’t happen – and that means he is stuck at West Ham and West Ham are stuck with him, something Pellegrini has had to manage quite cleverly.
At this point in time, Arnie is still the go-to striker for the Hammers despite what the fans think of him, and that’s mainly due to the lack of quality forwards within the squad. The first team strikers have either been massively underperforming or consistently injured. Carroll has only made 12 appearances this season due to his horrific injury record, Chicha has had his fair share of playing time and has the goals to match Arnautovic, but hasn’t really set the world alight as a definite replacement. Lucas Perez hasn’t been given much time, but with just three goals in 13 appearances and having never really made an impact it’s not surprising he finds himself down the pecking order.
This leaves the Hammers with Arnie, who seems to play the way Pellegrini wants, but the wantaway striker just hasn’t done the business since having his head turned in January. West Ham fans have seen what Arnautovic can do when he’s on top form, but he simply isn’t the same player. It is almost as if he is trying too hard to get the fans and players back on his side and is playing a bit safe, rather than just being the Arnie of old.
It has made for a very frustrating period at the club and Mario Husillos must be counting down the days until he can bring a suitable replacement into Pellegrini’s squad.
As the season comes to a close, it is somewhat unknown where Arnautovic’s future lies. He has hardly done enough to impress any potential suitors, unless the higher-ups in the Chinese League stopped watching the Premiership in January, and he certainly hasn’t done much to convince West Ham that he’s worth the aggravation. Chicha is back fit again after an ear infection and with Michail Antonio forcing his way into the starting XI it’s hard to see where Arnie might get the chance to convert the non-believers before the final game is over.
There are only three games left in the season, West Ham don’t have much to play for, and the fans will be delighted to see the back of what promised to be an extremely exciting campaign. Another season has gone by and once again it has fizzled out into midtable mediocracy, but with more work to be done during the summer and another chance for Pellegrini to add to the squad, should the club be looking to break into the top seven once again?