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It is ironic that as England revisits old ground and enters 2021 with a spectacular new lockdown, I find myself sitting in the same place I was ten months ago, ready to write about Marko Arnautovic.
It was in March last year that my keyboard was last dusted to cover the Austrian’s adventures in China, as it became apparent that there would be little else to write on as the world soccer calendar came to a halt due to the coronavirus.
Fortunately, the elite sport will continue in this new bright extended period out of nowhere, but that’s the way the world is, Arnautovic has still found a way back into my life, despite being thousands of miles away, outside of the view and out. of the mind.
How he managed to do it, I’m not quite sure.
But what I do know is that, remarkably, there are suggestions that West Ham manager David Moyes, who is doing a good job by the way, might look to rejoin his former position and bring the 31-year-old from his position. Asian adventures during the January transfer window.
Sky sports suggests that Shanghai SIPG, the Chinese Super League giants who hung the money carrot against Arnautovic in 2019, have actually offered West Ham a chance to re-sign him, although a deal is unlikely to be reached on this. stage due to the scandalously high Wages Shanghai decided to go his own way.
It’s true that the Hammers need another forward. Michail Antonio is brilliant, wonderful, and ticks all the boxes of a Moyes striker, but has struggled with various hamstring issues, while Sebastien Haller, his 45-million-pound backup, is really struggling to make his mark on him. English football, so much so that after just 18 months, he is fighting for his career in East London.
Outside of those two, Moyes’s options are slim. There’s a highly-rated teen prodigy, Miko Odupeko, waiting behind the scenes, but it’s hard to see him get pushed into the limelight, particularly since he hasn’t been playing much reserve and youth-level football due to injury. Jarrod Bowen can play there too, if need be, but he’s much better prepared to charge up and down the right wing.
All of that would suggest that the idea of re-signing Arnautovic is not so far-fetched after all. But in reality, despite all the good he did at the club, it is such a disappointing prospect that reelection from the Conservative government actually attracts much more (it doesn’t, but you get the gist).
Arnautovic is a man, after all, who caused my blood pressure, and that of many other West Ham supporters, to increase exponentially because it could be very shiny or shockingly sh * t, directly causing my hair to fall out at a still rate. greater than genetics had originally intended.
He is also a man who played well for a while, grew up a bit for his boots, felt like moving elsewhere, allowed his brother to do some press talk, changed his tone so he could sign a new and improved contract at West Ham. , before making another U-turn to force himself out of the club for an even bigger payday and ‘adventure’ in China.
Is this really a character we want back in the club? I don’t speak for everyone of West Ham’s persuasion, but I do speak for myself; absolute 100% no way, not a chance.
The culture at West Ham has improved tenfold since Moyes was re-elected as coach, bringing unity and collectivity among the players. The 11 on the field now play for each other and not just for themselves, and players like Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal have brought humility and vitality to the locker room. Selfish selfishness is no longer a thing, instead working together for the good of the team is front and center.
Getting Arnautovic back would not only undermine all the hard work that has gone into getting West Ham to where it is, but it would likely tear everything to pieces. Having another push forward with Antonio’s skill would be lovely, but this is not the way to go.
Arnautovic was great once, but it’s West Ham and Moyes’ past; hopefully salaries are not the only obstacle to preventing a return to London Stadium.
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