There are no secrets surrounding Marko Arnautovic’s importance at the London Stadium. The Austrian is a sublime player and he’s capable of turning games on their head with a moment of magic, so when he made his first-team return after missing the Hammers last four games with a hamstring injury, the fans expected nothing but a win at Burnley.
Arnie’s back! pic.twitter.com/qNAesOVgLl
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) 30 December 2018
Having Arnaurtovic back is obviously brilliant for the Irons, but yesterday they probably went a tad overboard when they saw his name in the starting lineup. As soon as the fans saw that their 29-year-old maverick was in the team they all jumped to the same conclusion that it simply had to be a win for the,m, and they were all shell-shocked when the Clarets came out firing and beat them 2-0.
Putting the Burnley game to one side, though, the fans will be delighted long-term that they have their front-man back. His five goals and two assists in 13 games may not be the healthiest return for a striker, but it’s the dynamism he brings to the Hammers’ play and the way he’s able to get his teammates involved that makes him so dangerous, as his game isn’t all about scoring goals.
You can read what the Irons said upon seeing Arnautovic’s return here:
Bang bang pic.twitter.com/slDVZdjOJJ
— Tormund Giantsbane (@tosin_GoodTimes) 30 December 2018
— Callum (@CallumFitzer__) December 30, 2018
— Kieran Keyse (@kierankeyse) December 30, 2018
— Jack (@jackgiddings3) 30 December 2018
Cheers Tarkowski’s crying. Nice one
— J (@hammerhead2009) 30 December 2018
Good to see Arnautovic back on the pitch
— odidika charles (@Ikenna_odidika) December 30, 2018
The Irons had full faith in grabbing a win when they saw Arnautovic starting, and after failing to grab three points they’ll be looking the Austrian for a response on Wednesday against Brighton.