West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has conceded that striker Marko Arnautovic did not have the best of games during the Hammers’ stunning 4-3 victory against Huddersfield Town at the London Stadium on Saturday.
The East Londoners looked set for a frustrating defeat against the relegation-bound Terriers as they trained 3-1 at the 65th minute mark.
Huddersfield equalised in the 17th minute through Juninho Bacuna following West Ham captain Mark Noble’s opener from the penalty spot two minutes earlier.
Karlan Grant scored a brace for the Terriers to give his side a 3-1 advantage by the 65th minute. However West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna reduced the deficit for the Hammers by the 75th minute and Javier Hernandez scored a late brace to give his side a stunning 4-3 win.
Arnautovic proved to be ineffective when he was on the pitch and Pellegrini was forced to make some changes. The Hammers looked re-energised after the introduction of Samir Nasri and the substitution of the Austrian Arnautovic.
The 29-year-old, who is regarded as one of the most lethal finishers from the West Ham first-team, has struggled for form and consistency since he was linked with a move to the Chinese Super League during the January transfer window.
The former Stoke City and Inter Milan player has failed to find the back of the net in any competition during the past two months. The West Ham attacker has also managed just one assist during his past seven games in all competitions.
Arnautovic has lost the trust of many Hammers supporters after he reportedly pushed for a move in January and he faces and uphill battle to win back that back.
“I think that, as every player who is not at their best, Marko did not have the best game,” Pellegrini said, as reported by Football London.
“When Samir Nasri came as a playmaker, he gave more balls to the attackers. The complete team played very bad during most part of the game, conceding two goals from set pieces and after that, the complete team improved and we changed the score.”
While Arnautovic has signed a new contract at West Ham since the January speculation, it remains to be seen whether he will remain a Hammer after the summer window.