Burnley forward Jonathan Walters has laid into former team mate Marko Arnautovic questioning whether the winger has the consistency and work ethic to play for West Ham.
The Austrian international signed for the Hammers from Stoke City for £20m in the summer and Walters, who played with Arnautovic for four years at the Potters, is not convinced he will dig in and work hard for the team on a regular basis. Speaking on Match of the Day 2 Extra yesterday, he said:
“Marko could turn it on the last year, [and over the] past few years, and when he’s on it, he’s on it, but how many games did he did he do it over the course of the season. And would he do the other side of it [tracking back] and could he do it consistently? For me, it’s probably a good deal for Stoke.”
“Then again, it’s a step up for Marko. He has to step up and has he done it? You’d say he hasn’t. But that seems the type of player they’ve got at the club, they won’t be digging in.”
With Slaven Bilic having been sacked by West Ham today, the next manager in the job will have to find a way to get the best out of Arnautovic. The 28 year old has no goals or assists in seven league games since his summer arrival, and was named on the bench for Hammers’ 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.
Last season, Arnautovic scored six goals and provided five assists in the league for Stoke, but so far there has been little sign that he could produce even those sort of numbers for West Ham.