All good things must come to an end, and it is safe to say that was the case when West Ham United put an end to their recent good form with a 1-0 defeat to Brighton last week.
Glenn Murray abruptly ended the Hammers’ string of impressive performances, and it is no secret that striker Marko Arnautovic was not at his best.
He wasted a number of chances throughout the game that could have secured all three points for the Irons, but the reason behind this display has been implied by the forward himself.
“The knee is not the best, I’m fit, I can play, but I’m not training a lot, also at West Ham and I try to recover my knee,” the Hammers’ star told Sky Sports.
“It’s going to take some time, I’ve got some inflammation in my bone but I am always ready to play on the weekend so it’s just one of those things.
“Obviously you can’t do anything on this bone bruise, you can’t change it, you can’t do nothing, you just have to treat it good, you have to settle it down but I can handle the pain so for me, for the games I’m 100% fit.”
The fact that the Austrian international is having to play through the pain barrier indicates just how clear the lack of depth is up front.
If anything, it implies that Manuel Pellegrini has no other quality options to start, which is rather worrying considering that he only signed Lucas Perez in the summer.
Perez has not lived up to expectations in any shape or form, one of the reasons why Arnautovic may be feeling obliged to play through his knee injury.
He is risking further damage to his knee by continuing to play, a decision which may affect the Irons considerably later along the line if he ends up being sidelined for a long time.
It is glaringly obvious that Pellegrini needs to recruit a decent striker in January – as the fact that their main striker is having to play through the pain is unacceptable.