Sport Soccer

Tuesday 19 March 2019

West Ham boss Moyes says Arnautovic's run of form is down to work rate

Marko Arnautovic has scored five goals in as many Premier League games
Marko Arnautovic has scored five goals in as many Premier League games

David Moyes threatened to wield the axe in order to spark a run of five league goals in as many games from Marko Arnautovic.

Austria forward Arnautovic's late double almost carried West Ham to a turnaround victory at Bournemouth on Boxing Day, only for the Cherries to steal a dramatic 3-3 draw.

Referee Bobby Madley overruled assistant Simon Long to award Callum Wilson's added-time goal to deny the Hammers their win.

But West Ham boss Moyes later praised Arnautovic for responding well to his challenge to raise his work rate or face being dropped.

Asked how he had coaxed Arnautovic into form, Moyes replied: "It was just about telling him if he wasn't going to run he wasn't going to play.

"Nobody doubts his ability and quality as a footballer. He's got to make sure his mentality side - he keeps doing it.

"There will be a few getting a clip round the ear when we get back in, though most of the players have shown a great attitude.

"He was always a good player Marko Arnautovic, but maybe he's also going better through the middle rather than out wide."

Moyes again admitted his desire to bolster West Ham's midfield in the January transfer window, while accepting his squad appears top-heavy in terms of forwards.

The Hammers host West Brom on January 2, with Moyes insisting he does not have the luxury of handing his players time and space to impress as they continue their Premier League survival bid.

"I'm giving players chances; I'm in a hurry, and I have to be in a hurry," said Moyes.

"Because of that I can't wait three or four months to see how you play.

"Everyone's shown a great desire and is committed in training, but we're short in some areas, and overloaded in some other areas."

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was left to lament losing star striker Jermain Defoe to a 10-week recovery period after an ankle fracture.

Andrew Surman missed the West Ham clash with a shoulder issue, while Harry Arter has calf trouble.

Junior Stanislas could also now be sidelined for up to two weeks with a hamstring complaint, but Howe insists Bournemouth will not jump into the January transfer market in a panic.

"We'll wait and see what we do; the January window is always tough to recruit in," said Howe.

"The four strikers we have, I think they're all top quality.

"I have no hesitation in playing any of them, so I don't think Jermain's injury forces my hand at all.

"We're bitterly disappointed to lose Jermain; he's going to be out for around 10 weeks.

"He's worked incredibly hard since he's been here behind the scenes.

"And we just hope when he's back there's no complications with the injury and he can pick up where he left off."

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