It has finally been confirmed that Marko Arnautović is leaving West Ham – along with the vast majority of the Hammers’ fan base, I felt an overriding sense of relief when I saw the announcement.
The statement the club put out was all of two sentences – but even that seemed more than the misfit deserved after the conduct of he and his brother.
ExWHUEmployee had reported that the Hammers were hoping to get him out of the club before he was due to return for pre season and that is what they have managed to do.
Łukasz Fabiański and Declan Rice turning up at Bad Ragaz has created an atmosphere of excitement among many West Ham fans – and probably the squad as well.
Having Arnautović as part of the returning group will have undoubtedly dampened that feeling, most likely replacing it with an awkward or uncomfortable atmosphere.
He was a highly detrimental figure for West Ham in the second half of last season – after refusing to play, then returning after the AFC Wimbledon loss as if nothing had happened.
It can even be said that he played a large hand in derailing the Hammers’ season, as he didn’t score a single goal in the second half of the campaign until its penultimate game – having finally began to turn up the match prior, probably to help get a move away.
By selling the Austrian before he was due to return for pre season, it means there is no chance of him having the same kind of negative impact this season.
There are so many more important things to be sorting out at the moment than Arnautović’s situation, so it is a relief to see he is gone.
Now the Hammers can forget about him and focus on ensuring the club do as well this season as possible.