'Hungry' Arnautovic delighted with goalscoring return
Marko Arnautovic praised both West Ham United’s medical staff and his teammates after making a triumphant return to action in Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Watford.
The Austrian scored on his comeback, less than a month after suffering a hamstring injury in an Emirates FA Cup tie with Shrewsbury Town, to help the Hammers complete a vital victory at London Stadium.
Arnautovic was full of praise for the rehabilitation and fitness coaches who nursed him back to health in double-quick time, before adding warm words for the defensive colleagues who were the foundation for a hard-earned clean sheet.
My goal was the second goal so it was important because it finished the game, but it’s done now. We have three points and we keep moving on
“I was already hungry when I was out injured,” said the No7, who netted West Ham’s second goal 12 minutes from full-time after Chicharito had given his side a first-half lead. “I was doing a lot of things outside the pitch in my rehab and my people helped me a lot to come back as quickly as possible.
“I came back quickly, nobody expected this quick, but I was very hungry and today the best place to be was on the pitch and when I’m on the pitch I try to give everything for the team and try to win games.
“Watford kept the ball a lot in the second half because they needed to score a goal, but they didn’t have a chance where they had to score. Our defence was brilliant and when you look at our counter-attacks and our chances, we should take this game by a far and away.
“Of course, my goal was the second goal so it was important because it finished the game, but it’s done now. We have three points and we keep moving on.”
Arnautovic was outstanding and could easily have earned his side a penalty with the game still goalless when he was clearly fouled by Adrian Mariappa after slaloming into the Watford box.
The Austrian felt referee Graham Scott got the decision wrong, but did not want to dwell on the controversy.
“It was 100 per cent a penalty. I’m not a player who falls down. They need to kick me to make me fall down, so it was a penalty but the referee didn’t see it.
“I don’t want to talk about what’s in the past. We won this game and we are very happy with this three points and we keep moving.”
Arnautovic has now scored seven goals in his last nine Premier League appearances and hopes his form will silence the critics who wrote him off after a challenging start to his career in Claret and Blue.
“I don’t want to keep talking about myself. It was a tough beginning at the Club but I want just to show the critical people, all the people who don’t think I’m good, that I’m good and I want to give everything for this Club, that’s why I play football.
“I’m surprised some people don’t like me! I think I have a good heart, so they should like me!”