Wednesday 08 Aug
Updated Wednesday 08 Aug 13:19
Interviews

Arnautovic eyes strong start to the season

Marko Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic is determined to fly out of the traps at the start of the 2018/19 season, saying he wants to build on his strong debut campaign in Claret and Blue.

The Austria forward netted eleven goals for the Hammers in 2017/18, picking up the Hammer of the Year award after playing a major role in helping steer his side away from danger, but he knows he can give even more this term.

It took Arnautovic twelve Premier League games to get off the mark last year, but he has vowed to fire from the off this time around and would love to net in the season opener at Liverpool on Sunday.

"I remember the first few games [last season], he said. “I remember how I know myself as a player and that wasn't it. 

“When I moved to playing as a striker, and seeing my statistics now I want to play as a striker, score goals and help the team.

"When I was 17, 18 in the Dutch league they sometimes played me as a striker but then I was always a winger. I like this position now, you feel free, always towards the goals and provide assists, it's a good position.

"I am not the kind of player who runs away from the ball, I want the ball at my feet and do something."

Marko Arnautovic celebrates his goal at Stoke

The Hammers’ trip to Anfield is only four days away now and Arnautovic cannot wait for the action to begin, with his side boasting a wealth of new attacking talent in the shape of Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Jack Wilshere.

The No7 believes West Ham have recruited well in the summer and is looking forward to playing under new boss Manuel Pellegrini.

He added: "Of course we are all excited for the Premier League to begin. We’re fit and we’re ready to go.

"[The new signings] are hungry guys who want to come and show themselves in the toughest league, the Premier League, it's a very hard league.

"The gaffer has changed a lot here, he wants us to play from the back, no long balls and chasing balls, we have to defend our balls but we have to defend our goal properly first then we go forward."