Arnautovic: We need to be more clinical to win at Arsenal
Marko Arnautovic says West Ham United cannot afford to produce any more Jekyll and Hyde displays if they want to avoid a repeat of last season’s Premier League struggles.
The Hammers won just two of their opening 15 top-flight matches a year ago, condemning them to a campaign-long relegation battle they only won with two games to spare.
While West Ham often played well for parts of matches, their inability to produce complete performances regularly cost them points.
Twelve months on and the new-look Hammers have lost their opening two fixtures, despite again playing well in patches against both Liverpool and AFC Bournemouth – a situation Arnautovic says has to change at Arsenal on Saturday.
This Premier League is a challenging league and it’s not easy to play, but we’re happy to be here and happy to take this challenge
“It’s going to be a difficult game,” said the No7, who scored West Ham’s one and only Premier League goal so far in the 2-1 defeat by Bournemouth at London Stadium. “We didn’t start the season well, so hopefully we can start picking up points on Saturday.
“It’s important for us, for the players, for everybody and for our confidence if we can win, but it’s not easy to play at the Emirates, so we’re going to see what we can do.
“Against Bournemouth, we did a good job in the first half but I think it’s still not enough because we need to be more clinical. If we had been more clinical, we could have scored more goals.
“But then in the second half we didn’t create any chances, we dropped back and we can’t do what we did last season and play one half good and the other half bad.
“This Premier League is a challenging league and it’s not easy to play, but we’re happy to be here and happy to take this challenge.
“We know it’s only two games in but last season we said ‘It’s only five games in’ or ‘It’s only ten games in’ and we struggled, so we need to pick up as soon as possible.”
Like West Ham, Arsenal are without a Premier League point after two matches, having lost at home to champions Manchester City and on the road at Chelsea.
Arnautovic refuses to believe Unai Emery’s Gunners have become a soft touch, but is keen for the Hammers to take advantage of any vulnerability at Emirates Stadium this weekend.
“Arsenal lost twice but they played against the champions and against Chelsea away, which was also not easy,” observed the Austrian, who scored in a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal last season. “They have a new coach and a new team and they are trying to achieve big things because they are a top club.
“But there is no reason why we can’t take points there because they are also human beings.”