West Ham United striker Marko Arnautovic has been trying to build bridges with fans since the China saga in January.

The forward was linked with a mega money move to the Far East where Mark Noble claimed he stood to quadruple his £100,000 per week wages (Evening Standard).

Arnautovic ended up staying at West Ham, though, not that it helped the team much during the second half of last season (BBC Sport).

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Up and down Arnie

The Austrian barely featured either through injury, illness or not being selected by fed-up boss Manuel Pellegrini.

His behaviour was criticised by fans and pundits alike.

And senior West Ham pros such as Pablo Zabaleta and captain Noble admitted it had been a distraction.

His attitude and performances picked up towards the end of the campaign, though.

Bridges have started to be built between him and some disgruntled supporters.

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Childish confrontations after goals

But the eagle-eyed among them will have noticed a childish and irritating trait that is creeping into Arnautovic’s game for club and country.

When the striker scores it is becoming something of a trademark for him to aggressively rub salt in the wound by running up to a member of the opposite team and shouting in their face.

Arnautovic has been spotted antagonising the opposition after goals for West Ham and Austria.

 

Indeed during Austria’s win over North Macedonia on Monday night he was at it again on more than one occasion and had to be separated by teammates.

Perhaps Arnautovic feels he has to get into that mindset to fire himself up.

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Grow up, lead by example and enjoy the moment

And it that is how he gets the best out of himself Hammers fans won’t mind too much.

But it does not reflect well on the player or his team.

It is also immature for a player who turns 31 next season.

Of course the West Ham striker has never professed to be an angel.

But he is said to be one of the leaders in the West Ham dressing room. As a result he should be setting an example for his teammates and young fans.

And besides with VAR coming in next season he may even end up costing his team should officials deem his behaviour unacceptable.

So Arnautovic should ditch the childish chest-beating in his opponents’ faces.

Goals are the jewel in the crown of the beautiful game. Grow up and just enjoy the moment with your own teammates and fans instead.

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