West Ham captain Mark Noble is thoroughly relieved that the January transfer window is over.
“I have to say I was 100 per cent relieved when it was finally all over for another year,” Noble wrote.
The Marko Arnautovic saga was the main talking point for Hammers fans and the team’s performances have been poorer during this period. Three consecutive losses to Bournemouth, Wimbledon and Wolves have soured the mood around the London Stadium.
Noble had his say on the constant Arnautovic speculation in his piece. He said: “That [Arnautovic saga] has to have an effect on everyone, not just the players concerned but all the squad.”
This is hardly a positive message coming from the club captain.
Whilst the performances recently have no been anywhere good enough, Noble appears to lay blame due to the transfer drama concerning the team’s star players.
He went on to say: “I’m not making any excuses for our past two performances, but it must have had an adverse effect.”
It is perhaps a worrying indictment of the team’s mental state that they could not cope with the Arnautovic issue.
The 31-year-old also hit out at the work of agents during the transfer window. This could have been a discreet message to Arnautovic’s brother and agent Danijel, who seemed to have engineered a move to China for the Austrian.
Noble stated that: “Agents are very active during the window and there is no way players concerned can prepare properly for a game when that is happening.”
Noble appears to feel that Arnautovic’s mentality for games had been severely affected by his agent’s actions.
Noble and the rest of the squad will be looking to put the January window behind them and look forward to finishing as high as possible in the Premier League.
With Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez remaining at the club, West Ham have the potential fire power to take them to Europe.