It's become tediously predictable that every time a West Ham player hits form that the. media start speculating about a move to a 'bigger' club.
This January its the turn of Marko Arnautovic, sparing Issa Diop and / or Declan Rice and /or Felipe Anderson the dubious 'honour' of having his circumstances churned around in the media cesspool, often with false quotes thrown in to add to the hysteria.
Perusing this morning's outpourings, a tone of certainty has emerged about his departure. Hilariously, he is heading for China!!! In all honesty, West ham may have a battle to hold on to Marko in the Summer but, to a seasoned eye moving to China at this point in his career would be ridiculous. Maybe when he is 32 or 33 Marko might want to cash in with a move to China but right now he must have other priorities.
In short, Hammers fans can rest awhile, mostly because Ole Gunnar won't be given much shopping funds as Man U have essentially given up on this season.
West ham issued a statement that he has a contract and is expected to honour it. Hmmm. Its hard to know what they could say that won't add to the furore but that statement does seem a bit tetchy and has hardly calmed things.
As for Today's game, both sides are in and out at the moment but Arsenal have an irritating habit of finding their best form against West ham. With Pablo back and Antonio released to do what he is good at rather than pretending to be a full back, maybe that will tilt things in our favour. A shaky Arsenal defence needs testing and you would expect the combination of Arnie, Anderson, Nasri, Carroll and Antonio to be able to mount a decent assault upon them up front but we need to get a decent share of the possession, something that we have been so much better at under Pellegrini.
Mystic Mark Lawrenson predicts a Gooners win, citing no particular reason other than his anti-West ham hunch. The bookies tend to agree and have West ham at 5/2 and Arsenal evens for the win. Either way, we can expect a high scoring contest.
Rory Nostradamus (who incidentally is right beside me on the morning flight from Shannon to Stansted) reckons it'll be a 3-2 classic for the Hammers.
Predicted Starting XI: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Noble, Snodgrass, Anderson, Antonio, Arnautovic.