Dean Ashton airs frustration at West Ham star: 'He didn't help anybody'

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 4:41pm

By James Gray @jamestingray

Dean Ashton has hit out at Marko Arnautovic over the way he handled himself during the January transfer window.

Arnautovic's brother Danijel, who is also his agent, released a statement claiming that his client was the subject of a £35million bid from a club in China.

The West Ham striker ended up staying at the London Stadium and signing a new contract, much to the annoyance of ex-Hammer Ashton.

"Arnautovic didn't help anybody. It's never nice to see agents coming out and making statements for players and then suddenly you see the player taking a picture with the badge and signing a new deal," Ashton told Up Front with James Gray (weekdays 1pm-3pm).

"It all didn't sit very well with supporters. We haven't seen the best of him since.

"It's not as thought that has happened and he's got his head down and put in great performances.

"He's struggled a bit with injury so it's kind of left a bit of a sour taste for everybody and it didn't help the team.

"It's just been the inconsistency for West Ham. There have been some good headline stories, the likes of Declan Rice particularly, has helped the supporters have had a bit more of a feel-good factor about this season."

West Ham are currently ninth in the Premier League table but could go seventh with a win over Everton on Saturday if other results go their way.

The Hammers have only managed to finish 'best of the rest' once in the last 15 years - back in 2016 - but Ashton reckons it's unfair for the supporters to expect much more.

"The supporters want West Ham to be challenging for Europe," Ashton added.

"There was a huge expectation at the start of the season when the manager came in and with the players that they bought.

"It hasn't quite been that way and they've been very inconsistent. The whole Arnautovic situation hasn't helped at all because he was their best and most dangerous player in the first half of the season.

"But to be honest seventh is the best they can hope for, certainly this season.

"I think that would be seen as a good season, to finish best of the rest in the Premier League and then look to build for next season.

"It's been quite frustrating for West Ham fans albeit the home form has improved a little bit so things must be getting a little bit better at the London Stadium."

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