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Alan 12:01 Sun Sep 23
Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Midfielder Jack Grealish, 22, is set to turn down approaches from Tottenham to sign an extended deal with Aston Villa. (Express)

Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli wants the Italian giants to sign Manchester City and Germany winger Leroy Sane, 22. (Calciomercato)

LA Galaxy and former Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 36, has been offered a return to his boyhood club Malmo. (Sun)

Manchester City will join Manchester United in the race to sign Ajax's Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong, 21. (Mirror)

City are also looking at re-signing Paris St-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot, 23, who spent a brief time at the Etihad as a teenager and is set to leave the French club next summer on a free transfer. (Star)

Meanwhile, Ajax's Brazilian forward David Neres, 21, has been linked with Tottenham and Roma. (De Telegraaf, via Calciomercato)

Fulham are preparing to make an £18m bid for Lyon and Ivory Coast forward Maxwel Cornet, 21. (Sun on Sunday)

Arsenal turned down the chance to sign Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk, 27, while he was at Celtic because the Netherlands international was "too nonchalant". (Bein Sports, via Metro)

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker, 28, says he wants to move back to his preferred right-back position with England having played as a centre-back during the World Cup. (Mail on Sunday)

Wolves are planning to increase their academy's budget six-fold as they look to rival the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea for the world's best young talent. (Sunday Mirror)

Free agent Stephen Caulker may be on his way to Wigan. The English former Cardiff and QPR centre-back, 26, left Dundee in the summer. (Mail on Sunday)

Manchester United's 27-year-old Spain goalkeeper David de Gea is the best in the world, says Everton and England counterpart Jordan Pickford, 24. (Sunday Telegraph)

Chelsea and Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic, 24, says he watches YouTube videos of Manchester United great Paul Scholes in order to improve his own game. (Sun on Sunday)

Former Arsenal and Sweden winger Freddie Ljungberg says he "loves his job" after being made manager of the Gunners' Under-23s in the summer. (Evening Standard)

Former Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan says he disguised himself in order to sneak into St James' Park after falling out with club owner Mike Ashley. (Sunday Times - subscription required)


Marko Arnautovic: ‘I love Slaven Bilic but I let him down a little bit’

Jacob Steinberg

The Austrian forward endured a difficult start at West Ham last season that didn’t improve until the arrival of David Moyes. Now he is in form and enjoying proving his critics wrong

“I love it when people criticise me,” Marko Arnautovic says on a blustery afternoon at West Ham’s training ground. “There is no better feeling than when you make them quiet. You do what you have to do, the people on the television do what they have to do. They get paid for this. I get paid to play football and show everything I’ve got.”

Arnautovic is in good form going into Sunday’s game with Chelsea at the London Stadium and it does not take long for his self-confidence to appear. West Ham’s main man is only too happy to talk about his memories of scoring the winner in this fixture last season and he runs his index finger across his mouth to illustrate his point about silencing his detractors in the media. “All the criticism from you guys, all the criticism from the television guys, I made them a little bit quiet,” the Austrian says. “But this is how we players live. You get a lot of criticism but if it is going well you get praise.”

The contradiction is that Arnautovic knows he had much to prove when Chelsea travelled to east London last December. The 29-year-old is aware that his early performances for West Ham were below expectations after his £24m move from Stoke in the summer of 2017. He was sent off in his second game, a 3-2 defeat to Southampton, for elbowing Jack Stephens, and he failed to contribute a goal or assist in the Premier League before Slaven Bilic lost his job at the start of November. “People were hammering me,” he says.

“They said I didn’t track back. I watched the video and I tracked back. I was always with my full-back. People expected more because I came here for a lot of money. I needed to do some special things.

“It would be harsh to say he was sacked because of me. Maybe there were a couple of occasions when I let him down. I have a lot of respect for Slaven. I love him as a human being and as a coach. I let him down a little bit and I think he thought that as well. When he saw me playing as a striker and scoring goals, it wasn’t easy for him.”

The turning point came when David Moyes, Bilic’s replacement, asked Arnautovic if he would be comfortable playing as a centre-forward against Chelsea. Released from his defensive responsibilities on the left wing, Arnautovic broke his duck and went on to score 11 goals as West Ham saved themselves from relegation. “It suits me to play there,” he says.

“Moyes got it into my mind to work hard, run as much as you can and the other things will come. I think he was impressed with my stats, because we had how many sprints you make and I was always up there. He said when he came that he thought I couldn’t run and I said: ‘It’s not true, I can run and I think I am quite quick.’ I showed him.”

Arnautovic has scored three times in five games this season and going into this weekend only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has had a hand in more Premier League goals in 2018. Arnautovic, who has spent the past week nursing a sore left knee, was inspirational when West Ham won 3-1 at Everton last Sunday after losing their first four league fixtures under Manuel Pellegrini.

With West Ham off the mark, Arnautovic can focus more on developing his relationship with Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko. “I know what quality the new players have,” he says. “Against Everton, when Yarmolenko scored two goals I was very happy for him. I hope he’s going to score more – but I don’t think he will score more than me.” It is pointed out that Arnautovic laid Yarmolenko’s first goal on a plate. “I’m not a selfish guy,” he replies.

Some of Arnautovic’s former managers might not recognise this more mature figure. José Mourinho said that he had the “attitude of a child” when they worked together at Internazionale. According to Arnautovic, however, fatherhood has mellowed him. “I have two daughters,” he says. “I said to myself: ‘You can’t be like that, afterwards your daughter will read about you and think her dad was a crazy man.’”

All the same, he is aAn imposing figure, Arnautovic is growing a rugged beard – he strokes it and says it makes him look more beautiful – and while he insists that the incident with Stephens was an accident, there are moments in games when he looks like he might erupt. “The defenders make me very angry,” he says. “They are kicking, or they are pinching or they say things to me that I don’t like. They try to do everything to take me out of the game. I learned to keep my mouth shut, to keep my hands down, just try to put the ball in the net. This is the best answer.”

Which brings us on to his duel with Chelsea’s David Luiz on Sunday afternoon. “I rate Dave Luiz as a top defender,” he says. “He’s very clever. But I don’t know if he’s as quick as me. And if he kicks me, he kicks me. It’s fine. I can’t react to anything.”


Marko Arnautovic has embraced and thrived with new responsibilities at West Ham

Marko Arnautovic plays football on the edge. Throughout his career, the Austrian's undeniable talents have often been curtailed by his fiery personality. But after making his best start to a Premier League season, the West Ham forward appears to have matured with age and added responsibility.

There were few positives to draw from West Ham's start to the season. The sense of optimism that surrounded the club after more than £100m worth of investment quickly evaporated when they lost their opening four games.

But despite being rooted to the foot of the table, the form of Arnautovic has Hammers fans hope that rosier times may be on the horizon. After all, the 29-year-old had given West Ham the lead against Bournemouth and Arsenal before successive second-half capitulations.

Manuel Pellegrini saw Arnautovic's worth, handing him the captain's armband in the absence of Mark Noble, and despite tasting defeat on both occasions, the weight of expectancy and responsibility did not bear too heavy on the shoulders of the Austrian.

"I am at an age now where I try to be a leader," he told Sky Sports' Patrick Davison in an exclusive interview. "The gaffer gave me the opportunity to lead the team on the pitch this year and Mark told me to take the opportunity to lead the guys."

That is exactly what he did last Sunday at Goodison Park, helping deliver an overdue first win of the season with a goal and an assist against Everton.

Noble captained the side on the trip to Merseyside, restoring a vocal presence to the dressing room, and while the figure-head role is one Arnautovic believes he can grow into with time, he is happy to let his football do the talking for the time being.

"He's been here for such a long time, Mark. He's been captain for a long a time and knows how to deal with this team," Arnautovic said. "Mark knows how to say things, how to get a reaction and talk to the players ahead of games.

"I don't really know this because I've never done it but I try to lead on the pitch with my quality and with goals and assists.

"Like this I am leading the team but we have other leaders, everyone brings their own quality and experience and this is what makes a team, it's not only one guy.

"You have one captain but, for me, it should be everyone who says something and help each other, then you can be a great team.

"I've always been quiet in the dressing room before the game. I try to focus and give everything. One day you may need to talk if you are the captain but this is the job of Mark Noble at the moment."

Don't be fooled into thinking that is evidence Arnautovic is shying away from responsibility. Instead, he has taken a different approach to leadership at West Ham, one that is fine-tuned to his attributes.

An uncompromising character, if Arnautovic gets the best out of himself he demands the same from his team-mates. Nowhere was this more evident than at Goodison Park, the stage for a West Ham revival Arnautovic never doubted would materialise.

"We knew something was coming because we have quality and trust in our quality," he added. "At the beginning we spent a lot of money and everybody expected us to win straight from the first game.

"Our first game, we knew Liverpool were a top team and challenging for the title. The second one we had two different halves, the first was really good against Bournemouth and the second was not.

"We played very well at Arsenal and should have won this game because we had a lot of chances that we didn't take.

"It was not easy for our confidence to go to Everton away and to win comfortably, it was not easy, it was a hard game. But now we are building on this confidence that we won the game away."

Arnautovic's leadership qualities came to the fore with Andriy Yarmolenko's seamless introduction to the starting XI. The Ukrainian scored twice on his first Premier League start, one of which was set up by Arnautovic, who took immense pride at his team-mate's blistering start.

"Marko has helped me settle, everyone has. When I came to West Ham I felt like I was at home" - Andriy Yarmolenko

"I'm happy for him because the first four games he didn't start and just came in when it was 0-0 or we were losing, it's always hard for any player to change the game," Arnautovic said.

"I'm happy he started at Everton and scored the two goals, I know what he can do, he's a top player and we all know this. He's got the first two goals and we're hoping they are not the last.

"It was emotional. It was a relief for us, leading 2-0 at Goodison, we played well. For me personally I was very happy for him to score the second goal, it was an individual goal for him. He did it all himself, it was a brilliant goal. I'm the guy that's emotional."

Chelsea may have won their opening five games and be genuine title challengers, but the time has come for Arnautovic and his team-mates to draw a line under their poor start to the season for the sake of their fans, he says. He's even willing to sacrifice personal acclaim for the cause.

"We should pick some points up at home now because our fans are waiting for this," he added. "We can try and do this on Sunday. It's not going to be easy because Chelsea are challenging for the title but we are going to try everything.

"I just don't want to do well, I want the team to do well. For me I don't care if I don't score or assist if we win the game. We keep improving and I think we are going a good way."

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

gph 9:24 Sun Sep 23
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan

Takashi Miike 7:37 Sun Sep 23
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
thanks alan

Nurse Ratched 4:01 Sun Sep 23
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.


Thanks Alan 1:59 Sun Sep 23
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cicerone, 12:53 Sun Sep 23

Texas Iron 1:53 Sun Sep 23
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Babelman 1:42 Sun Sep 23
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
thanks Alan great read

Cicero 12:53 Sun Sep 23
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

Alan 12:13 Sun Sep 23
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Sky article added.

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